Blogtownie Todd Mecklem passed on a Tri-City Herald story stating that some time in the last week, a radioactive rabbit was trapped, killed and disposed of at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. Health authorities are now combing the area for its contaminated droppings.
The report does not say much beyond explaining the rabbit was "highly contaminated with radioactive cesium," probably from sipping water around the wreckage of a Cold War-era facility that once produced nuclear weapons.
Beyond that, it's unclear how long that rabbit was loose, where it went, or who it's been biting. All I know is, my roommate was in Richland last week, and he's been acting weird ever since. My sister and I took him out to see a movie last night, and I have to say, he was just not himself.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation has a colorful history of working to contain its radioactive animals, as demolition and waste removal projects have caused recurrent radiation exposure to the wildlife. Last year, there were 33 contaminated animals or animal materials (such as droppings) found on the site. In 2007, a foot of soil had to be removed from a six-acre area because it was filled with radioactive mud dauber wasps — which is an absolutely horrifying reality for anyone scared of A) wasps B) radiation C) being impaled by the six-foot stinger of a giant, mutant, glowing, radioactive mud dauber wasp. (I believe "C" applies to everyone, ever.)
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