Homeland Defense and Emergency Preparedness at the WIPP


Dr. I. Triay


The Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, has listed the mission of homeland defense as one of the top priorities of the Department of Energy (DOE). The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has long maintained a focus on the security, safeguards and emergency preparedness of transuranic (TRU) waste management, and thus has taken an active role in supporting the new priorities of homeland security. DOE has designed the WIPP facility for safe, environmentally sound and permanent disposal of TRU waste in an ancient salt bed, 650 m underground. WIPP technical aspects include the design, construction, testing, and performance of the mined repository and associated facilities. Operational aspects include all activities related to characterizing, packaging, transporting, receiving, handling, and emplacing TRU waste. WIPP has made significant contributions to the management and disposition of nuclear materials. Since the repository opened in 1999, over 9,000 m3 of TRU waste has been removed from former weapons production sites, and safely transported and disposed of at WIPP. The following sections describe the systems and processes in support of the security and safeguard of TRU waste transportation and disposal operations.


This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Plenary Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.

Index of Midyear Meeting Abstracts