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Shake Hands with Danger

emmett518

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
780
Location
USA
Sorry to hear that TS, worked over twenty years in the hottest places in the plant, early days was significantly less presence of mind as to what radiation and types of radiation did to the human, they just did not know as they just understood and were exploring the explosive values. Near our first home in St. Charles County MO, was Weldon Springs Twnsp. That was a bustling place in the 19teens then WWII for explosives as TNT DNT, plastic explosive then they began the NEW Chemical Works for Malinkrodt, refined Uranium ore to Yellow Cake again having little knowledge of what intensifying these materials meant, they were just refining an ore. It is Currently the August A Busch Wildlife Area, a Park. Those uranium refining buildings stood for close to forty years vacant as radiation levels degraded by half lives, had left all the equipment and materials used sit exactly where left them as the last men an women were called to the office to be released from the operation no prior warning. That is now an encapsulated mound with ALL the plant buildings and machines buried for however long it takes to degrade.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weldon_Spring_Ordnance_Works

Workers had worn clothing home, 'borrowed' tools, contaminated houses and farm buildings, made families sick then the real investigating took place to figure out the causes, similar to the cases around Zinc and Lead mining. Turned out as to radiation protection did not exist, heavy metals poisoning was known but not to an extent, the workers were allotted a rad rate as a experiment only to find too high where kept dialing it back. The first men to die from radiation exposure in the US were in Chicago working with Fermi on the first reactor, used Uranium plates and as referred in the current day made a Pile of them to initiate reactions, a couple of men were removing plates placing them onto carts and inadvertently made a arrangement that created a severe reactive pile and each received a massive dose dying horribly in a few weeks.

Radiation comes in for rates from Uranics, Alpha(is in nearly every rock and soil in the world as a background radiation) even found in Bananas but not as harmful as des not penetrate clothing nor skin, Beta is a bit stronger up to and inclusive of X-rays, penetrates deeper and can if exposed repeatedly or acutely for longer periods of time damage tissues, Gamma, severe radiation, penetrates really deep, causes burns if presented long enough, shuts down certain organic activities and damages mucus membranes Eyes Throat Sinus Lungs Intestinal. Final is Neutron, the released energy from Atomic and Nuclear Fission, all reactions related to atomic weapons and reactors release that radiation, NOTHING is impenetrable and the effect as such shuts down the body's cellular ability to repair itself the tissues just die where you become a walking dead person, water is your friend as to a reasonable shield, water retained in Concrete NOT the concrete itself is the shield in the structures where as concrete cures that moisture dissipates and the shielding reduces. Had Neutron 'Windows' in the plant at power, had to duck and dive past thru wall penetrations to avoid being presented to it and wore special dosimeters just to record if HAD been exposed to it, head, hands, ankles and waist devices were worn and I had worn them. My dosage rates were less than one receives from a Dentist visit or a series of chest or back x-rays over a years time, that is how well the industry has evolved. I hear the news of 'Radiation' released from Fukushima traveling to the US, radiation is a effect, emission or energy not a material, radioactive materials are carried by water borne materials as dirt and dissolved solids not radiation as a generality. Those materials are filterable and removable as well just base water is the best shield for protection of them, the distance traveled from Fukushima to the US is such that a detectable emission can be noted but is barely above background levels in our own front yards, much of it has to be filtered out of the water to even detect it. All too much reporting today is remnant scare/fear of radiation from the early days.

Radiation Protection has come a LONG way since those days. I was 'Allowed' 2500 millirem(MR) radiation dose per year by the Company 5000MR by Fed, in a emergency that COULD be raised to 10,000 MR for acute dose rate but that was a Federal MAXIMUM. I received 1 Rem(1000MR) during Refuel 9 in four days, was booted out of the Containment building until area rates decreased and I only received 28mr for the last month of the refuel. Plans got better, operations flushed hot spots more often and during at power operation and just at refueling, we got those levels down to where received I less than 100mr for an entire refuel 40-90 days working in most of the hotter rad zones in the last refuels I worked. REM is Roentgen Equivalent Man, or what is considered known as Radiation damage levels to organics as flesh.

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/f...erview_of_Occupational_Radiation_Exposure.pdf

Ignorance is not a excuse but it was the cause so many got sick and died, sad but the lack of experienced science based knowledge does lead men down a primrose path at times. Received training on this annually so the base knowledge will be there until my mind fails or I die, will always be a consideration as to what long term affects it has made on my body.

The question that makes me shudder is how much of what we are doing now is going to be found out to be hazardous, crazy and unhealthy in 10, 20 or 30 years?

Like maybe this vaccine?
 

AzIron

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
1,465
Location
Az
The question that makes me shudder is how much of what we are doing now is going to be found out to be hazardous, crazy and unhealthy in 10, 20 or 30 years?

Like maybe this vaccine?

