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1996 News Releases

DOE to Hold Public Hearings Next Week in Albuquerque on WIPP SEIS - 12/31/96

DOE to Hold Public Hearings Next Week in Santa Fe on WIPP SEIS - 12/31/96

DOE Announces North Augusta Public Hearing for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

DOE Announces Denver Area Public Hearing for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

DOE Announces Richland Public Hearing for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

DOE Announces Santa Fe Public Hearings for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

DOE Announces Boise Public Hearing for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

DOE Announces Carlsbad Public Hearing for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

DOE Announces Albuquerque Public Hearings for WIPP SEIS 12/17/96

DOE Announces Oak Ridge Public Hearing for WIPP SEIS - 12/17/96

Energy Department Takes Further Steps to Open New Mexico Nuclear Waste Repository - 11/20/96

DOE Statement Concerning the National Research Council's WIPP Report - 10/23/96

DOE Views National Research Council Report As Positive, Supportive of WIPP Project -10/23/96

WIPP Mine Rescue Team Dedicates Trophy in Memory of State Mine Inspector - 10/23/96

WIPP Pumps $13 Million into New Mexico Businesses in FY 1996 (Santa Fe) - 10/22/96

WIPP Pumps $13 Million into New Mexico Businesses in FY 1996 (Roswell) - 10/22/96

WIPP Pumps $13 Million into New Mexico Businesses in FY 1996; Las Cruces Claims - 10/22/96

WIPP Pumps $13 Million into New Mexico Businesses in FY 1996 (Hobbs) - 10/22/96

WIPP Pumps $13 Million into New Mexico Businesses in FY 1996; Carlsbad Claims - 10/22/96

WIPP Pumps $13 Million into New Mexico Businesses in FY 1996; Albuquerque Claims - 10/22/96

WIPP Earns New Mexico Mine Inspector's "Mine Operator of Year" Award - 10/04/96

Carlsbad Area Office, Westinghouse Win National DOE Quality Awards - 10/09/96

DOE Awards Contract For Developing Prototype of HALFPACK Transportation Package - 10/01/96

Department of Energy Assures Stability of Underground Facility at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - 09/27/96

President Signs Opening of the WIPP, Save Taxpayers Money Bill to Speed - 09/23/96

House, Senate Amendments Eliminate Redundant Regulations, Speed Opening of WIPP - 09/12/96

Westinghouse Integrates Carlsbad Facility Into Government Technical Services Division - 09/03/96

WIPP Mine Rescue Team Takes High Honors at National Competition - 08/29/96

Westinghouse Names New Controller at WIPP - 08/22/96

DOE's Carlsbad Area Office Stresses Importance of Public Involvement - 08/14/96

New Building To House National Transuranic Waste, WIPP Offices - 08/13/96

Westinghouse Names New Human Resources Manager at WIPP - 08/08/96

Innovative Use of Video Equipment Enhances WIPP Mine Maintenance -07/31/96

DOE Generates Work, Jobs and Sales for U.S. Industry and Business Through Tech Transfer - 07/31/96

DOE Carlsbad Area Office Disputes GAO Report - 07/24/96

U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary Visits Environmental Monitoring and Research Center - 07/23/96

Waste Handlers Enter Demonstration Mode at WIPP -07/22/96

DOE Closer to Solving Nuclear Waste Disposal Problem, Opening WIPP - 07/15/96

Western Governors Want Timely WIPP Opening that Includes Full-Scale Operations - 07/07/96

DOE's Carlsbad Area Office Reaches 1,000-Mark In Tech Transfer - 06/21/96

More Than 30 Tribes to Attend DOE's National Tribal Symposium - 06/18/96

Analysis of WIPP's Long-Term Performance to Undergo Joint International Peer Review - 06/07/96

Westinghouse Announces Mangerial Appointments at WIPP - 06/06/96

Newly Appointed DOE Official Lauds SENM Economic Development 05/30/96

DOE Outlines Plan for Second WIPP Environmental Impact Statement 05/22/96

Idaho Attorney General Visits the WIPP 05/17/96

Mining Firm Receives VPP Mentoring for DOE - 05/08/1996

Westinghouse Awards $2,500 in Scholarships - 05/08/96

WIPP Training Effective in Radiological Spill - 05/06/96

WIPP Mine Rescue Teams Finish First, Second - 04/29/96

DOE Issues Revised Waste Acceptance Criteria for WIPP - 04/26/96

Top DOE Official from Nuclear Waste Storage Site Visits WIPP - 04/26/96

New Mexico, Idaho Governors Tour WIPP - 04/22/96

Video Enhances WIPP Mine Maintenance - 04/19/96

TRUPACT-II Waste Transportation System on Exhibit in Indianapolis - 04/17/96

DOE Addresses State's Comments on WIPP Permit Application - 04/12/96

TRUPACT-II Waste Transportation System Featured at TRICIPE IV - 04/11/96

Students Gain Work Experience at DOE's Carlsbad Area Office - 04/08/96

Westinghouse, DOE Serve as Mentors for Arizona Company - 04/03/96

DOE and Western States Sign Agreement for Safe Shipments to WIPP - 03/28/96

Carlsbad Area Office will do More with Less Money in FY-1997 - 03/19/96

Leonard Named Manager of Compliance, Permitting at the WIPP - 03/08/96

Westinghouse Offers College Scholarships to Local Students - 02/29/96

Westinghouse Plans WIPP Procurement, Tech Transfer Symposium - 02/22/96

WIPP Personnel to Observe National Engineers Week - 02/16/96

Key Milestones Mark Important Year for WIPP - 02/16/96

WIPP Employees Reach Two Million Safe Work Hours - 02/09/96

Westinghouse Receives Safety Award from State Mine Inspector - 02/09/96

Westinghouse Names New External Affairs Manager at WIPP - 02/06/96

WIPP Information Home Page Established by DOE - 02/02/96

DOE Releases $500,000 for Regional Training Center - 02/01/96

Lawmakers Hear that WIPP is on Schedule to Receive Waste in 1998 - 01/24/96

Westinghouse Continues Community Support in Eddy County - 01/15/96

 


DOE TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS NEXT WEEK IN ALBUQUERQUE ON WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 31 -- The public will have several opportunities to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during public hearings next week (January 6 - 7) in Albuquerque. Los Alamos National Laboratory plans to ship 601,000 cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearings at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street N.W. Planned hours for the hearings are 9 a.m. to noon, 2 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. Attendees not pre-registered may register at the door on the days of the hearings. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn.: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS NEXT WEEK IN SANTA FE ON WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 31 -- The public will have several opportunities to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during public hearings next week (January 8 - 10) in Santa Fe. Los Alamos National Laboratory plans to ship 601,000 cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearings at the Sweeney Convention Center, 201 West Marcy. Planned hours for the hearings are 9 a.m. to noon, 2 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. Attendees persons not pre-registered may register at the door on the days of the hearings. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn.: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES NORTH AUGUSTA PUBLIC HEARING FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have opportunity to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during a public hearing January 23, 1997, in North Augusta. The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Site plans to ship 456,000 cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearing at the North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Drive. Afternoon and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearing are 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before 2 p.m. (EST) on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the day of the hearing. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES DENVER AREA PUBLIC HEARING FOR FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have opportunity to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during a public hearing January 13, 1997, in Arvada. The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site plans to ship 557,000 cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearing at the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard. Afternoon and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearing are 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before noon (MST) on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the day of the hearing. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES RICHLAND PUBLIC HEARING FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have opportunity to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during a public hearing January 15, 1997, in Richland. The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site plans to ship 906,000 cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearing at the Red Lion Inn - Richland, 802 George Washington Way. Afternoon and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearing are 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before 11 a.m. (PST) on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the day of the hearing. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES SANTA FE PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have several opportunities to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during public hearings January 8 - 10, 1997, in Santa Fe. Los Alamos National Laboratory plans to ship 601,000 cubic feet of transuranic (TRU) waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearings at the Sweeney Convention Center, 201 West Marcy. Morning, afternoon, and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearings are 9 a.m. to noon, 2 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before noon on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the days of the hearings. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearings, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES BOISE PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have opportunity to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during a public hearing January 15, 1997, in Boise. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory plans to ship more than two million cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearing at the Red Lion Inn - Riverside, 2900 Chinden Boulevard. Afternoon and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearing are 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before noon (MST) on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the day of the hearing. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES CARLSBAD PUBLIC HEARING FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have opportunity to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during a public hearing January 13, 1997, in Carlsbad.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearing at the Pecos River Village, 711 N. Muscatel. Afternoon and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearing are 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before noon (MST) on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the day of the hearing. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES ALBUQUERQUE PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have several opportunities to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during public hearings January 6 - 7, 1997, in Albuquerque. Los Alamos National Laboratory plans to ship 601,000 cubic feet of transuranic (TRU) waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearings at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street N.W. Morning, afternoon, and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearings are 9 a.m. to noon, 2 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before noon on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the days of the hearings. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE ANNOUNCES OAK RIDGE PUBLIC HEARING FOR WIPP SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONEMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., December 17 -- The public will have opportunity to comment on the draft Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Phase Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) during a public hearing January 21, 1997, in Oak Ridge. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory plans to ship 55,000 cubic feet of transuranic waste to the WIPP.

Officials from the DOE Carlsbad Area Office will host the public hearing at the American Museum of Science and Energy, 300 South Tulane Avenue. Afternoon and evening sessions are planned.

Planned hours for the hearing are 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. People who wish to give oral comments or suggestions may pre-register before 2 p.m. (EST) on December 30, 1996 by calling 1-800-336-9477. Attendees also may register at the door on the day of the hearing. Session hours may be adjusted as registration demand warrants.

The draft SEIS-II updates information contained in the first WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The study evaluates the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Examples include:

  • Inclusion of sites where small quantities of radioactive waste are generated or stored;

  • Changes in the volume of waste since 1990 estimates were made;

  • Legislative changes since 1990, such as the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act and 1996 amendments to the act;

  • Changes in the planned routes for truck transportation; and

  • Changes in the waste acceptance criteria since 1990.

Comments will also be accepted by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Written comments concerning the draft SEIS-II document must be postmarked by January 28, 1997. Comments postmarked after this date will be considered to the extent that is practicable. All written comments should be directed to: Harold Johnson, NEPA Compliance Officer, Attn: SEIS Comments, P.O. Box 9800, Albuquerque, NM 87119. Comments submitted by electronic mail should be sent to WIPPSEIS@battelle.org, or by facsimile to 1-505-224-8030.

