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WIPP Update: Underground Ventilation System Worked as Designed

on May 4, 2014 - 7:22am

The WIPP Underground Ventilation System ensures proper air flow is provided during mining and waste handling activities. It also is designed to automatically switch to Filtration Mode if radioactive contamination is detected in the underground. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

Since February, there has been considerable coverage about the WIPP Underground Ventilation System. On Feb. 14, the ventilation system worked as designed, protecting human health and the environment.

In normal exhaust mode, the ventilation system provides a continuous flow of fresh air to the underground tunnels and rooms that make up the disposal facility at WIPP. Air is supplied to the underground facility, located 2,150 feet below the surface, through three shafts and then pushed back out through a single shaft by exhaust fans located on the surface. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration, also located on the surface, is automatically engaged if the continuous air monitors detect radioactive particulates in the exhaust air stream.

The ventilation system also includes monitoring capability that allows the Central Monitoring Room to continuously check the operational status of all critical operating components. Workers are continuing preparations to replace the underground ventilation system’s HEPA filters later this month to ensure continued protection for employees, the public and the environment.

The WIPP Underground Ventilation System ensures proper air flow is provided during mining and waste handling activities. It is also designed to automatically switch to Filtration Mode if radioactive contamination is detected in the underground.

Community Meetings Scheduled

May 8 – The City of Carlsbad and DOE will co-host a weekly meeting featuring updates on WIPP recovery activities. The meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m., Thursday in Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno Street. Watch live streaming of the weekly meetings at http://new.livestream.com/rrv/.


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