Management, safety cited for radiation release

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By AP

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Updated: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:15:35 EST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Department of Energy investigators are blaming poor management, ineffective safety and maintenance programs and a lack of proper oversight for a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the government's nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico two months ago.

Lead Department of Energy investigator Ted Wyka previewed the findings of an initial investigation of the leak from the Waste Isolation Pilot Project during a weekly community meeting Wednesday evening in Carlsbad. The full report will be released Thursday.

Crews have yet to identify the source of the leak, which sent low levels of radiation into the air around the plant on Feb. 14, nine days after a truck hauling salt underground caught fire. Safety and maintenance shortcomings were also blamed for that accident. It's unclear if the incidents are related.

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