WIPP investigators pinpoint source of radioactive leak

Posted at: 04/23/2014 12:50 PM
Updated at: 04/23/2014 12:51 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Photo: WIPP

Investigators with the Department of Energy think they've pinpointed the location of a radioactive waste leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

They believe the leak originated back in February in a waste disposal room.

Officials say each of the rooms is the size of a football field so it will take some time to search each container in the room.

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.

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