Researchers replicate 'Atomic Man' incident in Oak Ridge laboratory

Researchers replicate 'Atomic Man' incident in Oak Ridge laboratory

August 21st, 2017 by The Knoxville News Sentinel in Local Regional News

Biologist Maria Escalona, right, helps LSU graduate student intern Daniel DiMarco while performing an experiment on bodily radiation dose rate response at the ORISE Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Lab in Oak Ridge, Tenn. (Calvin Mattheis/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

A postgraduate student intern and an Oak Ridge Associated Universities researcher teamed up to replicate the 1976 McCluskey Room Incident, in which a chemical worker worker now known as "the Atomic Man," survived the highest known exposure to the radioactive isotope Americium-241 at Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant in Washington.

The pair are trying to measure the physiological effects of chronic low-dose radiation and establish new data for first responders and clinicians to reference after a radiation incident.

Haorld McCluskey, "the Atomic Man," told People Magazine in 1984 that he had just celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary with his wife the night he returned to work. The laboratory he worked in had been closed for five months because of a strike.

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