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US nuclear repository completes key mining project

Oct 13, 2021

Credit Department of Energy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — After seven years of mining, federal officials say work to carve out the eighth disposal area at the U.S. government’s underground nuclear waste repository is complete.

Managers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are planning to use the space beginning next year. Constructed in a deep layer of salt in southern New Mexico, the repository entombs the radioactive remnants of decades of nuclear research and bomb-making. Workers still need to run power to the excavated area known as Panel 8 and install air monitors and chain link to protect the walls.

State regulators are weighing a permit change for the repository that some critics say could open the door to expansion.