Ceiling collapse causes concern in Carlsbad’s waste plant

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – Officials say a portion of the ceiling in a closed area of New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has collapsed.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that WIPP President Phil Breidenbach said Friday that the fall was at the entrance to Panel 4, which has been sealed since 2010.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the fall was discovered during a Sept. 27 inspection but it’s not clear when it actually occurred. The letter says the area became “prohibited” two weeks before the inspection and was “restricted” before that.

Prohibited areas have significant safety concerns and personnel are not allowed to enter. Breidenbach says restricted areas have ground control and air quality issues and can only be entered with management approval.

Breidenbach says no workers are believed to have been in that area for the last six months.

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