OTERO COUNTY ― TerranearPMC, LLC (TPMC) was selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) to begin exploring the possibility of conducting a research project known as the deep borehole field test in Otero County, New Mexico.
This is one of four potential test sites nationally chosen to explore this project. The field test will involve drilling one borehole to a depth of about 16,400 feet for scientific testing and analysis on the type of rocks and the chemistry of any water encountered; the depths to these rocks and water; the temperature of these rocks; and other geologic data to see if nuclear waste disposal is feasible in this kind of geology.
The emphasis is on research, not waste disposal: The contracts specify that both DOE and the contractor are prohibited from storage or disposal of any wastes at the selected site, now and in the future. TPMC and its team performed extensive research field studies at the site and has confirmed its suitability for research and confirms that the project will have no impact on groundwater in the region.
TPMC has partnered with Greg Duggar of Y Bar Ranch on a proposed site for the field test in Otero County and over the next several months will work with the local community to reach a mutually beneficial agreement to allow the project to move forward. “Open and extensive public communication on the nature and purpose of the project is paramount to the project’s success and TPMC will develop a multi-faceted outreach program to inform the public on the economic and research benefits of the project,” Ken Fillman, CEO of TPMC said.
TPMC’s team is managed from their Los Alamos office and includes leading New Mexico academic and R&D partners, including New Mexico Tech, New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico, as well as a strong supporting team of geology, data management and drilling experts, as well as experts in community engagement.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for TPMC, the people of Otero County, and New Mexico’s institutes of higher learning and continues to position that state as a leader in research and innovation,” Fillman continued. “We look forward to continuing the discussions with the public and a full range of stakeholders about the site and the project.”
TPMC has more than 25 years of experience in environmental project performance, including broad experience performing work in New Mexico, working continuously at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1992.