The Department of Energy on Thursday said it plans to ship nuclear waste from the Los Alamos National Laboratory to a site in Texas while an underground repository in New Mexico remains shuttered.
The LANL waste would be stored temporarily at Waste Control Specialists in Andrews County, Texas.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad, which is supposed to be the final resting place for LANL waste, has been closed to shipments since early February when an underground truck fire and subsequently a radiation leak shut down the facility.
The deadline to remove several thousand cubic meters of transuranic waste from LANL is June 30. Shipments temporarily stored at Waste Control Specialists would eventually be transferred to WIPP, once an investigation into the radiation leak and remediation has been completed, the DOE said in a statement.
“While most of the waste has already been disposed at WIPP, this agreement with WCS will allow us to complete our commitment to the state and the people of New Mexico,” Farok Sharif, manager of the national transuranic program for WIPP operating contractor, Nuclear Waste Partnership, said in a statement.