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CARLSBAD (AP) — Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have announced that U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Carlsbad on Aug. 12 to discuss the government’s underground nuclear waste dump.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been indefinitely shuttered in the wake of a Feb. 14 reaction that sent radioactive particles into the air above the repository and contaminated 22 workers with low levels of radiation. The release is still under investigation.
Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Steve Pearce last month invited Moniz to visit the facility. They want to talk with him about recovery funding, how the money would be spent and why it’s needed.
The facility is the nation’s only permanent repository for plutonium-contaminated gloves, tools and clothing from the federal government’s nuclear facilities.
“We believe that the recovery is now at a stage where it would be important for you to observe the efforts directly,” the lawmakers wrote Moniz in June. “The workers and the community would also appreciate hearing firsthand the Department’s plans for returning WIPP to full operation. We look forward to hosting you in Carlsbad.”