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Researchers Race To Recover Radioactive Rabbits

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the night-of-the-lepus dept.

Earth 145

Ponca City writes "The Tri-City Herald reports that radioactive rabbit droppings were recently found near the old Hanford Nuclear Site in southeast Washington that produced nuclear materials for 40 years and is now being decontaminated. The Department of Health looks for contamination off-site to make sure there is no public hazard and a rabbit trapped at the 300 Area caught their attention because it was close enough to the site's boundaries to potentially come in contact with the public. Joe Franco, an assistant manager for the Department of Energy, said workers erected fences, removed potential food sources and even sprayed the scent of a predator around the perimeter to prevent any other rabbit contamination and the Department of Energy said only one of 18 rabbits surveyed were deemed contaminated. Researchers narrowed the area of possible contamination to the 327 Building used during the Cold War for testing highly radioactive materials, particularly fuel elements and cladding that were irradiated at Hanford reactors as part of plutonium production for the nation's nuclear weapons program. Because the number of contaminated droppings being discovered on-site has decreased, officials now believe it's possible that just one rabbit might have been contaminated and they now are finding old droppings from it."

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145 comments

I for one (3, Funny)

cstacy (534252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153762)

I for one, welcome our glowing Leporidae overlords.

Extreme government corruption (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154050)

Sadly, at present all the comments seem to be jokes, like this parent comment. People in the U.S. don't want to think about all the government corruption.

The "Hanford radioactivity cleanup" has been sucking taxpayer money for more than 40 years. It is apparently an example of extreme government corruption.

The present U.S. Secretary of the Department of Energy [wikipedia.org], Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winner, is a far, far more appropriate than the weak political choice of George W. Bush. However, Chu does not deal with social conflict well, and that is what is required at the DOE.

Re:Extreme government corruption (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154642)

Government Corruption? Do you know how hard it is to clean up contamination? If they go by anything close to navy standards, they have to get everything down to essentially background. And zero detectable alpha decays. This essentially means they have to comb through the entire plant inch by inch. Also, there is expected contamination meaning they have to take certain precautions such as wearing anti-contamination suits and such. 40 years to clean out an entire factory? I can believe it.

Taking a position, but with complete ignorance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34156172)

You know NOTHING about the situation, correct? You know NOTHING about the huge contracts, correct?

It's not a "factory".

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155282)

They can't be any worse than the mutant razorbacks of Dawsonville Georgia [wikipedia.org]. Not too many people know about that one, since they try to keep it hush-hush. The containment at that site is broken down quite badly and the only thing keeping it in check is the local water table.

Rabid Radioactive Rabbits with Herpes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153770)

Run for the hills!

A new superhero? (0)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153786)

Rabbitman, Rabbitman! Does whatever a rabbit can!...

Re:A new superhero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153874)

I think you mean Rabbitpig.

Re:A new superhero? (1)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154676)

I really am concerned about what powers rabbit man may have.... The only two I can think of are the ability to hop and [censored]....

Re:A new superhero? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155342)

What's with all the carrots?
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?

number of droppings decreasing (5, Funny)

He who knows (1376995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153820)

This can mean only one thing. The rabbits are now super inteligent and hiding their droppings.

Re:number of droppings decreasing (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154140)

The radioactivity has given them super powers with laser beam eyes - they're using they're laser beams to disintegrate their turds.

fucking like bunnies (0)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153824)

Suppose they were fucking like bunnies and their growth follows the fibonacci sequence. Then what? Radioactive bunnies bunnies taking over the world?

Just remember... (2, Funny)

howlingfrog (211151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153826)

Slow and steady wins the race.

Re:Just remember... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155234)

Do I take the easy way out and go with "Duck! Wabbit! Duck!" Well, I could, but...

Slow and steady wins the race.

...so "Duck and Cover!" it is :)

Researchers Race To Recover Radioactive Rabbits (4, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153836)

Say it 5 times quickly. Go on, I dare you!

Re:Researchers Race To Recover Radioactive Rabbits (4, Funny)

rewarp (1736742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154076)

Using "Wesearchers Wace to Wecover Wadoactive Wabbits" makes it easier.

Re:Researchers Race To Recover Radioactive Rabbits (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154128)

Using "Wesearchers Wace to Wecover Wadoactive Wabbits" makes it easier.