For further information, to register to speak at the public hearing, or to obtain a copy of the draft SEIS-II, call the toll free WIPP Information line at 1-800-336-9477.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

ENERGY DEPARTMENT TAKES FURTHER STEPS TO OPEN NEW MEXICO NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY

Documents Available for Public Input and Regulatory Review

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20 -- The Department of Energy (DOE) today publicly released two compliance documents that evaluate environmental impacts and seek regulatory approval for the nation's first nuclear waste repository. A draft second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II) on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) evaluates new scientific information not available in studies completed in 1980 and 1990. The WIPP Compliance Certification Application, submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on October 29, provides extensive analysis demonstrating that the facility complies with federal disposal standards for transuranic waste. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

"Cleanup of Department of Energy sites around the country is a national problem. We are confident that the WIPP will be a national solution. The ultimate success of waste disposal at the WIPP will be enhanced by rigorous EPA review and public participation in the environmental impact statement," said Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary.

The SEIS-II includes new information about waste volumes, legislative revisions, changes in the truck transportation routes, and information on additional waste storage sites not addressed in previous studies. The Department of Energy will host a series of public meetings in early 1997 at eight locations near sites where waste is being stored and at Carlsbad, N.M., near the WIPP site.

'The Department must resolve some important issues, and we invite the public to participate in final decision making about waste treatment and transportation," said Al Alm, DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management. "The EPA application includes extensive engineering and scientific analysis that reinforces the Department's confidence in the WIPP as a disposal site."

DOE's geological, hydrological, and climatic assessment of the site includes simulated interactions among the environment, the engineered systems, and the waste over the next 10,000 years. It will take the EPA one year to review the application.

Comprehensive reviews from technical oversight groups have benefitted the project. These groups include the National Research Council, whose recent study validates the project as a viable solution for the permanent, safe disposal of transuranic waste, as well as the New Mexico Governor's Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force and the Environmental Evaluation Group. Others providing input include the Western Governors' Association and regulatory and transportation officials in affected states.

"These evaluations show what might happen in a multitude of situations. The Department demonstrates in the EPA application that the WIPP will be effective in protecting people and the environment." We believe the facility makes sense from cost and environmental standpoints," said George Dials, Manager of the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, which oversees the WIPP and national transuranic programs.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation that is 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at 10 major generator/storage sites and several small-quantity sites nationwide. The 10 major sites are Hanford Reservation, Washington; Idaho Nuclear Engineering Laboratory, Idaho; Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Colorado; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California; Nevada Test Site, Nevada; Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico; Argonne National Laboratory (East), Illinois; Mound, Ohio; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee; and Savannah River Plant, South Carolina.

For further information and to obtain a calendar of the public hearings or a copy of the draft SEIS-II, the public can call the toll-free WIPP information line at 1-800-336-9477.

DOE STATEMENT CONCERNING THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S WIPP REPORT

Carlsbad, NM, October 23, 1996

"We are very pleased with the National Research Council's report on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The report validates the WIPP project as a viable solution for permanently and safely disposing of radioactive transuranic waste generated in our national defense work. The report confirms that the WIPP has the ability to isolate radioactive waste for thousands of years, providing the site is sealed and undisturbed. We are also heartened by the Council's confidence in the DOE's ability to scientifically demonstrate that any radionuclide releases in the future from the WIPP will be within allowable limits.

"This independent validation by the National Research Council is the product of 18 years of study. The DOE has worked hard to ensure that public health, safety, and environmental needs are met in this important challenge to the nation's radioactive waste cleanup work. We are anxious to move forward with this independent, external confirmation of our work."

George E. Dials, Manager

DOE Carlsbad Area Office

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

DOE VIEWS NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL REPORT AS POSITIVE, SUPPORTIVE OF WIPP PROJECT

CARLSBAD, N.M., October 23 -- The National Research Council's report on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) validates the project as a viable solution for the permanent, safe disposal of defense-generated radioactive transuranic waste, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced.

Contents of the report, titled "The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: A Potential Solution For the Disposal of Transuranic Waste, " were released today during a press conference hosted by four members of the study committee. The report states that the proposed underground repository has the ability to isolate radioactive waste for thousands of years.

"Despite the nominal possibility of human intrusion into the proposed repository, the committee is confident in its judgement that DOE should be able to demonstrate that radionuclide releases at the WIPP will be within the limits allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency," the report states. "The associated health risks are likely to be well below the levels allowed under international standards."

George E. Dials, manager of the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, which oversees the WIPP and National Transuranic programs, said that the recommendations of the report are of paramount importance "because the National Research Council is neither anti- nor pro-WIPP, but rather a group made up of top-notch scientists who have spent the past 18 years evaluating the WIPP project," he said. "They have compiled a report that accurately examines the WIPP as a permanent solution to the radioactive waste disposal problem."

"The DOE has addressed many of the issues and analyses recommended in the report," said Dials. "This data is included as part of the Performance Assessment, which is included in the Compliance Certification Application that will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency. This information and analyses give added confidence that the WIPP will provide long-term protection of public health and the environment, from both the radioactive and hazardous chemical components of the disposed waste."

The National Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. It is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science and technology advice under a congressional charter.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers generation/storage site plans for storing, characterizing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

The WIPP is scheduled to begin waste disposal operations in November 1997, pending EPA approval.

WIPP MINE RESCUE TEAM DEDICATES TROPHY IN MEMORY OF STATE MINE INSPECTOR

CARLSBAD, NM, October 23 -- Members of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) mine rescue teams today dedicated their most recent competition victory to the memory of the late New Mexico State Mine Inspector Desi Apodaca. Apodaca died on October 9, 1996.

The dedication took place during a morning ceremony included as part of a celebration of the recent Energy Quality Award and Mine Operator of the Year Award won by Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID).

Members of the WIPP mine rescue team presented their recently-won "Outstanding Out-of-State" team trophy to Desi Apodaca's widow, Fita Apodaca. Mrs. Apodaca attended the ceremony, along with daughter Theresa.

The WIPP combined its silver and blue mine rescue teams to win the "Outstanding Out-of-State" team trophy at the annual Southeast Missouri Mine Rescue Competition, held October 10-11, 1996, in Rolla, Missouri. The team heard of Apodaca's death just prior to going underground for the competition in Rolla.

In dedicating the trophy, team members cited Apodaca's dedication to his work and the positive impact he made to ensuring safety in the mining industry. "Desi Apodaca was a true miner's friend who worked continuously to promote mine safety in New Mexico. We will truly miss him," said Gary Kessler, captain of the WIPP Blue Mine Rescue Team.

WID General Manager Joe Epstein said, "We knew Desi Apodaca as a leader in the mining industry. Over his 15-year involvement with the WIPP project, we came to recognize Desi as a dedicated professional who valued the technology we have developed and, in turn helped promote the transfer of this knowledge to the benefit of other mines in the region."

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's Carlsbad Area Office.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of radioactive transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP PUMPS $13 MILLION INTO NEW MEXICO BUSINESSES IN FY 1996

CARLSBAD, NM, October 22 -- The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today released figures showing that it spent more than $13 million with New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to support its work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

In Santa Fe, WID placed purchases on behalf of the DOE for goods and services totaling just under $150,000 during FY 1996 (from October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1996).

Among the items and services purchased were environmental monitoring equipment, calibration services, and environmental consulting services.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP PUMPS $13 MILLION INTO NEW MEXICO BUSINESSES IN FY 1996

CARLSBAD, NM, October 22 -- The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today released figures showing that it spent more than $13 million with New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to support its work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

In Roswell, WID placed purchases on behalf of the DOE for goods and services totaling just over $147,000 during FY 1996 (from October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1996).

Among the items and services purchased were computer supplies, photo supplies, and linen services.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP PUMPS $13 MLLION INTO NEW MEXICO BUSINESSES IN FY 1996; LAS CRUCES CLAIMS $480,000 OF TOTAL EXPENDITURES

CARLSBAD, NM, October 22 -- The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today released figures showing that it spent more than $13 million with New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to support its work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

WID spent a total of just under $13,120,000 in FY 1996 (from October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1996) on behalf of the DOE to purchase goods and services from vendors located throughout New Mexico. In Las Cruces, WID placed purchases totaling just over $480,000.

Among the items and services purchased were industrial supplies, promotional materials, and environmental and engineering consulting services.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP PUMPS $13 MILLION INTO NEW MEXICO BUSINESSES IN FY 1996

CARLSBAD, NM, October 22 -- The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today released figures showing that it spent more than $13 million with New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to support its work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

In Hobbs, WID placed purchases on behalf of the DOE for goods and services totaling $236,000 during FY 1996 (from October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1996).

Among the items and services purchased were office supplies and furniture, lubricants, electrical and industrial supplies, and waste management services.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP PUMPS $13 MILLION INTO NEW MEXICO BUSINESSES IN FY 1996; CARLSBAD CLAIMS $2.2 MILLION OF TOTAL EXPENDITURES

CARLSBAD, NM, October 22 -- The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today released figures showing that it spent more than $13 million with New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to support its work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

WID spent a total of just under $13,120,000 in FY 1996 (from October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1996) on behalf of the DOE to purchase goods and services from vendors located throughout New Mexico. In Carlsbad, WID placed purchases totaling $8,400,000.

Among the items and services purchased were computers, electrical and industrial supplies, minor construction work, janitorial services, and employee training programs.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP PUMPS $13 MILLION INTO NEW MEXICO BUSINESSES IN FY 1996; ALBUQUERQUE CLAIMS $2.2 MILLION OF TOTAL EXPENDITURES

CARLSBAD, NM, October 22 -- The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today released figures showing that it spent more than $13 million with New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to support its work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor at the WIPP for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

WID spent a total of just under $13,120,000 in FY 1996 (from October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1996) on behalf of the DOE to purchase goods and services from vendors located throughout New Mexico. In Albuquerque, WID placed purchases totaling just over $2,227,000.

Among the items and services purchased were electrical and industrial supplies, exhibit materials, engineering and consulting services, calibration services, and transportation services.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP EARNS NEW MEXICO MINE INSPECTOR'S

"MINE OPERATOR OF YEAR" AWARD FOR NINTH TIME

CARLSBAD, N.M., October 4 -- The New Mexico State Mine Inspector's Office has again recognized the Waste Isolation Division (WID) of Westinghouse Electric Corporation with its annual Mine Operator of the Year Award. The WID is the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy's Carlsbad Area Office at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

This is the ninth time in the last 10 years that the WID has received this award. In 1995, the New Mexico State Mine Inspector honored the division with special recognition for "excellence in underground operations."

"This is an outstanding achievement for WIPP," said State Mine Inspector Desi Apodaca. "Good operating procedures, well-trained employees, and a strong safety program all ensure a safe working environment. WIPP has all these components," Apodaca said.

WID General Manager Joe Epstein said "It's our employees' efforts that keep us at the top of operating excellence. Our safety record has a strong foundation of employee knowledge, skills, and experience, along with a combination of tried-and-true processes and state-of-the-art technology. We're proud of our safety record and pleased to receive recognition from the state for our constant effort."

