Last month it was reported here, and elsewhere, three plastic buckets full of radioactive uranium had been stored in Grand Canyon NP’s Museum Collection building. Why? Who knows. They’d been there for decades, silently emitting radioactive particles the whole time. A whistleblower alerted NPS employees in February about the threat of radiation, and though the buckets had been discovered a year earlier, they remained until news of the discovery spread. Elston “Swede” Stephenson, the park’s health and safety manager, who initially alerted the NPS the buckets, took readings of the radiation back in June, 2018 and estimated they emitted radiation levels 4,000 times higher than is safe for kids and 400 times for adults. But in a statement this week, park officials say those readings were likely overstated and that the radiation levels are consistent with typical background levels throughout the park. “There are no current concerns for park employees and visitors,” Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Emily Davis said in a statement. Photo: Stéphane Paul

 

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