New Mexico, U.S. Department of Energy announce nuclear waste settlement

N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez
N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez | Courtesy of the Governor's Office of N.M.

A settlement agreement was reached between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the state of New Mexico; both Gov. Susana Martinez and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz released the terms of the $73 million settlement.

This settlement is to address incidents that that occurred at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico, that occurred in Feb. 2014, which involved a truck fire and resulted in airborne radiation in the area. Funding from this settlement will be used to improve infrastructure in and around the WIPP facility and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). 

"This agreement underscores the importance of WIPP and LANL as critical assets to our nation’s security, our state’s economy and the communities in which they operate,” Martinez said. “The funds we will receive through the agreement will be used to continue ensuring the safety and success of these important facilities, the people who work there, and their local communities. I commend the Department of Energy for taking responsibility, and we look forward to continuing to work with the federal government to ensure the safety and success of LANL and WIPP.”

Mutually beneficial project support from the DOE are taking the place of fines that the incident would have incurred. 

“I am pleased that we were able to find a solution that will allow the department to focus on resuming operations at WIPP and improving our waste management operations, while providing benefit to the environment and to local communities in New Mexico,” Moniz said.

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State of New Mexico

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