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Miners to make more room for nuclear waste at US repository

Miners to make more room for nuclear waste at US repository

The Associated Press
October 17, 2017 10:34 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Federal contract workers are expected to begin mining operations at the nation's nuclear waste dump in New Mexico for the first time in three years following a radiation release that contaminated part of the underground repository.

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The U.S. Energy Department announced Tuesday that the work to carve out more disposal space from the ancient salt formation where the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is located will begin later this fall.

The contractor that runs the repository says the work is expected to be done in 2020.

In all, workers will remove more than 112,000 tons (101,605 metric tons) of salt, making way for a total of seven disposal rooms. At 300 feet long and more than 30 feet wide, a room can generally hold the equivalent of nearly 10,400 55-gallon (208-liter) drums.

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The Associated Press

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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