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Plutonium Spill Reported at Rocky Flats

June 3, 1992

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) _ An estimated 2,100 gallons of plutonium-contaminated liquid leaked into a basement at the Rocky Flats weapons plant over the weekend, officials said.

No one was contaminated, and the spill was believed to have been confined to the basement, officials said. They said the leak was traced to a faulty pipe fitting on a liquid waste line.

Pat Etchart, spokesman for the plant, said the radioactivity in the leak was on par with the amount emitted by a home smoke detector.

″It’s not a small spill. We’re continuing to look into it,″ said Fred Dowsett, a hazardous-waste enforcement official with the state Health Department.

The government-owned plant 16 miles from Denver used to make plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons. Plutonium processing there has been shut down for the past 2 1/2 years because of safety concerns.

DS-06-03-92 0609EDT

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