Feds to keep employees of closed nuke dump working

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Associated Press

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 10:01 AM

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 determine what caused a radiation release.

The DOE said in a press release Tuesday that it had signed off on a plan to keep all 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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