Science: Atomic Age Cleanup

On Nov. 20, a small amount of solvent exploded and blew open the door of a processing cell at the AEC's Oak Ridge laboratory. About one-fiftieth of an ounce of plutonium was scattered into the air. Last week the AEC reported on what it took to tidy up this minor atomic mishap.

All those who were within a four-acre area around the explosion turned in their laboratory-issued clothes to be decontaminated. Their urine was checked to ensure that they had not inhaled or ingested any plutonium. The processing plant and a nearby research reactor were shut down. The buildings were washed with...

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