Green Dye in Nuclear Pool Prank

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Today the water in the White House fountains as well as the Chicago River will be dyed green. And looking back through prankster history, I found this case from 1988 in which someone put green dye in the pool where radioactive nuclear fuel was stored at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Oddly, the plant officials were unwilling to admit it was a St. Patrick's Day prank, even though it happened on the eve of March 17. As reported in the San Jose Mercury News (Mar 30, 1988):

Officials say they can't be sure it was a prankster who planted green dye in a pool where highly radioactive nuclear fuel is stored, even though it happened on the eve of St. Patrick's Day.
The 1,270-megawatt Unit 2 reactor at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was not operating on March 16 when the 241,000 gallons of water turned green. The plant had been shut down Feb. 20 for a three-month refueling outage.
Chemical analysis revealed the cause of the color change -- green dye -- but officials said it was still speculative to label the incident as the work of a prankster.
''We don't see any connection between the color change and the holiday," said Don Andrews, a spokesman for the Arizona Nuclear Power Project. "We're investigating several possibilities. It may have been intentionally done. Then again, it may not be."


Posted on Tue Mar 17, 2009


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