In the first year of an effort to accelerate shipments of transuranic (TRU) waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Los Alamos National Laboratory topped its own record with 59 more shipments than planned and it also became one of the largest shippers of this type of nuclear waste in the country.
“Our goal this fiscal year was to send 184 shipments to WIPP,” said Lee Bishop, TRU waste manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Site Office, “and we finished the fiscal year in September with 230 shipments, surpassing Los Alamos’ all-time record by nearly 60 shipments.”
Los Alamos’ previous record was 171 shipments, set last year.
In an agreement between the New Mexico Environment Department and the Department of Energy, Los Alamos has committed to removing 3,706 cubic meters of TRU waste stored above ground by June 30, 2014.
The laboratory removed 916 cubic meters of waste from its stored inventory this year, more than its goal of 800 cubic meters. It plans to more than double that effort during fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, with a goal of shipping 1,800 cubic meters by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2013. The final 1,106 cubic meters will be shipped by June 30, 2014.