Siwwy Wabbit.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Science (4, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153838)

Despite the common belief and what bad scifi would tell you, rabbits (and other things) don't become radioactive when exposed to radiation.

In this case, the rabbit likely consumed radioactive materials, meaning that it is contaminated with radioactive materials. The rabbit itself though, is not radioactive.

The radioactivity is not contagious and the fear is not that someone will pet the radioactive rabbit and become radioactive themself. The problem would be if a hunter caught the rabbit and ate it. Then he/she would ingest both the rabbit and the radioactive materials, putting him/her at higher risk for certain diseases (most notably cancer). However, he/she would not be radioactive either.

Re:Science (4, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153850)

Just to elaborate, if this rabbit mates, it's children will not be radioactive nor will they receive radioactive materials. The problem is only with this generation.

Re:Science (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153900)

Unless the rabbit passes on the desire to nibble on radioactive waste material. We'll end up with roving bands of rabbits invading nuclear power plants across the world just to have a quick snack.

Re:Science (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154428)

We could use them to counter nuclear proliferation.

Biology (2, Insightful)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153936)

Just to elaborate, if this rabbit mates, it's children will not be radioactive nor will they receive radioactive materials. The problem is only with this generation.

That would only be true if it were a male since I doubt a significant amount of material will be carried into the female in the seaman. If the rabbit is female, the radioactive materials will be in the mother's body while the fetus is developing. At this point the question becomes whether the materials are capable of being digested and incorporated into the mother's system, assuming this is true, the materials could very well be teratogens and thus incorporated into the next generation. This really isn't a problem though. Only a fraction of the radioactive materials would be able to pass onto each consecutive generation, it won't take long for it to reach normal levels. If the levels are high enough to be life threatening, the mother would most likely die before giving birth or any future generations from radioactive rabbits will be sterile or die before they even reach reproductive age, which is what, six hours?

Re:Biology (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155890)

If the contaminated material is a building block of organic life (e.g. amino acids) then what you proposed is correct. However, the use of the word 'teratogen' is incorrect. Teratogen means (in the strict sense of the word) a material that can cause birth defects, the best known example is Thalidomide [wikipedia.org]. A teratogen is not a material that is being "incorporated into the next generation"
A compound can be teratogenic without being radioactive. On the flip side, a radioactive material can be of low enough intensity so it does not cause birth defects and only will cause problems after a long exposure, for example cancer. It can also be of strong enough intensity to cause fetal death long before defect can arise. The Goldilocks material will be just right...

Re:Science (0, Offtopic)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154130)

Just to elaborate, if this rabbit mates, it's children will not be radioactive nor will they receive radioactive materials. The problem is only with this generation.

So, we're no t going to have rabbit super heroes with super powers that will fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way?!?

Re:Science (2, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154282)

Unless of course, the rabbit used the materials to build it's nest, and it's children do the same. The problem here is that they've left these materials, that are easily identifiable, laying around for the wildlife to consume.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154572)

Unless they bite some human... I mean... haven't you seen "The course of the were-rabbit"

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154758)

unless it causes a genetic mutation which causes the rabbit children to turn green, grow to enormous size and strength, and eat nuclear power plants.

Re:Science (4, Interesting)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153968)

The problem would be if a hunter caught the rabbit and ate it. Then he/she would ingest both the rabbit and the radioactive materials, putting him/her at higher risk for certain diseases (most notably cancer). However, he/she would not be radioactive either.

I agree with your post, but wanted to add something.

Aside from the scenario you set up in the passage I quoted, there are a couple of other ways a contaminated rabbit could cause problems. To wit, the animal could die to some cause other than a human hunter and spread the contamination through other parts of the food chain, via scavengers and decomposition . Or the rabbit could get adopted or otherwise come into contact with human beings and cause health problems via contaminated droppings. Or, if the animal remained wild, its contaminated droppings could find their way into agricultural soil (this last one is a long shot).

The good news is, the total quantity of radioactive material is finite, and will become more diluted over time. And rabbits are not especially radiation resistant, meaning if the quantity of contaminants per rabbit is probably fairly low already (or else they'd have died at or near the site they were contaminated at).

Plus, any really nasty isotopes they've absorbed will also have a shorter half-life. So this isn't a long term problem, provided that whatever circumstances resulted in the rabbits getting contaminated in the first place have been rectified.

