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WIPP receives 100th shipment

CARLSBAD, N.M. — The federal government’s only underground nuclear waste repository has received more than 100 shipments since reopening following a nearly three-year shutdown caused by a radiation release.

Officials with the U.S. Energy Department announced the milestone Tuesday, marking another step as the agency gets its multibillion-dollar cleanup program back on track.

The disposal of contaminated tools, clothing and other debris from decades of nuclear research and bomb-making at government labs and defense sites around the nation was sidelined in 2014 when the radiation release contaminated part of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and forced its closure.

The repository began accepting shipments again in April following an expensive recovery effort and a major policy overhaul.

The release was blamed on a chemical reaction inside a container of waste that was inappropriately packed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.