Emergency center activated at U.S. nuclear site — “Dead body found at facility”… “Officials confirm one death” — “Sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident”

Published: December 29th, 2015 at 6:19 pm ET
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Albuquerque Journal, Dec 28, 2015 (emphasis added): A 62-year-old employee was found dead Sunday at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. Robert Staffel, an employee at the nuclear waste repository’s quality assurance department, was found unresponsive by emergency response personnel around 8 p.m. after family members alerted staff that they had tried to reach him by phone, according to a spokesman… Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and state medical examiner responded to the site and an investigation is ongoing. Staffel is believed to have died of natural causes… Phil Breidenbach, NWP president and project manager [said] “We will continue to support the investigation into Mr. Staffel’s death.”

Silver City Sun News, Dec 28, 2015: Dead body found at radioactive waste facility… deputies responded to a call at about 8:43 p.m. on Sunday reporting an unconscious man at [WIPP]… Further investigation revealed that the man had been located on the facility grounds and was an employee of WIPP… The cause of the man’s death is unknown, according to the news release… The incident remains under investigation…

Carlsbad Current-Argus, Dec 28, 2015: Officials confirm one death at WIPP — The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office said a man who was found unconscious at the [WIPP] on Sunday is dead. Emergency service responders were dispatched to WIPP at around 9:45 p.m. when the employee was found unresponsive at the facility… Chief Deputy Mark Cage said in a news release that the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death is unknown and the sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident, said Sgt. Matt Hutchinson…

KRQE, Dec 28, 2015: The death of a [WIPP] employee is under investigation after he was found dead Sunday. The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office says the man was found dead at the plant. Officials say the cause of his death is unknown. The incident is still under investigation.

U.S. Department of Energy (pdf), Dec 29, 2015: At approximately, 9 a.m. Mountain Time, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) announced a Level 1 activation to support coordination of resources needed to safely restore normal operations at WIPP due to the recent severe snow storm in southeast New Mexico.

AP, Dec 29, 2015: Officials at an underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico say they have activated their emergency operations center in response to the severe weather that has hit much of New Mexico. [WIPP] has been closed for the past couple of days due to the inclement weather…

Watch the latest WIPP town hall meeting here

Published: December 29th, 2015 at 6:19 pm ET
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