Crews to return to WIPP after radiation leak

Posted at: 04/01/2014 9:14 AM
Updated at: 04/01/2014 9:25 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Crews are expected to return to the underground facility at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad for the first time since a radiation leak in February.

On Tuesday, a group of eight workers who received special emergency response training will check for radiation and prepare the mine for more people to reenter.

The incident incited panic among Carlsbad area residents when the Department of Energy said 21 workers tested positive for radiation during the leak. The DOE said the levels were well below those deemed unsafe and WIPP officials also said they don't expect the exposed workers to have any long-term health effects.

The plant has been shut down since the leak was discovered in mid-February—just a week after a truck caught fire in the underground facility.

WIPP is the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.