Radioactive Rabbit Trapped, Authorities Search for Radioactive Poop

by the Left Coast Rebel

No, this is not a Simpsons episode (remember Season 2, "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish?), or an Onion spoof:

(TriCityHerald) A radioactive rabbit caught at Hanford just north of Richland had Washington State Department of Health workers looking for contaminated droppings Thursday.

Contaminated animals occasionally are found at the nuclear reservation, but more often they are in the center of Hanford, far from town.

The rabbit trapped at the 300 Area caught the Department of Health's attention because it was close enough to the site's boundaries to potentially come in contact with the public -- such as if it had been caught by a dog or if its droppings were deposited in an area open to the public.

It's the Department of Health's job to look for contamination off-site and make sure there is no public hazard.

However, an afternoon of surveying turned up no contaminated droppings in areas accessible to the public, said Earl Fordham, the department's regional director of the Office of Radiation Protection.

Washington Closure Hanford, the Department of Energy contractor cleaning up Hanford in the 300 Area, found the contaminated rabbit droppings last week, said company spokesman Todd Nelson.

Several rabbits have been trapped since then and one of them was found to be highly contaminated internally with radioactive cesium, Fordham said.

Because the number of contaminated droppings being discovered on-site has decreased, officials believe it's possible that just one rabbit might have been contaminated and they now are finding old droppings from it.

That certainly takes the cake for the bizarre story of the week, no?


  1. The only thing bizarre about it is that they haven't learned from all those years of radioactive critters. The Hanford Site sits in a desert, and anytime there's water around, the critters will be attracted to it. We used to discharge radioactive water to an above ground trench at N Reactor, but they had to cover that trench with wire mesh after finding some radioactive ducks. You know how far a duck can travel, so it's hard to imagine how many people might have been affected by that. Sometimes one of the plant exhaust stacks would burp out some radioactive particles, which would have been okay except when they fell on tumbleweeds which then were blown offsite during windstorms. Hanford has a rich history of spreading contamination all over the place through many different vectors.

  2. I'm not surprised. Like Tarantulas seems to be, I'm a Tri-Citian and worked at Hanford myself for 20+ years. And my dad worked there from 1943 until the mid-90s (the last ten years or so as an escort for folks who didn't have clearances yet). I'm just a bit surprised it actually made the newspaper. Must have been a rreeaallyy slow day!


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