Managers report rock fall at underground nuclear waste dump

November 15, 2018

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Managers at the federal government’s nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico have reported a rock fall in an area of the underground facility that is off-limits to employees.

The U.S. Energy Department says the fall happened Wednesday evening. Workers heard a loud thud while doing inspections underground so they left the area and all work was stopped.

Officials said there were no injuries.

Rock falls are not uncommon in areas where crews have been unable to perform regular maintenance to shore up the walls and ceilings of the salt caverns that have been excavated for disposal of radioactive waste.

This week’s rock fall happened in a disposal room that does not contain any waste.

A team is planning an inspection before operations resume at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

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