There have been several developments with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant this week. WIPP announced that it has conducted an initial short-duration test of its ventilation fan known as the 700-C. The process was handled carefully and safely to ensure the safety of employees. This is the first step forward toward providing additional airflow to the underground waste repository. WIPP is now analyzing the data and will post results when they are complete. The eventual full restart of the fan will improve underground working conditions and support the mission of disposing of transuranic waste in the underground repository.
Additionally, the NNSA is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate alternatives for the safe disposition of what’s called surplus plutonium. Diluting this waste and disposing it at WIPP is one of the proposals being considered. Recently, the National Academies of Science completed an evaluation of this plan and concluded that the plan is technically viable. Last week, several members of our community submitted letters in support of this consideration. We encourage the Department of Energy to carefully evaluate these recommendations as the agency moves forward.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway