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Title: Bacterial Productivity in a Ferrocyanide-Contaminated Aquifer at a Nuclear Waste Site

Abstract

This study examined potential microbial impacts of cyanide contamination in an aquifer affected by ferrocyanide disposal from nuclear waste processing at the US Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in south-eastern Washington State (USA). We examined bacterial productivity and microbial cell density in groundwater (GW) from wells with varying levels of recent and historical total cyanide concentrations. We used tritiated leucine (3H-Leu) uptake as a proxy for heterotrophic, aerobic bacterial productivity in the GW, and we measured cell density via nucleic acid staining followed by epifluorescence microscopy. Bacterial productivity varied widely, both among wells that had high historical and recent total cyanide (CN−) concentrations and among wells that had low total CN− values. Standing microbial biomass varied less, and was generally greater than that observed in a similar study of uranium-contaminated hyporheic-zone groundwater at the Hanford Site. Our results showed no correlation between 3H-Leu uptake and recent or historical cyanide concentrations in the wells, consistent with what is known about cyanide toxicity with respect to iron speciation. However, additional sampling of the CN− affected groundwater, both in space and time, would be needed to confirm that the CN− contamination is not affecting the GW biota.

Authors:
; ; ORCiD logo; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1497865
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-135770
Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4441; WATEGH
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Water (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4441
Publisher:
MDPI
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Plymale, Andrew, Wells, Jacqueline, Graham, Emily, Qafoku, Odeta, Brooks, Shelby, and Lee, Brady. Bacterial Productivity in a Ferrocyanide-Contaminated Aquifer at a Nuclear Waste Site. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3390/w10081072.
Plymale, Andrew, Wells, Jacqueline, Graham, Emily, Qafoku, Odeta, Brooks, Shelby, & Lee, Brady. Bacterial Productivity in a Ferrocyanide-Contaminated Aquifer at a Nuclear Waste Site. United States. doi:10.3390/w10081072.
Plymale, Andrew, Wells, Jacqueline, Graham, Emily, Qafoku, Odeta, Brooks, Shelby, and Lee, Brady. Wed . "Bacterial Productivity in a Ferrocyanide-Contaminated Aquifer at a Nuclear Waste Site". United States. doi:10.3390/w10081072.
@article{osti_1497865,
title = {Bacterial Productivity in a Ferrocyanide-Contaminated Aquifer at a Nuclear Waste Site},
author = {Plymale, Andrew and Wells, Jacqueline and Graham, Emily and Qafoku, Odeta and Brooks, Shelby and Lee, Brady},
abstractNote = {This study examined potential microbial impacts of cyanide contamination in an aquifer affected by ferrocyanide disposal from nuclear waste processing at the US Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in south-eastern Washington State (USA). We examined bacterial productivity and microbial cell density in groundwater (GW) from wells with varying levels of recent and historical total cyanide concentrations. We used tritiated leucine (3H-Leu) uptake as a proxy for heterotrophic, aerobic bacterial productivity in the GW, and we measured cell density via nucleic acid staining followed by epifluorescence microscopy. Bacterial productivity varied widely, both among wells that had high historical and recent total cyanide (CN−) concentrations and among wells that had low total CN− values. Standing microbial biomass varied less, and was generally greater than that observed in a similar study of uranium-contaminated hyporheic-zone groundwater at the Hanford Site. Our results showed no correlation between 3H-Leu uptake and recent or historical cyanide concentrations in the wells, consistent with what is known about cyanide toxicity with respect to iron speciation. However, additional sampling of the CN− affected groundwater, both in space and time, would be needed to confirm that the CN− contamination is not affecting the GW biota.},
doi = {10.3390/w10081072},
journal = {Water (Basel)},
issn = {2073-4441},
number = 8,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}