IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says workers have successfully removed and packaged about 10,000 cubic yards of exhumed hazardous and radioactive waste stored for decades at the department's 890-square-mile site in eastern Idaho.

The department in a statement Thursday says the waste generated from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production plant near Denver, Colorado, was buried in Idaho in the 1950s and 1960s. Removing the waste from the site that also contains the Idaho National Laboratory is part of a deal the department made with Idaho in 2008.

The department says the recent work satisfies a provision of that agreement and helps protect the underlying Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, which provides water to much of the region. Officials say there's more buried waste but the cleanup effort is about two years ahead of schedule.

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