The Associated Press
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway and state Rep. David Gallegos are the first officials to visit the underground area of the federal government's nuclear waste repository since recovery efforts began earlier this year following a radiation leak.
Janway says there's still a lot of work to be done at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, but he's impressed with how far recovery teams have come since February. That's when a container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured and forced the plant's indefinite closure.
The U.S. Energy Department has said it could be years and cost a half-billion dollars to reopen the plant. The state also has levied penalties against the plant.
Janway detailed his visit to uncontaminated areas of WIPP's underground in an editorial published by the Carlsbad Current-Argus.