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The Time The Big Bang Theory Had To Have Uranium Removed From The Set

Since its CBS debut in 2007, "The Big Bang Theory" has remained one of the most re-watchable sitcoms on primetime TV. The comedy series follows a group of super-genius — and super socially-inept — scientists. The group spends time contemplating the truths of the universe and confusing Penny (Kaley Cuoco), one of the gang's neighbors. Penny teaches them about the less-scientific aspects of life, like talking to women. The series stars Jim Parsons as the snappy Sheldon Cooper, Johnny Galecki as the lovable Leonard Hofstadter, Kunal Nayyar as the sensitive Raj Koothrappali, and Mayim Bialik as the always-uncomfortable Amy Farrah Fowler. The cast of characters from the show spawned many iconic scenes that fans of "The Big Bang Theory" will surely remember for decades to come.

"The Big Bang Theory" ran for 12 seasons total, meaning the cast and crew spent years together on set to create the light-hearted show that fans know and love. Now, 15 years following the premiere of the pilot, the creators of the show still are revealing behind-the-scenes tidbits otherwise unknown to even the most die-hard "Big Bang Theory" fans. 

The Big Bang Theory almost had a chemical emergency on set

"The Big Bang Theory" creators Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the series 15 years following its debut. There were countless moments to look back on, including an incident where uranium had to be removed from the set. Prady explained that during one shoot, a real physicist visited the set for a tour. He pointed out a wooden box he knew to be a Geiger counter that was pretty old. The physicist mentioned that a lot of those devices were manufactured with a piece of uranium for calibration before it was widely understood how dangerous the chemical could be. According to the CDC, uranium is extremely toxic due to both its radioactive and chemical properties when ingested. Even inhaling large amounts of uranium can lead to lung cancer. 

The physicist happened to have a functioning Geiger counter in his car, which is used to detect radiation. He put it next to the old box to see what would happen. Apparently, it started to make noises to indicate that there was radiation near. "So he opened up the old Geiger counter, saw the uranium, and said, 'I'm going to put this in a lead box and take it away now,'" Prady explained. It was apparently a pretty anti-climatic ending to what could have been a potentially dangerous situation, and an example of real science impacting the real-life set of "The Big Bang Theory."