That constant effort of safe performance includes self-assessment and documentation to ensure excellence in mine maintenance activities, mine rescue preparedness, underground operating procedures, employee training, and safety programs.

WIPP underground operations personnel inspect the vertical shafts every seven days, as required by federal regulations. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) conducts a rigorous, quarterly sitewide inspection. WIPP operating procedures require an annual, well-documented ground control inspection and a weekly visual and physical inspection of underground working areas. Also, every underground worker is responsible for a daily inspection of that day's work area.

In addition to skilled workers with a high level of safety awareness, safety programs include constant monitoring and assessing the WIPP underground working areas for stability. Panel 1, for example, is a group of seven underground rooms for disposal of radioactive waste. In Panel 1, alone, more than 700 mechanical and electronic monitoring and measuring points continually provide data on ground control conditions. Through a sound and well-documented engineering program, experts analyze this data and develop viable options to control and correct actual and potential conditions as they present themselves.

Panel 1, completed in 1987, remains in safe and operable condition because of routine reassessment of underground conditions. Once the panel is determined ready for use, a highly focused and specific reassessment will be done, based on operational factors at that time.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP is scheduled to open for waste receipt in November 1997.

CARLSBAD AREA OFFICE, WESTINGHOUSE WIN NATIONAL DOE QUALITY AWARDS

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 9 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office and Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division were honored by Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary today during the second annual Energy Quality Awards ceremony.

The Carlsbad Area Office received the prestigious 1996 Hammer Award, while Westinghouse was honored by O'Leary for the second consecutive year, winning the 1996 Energy Quality Accomplishment Award.

The Carlsbad Area Office administers the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and National Transuranic programs. Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP.

"The quality work of these dedicated employees has saved taxpayer dollars, improved customer service, and shows the American people that this administration is committed to doing more with significantly fewer resources," said O'Leary from the DOE's Headquarters at the Forrestal Building in Washington, D.C.

Twenty-seven DOE organizations comprising approximately 34,000 people (about a fifth of the department's federal and contractor employees) applied for the 1996 Energy Quality Awards.

The Hammer Award is granted through Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review Program to teams or organizations that have made extraordinary progress in reinventing government. The Carlsbad Area Office is recognized for its recent accomplishments within the DOE Environmental Management program.

The Energy Quality Awards Program is based on the Malcolm Baldrige Quality criteria and the President's Quality Award, which evaluate applicants according to the following criteria:

  • Leadership

  • Information and analysis

  • Strategic planning

  • Human resource development and management

  • Process management

  • Business results

  • Customer focus and satisfaction

Westinghouse's Waste Isolation Division also garnered two awards at the recent Employee Involvement Association Conference, held September 11 in Phoenix, Ariz. The company received Industry Group awards in the performance excellence and employee savings categories.

The Employee Involvement Association was established in 1942 with the primary mission of providing industry with a forum for exchanging ideas on what has made business in the United States successful. In recent years the organization has branched out to other countries and now has international representatives in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Companies and organizations participating in the program include Toyota, IBM, NASA, Johnson & Johnson, Saturn and American Airlines, to name a few.

"The entire Carlsbad Area Office staff has contributed to and should be recognized for the Hammer Award," said George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office. "We are proud of the work and the resulting accomplishments that relate to the WIPP and National Transuranic programs.

"DOE and Westinghouse employees should be recognized for their continuous attention to quality performance. This is the level of performance that is expected and required to move the WIPP and National Transuranic programs forward in our efforts to open this nation's first underground nuclear waste repository."

Joe Epstein, general manager of the Waste Isolation Division, said winning an Energy Quality Award is a true indicator that DOE and Westinghouse employees have what it takes to excel at a task.

"As I mentioned last year," said Epstein, "we have received several awards in the total quality arena, but the Energy Quality Award ranks as the most prestigious because it comes from our customer -- the DOE."

O'Leary emphasized the importance of the DOE's assessment process in providing customer satisfaction, cost reduction, increased competitiveness, and, ultimately, in ensuring the department's continuity and established recognition as a world-class organization.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers generation/storage site plans for storing, characterizing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small-quantity sites nationwide.

DOE AWARDS CONTRACT FOR DEVELOPING PROTOTYPE OF HALFPACK TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE

CARLSBAD, N.M., October 1 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office today announced that the Engineered Products Department of the Westinghouse Government Technical Services Division, in Carlsbad, will make two prototypes of a transuranic waste transporter, called the HALFPACK.

The HALFPACK would reduce the number of transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) by about 2,000 and avoid millions of dollars in related transportation and repackaging costs over the life of the project.

The HALFPACK (see attached drawing) will be a shorter version of the Transuranic Package Transporter (TRUPACT-II). The HALFPACK will be designed to carry heavy drums of waste more efficiently. Because the HALFPACK weighs less than the TRUPACT-II, it can carry more weight in payload than TRUPACT-II. Three HALFPACKs will be able to transport 21 heavy drums on one truck; the TRUPACT-II can only ship 14 heavy drums per truck, decreasing the number of shipments and avoiding transportation costs of approximately $20 million over the life of the project.

The prototype units will support WIPP engineers in determining the final design of the container. Upon completion, the final HALFPACK design will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for certification. Both the TRUPACT-II and HALFPACK are specifically designed to ship transuranic radioactive waste.

The transuranic waste generator and storage sites have placed about five thousand 55-gallon drums of waste in 85-gallon drums. This process is called "overpacking," and is done to drums that are in questionable condition. Currently, no certified package exists to transport 85-gallon overpack drums. The HALFPACK design can hold four 85-gallon drums, one seven-pack of heavy 55-gallon drums, or one standard waste box.

By accommodating the 85-gallon drums of waste with the HALFPACKs, workers avoid repackaging the contents of these larger drums for transport in the TRUPACT-II. By providing a shipping package for the 85-gallon overpack drums, the HALFPACKs avoid a repackaging cost of approximately $22.5 million over the life of the project.

Avoiding repackaging also prevents exposing workers to additional radiation, which supports the "ALARA" concept -- a safety process to keep workers' radiation exposure "as low as reasonably achievable." ALARA is required by federal regulation at all nuclear facilities.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.

Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WIPP is scheduled to open for waste receipt in November 1997.

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ASSURES STABILITY OF UNDERGROUND FACILITY AT WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT

Carlsbad, N.M., September 27 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's Carlsbad Area Office today expressed strong disagreement with the prepublication version of a report on the stability of a panel of underground rooms at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The Carlsbad Area Office reaffirmed its complete confidence in the safety and stability of WIPP's entire underground facility, including Panel 1. A formal, technical response is being developed for the Environmental Evaluation Group, the report's generator and WIPP oversight group.

The Carlsbad Area Office can only respond to the prepublication version of the report at this time. Specifically, the prepublication version recommends that the Department of Energy abandon Panel 1 and mine a new panel to assure stability and safety in the underground rooms.

The Carlsbad Area Office intends to use Panel 1 for waste disposal. The condition of WIPP underground Panel 1 disposal area has been, is, and will continue to be monitored constantly from both a maintenance and a scientific viewpoint. The Carlsbad Area Office's technical, point-by-point response to the final version of the report will be forwarded to the Environmental Evaluation Group in October.

Carlsbad Area Office Manager George Dials sees the prepublication version as not credible from a technical and engineering standpoint: "We always consider the Environmental Evaluation Group's comments and take action on many of them," he said. "However, the version we've seen has resurrected old issues that have already been addressed and resolved. The prepublication version's conclusions are based on incorrect assumptions and several technical approaches that we consider invalid. I see no sound bases for conclusions in the prepublication version of this report. Our technical response will address the final report's conclusions point by point.

"We have a world class mine engineering program and an enviable underground safety record. Our ground control plan is as thorough as, if not better than, any in

existence. The fact that the Environmental Evaluation Group did not consider the constructive impact of these programs and processes in its evaluation indicates that this prepublication version is incomplete in both breadth and depth."

The New Mexico State Mine Inspector's Office conducts annual inspections of the WIPP underground and surface facilities; the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) conducts quarterly inspections. These agencies have found the established mine maintenance and ground control programs more than adequate to maintain the safe operating condition of the facility.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division, the management and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP, has performed well in safety inspections. Since 1993, the MSHA has reported no significant negative findings at the WIPP. The MSHA enforces federal safety and health regulations for the mining industry.

Recently, the New Mexico State Mine Inspector's Office named Westinghouse New Mexico "Mine Operator of the Year" for the ninth time. "The WIPP underground is in excellent condition," said New Mexico State Mine Inspector Desi Apodaca, during a recent awards presentation. "It should be used as a showcase mine for the rest of the state and nation. Westinghouse, its employees, and management team should be commended for maintaining a safe environment."

The Carlsbad Area Office and its contractors have published 29 major documents in the past five years that address WIPP geotechnical topics such as those in the Environmental Evaluation Group report. One of the 29, the Long-Term Ground Control Plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, published annually, details a five-year plan of mine maintenance systems, including instrumentation and equipment capable of monitoring ground stability and roof support adequacy.

In Panel 1 there are more than 700 mechanical and electronic monitoring and measuring points that continually provide data on ground control conditions. Through a sound and well-documented engineering program, experts analyze this data and develop viable options to control and correct actual and potential underground conditions.

Panel 1, completed in 1987, remains in safe and operable condition because of these routine reassessments of conditions and development of appropriate responses to those conditions.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.

The WIPP is scheduled to open for waste receipt in November 1997.

PRESIDENT SIGNS OPENING OF THE WIPP, SAVE TAXPAYERS MONEY BILL TO SPEED

CARLSBAD, N.M., September 23 -- President Bill Clinton signed legislation today to clear the way for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to begin shipping defense-generated transuranic radioactive waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as early as November 1997.

Clinton signed the Fiscal Year 1997 Defense Authorization Bill, which contains amendments to the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act. The amendments remove redundant regulations, eliminate a 180-day waiting period, and save taxpayers millions of dollars. The opening of the WIPP for disposal operations is dependent upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) certification of the project's compliance with environmental regulations.

"The President's approval of this measure is a very important event for the Department of Energy and our nation," said George Dials, manager of the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, which administers the WIPP program. "It reaffirms the EPA's role as the independent regulator and further enhances the prospects for protecting the health and safety of the public by removing unnecessary administrative impediments to the opening of this critically important facility.

"The opening of the WIPP to dispose of defense-generated transuranic nuclear waste is a critical step toward closing the circle on the nation's nuclear waste problem. It enhances the ability of the DOE to effect real progress in the cleanup and decommissioning of numerous weapons complex facilities throughout the United States.

