The contractor that operates the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico received a $1.9 million bonus just five days after an underground truck fire closed the facility. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Nuclear Waste Partnership the funds based on an "excellent" job performance in maintaining the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.
Some observers say last February's fire and the radiation leak that followed nine days later show the contractor failed at its job.
Initial probes by federal regulators into both incidents identified a host of management and safety shortcomings.
The Department of Energy says it is not considering revising or terminating its contract with Nuclear Waste Partnership.
NWP has a contract to operate WIPP through 2017.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
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