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WIPP: Reports of evacuations effecting Borderland inaccurate

By: Jamel Valencia
CARLSBAD, N.M. - An article circulating on the Internet regarding evacuations that could affect the Borderland is not accurate.

The article, which is on www.politicalears.com, states federal officials confirmed that a leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant located in Carlsbad, N.M., has prompted evacuations.

A spokeswoman at the WIPP in Carlsbad told KFOX14 the article is inaccurate.

WIPP officials said there is no cause for concern and there is no need to evacuate.

WIPPs Carlsbad site serves as a nuclear waste dump.

In February, workers may have been exposed to a radiation leak at the site, reported the Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Project confirmed 13 workers who were above ground the night of the leak have tested positive for radiation exposure; more workers are being tested.

KFOX14 will be monitoring this story. Continue to check KFOXTV.com for updates.

WIPP: www.wipp.energy.gov/index.htm

WIPP releases statement after inaccurate report regarding evacuation:

"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. There is absolutely no basis for these rumors. Monitoring conducted by Nuclear Waste Partnership of air, soil, water and vegetation are 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. (You can view CEMRCs monitoring data at CEMRC.org). In a recent letter to New Mexicos 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."