Federal team at nuclear storage site to evaluate readiness

stockimg WIPP, exterior

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – A team of Department of Energy experts is evaluating the readiness of the federal government’s only underground nuclear waste repository to resume storage operations.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico has been closed since February 2014 due to a radiation release, and the Energy Department team arrived at the facility on Monday for a two-week review progress toward resumption of operations.

According to the department, the team will examine the facility’s proficiency in receiving and handling waste shipments. Other review subjects include maintenance, operations, fire safety, radiological controls, emergency management and safety processes.

There’s a backlog of waste at sites around the country awaiting shipment to the facility for permanent disposal

State environmental regulators also will inspect WIPP.

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