March 7, 2013 |
A key contractor involved in the troubled cleanup at the former Hanford, Wash., nuclear weapons complex admitted Tuesday that it had engaged in criminal time card fraud and agreed to pay $18.5 million to settle the allegations. The project, which involves construction of a $13.4-billion treatment plant to process highly radioactive bomb waste, is years behind schedule, has exceeded its original cost estimate and is paralyzed by technical issues that have halted the work. The problems, however, have not dimmed political support for the project, given the threat that about 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge at the site could eventually leak and reach the nearby Columbia River.
February 18, 2014 |
The U.S. Energy Department said Tuesday it had opened an investigation into a leak of radioactive materials at a nuclear burial site near Carlsbad, N.M. The department shut down normal operations last week at its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant after radiation alarms sounded late Friday, when no one was in the underground facility. Officials at the site discounted any effect on human health, saying no radiation had escaped to the surface and no workers were exposed. So far, it is unknown what caused the release of radioactivity inside the repository, built in ancient salt beds 2,150 feet below the surface.
March 4, 2014 |
The Energy Department, dealing with twin setbacks in its long effort to deal with Cold War-era radioactive waste, said Tuesday it was stopping construction of a massive plant in South Carolina to handle surplus plutonium and proceeding with an investigation into a leak at a nuclear dump in New Mexico that exposed 13 workers to airborne plutonium. In releasing its fiscal 2015 budget, energy officials said they were stopping construction of the "mixed oxide fuel" plant at the Savannah River site in South Carolina.
October 5, 1992 |
How do you warn future generations that the contents of a vast underground nuclear waste repository will remain dangerously radioactive for the next 10,000 years? When Sandia National Laboratories asked 13 experts to wrestle with that question last fall, it was not just an academic exercise. The government has long pondered how to mark the site of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N. M.
June 8, 1998 |
This isolated potash mining town in the arid New Mexico range-lands is so hungry for radioactive garbage that it plans to welcome the arrival of the first toxic truckload with street celebrations and ribbon cuttings.
June 9, 1990 |
Twenty-six miles out in the Eddy County Badlands, among the rattlers, owls, and kangaroo rats, miners have excavated 800,000 tons of salt from a massive formation that has lain undisturbed since the shallow Permian Sea disappeared from the West 225 million years ago.