MIND Advanced training course

“Geomicrobiology in radioactive waste disposal”

This advanced training course was developed with the scientific knowledge gathered during the MIND project. MIND (Microbiology In Nuclear waste Disposal) is a unique multidisciplinary project which brings together a broad range of leading research institutions and stakeholders in the field of radioactive waste disposal to address the Euratom 2014-2015 Work Programme topic NFRP 6 – 2014: Supporting the implementation of the first-of-the-kind geological repositories.

The objective of this advanced training course is to provide state-of-the-art knowledge and insight into the geomicriobiology phenomena related to the geological disposal of radioactive waste. The focus will be on performance assessment of the geological disposal environment and the engineered barrier systems for high-level and long-lived intermediate level waste using the knowledge of geomicriobiology processes.

Several case studies from different European Member States will be highlighted. Lectures on advanced analyzing techniques will complemented by technical visits to the SCK•CEN research laboratories in microbiology and the underground laboratory for waste disposal research.

Geological disposal of radioactive waste represents a challenge where social and technical aspects blend with regard to the design, implementation and post-construction management of the installation. For this reason, a dedicated panel discussion will be focusing on the impact of the inclusion of microbiology on expert conceptualisation and public perception of geological disposal

The ENEN  + project has been launched and will provide additional possibilities with its European Nuclear Mobility Fund

The ENEN+ mobility call is online (to be officially open on March 1)

The basic rules (mobility manual)

GDCh-Wissenschaftsforum Chemie

Poster: Does the [UO2(AcO)3]-complex really exist? A spectroscopic study

EUROCORR 2017, Prague, Czech Republic

Microbially induced corrosion of carbon steel 12020 and titanium alloy TiGr7 under anaerobic conditions

Microbially influenced corrosion of carbon steel under anaerobic conditions of repository environment containing sulfate reducing bacteria


MIND session nr 13n : Biogeochemical Processes and Radioactive Waste Disposal


  • Speciation of Se(IV) and Eu(III) associated with Stenotrophomonas bentonitica BII-R7 isolated from Spanish bentonites, Miguel A. Ruiz-Fresneda
  • Rates of H2 and SO42- Consumption by Microbes in Radioactive Waste (N. Burzan, O.X. Leupin, R. Bernier-Latmani)
  • Stenotrophomonas bentonitica BII-R7T, a novel bacterial strain with bioremediation potential, University of Granada
  • Rates of Hydrogen and Sulfate Consumption by Microbes in Radioactive Waste, Neils Burzan
  • Microbial degradation of organics and nitrate leaching from bituminised radioactive waste, SCK CEN
  • Microbial Degradation of Cellulose and its Alkali Hydrolysis Products: Implications for Radwaste Geodisposal, Naji Bassil


  • Goldschmidt c2017, “Development of the safety case knowledge base about the influence of microbial processes on geological disposal of radioactive wastes”
  • Microbial Diversity in Czech bentonites
  • Microbial Metabolism in the Deep Subsurface of Olkiluoto, Finland (E. Bell, T. Lamminmaki, P. Pitkaenen, M. Frutschi, L. Balmer, M. Yli-Kaila, R. Viitala, R. Bernier-Latmani)
  • Gases in Bedrock Groundwater: Geochemical Potential for Sustaining Deep Life
  • Bentonite – geotechnical barrier and source for microbial Life – talk given by Nicole Matschiavelli (HZDR)
  • The biogeochemistry of gas generation from low-level nuclear waste: modelling after18 years study under in situ conditions. Joe Small, NNL
  • Microbial degradation of low-level radioactive waste in repository conditions, VTT
  • Structural elucidation of U(VI)-isosaccharinic acid complexes under acidic conditions: spectroscopic and theoretical investigations (Hannes Brinkmann)
  • Plasticised PVC Fuels Nitrate Reduction at High pH: Implications for Nuclear Waste Disposal, Sophie Nixon

16th International Clay Conference

Book of abstracts

MIND session:  Biogeochemical processes at the microbe/clay interface and their synergy with radionuclide/organic  interactions.


  • Interactions of Se(IV) and Eu(III) with the indigenous bentonite bacterial specie Stenotrophomonas bentonitica, Miguel A. Ruiz-Fresned

PETRUS-ANNETTE PhD and Early-Stage Researchers Conference 2017, Lisboa, Portugal

Bentonite – geotechnical barrier and source for microbial Life presentation given by Nicole Matschiavelli (HZDR)



Microbial interactions with metals: microscopic characterization, Jaime Gomez-Bolivar


Invited Talk:

Microbes and metals: environmental perspectives and industrial benefits, Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems, Mohamed L. Merroun.



Biodegradation of low-level radioactive waste under in situ conditions‘ presented at the Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT) seminar, VTT.

Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2017


  • Microbial degradation of cellulose and its alkali hydrolysis products; implications for radwaste geodisposal”. This poster won the best poster prize.
  • Bioavailability of PVC for microbial nitrate reduction at high pH



Influence of microorganisms on degradation products of gamma irradiated organic radioactive wastes



MIND Presentation – Exchange Forum, IGDTP, Prague, 2017

Mont Terri TD315 joint BN-GD-HT-MA meeting, St Ursanne


  • PVC degradation expts with MIND WP1 Sophie Nixon
  • Overview of MIND WP1 Joe Small


  • 16 hours theory + 14 hours exercises/lab sessions/visits
  • Learning outcomes determined following the ECVET principles
  • Pilot session October 24-28, 2016 in Mölnlycke,Sweden by MICANS
  • 6 participants from Finland, the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland
  • Very good response !

PhD students and postdocs with a couple undergraduates, most were geologists and biologists. MICANS

Miguel Angel Ruiz Fresneda, PhD student working in the MIND Project, was awarded by Carl- Zeiss Company with the excellent presentation at the 10th International Biometals Symposium 2016 in Dresden, Germany. He presented the results obtained in the MIND Project.

Biometals certificate and abstract (pdf)

Geomicrobiology Network Meeting


  • Reduction of Se(IV) by Stenotrophomonas sp. BII-R7 isolated from Spanish bentonites: microscopic and spectroscopic characterization, Jaime Gomez-Bolivar



  • Can microbes help stabilize radioactive waste in the subsurface? N. Bassil

WP1 leader’s presentation of the CORI project.


Coordinator’s presentation of MIND at the  IGD-TP Exchange Forum in London 2015, November 4.

IGDTP MIND Presentation November 4_2015_Final

General presentation of the MIND project given to the Steering group (5th of November, 2015) and Support group (19th of October 2016) of Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT) 2015-2018

GeoRepNet, or the Geological Repository Network, is a network funded by the STFC Futures Programme (UK) to investigate the major scientific and technical challenges in the establishment and monitoring of geological repositories. The network comprises six workpackages that address the geophysical, geochemical and biological challenges of establishing and operating geological repositories and investigate methods of monitoring geological repositories.


Poster presenting the work SCK-CEN will do in MIND

2015_KWouters_Poster MIND_SCK

    • Graduate students and scientists
    • Lecture about how microorganisms can both positively and negatively influence a final repository for spent nuclear fuel. Emphasized, among other things, the importance of being pro-active, meaning that one must prevent negative effects of microbial activity through smart and well thought out solutions of barriers and containments.

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