Operations resume at underground U.S. nuclear waste repository
Work was halted and an evacuation ordered when employees at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico found a drum of waste wasn't properly aligned
CARLSBAD, N.M.—Routine operations have resumed at the U.S. government’s only underground nuclear waste repository following an evacuation in May that was prompted by the discovery of a misaligned drum of waste.
Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico confirmed this week that processing and handling resumed June 2.
In disposing the waste, seven 55-gallon (208-litre) drums are wrapped together in a tight formation to go deep inside the ancient salt formation where the repository is located. The idea is that the shifting salt will eventually entomb the waste.
Work was halted when employees found one drum wasn’t aligned with the others that made up the waste package. The package was eventually repacked and disposed of underground.
Officials say no radiation was released and no injuries were reported.