Monday, January 2, 2012

Mysterious white substance grows on the drums of nuclear waste



Rightly concerned about the fate of Japan's Fukushima and full, it is natural to neglect some news like that I'm going to bring you back. The U.S. Department of Energy scientists have discovered a strange white substance growing on the packaging of uranium kept in the Savannah River Site, a deposit of spent nuclear material.


"This growth, similar to the structure of a web, has yet to be identified, but may be of biological nature," says a report drawn up by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board American.

This abnormal growth of unknown material was discovered in barrels of radioactive material stored in the Savannah River Site, a reserve American atomic found in South Carolina.

This nuclear site contains what is called "The Zone", an area with ponds can isolate and maintain a constant temperature of the waste produced by nuclear national.

The main basin, called The Basin, is a concrete structure with walls three feet thick, and is capable of holding 3.5 million gallons of water to a total depth of 5-10 meters.

It 'just inside of this tank that the Department of Energy researchers have discovered this strange "thing" is initially too small to be seen, but which has grown over time making out by the staff of the installation.

This mysterious "creature" (it is not yet clear whether it is of biological origin or not) seems to proliferate where many other living organisms were killed. Even if the nuclear material Basin L is effectively isolated from the employees of the site, near the drums remains a slow but steady release of potentially harmful radiation.

The The Augusta Chronicle, the newspaper that made the news public on 16 December, reports that a sample of white and stringy material was brought to the Savannah River National Laboratory for groped to give an identity to this strange substance.

The workshops, however, have not been able to identify the sample because of insufficient material to be tested. What attracts attention is not just a sample of the origin and identity remain unknown, but especially the fact that this growth would seem anomalous to have a relatively complex behavior, being able to form ordered structures more or less like the drawing of a spider web.

We are facing another extremophile? Can. We already know some of radioresistant microorganisms , able to withstand doses of radiation capable of exterminating an entire city. One of these is the Deinococcus radiodurans , can survive in the amount of radiation that a whale upheaval due to reprogramming of its genetic material.

Before launching into easy enthusiasm, it is imperative to ensure the identity of this strange excrescence never observed before.
"It will be necessary to carry out further assessments," said Will Callicott, a spokesman for the Savannah River National Laboratory, "but whatever it is, does not seem to be causing any harm."

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