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Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the power-up dept.

Power 299

mdsolar writes with news about the cleanup of the site that exposed Harold McCluskey to the highest dose of radiation from americium ever recorded. Workers are finally preparing to enter one of the most dangerous rooms in the world — the site of a 1976 blast in the United States that exposed a technician to a massive dose of radiation and led to his nickname: the "Atomic Man." Harold McCluskey, then 64, was working in the room at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode. He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the chemical element americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard. Hanford, located in central Washington state, made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades. The room was used to recover radioactive americium, a byproduct of plutonium. Covered with blood, McCluskey was dragged from the room and put into an ambulance headed for the decontamination center. Because he was too hot to handle, he was removed by remote control and transported to a steel-and-concrete isolation tank. During the next five months, doctors laboriously extracted tiny bits of glass and razor-sharp pieces of metal embedded in his skin. Nurses scrubbed him down three times a day and shaved every inch of his body every day. The radioactive bathwater and thousands of towels became nuclear waste.

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David Hahn (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374631)

Funny, I would have thought 'the radioactive boy scout' [wikipedia.org] would have had the most exposure to americium (stockpiled from smoke detectors). His house needed a similar clean up after.

Re:David Hahn (5, Informative)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 4 months ago | (#47374949)

The clean-up was less due to the severe amount of radioactivity and more due to the fact that he was careless and got it everywhere.

The total amount of radioactive material was small and the actual dose of radiation he was exposed to was probably minimal. Although the exact dose isn't known because he never completely revealed his experiments and he never underwent testing.

One thing I find interesting is that he was arrested again in 2007 on charges related to stealing smoke detectors for their Americium, 13 years after his boy scout experiments.

Re:David Hahn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375109)

One thing I find interesting is that he was arrested again in 2007 on charges related to stealing smoke detectors for their Americium, 13 years after his boy scout experiments.

I read that too. I guess he collected all that americium because (sniff, sniff) he just really loved America. That's so touching.

Faith in God (-1, Troll)

rolfwind (528248) | about 4 months ago | (#47374637)

By 1977, his bodyâ(TM)s radiation count had fallen by about 80 percent. When the worker returned home, friends and church members avoided him. His minister finally had to tell people it was safe to be around him.

What, wasn't their faith in god strong enough? It works wonders for children without vaccinations...

Don't forget.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374643)

Only the holy glow :)

Re:Faith in God (0, Troll)

garry_g (106621) | about 4 months ago | (#47374661)

What, wasn't their faith in god strong enough? It works wonders for children without vaccinations...

In some cases, even religious people will trust science ... (though not enough if other persons are affected)

Re:Faith in God (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47374679)

Typically they pray to god for healing, then see a doctor and take medical treatment, then thank god when they get better. The order of the first two steps varies. A few will skip the doctor part and either heal spontaneously (praise the lord!) or die, but most are quite happy to live with the contradiction.

Re:Faith in God (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374799)

The prayer is often for the doctor being competent.

Re:Faith in God (2)

BenJaminus (472372) | about 4 months ago | (#47374825)

Having seen miracles I feel the need to confirm that the spontaneous healing directly after prayer does indeed result in praising the Lord! Usually the person involved is rather joyful and thankful too :)

Re:Faith in God (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#47374971)

I've been witness to numerous "negative miracles", where the divine hand of our Lord decides to inflict his wrath upon some unworthy subject. It often does result in a "God Damnit!", so your hypothesis seems reasonable.

Re:Faith in God (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47374983)

It would be an impressive miracle indeed, aside from the bit about having an immune system and mitosis-capable cells. Life is actually pretty good at fixing itsself without supernatural aid. It seems suspicious that God is so eager to heal infections, yet never helps out any amputees.

Re:Faith in God (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#47375371)

It seems suspicious that God is so eager to heal infections, yet never helps out any amputees.

