The U.S. Energy Department will pay New Mexico $73 million in road and other infrastructure projects for violations by an underground nuclear waste dump and nuclear research lab that led to a radiation leak last year, officials said on Thursday. The deal struck between the department and New Mexico forgoes fines and instead applies funds to upgrades to federal nuclear facilities and surrounding communities in the state, according to settlement documents. Projects include construction of a $5 million emergency operations center in Carlsbad, near where the nuclear waste dump leaked radiation in February 2014. The leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, exposed 22 workers to radiation in amounts not expected to threaten their health, and indefinitely suspended key operations at the site, the Energy Department’s only permanent underground disposal facility for certain types of radiological waste from U.S. nuclear labs. Read More..