University Loses Plutononium… Timeout — You LOST PLUTONIUM?!
According to the NY Post, researchers at Idaho University have misplaced a small amount of weapons grade plutonium. How small? They say it's about the size of a quarter. This amounts to a 30th of material that could be used in a nuclear bomb according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Federal officials have proposed an $8,500 fine. Dr. Cornelis Van der Schyf, Vice President for research at the university, is blaming poor paperwork for the misstep. The NRC says the school has "a good record" overall.
Wait, wait, wait — you lost what? Plutonium? You lost Plutonium?
There's nothing like the dead feeling you get in your stomach when you lose your keys, wallet or debit card. Multiply that feeling by 6,000,000, and you are still shy of the feeling that was felt by the person who lost plutonium in Idaho. I Hope you like potatoes, bro, you are a farmer now.
Have you ever made a mistake at work and had to be talked off a ledge by a friend? I have. Typically, this friend will say things like, "You're not going to get fired. No one is going to die or be killed, it's not the end of the world."
Those are great reminders when you you lose an Excel spreadsheet. They don't bring the same comfort when you lose plutonium.
Of course, the guy in charge of the University plutonium research program is named Dr. Cornelis Van der Schyf. That does not sound made up at all. If you have a villain name, you MUST grow up to head up a plutonium program. He's got to have maniacal hair. It's a matter of time before this doctor or someone else builds a time machine out of a DeLorean.
P.S. - An $8,500 fine? If I use "bad words" on the radio, the fine could be 10 times that, but a lost plutonium fine means you just can't go to Boca next summer?
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