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Misaligned drum prompts brief evacuation at WIPP

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CARLSBAD (AP) — The U.S. government's only underground nuclear waste repository was briefly evacuated after a drum of waste was found to be misaligned inside its packaging.

The contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico activated its emergency operations center after the discovery was made Thursday night.

The Carlsbad Current Argus reported that officials determined conditions were stable and no radiation was released. The emergency operations center was deactivated three hours later.

Shipments to the repository resumed in 2017 following a nearly three-year closure that stemmed from a radiation release by a container of waste that was improperly treated at Los Alamos National Laboratory before being shipped to the repository.

That previous incident highlighted safety and security concerns at both the lab and repository and resulted in a costly recovery.