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Archive for Tuesday, June 19, 2012

25 years ago: Radioactive material inadvertently taken out with trash, KU says

June 19, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 19, 1987:

Kansas University staff this week announced that a liquid scintillation instrument containing two small sealed capsules of radioactive material accidentally had been removed as trash and taken to a local landfill. The material was not believed to pose a health threat to the public, according to Ben Friesen, KU's director of radiation safety and professor of biochemistry. "What happened here is that somebody indicated to somebody else that it was okay to move," Friesen said. "Our regulations for all users are that no radioactive sources may be transferred, not even to another user, without prior authorization from us. And those regulations were disobeyed." The radioactive material had been sealed in spherical capsules about one-tenth of an inch in diameter and were within a liquid scintillation device about the size of a washing machine. The obsolete instrument had been removed from Haworth Hall, compacted with other trash on KU's west campus, and then taken to the Jefferson-Douglas County landfill. A search was planned for the machine but Friesen admitted that it might be a futile attempt. The University's six-member Committee on Radiation Sources was scheduled to discuss the incident at their meeting next week and to make recommendations for change.

Comments

Phoghorn 2 years, 6 months ago

Well, that explains the two-headed Mountain Lions I have been seeing.

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