17 workers exposed to radiation at Idaho lab—but “there is no risk to the public or environment”

Seventeen workers exposed to radiation at Idaho lab

An undated publicity photograph released to Reuters on November 8, 2011 shows facilities at the The Idaho National Laboratory, a U.S. Energy Department nuclear research site in eastern Idaho. REUTERS/Idaho National Laboratory/Handout

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho | Tue Nov 8, 2011 6:55pm EST

(Reuters) – Seventeen workers were exposed to low-level radiation from plutonium on Tuesday at a U.S. Energy Department nuclear research lab in Idaho, but there was no risk to the public, the government said.

The accident at the Idaho National Laboratory occurred inside a facility used for remotely handling, processing and examining spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste and other irradiated materials, the lab said in a series of statements.

The so-called Materials and Fuels Complex is located near the edge of the sprawling 890-square-mile laboratory site in the high desert in eastern Idaho about 38 miles from the city of Idaho Falls.

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