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Team to Probe Event at New Mexico Nuclear Site

Posted at: 02/20/2014 10:51 AM


Photo: KOB-TV file photo

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Energy says it has appointed a team to investigate the detection of radiation in and near a southeastern New Mexico facility that's the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The department says the assessment of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant will be conducted by an accident investigation board consisting of department officials and representatives of health and safety agencies.

An underground monitor at the plant in Carlsbad detected airborne radiation late Friday night, and an independent monitor center said Wednesday it found radioactive isotopes in an air sensor a half-mile away.

Russell Hardy of the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center says the detected levels are highest ever detected at or around the site but also far below those deemed unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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