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A panel of experts including, from left, David Klaus, David Huizenga, Joe Franco and Farok Sharif address residents of Carlsbad and Southeast New Mexico during a town hall meeting Thursday in Carlsbad. Brandon Messick - Daily Press

A panel of experts including, from left, David Klaus, David Huizenga, Joe Franco and Farok Sharif address residents of Carlsbad and Southeast New Mexico during a town hall meeting Thursday in Carlsbad.
Brandon Messick – Daily Press

By BRANDON MESSICK

Daily Press Staff Writer

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway held a second town hall meeting Thursday in Carlsbad to address the status of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad. The facility’s waste storage operations were halted when small levels of radiation were detected last month.

WIPP is the country’s only permanent storage facility for nuclear waste, where radioactive material is placed in a salt mine approximately 2,150 feet below ground level. Last month, a fire resulted in the facility’s evacuation, and nearly two weeks later, sensors within the facility detected trace amounts of radiation. WIPP’s underground storage area has been vacated since, as Department of Energy officials and federal experts compose a plan to find and remove the source of the radiation. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.