U.S. Energy Department To Investigate New Mexico Nuclear Repository

Feb 25, 2019

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department will be looking into the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico after workers were allegedly exposed to hazardous chemicals last year.

The Carlsbad Current Argus reports that the federal agency's Office of Enterprise Assessments filed a notice in late January of its intent to investigate Nuclear Waste Partnership, the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The notice says employees were potentially "overexposed" to carbon tetrachloride, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide between July and October 2018.

The DOE says it intends to investigate the circumstances leading up to the alleged events and fines could result based on what's uncovered.

Nuclear Waste Partnership says it plans to work with the DOE.

An official with the Carlsbad Mayor's Nuclear Task Force says the problem arose due to inadequate airflow in the repository.