Reining in uranium
To help keep radioactive uranium on site at Department of Energy sites, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are finding biological ways to alter the chemical form of uranium. The idea is to force uranium dissolved in contaminated water to precipitate out, or sink into sediments, where it is trapped. Researchers are modifying bacteria so they can efficiently free up phosphorous from an organic compound introduced into the soil. The free phosphorous moves into contaminated water, where it combines with the uranium to make insoluble compounds.
This article originally appeared in the 12/01/1999 issue of Environmental Protection.
Gerald F. Connell, ChE is a consultant, retired after 30 years with Capital Controls Group, Severn Trent Service Inc., Colmar, Pa. Mr. Connell is author of "The Chlorination/Chloramination Handbook," published by the American Water Works, and a forthcoming "Chlorination/Dechlorination Handbook" to be published by WEF.