This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Officials: No health risks for nuke dump workers

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) a¿¿ Thirteen employees who were exposed to radiation during a leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump aren't likely to experience any health effects, federal officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed last week that 13 workers were exposed when radiation leaked from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Testing on follow-up samples taken from the employees came back negative for plutonium and americium, the two radioactive isotopes that were detected in preliminary tests.

The latest samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be verified, officials said.

"Biological testing continues on other workers who were at the site following the initial exposure event, and there is always the possibility of positive exposure results from that testing," said Farok Sharif, president of Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, the contractor that runs WIPP.

"The ability to detect extremely small amounts of radioactive material also means there may be false positives that occur through the testing process," he said.

DOE officials also said ongoing monitoring has turned up no significant off-site contamination.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backed up those findings Wednesday in a letter to members of New Mexico's congressional delegation.

Ron Curry, the EPA's regional administrator and the former head of New Mexico's Environment Department, told the lawmakers that any public health concern would be unlikely given the initial field measurements and modeling.

WIPP is the nation's first underground nuclear repository and the only facility in the country that can store plutonium-contaminated clothing and tools from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other federal nuclear sites.

It has been closed since Feb. 5, when a truck hauling salt through the underground mine caught fire. Several days later, sensors alerted to the release of radiation that exposed the 13 workers who were on the surface. Monitors as far as half a mile away detected elevated levels of plutonium and americium in the air.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,679.67 +218.35 1.33%
S&P 500 1,952.25 +25.14 1.30%
NASDAQ 4,454.1640 +71.3170 1.63%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs