DOE: No health risks for exposed nuke dump workers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says further testing shows 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.

The agency and the contractor that operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad made the announcement Wednesday.

Initial testing indicated potential low-level exposure for 13 workers. Testing done on samples taken from the workers came back negative for plutonium and americium, the two radioactive isotopes detected in the preliminary tests.

Officials say the samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for validation.

Testing is also underway on other employees who were at the repository after the radiation release.

DOE officials also say monitoring around the site has turned up no significant contamination.

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