Passerby stumbles upon radioactive playground thanks to wristwatch
A playground in the central Prague neighbourhood of Podolí has been crowded with, not children, but radiation specialists since Wednesday evening, when the park was found to have up to a five times the normal levels of background radioactivity. On Thursday that reading was raised to 1000 times normal levels at the various source points under the earth. While it is not necessarily dangerous – unless one were to stand over the source for an hour or more – authorities rushed to identify what could possibly be causing the radioactivity, finding a radon needle of the sort once used for cancer treatment. Meanwhile discovery of the radiation was as unusual as the fact itself. Computer engineer Pavel Bykov, happened to be the right man in the right place:
“At about one meter from the source, so not at the source, we measured about 500 microsieverts per hour, which is much higher than normal, basically the dose you would normally get in one year.”
In the hours since this discovery there has been much suspicion on the internet that someone equipped with a Geiger counter in their watch and more such equipment at home could stumble upon such a thing.
“Yes, it was like winning the lottery. I’m sure there is going to be a lot of talk about this as well. I’ve followed the field of nuclear physics as a hobby for about eight years, so I’m not really new to it, but it is a coincidence that something like that happened.”