Deadlines given for New Mexico nuclear dump site

Deadlines given for New Mexico nuclear dump site

State officials in New Mexico are taking a stand when it comes to handling nuclear waste in the state that has been making recent headlines.

The New Mexico Environment Department is giving the federal government a deadline for dealing with radioactive waste that's sitting above ground at a nuclear dump.

Dozens of drums and other special containers of waste are being stored in a parking lot at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad and inside the facility's waste handling building.

The waste is usually taken to its final resting place deep in underground salt beds. But, the repository has been closed since early February after back-to-back accidents, including a radiation release that exposed at least 13 workers, which has been making headlines.

In an administrative order that was just made public, deadlines and other requirements for the dump were outlined. State officials say this order helps them keep a closer watch on what is happening at that site in New Mexico.