IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – EM crews safely and compliantly sent the 500th shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste from the DOE Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) since the disposal facility reopened and resumed receiving waste in April 2017.
“The shipments to WIPP are helping us fulfill a very important commitment to the state of Idaho," said Jack Zimmerman, deputy manager for DOE’s Idaho Operations Office. "I am very pleased that we’re able to continue to ship waste to WIPP for disposal at an efficient pace.”
Workers with EM’s INL Site contractor Fluor Idaho recently moved the milestone shipment out the gates of the Radioactive Waste Management Complex Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) en route to WIPP.
“There are so many intricate steps that are required for each shipment to WIPP and our crews perform flawlessly for each and every one of them,” Fluor Idaho Waste Management Manager Steve Poling said. “We’re happy to achieve milestones such as this one and just look forward to the next ones.”
Since its reopening, WIPP has received more than 651 shipments for permanent disposal from sites across the DOE complex.
The EM program at the INL Site sends about six to eight shipments of contact-handled TRU waste to WIPP every week. About 96 percent of the waste to be disposed at WIPP is contact handled.
More than 6,360 of the 12,580 shipments WIPP has received from its opening in 1999 through early September 2019 have come from the INL Site.
The AMWTP treatment facility’s supercompactor compresses 55-gallon waste drums to five-inch-thick pucks, saving more than 6,000 truck shipments that would have been required to send the waste to WIPP. Furthermore, supercompaction has led to more efficient and effective use of available disposal space at WIPP.