Making an amputee regrow a limb would be too obvious. Remember: "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375231)

Which god? People in every religion claim miracle healings. But I'm sure only the Christian ones were real, though, right?

Re:Faith in God (1)

Warbothong (905464) | about 4 months ago | (#47374853)

A few will skip the doctor part and either heal spontaneously (praise the lord!) or die

Thus reinforcing the selection bias.

Re:Faith in God (4, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | about 4 months ago | (#47374889)

Your comment reminds me of the saying "God heals, and the doctor sends the bill".

Yes, modern medicine is great, but after a while you realize that doctors are shooting in the dark half the time.

Re:Faith in God (0)

war4peace (1628283) | about 4 months ago | (#47374929)

On a more optimistic note, they know what they're doing the other half of the time, so we're all good.

Re:Faith in God (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375019)

"Medicine's role is to entertain us while Nature takes its course." - Voltaire

Re:Faith in God (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375261)

Well yes, that was pretty much true in Voltaire's time. Homeopathy was actually an improvement because the water isn't actively poisonous. These days, we have medicine that, you know, works.

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375249)

Better than shooting in the dark all the time like "faith healing".

Re:Faith in God (2)

ray-auch (454705) | about 4 months ago | (#47374905)

Some, arguably the smarter ones, pray for guidance, then see a doctor and take medical treatment, then thank god for guiding them to what they could have figured out themselves. But, they are happy.

Others pray only for a miracle, knowing that miracles are rare, and die knowing that either that was God's purpose or they just didn't deserve the miracle enough. But, they are happy.

Then there's those who really don't get that "God works in mysterious ways" might mean that God wants them to assign perfectly normal human interventions (like medical treatment) to being his work (and why not?, builds faith, saves work, lets him do more of whatever gods do when not babysitting their createes). Such people rarely go happy, as with the old flood joke: http://jokes.cc.com/funny-god-... [cc.com]

Re:Faith in God (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375253)

It is only a contradiction to the biblethumpers that are contradictory in their interpretation of the Bible too. They will gladly take a small piece of the old testament to claim that gays are sinful and completely ignore that the bible also said that it is not for them to judge.

For the Christians who actually follow the word of Jesus and tries to be good people they will follow Luke 4:12

Jesus answered, "It is said: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

In that they shouldn't task God with trivial things like their lives.
Just like many other statements in the bible it is a wise thing to live by. Do what you can to make thing better and even if everything appears to be hopeless it is better to strive on and if nothing else put your faith in God rather than give up.

The equivalent from Conan the Barbarian would be:

"Crom helps those who help themselves."

You can find similar ideas from most religions and it by trial and error you will find that things work out best if you follow them.

Re:Faith in God (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47375023)

In some cases, even religious people will trust science

In fairness, I know scientists who are religious and believe in evolution and all the rest of the science, and see God as being outside of all of that, and see the Bible as being allegorical on the points which conflict with science.

Religion isn't always tied with being irrational like the crazies we sometimes see.

Hell, when I went to university there was still a Jesuit teaching physics. He saw no conflict whatsoever between science and religion.

I'm certainly not saying there aren't those who are a little overzealous in their interpretations, but there are many many people who aren't.

Re:Faith in God (5, Funny)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 4 months ago | (#47375389)

I am a scientist and it does not threaten my faith.

The two are separate and I don't pit one against the other.

Both are tools to be used on a different scopes of work.

I keep the two isolated except at the very end of each day.

I wonder what the hell is going on and it's so elusive, I appeal to the gods for help.

Re:Faith in God (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47375369)

What, wasn't their faith in god strong enough? It works wonders for children without vaccinations...

In some cases, even religious people will trust science ... (though not enough if other persons are affected)

Seriously, have we gotten to the point that we're actually bigoted against all religions?

73% of Americans believe in God: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/1... [pewforum.org]
41% trust scientists, with another 46% trusting them "Somewhat" http://www.asanet.org/images/j... [asanet.org]

  73% believe in God, 87% trust scientists at least "somewhat" so, at the very least, 60% of people believe on God AND trust science at the same time! That's assuming there is no overlap.

