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posted: 2/16/2014 1:01 AM

Nuclear repository monitored for radiation

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Associated Press

CARLSBAD, N.M. -- 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.

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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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