"At present, there are more than 60 million people, potentially at risk, living within a 50-mile radius of the various sites throughout the United States that are temporarily storing transuranic nuclear waste. The opening of the WIPP allows for the disposal of this waste 2,150 feet underground in a 250 million-year-old salt formation, thus eliminating the risk to the public and the accessible environment forever."

Removing a 180-day waiting period (for waste shipments) after the DOE demonstrates compliance with EPA criteria is a key point of the amendments, which were jointly sponsored in the House by U.S. Representatives Joe Skeen (R-NM), Dan Schaefer (R-CO), and Michael Crapo (R-ID), and in the Senate by U.S. Senators Larry Craig (R-ID), Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Bennett Johnston (D-LA).

Other key components of the legislation include:

  • The EPA will continue as the primary regulator of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Removing bureaucratic delays does not infringe on the stringent regulatory requirements the DOE must meet in order to open the WIPP.

  • The EPA will have one year to review the Compliance Certification Application, which DOE will submit by October 31, 1996.

  • Upon EPA certification (expected in October 1997), the DOE will begin shipping transuranic waste in November 1997 (instead of April 1998).

  • Exempts the DOE from the requirement to meet the "no migration" standard in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The EPA agrees that the requirement is redundant to the more stringent radioactive waste disposal criteria, and that the exemption will not jeopardize the environment nor the public health and safety.

  • Beginning in 1997, New Mexico will receive $20 million annually for 15 years. The money will be used for infrastructure and road improvements.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Transuranic waste is temporarily stored, above ground, at more than 10 primary generator/storage sites nationwide.

HOUSE, SENATE AMENDMENTS ELIMINATE REDUNDANT REGULATIONS, SPEED OPENING OF WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., September 12 -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) could begin shipping defense-generated transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) five months earlier than originally planned, saving taxpayers an estimated $100 million.

George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office which oversees the WIPP and National Transuranic programs, said the Senate's passage of the conference report on the Fiscal Year 1997 Defense Authorization Bill is an important step toward a November 1997 shipping date, pending President Clinton's signature. The bill is expected to be sent to the President as early as next week. The opening of the WIPP for disposal operations remains, of course, dependent upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) certification of the project's compliance with environmental regulations.

"The passage of this bill is a very important event for the WIPP," said Dials. "It reaffirms the EPA's role as the independent regulator and further enhances the prospects for protecting the health and safety of the public by removing unnecessary administrative impediments to the opening of this critically important facility."

On September 10, the Senate overwhelmingly (by a 73 to 26 vote) approved H.R. 3230, the conference report on the Defense Authorization Bill. The report contained House and Senate amendments to the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act that removed unnecessary bureaucratic red tape while ensuring the safety of the facility.

"The opening of the WIPP to dispose of defense-generated transuranic nuclear waste will represent real progress in closing the circle on the nation's nuclear waste problem," said Dials. "It enhances the ability of the DOE to effect real progress in the cleanup and decommissioning of numerous weapons complex facilities throughout the United States."

"At present, there are more than 30 million people, potentially at risk, living within a 50-mile radius of the various sites throughout the United States that are temporarily storing transuranic nuclear waste. The opening of the WIPP allows for the disposal of this waste 2,150 feet underground in a 250 million-year-old salt formation, thus eliminating the risk to the public and the accessible environment forever," added Dials.

Removing a 180-day waiting period (for waste shipments) after the DOE demonstrates compliance with EPA criteria is a key point of the amendments, which were jointly sponsored in the House by U.S. Representatives Joe Skeen (R-NM), Daniel Shaefer (R-CO), and Michael Crapo (R-ID), and in the Senate by U.S. Senators Larry Craig (R-ID), Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Bennett Johnston (D-LA).

Other key components of the legislation include:

The EPA will continue as the primary regulator of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Removing bureaucratic delays in no way infringes on the stringent regulatory requirements the DOE must meet in order to open the WIPP.

The EPA will have one year to review the Compliance Certification Application, which DOE will submit by October 31, 1996.

Upon EPA certification (expected in October 1997), the DOE will begin shipping transuranic waste in November 1997 (instead of April 1998).

Congress exempted the DOE from the requirement to meet the "no migration" standard in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The EPA agrees that the requirement is redundant to the more stringent radioactive waste disposal criteria, and that the exemption will not jeopardize the environment nor the public health and safety.

New Mexico will receive $20 million annually for 15 years when H.R. 3230 becomes law. The money will be used for infrastructure and road improvements.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WESTINGHOUSE INTEGRATES CARLSBAD FACILITY INTO GOVERNMENT TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., September 3, 1996 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation has integrated its Carlsbad manufacturing facility into the Albuquerque-based Government Technical Services Division.

"We are excited about the opportunities presented by the manufacturing facilities in Carlsbad," said Jim Gallagher, executive vice president of the Westinghouse Government and Environmental Services Company, which provides management for several nuclear materials sites nationwide. "Because of the growth potential in the nuclear container business, we have decided to make the Scientific Ecology Group's Advanced Systems part of Westinghouse. We remain committed to growing jobs in Carlsbad."

Engineered Products Department, the new name of the Carlsbad company, will be managed by Ron Garner. Garner, previously of Coffeyville, Kan., was vice president and general manager of APTUS, Inc., a former subsidiary of Westinghouse. The newly-named company official is responsible for "growing" the Carlsbad container business while seeking additional manufacturing opportunities from within the corporation.

The Carlsbad facility, which manufactures a variety of containers for nuclear materials and refuse, was part of the SEG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Westinghouse.

"The challenge Mr. Garner has is to grow the nuclear container business and implement world class manufacturing processes while contributing to the Carlsbad economic base and job growth," said Carl Cox, manager of the Government Technical Services Division.

Cox is the former general manager of Westinghouse's Waste Isolation division, which manages and operates the U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

As manager of the Albuquerque division of Westinghouse, Cox is also responsible for the Spent Nuclear Fuels Program, the Waste and Environmental Technologies Department, the Environmental Safety and Health Service Department, and the Operations and Maintenance Services Department.

Westinghouse, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a global leader in mobile transport refrigeration, power systems, environmental services and communications. The company's recent purchase of CBS made it the largest radio and television broadcaster in the United States.

WIPP MINE RESCUE TEAM TAKES HIGH HONORS AT NATIONAL COMPETITION

CARLSBAD, N.M., August 29 -- The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's (WIPP) Silver Mine Rescue Team took a strong fourth place finish in the 36-team field that competed in the two-day 1996 National Mine Rescue Competition, last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"This high level of performance exemplifies the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Westinghouse's emphasis on safety at the WIPP," said George Dials, manager of the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, which administers the WIPP and National Transuranic Programs. "We are very pleased with the level at which our mine rescue teams compete. It is consistent with our commitment to excellence in all environmental, safety and health areas at the WIPP."

Individual honors went to Fred Miller of the WIPP's Silver Team who won second place in the benchman's competition. The benchman competition tests the skills required to maintain and repair self-contained breathing apparatus used by team members in areas where air is not breathable.

OCI Wyoming L. P. Big Island Mine and Refinery's White Team outscored the field to win the National Championship in the team competition. Mississippi Potash Inc., of Carlsbad, placed fifth.

Since their inception in 1985, WIPP's mine rescue teams have claimed 102 team trophies, including the best scores in 41 competitions. They have also won the previous three national contests (1990, 1992, 1994) for non-producing mines. Because of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) rules, 1994 was the first year the WIPP's Silver and Blue mine rescue teams became eligible to win the overall national championship. The WIPP's Blue team, the defending national champs, took fourteenth overall in this year's competition.

To keep skills current and at top efficiency, mine rescue teams compete in mock disasters arranged for and judged by MSHA officials. Each team member is proficient in mine gas detection, ventilation, first aid, mine recovery and fire fighting. In a real emergency, their lives and the lives of co-workers would depend on the proficiency of the teams' skills.

Team members voluntarily participate in mine rescue competitions and conduct most of their mine rescue training on their own time. All members hold full-time jobs within the Westinghouse Electric Corporation Waste Isolation Division, the DOE's management and operating contractor at the WIPP.

"Because Westinghouse and the DOE place the highest priority on worker safety, we want to recognize these teams of mine rescue personnel," said Jayne Davis, Westinghouse manager of industrial safety and emergency management, who oversees the WIPP mine rescue teams.

Members of the WIPP Silver Team include Billy Beeman, Robert Rhodes, Ronnie Rhodes, Fred Miller, Mike Procter, Edger Keyser, Jeff Knox, and Beverly Watson. Buddy Webb is the training coordinator for both teams.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste generated by defense-related activities. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists primarily of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WESTINGHOUSE NAMES NEW CONTROLLER AT WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., August 22 -- Martha Rust is the new controller for Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

"Martha has been with Westinghouse for almost 10 years," said Joe Epstein, general manager for the Waste Isolation Division. "She brings a wealth of experience to the controller's position. Martha is a definite asset to the division; we're lucky to have her."

Rust joined Westinghouse in 1986 as an associate buyer with the corporation's Naval Reactors Facility in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has held positions of increasing responsibility within the company including, most recently, finance manager for the Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in West Mifflin, Pa. Rust left Westinghouse briefly in 1994 to serve as controller for Tri-Ag Manufacturing Inc. in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She rejoined the Pittsburgh-based company in 1995.

As controller of the Waste Isolation Division, Rust is responsible for coordinating financial planning and analysis, supervising general accounting, property accounting, inventory control accounting, payroll functions and internal audit compliance.

Rust, a Beaver Falls, Pa. native, graduated Cum Laude from Saint Francis College (Loretto, Pa.) with a bachelor's degree in accounting. She is actively involved with the United Way and other nonprofit organizations.

Westinghouse's Waste Isolation Division is the managing and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP.

DOE'S CARLSBAD AREA OFFICE STRESSES IMPORANCE OF PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., August 14 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office today released statistics highlighting its focus on public involvement in decisions regarding efforts to open the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as the nation's first deep geologic repository for nuclear waste.

George Dials, Manager of the Carlsbad Area Office, said the public has had 128 separate opportunities to voice concerns and offer input to the WIPP program since December 1993, when the Carlsbad Area Office was created to administer the WIPP and National Transuranic Program.

"I am concerned about the perception that the public does not have adequate access to our decision making process," said Dials. "Public involvement is vital to our success, and the number of past and future opportunities for public comment is indicative of the emphasis the DOE places on listening to citizens."

Since December 1993, the Carlsbad Area Office has hosted or participated in public meetings in a variety of settings, including scoping meetings on the Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement being developed for the WIPP; regular quarterly meetings with oversight groups such as the New Mexico Environmental Evaluation Group; hearings conducted by WIPP regulators, the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; meetings with leaders of communities impacted by the WIPP; and meetings with tribal governments.

