WIPP: Employees Can Enter Radiological Buffer Areas

WIPP News:

Work continues to recover areas of the WIPP underground facility and steadily move toward resuming normal operations.

Radiological control technicians and geophysical engineers enter the facility regularly to evaluate the different zones for radioactive contamination and structural integrity. Zones determined to be structurally sound and within release limits for radioactive contamination are reclassified as radiological buffer areas.

Employees can enter radiological buffer areas in the underground facility without respirators and will be able to start restoration activities, including cleaning, soot removal, and replacement of underground utilities, fire protection equipment, underground communications equipment and emergency evacuation equipment.

One of the key pieces of equipment that must be returned to service to increase the number of workers allowed in the underground facility is the waste hoist. Cleaning and soot removal activities on the waste hoist have been completed and workers are in the process of replacing an electrical transformer. Pending preventive maintenance and final inspection, the hoist should return to service in the near future.

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 at 5:30 p.m., Thursday in the Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno St. Live streaming of the meeting can be seen at http://new.livestream.com/rrv/.