The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center (CEMRC) has posted its final summary report regarding the Feb. 14 radiological event that occurred at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
CEMRC is a division of the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University that provides independent monitoring of the WIPP facility.
Following the radiological release that occurred at WIPP, CEMRC increased its monitoring activities – both at the WIPP site and in the surrounding area. This included accelerated analyses of WIPP exhaust and ambient air samples, as well as environmental samples.
CEMRC data collected following the radiological event, which is available on the CEMRC website, was compared to sampling data taken prior to the February event to assess any radiological and/or ecological impacts. The report concludes that, based on analyses conducted by CEMRC, measured radiological releases were low and localized and no negative radiation related health effects among workers or the public should be expected. Read the full report here.
WIPP annual emergency response exercise
As part of its Corrective Action Plan in response to the Accident Investigation Board reports for the February fire and radiological events, the WIPP Emergency Response Organization (ERO) has undergone extensive changes over the past nine months. WIPP conducted its annual full scale emergency response exercise Dec. 10 to demonstrate and evaluate the ERO’s ability to recognize, respond to, contain, and mitigate an operational emergency at the site. The WIPP Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center joined multiple local agencies (e.g. State of New Mexico, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Carlsbad Fire Department, Carlsbad Medical Center, and both Eddy and Lea Counties) for the exercise.
Annual exercises are evaluated to help identify areas of strength and areas where there are opportunities for improvement.