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Report: Radiation leak at US nuclear waste dump was small, no negative health effects expected

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CARLSBAD, New Mexico — A final report by independent researchers shows the radiation leak from the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was small and localized.

The report released Thursday by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center also says no negative health effects are expected among workers or the public.

The center is associated with New Mexico State University.

Its technicians have been collecting samples since February, when a container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured after being placed in a storage room at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

Sampling stations at and near the plant confirmed the presence of trace amounts of americium and plutonium.

The release forced the plant's indefinite closure. Federal officials have said it could take years and a half-billion dollars to restart operations.

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