False Radiological Alarm In WIPP Underground

WIPP News:

At approximately 7:40 a.m. today, a portable continuous air monitor (CAM) alarm activated in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) underground.

Shortly after the alarm, Radiological Control (Rad Con) Technicians wearing appropriate personnel protective equipment, entered the underground, performed radiological surveys, collected additional air monitoring data and examined the CAM before declaring it a false alarm. As a precautionary measure, all WIPP personnel were evacuated from the underground when the initial alarm was received.

Personnel exiting the underground were surveyed by Rad Con Technicians and found to be free of any radiological contamination.

While in the underground, Rad Con Technicians monitored the air using a second portable CAM, and performed radiological surveys on their way to the CAM in question. No increases in airborne radioactivity were noted and nearby surfaces were found to be free of contamination. Rad Con Technicians determined the alarm was caused by a malfunctioning CAM and the event was terminated. During the event, the filter at Station A (exhaust air) on the surface was also monitored and showed results that were consistent with normal readings.

Next WIPP Town Hall Meeting featuring updates on WIPP recovery activities is set for 5:30 p.m. January 8 in the Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno Street. Live streaming of the meeting can be seen at http://new.livestream.com/rrv/.

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