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Monitors check for radiation release after Idaho waste site blast

The Department of Environmental Quality says monitors have been installed at the US Ecology site in Grand View.
Credit: Brenden Benjamin

BOISE — Air monitoring systems have been set up to check for low-level nuclear radiation and other harmful contaminants following a powerful weekend blast at a hazardous waste site in Idaho that killed a worker, destroyed one building and damaged others.

Albert Crawshaw of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says the monitors were installed Tuesday at the US Ecology site about 50 miles south of Boise. Results were not yet available.

US Ecology takes in low-level radioactive waste, but Crawshaw says none of the material was believed to be near the explosion on Saturday.

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The company also takes in contaminants such as arsenic, lead, zinc, cadmium and other metals.

Officials say it's not clear what caused the explosion.

Crawshaw says an inspector is examining buildings damaged in the blast to determine if they're safe to enter.