DOE to keep WIPP employees working

Posted at: 03/11/2014 4:49 PM
By: The Associated Press

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - The Department of Energy has approved a plan to keep all employees at southeastern New Mexico's underground nuclear waste dump working while officials figure out what caused a radiation release.

In a press release Tuesday, the DOE said it had signed off on a plan to keep all of the 650-plus workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project on the job.  

DOE Carlsbad Field Officer manager Joe Franco says the employees will be retrained as necessary to help investigate what caused the radiation release and to work on recovery and remediation efforts.

The repository has been closed since a truck caught fire in one of its tunnels early last month. Nine days later there was a radiation release. Officials say at least 17 workers were exposed to low levels of radiations.

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