Nuclear waste repository to install safety chambers

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – Managers at the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico plan to install several safety bunkers.

Eight of the refuge chambers – or safety havens as they’re called – were recently delivered to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. Officials say the havens will be taken into the underground before the disposal of waste resumes.

The repository has been closed since February 2014, when a container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured and released radiation into portions of the underground storage area.

The havens are about 28 feet long, 8 feet wide and more than 7 feet high.

Each unit can house 20 people for at least 36 hours in the event of an emergency where workers may not be able to evacuate.

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