Life is unhealthy sitting at a desk will kill you just the same as working construction
 

DMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
15,050
Location
Hermann, Missouri
Occupation
Cheap "old" Geezer
Nearly as bad was all the chemical materials used by the military those and the early days of mechanic where garage floors were washed down with raw gasoline to floor drains to lift the oil and grease. My Dad and Uncle reflected on 'Unpickling' stored C47s using DRUMS of raw 110 octane leaded gas to flush the engines and fuel tanks, to the ground, they also washed up with the gas prior to soap and water to cut the odor. Both smoked as bad or worse than I used to.

Every industry has bad aspects, I spent 21 years inside a nuke, got to learn how to protect my own self in radiation fields and around 'Hot Spots', have no after effects as the industry learned what it could never have known in the early days.
 

emmett518

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
780
Location
USA
Nearly as bad was all the chemical materials used by the military those and the early days of mechanic where garage floors were washed down with raw gasoline to floor drains to lift the oil and grease. My Dad and Uncle reflected on 'Unpickling' stored C47s using DRUMS of raw 110 octane leaded gas to flush the engines and fuel tanks, to the ground, they also washed up with the gas prior to soap and water to cut the odor. Both smoked as bad or worse than I used to.

Every industry has bad aspects, I spent 21 years inside a nuke, got to learn how to protect my own self in radiation fields and around 'Hot Spots', have no after effects as the industry learned what it could never have known in the early days.

Reminds me of that movie, Repo Man!!
 

DMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
15,050
Location
Hermann, Missouri
Occupation
Cheap "old" Geezer
Did have a fella was near a vent line for refilling a vessel in containment, he failed to stay away from it or to use his respirator, got to take a bundle of paper plates and ziplock bags home to poop in for a few days, set off detectors exiting the radiologic area and he had been a Navy ET in nukes, KNEW Better. His dose level was considered as close to have had five to six whole body x-rays over an hour time. Our machinery to detect was sensitive enough, those that had upper or lower GI inspections with Barium would set the site exit alarms off as they approached the building. Nuclear Medicine is far dirtier these days than allowed in a Nuke Power Station.
 

Tones

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
2,835
Location
Ubique
Occupation
Ex land clearing contractor, part-time retired
Has anyone seen the safety films Cat made in the 50s and 60s?All cable dozers and scrapers plus mechanical graders. They were made to scare the Bee Jesus out of ya
 

DMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
15,050
Location
Hermann, Missouri
Occupation
Cheap "old" Geezer
Have seen the aftermath of said accidents, is less pretty than the manufacturers horror shows.
 

Legdoc

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
385
Location
south texas
Watching this for probably the 10th time is still interesting. As I did I sat and wondered what some individuals would give to have that equipment today. That was back when Caterpillar was rock solid machines. A Cat was a Caterpillar. When I was at a Dealer in the late 70's the only plastic I can remember was knobs on levers. No electronics. Times sure have changed my friends.
 

OzDozer

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
997
Location
Perth, Western Australia.
Occupation
Semi-Retired ..
I find it interesting that posters are previously saying the film "Shake Hands with Danger" is a 1980 production or later.

The original "Shake Hands with Danger" film was made in 1970, and I can remember watching this film in early 1970 during my Engineer operator course with the Royal Australian Engineers at the School of Military Engineering, Casula, NSW.

Of course, we all guffawed at the "hammy" acting and "setups" in the film - but I guess it did drive home the safety angle involved in equipment operation.


The early 1970's were the period when safety measures really started to take off. ROPS appeared on equipment, noise levels were reduced, and more and more safety features such as automatic lockouts started to appear.

But the trend to reflective tape and flashing lights on everything was still well into the future. In some places here in Oz, the safety culture has gone to extremes.

Fair enough when real danger is present, as on mining and construction sites, but some of the OSH people need to take a reality check.
A friend runs a 5 tonne truck delivering mattresses and foam products, and he usually backs into a warehouse, wrestles a mattress or load of foam onto his back, runs it out the back of the truck, and is gone in 3-4 minutes.

But he visits a mining company office in the city, and the OSH idiots make him park in a clear area in the centre of the parking lot - he's not allowed to take anything out of the truck without 2 helpers from the store - and before he's even allowed in the back of the truck, they install a moveable high-vis barrier around the truck, and produce a set of steps for him to climb up into the truck!!

All this for a truck tray that's waist-height!! Clowns!! He was livid, and it took him 40 minutes to unload 2 mattresses!!

Then I look back on the first major open-pit I saw in operation locally in 1975 and I marvel at how they roared into this operation with great success - not a single major injury or fatality - and not a hard hat, not a single flashing light, not a piece of high-vis tape or clothing, nor any ROPS in sight!!

This operation would be shut down in 10 seconds, with todays OSH!!
 

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Tones

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
2,835
Location
Ubique
Occupation
Ex land clearing contractor, part-time retired
A bit of a parallel here Oz Dozer. The first 1 I saw was at SME Linton NZ
 
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