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Radioactive Material Found at Navy Helicopter Field

Radioactive material has been discovered at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach as crews worked to excavate and remove toxic soil, Navy Facilities Engineering Command Southwest announced Wednesday.

Work was supposed to begin early last week to truck about 4,000 cubic yards of soil deemed toxic from NOLF in Imperial Beach. That effort has been delayed until new plans to handle and dispose of the radioactive material found in the same area can be formulated.

"The new contaminant is an undetermined type and amount of low-level radioactive materials found at the fire fighting area," a statement said.

Aircraft hulls were set on fire for firefighting training in the area at the southern end of the Navy installation, which is part of Naval Base Coronado.

"Aircraft hulls were known to contain various types of radioactive materials, depending on the type and age of the aircraft," a statement said.

The Navy's Radiological Affairs Support Office and state regulatory agencies will assist once a new plan is devised.

Operations at NOLF IB will not be impacted since the radioactive material is not believed to pose significant risk to human health, NAVFAC Southwest said.

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