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In his letter to colleagues, Stephenson apologized for the untimely notice.He stressed that exposure may not be severe depending on how close individuals got to the source, how long they were exposed, what they were wearing, and other factors.Stephenson said the uranium threat was discovered in March 2018 by the teenage son of a park employee who happened to be a Geiger and brought a device to the museum collection room.
Stephenson said he drove to Phoenix in November and filed a report with OSHA, which sent inspectors to the museum building in yellow protective suits.
According to court records, he began calling for action to prevent falls after a series of accidents in 2016. He turned to the Office of Special Counsel, a federal agency that protects whistleblowers, and his termination .
It is unclear how that case was resolved, but within months, Stephenson had a new job with the National Park Service.
Stephenson said the containers were stored next to a taxidermy exhibit, where children on tours sometimes stopped for presentations, sitting next to uranium for 30 minutes or more.
By his calculation, those children could have received radiation dosages in excess of federal safety standards within three seconds, and adults could have suffered dangerous exposure in less than a half-minute.
11 email to Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall, Stephenson said he had repeatedly asked National Park executives to inform the public, only to get stonewalled."Respectfully, it was not only immoral not to let Our People know," he added, "but I could and were moved to the museum building when it opened, around 2000.