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School evacuated due to radioactive uranium

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Authorities have since discovered several other uranium rocks on display in schools across the city of Salzburg and an official investigation in to the matter is now underway.
http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/300162/school-evacuated-due-to-radioactive-uranium

 

Do they not have museums for these things? 

If this had been one school I would have said, ok, someone who does not know anything about rocks has let this one slip through, but ACROSS the city? 

Where did these rocks come from and how many more are there out there ....no necessarily in schools ? 

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The lowest yearly dose of ionized radiation that has clearly been linked to an increase in cancer risk is 100 mSv. Not a good sign for teacher's and students of those schools. I'm curious how they got there.

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So, it's an antinuclear campaigner who came and found these highly radioactive rocks with the help of his own device, how convenient...

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Do they have an idea where the rocks were found?  All we need now is for some terrorist group getting some of the rocks and making a non-nuke dirty bomb by putting radioactive dust on everything.

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LEXG7h6kBOQ

Long but worth it

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Actually, all the information you need to properly evaluate this article is already present.

A uranium rock wouldn't flood a room with deadly radiation.  It would have strong localized radiation, sure, but unless you are carrying it around in your pocket, it isn't going to be particularly dangerous.  20x normal radiation levels isn't particularly meaningful if we don't know what the normal radiation level is, but in the U.S., at least, 100mSv for 5 years is considered max exposure.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should have a chunk of uranium just sitting on the counter.  That sort of thing needs to be behind glass or in a cabinet, which will pretty much eliminate radiation danger.  Definitely, the schools in Austria need a quick lesson in proper storage of their rocks.

However, the whole, "Evacuate the school!" thing seems more likely to have been a response due to the anti-nuclear guy running into into the Principle's office and jabbering about how he got a reading on his meter of 102,000 cpm (Wow, that sounds like a lot of counts!  Unless you are actually shoving the meter right at a chunk of uranium, in which case it would be pretty normal).  If you're anti-nuclear, this would seem like a golden opportunity to bring up the radiation boogeyman.

I would tend to think that a principle who has had his students sitting in these rooms for almost an entire year now would not otherwise order a mass evacuation.  More along the lines of, "Alright, send the kids home, let's clean this up, and get back to schooling", like when the plumbing system backs up.

 

 

 

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Something seems off about this particular story.  First off like Manni said an antinuclear campaigner just happens to find these highly radioactive samples in a classroom seems a bit suspicious to start off with.  Judging from the picture in the article, how the article describes this as a rock, and specifically saying it is uranium makes this even more questionable.  Natural uranium ore is radioactive but it's no where near the radioactivity the article says, a handful of uranium ore is about as radioactive as 10 bananas.  When looking at the details this story just isn't adding up.

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I did a term paper back in 9th grade (yeah, yeah, almost 50 years ago) on U236, U239 and atomic reactors. It's been a while, but it doesn't take much exposure before you start getting sick.  If the kids are handling the rocks/ore they might be endangering their health.  Possibly nothing more than an upset stomach and headaches, but still exposure isn't healthy.

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"a deadly radioactive element used in the construction of atomic bombs"

 

CRAPOLA!!! This is just hype and BS. I really do have a rock of uranium ore behind me on a shelf (dosen't everyone?). I also have 2 giger counters and I have to get within 3 inches for them to read anything over background and even then it's very low. I purchased my ore from a science supply house some time ago.

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I went to Yahoo to read the entire story.

15-40 CPM is normal where Iive. If this was truly 120,000CPM it has had something done to it. Perhaps Nazi experimental lab?
 

Edited by UFOwatcher
Post was cut off

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5 hours ago, paperdyer said:

Do they have an idea where the rocks were found?  All we need now is for some terrorist group getting some of the rocks and making a non-nuke dirty bomb by putting radioactive dust on everything.

There was an uranium mine in Hungary in the 1890s, while Hungary was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  Uranium was mostly used in glass making for yellow and green colours and is still used in specialty glasses. Another minor use was in analytical chemistry.  Green "depression" glass made in the 1930s  usually had a fair bit of uranium in it and it's still easily found in antique shops.  When a new movie opened at some cinemas in the USA and Canada in the 1930s, the first few people through the door were often given some uranium or ordinary glassware.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_glass

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7 hours ago, freetoroam said:

Where did these rocks come from and how many more are there out there ....no necessarily in schools ? 

Austrain media reported on OCT17 that 336 out of 373 schools in Salzburg where checked for such material resulting into findings in 11 schools. In 10 of these, the teachers where not aware of radioactive material within the school buildings. The most samples are originated from the area of Sankt Joachimsthal (Czechoslovakia), where uranium ore was mined in the 19th century for the production of china paint.

But heck, what a stupid idea to put uncovered radioactive materials into schools and so into the presence of kids.

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Meh.  It's about as dangerous as having cleaning products around.  Chances are there were more than 11 teachers out of the 336 who had uranium in their rock collection, but they knew how to store it properly.

