U.S. waste site stirs cross-border concern


Disposal of radioactive waste has become a big issue here, even though the disposal in question is taking place 150 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border. The issue is the opening last March of the United States’ first permanent repository for transuranic radioactive waste—tools, clothing, rags, debris, and other disposable items contaminated with radioactive elements, mostly plutonium. The facility, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), a U.S. Department of Energy installation 26 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, is drawing protests from a new cross-border coalition of U.S. and Mexican environmental groups. They assert radioactive material eventually could leak from the underground site and contaminate the nearby Pecos River and, downstream, the Rio Grande, which flows along the border. Both the... [Log in to read more]

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