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U.S. Army base downplays threat of radiation exposure


09:17, July 20, 2013

HOUSTON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. Army base in the state of Texas downplayed the threat of radiation exposure Friday after it detected radiation at a former nuclear weapons bunker earlier this week.

Officials at Fort Bliss, the U.S. Army's second-largest installation headquartered in Texas's west city El Paso, said Friday that additional testing shows the contamination is contained to the floor of the bunker and has not seeped into the ground water.

The contaminated residue was buried in the 1950s and 1960s when the base was operated by the Air Force, local TV ABC13 reported.

A man who worked there at the time contacted officials earlier this year expressing concern should additional housing be built on the base. Post officials then launched an investigation and found levels of radiation in a bunker at an airfield.

The bunker and others nearby are used to store rifles and other weaponry, according to the report.

About 30 people have worked in the bunker taking inventory and conducting other tasks. They are being tested to determine whether they have been exposed, officials said.

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