nuclear waste

Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to recertify an underground nuclear waste storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. It’s the first time the Department of Energy has gone through this process since a drum burst deep underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, leaking radiation and contaminating workers.

Argonne National Laboratory via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Governor Susana Martinez is throwing her weight behind the idea of increasing nuclear waste storage in southeastern New Mexico and anti-nuclear activists fear the consequences.

energy.gov

The Department of Energy wasn’t surprised when they were hit with tens of millions of dollars in fines by the state environment department for mishandling of nuclear waste.

A spokesperson for the federal agency said they self-disclosed that both Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were in violation of their hazardous waste permits.

Back in February a container of nuclear waste from LANL that was being stored at WIPP ruptured and at least 20 workers were exposed to radiation.

Kenoir vis flickr

 

Supporters of a plan to profit from nuclear waste storage in southern New Mexico said this week that they hope to start collecting spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants soon.  However, a recent decision from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission doesn’t eliminate all of the hurdles that the group would have to clear before there’s a chance of that actually happening.

Department of Energy

The New Mexico Environment Department announced this week it will hold public hearings on a request to ship more radioactive waste into the state.