Meet Karsten Pedersen, CEO of Microbial Analytics Sweden

One of the major concerns with nuclear power is how to store the radioactive waste. This has to be stored for up to 100 000 years, usually in copper capsules,  until the radiation has decreased to acceptable levels. During  this time it is extremely important that the capsules  do not leak harmful radioactive waste. One of the things that may affect the capsules is naturally occurring bacteria, that may produce compounds which attack the copper.

Microbial Analytics Sweden AB (MICANS), founded 2005, specializes in analysing microorganisms and gases and modelling biological processes for companies such as SKB, The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company. Micans works with groundwater and underground constructions to a depth of 1500 m. One of the methods they use is biomass measurement using ATP technology and kits from BioThema.

Micans simulates underground conditions in their laboratory.

The founder of Micans is Karsten Pedersen, a Professor of Microbiology at Gothenburg University since 1999. He first encountered  ATP measurements in the early 1980´s, when small pieces of fireflies still could be found in the reagents (not BioThema’s we hasten to add).

Karsten Pedersen and the Micans FB12-instrument.

The current application of using ATP technology was first used at Micans in 2005. “ATP measurement is a reliable method and compares very well with other methods. We find ATP measurement especially useful with uneven surfaces where it is difficult to use microscopic methods”, says Karsten.

What makes BioThemas products unique is, according to Karsten, the internal ATP Standard. “We often notice a great variability between samples. This is not unexpected since the pH, salt concentration, and other substances vary between samples, but using the internal ATP Standard ensures that we always get comparable values. This makes Biothema our supplier of choice”.

Karsten Pedersen can be contacted at Karsten.pedersen(at)

Click to see a list of publications by Karstens Pedersen and his colleagues at Micans.

Visit for more information about Micans and their work.