If you disparage someone for their religious beliefs, you are a bigot. Seriously, you really are. It's not some different thing, you can't cite the crusades as evidence of how evil modern Christians are, you can't point to wars in the middle east. None of that has anything to do with the little old lady down the street that goes to church. You're making an offensive, and more importantly, incorrect generalization about an entire group of people based on the actions of a very small minority that has nothing to do with them at all.

I know this will get modded down pretty quickly on Slashdot. This site is notoriously intolerant of the faithful, but that doesn't make it right. Have fun modding me down troll, just keep in mind you're doing it for the same reasons sectarian bigotry happens all over the world. No one thinks they're a bigot while they're being a bigot. And if you're teaching your kids this mentality at home? Shame on you.

Re:Faith in God (4, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 4 months ago | (#47374673)

The only thing ignorant people fear more than science in general is "radiation". The reasons for the quotation marks would make for a very long rant about ionizing vs. non-ionizing radiation and their complete ignorance of what is actually going on.

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374789)

Except he was emitting high levels of ionizing radiation, but why let the facts get in the way of a good elitist rant?

Re:Faith in God (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47374885)

Why does every discussion of anything nuclear related almost immediately turn into a straw man argument against some imaginary, fearful hoards of idiots? Why are do so insecure about it?

Re:Faith in God (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374991)

I assure you that they are not imaginary.

Re:Faith (4, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47375013)

Undue fear of radiation is very prevalent. In this case, the man initially suffered more from the actual explosion than from the massive dose of radiation, and over time he overcame the radiation related issues even though his exposure was on the order of hundreds of times greater than safety limits. Heart disease is what killed him.

Whether you think its Intentional or not, you can always count on mdsolar to submit anything he can find that says nuclear and there is something bad that happened.

Re:Faith (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375131)

"over time he overcame the radiation related issues".

Yeah, the several heart attacks he had, problems with his eyes (cataract surgery on both eyes, cornea transplant), lack of stamina, kidney infections, drop in blood platelet count (and the need of transfusions), etc.
But he did overcame the radiation damage related problems eventually... when he died.

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375227)

Because without the straw man, he would need to address the actual issue at hand (nuclear safety). The straw man allows him to rant against his pet peeve while conveniently side-stepping the real issue.

Re:Faith in God (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47375161)

The only thing ignorant people fear more than science in general is "radiation". The reasons for the quotation marks would make for a very long rant about ionizing vs. non-ionizing radiation and their complete ignorance of what is actually going on.

Are you aware of the fact there were several decades in which the threat of nuclear war hung over everybody's heads, and the information being given out didn't include these details?

Anybody over 40 probably remembers several years of bomb drills, or the Bay of Pigs, or all sorts of things which most scared the bejeezus out people?

Even when Reagan got elected there was still a lot of fear that some idiot was going to let loose some nukes, and the rhetoric was quite high.

People were given far more fear than scientific information.

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374735)

I'd point out that when other people weren't willing to go near him, his minister was.
Would you have been?

Re:Faith in God (3, Informative)

will_die (586523) | about 4 months ago | (#47374815)

Just so you are informed. Religious reasons for no vaccination is very low on the list and is mainly from groups such as the Amish and the main reason Amish don't vaccinate is not for religious reason but items such as since they are closed community the risk is not as high.

The biggest reasons for people not going with vaccines are not trusting of "big" science and vaccines are loaded with all those chemicals, similar to GMO.

Re: Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374907)

Ah, so what we need are chemical-free medicines and food!

