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US nuke repository eyes 2nd New Mexico waste trucks route

HOBBS, N.M. — Officials at the U.S. government’s only underground nuclear waste repository are hoping to designate a secondary route for waste trucks in southeastern New Mexico.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the group that manages the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is seeking a new secondary route around Hobbs.

Nuclear Waste Partnership spokesman Bobby St. John says around 90 WIPP employees live in Hobbs.

St. John said officials are trying to avoid state Highway 128 even as a secondary route. The primary route for WIPP transportation is U.S. Highway 285.

The repository restarted operations in 2017 following a nearly three-year shutdown that resulted from a radiation release from an inappropriately packaged drum of waste that was shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com

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