Re:Science (2, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155520)

So this isn't a long term problem, provided that whatever circumstances resulted in the rabbits getting contaminated in the first place have been rectified.

The rabbits are contaminated with Cs-137 and Sr-90, both of which have ~30 year half-life. So their droppings are going to remain "hot" for a long, long time. Long-lived contamination being move off of the reservation is definitely a long term problem, as long is it exceed safety limits.

Re:Science (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153990)

Then he/she would ingest both the rabbit and the radioactive materials, putting him/her at higher risk for certain diseases (most notably cancer). However, he/she would not be radioactive either.

That really depends on the contaminant and the dose. Radioactive poop indicates the rabbit was ingesting something contaminated, but without knowing what it is and the dose it's almost impossible to conclude someone eating the rabbit would be exposing themselves to any health risk at all.

Re:Science (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154018)

Huh? A rabbit is nothing more than it component material and perhaps an organizing principle. If that material is radioactive, the rabbit is radioactive. Taking 'radioactive' to mean "significantly above background levels", then that's one hot bunny.

By the way, did Oak Ridge ever solve their hot toad problem?

Re:Science (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154118)

Deer/elk hunting is a more popular sport in the eastern Washington area (including the TriCities; I'm a former resident) than rabbit hunting. I'd be more worried about somebody eating a mule deer that had been eating contaminated material.

The TriCities have been living with the Hanford site now for over fifty years. You can't walk down the street there without tripping over three engineers along the way. I don't know anyplace else I've lived where they routinely check the rabbit sh*t, so I'd have to say they were on top of the problem.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154254)

In this case, the rabbit likely consumed radioactive materials, meaning that it is contaminated with radioactive materials. The rabbit itself though, is not radioactive.

Then please elaborate how something can become contaminated with radioactive compounds without becoming radioactive? Do the radioactive compounds somehow stop being radioactive? And how so?

The problem would be if a hunter caught the rabbit and ate it. Then he/she would ingest both the rabbit and the radioactive materials

... and thus incorporate the radioactive compounds, and thus become radioactive.

The rest of your comment is mostly valid, though. The problem is ingestion or absorption of the radioactive compounds, not just being exposed to a glowing rabbit.

Re:Science (1)

johan_from_cape_town (1142715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154346)

The big question is - were the rabbits exposed to radiation directly or were they bitten by radio active spiders? Spiderbunnies would probably spawn spiderbunnies... and much faster than regular bunnies!

Re:Science (1)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154628)

In this case, the rabbit likely consumed radioactive materials, meaning that it is contaminated with radioactive materials. The rabbit itself though, is not radioactive.

That seems overly pedantic. By that definition, you could also say that the fuel elements and cladding are not radioactive either...they're just contaminated with radioactive materials.

The rabbit is likely emitting beta and gamma radiation (at least more than a usual rabbit does). Therefore, by definition, it's radioactive.

Cold Radioactive Rabbit Fusion Reactor? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155240)

The rabbit itself though, is not radioactive.

So does that mean that my plans for generating electricity with a cold radioactive rabbit fusion reactor won't work?

I'll write it up anyway, maybe it will be good enough for an Ig Nobel.

Re:Science (1)

mark_osmd (812581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156048)

>rabbits (and other things) don't become radioactive when exposed to radiation That's not 100% true, neutron radiation will make inert material radioactive. Inert containment vessels become radioactive after the neutron radiation for a few months and years modifies the steel in the vessel. That occurs without any transport of actual radioactive material into the steel.

Errr, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153896)

The bunny from Donnie Darko...?

(Captcha: "confuse"... I mention Donnie Darko, then this happens??)

Nuclear Paranoia (2, Interesting)

Martin Spamer (244245) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153898)

Cesium is more dangerous as a toxic heavy metal than as a radioactive source and the level of Cessium was insufficient to kill the rabbit via toxicity, because it's still only as toxic as common salt. When Cesium decays it emits Beta radiation which doesn't penetrate heavy clothing and barely penetrates the skin. The level of Radioactivity was insufficient to kill the rabbit but they still go to all that trouble to track it down. All the hallmarks of Nuclear Paranoia.

Re:Nuclear Paranoia (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154710)

In addition, radioactive materials are less dangerous to animals for a simple reason- the don't live as long as us so they are less likely to develop and die from cancer caused by radioactivity. Also, they are usually able to breed within a couple of years, so they can still reproduce even if they are severely irradiated and do eventually die of cancer. Humans take ~20 years to reach normal childbearing age, plenty of time to die from cancer.

