Many people will view this search as a terrific waste of taxpayer money.
A helicopter was called in to search for slightly radioactive jackrabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state.
Finding and removing the droppings would have been prohibitive and taken a ground crew many months. However, the helicopter completed the survey in just a few weeks. The helicopter was equipped with radiation detectors and worked from only 80 feet in the air.
According to OfficialWire:
"Nevada-based National Security Technologies received $300,000 in federal stimulus money sent to Hanford to do the helicopter survey."
There is no word yet on how much the total will be once the entire cleanup is finished. The radioactive rabbit feces and surrounding dirt scraped up by bulldozers will be shipped to Hanford, WA, to a radioactive fill.
How did this come to be?
Turns out several decades ago, someone made the decision to store plutonium liquid wastes in underground tanks. Jackrabbits burrowed into the dumps; and, strangely found the salty taste of plutonium to be quite intoxicating. These rabbits did what rabbits do, drank the waste, and; in due time, deposited that waste all around the area.
Wait, wait, it gets even better. Not only are there rabbits depositing radioactive feces over parts of Washington state in the US and contaminating the soil; but, they are also passing the radioactivity up the food chain. Red-tailed hawks, Ferruginous hawks, eagles, coyotes foxes, and bobcats call these rabbits food. They ingest the rabbits and become contaminated.
Let's hope this plan works.
Via OfficialWire and TreeHugger