DOE officials: Nuclear waste drums appear to be stable

WIPP

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Federal officials say drums filled with radioactive material similar to the one that breached and forced the closure of the nation’s only underground nuclear waste dump appear to be stable.

Investigators with the U.S. Energy Department say months of monitoring the drums stored above ground at Los Alamos National Laboratory show there have been some chemical reactions in the containers, but the gases building up inside have decreased over the past several months.

They say that indicates the reactions are slowing down and have reached a steady state.

The drums are in double packed inside waste boxes and stored inside a temperature-controlled facility with filters.

Los Alamos lab is working on a plan to remediate the drums. That plan will have to be approved by state environment officials.

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