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Radioactive rabbit scat cleaned up

Oct. 9, 2009 at 12:59 AM

HANFORD, Wash., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A helicopter conducted an aerial search for slightly radioactive jackrabbit scat at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state, officials said.

Finding and removing the scat would have taken months with a ground survey, experts say. The helicopter, equipped with radiation detectors and working 80 feet in the air, completed the survey in a few weeks, SeattlePI.com reported.

The radioactive poop is a legacy of the Cold War.

Decades ago, liquid wastes from plutonium production were dumped in underground tanks. Jackrabbits burrowed into the dumps and liked the salty taste so nuclear waste went in one end and out the other.

Cleanup of the scat began this week. Officials say the aerial survey pinpointed areas in need of cleanup, so less earth will have to be moved.

The radioactive dirt will be held in a landfill at Hanford.

Nevada-based National Security Technologies received $300,000 in federal stimulus money sent to Hanford to do the helicopter survey.

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