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8:05am — WIPP-Bound Truck Rear-Ended

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No transuranic waste released in Idaho accident.

A truck loaded with three containers of transuranic waste from the Idaho National Laboratory bound for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad was rear-ended by a pickup truck in southeastern Idaho Friday, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported today on its Web site.

The accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on Interstate 15 between Pocatello and Idaho’s southern border, Kerry Watson of the WIPP field office in Carlsbad told the Current-Argus.

"It’s a traffic accident," said Watson. "It wasn’t a hazardous materials release. We just want to be open about it and (let the public know) one of our trucks was involved in a traffic accident."

Watson told the paper that Idaho state police reported that the WIPP truck was rear-ended by a private pickup truck.

No damage was done to the waste containers but the rear of the trailer was slightly damaged in the accident, Watson told the Current-Argus.

"There was no loss of containment by the packages," Watson told the paper.

"We were told that there was a wind gust that picked up dirt from a plowed field near the interstate," said Watson, who said the blowing dust apparently reduced visibility.

Watson said there was also information that the pickup truck may have been struck by another vehicle after it ran into the WIPP truck, the Current-Argus reported.

Both drivers in the WIPP truck were uninjured, but the pickup driver received some medical attention for complaints of a leg pain and worries about a potential fracture, Watson told the paper.

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