WIPP has been disposing of legacy TRU waste since 1999, cleaning up 22 generator sites nationwide. Courtesy/WIPP
Cleaning and soot removal activities on the waste hoist and associated components have been completed at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
One additional repair is necessary before the hoist can be powered, inspected and returned to service.
Employees are currently working to replace the electrical transformer necessary to operate the hoist. Crews began removal operations for the old transformer this week and will continue to work through the weekend to complete installation of the new unit.
Once the new transformer is installed and power has been restored to the hoist, the electrical system will be inspected and system checks will be performed. After all inspections are successfully completed, the hoist will be returned to service and workers can conduct a shaft inspection to ensure it is safe for transporting personnel and equipment into the underground facility. Assuming no other maintenance is required, the waste hoist could be returned to service by the end of this month.
Availability of the waste hoist will allow WIPP to significantly increase the overall number of employees that can be in the underground facility at one time. The additional staff permitted in the mine should result in a corresponding increase in the level of effort for underground facility recovery activities.
Community meeting scheduled
The City of Carlsbad and DOE will co-host its Town Hall meeting featuring updates on WIPP recovery activities. The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in the Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno St. Live streaming of the meeting can be seen at http://new.livestream.com/rrv/.