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Nuclear labs endanger public with radioactive mail

At least 25 times in the past five years, nuclear weapons contractors have improperly packaged or shipped plutonium capable of being used in a nuclear weapon, conventional explosives and highly toxic chemicals, according to government documents.

While the materials were not ultimately lost, the documents reveal repeated instances in which hazardous substances vital to making nuclear bombs and their components were mislabeled before shipment. That means those transporting and receiving them were not warned of the safety risks and did not take required precautions to protect themselves or the public, the reports say.

The risks were discovered after regulators conducted inspections during transit, when the packages were opened at their destinations, during scientific analysis after the items were removed from packaging, or — in the worst cases — after unwary recipients released radioactive contaminants, the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation showed.

Full story can be found on USA Today.

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