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Cleanup at Idaho nuclear landfill on hold after pit collapse

FILE - In this May 11, 2015, file photo, nuclear waste is stored in underground containers at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho. (AP Photo/Keith Ridler, File)

Some cleanup efforts at a nuclear waste landfill in eastern Idaho are on hold while workers try to figure out what caused a collapse in a dig area that sent an excavator into a pit.

The excavator was digging up transuranic waste - which has a longer half-life than uranium.

No radiation was released during the incident last Thursday, and no one was injured, said Erik Simpson with Fluor Idaho. Fluor is the contractor hired to clean up the site at the Idaho National Laboratory.

The excavator was digging at the 97-acre (392545-sq. meter) Subsurface Disposal Area when the side of the pit collapsed. Simpson said the excavator slid partway into the 21-foot-(6 -meter) deep pit. The operator remained in his protective cab for about 90 minutes afterward.

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