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Nebraska Hosts Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Road Show

(LINCOLN, NEB.)  —  In preparation for the resumption of shipments of transuranic (TRU) waste from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) near Chicago the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), near Carlsbad, New Mexico, DOE is supporting a “road show” sponsored by state authorities along the route.

DOE suspended TRU waste shipments to WIPP in February 2014 when two incidents caused the temporary closure of the underground repository. WIPP officially reopened in January 2017 and shipments from TRU waste generator sites across the DOE complex resumed in April 2017. Shipments from ANL are expected to resume this fall.

Since WIPP began operating in 1999, DOE’s transportation program has maintained an excellent safety record, attributable in large part to the strict driver qualifications; rigorous inspection requirements for trucks, trailers, and packages; use of Type B containers certified by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); and the close coordination and planning with states and tribes that go into preparing for shipments.

The WIPP road show will be conducted the week of Aug. 19 with stops in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. The road show stops are free and open to the public and are intended to provide local elected officials, and first responders with an opportunity to get an up-close look at the truck, trailer and HalfPACT shipping packages and to learn about the rigorous WIPP transportation protocols designed to ensure the safe transport of TRU waste. DOE representatives, state and local emergency response personnel, inspectors from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and the truck drivers will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about WIPP and the transportation system.

When/Where:

Aug 22, 2018 — 9 a.m., Waverly Weigh Station on Westbound Interstate 80, Mile marker 415, WB I-80

Aug 22, 2018 — 3 p.m., Nebraska State Patrol Training Center, 3600 N. Academy Road, Grand Island

Aug 23, 2018 — 9 a.m., North Platte Weigh Station on Westbound Interstate 80, Mile marker 181, WB 1-80

Aug 23, 2018 — 3 p.m., Department of Transportation District Maintenance Yard, West 15th and Hilltop Drive, Kimball

WIPP is the nation’s first deep-geologic repository for safely isolating TRU waste that is the byproduct of nuclear weapons research and production. Disposing of TRU waste underground at WIPP protects people and the environment. Since 1999, DOE has safely transported more than 12,000 shipments of TRU waste to the facility, totaling more than 14 million loaded miles.

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