Officials eye 6 barrels tied to nuke dump leak

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By Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Scientists investigating a mysterious radiation leak at the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump have identified five other potentially explosive containers of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory that are being stored at a site in West Texas, New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn told a legislative panel Tuesday.

Flynn told lawmakers that scientists have been unable to replicate the chemical event believed to have a caused a drum to breach at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Feb. 14, contaminating 22 workers. But they have tied the barrel to a waste stream from Los Alamos with an unusually high acid level, he said.

That waste was packed into a total of six drums, including the one at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The rest are among more than 100 that were shipped from Los Alamos to Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas, after the leak indefinitely shuttered the New Mexico facility, which is the federal government's only permanent repository for waste from decades of building nuclear bombs.

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