Feds given deadline to deal with WIPP leak

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – The state has set a deadline for the feds to deal with radioactive waste left above ground at the nuclear waste dump near Carlsbad.

Drums and containers shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are typically stored in a parking area and inside of a handling building, then brought underground to be placed in salt beds.

But the underground dump closed last month because of a radiation leak that contaminated 13 employees, so all of that waste is still above ground.

It’s usually allowed to stay there for a month or two, but the state has extended that deadline to up to three and a half months.

The federal government will have to come up with a plan if the underground dump is closed any longer than that.

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