The supplemental ventilation system installed in the air intake drift
WIPP's new hybrid (diesel/electric) bolter in the underground mine
A drill being run at WIPP's new Emergency Operations Center
Emergency response vehicles stationed in the WIPP underground

WIPP Update

June 12, 2017

New President, Project Manager Takes Helm for NWP

Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (NWP), the AECOM-led
management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the Waste Isolation Pilot
Plant (WIPP), has a new president and project manager this week. Bruce Covert has replaced Phil Breidenbach who, for the past two years, has led NWP efforts to safely recover the facility and resume WIPP transuranic waste emplacement operations. 

 “I want to thank Phil for his hard work and leadership. He has been a true asset to WIPP and an outstanding partner to the DOE Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO),” said CBFO Manager Todd Shrader.

Covert has been on site at WIPP for several weeks to prepare for the management change. Shrader says he expects a smooth transition. “We’re pleased to welcome Bruce to the WIPP team and look forward to working with him as we continue WIPP’s important mission.”

Covert brings more than 30 years of experience with AECOM legacy companies in the management and operation of nuclear and high hazard facilities for the DOE and the U.K.’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. He has broad expertise in nuclear facility operations, from design and construction to start-up, operations and decommissioning. Most recently, Covert served as AECOM group vice president and project director for waste management projects for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, Dounreay, U.K. Prior to that, he was the project director for Environmental, Safety, Health and Quality for Washington Closure Hanford.

“I count myself fortunate to have been part of the team that
reopened WIPP and saw transuranic waste shipments
resume,” said Breidenbach. “We have an amazing group of employees who care about the WIPP mission and the Carlsbad and Hobbs communities. The future of WIPP is in good hands, and I look forward to its continued success in the future.” Breidenbach will return to AECOM to support other projects in the DOE and nuclear market.

WIPP resumed waste emplacement operations in January 2017 and received its first shipment of transuranic waste from Idaho National Laboratory on April 8, 2017, following a 2014 underground vehicle fire and radiological release that resulted in suspended operations.

“Phil leaves some big shoes to fill,” said Covert. “His steady hand and tenacity were integral to WIPP’s recovery.  It was good to spend a few weeks with Phil as we turn our eyes to the resumption of mining later this year.”

Bruce Covert
Phil Breidenbach


Subscribe Now to Get Your WIPP News
The Carlsbad Field Office recently added a new subscription service, Gov Delivery, that makes it easier than ever for stakeholders to receive their WIPP news. Simply click here and indicate how (email or text) you want to receive your WIPP news. You will also be asked to provide an email address or cell phone number depending on the subscription type you select. Please select WIPP Update from the list of subscriptions provided and click on submit. Stakeholders can also subscribe to other information products that are offered by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management. Also be sure to like and share us on Facebook at WIPP – Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. You can also find us on Twitter @WIPPNews.


Reports and Plans

CBFO CAP Plan WIPP DORR Final Report

CBFO CAP Plan WIPP CORR Final Report

CBFO CAP Plan MSHA Technical Support Evaluation

CBFO CAP Plan Supplemental Analysis WIPP Operations December 2016

CBFO CAP Plan Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC), Rev. 8

CBFO CAP Plan Documented Safety Analysis, Rev. 5b Chapters 0-18

CBFO CAP Plan Technical Safety Requirements

CBFO CAP Plan Safety Evaluation Report for Documented Safety Analysis, Rev. 5b

CBFO CAP Plan CBFO Corrective Action Plan for the Fire and Radiological Events, Rev. 1

NWP CAP Plan NWP Corrective Action Addendum for Radiological Release Event

AIB Phase II Report on the Feb. 14 Radiological Event

AIB Phase II Investigation Summary Slides

AIB Investigation Report on the Feb. 5 Fire

AIB Investigation Summary Slides

AIB Phase I Report on the Feb. 14 Radiological Event

AIB Phase I Investigation Summary Slides

Office of Environmental Management Corrective Action Plan for Fire Event

Office of Environmental Management Corrective Action Plan for the Radiological Event

Office of Enterprise Assessments Operational Analysis of Safety Trends at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, May 2014 - May 2015

NWP Corrective Action Plan for the Fire and Radiological Events

Technical Assessment Team Report

Supporting Documents

Supporting documents for the AIB and TAT reports


Hit Counter.

Hit Counter HP.