Skip to main content
Kell Hall Digital Preservation Project

The Radioactive Vacuum Pump

Contaminated Vacuum Pump

According to an account from facilities personnel, this vacuum pump was contaminated when a researcher accidentally allowed a particle of radioisotope to enter a vacuum tube in a laboratory. Although the particle was not particularly dangerous, the vacuum pump and all the pipes connected to it were contaminated.

Rather than undertake a costly demolition to remove the affected system, facilities personnel disconnected the system and marked it as radioactive.

With the full demolition of the building, the vacuum system can be removed and decontaminated appropriately.

The Radioactive Vacuum Pump