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Keywords:

  • cobalt;
  • caesium;
  • resistance;
  • radionuclide

Abstract

One of the issues facing the nuclear power industry is how to store spent nuclear fuel which is contaminated with radionuclides produced during nuclear fission, including caesium (134Cs+, 135Cs+ and 137Cs+) and cobalt (60Co2+). In this study, we have isolated Co2+- and Cs+-resistant bacteria from water collected from a nuclear fuel storage pond. The most resistant Cs+ and Co2+ isolates grew in the presence of 500 mM CsCl and 3 mM CoCl2. Strain Cs67-2 is resistant to fourfold more Cs+ than Cupriavidus metallidurans str. CH34 making it the most Cs+-resistant strain identified to date. The Cs+-resistant isolates were closely related to bacteria in the Serratia and Yersinia genera, while the Co2+-resistant isolates were closely related to the Curvibacter and Tardiphaga genera. These new isolates could be used for bioremediation.