Thursday, March 27, 2014

(I'm so relieved!) Scientists: WIPP radiation leak not a threat to Lesser Prairie-Chicken

New Mexico's favorite poultry is in no harm after a radiation leak last month in the southeastern portion of the state. At its peak, the lesser prairie-chicken roamed and grazed the land where the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant currently sits, 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad. Despite the escape of trace amounts of americium and plutonium into the outside atmosphere, scientists and environmentalists say there is no danger to the chicken and other wildlife. "The amounts are so low, it's really a non-issue," said Jane Pierce, an entomologist at the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center located in Artesia. Thirty-three soil samples have been taken since the incident and all except one returned negative for any radiation above background levels. The one soil sample that turned up trace amounts of plutonium is believed to be remnants of the isotopes from Project Gnome, a 1961 test in which a nuclear bomb was detonated underground 25 miles east of Carlsbad...more

Finally, now I can get some sleep.

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