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Biomineralogical Water Decontamination


Development of Biomineralogical Methods of Water Decontamination from Actinides, Sr-90 and Cs-137

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-REM/Bioremediation/Biotechnology
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg


  • University of Uppsala / Institute of Earth Sciences, Sweden, Uppsala\nGeorge Washington University / Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, USA, DC, Washington\nFinnish Environment Institute, Finland, Helsinki\nInstitut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski, Canada, QC, Rimouski\nNational Museum and Galleries of Wales, UK, Cardiff\nMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) / Nuclear Engineering Department, USA, MA, Cambridge

Project summary

The main goal of this project is a development of biomineralogical method of water decontamination from 90Sr, 137Cs, and actinides. It is proposed to use freshwater Bivalvia and Gastropoda mollusks to absorb and fix radionuclides from natural and artificial water. In order to get comprehensive information about the system radionuclides-mollusks-water soft body, shell and water before and after experiments will be studying by complex methods. Water soluble forms of radionuclides: 90Sr, 137Cs and 241Am, will be put into mollusks living media of different concentration. Interaction between Bivalvia and Chernobyl hot particles will be investigated. Mollusks grown under laboratory conditions (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), ones collected at the contaminated region of Chernobyl NPP (Dreissena polymorpha, Unio conus) and ones collected at the control point of North West Russia (Dreissena polymorpha, Unio conus, Colletopterum piscinale) will be compared. The main attention will be paid to detailed study of radionuclide forms and their distribution into shell and soft body of mollusks. We propose to investigate the incorporation of the examined radionuclides into solid mineral matrices of freshwater mollusks (Bivalvia and Gastropoda), evaluate the chemical behavior of the resulting radionuclide minerals, and assess water decontamination factors achieved by the mollusks. This investigation will be carried out on the microlevel of monomineral and organic-mineral layers of inpidual shells. We expect to determine the mineral forms of the incorporated radionuclides, investigate the solubility of the resulting radionuclide minerals, and evaluate water decontamination factors.

The Project will be carried out by experienced specialists of V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute responsible for development of technology for final disposal of actinide wastes including weapons-grade plutonium.


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