Korean basic science, bio and microorganism scholars treat radwaste using microorganisms in cooperation with the National Research Foundation of Korea
Basic science experts from Russia, France, Ukraine, and Japan as well as Korea participate in an international symposium on treating radwaste using integrated microorganisms, held at Pukyong National University in Busan on May 18. (Photo: Pukyong National University)
Chairman Lee Sang-hee of the National Science and Technology Advisory Council at the National Assembly Parliamentarians’ Society, also known as Heonjeonghoe, called for commercialization of technologies to treat radwaste using complex bacteria.
Nuclear power experts have been treating radwaste in nuclear power and engineering, Chairman Lee, former science and technology minister, said. Despite historic cases of treating radwaste via natural methods such as integrated microorganisms, a failure in commercializing radwaste treatment models is attributable to bacteria and bio experts’ entry barriers to a deliberation committee, dominated by nuclear power exports, to handle work on radwaste treatment, he claimed in a column he contributed to a vernacular daily.
U.S. scientists initially presumed that human beings could not live in Hiroshima and Nakasaki, two nuclear bombing sites during the final stage of World War II, for more than 100 years. But surprisingly, they turned out to have traces of living things only 10 months later.
The secret of turning them into survivable areas was owed to the work of microorganisms, geophysics said. A two-week radiation soil test, conducted one year after the occurrence of the Fukushima nuclear accident, showed that more than 70 percent of radiation was decontaminated.
Chairman Lee maintained that the profitability of treating radwaste is three times higher than that of nuclear power generation. The size of the global radewaste treatment market rises in direct proportion of the huge nuclear power industry. If technologies to treat radwaste via microorganisms are commercialized, he said, it would bring about breakthroughs both in the energy economy and the environment industry.
A recent international symposium on treating radwaste using integrated microorganisms, the first of its kind in Korea, brought together basic science experts from Russia, France, Ukraine, and Japan as well as Korea to discuss how to commercialize related technologies.
Korean basic science, bio and microorganism scholars have launched a study on treating radwaste using microorganisms in cooperation with the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). They estimate that the odds for success stand at more than 60 percent.
A Korean research team of Chung Jong-ho, a senior researcher with Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), and Prof. Choi Young-joon of Seoul University, succeeded in the development of purifying radwaste using radiation-resistant microorganism, dubbed “Deinnococcus Radiodurans.” The research team’s thesis was carried as a cover story in April 2017 by the magazine Chemical Communication issued by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The technology turned out to decontaminate 99.9 percent of radwaste polluted with radioactive iodine, the researchers said.
KHNP Issues Debentures Worthy 300 Bln won
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) has successfully issued debentures, including those with a maturity of more than 20 years, to raise a combined 300 billion won.
KHNP said the company issued debentures worth 300 billion through a competitive, open bid among insurance companies, asset management firs and funds 70 billion won by issuing three-year debentures, 170 billion won for 20-year bonds, and 60 billion won for 30-year debentures. Long-term debentures with a maturity of more than 20 years accounted for 77 percent of the total amounts raised.