Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Crime & Courts

U.S. nuclear facility's radiation leak creates serious concerns

See also

A U.S. nuclear waste facility in New Mexico is creating serious concern on Sunday when radiation escaping from the repository was detected, according to news organizations.

An air-sampling monitor located at the Carlsbad, N.M., Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) detected high levels of radioactive particles that are being characterized as "abnormal" in nature, according a Department of Energy press statement.

Roger Nelson, the DOE spokesperson, said that none of the facilities staff were working underground at the time of the leak and no injuries, human contamination or damages have been reported.

DOE noted that more than 135 employees were above ground during the leak and they were told to stay away. Tests for exposure to radiation were conducted and all of the workers' results were negative.

While the radiation is considered ultra-hazardous, it can doesn't easily penetrate human or animal skin, but it is extremely harmful and life-threatening if swallowed or inhaled, according to Reuters.

But, according to the Centers for Diseased Control, "internal contamination is caused by humans swallowing or breathing in radioactive materials, or if radioactive materials enter a body through an open wound or are absorbed through the skin. Some types of radioactive materials stay in the body and are deposited in different body organs."

On the other hand, external contamination exists when radioactive material, in the form of dust particles, liquid or powder contacts a person's clothing, skin, or hair. However, the CDC warns that men or women "who are externally contaminated can become internally contaminated if radioactive material gets into their bodies."

According to an Examiner news story:

"The DOE is the agency charged with regulating the safety of nuclear facilities. A key part of DOE's self-regulation is the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), which develops, oversees, and helps enforce nuclear safety policies.

"At the request of the US Congress in 2008, the Government Accounting Office reviewed relevant DOE policies, interviewed officials and outside safety experts, and surveyed DOE sites to determine the number and status of nuclear facilities. GAO also assessed oversight practices based on a series of reports on DOE nuclear safety and discussions with nuclear safety experts.

"HSS falls short of fully meeting GAO's elements of effective independent oversight of nuclear safety: independence, technical expertise, ability to perform reviews and have findings effectively addressed, enforcement, and public access to facility information."

The cause of the WIPP radiation leak remains unknown, according to reports on Sunday.

Advertisement

News

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con

Related Videos:

  • Kidnapping suspect arrested in Abigail Hernandez case
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518345048" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518345048&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Barack Obama, Community Organizer
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518300300" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518300300&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Boko Haram's Leader Abubakar Shekau
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518343306" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518343306&autoStart=true"></div>