New test results indicate “slightly elevated” levels of airborne radiation near a nuclear waste repository in southeast New Mexico, the U.S. Department of Energy said Monday.The disturbing part of the story is not the small amount of radioactivity leaked---it's that they don't know where or why the leak happened.
Samples taken from spots on and around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad show radiation levels below those considered a public or environmental hazard, the DOE said in a statement.
The DOE said the data show a potential dose of less than one millirem — a calculation of radioactivity exposure — at each of the sampling locations. By comparison, a single chest x-ray can deliver a dose of about 10 millirems.
Energy department officials plan to hold a town hall meeting in Carlsbad tonight.