Second radiation release indicated at New Mexico site

March 19th, 2014 in Earth / Environment

New air sampling data from southeastern New Mexico's troubled nuclear waste dump indicates there has been another small radiation release.

Department of Energy officials say a monitoring station picked up elevated radiation readings around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad on March 11. That's nearly a month after a Valentine's Day leak contaminated 17 workers and shut the only repository for from the nation's nuclear bomb-building program.

Engineers say they believe the contamination is from previous deposits on the of exhaust ductwork.

Officials say occasional low-level releases are anticipated, but they should be well within safe limits.

The plant has been shuttered since early February. Shipments were halted after a truck hauling salt through the repository's tunnels caught fire. Nine days later, the plant's alarms were triggered by the radiation release.

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"Second radiation release indicated at New Mexico site." March 19th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-03-mexico-site.html