U.S. Sen. Tom Udall responded to the decision by the Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractor, NWP, to temporarily stage TRU waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) at WCS in Andrews, Texas, while recovery efforts continue at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, N.M. Udall has worked throughout his career for safe cleanup at LANL, and since joining the Senate Appropriations Committee has led the delegation in securing increased funds to ensure nuclear waste is removed from the lab by June 30, 2014. He issued the following statement:
"Removing waste from the mesa in Los Alamos before fire season is critical to ensure safety in the greater Los Alamos community. The state's June 2014 deadline was firm and non-negotiable, as I made clear in repeated conversations with Energy Secretary Moniz since the Feb. 14 accident at WIPP. I'm pleased we have a temporary solution that will ensure there will not be any significant disruption in cleanup efforts. By law, WIPP is the only permanent repository for TRU waste from Los Alamos and other nuclear weapons facilities, and I look forward to continued progress in the recovery efforts. In the meantime, I will be pressing DOE for details about its transportation plan, including the impact on roads, traffic and security through Southeast New Mexico. DOE needs to ensure the resources are in place for safe transportation and security."