Regional
1:20 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Carlsbad Nuclear Storage Facility Could Operate Until 2055

Officials at a nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad say the facility could continue accepting shipments through 2055 because the nation's need for contaminated materials storage will continue past its planned 2030 shutdown date.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's manager told lawmakers on a panel tasked with overseeing the $1.2 billion plant that it would undergo a five-year decommissioning process when it finally does close.

The plant accepts plutonium-contaminated waste like clothing, tools and other debris from defense projects. The waste is then buried in rooms cut from underground salt beds. The waste includes such things as clothing, tools and other debris.

WIPP manager Farok Sharif says there's no sign Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory is closing by 2030. That means necessity probably would keep it open.

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Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/

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