Friday, July 29, 2005

Contaminated Lab Worker Back Home

By Adam Rankin
Journal Staff Writer

A Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher who was contaminated by a dose of radioactive americium— and in turn contaminated his car and parts of his house— was allowed to return home Wednesday evening.

A team of federal nuclear incident responders finished decontaminating the researcher's home late Wednesday afternoon, according to LANL spokeswoman Kathy DeLucas.

The researcher was contaminated by a sample of americium-241 received July 14 in a package shipped from a neighboring plutonium research facility at the lab. The contamination was discovered 11 days later by a radioactivity control technician on Monday.

[...]

Full Story


Comments:
Is it true that this individuals house does not require any artificial light at night for it "GLOWS" - how nice!!!!
 
"The researcher was contaminated by a sample of americium-241 received July 14 in a package shipped from a neighboring plutonium research facility at the lab."

Geez, the press can't even get it correct. The shipped samples were encapsulated uranium nitride pellets, externally contaminated with Am-241.
 
Heck, I'm just glad the press spelled it correctly, and didn't hook up with some activist to blow the thing up into a statewide health threat.
 
Anonymous : 7/29/2005 01:14:09 PM said:
"Geez, the press can't even get it correct. The shipped samples were encapsulated uranium nitride pellets, externally contaminated with Am-241."

I've been following this story for two days and I'm sure that I never read that the samples were encapsulated uranium nitride pellets externally contaminated with Am-241. Are you sure the Lab mentioned this to reporters? It would have changed the whole story.
 
I expect the LANL Public Affairs office didn't impart any information that they felt they could get away with omitting.
 
We were not told how the individual was contaminated or in what form the americium was in. I only happen to know the shipment contained uranium nitride pellets because I got a copy of Wallace's e-mail, which did not make it clear that the pellets were externally contaminated, if that is indeed the case. We were told such questions were under investigation.
Remember, that being a reporter is like being blindfolded in a dark room and having a few hours to describe its contents and their purpose.
That said, I am always open to information that will improve my stories and their accuracy. Please, don't hesitate to contact me or get me the information.

arankin@abqjournal.com
 
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