New pictures are providing more information for investigators looking into February's radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad, NM.
Workers re-entered the underground facility on Saturday. They used a camera on an extender to take pictures above stacked waste containers.
The pictures showed evidence of melted plastic and rubber on the drums, indicating the production of heat. You can see those pictures by visiting: http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/photo_video.html.
Bags of magnesium oxide weighing between 3,000 and 4,200 pounds were placed on top of the containers as an engineered barrier to prevent radioactive material from releasing into the environment.
Earlier this month, workers found several of the bags were damaged. The cause is still not know, but investigators are looking into the possibility that a chemical reaction happened inside a drum, leading to the release.
Due to that concern, shipments that were to be temporarily stored at Waste Control Specialists in Andrews County, southwest of Lubbock, have been suspended.
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