Federal regulators say they have temporarily halted shipments of low-level radioactive waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to a Texas storage facility while investigators check to see if a chemical reaction in similar containers from the lab caused a radiation leak that shut down the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.
The lab had been sending the containers, which hold lab coats, lab equipment and other materials used in nuclear research, to Waste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas, for temporary storage following the Feb. 14 closing of WIPP. The massive underground plant has remained closed while investigators try to determine what caused a leak, the first in the site’s 15-year history, in a salt bed panel where the containers were stored.
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