An Interesting Case Study: 1984 Stanley Watras Case

Stanley Watras was a nuclear power plan worked whose home is located in Boyertown, PA. He worked at Limmerick Nuclear Power Plant in Pottstown, PA. Watras set off radiation alarms at the plant’s radiation detection area when leaving the power plant. After ruling out that the radiation was as a result of exposure from work inside the plant, his home was determined to be the source of radiation.

Watras’ home had a radon level measured 2,700 pCi/L. To put this into perspective, if an annual exposure of 4 pCi/L is equivalent to receiving 200 chest x-rays per year then Watras received an equivalent of 135,000 chest x-rays in radiation per year . The Philadelphia Electric Co. used the home as a radon mitigation experiment. Using fans to reduce radon gas levels, the average level was reduced to 4 pCi/L. Watras began working in the radon mitigation field and eventually returned to the same home.