Melted plastic, rubber found at nuclear waste site

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Associated Press

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 10:05 AM

CARLSBAD, New Mexico (AP) — Investigators trying to determine what caused a radiation release at the U.S. federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in New Mexico have spotted melted plastic and rubber on some drums and boxes of waste.

They were able to take photographs of the melted material during their most recent trip into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The plant's recovery officials say the melted material indicates there was some kind of heat generated in the room where the waste is stored.

The radiation release in February exposed some workers and halted all shipments to the repository.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy have theorized that the release could have been caused by a chemical reaction in some of the drums. They're also looking at other possibilities.

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