- Salt at WIPP was deposited in thick beds about 250 million years ago during the evaporation of the Permian Sea, an ancient ocean.
- The facility’s disposal rooms are nearly a half mile, or 2,150 feet, below the surface.
- WIPP only accepts transuranic (TRU) waste. TRU waste is comprised of debris, residues, soil, and other items contaminated with radioactive elements — largely plutonium — that have atomic numbers greater than uranium.
- TRU waste at WIPP was generated by the nation’s nuclear defense program.
- Approximately 96 percent of the total volume of waste to be disposed at WIPP will be contact-handled TRU waste. The remaining 4 percent will be remote-handled TRU waste.
- The major regulators at WIPP are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department. A number of other agencies, committees, and panels monitor WIPP’s progress.
- EM’s Carlsbad Field Office leads the nation’s TRU waste disposal effort, coordinating TRU waste cleanup at generator sites around the country.
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