SANTA FE (AP) — The federal government is drawing opposition from the steel industry and watchdog groups for its proposal to commercially recycle scrap metal from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other nuclear sites.

The Department of Energy recommends that scrap metal exposed on its surface to radiation be recycled if the metal is uncontaminated or if radiation levels are low enough. The department released a draft environmental assessment in December.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the proposal includes about 350 metric tons of scrap metal at Los Alamos.

A steel producers group says potentially contaminated metal should not be released into general commerce and that the proposal could risk contamination of food cans, building beams and car parts.

Federal officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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