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Laboratory Briefs

Shut Reactor Scatters Radioactivity Officials at Brookhaven National Laboratory found themselves locking the barn after the horse had escaped when debris from routine maintenance on the lab's High Flux Beam Reactor scattered radioactive flecks in the lab and in some employees' homes last month. Bits of stainless steel containing radioactive cobalt-60 were found on maintenance workers as they left the building through a recently installed portal monitor system. Because that system was not yet fo

The Scientist Staff

Shut Reactor Scatters Radioactivity
Officials at Brookhaven National Laboratory found themselves locking the barn after the horse had escaped when debris from routine maintenance on the lab's High Flux Beam Reactor scattered radioactive flecks in the lab and in some employees' homes last month. Bits of stainless steel containing radioactive cobalt-60 were found on maintenance workers as they left the building through a recently installed portal monitor system. Because that system was not yet formally in use at the time of the incident, several other workers had left without passing through it. Lab officials finally mandated its use two days later, after 19 employees had set off the monitor in entering or leaving the facility. As a precaution, they checked the homes of 75 employees who had used the reactor facility during the two-day period. Radioactive specks were found in two homes, but a lab spokesman said they presented no...

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