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Crews preparing to enter underground US nuke dump

March 28, 2014

CARLSBAD, New Mexico (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says it expects to get underground next week to begin investigating a mysterious radiation leak from the government’s nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.

Officials on Thursday said the inspections of the shafts workers will use to access the half-mile deep repository are complete and they are preparing to send an initial crew of eight into the mine early next week.

The dump has been shuttered since mid-February, when radiation was released above ground and into the air around Carlsbad, contaminating at least 17 workers with low doses of radiation. Four more workers are undergoing additional tests to see if they were exposed.

The leak came nine days after a truck hauling salt underground at a waste plant caught fire.

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