Could a leak at New Mexico’s nuclear waste site reach the Sooner State?
OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this month, the Department of Energy confirmed a radiation leak was detected at a nuclear waste site in New Mexico.
Now, that information has Oklahomans concerned about the ramifications in the Sooner State.
On Feb. 14, the Department of Energy confirmed a radiation leak was found at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
The plant is used to store waste from the production of nuclear bombs.
Right now, officials don’t know why it happened, how much radiation was leaked and exactly where it went.
That leads many people wondering if the radiation from New Mexico could reach the Sooner State.
One expert in Albuquerque tells NewsChannel 4 that Oklahomans shouldn’t panic “yet.”
He says there is already more radiation found around the world from decades-old nuclear testing than this leak could produce.
Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety Program at Southwest Research & Information Center, said, “My view is people don’t need to be immediately concerned that you’re getting a lot more plutonium and americium in your soil or in your air in Oklahoma City now than what you would normally have.”
Dale Janway, the mayor of Carlsbad, New Mexico, says the radiation levels detected are far below EPA danger levels.
Hancock says the Department Of Energy, which did not return our calls, will have to wait two or three weeks before anyone can safely go underground to assess the situation.