Radiation exposure of microorganisms living in radioactive mineral springs
Laboratoire de Physique de Clermont-Ferrand (LPC) / CNRS IN2P3, Université Clermont Auvergne, 63178, Aubière, France
2 Laboratoire de Géographie Physique et Environnementale (GEOLAB) / CNRS, Université Clermont Auvergne, 63057, Clermont-Ferrand, France
3 Laboratoire Microorganismes : Génome et Environnement (LMGE) / CNRS, Université Clermont Auvergne, 63178, Aubière, France
4 Laboratoire de physique subatomique et des technologies associées (SUBATECH) / CNRS IN2P3, Université de Nantes, 44307, Nantes, France
5 Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux-Gradignan (CENBG) / CNRS IN2P3, Université Bordeaux, 33170, Gradignan, France
6 Institut de Chimie de Nice (ICN) / CNRS, 06108, Nice, France
7 Métabolism, molecular engineering of Microalgae and applications (MIMMA), Biologie des Organismes Stress Santé Environnement, Le Mans University, 72000, Le Mans, France
a Members of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) «Zone Atelier Territoires Uranifères (ZATU)»
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Published online: 11 April 2022
The TIRAMISU collaboration gathers expertise from biologists, physicists, radiochemists and geologists within the Zone-Atelier Territoires Uranifères (ZATU) in France to analyze the radiation exposure of microorganisms living in naturally radioactive mineral springs. These springs are small waterbodies that are extremely stable over geological time scales and display different physicochemical and radiological parameters compared to their surroundings. Water and sediment samples collected in 27 mineral springs of the volcanic Auvergne region (Massif Central, France) have been studied for their microbial biodiversity and their radionuclide content. Among the microorganisms present, microalgae (diatoms), widely used as environmental indicators of water quality, have shown to display an exceptional abundance of teratogenic forms in the most radioactive springs studied (radon activity up to 3700 Bq/L). The current work presents a first assessment of the dose received by the diatoms inhabiting these ecosystems. According to ERICA tool, microorganisms living in most of the sampled mineral springs were exposed to dose rates above 10 μGy/h due to the large concentration of radium in the sediments (up to 50 Bq/g). Radiological analyses of water and sediments were used as inputs to Monte Carlo simulations at micro-(GATE) and nano- (Geant4-DNA) scale in order to assess the direct and indirect damages on the diatom DNA.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2022
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