Re:Faith in God (1)

no_go (96797) | about 4 months ago | (#47375055)

So right , I propose a grass roots movement: Citizens agains chemicals on food

We should start with lobying the food industry in order to ban hydrogen and oxygen , those two are EVERYWHERE !!!
Think about the children!!!!!111!!!one

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375183)

Usually it's stupidity related reasons for no vaccination. Religious reasons are low on the "stupidity related reasons" category. On your last phrase I read this: the main reason for people not going with vaccines is ignorance. And speaking of GMO, people do eat corn, right? Again, ignorance... GMO isn't bad by itself. Practices, on the other hand..... Giving one example: usually I hear people talking about GMO and the danger of destroying indigenous species. Doesn't have to be GMO to do that, take a look at african bees where they shouldn't be at, or some species of toads, plants (and on that note: eucalyptus!), etc. Yep... that's it. Now, companies suing because a seed was transported by winds or whatever from one GMO crop or truck to a field, that's simply retarded, that falls on the category of "practices" I was talking about and something on the law is clearly wrong.

Re:Faith in God (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47374817)

What, wasn't their faith in god strong enough? It works wonders for children without vaccinations...

Sorry nope, and it doesn't seem to apply to children without vaccinations. Then again, pseudoscience does seem to apply to the parents of those who believe in the anti-vaxxer movement. How else can it be so, especially when they believe in debunked studies that were created by an ambulance chaser.

Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375157)

Most people who avoid vaccinations do it for non-religious reasons, not that low information commenters care.

Re:Faith in God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375185)

You worked hard to find a way to bash religion. Now you can go back to your petty life.

Re:Faith in God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375269)

You gonna go cry to your altar boy fucking priest about it?

Re:Faith in God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375361)

It's not hard at all. Now go back to talking to your imaginary friend.

Re:Faith in God (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#47375383)

Some one in a article about science had a few sentences about religion.
OM!G? How dare your limited world view of all religious people must be zealot hicks be questioned.

Your world view is based on taking everything you disagree with with all the religions, combine it into one over reaching idea of what a religion is and just hate it, because when you put all the stuff you dislike about each one together you get something you really dislike.

A religion is controlled and managed by normal humans, like the general population everyone has ideas that may not be the same as everyone else. So with a lot of religions there will be some parts that you do not like, however they encourage a lot of things that are good and helpful.
Most major religions do not get in the way of science. Unless they see something unethical in the science.

Anti-nuclear FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374639)

Meh

Re:Anti-nuclear FUD (3, Interesting)

captjc (453680) | about 4 months ago | (#47374793)

Funny, after the accident, Harold McCluskey was very pro-nuclear. Stating that what happened was little more than an industrial accident (assuming that the Wikipedia entry is to be trusted).

Re:Anti-nuclear FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374975)

Meh is only due to the title "the highest dose from americium". 500 times above the occupational standard was how much?

Hmm (4, Interesting)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 4 months ago | (#47374641)

Because he was too hot to handle, he was removed by remote control and transported to a steel-and-concrete isolation tank.

If they had the tech to do all that remotely, then why didn't they just handle the americium remotely?

I know, I know. Just a thought that popped into my head.

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47374671)

That doesn't seem to be accurate; the local newspaper describes a fellow technician who dragged him out of the room, and I don't believe they would've had some sort of building-wide system of manipulators that could've then moved him from there to an ambulance:

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/... [tri-cityherald.com]

At any rate, it looks like the glove box was just to allow access to adjust the equipment, and not perform the procedure. So there's every possibility that the actual work was done with manipulators. (You can play around with some of them in the museum in Richland; they're surprisingly nimble.)

Re:Hmm (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47374751)

Hmm, now I've read it in more detail it looks like he was transported from the decontamination centre to the ambulance by manipulators, which would seem entirely practical.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375233)

That doesn't seem to be accurate; the local newspaper describes a fellow technician who dragged him out of the room

That's what he said. "they had the tech to do all that"

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375343)

This being America why didn't they consult an actuary first? Surely it would have been cheaper just to let him die and then make a payout to his family rather than do all that expensive hospital work?

Question (0)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 months ago | (#47374647)

Because he was too hot to handle, he was removed by remote control and transported to a steel-and-concrete isolation tank.

