CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department says a New York-based company is building several massive fans to be used in a new multimillion-dollar ventilation system for the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository.
Officials say the six fans being made by the Encorus Group will significantly increase the amount of air in the underground portion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico.
Each fan will stand 20 feet tall and weigh 44,000 pounds.
Construction of the ventilation system is expected to wrap up in early 2021.
The ventilation overhaul was prompted by a radiation release in 2014 that contaminated portions of the repository and forced its closure for nearly three years. The release resulted from an inappropriately packed drum of waste that came from Los Alamos National Laboratory.