26 June, 2002: If I Protect, will I Survive?

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This email was circulated earlier:

[We are] under scrutiny with regard to radioactive sources and substances, as a consequence of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Please note that these must be kept in a suitable locked container when not in use. Also, we need to keep up to date records: to this end will anyone in possession of anything radioactive please let me know a.s.a.p.
-- Department Safety & Radiation Officer

Yep. That's right. Terrorists who are, presumably, planning to blow up London or make Birmingham glow in the dark aren't going to do something truly evil like breaking a padlock. This is the same mentality which means you have to eat with plastic cutlery if you have the misfortune to need to consume food in an airport. At least that can be justified on the basis of reassuring the public, whereas presumably the people who actually work with radioisotopes from day to day are well aware that locking them up is Not Going To Work.

Do you think this means I should not bring my glowing key ring to work? If I kept it in a locked container, it would make it difficult to use the keys to which it is attached....

Copyright (c) 2002 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.