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Not that we did not believe there were problems with groundwater stability, now we have something even more frightening to ponder.

Offered by Brian.

The Scientist, University of Pennsylvania
Issue Volume 12, No. 20, October 12, 1998
Superbug Resists Radiation

Bioremediation pairs microbes with tastes for toxins with a contaminated site in the hope that the organism will metabolize away the problem. But the radionuclides in these dumps often harm the bioremediators. A solution: transfer detox genes to Deinococcus radiodurans, a bacterium so radiation-resistant that it's been found in nuclear reactors. ...The superbug withstands continuous radiation and oxidizes toluene, chlorobenzene, 3,4-dichloro-1-butene and indole. Such boosted bioremediators might someday help clean up the 3,000 dump sites that are the Department of Energy's legacy of the cold war. "From 1946 through the late 1960s, thousands of open pits, each the size of an Olympic swimming pool, were dug and lined with concrete. But the concrete has broken down, and solid and liquid organic wastes have leaked. In 50 percent of these pits, the leaks threaten groundwater supplies," Daly says.