In addition to the 128 public involvement opportunities held to date, there is a minimum of 53 such meetings and hearings scheduled between now and the WlPP's scheduled opening in April 1998. These opportunities will include hearings on the final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, meetings sponsored by the state of New Mexico in communities impacted by WIPP shipments, formal hearings conducted by the New Mexico Environment Department on the WlPP's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's hearings regarding the DOE's Compliance Certification Application.

"We encourage public involvement every step of the way as we get closer to bringing the WIPP into operation," said Dials. "We take public input very seriously, and we go to great lengths to respond to all comments and concerns."

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste generated by defense-related activities. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists primarily of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for characterizing, transporting, packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 30 small and large sites nationwide.

NEW BUILDING TO HOUSE NATIONAL TRANSURANIC WASTE, WIPP OFFICES

CARLSBAD, N.M., August 13 - The Cowperwood Company has been awarded a contract to build an 85,000-square-foor, two-story building to house the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

The Carlsbad Area Office administers the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and National Transuranic Waste programs.

The new Carlsbad Area Office building will be located on a five-acre tract of land at Hidalgo Road and National Parks Highway, across from the Civic Center. It will take Cowperwood about one year to complete construction. The move to the new building is scheduled for October 1997.

The contract, awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), states that Cowperwood will construct and then lease the new building to the GSA for approximately $900,000 a year. The Carlsbad Area Office will then reimburse the GSA for the cost of the lease.

"Having personnel spread among several locations has been a problem since I arrived in 1993," said George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office. "We have looked at several different options. After conducting a thorough analysis, this is the best solution for the problem. It is a cost-saving measure that will allow us to house the majority of our key people under one roof."

Cowperwood was awarded the Carlsbad Area Office building contract following a competitive procurement that included bids from 13 companies. The company was founded in 1972 by John C. Harvey, who was born and reared in Carlsbad. His father, H.C. Harvey, is a former Carlsbad Mayor.

Cowperwood is a privately owned national real estate development and management company headquartered in New York City with regional offices in Houston, Texas; Richland, Wash; and Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Tenants who have contracted with the company for services in the past include Bechtel, Lockheed-Martin, H&R Technical Associates, Johnson Controls and the Analysis Corporation. With more than 20 years of experience, Cowperwood has developed, owned and managed approximately 1.5 million square feet of commercial office space.

Currently, the DOE maintains three separate in-town facilities for governmental and contractor personnel. When completed, the new Carlsbad Area Office building will provide office space for approximately 300 employees. The structure will also include a 150-seat auditorium, a public reading room and a cafeteria area.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Waste Program administers a nationwide plan for storing, characterizing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

WESTINGHOUSE NAMES NEW HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER AT WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., August 8 -- Ann Cross is the new manager of human resources for Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

AI have every confidence that Ann will do an outstanding job for Westinghouse and its employees," said Joe Epstein, general manager of the Waste Isolation Division. "Ann brings a tremendous amount of experience to this position."

Cross, a Carlsbad native, started her career with Westinghouse in 1988 as a member of the division's employee communications group. She was promoted to employee relations manager in 1989. Cross held that position for three years before moving to Coffeyville, Kan. as human resources manager for APTUS, Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Westinghouse.

The former television broadcaster rejoined the Waste Isolation Division in 1995 as manager of human resources operations. Cross replaces Robert Anderson who, after eight years in Carlsbad, is moving to Albuquerque to work for Westinghouse's Government Technical Services Division. Anderson has been with the corporation for 23 years.

As human resources manager, Cross is responsible for employee relations and practices, compensation and employee communications. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Washington College.

Westinghouse's Waste Isolation Division is the managing and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy at the WIPP.

INNOVATIVE USE OF VIDEO EQUIPMENT ENHANCES WIPP MINE MAINTENANCE

CARLSBAD, N.M., July 31 - Mine Operations personnel at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are using a video system adapted to a mining machine for safer, more efficient scaling of walls (ribs) in the project's underground facility. Scaling of the mine walls is a routine part of ground control efforts in the WIPP underground, ensuring a continued safe work environment.

The WIPP is a repository designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Operated by the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, the WIPP is located 26 miles east of Carlsbad. Project facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in an ancient, stable salt formation.

Mining personnel with the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division (WID), the management and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP, have successfully used the Flecter scaler for years to remove loose salt from the walls of the mined areas. The scaler is seven feet wide and 25 feet long, with a 20-foot boom to which the chisel tip is mounted. This configuration requires the operator to rely on another person to direct the positioning of the boom.

"Always looking for ways to improve their work, our mining technicians felt scaling operations could be accomplished more efficiently if the operator could actually see the chisel tip form his position on the machine," said Curtis McAvoy, WID's manager of Underground Operations. "The idea that came out of this was to adapt a video system to the scaler."

Continuous Mining Machine Specialist Mike Daniels, who operated the scaler, began investigating the possibility of using a video camera to view the chisel tip during operation. With the help of Curtis Potter and Roy Dearing, Sr., a camera and monitor recovered from a closed WIPP underground experimental room were used in a series of field tests. The results of the field tests were promising and the trio gained approval to proceed.

A Plexiglas screen cover and a filtered, forced-air cooling system were developed to protect the monitor from salt dust. The monitor and camera are both mounted on rubber to minimize vibration, and "quick-connect" mounts allow for easy removal of the video equipment when direct overhead scaling is performed. Additionally, the camera mount adjusts vertically and horizontally, and the video cable is plated with metal for added protection.

"I'm really happy with the way this has turned out," said Daniels. "I can really see what I'm doing with the chisel tip, and I like the added comfort of knowing things are safer for the other operators working around the machine."

DOE Carlsbad Area Office Manager George Dials sees the innovation as just one more example of why the WIPP has amassed its impressive safety record and a string of eight consecutive Mine Operator of the Year awards from the state of New Mexico Mine Inspector. "Safety and efficiency are keys to the success of the WIPP program, and WIPP employees continuously respond to the challenges by devising better ways of doing business," Dials stated.

DOE GENERATES WORK, JOBS AND SALES FOR U.S. INDUSTRY AND BUSINESS THROUGH TRANSFER OF FREE TECHNOLOGY

CARLSBAD, NM., July 31, 1996 -- The 18-month-old Technology Transfer Program of the U.S. Department of Energy's Carlsbad Area Office already is paying high dividends on taxpayers' investment by helping create and maintain jobs and generating sales revenues for American business.

After 1,200 transfers, the Carlsbad Area Office surveyed the program's recipients, which include names like Gillette, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Boeing, 3M, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. According to survey responses, business and industry dedicated more than 2,000 working hours using the transferred technology and information from Carlsbad Area Office-funded research. Survey figures also show the 1,200 transfers helped create and retain a total of 618 jobs.

The survey also revealed that four businesses have generated commercial sales due to documents from the Technology Transfer Program.

Joe Epstein, general manager of the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division, Carlsbad Area Office's primary contractor at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), said, "This technology transfer process has helped us create and retain jobs in the private sector. We're talking about nearly half a job per WIPP employee. Jobs and sales dollars are good returns on taxpayer investment."

More than 100 business and industry recipients recently answered the user survey, with questions such as "Is your organization using or planning to use the transferred documents?" Eighty-six percent responded "yes" to this question, while more than 80 percent use the material as a resource or reference.

The transfers helped business in many ways. Some found ready-to-use training material saved them development time. Others used the information as comparison of standards to improve their safety programs. Many companies are interested in more transfers.

  • Survey results confirm the success of the technology transfer program in achieving its goals:

  • Providing taxpayers with a better return on DOE-funded research and development projects

  • Promoting economic growth

  • Improving America's ability to compete in world markets

  • Providing useful tools to organizations outside DOE

The Carlsbad Area Office administers the WIPP. The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeast New Mexico, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.

DOE CARLSBAD AREA OFFICE DISPUTES GAO REPORT

CARLSBAD, N.M., July 24 -- U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office Manager George Dials today issued a statement regarding the General Accounting Office (GAO) report entitled, "Nuclear Waste: Uncertainties About Opening Waste Isolation Pilot Plant" (WIPP). "The details contained in the actual GAO report do not support the unnecessarily negative and pessimistic summary described in recent news reports," Dials said.

"The DOE is positive and optimistic about the WIPP Program," Dials said. "WIPP is in schedule to open by April 1998. All necessary experimental activities have been completed. There are no uncertainties about the work we need to perform. The final Compliance Certification Application is being readied for submittal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in October 1996. The GAO s concern about the schedule reflects its failure to acknowledge the 100 percent success rate we have to date in accomplishing scheduled activities and milestones."

Officials at the Idaho Nuclear Engineering Laboratory (INEL), the first storage/generator site scheduled to ship transuranic waste to the WIPP, say they are ready to meet the schedule under an agreement between the DOE and the state of Idaho.

Warren W. Bergholz, Jr., deputy manager of the DOE s Idaho Operations Office said that the INEL will be ready to ship waste to WIPP as soon as it opens. "We are confident that WIPP will open on schedule, and the INEL remains committed to shipping waste out of Idaho under that timetable," said Bergholz.

The GAO states two main reasons for its pessimism: 1) disparity between the contents of the DOE s draft Compliance Certification Application and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency s (EPA) regulations and related criteria, and 2) as of May 1996, the DOE had not completed the scientific activities needed to prepare a complete compliance package.

As for the "disparity" between the DOE s draft application and the EPA's regulations and criteria, the Carlsbad Area Office submitted its draft application in March 1995, only two months after EPA's issuance of the draft criteria and well in advance of the agency s publication of the final criteria in February 1996. The areas of the draft application noted as incomplete by the GAO were areas clearly noted by the Carlsbad Area Office in its transmittal letter that accompanied the draft application.

"Submitting the draft application early enabled us to gain meaningful comments from the EPA and stakeholders and incorporate those comments into our final Compliance Certification Application in a timely fashion," said Dials. "We are confident that handling the application in this way will ultimately result in the best possible quality of input to the final application that we will submit to the EPA, as scheduled, in October 1996. We are equally confident that the EPA will be able to complete its work in a timely manner."

The Carlsbad Area Office is currently submitting chapters of the final Compliance Certification Application to the EPA for review as they are developed. Five of the eight chapters have already been submitted.

In correspondence and testimony presented to the U.S. Congress, EPA officials stated that once the WIPP s compliance certification application is determined to be complete, the EPA is prepared to finish its review of the application within one year.

Dials also noted that the necessary scientific research and development activities performed by the project s scientific advisor, Sandia National Laboratories, were completed in March 1996 for input to the performance assessment process. The scientific evaluation and analysis of this data was completed in June 1996.

