Officials optimistic of waste shipment schedule

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By The Staff

Officials are optimistic that the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s transuranic waste campaign will remain on schedule even though there was a fire underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad this week.
“We have already exceeded our shipping goal for this February and fully expect to meet our shipping goal for March,” lab spokesman Matt Nerzig said. “The lab has surpassed shipping goals for the 3706 TRU Waste Campaign since the project began, exceeding our goals for nine consecutive quarters.”
The Los Alamos Monitor learned if WIPP reopens on or before March 10, the shipment schedule should stay on schedule.
New Mexico Department of Environment spokesman Jim Winchester added, “Based on our preliminary conversations with representatives of WIPP, we are cautiously optimistic the suspension of WIPP processing will not delay the LANL TRU Waste Campaign. We continue to remain in close contact with WIPP about when operations will resume.
“ Despite this incident, WIPP has a proven track record and we continue to have the utmost confidence in their operations and regulatory compliance.”
On Feb. 5, a truck used to move salt at the underground facility caught fire. Officials say they don’t yet know what caused the truck fire that forced an evacuation of the underground site.

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