An Internet rumor has been fueling concerns this week about the need to be prepared to evacuate southeastern New Mexico because of recent events at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
According to a release from WIPP, there is absolutely no basis for these rumors. Monitoring conducted by Nuclear Waste Partnership of air, soil, water and vegetation is showing no radiation releases that would approach levels causing health concerns. Independent monitoring by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center has reached similar conclusions.
In a recent letter to New Mexico’s senators, Ron Curry, regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, noted that “initial field measurements combined with modeling of potential public exposures indicate that it is very unlikely that any exposures would approach regulatory limits or represent a public health concern.”
A package of work and safety controls required before safe re‐entry can take place at the WIPP has been prepared by Nuclear Waste Partnership, the management and operations contractor at WIPP. The package will be submitted to the Department of Energy for review and approval, the next step before sending personnel into the WIPP underground facility to understand the source of the recent radiation release.