New Mexico

Nuke dump disposes of first drums of waste in 3 years

Employees at the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository have resumed disposal work after a nearly three-year hiatus that was prompted by a radiation release.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports (http://bit.ly/2j5OaCg ) that two pallets of low-level radioactive waste were emplaced Wednesday in one of the underground disposal rooms at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico.

Rick Fuentes, a local union president and a waste handler at the site, says the transfer of the drums from an above-ground storage building went well.

Fuentes says employees are excited to be back at work.

It's still unclear when shipments of waste from other national laboratories and defense sites around the country will resume.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other officials are expected to celebrate the reopening with a ribbon-cutting event Monday.

___

Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/