Dr. Wendell D. Weart, Sandia National Laboratories Senior Scientist for Nuclear Waste Management Programs, said a systems performance analysis was conducted in 1995 to determine which experiments were critical to demonstrating compliance with the EPA standards. "Those critical experiments were pursued and completed, and they provide an adequate basis to show compliance with the EPA requirements. The results of our work are now being prepared for inclusion in the final compliance application," Weart stated.

The GAO report also says the limited number of available shipping containers (TRUPACT-IIs) and the lack of waste preparation facilities and equipment at the generator/storage sites will constrain waste shipping and emplacement operations.

"What the GAO missed in this regard is that we are taking a cost-effective, phased approach to shipping and waste emplacement," Dials said. "This approach is designed to reduce the cost of the transuranic waste system to the American public by purchasing TRUPACT-IIs in time to meet the opening of shipping routes across the nation and by investing in mobile waste preparation systems for use at the sites in place of constructing expensive facilities that the GAO assumes will be required."

Dials also said that he expects no delays in the program that would lengthen the estimated 35-year disposal phase of the WIPP. Furthermore, the cost of continued temporary storage of transuranic waste at the generator/storage sites far exceeds the cost of permanent disposal at WIPP.

"It is unfortunate that the GAO chose to ignore our overall success at meeting our aggressive schedule, and that we are doing so in a very cost-effective manner," Dials said. "It is environmentally irresponsible to prolong temporary storage of transuranic waste at numerous locations throughout the United States when we have the WIPP facility ready to meet its regulatory requirements and on schedule to open by April 1998."

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY UNDER SECRETARY VISITS ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND RESEARCH CENTER

CARLSBAD, N.M., July 23 -- In his first visit to Carlsbad as Under Secretary of Energy, Thomas P. Grumbly visited the construction site for the new Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. Grumbly is the third highest ranking official in the DOE. He previously served as the DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.

Grumbly said, "The Department of Energy's support and investment in this project reflects our emphasis on protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment. It is our highest priority.

"It also reflects the scientific and economic benefits resulting from teamwork, particularly among the DOE Carlsbad Area Office, New Mexico State University and the city of Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center ensures long-term prosperity, stability and credibility for southeast New Mexico," he said.

The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center was established in 1991 as a division of the Waste-Management Education and Research Consortium at New Mexico State University. The center is an independent, world-class, laboratory research organization. Its mission is to anticipate and respond to emerging health and environmental needs.

Grumbly said, "I see nearly limitless potential in the critical areas of health and the environment for the Center, and I am proud that DOE is a part of this team effort. This kind of growth is good -- for Carlsbad; for southeast New Mexico; for science, technology and education; and for everyone, everywhere, in every way."

WASTE HANDLERS ENTER DEMONSTRATION MODE AT WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., July 22 -- Personnel at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are entering a waste handling demonstration mode in preparation for disposal operations, scheduled to begin in April 1998.

The demonstration, which will continue for the next 20 months, is designed to ensure that Westinghouse Electric Corporation personnel are familiar with the waste handling process, including the safety features that will protect human health and the environment.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

"It is vital to the success of the WIPP project that our waste handlers understand their responsibilities," said Joe Epstein, general manager of the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division, the managing and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP.

"We will not dispose of one drum of transuranic waste until the appropriate personnel are trained and all the bugs are worked out of the system. As with anything, practice makes perfect."

The demonstration will allow the DOE and Westinghouse to scrutinize many facets of the waste handling process including:

  • Proficiency of the waste handling operators during normal and emergency conditions/situations

  • Ability of the equipment to withstand a continuous waste handling process

  • The facility s ability to perform maintenance in parallel with waste handling activities.

Several improvements to the waste handling process over the past year -- such as the cross training of personnel to better use manpower -- are also paying dividends.

"The waste handling process continues to be refined and improved," said Epstein. "This means added safety and a cost savings for the taxpayer."

When all applicable state and federal environmental regulations have been met, the Secretary of Energy is expected to make a decision in October 1997 to open the WIPP as the nation s first deep-geologic repository for defense-generated nuclear waste. Shipments to the repository are scheduled to begin in April 1998.

DOE CLOSER TO SOLVING NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL PROBLEM, OPENING WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., July 15 -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is a step closer to solving the nation's nuclear waste disposal problem, meeting another major milestone that will lead to a decision to open the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 1998.

The DOE's Carlsbad Area Office submitted the final No-Migration Variance Petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a No-Migration Determination that will allow radioactive and hazardous-mixed waste disposal at the WIPP. The No-Migration Determination is one of three regulatory approvals needed before the WIPP can open as the nation's first permanent underground repository for nuclear waste.

"Some oversight and regulatory groups expressed skepticism when we announced our aggressive approach to get the WIPP ready for an October 1997 disposal decision by the Secretary of Energy," said George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office. "By submitting the no-migration petition on time, we have met yet another major milestone established in the WIPP Disposal Decision Plan. We are a step closer to demonstrating compliance with environmental regulations as required by Congress."

The No-Migration Variance Petition requires the DOE to demonstrate, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the WIPP disposal boundary -- for as long as the wastes remain hazardous. Upon approval from the EPA, the DOE will be granted a no-migration determination for WIPP disposal activities.

The Disposal Decision Plan, developed by the Carlsbad Area Office in April 1994, is a time line that guides a variety of WIPP activities including the regulatory/technical process, stakeholder/oversight input, experimental programs and performance assessment, site operations, and waste characterization.

In addition to the No-Migration Variance Petition, the DOE also must obtain a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Part B permit from the New Mexico Environment Department and certification from the EPA stating that the WIPP meets long-term radioactive disposal criteria.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WESTERN GOVERNORS WANT TIMELY WIPP OPENING THAT INCLUDES FULL-SCALE OPERATIONS

CARLSBAD, N.M., July 7, 1996 -- The Western Governors' Association (WGA) has passed a resolution that encourages the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to open the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as soon as possible to reduce public and environmental risks.

The resolution, passed during the association's annual meeting in June, stresses the importance of the WIPP to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste. Sponsored by Governors Roy Romer of Colorado, Phil Batt of Idaho, and Gary Johnson of New Mexico, the resolution reads, in part:

. . . it is the objective of the western governors to secure . . . the earliest possible opening of WIPP. The governors are committed to working cooperatively with the Congress, DOE, and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to achieve this objective.

"This resolution reflects the western governors continuing interest and involvement in WIPP. We re committed to support the opening of WIPP -- on schedule with no shortcuts," said Johnson, whose state hosts the WIPP.

The governors stressed that all issues must be resolved to support the WIPP s scheduled April 1998 opening. They urge the DOE and the EPA to demonstrate as quickly as possible that WIPP can comply with requirements of the 1992 WIPP Land Withdrawal Act.

This Act identifies legal and administrative actions needed to open WIPP. The Secretary of Energy will decide in October 1997 whether to operate WIPP as a disposal facility. Based on that decision, the WIPP could receive its first waste shipment in April 1998.

The governors also "strongly encourage" the DOE and the Office of Management and Budget to find any needed resources to operate WIPP at full capacity "as quickly as safety and compliance considerations will allow." The resolution directs the WGA to "monitor the progress of meeting scheduled WIPP milestones and report to the western governors any developments that may delay its opening."

The WGA, an independent, non-partisan organization, provides strong leadership on the many vital issues that shape the future of the West. It includes representation from 18 western states.

The WIPP, administered by the DOE Carlsbad Area Office, is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

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DOE' S CARLSBAD AREA OFFICE REACHES 1,000-MARK IN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROGRAM

CARLSBAD, N.M., June 21 -- More than 1,000 companies, universities and nonprofit organizations have used the Internet System on their computers to obtain, at no cost, taxpayer-funded technology developed through the U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office. The Carlsbad Area Office administers the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the National Transuranic Program.

Since revamping the technology transfer program in January 1995, the Carlsbad Area Office and the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division have completed more than 1,000 technology transfer projects with businesses and organizations. Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the Carlsbad Area Office at the WIPP.

"We're getting smarter in terms of using the Internet to target potential customers and provide them with the information they need to apply for the transfers," said Patti Crockett of the Carlsbad Area Office. "We now include the technology transfer applications with our Internet opportunity notices, which results in a nearly paperless process."

To put the numbers into perspective, the Carlsbad Area Office completed 201 technology transfer projects in all of 1995. Completing some 800 transfers in the first six months of 1996 demonstrates the positive impact the Internet is having on the program. Technology developed at the Carlsbad Area Office has been transferred to businesses, universities, and organizations in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.

"North Dakota is the only state in which businesses and organizations have yet to apply for our service," said George Dials, Manager of the Carlsbad Area Office. "We are not sure why this is the case, but our aggressive marketing via the Internet and through other means will eventually attract attention in that state as well."

The Carlsbad Area Office Technology Transfer Program is designed to promote economic development and competitiveness in the private sector, improve the quality of organizational operations, enhance education and training, and ensure maximum return on taxpayer investment. The technology, which consists mainly of training materials, technical manuals, and managerial tools developed at the Carlsbad Area Office, is available to organizations for nonexclusive commercialization or internal use at no cost.

Among the major organizations in the United States taking advantage of the program are: Proctor and Gamble (Cincinnati, OH); the U.S. Military Academy (West Point, NY); the University of Notre Dame (West Bend, IN); Duke University (Durham, NC); and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (Cambridge, MA).

Anyone interested in more information on Carlsbad Area Office technology transfer opportunities can call Bill Keeley at (505) 234-7594, or reach him through the Internet at Bill.Keeley@wipp.ws.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for characterizing, transporting, packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 30 small and large sites nationwide.

MORE THAN 40 TRIBES TO ATTEND DOE'S NATIONAL TRIBAL SYMPOSIUM

CARLSBAD, N.M., June 18 -- Representatives of more than 40 tribes from 11 states and the District of Columbia are in Carlsbad attending the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office National Tribal Symposium. The conference runs June 17-20.

The DOE is hosting the symposium to receive input from tribal leaders whose lands may be along transportation routes for shipments of defense-generated transuranic radioactive waste that will be permanently disposed of at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The symposium fulfills a congressional and presidential mandate that requires the DOE to seek tribal involvement in planning for shipments of waste to the WIPP. About 75 representatives from Idaho, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, California, New York, Nevada, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, Utah and the District of Columbia are attending.

Tribal leaders are visiting the WIPP to see, first hand, how the DOE plans to permanently dispose of transuranic waste. The topics being covered include radiological response, technology transfer, emergency response training, the WIPP transportation system and how it works, WIPP raptor research and land management, DOE-tribal cooperative agreements, and tribal authority and jurisdiction on interstate highways.

The symposium gives tribes a mechanism to participate in the development of the WIPP's second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement are scheduled for late summer and early fall.

