Officials resume work at nuclear waste dump after safety pause

The Associated Press

The federal government's nuclear waste repository in New Mexico is resuming work after a month long safety pause due to poor air quality in parts of the underground facility.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The federal government's nuclear waste repository in New Mexico is resuming work after a month long safety pause due to poor air quality in parts of the underground facility.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy's office in Carlsbad made the announcement Monday morning.

Work was stopped Feb. 22 in two areas of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant after equipment detected elevated levels of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds.

The facility has been closed since February 2014 when an inappropriately packed drum of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory popped its lid and released radiation.

Parts of the facility were contaminated. Now, crews are working to install a temporary ventilation system and complete other recovery efforts in hopes of resuming operations by the end of the year.

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