DOE manager to leave New Mexico nuclear waste dump

WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – A U.S. Energy Department official who works with the government’s nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico is leaving.

The manager of the DOE Carlsbad Field Office, Joe Franco, says he’s taking a position at the Hanford Site in Washington state, where he worked previously.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that Franco, a Carlsbad native, has worked with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for nearly two decades. He has served as the DOE field office manager since 2012.

Franco says significant strides have been made with recovery efforts at the repository in the year since a breached container from Los Alamos National Laboratory resulted in a radiation release and forced the facility’s indefinite closure.

He says he’s confident the recovery project is on track.

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