Officials now look to Los Alamos lab in nuclear leak probe

The entrance to Technical Area 18 of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (File) (Neil Jacobs, Getty Images)
The entrance to Technical Area 18 of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (File) (Neil Jacobs, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/26 4:22 pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state regulator said officials investigating a radiation leak from the government's underground nuclear waste dump have now turned their focus to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

New Mexico Environment Department General Counsel Jeff Kendall said Thursday that the Department of Energy's accident investigation team has been at the lab in northeastern New Mexico for about three weeks.

Kendall said that probe is one of just nine underway into what caused a barrel of toxic waste from Los Alamos to burst at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico, contaminating 22 workers and shuttering the nation's only permanent repository for waste from nuclear bomb building.

Kendall made the comments during a New Mexico Court of Appeals hearing on a dispute with a watchdog group over the permitting process for WIPP.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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