ABC 7 Albuquerque KOAT, Feb. 27, 2014 at 8:27p ET:
- KOAT: Officials at Carlsbad’s nuclear waste dump facility say they’re working to find out what’s causing a radiation leak. [...]
- Joe Franco, DoE Official: “Around 5am yesterday 13 of our employees who were on site the night of February 14th were notified they tested positive for radiological contamination”
- KOAT: And now, there may be more affected.
- Farok Sharif, WIPP Project Manager: “We have identified additional employees who were onsite the morning of February 15th”
- KOAT: Those employees were allowed back into the facility because radiation detectors hadn’t identified a problem yet. Officials encourage those workers to get tested. […] They’ll figure out how to safely fix the leak in order to bring the facility back into full operations. But the timeline on that could take months.
KOAT, Feb. 27, 2014: Source of WIPP leak could be container, officials say [...] “They don’t know just how serious this is right now, how this affects the employees, their family and the community. They still need to do more testing.”
CBS, Feb. 27, 2014: Elevated radiation levels have been detected in the air around the plant, but officials have said the readings are too low to constitute a public health threat. [...] Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program at the Southwest Research and Information Center, said the fact that the workers were exposed raises questions about those claims. “The WIPP systems right now are in the guinea pig stage [...] they have never been tried.” [...] Officials said [...] a container of waste leaked, but it could be weeks before they can get underground to find out what caused it. Possible scenarios include a ceiling collapse or a forklift puncturing a canister, Farok Sharif, president of the Nuclear Waste Partnership, said [...] Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said he will send the Environmental Protection Agency a letter Thursday requesting that they bring portable air monitors to the area.
See also: TV: "Disturbing new development in WIPP radiation leak, surprising words today" -- "What went wrong and why, those are some of the questions swirling around" -- County official calls it 'a disaster' (VIDEOS)
Published: February 27th, 2014 at 11:02 pm ET