LANL sets waste shipping record for fourth consecutive year
For the fourth consecutive year, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Transuranic (TRU) Waste Program sent a record number of shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, N.M. for permanent storage.
The Laboratory’s 172nd shipment of TRU waste this year left Los Alamos bound for WIPP on August 2. With two months left in the fiscal year, the Laboratory has already exceeded last year’s record of 171 shipments.
“Our goal this fiscal year is 184 shipments, and we are on track to surpass that by a substantial margin,” said Lee Bishop, TRU waste manager at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos Site Office. “We expect to send in the neighborhood of 200 shipments to WIPP this year.”
The Laboratory has transported more than 1,000 shipments to WIPP since that facility opened in 1999.
Additional emphasis was placed on Area G shipments after last year’s Las Conchas Fire. Although the fire did not pose an immediate threat to the waste and protective measures were in place, the State of New Mexico, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Laboratory made removing the waste stored above ground at Area G one of its top environmental priorities.
In an agreement between the New Mexico Environment Department and DOE, the Laboratory plans to ship more than 800 cubic meters of waste to WIPP this year, 1,800 cubic meters next year, and the remaining 1,106 cubic meters by June 30, 2014.