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UPDATE: more radiation detected near New Mexico nuke site

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
The U.S. Department of Energy said Monday the results are from samples collected last week at numerous air monitoring stations at and around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

the U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, located near Carlsbad, N.M, pictured here in this 2004 photo. (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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Carlsbad, N.M. (AP) -- More airborne radiation has been detected in southeastern New Mexico from a leak at the nation's first underground nuclear waste dump.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Monday the results are from samples collected last week at numerous air monitoring stations at and around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

Last week, DOE officials confirmed the first-ever leak at the facility. It stores plutonium-contaminated waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other government nuclear sites.

The results are consistent with the kinds of waste stored at the plant, but officials say there's no public health threat.

Carlsbad's mayor has scheduled a community meeting Monday evening.

Waste shipments to the site were halted earlier this month after a truck caught fire underground. Officials say they don't think the incidents are related.


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Officials are monitoring the presence of airborne radiation at southeastern New Mexico's nuclear waste repository.

The U.S. Department of Energy says personnel are on-site Saturday to assess what officials are calling a "possible radiological event" at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

According to the DOE, an air monitor detected radiation on the plant's underground levels around 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Officials say no employees were working underground at the time, and workers on the surface have been sheltered in place as a precaution.

They say nobody has been found to be contaminated.

WIPP is the nation's first and only deep geological nuclear waste repository. It takes plutonium-contaminated waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other federal nuclear projects.

The incident comes 10 days after an underground truck fire at the plant prompted an evacuation.


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