- Associated Press - Friday, September 29, 2017

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Energy Department has extended a contract worth $65 million for environmental cleanup work at one of the nation’s premier nuclear research laboratories.

With the extension announced this week, the private consortium that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory will be paid for an additional six months of work. The contract was set to expire Saturday.

The temporary cleanup contract was first extended in 2016. Officials say the latest extension will give the Energy Department more time to finish procurement of a long-term contract worth an estimated $1.7 billion over 10 years.

The contract was initially awarded as part of a shake-up that came after the lab improperly packed a drum of waste that was shipped to the federal government’s underground repository in southern New Mexico. The resulting chemical reaction in 2014 caused a radiation release.

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