Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) personnel will complete the installation of the brattice cloth and salt barrier tthis week on a 570-foot section of floor in the WIPP underground.
The installation process includes rolling the brattice cloth out to cover the entire surface area of the floor and securing it to the ribs (walls) and in the center of the drift (access tunnel). Once the cloth is in place, it is covered with six to eight inches of mined salt to create a walking/driving surface.
This ensures radiological contamination is trapped under the brattice cloth and salt barrier. A section of floor along E-140 between the intersections of S-1900 and S-2520 (see map area marked in green) has been completed so far.
Employees installing the brattice cloth are required to wear personnel protective equipment (PPE), including protective suits and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) to protect against any radiological contamination that may become re-suspended during the mitigation process.
However, following the installation of the brattice/salt barrier, radiological control staff will re-evaluate surface and airborne contamination levels and anticipate down-posting the area to a radiological controlled area, where employees will no longer be required to work in PPE.
Crews will continue installation of the brattice/salt barrier all the way to the entrance of Panel 7.
Next WIPP Town Hall Meeting Scheduled September 3
DOE and the City of Carlsbad will co-host the next Town Hall meeting featuring updates on WIPP recovery activities at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3 at the City of Carlsbad Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno Street.