As it’s salient to the previous entry – coincidentally, today is the 19th anniversary of the Goiâna accident, regarded as one of the worst incidents of the Atomic Age.
If we needed reminding how unpleasant it could be for our future archaeologists were they to crack open the storage chamber containing the nuclear waste, there’s a fairly comprehensive account here (wikipedia, kids, mind your references)
To precis, a couple of chancers found a radiosource in an abandoned hospital and bilked it with the hope of selling it on. It came to a junkyard owner, and the contamination was spread to him and his family. Many people were taken ill, several of whom later died.
The wikipedia account contains lots of interesting data about the spread of the contamination and the clean-up operation that followed – one point of particular note (I think) is that this well-documented incident has been recently cited in models of radiological (‘dirty’) weaponry.
[edit: once again, I’m thwarted by technology – I can’t persuade that link to work because of the funny characters. Some technlogical wizard might know the answer, until then copying and pasting might have to suffice]
[edit 2: oh, huzzah, it seems to be working now. Thank you Alun!]