CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Work has resumed at southeastern New Mexico’s nuclear waste repository. But officials say they don’t yet know what caused the truck fire that forced an evacuation of the underground site.
A spokesman says an investigation will be conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where low level waste from the nation’s nuclear weapons plants is stored in salt beds.
The site was evacuated and six people were treated for smoke inhalation after a truck hauling salt caught fire Wednesday.
New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce characterized the event as a minor. And he emphasized that the fire never threatened radioactive waste or public safety.
WIPP is the nation’s first and only deep geological nuclear waste repository. It takes plutonium-contaminated waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other federal nuclear projects.