The DOE is working to get the WIPP permitted for operation through a permitting process with the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When the DOE meets all applicable regulatory requirements, the Secretary of Energy will decide in October 1997 whether to operate the WIPP as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository. A positive decision by the Secretary would mean that waste shipments could begin in April 1998.

The Carlsbad Area Office administers the WIPP and National Transuranic programs.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for characterizing, transporting, packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 30 small and large sites nationwide.

ANALYSIS OF WIPP'S LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE TO UNDERGO JOINT INTERNATIONAL PEER REVIEW

CARLSBAD, N.M., June 7, 1996 -- An agreement signed today in Paris, France, sets into motion the first ever joint international peer review involving the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agencies will combine worldwide scientific expertise to review the DOE Carlsbad Area Office analysis of the long-term performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Requested by the Carlsbad Area Office, this peer review is a first for the NEA and the IAEA. The two agencies typically offer such services separately to their member countries. The objective of the joint NEA/IAEA peer review is to examine whether the post-closure assessment of the WIPP is appropriate, technically sound and conforms with international standards and practices. The NEA will coordinate and manage the review.

The information being reviewed is included in the Compliance Certification Application for WIPP that the Carlsbad Area Office will submit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October 1996. The EPA criteria require the Carlsbad Area Office to demonstrate that the WIPP repository will isolate the wastes placed in it from the accessible environment for 10,000 years.

"While this review is not a requirement of our permit application, it will provide us and our regulator, the EPA with additional confidence in the performance assessment conducted on the WIPP facility," said George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office.

"The WIPP project is a model for international geologic repository development. Through this peer review, it is possible to benefit from the experience of the world's leading experts in nuclear waste disposal and radiological safety assessments as we work to bring the WIPP on line as a critical step toward solving the nation's nuclear waste disposal problem," Dials said.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste generated by defense-related activities. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists primarily of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

For the purpose of the review, the agencies will appoint a group of independent international experts from fields such as geology, geochemistry, material sciences, radiation and environmental protection, and nuclear safety. The expert group will include representatives from nuclear regulatory bodies, radioactive waste management agencies, universities, and research institutions.

The review will begin in October 1996 and will cover a six-month period. It will be conducted on the basis of detailed documentation provided by the Carlsbad Area Office and discussions with the specialists involved with the WIPP project during a site visit. A report containing the international expert group's findings will be submitted to the Carlsbad Area Office.

WESTINGHOUSE ANNOUNCES MANAGERIAL APPOINTMENTS AT WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., June 6 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division announces several management changes at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Hubert C. Bowditch, formerly of Graham, N.C., is manager of computer services. In this position, Bowditch is responsible for providing computer hardware and software assistance for Westinghouse and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office. Bowditch holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Tuskegee University and a master's degree in Business Administration Management from Oklahoma City University.

Mark A. White is assistant manager of facility operations at the WIPP. White, a Carlsbad native, has held various positions with the Waste Isolation Division since 1988. As assistant manager of facility operations, White is responsible for technical and administrative support for plant operations and shift personnel. White holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering Management from Southwest University.

Joe R. Franco serves as manager of emergency management. Franco, also a Carlsbad native, has been with the Waste Isolation Division for seven years, performing work in several areas including, most recently, facility operations. In his capacity as emergency management manager, Franco is responsible for the WIPP Emergency Operations Center, emergency services and response, emergency planning and occurrence reporting. Franco is pursuing a degree in engineering management from Southwest University.

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the WIPP. In this capacity, Westinghouse initiates personnel changes to better serve the DOE in its mission to open and operate the WIPP as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

NEWLY APPOINTED DOE OFFICIAL LAUDS SENM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

CARLSBAD, N.M., May 30 -- Al Alm, making his first official field visit since being appointed assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE), Office of Environmental Management, arrived at the Carlsbad Area Office today to help break ground for a multimillion dollar training center that will serve southeastern New Mexico.

"I am following up on a commitment made by Secretary Hazel O'Leary in 1994," said Alm, in Carlsbad for a programmatic review of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and National Transuranic Waste programs. "This is a magnificent day for the Department of Energy and southeastern New Mexico. Partnerships like this are economically beneficial and productive for government and the citizens of this nation. The Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Training Center is a product of that partnership. It is a direct result of the long-standing cooperative efforts of the Department of Energy and the city of Carlsbad, with support from the U.S. Economic Development Agency, the state of New Mexico and New Mexico State University."

The training center will provide business development and worker training services, while creating a highly trained workforce that will attract and promote new business ventures. George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office, which administers the WIPP and National Transuranic programs, said the facility will allow area manufacturers easy access to state-of-the-art facilities and training programs supportive of the DOE's programmatic needs in waste management.

Specialized training and services will include industrial classes introducing new processes and technology; access to technologies at national laboratories including Sandia and Los Alamos; facility planning, equipment identification, engineering and support services; and management audits, policies procedures, personnel services and organizational structures. Lease space will also be available for start-up business development, business offices and laboratories conducting new product research and development.

"Not only will this facility provide valuable training, it will help transfer valuable technology to existing businesses, while expanding the area's tax base," said Dials. "More jobs will be created by businesses and individuals taking advantage of programs offered at the center."

Alm said the project is an integral part of the DOE's cultural change from isolation and self-sufficiency to one in which interdependence and technology transfer to the private sector have become the cultural norm.

"The DOE believes in contributing to communities from which it draws much of its support," said Alm. "This is but one of several economic initiatives designed to foster growth and economic prosperity for the region and technology leadership for the nation in the market areas of hazardous and nuclear waste management."

DOE's contributions to the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Training Center include

  • A cooperative agreement of $2 million was provided to The Carlsbad Department of Development in January 1996 to support project operations.

  • A grant of $300,000 in fiscal year 1995 to define needs, work requirements, and deliverables.

  • Surplus equipment estimated at more than $250,000 identified for transfer to the center.

When completed in January 1997, the center will offer 36,000 square feet of classroom space. In the interim, basic classes, which will lead to courses in advanced manufacturing, are being offered at New Mexico State University-Carlsbad.

Since 1993, the DOE has contributed or committed almost $40 million in funding for economic development projects in southeastern New Mexico. Projects, other than the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Training Center, include $33 million to operate the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. The center, besides offering the region world- class laboratory capabilities, is the central collection point for scientists who are gathering environmental data in preparation for WIPP waste shipments.

An additional $500,000 is provided for standardized training for WIPP and other DOE site workers participating in the National Transuranic Waste Program. Safety courses that aren't currently offered to regional companies are also funded under this program.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Waste Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for storing, characterizing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

DOE OUTLINES PLAN FOR SECOND WIPP ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

CARLSBAD, N.M., May 22 -- A plan developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office outlines how the DOE will implement a second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The Implementation Plan, which is available to stakeholders and the public, incorporates public input received by the DOE during a Fall 1995 scoping period for the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The plan details several possible scenarios for the WIPP, ranging from disposal of all transuranic radioactive waste, to closing and dismantling the government facility.

Stakeholders will have a second opportunity for input when the DOE holds public hearings on the draft WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The draft document is currently in DOE review and will be made available to stakeholders in late July. Beginning no earlier than 15 days after the document is sent to stakeholders for comment, the DOE will hold public hearings at several cities nationwide. Comments from the public hearings will be reviewed and incorporated into a final document, which will be followed by a Record of Decision in March 1997.

The second supplement will update the information contained in the first Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. Generally, this study evaluates new information and any changes related to the environmental impacts of waste characterization, treatment, and certification; packaging and transportation; site operations and waste emplacement; and long-term performance of the repository.

Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide. These sites must package the waste to meet strict waste acceptance criteria before shipments can be transported to the WIPP for final disposal.

The DOE is working to get the WIPP licensed for operation through a permitting process with the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When the DOE meets all applicable regulatory requirements, the Secretary of Energy will decide in October 1997 whether to operate the WIPP as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository. A positive decision by the Secretary would mean that waste shipments could begin in April 1998.

Administered by the Carlsbad Area Office, the WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of primarily clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

For more information, please call the WIPP information Center at 1-800-336-WIPP (9477) and request the Implementation Plan for the second WIPP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

IDAHO ATTORNEY GENERAL VISITS THE WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., May 17 -- Idaho Attorney General Alan G. Lance visited the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) today to see where the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste from his state. About one-quarter of the waste destined for the WIPP is currently temporarily stored at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.

A 1995 court settlement requires the DOE to begin shipping transuranic waste out of Idaho by April 1999.

"The opening of the WIPP site on schedule is a critical component of Idaho's court settlement with the federal government," Lance said. "I support (Idaho) Governor Batt and our congressional delegation as they work with DOE officials to get the WIPP open."

Soon after the facility's scheduled opening in 1998, the DOE would begin shipping more than 140,000 drum equivalents (55-gallon drums), or more than one million cubic feet, of transuranic waste from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory to the WIPP for permanent disposal. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium, from the research and production of nuclear weapons.

The DOE is working to get the WIPP licensed for operation through a permitting process with the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When the DOE meets all applicable regulatory requirements, the Secretary of Energy will decide in October 1997 whether to operate the WIPP as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository. A positive decision by the Secretary would mean that waste shipments from Idaho could begin in April 1998.

The DOE's Carlsbad Area Office is responsible for the WIPP and National Transuranic programs.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.

The National Transuranic Waste Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for storing, characterizing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 10 major generator/storage sites and several small quantity sites nationwide.

COMMERCIAL MINING FIRM RECEIVING VPP MENTORING FROM DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

CARLSBAD, N.M., May 8 -- Cyprus Miami Mining Corporation, in Arizona, will receive technical assistance from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as the mining company applies for a coveted Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) safety designation from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

This is the first time a government facility, such as WIPP, has ever mentored a commercial operation in safety under the VPP. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office and the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division manage and operate the WIPP site, an underground nuclear waste repository scheduled to open in 1998.

The DOE Carlsbad Area Office, Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division, and Cyprus Miami Mining entered a formal mentoring agreement in early April. Under the agreement, DOE and Westinghouse will advise Cyprus with its application process and help prepare the corporation for an intensive site visit by an OSHA assessment team.

In support of an application for a VPP designation, applicants may receive assistance from a similar industry that has star status. The Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division was awarded a VPP star status by the U.S. Department of Energy on October 3, 1994.

"The Voluntary Protection Program is not just another safety program," said Jayne A. Davis, the WIPP manager of Industrial Safety and Health. "It is a national recognition of a safety culture and process that is already in place."

Cyprus Miami Mining Corporation is a copper mining and processing operation that has already received international recognition for its environmental reclamation success and its total quality management programs.

Robert R. Altamirano, Cyprus Miami Mining manager of Safety and Industrial Hygiene, said "our application for VPP status to OSHA is an important step in recognizing and validating our employees' safety and total quality work-life."

