Radioactive Waste Could Travel Through Area

JAL, N.M. (AP) - Jal could see low-level radioactive waste travel through the community next year on the way to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant disposal site near Carlsbad.

The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to request shipments be routed through Jal after highway improvements are finished this summer.

The chief scientist for the DOE's Carlsbad field office, Roger Nelson, says going through Jal in eastern New Mexico would save about 100 miles. Waste had traveled through Texas on Interstate 20 to Pecos, then along U.S. 285 into New Mexico.

A culvert collapse last year changed the route to enter New Mexico near Eunice and take other highways to the disposal site.

The Energy Department kept using that route after news of a possible sinkhole forming near U.S. 285 in Carlsbad.