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LANL reports fire at plutonium facility

SANTA FE — A small fire broke out in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s plutonium facility Wednesday and caused minor injuries, but a lab spokesman said no radioactive materials were involved in the incident.

The fire started around 10 a.m. during cleanup activity. Lab spokesman Kevin Roark said the blaze involved a pyrophoric metal material, which can spontaneously overheat in the presence of oxygen, but it was quickly put out. Roark said no radioactive substance was involved, but said the material that ignited is still under investigation.

One employee was taken to the hospital with finger burns and was later released. The facility was not damaged and resumed normal operations Thursday, Roark said.

The plutonium facility is part of the lab’s Technical Area 55.

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