Improvements being made at US nuclear waste repository

September 11, 2019 GMT

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Officials say several infrastructure projects are being launched at the federal government’s underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is licensed to take Cold War-era waste generated by decades of bomb-making and defense-related nuclear research. The waste includes gloves, clothing, tools and other materials contaminated with radioactive elements.

The waste is entombed in disposal rooms carved out of an ancient salt formation about half a mile (0.8 kilometers) down.

The repository has been receiving waste since 1999.


The work being done includes repairing a hoist used to remove salt mined from the underground facility.

It also involves additions to a new fire protection system, replacement of underground electrical substations and upgrades to a central monitoring room that tracks all of the repository’s key systems.