Small Fire in Y-12 Uranium Warehouse Disclosed

Knoxville (AP) -- A small fire occurred when workers inspected highly enriched uranium stored in a huge aging warehouse at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.

Officials said no one was injured and there was no release of radiation in the fire late last month.

The Y-12 Plant makes parts for every warhead in the US nuclear arsenal. It also is the nation's primary storehouse for bomb-grade uranium.

The Washington-based watchdog group project on government oversight disclosed the fire Tuesday.

Spokesmen for the contractor at the plant said a plastic bag and masking tape in which the uranium was packed ignited, apparently when the material was exposed to air. The fire was quickly extinguished with powdered graphite.

An internal review is under way.

The building is one of five uranium warehouses within the Y-12 complex.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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