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The Ring Is Now Measured In Roentgens, Not Carats

, , , , , | Working | December 29, 2019

My partner’s father works for a multinational company that fits fire detection equipment, not your standard home or small business detectors but sophisticated multi-sensor systems for large companies, industrial complexes, etc. He’s worked all over the country in everything from steel foundries to naval bases.

He was recently tasked with fitting some new systems at one of the UK’s nuclear sites as part of a team of eight technicians. Due to some of what they were installing actually being inside the housings for a reactor, they were briefed ahead of time on the more unique dangers of working in a potentially radioactive environment. The one thing that stood out was a warning to consider removing wedding rings or other items of significant value; upon leaving the site, anything that registered as radioactive would be retained by the site and sent to deep storage as radioactive waste until pretty much the end of time.

There were eight technicians, seven went in wearing no jewelry, and one decided to carry on wearing his wedding ring. When they exited the site that evening, three of them had items flagged as very slightly radioactive. Two of them went home without their boiler suits, and one of them went home without his boiler suit or his wedding ring. His wife was not impressed.

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