WIPP Mine Rescue Team Train In Smoky Environment

WIPP mine rescue team members practice emergency response activities in a simulated smoke-filled environment. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

WIPP mine rescue teams recently participated in an onsite rescue drill that tested their ability to perform emergency operations in a smoke filled environment.

Donning respiratory masks and oxygen tanks, team members entered a simulated smoke filled room and practiced emergency response procedures and actions that prepare them should a fire occur in the WIPP underground.

In a facility like WIPP, rescue teams must be prepared to handle underground fires. During the Feb. 5, 2014 salt truck fire, mine rescue team members were the first to enter the WIPP underground.
There are two mine rescue teams on the WIPP site and team members serve on a voluntary basis, in addition to their regular jobs. The teams are trained and prepared to perform emergency response in the WIPP underground and through local agreements, are also available to assist with response activities at local potash mines in the region.

WIPP teams hone their skills through national competitions with mine rescue teams from across the mining industry. In 2014 the WIPP Red Mine Rescue team competed against 41 teams from across the country to win the 2014 Metal Non-Metal National Mine Rescue Competition.

Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board to hold WIPP Public Hearing

Wednesday, April 29, the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board will hold a public hearing on safety during the WIPP recovery and resumption of operations. The meeting will consist of four separate sessions, beginning at noon and will be held at the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts and Exhibition Center, 4012 National Parks Highway in Carlsbad.

Additional details on the meeting can be found at http://www.dnfsb.gov/.

DOE to host Los Alamos Town Hall Meeting today, April 23:

The Department of Energy will host a Town Hall meeting to discuss the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) findings from the Feb. 14, 2014, drum breach at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Members of the AIB and the Technical Assessment Team (TAT) will be on-hand to present the findings and answer questions.

The meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. today at Fuller Lodge, 2123 Central Ave. The Los Alamos meeting also will be audio-streamed live on the KRSN website at http://www.krsnam1490.com. Questions from listeners can be emailed to toni.chiri@nnsa.doe.gov.

This meeting is the second of two public meetings following the AIB’s release of its Phase II Report on the WIPP event. The report is available at http://energy.gov/em/waste-isolation-pilot-plant-wipp-recovery.

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