ALBUQUERQUE — A U.S. Department of Energy official says new procedures in place would have detected a drum filled with radioactive materials that ruptured earlier this month at Idaho’s Radioactive Waste Management Complex

The Albuquerque Journal reports Todd Shrader, manager of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s Department of Energy field office in Carlsbad, said last week that detection would have happened before the drum left the facility for emplacement at the deep geologic repository in southeast New Mexico.

He says the drum that ruptured due to an exothermic event “not that dissimilar from the one we had here” was in the very beginning stages of characterization.

The U.S. Department of Energy says the 55-gallon barrel ruptured earlier this month at the 890-square-mile site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory, one of the nation’s top federal nuclear research labs.

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