Tests Show Radiation Contamination on Four More Workers at New Mexico Site

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Global Security Newswire Staff
April 1, 2014, 8:42 a.m.

The U.S. En­ergy De­part­ment on Monday said test­ing had re­vealed trace levels of con­tam­in­a­tion in four ad­di­tion­al work­ers at a nuc­le­ar waste site in New Mex­ico.

The an­nounce­ment brings to 21 the total num­ber of Waste Isol­a­tion Pi­lot Plant, or “WIPP,” per­son­nel who were ex­posed to small amounts of ra­di­ation fol­low­ing a Feb­ru­ary leak of some ra­dio­act­ive ele­ments from the sub­ter­ranean nuc­le­ar-ma­ter­i­als dump, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

The de­part­ment in­ten­ded to dis­patch a team of eight spe­cial­ists on Tues­day in­to the un­der­ground por­tion of the nuc­le­ar fa­cil­ity to start es­tab­lish­ing out­posts that would en­able a probe in­to ex­actly what led to the leak.

The WIPP fa­cil­ity has not ac­cep­ted any new atom­ic waste since the dis­cov­ery of the ra­di­ation leak. This has caused some U.S. nuc­le­ar-weapons sites to turn to tem­por­ary op­tions for stor­ing their waste.