Contract extended for management of US nuclear dump

WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has extended a contract for the management of the government’s only underground nuclear waste repository that will allow the Nuclear Waste Partnership to continue operating the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad through September 2020.

WIPP resumed operations earlier this year following a shutdown that followed a 2014 radiation release caused by inappropriate packaging of waste by workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The extension of the contract with Nuclear Waste Partnership will include a new safety focus and cost incentives. It’s good through Sept. 30, 2020, and can be extended beyond that.

A federal audit this week found that WIPP doesn’t have enough space for radioactive tools, clothing and other debris left over from decades of bomb-making and research.