TULSA - A spill of radioactive material at a University of Tulsa facility went unreported for about a year, but officials say the clean up is underway and the public is not in danger.
A company called Tracerco was helping on a project at the facility, near E. Pine St. and S. Lewis Ave., in 2014 when the spill occurred.
But the company didn't tell TU about the incident until August 25 of this year, by which time the substance - identified as Cesium-137 - had been tracked through various parts of the facility.
Dr. Scott Holstrom, a Physics professor at TU, is directing the clean-up.
He tells KRMG they can easily track the presence of the material, at levels far below what would be potentially hazardous to humans.
The amount of the spill, he said, was about a gram - which would easily fit into a teaspoon.
The primary danger would be if someone inhaled or swallowed the Cesium, he told KRMG, and 21 people who have worked in the facility are under observation and being checked for any possible health effects.
The public at large is not in danger, he said, and the cleaning process is fairly straight forward.
"Like if you're going to remove from your clothing, we use sticky tape. If it doesn't come up with sticky tape, we put more sticky tape on there and maybe agitate things a little bit, and then just collect all the little bits," Holmstrom told KRMG.
"The remediation team isn't even wearing protective equipment other than, you know, lab gloves and that sort of thing," he added. "Even the people taking the stuff out, it doesn't pose a significant external risk to warrant wearing any sort of protective gear."
Both the campus, and the building where the spill occurred, are restricted areas not open to the general public.