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Guam lawmakers unanimously passed legislation early Saturday morning that would put $250,000 toward studying the feasibility of installing a permanent radioactivity detector near its port.

The measure, which has support from the island’s executive office, would also launch an independent investigation into a two-year radioactivity leak from the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine USS Houston, which homeports in Guam.

The Navy has told Guam and Japan officials that the submarine leaked trace amounts of radioactivity during the past two years. The leak was discovered last month during routine maintenance.

Navy officials have said the amount of radioactivity that possibly leaked in Apra Harbor was "extremely small" and not harmful; they compared it to an amount less than the radioactivity contained in multiple smoke detectors installed in a typical family home.

The Guam legislation originally called for $100,000 for both studies. Sen. Benjamin J.F. Cruz, the bill’s sponsor, said the amount was increased to $250,000 before the early-morning vote.


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