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Error at lab spreads nuclear material: Contamination from Los Alamos found in 4 States

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posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 03:47 AM
An employee at Los Alamos National Laboratory mishandling of a potentially hazardous radioactive substance has resulted in the contamination of four separate locations. The incident which was disclosed in a July 27 press release indicated the substance in question was americium-241. Traces have been found in homes in Colorado, Kansas, and the employees home in New Mexico. In addition a Pennsylvania laboratory where the substance was shipped to. It is unclear if any employee or facility of FedEx which shipped the substance was contaminated as well. All involved are having their health monitored as a result.
The apparent mishandling of a potentially hazardous radioactive substance by an employee of the University of California-run Los Alamos National Laboratory has resulted in contamination of sites in four states, according to a report released Monday.

Traces of the substance have been found in homes in Colorado and Kansas that the Los Alamos employee visited, his own home in New Mexico, and also at the Pennsylvania laboratory where the employee apparently shipped a contaminated package via FedEx.

Los Alamos doctors are monitoring the health of the employee and five lab colleagues who might have been contaminated by the substance, radioactive americium-241. So far, none show ill effects, lab officials said Monday.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Its become pretty clear the University of California’s stewardship of Los Alamos needs to come to an end. Between the appalling security lapses and now items like this, perhaps its time to give another group a chance to run the labs. That raises another question. How much of this type of material is shipped every day? You would think that there would be regulations against shipping this type of hazardous material?

[edit on 8/9/05 by FredT]

[edit on 8/9/05 by FredT]

[edit on 8/9/05 by FredT]

posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 05:30 AM
It's definitely worrying that they aren't controlling contamination more closely - it sounds like it was just luck that they found it when they did, or found it at all.

The package didn't contain radioactive material, but the outside was contaminated with enough radiation to make it a health risk for anyone who handled it and probably contaminated every other package it came in contact with...

There is NO safe level of this stuff and hundreds of people could be walking around now with radioactive dust in their bodies, slowly killing them.

posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 05:36 AM
That can't be good can it...?

posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 05:41 AM
Well, it's used in smoke detectors. So - welcome to reality.

I'm not ready to jump on this bandwagon yet until they tell me how they verified the "trace amounts" came from this guy rather than possible household sources.

posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 06:11 AM
Happened in Florida too just recently some utility company accidentally delivered some nuclear waste to several locations.

Florida Utility Accused of Nuclear Dumping
Sunday, August 7, 2005 1:58 PM EDT
The Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — One of Florida's biggest electric utilities mistakenly sent a shipment of nuclear waste to a farm pasture, a spokeswoman acknowledged Sunday, but documents filed in two lawsuits appear to show it also sent the waste to sewage treatment plants and other, unknown locations.

The New York Times reported in Sunday's editions that the internal documents and government records suggest Florida Power & Light made numerous shipments from its nuclear power plant in St. Lucie County to multiple locations in the 1970s and early '80s. The level of contamination is a point of contention between the company and the parents of two children afflicted with cancer who sued FPL.

With such a tight lid on nuclear materials as we supposedly have, makes you wonder how they loose so much of it to "unknown locations". Have a look at a company called Hittman, odd name considering what they do for a living... I got behind one of these trucks on the highway with USA DOD markings and not an escort one was with it.

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