So, what was his body temperature?

Re: Question (5, Informative)

TwoUtes (1075403) | about 4 months ago | (#47374669)

In case you are serious, "hot" is a euphemism for someone or something having a high degree of radioactivity. Nothing to do with temperature.

Re: Question (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374703)

In case you are serious, "hot" is a euphemism for someone or something being highly sexually attractive. Nothing to do with radioactivity.

Harold (just imagine shouting that name in the throes of passion) was so physically appealing that workers had to avoid touching him lest they become besotted. He's a modern day... what's that legend about the beautiful... Medusa or something. Or was it Midas? Microsoft? Bah, I haven't had my coffee yet.

Re: Question (2)

Talderas (1212466) | about 4 months ago | (#47374851)

Sex symbol.

Like Henry Kissinger.

Re:Question (1)

cloud.pt (3412475) | about 4 months ago | (#47374689)

Probably enough to pose danger of melting or expanding the materials in the protection suits of those who would have to handle him. Anything above 70C would be dangerous.

Re:Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374787)

Anything above 45C would mean he wouldn't be alive... ...as others have noted, it wasn't a reference to body temperature, but radioactivity.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374697)

It was the slope of his body's characteristic entropy/energy curve.

You forgot the second line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374979)

But that's not important right now.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374747)

So that's why the girls stay away from me. Because I'm too hot to handle :)

Re:Question (0)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 4 months ago | (#47374883)

Looking at this [nocookie.net] picture of him after the accident, I suspect that the answer is "a little high"

1984 People article (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47374683)

A lot of the background for this article* comes from a 1984 piece in People Magazine, in some cases word for word:

http://www.people.com/people/a... [people.com]

*It's an AP wire service piece

Re:1984 People article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374775)

Its funny but it Sounded like a 80's article.

*as someone who read a lot from the period.

Safety margins (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374695)

The important thing to remember here is that he survived 500 times the maximum dose a worker can be legally exposed to.
Try that with any chemical in any chemical plant.

Re:Safety margins (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374769)

Suffered greatly for all the years after sounds more like it.

Re:Safety margins (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#47375143)

Most of his injuries were due to being sprayed in the face with nitric acid rather than the radiation.

Re:Safety margins (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374771)

WTF are you talking about?

The exposure limit to benzene is 1 ppm. You will easily survive 500 ppm for a short time.

Re:Safety margins (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#47375271)

Yes but they also put a strong odor in it. So 1 ppm smells really bad, you would be gagging at 500 ppm.

Re:Safety margins (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47374805)

The important thing to remember here is that he survived 500 times the maximum dose a worker can be legally exposed to. Try that with any chemical in any chemical plant.

I wouldn't try it for just any chemical; but occupational exposure limits tend to be set (often with the aid of generous quantities of guesswork) around chronic occupational exposure and with the objective of not killing, or crippling too seriously, too high a percentage of the workforce. Asking "What can they breath all shift every shift for years or more without too many of them dropping dead, getting some freaky obscure cancer, or having the liver function of an elderly alcoholic before age 50?" tends to lead to lower, sometimes dramatically lower, numbers than "What can you probably survive, with intensive treatment and ongoing health effects?"

Re:Safety margins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374807)

The important thing to remember here is that he survived 500 times the maximum dose a worker can be legally exposed to.
Try that with any chemical in any chemical plant.

Chemical plant?

Oh, you mean like Hollywood?

They invented pushing limits.

Re:Safety margins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374955)

I think the longevity of his survival speaks more to the decontamination methods instituted post exposure, rather than the initial exposure itself. I can't speak to what dose of radiation would kill you within a day, but I imagine that 500x americium exposure is a several orders of magnitude below a lethal exposure for radiation.

That said, chemical exposure is really an apples to oranges comparison in this case, isn't it? Your speaking of a chemical disrupting the ability of the body to normally biologically function, rather than high energy particles destroying molecules and bonds.

