National lab reports violations of hazardous waste permit

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Top officials at one of the nation’s premier federal laboratories say an extensive review has turned up violations in how the lab has handled hundreds of containers of radioactive waste during the past decade.

The latest revelations are on top of the permit violations the Los Alamos National Laboratory first reported last year in the wake of a radiation release at the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southern New Mexico.

That release was caused by a container that had been inappropriately packed at Los Alamos.

The incident forced the indefinite closure of the repository, leaving in limbo national efforts to clean up decades’ worth of plutonium-contaminated waste.

Lab officials say the containers highlighted in the latest review pose no danger, but state officials are concerned about the lab’s lack of compliance.

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