Los Alamos studying alternatives for toxic waste

Posted at: 03/11/2014 4:55 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - With the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump shuttered by a mysterious leak, Los Alamos National Laboratory has begun looking at alternatives for getting toxic waste off its campus.

Lab spokesman Matthew Nerzig confirmed Tuesday that officials have begun looking at options if the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in Carlsbad remains closed indefinitely.

The presence of that waste, stored outside with little protection, came to the public's attention three years ago as a massive wildfire lapped at the edges of the sprawling lab property.

The lab has since agreed to have it all removed from the mesa by the end of June.  The lab was ahead of schedule for getting the nearly 4,000 barrels to WIPP when back-to-back accidents, including a radiation release, closed the repository last month.

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