Re:Safety margins (2)

orzetto (545509) | about 4 months ago | (#47375029)

Of course you can be exposed for a short period of time to 500 times the legal concentration of most chemicals. The "legal limit" is usually designed so that regular, 8-hour daily exposure has no long-term health effects, just like the legal radiation limits. Granted, legal limits back then were less conservative.

Then of course it depends how you are exposed. ingestion is not the same as having skin contact. Methanol has a legal limit of 200 ppm, but I can put my hand in liquid methanol (by definition 1 million ppm, 5000 times the legal limit) for a short time and suffer no consequences.

VH Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374715)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m-DYM7JvMA

the chemical reaction (2)

ishmaelflood (643277) | about 4 months ago | (#47374717)

" when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode"

any idea what that was?

My engineering brain struggles to find a heavy metal reaction that is unexpected. Oh, and enormous sympathy to HM, that's a horrible way to die.

Re:the chemical reaction (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374733)

He didn't die though... Except for 11 years later for heart reasons in his late 70's (he had a heart condition).

Re:the chemical reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374743)

He eventually died of old age. He was already in his later years when he was exposed.

>>My engineering brain struggles to find a heavy metal reaction that is unexpected. Oh, and enormous sympathy to HM, that's a horrible way to die.

Re:the chemical reaction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374749)

The radiation didn't kill him... coronary artery disease. So go light on the bacon!

Re:the chemical reaction (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47374761)

The process involved nitric acid and a large resin column (probably an ion exchange column). Probably it was forming some nitrates and these decomposed.

Re:the chemical reaction (1)

stasike (1063564) | about 4 months ago | (#47375175)

Read the book "Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima" by James Mahaffey He provides detailed description of this accidents and many others.

Treatment sort of worked (5, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 4 months ago | (#47374739)

His treatment sort of worked. He ended up with a lot of bad health effects, but kept alive until he was 75, eleven years later. You read about old people living near Chernobyl and now Fukushima. Perhaps their age related decline leads to fewer ways for radiation to be lethal. The quick onset of leukemia seems to affect children more, for example. http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/late... [www.rerf.jp]

Re:Treatment sort of worked (3, Interesting)

umghhh (965931) | about 4 months ago | (#47374829)

Saw a (BBC?) documentary about people living around in the Chernobyl Zone and research done on the food that can be grown there without risk and apparently there are ways to avoid much of contamination if one knows which plants and plant parts to eat and which not. Having luck I suppose plays also a role as there are places there where contrary to what some claim radioactivity killed almost all life. Bottom line is you do not have to die directly of radiation (of the type we talk about here). The atomic man however was exposed and suffered a lot because of that. He died of something that had no direct relationship to the accident, this much is true but I would not like to have to lead his life.

Re:Treatment sort of worked (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47375041)

His treatment sort of worked. He ended up with a lot of bad health effects, but kept alive until he was 75, eleven years later. You read about old people living near Chernobyl and now Fukushima. Perhaps their age related decline leads to fewer ways for radiation to be lethal. The quick onset of leukemia seems to affect children more, for example. http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/late... [www.rerf.jp]

That study shows how even after extremely high exposures, leukemia risk is still quite low in general. I guess the real lesson is that we shouldn't drop A-Bombs near kids.

Re:Treatment sort of worked (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 4 months ago | (#47375177)

And I though you should not drop the F-Bomb near kids...

Re:Treatment sort of worked (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 months ago | (#47375079)

" He ended up with a lot of bad health effects, but kept alive until he was 75, eleven years later."
He died of heart problems. If you read the health effects they are claiming many of them seem just normal for a older person at that time. The rest might could also have been caused by chemical issues more than radiation. Heavy metals are for a large part things you want to avoid putting into your body.
The cateracts could be an issue but I know a lot of 70 year olds that have them that have never been near any source of ionizing radiation except normal background "pretty low here in Florida btw", and the Sun which does put out a good bit of UV.

