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New Mexico nuclear repository evacuated after discovery of radioactive liquid

File image: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Carlsbad, NM
AP

An area at the U.S. government’s nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico was evacuated over the weekend after workers handling a shipping container discovered a small amount of radioactive liquid inside it.

Officials say there was no indication of airborne contamination and that testing of workers’ hands and feet turned up no contamination.

It wasn't immediately clear where the liquid came from and which government facility had packed and shipped the waste.

The repository receives shipments from national laboratories and defense-related sites around the country. The waste typically consists of lab coats, gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements.

The site in Carlsbad, NM, is the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository.