MIAMI (AP) – Part of the Opa-locka Executive Airport in South Florida had to be temporarily evacuated after a 55-gallon drum containing depleted uranium aircraft parts was found.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Arnold Piedrahita Jr. reports that the unsealed drum was found Thursday near a dismantled plane at the airport. A hazmat team from Miami International Airport went to the site, but only minimal levels of radiation were detected.
Officials initially cleared a 150-foot perimeter around the drum, but that circle was later reduced to 5 feet.
Airport spokesman Marc Henderson said no flights were disrupted and the airport never closed.
Most depleted uranium is a byproduct of the production of enriched uranium, which is commonly used in nuclear reactors and weapons. It has significantly less radiation than natural uranium.