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At the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant new areas begin to be filled with radioactive debris

Underground nuclear waste repository begins filling new disposal area .

 https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/underground-nuclear-waste-repository-begins-filling-new-disposal-area-out-west-roundup/article_04bf2cf2-75ef-11ed-915f-47e7ffa97af3.html OUT WEST ROUNDUP, The Associated Press, ALBUQUERQUE — Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico.

Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant made the announcement late last month, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed in the new area came from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee — one of the many labs and government sites across the country that package up waste and ship it to WIPP.

Known as Panel 8, the new area consists of seven separate rooms for placing special boxes and barrels packed with lab coats, rubber gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements.

Each room measures 33 feet wide, 16 feet high and runs the length of a football field minus the end zones.

Carved out of an ancient salt formation about half a mile deep, the subterranean landfill located outside of Carlsbad received its first shipment in 1999. The idea is that the shifting salt will eventually entomb the radioactive waste left from decades of bomb-making and nuclear weapons research.

In 2014, a fire and separate radiation release forced a nearly three-year closure of the repository and a costly overhaul of the policies and procedures that govern WIPP and the nation’s multibillion-dollar cleanup program for Cold War-era waste.

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December 18, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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