The "Radiation Dump" a couple of hours drive from El Paso, in Carlsbad New Mexico, had an accident and 13 workers are now suffering from radiation exposure.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) sparked a lot of controversy all over west Texas and southeast New Mexico when it was first proposed and that controversy continues today.  Particularly in nearby areas like Van Horn, Marfa, and Alpine as well as Carlsbad itself and El Paso.  Many feared a leak or accident would quickly poison any or all of these areas.

Photo, Getty Images

February 14th, a leak did occur but WIPP officials were quick to say that only trace amounts of radiation actually escaped the underground facility, adding that:

all indications are that a HEPA filtration system designed to immediately kick in when radiation is detected and keep 99.7 percent of contamination from being released above ground worked flawlessly.

Nonetheless, despite a WIPP official report stating that NO employees were underground at the time the alarms went off, 13 employees of the facility have now tested positive for radiation exposure.  Radiation levels that did escape, according to officials,

offer no more risk than a dental X-ray or an airline flight.

Officials also said a recent truck fire within the underground facility had no connection to this event.  A leaky or punctured canister may be the cause but it will be weeks before they can go in to investigate.

They say things are ok yet, it will be weeks before they will even go inside to look? Hmmmm.......