Fish & Wildlife | Ecotrope

Radioactive mouse hunt at Hanford

Ecotrope | Nov. 19, 2010 5:32 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:44 p.m.

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A follow-up to the radioactive rabbit chase earlier this month. From the Tri-City Herald:

“Radioactive mouse droppings have been found in the same area where radioactive rabbit droppings were found earlier this month. About 60 mouse traps have been set, but the two mice caught so far have not been contaminated.

The Washington State Department of Health is monitoring the situation, but does not believe there is a danger to the public, said Earl Fordham, the department’s regional director of the Office of Radiation Protection.

No contaminated droppings have been found near areas that are open to the public, said Todd Nelson, Washington Closure Hanford spokesman.

Because the mouse and rabbit droppings were found in the same area, Washington Closure Hanford believes the animals ate or drank a common source of radioactive cesium contamination. Another theory is that a mouse may have gotten into contaminated rabbit droppings.

When Hanford workers began finding radioactive rabbit droppings, they checked 18 rabbits that were trapped or shot with pellet guns. Just one was contaminated, and it was killed and disposed of as radioactive waste.”

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