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DOE approves first WIPP safety plan

One of two safety plans needed before workers can re-enter an underground nuclear repository has been approved, according to an update from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on Monday.

The Department of Energy has approved a plan to ensure the WIPP ventilation system is working. A second plan to ensure worker safety still needs approval before anyone can re-enter the underground site.

A team is preparing to go underground to investigate the cause of a Feb. 14 radiation leak and the extent of the contamination. No workers have been underground since the incident.

WIPP also reported Monday that it will move shipments from a parking unit to a waste handling building for temporary storage. The New Mexico Environment Department has extended WIPP’s 60-day permit to store waste in the waste handling building by another 45 days.



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