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3 hours ago, aquatus1 said:

Meh.  It's about as dangerous as having cleaning products around.  Chances are there were more than 11 teachers out of the 336 who had uranium in their rock collection, but they knew how to store it properly.

It seems 11 schools had the rocks...10  did not know  they were radioactive, meaning only one school did. 

so i guess the 10 schools (consisted of more than one teacher) knew nothing about these rocks ... which brings us  to the person or persons who gave them to the schools in the first place. ...?

but surely someone in the schools should of either asked about their origin and if they knew they came from a uranium mine...then should have thought....errr, maybe here is not the best place for them!!!

again.some things are better off in a museum.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Manni said:

So, it's an antinuclear campaigner who came and found these highly radioactive rocks with the help of his own device, how convenient...

I doubt it was that simple. It seems one school did know they were uranium and it is possible a teacher contacted him...on the understanding he would not mention their name.

nothing odd about a teacher also being an anti nuclear campaigner and then contacting someone to come and do the testing. 

but one school did  know about the rocks, so it could have all started from there.

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You can buy uranium ore right off Amazon. 

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12 hours ago, freetoroam said:

so i guess the 10 schools (consisted of more than one teacher) knew nothing about these rocks ... which brings us  to the person or persons who gave them to the schools in the first place. ...?

If all those schools had the same rock collection that needed checking, it is more likely that they were just bought en masses by the Board of Education.

12 hours ago, freetoroam said:

I doubt it was that simple. It seems one school did know they were uranium and it is possible a teacher contacted him...on the understanding he would not mention their name.

Sounded more like they just invited a guy to talk about anti-nukes, and he took advantage of the situation.

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Humph. You'd be surprised how many schools with better Earth science departments probably have samples of this. Most properly stored of course.  Wouldn't surprise me though if some of the ones causing a ruckus date back to when radium and other radioactives were considered a miracle cure-all.

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Oh my goodness. Now there's a science experiment for ya.

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Link to a pdf with the preliminary report created by the Radiologic Measuring Laboratory of Salzburg (RMLS).

Its in German so pls use a translator.

 

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4 hours ago, aquatus1 said:

If all those schools had the same rock collection that needed checking, it is more likely that they were just bought en masses by the Board of Education.

Sounded more like they just invited a guy to talk about anti-nukes, and he took advantage of the situation.

Hopefully the schools have learnt something from this exercise and in future they will:

1: do their homework properly

2: learn about what they are teaching

3: do not let strangers into your  school with out checking them out first

4: do not play with things which should be in a museum

5: always wash your hands after playing with rocks 

6: maybe some of the teachers need to go:

3_3_1091.gif?w=700

Edited by freetoroam

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6 hours ago, Oniomancer said:

Humph. You'd be surprised how many schools with better Earth science departments probably have samples of this. Most properly stored of course.  Wouldn't surprise me though if some of the ones causing a ruckus date back to when radium and other radioactives were considered a miracle cure-all.

There isn't really a way to improperly store uranium ore.  It is radioactive but the radiation it releases is alpha radiation.  The significance of that is that alpha radiation only travels a few centimeters through air before being completely stopped and that alpha radiation is unable to make it past the first layer of skin but alpha radiation can mess someone up if they breath it in, inject it, or ingest it.  As long as the school isn't letting students ground it to dust or eat it there really isn't an improper way to store uranium ore.

It is possible for uranium ore to release gamma radiation, which is really bad, but that won't happen with small pieces of uranium ore.

 

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It's a lump of rock. Kids have picked it up and they've dropped it. There's fragments on the floor. They'll get ground up stirred up by feet and inhaled. Also the dust and fragments will stick to their shoes clothing skin hair bags the lot. I know. I used to be a cleaner in a college. If it ain't straight and vertical dust will settle on it no matter the angle. Next place that'll be a hotspot will be the corridors gym changing area and assembly hall. The whole building needs to be evacuated, sealed off and encased in concrete. It's in their homes too. In their parents and siblings lungs. Everything. They're doomed unfortunately. All the council can do for them is reserve space in the graveyard. They can't even be cremated poor souls. Kids teachers cleaners cooks parents siblings pets next door neighbours and the priest giving the last rights. They're doomed. Their families are doomed. Sorry. Schools have low paid cleaners, the areas are large and in most cases 2 hours to do the lot. It's why we had something called a deep clean. It occurs during the holiday period.

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1 hour ago, DarkHunter said:

There isn't really a way to improperly store uranium ore.  It is radioactive but the radiation it releases is alpha radiation.  The significance of that is that alpha radiation only travels a few centimeters through air before being completely stopped and that alpha radiation is unable to make it past the first layer of skin but alpha radiation can mess someone up if they breath it in, inject it, or ingest it.  As long as the school isn't letting students ground it to dust or eat it there really isn't an improper way to store uranium ore.

It is possible for uranium ore to release gamma radiation, which is really bad, but that won't happen with small pieces of uranium ore.

 

More to say they at least acknowledged it's radioactive and treat it accordingly regardless.  Goes to my point though, I'm sure it's pretty common here in the US but you don't see people freaking out about it.

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