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New communication system installed at nuclear waste dump
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant recovery teams obtain samples from the previously identified damaged drum and nearby magnesium oxide piles in this May 30, 2014 file photo.

New communication system installed at nuclear waste dump

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Workers at the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump in southern New Mexico will be able to signal officials aboveground in the event of an emergency thanks to a new wireless communication system.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the repository’s manager announced the installation of the system Thursday. It includes audible and flashing alarms and allows for two-way voice and text communication.

The system also provides for real-time tracking of all personnel entering the underground facility.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has adopted a host of changes aimed at improving safety in the wake of a radiation release in February 2014 that forced the closure of the repository.

The release was caused by a container of waste that had been inappropriately packed and shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In related news, Feds seek borehole test for potential hot nuclear waste burial.

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