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Satanica

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[....]
An Ohio school has been forced to close for the remainder of the academic year after enriched uranium was discovered inside. Neptunium 237—a byproduct of nuclear reaction and plutonium production—was also detected inside Zahn’s Corner Middle School in the town of Piketon, about 80 miles east of Cincinnati, WLWT reported.

Both substances are radioactive, and extended exposure to them can cause cancer.

The middle school serves about 320 students, and officials have been working to determine the source of the contamination and establish its extent. They have not ruled out a longer school closure.

Scioto Valley Local School District Superintendent Todd Burkitt made the decision to close the school on Monday. “Even the last couple of hours have been very hectic. There’s just not a playbook in how we deal with this. We’re kind of writing the script as we go. We’re not going to take any chances on someone’s child. We just won’t do that,” Burkitt told WLWT.
[....]
Even though there was a uranium enrichment plant just 2 miles from the school, Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, that facility ended enrichment of uranium back in 2001. Even if it was still up and running, how in the hell do you just misplace this very radioactive material that could harm anyone near it? This is incredibly troubling.

If this material can just appear in schools how hard would it be for a rogue government or terrorist organization to come across some of this?

Hopefully, they figure out how this happened and make sure this never happens again.
https://www.redstate.com/tladuke/2019/05/15/ohio-school-closed-finding-enriched-uranium-there./
 

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Totemic

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Those schools are done. Depending on where they find the contaminant and how long has it been there. Lots of interesting questions will come from this. But I'm going to say they aren't going to take any chances, I think total demo, ground scraping and then fallow for a few years. Of course, it may just be a trace amount and there is nothing more than a good decon.
 

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Brillig

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Hopefully it has not been there for decades already, since when the enrichment plant was still open. Yikes. Think of all the kids that have passed through that school in 20 years.

I am also very curious how they happened to suddenly discover it?
 
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Satanica

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Found this in the actual Newsweek article.

“Routine air samples in the area of DOE Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon revealed trace amounts of two radiological isotopes that were more than one thousand to ten thousand times below the established threshold of public health concern. DOE treats all detections seriously—even those that are at such low levels.”
 

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Keepalowprofile

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From @Satanica post
.“Routine air samples in the area of DOE Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon revealed trace amounts of two radiological isotopes that were more than one thousand to ten thousand times below the established threshold of public health concern. DOE treats all detections seriously—even those that are at such low levels.”
So are they overreacting by closing the schools or now trying to do damage control.
 

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Brillig

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Kittyskyfish

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From @Satanica post

So are they overreacting by closing the schools or now trying to do damage control.
There is the possibility that this is a new detection, from a history of Neptunium 237 not showing up in their routine samples. The uranium enrichment facility closed in 2001, so if this is the case, the DOE has to investigate and answer 'why' this isotope is showing up for the first time 18 years after the facility closure.

I want to say I agree with you if this micro-detection has been long-standing and suddenly school officials are making much ado about nothing.
 

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