CARLSBAD — WIPP officials have confirmed that a rock fall occurred in the underground on Thursday.
Workers were evacuated after a loud noise was heard and salt dust was observed in the air on Thursday afternoon.
A team of geotechnical and radiological control personnel, a representative from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the mine rescue team reentered the underground on Friday morning.
They discovered a “significant” portion of the ceiling in Room 4 of Panel 7 had fallen, a news release said.
Panel 7 remains contaminated due to a radiological release created when a drum containing waste ruptured in February 2014.
Runyon said the reentry team did not discover any change in radiation levels as a result of the rock fall.
The Department of Energy and Nuclear Waste Partnership will work with the Mine Safety and Health Administration to develop a ground control plan for Panel 7, according to the news release.
Entry to a section of Room 5 of Panel 7, the location of a controlled collapse last month, and Room 6 of Panel 7 are also currently prohibited due to geotechnical stability issues.
Employees returned to work in the underground on Saturday, Runyon said.
Read more at WIPP confirms rock fall, work resumes