Microbial screening

Supplier: Technical University, Liberec; sub-supplier: Chemcomex
One of the most important requirements for the engineered barriers of deep geological repositories and their material composition concerns their lifespan, which may be influenced by the presence of microorganisms that develop as a result of human activity. In order to assess the gradual colonisation or, conversely, the decline of the microbial settlement, it is necessary to monitor the development thereof over the long term.

In addition to the long-term trend, which can only be observed over several years of monitoring, seasonal fluctuations may also exert an effect on this trend. Fluctuations in temperature or chemical composition, as well as variability in the water regime, may result in changes in the microbial habitat.

This one-year project will concentrate on obtaining initial data on the microbial settlement of the rock environment of the Bukov URF and the Rožná mine. The gathered data will be used for a series of follow-up experiments aimed at the study of the resistance of the engineered barriers and, subsequently, a longer term follow-up monitoring project will be proposed based on the obtained results.

The accessible groundwater sources and so-called biofilms obtained from the surfaces of the mined tunnels of the Bukov URF and other parts of the Rožná mine will be subjected to a detailed microbiological examination. The microbiological analysis of the water will focus on sampling from existing water inflows and outflows. In addition to classical sampling, passive samplers will be installed at appropriate locations so as to eliminate the anthropogenic impact on the sampling site and to allow for the capture of the full spectrum of native species from anaerobic groundwater.