Development and characterization of biofilms on stainless steel and titanium in spent nuclear fuel pools
The aim of the present research was to study the biofilms developed in a Spanish nuclear power plant and their ability to entrap radionuclides. In order to carry this out, a bioreactor, which was then submerged in a spent nuclear fuel pool, was designed. To characterise the biofilm on two different metallic materials (stainless steel and titanium), standard culture microbiological methods and molecular biology tools, as well as epifluorescence and scanning electron microscopy were used. The bacterial composition of the biofilm belongs to several phylogenetic groups (α, β, and γ -Proteobacteria , Actinobacteridae , and Firmicutes). The radioactivity of the biofilms was measured by gamma-ray spectrometry. Biofilms were able to retain radionuclides from radioactive water, especially 60 Co. The potential use of these biofilms in bioremediation of radioactive water is discussed.