Workers entered the underground facility to collect additional samples Aug. 15, in support of the Accident Investigation Board’s (AIB) ongoing investigation into the cause of the February radiological event at WIPP.
The AIB requested additional samples of the materials surrounding the waste drum that is the suspected source of the radiological release in Room 7 of Panel 7. The samples will be sent to offsite laboratories for analysis in an effort to further evaluate what types of material were released from the drum at the time of the event.
Another key component of the investigation is the acquisition of photos and video footage of the waste containers that are currently in Panel 7 of Room 7. A carbon fiber boom and camera system will enable workers to reach and document all of the waste containers, including the areas between the rows of stacked containers. The boom and trolley system is being built off-site and is expected to be completed and on site at WIPP by mid-September.
Twice monthly the Department of Energy’s Carlsbad Field Office and the City of Carlsbad host a Town Hall meeting to update the community and interested stakeholders on the WIPP Recovery progress. A replay of the Aug. 21 meeting can be viewed at http://new.livestream.com/rrv/.