The US Energy Department is trying to find out why radiation readings abruptly rose at an underground nuclear waste repository in the western state of New Mexico.
Officials have sealed off the 600-meter deep Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where a monitoring device detected higher airborne radiation late last Friday.
No workers were underground at the time, but those on ground level were evacuated. The facility’s ventilation system has a filtration device, and no changes in radiation levels have been observed above ground.
Energy Department officials say a truck caught fire at the facility early this month. But they say the incident is unlikely to be linked with the abnormal radiation readings, since they occurred more than 300 meters apart.
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