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WIPP officially reopened on January 9 of this year, and on April 8 a transuranic (TRU) waste shipment from Idaho arrived.

On May 10 and 11, Marvin Fielding (CAB Vice Chair) and I attended the Environmental Management (EM) Site Specific Advisory Board (SSAB) Spring Chairs Meeting in Paducah, Kentucky. Several of the presentations at that meeting directly pertain to Idaho and the environmental cleanup of the INL.

Steve Trischman, Director of the Office of Budget and Planning, delivered a detailed presentation on the DOE budget process. It appears the FY 2017 House proposed budget for Idaho is just over $390 million; this is an $11.8 million reduction from the FY 2016 enacted budget.

WIPP officially reopened on January 9 of this year, and on April 8 a transuranic (TRU) waste shipment from Idaho arrived. WIPP then received a TRU waste shipment from the Savannah River Site on April 13 and another from Waste Control Specialists on April 28. 

Projected shipments to WIPP through the end of January 2018: 

Idaho – 61
Oak Ridge – 24
Los Alamos – 24
Waste Control Specialists – 11
Savannah River – 8

TOTAL Shipments – 128

INL has over 900 TRU waste shipments ready to go to WIPP. At the current rate of shipping, it will take 14.75 years to complete this milestone. The Idaho CAB has requested that INL be given shipping priority, but no long-term shipping schedule has been developed.

As a result of the WIPP shutdown, INL will miss two important Settlement Agreement milestones related to the removal of this TRU waste from the state.

During next week’s meeting, the Idaho CAB will discuss two recommendations drafted during the Spring SSAB Chairs meeting. They pertain to: 1) Cleanup performance road map and communication strategy, and 2) WIPP above-ground storage. The implementation of latter could help alleviate Idaho’s problem of shipping TRU waste out of the state in a timely manner.

As always, we hope to see you there. The meeting will be next Thursday, June 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Idaho Falls.