China: Earthquake buried 32 sources of radiation – Yahoo! News

Update 7/29/2008: Were you searching for news about the Southern California earthquake? Detroit Free Press and the AP report that an earthquake in California on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 resulted in only minor damage and minor injuries. It was a 5.4 magnitude quake. -KW

Original Story:

China: Earthquake buried 32 sources of radiation – Yahoo! News

[It appears that the Yahoo link above no longer works. Similar info is still posted at the Huffington Post here. Excerpt only below:]

China: Earthquake buried 32 sources of radiation
ANITA CHANG | May 20, 2008 01:21 PM EST | AP

BEIJING — More than 30 sources of radiation were buried by debris from the massive earthquake in central China last week and all have either been recovered or safely cordoned off, state media reported Tuesday.

A French nuclear expert said the radioactive sources likely came from materials used in hospitals, factories or in research, not for weapons.

The Chinese government has previously said all nuclear facilities affected by the May 12 earthquake were safe and under control, but did not give any details about which sites were affected or whether any were damaged.

But the quake buried 32 sources of radiation under rubble in Sichuan province, the heart of the disaster zone, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian…

Though Sichuan has no commercial nuclear power plants, the province has extensive military and nuclear weapons research facilities. The headquarters for China’s nuclear weapons design facility is in Mianyang and a plutonium processing facility is in Guangyuan, both cities damaged by the quake.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear arms expert at the Federation of American Scientists, was skeptical that no information had been released by the Chinese government on damage to the nuclear weapons plants.

“I find it hard to believe, given the widespread destruction in this region, that the military plants that have nuclear materials somehow escaped (the disaster’s) reach,” he said…

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