, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 169–179 | Cite as

Thermophillic and thermotolerant fungi isolated from the thermal effluent of nuclear power generating reactors: Dispersal of human opportunistic and veterinary pathogenic fungi

  • J. W. Rippon
  • R. Gerhold
  • M. Heath


Over a period of a year, samples of water, foam, microbial mat, soil and air were obtained from areas associated with the cooling canal of a nuclear power station. The seventeen sample sites included water in the cooling canal that was thermally enriched and soil and water adjacent to, upstream, downstream and at a distance from the generator. Air samples were taken at the plant and at various disstances from the plant. Fifty-two species of thermotolerant and thermophilic fungi were isolated. Of these, eleven species are grouped as opportunistic Mucorales or opportunistic Aspergillus sp. One veterinary pathogen was also isolated (Dactylaria gallopava):

The opportunistic/pathogenic fungi were found primarily in the intake bay, the discharge bay and the cooling canal. Smaller numbers were obtained at both upstream and downstream locations. Soil samples near the cooling canal reflected an enrichment of thermophilous organisms, the previously mentioned opportunistic Mucorales and Aspergillus spp. Their numbers were found to be greater than that usually encountered in a mesophilic environment. However, air and soil samples taken at various distances from the power station indicated no greater abundance of these thermophilous fungi than would be expected from a thermal enriched environment. Our results indicate that there was no significant dissemination of thermophilous fungi from the thermal enriched effluents to the adjacent environment. These findings are consistent with the results of other investigators.


Foam Aspergillus Enrich Environment Nuclear Power Station Downstream Location 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Rippon
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Gerhold
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Heath
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Hazelton Environmental SciencesUSA

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