- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Officials working to reopen the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico say their recovery plan is under review.

Department of Energy officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad had earlier indicated they would be releasing details of the plan Thursday. They reviewed the major work that needs to be done, but Carlsbad DOE Field Office Manager Joe Franco told a community meeting Thursday evening that the full plan is still awaiting approval from Washington. The plan is expected to detail cost estimates and a timeline for cleaning up radiological contamination and resuming operations after a mysterious February leak that contaminated 22 workers.

Officials have said it could be three years before WIPP completely reopens.

It’s still unclear exactly what caused the leak from a barrel of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

WIPP is the government’s only permanent repository for legacy waste such as contaminated gloves, tools and clothing from decades of nuclear bomb building.


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