[ RadSafe ] MythBusters

Boomologist Boomologist at GotHotRocks.com
Tue Jan 8 12:41:36 CST 2008

Looks like the news article didn't make it through so here is the article in text format from the Spokesman Review dated October 20, 2007 which describes what they did at Hanford.

'Mythbusters' tests roaches at Hanford
Would bugs survive nuclear holocaust?

RICHLAND - Can you save yourself by jumping in a falling elevator? 
Is a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building lethal? 
Would cockroaches survive a nuclear holocaust that killed everything else?
The final question is being tested this week at the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation 
by a team from the "Mythbus-ters" show on the Discover}' Channel, 
which expects to air the episode in about four months.

"It's been on the original list of myths since day one," said Kari Byron, who appears 
on the cable television series and was in town with Grant Imahara and Tory Belled for the tests.
The crew is using an irradiator in the basement of Hanford's 318 Building just 
north of Richland. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory usually uses the device 
to calibrate dosimeters, which measure radiation exposure to humans and animals, 
and to check for radiation damage of video cameras, fiber optic cables and other equipment.

Lab operators agreed to the research for purposes of science education and workers 
donated their time, in some cases using part of their vacation allotments.
On Thursday afternoon, Byron and Imahara were cramming their uncooperative critters 
into 3 specially built roach condo to be exposed in the irradiater.
"I had to put myself in quite the mind-set to do it," Byron said.
A scientific supply company sent 200 cockroaches for the tests, "all laboratory-grade, 
farm fresh," Imahara said. A control group of 5O will get no radiation, 50 others will 
be exposed to 1,000 rads, a lethal load of radiation for humans, 50 will be exposed 
to 10,000 rads and the last SO to 100,000 rads.

The bugs will be watched over the next couple of weeks to see how soon they die.
"Contrary to popular belief, not a significant amount of research goes into cockroach 
radiation," Imahara said. Flour beetles and fruit flies, also being irradiated for 
comparison, were a snap compared with the cockroaches, which did not take well to 
being corralled within a tiny block arrangement designed to make sure each bug gets 
the same dosage. "They are very fast. They are very aggressive. They want to get away," 
Byron said. "They are opportunists."
The surviving bugs get a chauffeured ride back to San Francisco. A "Mythbusters" 
employee has been detailed to drive them because airlines won't let them in the 
passenger cabin and they can't be placed in the baggage hold without wrecking the experiment.
"We have to maintain reasonable temperature and humidity so they don't go into shock," Imahara said.

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