ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Some operations at the federal government's troubled nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico could resume by the end of 2016 under a plan approved by U.S. Department of Energy officials, but critics voiced concerns Thursday about whether the facility would be ready to safely reopen.
The plan approved by the DOE's field office in Carlsbad, New Mexico, addresses recovery activities at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, day-to-day operations and maintenance as well as the installation of a ventilation system needed before the underground facility resumes work related to the long-term storage of radioactive waste.
DOE officials said Thursday it could be a couple of weeks before the plan's details are made public. They have yet to brief regulators and members of Congress.
"The goal is to resume waste emplacement operations. Volumes and all that have yet to be determined," said Bill Taylor, a spokesman with the field office.