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Fire prompts evacuation of US nuclear repository

06 February 2014, 08:11

Carlsbad - Emergency crews are battling a fire in the US government's underground nuclear waste repository.

Officials say a truck hauling salt caught fire on Wednesday morning at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

According to a press release and a spokesperson who answered the emergency line, all employees have been evacuated and none of the radioactive waste has been affected.

But a press release says "multiple employees" are being taken to a hospital for potential smoke inhalation.

Emergency officials say all waste handling operations are suspended and rescue teams have been activated.

The repository takes plutonium-contaminated waste like clothing, tools and other debris from Los Alamos National Laboratory and defence projects. The waste is then buried in rooms cut from underground salt beds.

- AP

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