Presentation on theme: "U.S. DOE Preparation for Shipping of Transuranic Radioactive Waste Cross Country – The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) O.W. “Lynn” Eaton, Manager External."— Presentation transcript:
U.S. DOE Preparation for Shipping of Transuranic Radioactive Waste Cross Country – The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) O.W. “Lynn” Eaton, Manager External Emergency Management URS – Washington Division Carlsbad, New Mexico National Radiological Emergency Preparedness Conference Chicago, Illinois March 30, 2010
A national solution WIPP is the world's first repository for the permanent disposal of defense-generated transuranic (TRU) radioactive waste left from research and production of nuclear weapons.
What is TRU waste? Clothing, tools, rags, debris, residues and other items contaminated with man-made radioactive elements that are heavier than uranium. Risks to the public –Inhalation –Ingestion
Types of TRU waste Contact-handled (CH) –Primarily emits alpha radiation and can be handled under controlled conditions without any shielding beyond the container itself –About 96 percent of waste to be disposed at WIPP –Disposed in columns on the disposal room floor –Disposal began in March 1999 Remote-handled (RH) –Emits more penetrating radiation than CH-TRU waste and is transported and handled in certified casks that provide additional shielding –About four percent of waste to be disposed at WIPP –Disposed in pre-drilled boreholes in the walls of the disposal room and sealed with a concrete shield plug –Disposal began in January 2007
The Key to Emergency Preparedness Success Cooperation and Coordination With State and Tribal Governments Western Governors Association Southern States Energy Board Midwest and Northeastern Offices of the Council of State Governments 10 tribal Governments Separate Agreements with New Mexico
The WIPP Repository Located in sparsely populated desert 2,150 feet below ground Eight disposal panels Four shafts
WIPP Transportation System “…The [WIPP transportation] system is safer than that employed for any other hazardous material in the U.S….” National Academy of Sciences, WIPP Panel
9 From Here to There
Safest shipping containers on the road Nuclear Regulatory Commission certified –TRUPACT-II –HalfPACT –RH-72B –CNS10-160B Proven leak tight after rigorous testing –30-foot drop –Puncture bar test –30 minutes in 1,475-degree jet fuel fire
Shipments tracked by satellite Fully automated, nation-wide tracking to within 500 feet Five-minute updates States and tribes have access to password-protected Web site Drivers in constant communication with WIPP’s Central Monitoring Room
12 Provided to the States and Tribes Technical Assistance Funding for Equipment Training In-Kind Services Briefings to State and Local Governments Public Outreach Public Law requires DOE to consult with state and tribal governments and if found to be appropriate and necessary, provide:
Emergency responders trained along pre-approved routes Since 1988, more than 30,000 emergency responders have been trained –36 Full Scale Exercises –State, tribe and hospital personnel training –Outreach to governments and organizations
Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training (MERRTT) Medical Examiner NIMS and ICS Courses Hospital Preparedness Course Based on FEMA G-346
8,300+ shipments received More than 65,000 cubic meters of waste disposed More than 128,000 waste containers emplaced underground Fifteen sites around the nation cleaned up of legacy transuranic waste More than 9.8 million loaded miles safely driven en route to WIPP What Else Have We Accomplished?