Wednesday, July 17, 2024

25 years of TRU waste operations at WIPP

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The Los Alamos National Laboratory sent its first shipment of waste to the nation’s only deep, underground geological repository for defense-generated transuranic (TRU) nuclear waste on March 26, 1999. This marked the official beginning of operations at the facility.

To commemorate this milestone, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a short video narrated by Mark Bollinger, the DOE-EM’s Carlsbad Field Office manager, showcasing the history of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Officials from the DOE, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, State of New Mexico Environment Department, as well as elected New Mexico state officials, regional and local elected officials, community leaders, and civic organizations attended a recognition ceremony at the WIPP site.

Mark Bollinger expressed gratitude to the workforce for their dedication and commitment to safety, emphasizing that their attention to detail has been crucial to WIPP’s success. William “Ike” White, DOE-EM senior advisor, highlighted the vital role WIPP plays in both disposing of the nation’s TRU waste and enhancing national security by reducing risks at over 20 DOE sites.

Since its opening, WIPP has safely transported TRU waste over 16.5 million miles, equivalent to about 34 round trips to the moon, resulting in the disposal of over 285,000 waste containers in the underground facility.

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