However, its also about length of exposure. If you handled an extremely radioactive rabbit dropping, your chance of developing cancer might increase 2% over your lifetime, probably similar to getting a few dental x-rays. But if you lived next to Chernobyl, your chances would obviously be much higher.

Re:Nuclear Paranoia (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155124)

actually if I recall correctly, beta radiation is fairly dangerous and penetrates the skin quite well; its alpha that can't do much of anything outside the body.

Nuclear Paranoia (Not) (3, Informative)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155484)

Cesium is more dangerous as a toxic heavy metal than as a radioactive source and the level of Cessium was insufficient to kill the rabbit via toxicity, because it's still only as toxic as common salt. When Cesium decays it emits Beta radiation which doesn't penetrate heavy clothing and barely penetrates the skin. The level of Radioactivity was insufficient to kill the rabbit but they still go to all that trouble to track it down. All the hallmarks of Nuclear Paranoia.

Any sample of Cesium-137 also emits strong gamma rays - 662 keV - due to its decay product Ba-137m with a half life of 2.55 minutes. So yes, handling anything containing Cs-137 is irradiating your internal organs at the same time. It has been used for radiography in medicine for decades. Check out the Goiania Brazil disaster where hundreds were significantly exposed to an old Cs-137 source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goi%C3%A2nia_accident). I have no idea where you are getting this "cesium is more dangerous as a toxic heavy metal" nonsense.

The problem is that the rabbits on the reservation are distributing lumps of long-lived radiation (Cs-137 and Sr-90 are both commonly found) that considerably exceed safety standards (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/science/earth/15rabbit.html ). This means they have a legal responsibility to control this exposure. Note also that low-level exposure to radiation causes a cumulative increase in cancer risk, so the fact that no one will show symptoms from handling radioactive rabbit poop does not mean it is "safe".

Well, that's no ordinary rabbit... (4, Funny)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153902)

That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

Re:Well, that's no ordinary rabbit... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155532)

That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

Do not look directly at his eyes.

Recommended Reading ... (3, Informative)

cheetah_spottycat (106624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153932)

"The Plague Dogs" is the third novel by Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, about two dogs who escape an animal testing facility and are subsequently pursued by both the government and the media.

There is also an 1982 animated film based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Richard Adams. The film was written-for-screen, directed and produced by Martin Rosen, who also directed Watership Down

Rowf (a Labrador-mix) and Snitter (a smooth fox terrier) are two of many dogs used for experimental purposes at an animal research facility in the Lake District of north-western England. They manage to escape, but initially relieved and eager to experience their new freedom, the dogs are soon faced not only with the realities of life in the wild but with another more terrifying realization--they are being hunted by their former captors. As they wander about aimlessly, the army and the media are roped into the pursuit, driven by rumors of the pair carrying bubonic plague and murdering sheep and even humans.

Re:Recommended Reading ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154774)

Well, when dogs are thinking and reasoning like that, they probably were part of some genetic experiment to increase brain capacity and intelligence. You see most dogs follow fairly simple sensory input / response programs like so

Sensory Input / Response

See ass (yours or others ) / Sniff it!!
See leg / Hump it!
See food / Eat it!
See balls / Lick it!
Hear noise / Bark at it!

Re:Recommended Reading ... (1)

RogL (608926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154900)

Well, when dogs are thinking and reasoning like that, they probably were part of some genetic experiment to increase brain capacity and intelligence. You see most dogs follow fairly simple sensory input / response programs like so

Sensory Input / Response

See ass (yours or others ) / Sniff it!!
See leg / Hump it!
See food / Eat it!
See balls / Lick it!
Hear noise / Bark at it!

My neighbor's dog must be advanced, he has a default level of response:

Sensory Input / Response

Nothing is Happening / Bark continuously!

A-Literate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153962)

Alliterations Are Amazingly, Astoundingly Aggravating.

Predator's scent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34153966)

Must be difficult to get!
Maybe they asked Arnie if he had any left...

Seagull Shit in Sellafield Similarly Shines (2, Interesting)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153970)

Which is not only an older story but totally owns your feeble bunny piece in the alliteration league: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7040256.ece

According to a Seattle columnist (4, Funny)

baegucb (18706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153976)

Ron Judd asked a good question: News stories about the Hanford creature said "Washington state Health Department workers with the Office of Radiation Protection have been searching for contaminated rabbit droppings." Exactly how short of a straw does one have to draw to get that assignment?

