Take a Tour of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth

People do some pretty dumb things for YouTube videos. Derek Muller does them for the sake of science, though. The host of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science, recently visited the most radioactive places on Earth for a TV show about how Uranium and radioactivity affected the modern world. And he lived to tell… »12/20/14 10:00am12/20/14 10:00am

How to Store Nuclear Waste for 10,000 Years (and How Not To)

America has currently no plan for its nuclear waste. It did, however, at one point, have a supremely ambitious plan to bury it in a mountain for 10,000 years. From color-changing radioactive cats to rotting kitty litter, this essay from Method Quarterly explores the mythical and the mundane problems of nuclear waste. »11/14/14 2:52pm11/14/14 2:52pm

Radioactive boars from Chernobyl are still wandering around Germany

Nearly 30 years later, radiation from Chernobyl still scars the landscape. Perhaps most remarkably, some of that radiation traveled hundreds of miles downwind, settled into the soil, and moved up through the food chain. So now we have radioactive wild boars, still roaming around Germany causing trouble. »9/03/14 11:16am9/03/14 11:16am

How Two Women Made Your Watch Glow in the Dark

On December 21, 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie discovered the radioactive element radium (in the form of radium chloride), extracting it from uraninite. They first removed the uranium from the uraninite sample and then found that the remaining matter was still radioactive, so investigated further. Along with the barium… »6/13/14 5:15am6/13/14 5:15am

The EPA Just Made NYC's Most Radioactive Place Into a Superfund Site

Yesterday, we enjoyed The New Yorker's engrossing interactive look at the strange history of NYC's most radioactive place, an auto shop in Queens that occupies a former factory that produced radioactive thorium for the Atomic Energy Commission. Today, after months of study, the Environmental Protection Agency decided… »5/08/14 2:20pm5/08/14 2:20pm

The Most Radioactive Place in New York City Is a Garage In Queens

Like so many NYC businesses, Primo Flat Fix occupies a nearly 100-year-old building. But this Queens, garage sits on a very peculiar piece of dirt: The former site of Wolff-Alport Chemical Company, a rare-earth supplier that furnished the Atomic Energy Commission with radioactive thorium—when it wasn't dumping the… »5/07/14 12:40pm5/07/14 12:40pm

Radioactive Iodine Levels Near Fukishima Plant Are 1250 Times Higher Than Normal

Radioactivity levels have spiked in seawater just offshore the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Tests have found that the radioactivity is 1,250 times higher than normal with radioactive water being found in 3 of the 6 reactors. Three workers have actually sustained burns after being exposed to the radiation. [Reuters] »3/26/11 11:32am3/26/11 11:32am

Networked Geiger-Counter Cellphone System to Detect Radioactive Bombs

This anti-terrorism concept from researchers at Purdue University puts together miniature radiation counters built right into cellphones across the US. Each solid-state sensor would be able to sniff out radioactive sources from up to 15 feet, and then would send in the location to Homeland Security, the FBI and Jack… »1/24/08 9:25am1/24/08 9:25am