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Department of Energy Releases WIPP Recovery Plan

September 30, 2014 - 3:00pm

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The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery Plan outlines the necessary steps to resume operations at the transuranic waste disposal site outside of Carlsbad, N.M.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery Plan outlines the necessary steps to resume operations at the transuranic waste disposal site outside of Carlsbad, N.M.

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) released the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Recovery Plan, outlining the necessary steps to resume operations at the transuranic waste disposal site outside of Carlsbad, N.M. WIPP operations were suspended following an underground truck fire and a radiological release earlier this year.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Mark Whitney, Acting Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Environmental Management. “Some of the top nuclear and recovery experts from DOE and the nuclear industry helped develop this plan and I’m confident we will be able to safely and compliantly resume operations in the first quarter of 2016.”

Key elements of the recovery plan include strengthening safety programs, regulatory compliance, decontamination of the underground, increasing ventilation, mine stability and underground habitability, and additional workforce retraining. The Department will continue to work closely with site regulators, including the New Mexico Environment Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through implementation of the plan.

Findings and recommendations from the investigations of both the truck fire and the radiological release will be incorporated into WIPP actions moving forward. Results from additional on-going investigations into the cause of the radiological release will also be incorporated once those investigations are complete.

The full WIPP Recovery Plan can be found HERE. For additional information about WIPP recovery efforts, please visit wipp.energy.gov.

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