Sussh! (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154304)

Be Vewwy Vewwy Quiet, I'm hunting Wadioactive Wabbits! - E. Fudd, WA Office of Radiation Protection.

Glow in the dark critters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154832)

Hanford is a beautiful place between the mountains and a bend in the Columbia river. It has stunning natural beauty and many man-made attractions. For example, did you ever wonder
where those nasty old reactors [google.com] from nuclear submarines end up?

Paducah, Kentucky is also brimming with natural and unnatural wonders. Of course, it's hard to beat the West Kentucky State Wildlife Management Area [google.com] for glow in the dark critters. If you think those look like giant casks of radioactive waste - you're right!!

Isn't it nice that this kind of material is always stored near a scenic river that supplies water to hundreds of thousands of people. There are hundreds of other similar sites on Google Maps - many near you. See how many you can find!

The rest of the article? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154022)

The summary sort of white washes the level of concern here. Later in the article we find out that this is happening because radioactive salts were deposited into the ground/water, and that there were radioactive wasps flying around too.

Ummm...does any in the US give a shit about GOOD government? No wonder why so many of you hate government...what you've had so far totally sucks. That they would allow this kind of shit (ha...literally!) happen is beyond belief to most people in the developed world.

Re:The rest of the article? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154068)

The summary sort of white washes the level of concern here. Later in the article we find out that this is happening because radioactive salts were deposited into the ground/water, and that there were radioactive wasps flying around too.

Given that there's somewhere in excess of 300 million radioactive humans milling about the countryside as well, we might not have a problem here. Just because something is radioactive, doesn't mean that it is dangerous (or rather more dangerous than normal).

Re:The rest of the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154882)

Ahhh yes....the head-in-sand defense. Nice. What special interest do YOU represent, huh?

Re:The rest of the article? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155522)

Ahhh yes....the head-in-sand defense. Nice. What special interest do YOU represent, huh?

My own. The point here is that merely referring to something as "radioactive" is vastly uninformative when everything, with few exceptions, is radioactive.

Oak Ridge Duck Poo (2, Interesting)

supercrisp (936036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154086)

I live near Oak Ridge, and they had a problem about two years ago with radioactive duck droppings. The facilities from WW2 are sometimes poorly documented. So there were some unknown of pipes running under a small pond. Radioactive stuff leaked, plants grew from that soil, ducks ate it, and then waddled around the area doing what ducks do(o). It was moderately expensive to clean up. Though I think worth the cost in (grim) chuckles. The clean-up of the whole facility up there has been going on for some time, and will likely continue. I'm not all surprised to read about radioactive rabbit poo at Hanford. Lucky it's not pigeons....

Re:Oak Ridge Duck Poo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155692)

In the early 90s, it was about frogs. Frogs from contaminated ponds in Oak Ridge were tripping sensors in various places, and they eventually contaminated the tires of cars driving over them. There were "Beware of Radioactive Frogs" signs, and a song was even written for the occasion: Hot Frogs on the Loose.

Re:Oak Ridge Duck Poo (1)

thermopile (571680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155870)

Yes, if it were pigeons, it would be deemed airborne radiation, meaning everyone in the area would have to get fitted with respirators, hoods, and full-body anti-contamination suits.

Silly rabbit, radiation is for RADCON.

They actually created a real Energizer Bunny? (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154114)

Those Fools! Boy are they going to be sorry, because it just keeps going and going and going!

Re:They actually created a real Energizer Bunny? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34156268)

Police news report: Energizer Bunny arrested. Charged with Battery.

Could be far more important. (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154124)

This could mean a breakthrough!

This single rabbit could actually be one of the ORIGINAL rabbits used for testing, who happened to have that singular genetic mutation which allows it to live on indefinitely (with the exception of accident and predation of course). Having captured the rabbit, they'll now be able to figure out what mutation occurred and suddenly immortality for humans is just around the corner.....bwahahahahaha

Or maybe it just ate something. Whatever.