Re:Treatment sort of worked (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 4 months ago | (#47375151)

The article indicates he was no longer able to go hunting. That seems like a loss.

Re:Treatment sort of worked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375239)

But of course they kept him alive! I bet it was the worst decade of his life. Not because of the radiation, but the hospital bills.

Re:Treatment sort of worked (1)

snsh (968808) | about 4 months ago | (#47375335)

Those are the side effects of Khan blood.

Hardware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374755)

I would like to appreciate the effort made by the vendor for delivery of Flowers on the occasion of my friend’s marriage. I will recommend the website http://www.flowersonlinedelivery.co.uk for giving good vendor for getting my friends happy. My good wishes to http://www.flowersonlinedelivery.co.uk. Cheers!!!!

But.. but... (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#47374797)

... what super powers did he get?

Oh, I forgot. He was 64 years old at that time.

First Law of Superpowerdynamics: Only well muscled young men with washboard abs and manboob pecs get super powers

Second Law of Superpowerdynamics: Superpowers will make you wear your underwear over your pants.

Re:But.. but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374931)

Europeans beware... the statement "underwear over your pants" is recursive - please do not try to execute this sentence on a production brain.

Re:But.. but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375197)

an ass-sphincter says "Europeans beware... the statement "underwear over your pants" is recursive - please do not try to execute this sentence on a production brain."

Re:But.. but... (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47375317)

If you look at the photos of him a year and four years after, it looks like he started turning into Frankenstein's monster.

I wonder if... (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about 4 months ago | (#47374819)

they will use this method [uni-siegen.de] to clean up the site.

I would rob banks (5, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47374845)

The note would say "I am highly radioactive put the money in the bag."

ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47374867)

a typical resident of bangor maine.

Summary lacking an important point (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47374897)

The summary should have mentioned that he died of coronary artery disease, not of radiation exposure. The accident was terrible, sure, but the summary has led some to believe that he died of radiation exposure - which is terrible in a different way.

Cecil Kelley (5, Informative)

QuantumPion (805098) | about 4 months ago | (#47375057)

As far as I am aware the highest radiation dose anyone has received was Cecil Kelley, whom was exposed to a criticality accident at a plutonium processing plant. When the tank stirrer turned on, the geometry of the plutonium solution became critical, exposing him to ~12,000 rem. He died 36 hours later.

See Page 16 for a description of the accident here: http://ncsp.llnl.gov/basic_ref/la-13638.pdf [llnl.gov]

Or the wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Kelley_criticality_accident [wikipedia.org]

Accident during WW2 the radiation killed in days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47375105)

That incident wasnt contamination but exposure to radiation to a subcritical mass.
The fillings in the guys teeth got sufficient radiation (neutrons) that the isotopes changed to radioactives that burned his mouth.
Died within days.

Everybody skips the interesting bits (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | about 4 months ago | (#47375241)

Not only did Harold get a dose that was way beyond the LD50 for humans, he lived for 11 more years and died of unrelated causes [wikipedia.org] . His pastor had to convince people he was safe to be around.

Harold was far from the only Tri-Cities nuclear celebrity [exopermaculture.com] . There were also stories about guys who would drop their pants and squat over reactor vents until their balls got a little burned. Think of it like a nuclear vasectomy. I never documented any of those stories but there were a lot of them and worse.

One thing I did personally document was that, adjusted for age, the cancer rate for people who worked at Hanford was not statistically higher than that of the general population.

I achieved my own personal notoriety there by accidentally leaving my dosimeter in my shaving kit and leaving that on an orange Fiestaware platter that was so hot it would light up a pancake meter on three scales. A few weeks later I get a panic call from Rad Services asking if I'm okay. Hehe. God, I hated that place.

What I want to know... (2)

OS2toMAC (1327679) | about 4 months ago | (#47375305)

Did he grow to 50 feet tall and rampage around Las Vegas?
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