"IDAHO FALLS -- Jim Delmore came to the lab he ran at the Idaho National Laboratory on Nov. 13, 1972, to find it roped off from entry because of a plutonium contamination.
A chemist had brought a sample of plutonium nitrate into the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant the day before that was 10,000 times larger than needed, Delmore said, and the plutonium nitrate spread throughout the lab. Internal tests showed the dose to the lungs of the 13 lab staff was small. But it also showed that several of the workers had been previously contaminated and had not been adequately monitored.
'They were very sloppy then,' said Delmore, now 78."