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(KING 5 News)   Turns out that silly, little radiation scare outside a Seattle hospital could have been worse   (king5.com) divider line
    More: Scary  
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3269 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 May 2020 at 2:35 PM (10 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



27 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-05-21 2:06:29 PM  
Sweet fark.  I just wonder how safe those dudes have been on other jobs.  And there is definitely something wrong with their training.

CS137 isn't only in hospitals.  It's also handled quite a bit in the oil and gas industry - and usually by a 20-something non-degreed and undertrained person who may or may not be half-assing safety.

Those CS137 capsules are so hot for their size.  I was once hanging out in a lab that tests the containers.  The container is delivered in a similar box shown in the video.  Using a long pole with a grabber on the end, the open the box, grab the container/capsule, and put it over a shielding walk into the analysis area.  In the few seconds it takes to do that - BAM - 500+mR.
 
2020-05-21 2:30:10 PM  
Do those guys have any training at all?
 
2020-05-21 2:40:15 PM  
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2020-05-21 2:42:06 PM  

edmo: Do those guys have any training at all?


Get box to right place.  Do it fast.  Shut up.  Do not touch or eat the glowy stuff.

/Not the best training, but it is training
 
2020-05-21 2:44:11 PM  
"...mission completion over safe conduct."

Ah yes, the actual meaning behind every contracting firm who preaches safety as their #1 priority.
 
2020-05-21 2:46:30 PM  
If you sleep through the training it generally doesn't stick. I wonder where the idea to cut apart the container came from, though. If a jar in the kitchen sticks, you don't grab a Sawz All - well, I don't.
 
2020-05-21 2:47:16 PM  
FTFA:
Ironically, the Harborview leak was part of the federal program to safely dispose of irradiators.


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2020-05-21 2:48:21 PM  
Damn regulations getting in the way of corporate profits.
 
2020-05-21 3:00:25 PM  
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2020-05-21 3:00:44 PM  
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2020-05-21 3:01:32 PM  
The Trump Administration reminds you that exposure to radiation and pollution is good for you
Make sure to go out and get your dose today
 
2020-05-21 3:02:14 PM  

HappySeahorse: [Fark user image image 425x318]


Soooo, whatcha guys doing?
 
2020-05-21 3:17:25 PM  
"The cutting operation happened inside a mobile hot cell device [ ... ] contractors attempting to unscrew the tube that holds the cesium capsule from another piece of pipe that holds it in place inside the irradiator..."

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"...the contractor inexplicably tries to separate the pipes with the electric cutter" [even as the video fuzzes up]

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"...2,900 curie..."

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2020-05-21 3:22:10 PM  
Hmmmm ... maybe it's time to start a new game of Shadowrun.
 
2020-05-21 3:23:37 PM  
 
2020-05-21 3:49:06 PM  

rcain: The Trump Administration reminds you that exposure to radiation and pollution is good for you
Make sure to go out and get your dose today


I heard it does kill the covid...
 
2020-05-21 3:57:41 PM  
What do expect if you hire someone from Idaho?
 
2020-05-21 3:58:54 PM  

edmo: Do those guys have any training at all?


Training is a conspiracy by liberal schools to get money and brainwash people!

/dont you know?
 
2020-05-21 4:03:01 PM  
Ah, so that explains this, then:

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2020-05-21 4:30:16 PM  
Really? Ionizing minds want to know more.
 
2020-05-21 4:30:52 PM  

valenumr: rcain: The Trump Administration reminds you that exposure to radiation and pollution is good for you
Make sure to go out and get your dose today

I heard it does kill the covid...


Not so much, really.

Ionizing radiation, from UV to hard gamma, has been evaluated by biodefense agencies for decontamination purposes for a long time.

It's confirmed that the primary method of killing biological agents is the "single critical hit" in which one photon snaps their dna or rna in half, or fuses it. And the energy required to do that is nothing more than the energy to break a carbon-carbon bond.

Which is why a total of a few Joules per square cm of 254nm UVC will totally and completely disinfect a surface of small viruses like Covid, while one million rems of Co-60 gamma radiation - enough to kill you a thousand times over - won't.
 
2020-05-21 4:35:19 PM  
This incident was not just avoidable, it was borderline criminal recklessness that caused the issue.  The team from The contractor, International Isotopes, had to cut through centimeters of steel and the Cs-137 source.  The entire process was unnecessary. There was no need to cut into the source to repackage for shipment and disposal.  Sawing through the Cesium chloride source created a powderized source.  However, the radiation control technician (RCT) and the two operators left the room without checking for contamination.  The RCT finally thought he should check himself, and upon using a beta radiation probe noticed a high count rate on his feet.  After playing "blues clues" he followed his trail of contamination back to the original room where the blood irradaitor remained.

This incident was an economic disaster.  It as already cost more than $100M to clean-up,and that does not include the other costs not involved with clean-up.  In terms of a health risk there are no measurable long term effects.  However, International Isotopes, I believe, only had a $10M insurance policy so the federal govern picked up the tab on that.

I should note that in general blood irradiators don't just spew contamination.  It took this contractor simulating a terrorist plot to release the source.  Converting blood irradiators from sources to x-ray generators is a cost saving measure, and it does remove any issues related to securing a radioactive source.
 
2020-05-21 4:39:39 PM  

UberDave: Those CS137 capsules are so hot for their size.  I was once hanging out in a lab that tests the containers.  The container is delivered in a similar box shown in the video.  Using a long pole with a grabber on the end, the open the box, grab the container/capsule, and put it over a shielding walk into the analysis area.  In the few seconds it takes to do that - BAM - 500+mR.


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2020-05-21 4:49:01 PM  
They didn't cesium that coming!
 
2020-05-21 4:49:28 PM  
When that attempt fails, the contractor inexplicably tries to separate the pipes with the electric cutter which was not permitted and "...should not have been allowed," according to federal investigators.
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... Well Christ just remember the stuff is blazingly radioactive so you better not nick the inner cont...

During the cutting operation, the saw pierced the cesium capsule releasing radiation into the mobile hot cell.
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Well at least spraying untold Mbq of radioactivity into a one cubic meter box would have obvious effects that...

The contractor apparently did not recognize the telltale "bright spots" and breakup of the video feed as evidence that radiation was leaking out of the capsule.
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Well at least they had a geiger counter that immediately went from tick-tap-tap to screaming bloody murder, because nobody would go and screw with a high level radiation source without a...

The contractor also did not have radiation detection devices on hand.
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When radiation was detected later "it pegged on the highest scale" on a contamination survey meeting, according to the federal report.
The report says more than an hour passed before the International Isotopes team recognized the problem, and more than four hours before a police officer there on security detail called 911.
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So in other words, we should be thankful that they didn't pop the top off and try to finish cutting with a hacksaw.

Or worse, just toss the whole metal assembly into a scrap steel smelter and cause Acinerox Disaster 2.0.

I would also like to know exactly how the radiation escaped the hot box. It seems like the sort of thing that would be hermetically sealed.
 
2020-05-21 4:54:10 PM  

DanQuayle: interesting reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goi%C3%A​2nia_accident


That one is good. The ones where the cobalt source is recycled as regular cobalt and subsequently made into various products are also make for interesting reading. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/w​iki/Radioa​ctive_scrap_metal
 
2020-05-21 6:21:07 PM  

rcain: The Trump Administration reminds you that exposure to radiation and pollution is good for you
Make sure to go out and get your dose today


But stay away from those wind turbines.
 
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