December 18, 2002

Planned Characterization Capability At The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is the Department of Energy's underground repository for defense-generated Transuranic (TRU) waste. TRU waste consists of such items as clothing, gloves, and tools contaminated with small amounts of radioactive elements. TRU waste that can be safely handled without special equipment when contained is referred to as contact-handled TRU waste. As of December 2000, the Department was responsible for the safe disposal of an estimated 167,000 cubic meters of contact-handled TRU waste at 26 sites in 15 states nationwide.