Incredible funny(maybe?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154144)

Reading this gives the me the image of Bugs Bunny in the episode Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde. Long live Bruce Banner!

mmh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154276)

Should be easy to spot. It's the rabbit with the three eyes. :)

Wonder how difficult it will be to catch (2, Funny)

captainproton1971 (1838798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154300)

Tim: Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!
Sir Galahad: Get stuffed!
Tim: He'll do you up a treat, mate.
Sir Galahad: Oh, yeah?
Sir Robin: You manky Scots git!
Tim: I'm warning you!
Sir Robin: What's he do? Nibble your bum?
Tim: He's got huge, sharp... er... He can leap about. Look at the bones!

this just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154514)

Wadioactive wabbits in washington are on the woose! Not to worry Mr Fudd is on the case, its wabbit season you know.

Now that's cool (1)

Archeleus (1840908) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154622)

Wonder what mutations can occur given that the amount of radiation is small? Also, why wouldn't the rabbits children be toxic? Given its a female rabbit.

Re:Now that's cool (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155406)

Wonder what mutations can occur given that the amount of radiation is small? Also, why wouldn't the rabbits children be toxic? Given its a female rabbit.

From the wabbit's perspective, much of the nasty stuff is pooped right back out again.

The point - as everyone on this thread has seemed to miss - isn't that the wabbits are wadioactive. It's not that Elmer might finally catch one and increase his lifetime w(OK, I'll stop, honest!)risk of cancer by a miniscule percentage when he eats it.

The point is that if there's enough to make even one rabbit's poop hot, then there must be some unknown hotter source on the site. Tricky part is finding it.

Could be a long-lost barrel of goo that finally leaked, and a rabbit walked through the goo and licked its paws. (But that would probably have been found by now.)

More likely, it's a long-lost barrel of goo buried beneath a few tons of dirt - with a few pounds of rabbit food growing in it - is the source. (That's important to find. It's also a minor hazard to the cleanup crew.)

Problem is, it could also be a long-lost pile of barrels of goo that are all leaking, and there could be hundreds of tons of dirt that need to be excavated sooner, rather than later, before the goo hits the water table. (That's really important to find. It's not just a serious hazard to the cleanup guys, it's a hazard to everyone who uses that aquifer for drinking water.)

Lost in all the fearmongering is the fact that this is the first place on the planet where anyone tried to work with this stuff, and at the time, they really didn't know any better. We've learned a lot about health physics since then (unfortunately, we learned a lot of it it the hard way), and we've gotten a lot more diligent at not letting the crap leak in the first place. We're also really good at detecting it than we were back then, so we're actually capable of finding it and cleaning it up before it does any more harm.

Anyways, the reason they're hunting wabbits isn't because the bunnies are scary. It's because they need to know where the wadioactive susbstances got into the wabbits in the first place.

(If you played Fallout 3, think back to Vault 87? The goo in the room was an indicator of just how hot things were at the surface. The levels in the real world are lower by a factor of billions, but that's essentially what's going on here.)

...with nasty big pointy teeth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155014)

Follow, but follow only if ye be men of valor! For the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so fowl, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of four fifty men lie strewn about its lair! So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage, or your strength, come nay further, for death awaits you all . . . with nasty big pointy teeth!

Origins (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155248)

LOL! NOW I know where the Energizer Bunny came from! As in the old Timex watch commercial - it (the Geiger counter) just keeps on tickin'... So, back when I was a student at the University of Colorado (1960's), my buddies and I would motor down the road to the Coors plant in Golden around the end of the month when we were out of beer money, take the tour, and then suck up the free suds (no such thing as a designated driver in those days), staggering back to Boulder a few hours later. On the way we would pass by the Rocky Flats plutonium plant and speculate on when those radioactive prairie dogs and their radioactive fleas mutated one of their not-infrequent cases of prairie dog bubonic plague, resulting in the demise of civilization as we know it. So, what has changed? :rolleyes:

Ang Lee's Watership Down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155930)

If all else fails they can call in Bunnicula. He's always been a good sport.

It's.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34156014)

WABBIT SEATHON!!!1!!1

I got no complaint with wadioactive wabbits... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156162)

... because I've always preferred my meat hot rather than lukewarm.

I understand... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34156580)

That Hugh Hefner has joined the search team. No one can track down hot bunnies like Hef.

How to make a dirty bomb (2, Insightful)

ecbpro (919207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156688)

Take a radioactive rabbit and let it do its droppings somewhere...
I am sure if some terrorist had released such rabbits in some western city some poor country would be bombarded right now.
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