Public Health New Mexico
6:18 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Management, Safety Cited For Radiation Release At WIPP

Credit Public domain image.

Department of Energy investigators say a radiation release from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of safety at the 15-year-old site.

In a report released Thursday, they also say the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad fails to meet federal standards for nuclear facilities and its employees bungled their response to the emergency.

Given the new findings and those from an investigation of an earlier underground truck fire at the site, watchdog Don Hancock of the Southwest Information Research Center says the leak that contaminated 21 workers with low doses of radiation in mid-February was a "best-case scenario."

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