Fort Bliss officials held a news conference yesterday after a small amount of radioactive material was found in and near a bunker on East Fort Bliss where Army training weapons were stored since 2003.

Before the Army took it over in the1960's, the Air Force stored uranium there for use in nuclear weapons.  Bliss officials say there is no risk to the public, but they did find low levels of alpha and beta radiation when the initial assessment was made.  The levels are elevated, but post officials say they only slightly exceed regulatory guidelines.

Gamma rays, which are the most dangerous, were not detected at the bunker.  Alpha particles do not travel very far and are easily stopped.  They will not penetrate paper or the outer layer of your skin and are only hazardous if they are ingested.  Beta particles can have enough energy to penetrate paper or skin but not materials like wood or plastic.

The area has been sealed off, and the bunker is now closed and locked.

An Air Force retiree from Florida who worked at Biggs back in '50s and '60s alerted post officials about the bunker.

The closest El Paso neighborhood is a mile and a half away, and the thirty people who worked in building from time to time have been notified and are being tested.

A 24 hour call center has been opened for people with any concerns about this finding on Bliss.  Those numbers are (915) 744-1255;  744-1962;  744-8263; and 744-8263.