Fourth Annual DOE Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research (NABIR) Program Grantee/Contractor Meeting.
The fourth annual NABIR grantee/contractor meeting was held in Warrenton, VA, on March 11-14, 2001. The nearly 140 attendees included bioremediation researchers, BER program managers, and EM managers and staff. In a keynote address, Dr. Gerald Boyd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Science and Technology for Environmental Management, emphasized the importance of NABIR research to finding solutions to legacy wastes of radionuclides and metals at DOE sites. EM representatives from headquarters and field operations participated in a roundtable organized by Paul Bayer (SC-74) on connecting NABIR research to EM customer needs. A scientific highlight of the NABIR meeting was a session on the use of data from BER’s Microbial Genome Program by NABIR researchers. Genomic data have provided new insights into the physiology and ecology of radionuclide-reducing microorganisms, such as Geobacter and Desulfovibrio, and radiation-resistant microbes, such as Deinococcus. Special sessions were also devoted to new field research projects at the NABIR field research site at ORNL, NABIR research at Uranium Mill Tailing Remedial Action sites, and on Bioremediation and its Societal Implications and Concerns. A “town hall” style session was held as part of ongoing strategic planning for the NABIR program. NABIR researchers agreed that the program’s focus on immobilization of metals and radionuclides in the subsurface is appropriate, and that communication of NABIR results to regulators and stakeholders was critical to the acceptance of this approach.