Plutonium Spill Prompts Changes at NIST Lab

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Boulder, Colo. (AP) A Boulder laboratory has made several changes following a plutonium spill in June, including disposing leftover chemicals and closing four labs and a machine shop until their safety can be ensured.

One of those labs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been reopened. Also Tuesday, the lab announced the appointment of Patrick Gallagher as new deputy director of NIST, replacing James M. Turner who left to take a position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The plutonium spilled through a crack in a vial holding about a quarter-gram of powder containing the radioactive material.

A blue ribbon commission has also been named to examine safety practice at all NIST facilities.

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