WIPP Crucial To EM’s Los Alamos Legacy Waste Removal Mission

unnamed (30).jpgA crew prepares a waste shipment at Los Alamos National Laboratory for transport to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Photo Courtesy EM-LA


DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) transported the first defense-generated transuranic (TRU) waste shipment received at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 1999. Today EM’s Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) works closely with WIPP to achieve its central goal of removing legacy waste from the lab site.

“Our objective at LANL is to reduce risk to the public, workers, and the environment,” EM-LA Manager Doug Hintze said. “Our strong relationship with our partners at WIPP helps us to execute our mission safely and efficiently. We congratulate our colleagues and neighbors in southern New Mexico on their historic anniversary and look forward to continue collaborating with them.”

EM-LA waste shipments to WIPP from Technical Area 54’s (TA-54) Area G at LANL resumed in October last year following WIPP’s reopening in January 2017. TA-54 is LANL’s waste management area. Area G is a site within TA-54 where LANL’s TRU and low-level waste is stored, characterized, remediated, and shipped offsite.

On April 4, EM-LA and its cleanup contractor, Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, completed its first 2019 shipment of TRU waste to WIPP.

-Contributor: Steven Horak