The only underground nuclear waste dump in the United States is suffering from shortfalls in planning and staffing that could lead to disruptions at the facility, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The report published last month indicated that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, could become full if the amount of waste shipped to the facility keeps expanding or if a new way of measuring waste is rejected in a pending court challenge, according to the Associated Press. The plant, known as the WIPP, was built in the 1980s for the disposal of defense-related nuclear waste, including clothing, tools, rags, debris, soil and other items contaminated with radioactive elements, according to a fact sheet from the facility. The WIPP’s disposal rooms were carved out of ancient salt beds 2,150 feet below ground.
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