The Feds increase shipments of nuclear waste to the New Mexico repository

Nuclear waste managers said shipments of waste to a federal storage facility near Carlsbad increased in late 2022 and early 2023 as workers moved from an area contaminated by a radioactive release.

The seventh disposal pad of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant was contaminated in 2014 after a barrel of waste burst, resulting in a three-year halt to underground storage and mining activities.

This delayed the filling of Panel 7, which remained contaminated by radioactivity, limiting operations even after the facility reopened in 2017.

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This slab was recently filled and sealed, allowing workers to move into uncontaminated slab 8 and proceed with nuclear waste disposal.

At WIPP, transuranic (TRU) nuclear waste will be shipped to site from US Department of Energy facilities across the US and permanently buried in a salt deposit approximately 2,000 feet underground in an area approximately 30 miles east of Carlsbad.