LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – The EM and National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Los Alamos field offices completed their first comingled shipment of transuranic waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) on Jan. 14.
“The successful first comingled shipment of EM and NNSA transuranic waste to WIPP demonstrates our shared commitment to ship LANL transuranic waste offsite in a safe and expeditious manner, thereby reducing risk onsite,” EM Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) Manager Kirk Lachman said. “Comingling NNSA and EM waste allows for more efficient shipments to WIPP. Reducing LANL’s above-ground waste inventory is an important issue to our local communities and is one of our mission priorities.”
Lachman said EM-LA looks forward to many more comingled shipments going forward.
“I want to thank the hardworking team of NNSA Los Alamos Field Office (NA-LA), EM-LA, and WIPP employees that made this possible,” he added.
The comingled shipment was loaded at LANL’s Radioassay and Nondestructive Testing (RANT) facility by workers with EM-LA and its cleanup contractor Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos (N3B), and NA-LA and its contractor Triad. Operated by NA-LA and Triad, the RANT facility provides space for crews to load drums, boxes, and 10-drum overpacks containing transuranic waste into shipping containers.
By comingling waste shipments, EM and NNSA can ship legacy and new-generation radioactive waste together, maximizing resources while safely transporting waste for offsite disposal.
Close coordination between NA-LA and EM-LA, Triad, and N3B made the first comingled shipment possible. It follows the first successful EM transuranic waste shipment from the RANT facility last October and represents a significant milestone in a multi-pronged effort to streamline transuranic waste shipments to WIPP.
“Today’s shipment is another example of the teamwork at LANL between the NNSA and EM federal and contractor partners working on environmental cleanup and national security missions,” NA-LA Manager Mike Weis said. “The use of RANT for combined shipments means loading schedules won’t be impacted by weather. Additionally, the indoor facility allows NNSA and EM to balance each agency’s shipment needs, making the shipment process more efficient.”
The Jan. 14 comingled shipment consisted of one Transuranic Package Transporter Model 3 container with a total of 28 EM and NNSA drums and containers inside.