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April 20, 2014

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Fire that evacuated NM nuclear repository is out

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 | 9:08 p.m.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Plant officials say a fire at the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico has been extinguished.

A news release and spokeswoman answering an emergency line late Wednesday say the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's mine rescue team went into the underground site near Carlsbad and confirmed a fire in a truck hauling salt is out. The team also says the air is clear and safe to breathe.

Joint Information Center member Susan Scott says a second team is surveying the extent of the damage and that there's no information on the cause of the blaze or when the site would reopen.

Plant officials say all employees were evacuated from the underground site after the fire broke out about 11 a.m. Wednesday, and none of the radioactive waste was affected.