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Crews to enter WIPP again today

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CARLSBAD – Crews investigating a radiation leak from the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico hope to make a second trip into the half-mile-deep repository today.

The Department of Energy detailed the plans at a community meeting Thursday evening.

Officials said workers who went into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Wednesday to install air monitors and communications equipment found no airborne radiation. However, they said workers are prepared to encounter contamination as they make their way further into the mine today.

If all goes well today, officials say, that should set the stage for a third entry, when crews will try to figure out what caused the release.

The dump near Carlsbad has been closed since mid-February, when the mysterious leak sent low levels of radiation into the air and contaminated 21 workers.

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