"Our Cyprus Miami management team is fully committed to proving our commitment to a total safety culture and achieving VPP recognition for it," Altamirano said.

George Dials, Carlsbad Area Office manager for the DOE, said when he signed the mentoring agreement at WIPP that "the VPP designation has rejuvenated our people to go to the next level in search of total safety."

"Everyone has a personal responsibility for their own and their co-workers' safety," Dials said.

"We enjoy a complete recognition at the worker level that their safety is the first priority of the organization. At WIPP there is no penalty for bringing a safety issue up. There are only rewards for doing so. Our safety advisors, OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) can come and look at us at anytime. What we do here at WIPP, we do to keep ourselves safe, not just to meet regulations."

A delegation of executives and hourly workers from both Cyprus Miami Mining and its parent corporation, Cyprus Amax, visited the WIPP site for two days, signing the mentoring agreement. The workers were paired with WIPP workers who shared their work sites and discussed safety for the better part of the two days.

WESTINGHOUSE AWARDS 2,500 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS TO COUNTY STUDENTS

CARLSBAD, N.M., May 8 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation announced today that Eric Campos and Sharon Graves have been awarded $2,500 college scholarships for the 1996-97 school year.

Campos, an honor student who will graduate from Carlsbad High School in May, was awarded Westinghouse's New Mexico State University-Las Cruces, scholarship, while Graves, an Artesia resident attending the College of the Southwest-Carlsbad, will continue her education with the $2,500 award.

The son of Martin and Emma Campos of Carlsbad, Eric Campos has maintained a 4.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Students may surpass the 4.0 scale by taking advanced courses at Carlsbad High School. Graves graduated from Artesia High School in 1992 with a 4.0 grade point average. She has attended Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and West Texas A&M University, maintaining grade point averages of 3.9 and 3.5, respectively.

The Westinghouse Scholarship Committee selected Campos and Graves for the awards based on their scholastic standing, community involvement and financial need.

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy Carlsbad Area Office's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

WIPP TRAINING PROVES EFFECTIVE IN RESPONDING TO COMMERCIAL RADIOLOGICAL SPILL

CARLSBAD, N.M., May 6 -- Officials from the Wyoming Emergency Management Agency have high praise for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Westinghouse Electric Corporation following a recent radiological spill involving a commercial transportation carrier.

"The WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) training program is excellent," said Chuck Fraley, radiological response team leader for the state of Wyoming, who was at the scene of the spill near Laramie, Wyo. "The training performed under the DOE contract along U.S. Interstate 80 proved to be effective for the local responders. They knew exactly what they could and could not do. We had little to do when we arrived on the scene, which is a tribute to the training provided by the DOE and Westinghouse."

On March 31, 1996, the Wyoming Highway Patrol was notified of a spill involving a radiological material. Using training provided by the DOE, the Laramie Fire Department effectively secured the area near the spill and assisted as radiological team members from the commercial carrier repackaged a container that was leaking an oily substance.

(Note: This was commercial radioactive waste in a commercial carrier. Neither the waste nor the carrier is connected with the WIPP).

Fraley said local responders use the WIPP training to reduce the risk of any possible safety threat to the public or environment. "Obviously, this isn't the first time that we have responded to a spill like this," said the Wyoming emergency official. "Having locals trained as first responders makes our (the state of Wyoming) job easier. This is an effective use of taxpayer dollars to ensure public safety."

Since 1988, the DOE and Westinghouse, the management and operating contractor at the WIPP, have worked with states along proposed transuranic waste shipping routes to ensure emergency response personnel are adequately trained. No waste is currently being shipped.

The WIPP States Training and Education Program (STEP) has provided instruction for more than 10,000 emergency response professionals in 12 states. STEP training focuses on response to potential accidents involving WIPP waste shipments. Classroom instruction includes caring for accident victims, guarding the public welfare, protecting the environment, and ensuring the safety of responders.

As part of its training, the DOE provides six courses including first responder, first responder refresher, command and control, mitigation, train-the-trainer, and medical management. As required by federal law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reviewed and certified the STEP in 1993.

Laramie emergency response personnel have received the first responder and first responder refresher courses. Both courses are intended for the first emergency people arriving at an accident scene. Emergency response actions and responder decontamination at the accident site are among the skills taught in the courses. First responders include members of fire and police departments and emergency medical services.

Administered by the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, the WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. The WIPP is located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad. Project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The DOE is working to get the WIPP licensed for operation through a permitting process with the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When the DOE meets all applicable regulatory requirements, the Secretary of Energy will decide in October 1997 whether to operate the WIPP as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository. A positive decision by the Secretary will mean that waste shipments from 23 storage/generator sites could begin in April 1998.

Shipments of transuranic waste from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory near Idaho Falls and the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash., will travel through Wyoming on Interstate 80 en route to the WIPP.

WIPP MINE RESCUE TEAMS FINISH FIRST, SECOND IN SW REGIONAL COMPETITION

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 29 -- Mine rescue teams from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) continued their winning ways here recently, sweeping to first and second place finishes at the 14th annual Southwestern Regional Mine Rescue Competition.

"This high level of performance exemplifies the DOE and Westinghouse's emphasis on safety at the WIPP," said Joe Epstein, general manager of Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division. "We are very pleased with the level at which our mine rescue teams compete. It is consistent with our commitment to excellence in all environmental, safety and health areas at the WIPP."

The defending national champion WIPP Blue Mine Rescue team came away with top honors in the two-day, April 18-19, competition. The WIPP Silver Mine Rescue team was second, while Solvay Minerals of Green River, Wyo. finished third. IMC Global and Western-Ag Minerals, both of Carlsbad, rounded out the top five places.

Additionally, the WIPP Blue team was awarded the state mine inspector's trophy for the best New Mexico team in the competition.

Officials from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), a federal agency that regulates mining activities nationwide, along with the New Mexico Mine Inspector's Office and Arizona State Mine Inspector's Office, judged the event. Ten teams from Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming and the Republic of Mexico competed.

Individual honors went to Joe Baca of the winning WIPP Blue team who won the benchman's competition, while Fred Miller of the WIPP Silver team was third. The benchman competition tests the skills required to maintain and repair self-contained breathing apparatus used by team members to access areas where air is not breathable.

In order to keep skills current and at top efficiency, mine rescue teams compete in mock disasters arranged for and judged by MSHA officials. Each team member is proficient in mine gas detection, ventilation, first aid, mine recovery and fire fighting. In a real emergency, their lives and the lives of co-workers would depend on the proficiency of the team's skills.

Team members voluntarily participate in mine rescue competitions and conduct much of their mine rescue training on their own time. All members hold full-time jobs within the Waste Isolation Division, the DOE's management and operating contractor at the WIPP.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

DOE ISSUES REVISED WASTE ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA FOR THE WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 26 -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office completed a major progress milestone by approving a comprehensive update of the Waste Acceptance Criteria for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The document outlines specific requirements that 23 DOE generator/storage sites must meet before they can ship transuranic radioactive waste to the WIPP for permanent disposal. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium, left from the research and production of nuclear weapons.

Revision five of the WIPP Waste Acceptance Criteria is designed to be more "user-friendly" for staff at generator and storage sites responsible for waste certification. The Waste Acceptance Criteria presents all the requirements the waste must meet in a single document. Previously, staff had to consult several documents to obtain necessary information. The document designates the Carlsbad Area Office manager as the certifying officer, who certifies sites' ability to perform waste certification activities.

Under the revised criteria, the Carlsbad Area Office, which oversees the WIPP and National Transuranic programs, has the authority to grant or suspend site permission to ship and dispose of transuranic waste. Each site is required to submit copies of its certification and quality assurance project plans to the Carlsbad Area Office for review and approval. In turn, the Carlsbad Area Office will perform certification audits of the sites to assess the implementation of, and compliance with, the approved plans.

Examples of criteria that generator/storage sites must meet before shipping waste include:

  • Containers must be the U.S. Department of Transportation "Type A," 55-gallon drum or standard waste box

  • Drums and standard waste boxes can't weigh more than 1,000 and 4,000 pounds, respectively

  • Each container must be marked with a bar code

  • No container may have more than one percent of residual liquid, and

  • No compressed, ignitable, reactive or corrosive wastes are allowed.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.

The National Transuranic Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for characterizing, transporting, packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste.

For more information on revision five of the WIPP Waste Acceptance Criteria, call 1-800-336-WIPP (9477) .

TOP DOE OFFICIAL FROM NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE SITE VISITS WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 26 -- A top U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) official from a major nuclear waste generator/storage site visited the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) earlier this week to see, first hand, where tons of radioactive waste will be permanently disposed of.

"Opening the WIPP is a critical first step in solving this nation's nuclear waste problem," said Dr. Mario P. Fiori, Manager of the DOE's Savannah River Operations Office in Aiken, S.C. "With WIPP scheduled to open in April 1998, the department is working hard to open the southern transportation corridor, characterize the waste, and be ready to ship transuranic waste shortly after WIPP opens."

Soon after the facility opens in 1998, the DOE will begin shipping more than 46,000 drum equivalents (55-gallon drums), or 339,000 cubic feet, of transuranic waste from the Savannah River Site to the WIPP for permanent disposal. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium, during the research and production of nuclear weapons.

The Savannah River Site was constructed during the early 1950s to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium­239. Owned by DOE and operated under contract by the Westinghouse Savannah River Company, the complex covers 310 square miles in western South Carolina along the Savannah River.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.

For more information on the WIPP and its associated programs, call

1-800-336-WIPP (9477) or visit the WIPP home page on the Internet at http://www.wipp.ws.

NEW MEXICO, IDAHO GOVERNORS TOUR WIPP, DISCUSS ITS NATIONAL IMPORTANCE

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 22 -- New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, along with Idaho Governor Philip Batt and Congressman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, visited this southeastern New Mexico city today to learn, first hand, the status of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

"I invited Governor Batt and Congressman Crapo here today to tour the facility and get a better understanding of where the WIPP is headed and learn how we, as governors and lawmakers, can help get the facility open in 1998," Johnson said during a briefing with reporters at the WIPP. "It is appropriate, as our nation recognizes Earth Day, we are here at the WIPP looking for a solution to an environmental problem. New Mexico continues to do its part to close the circle on the splitting of the atom. It is important that we work closely with other states to solve this nation's nuclear waste problem. Leaving the waste in temporary storage is environmentally irresponsible."

Johnson first toured the WIPP in 1994 while seeking his party's nomination for governor. He has worked closely with Batt in an attempt to open the WIPP as a permanent underground repository for defense-generated transuranic radioactive waste.

"For 50 years, this nation has buried its head in the sand about what to do with nuclear waste," Batt said. "This nation has got to come to a long-term solution. Getting the WIPP open is a critical step in realizing a long-term solution for Idaho and the nation."

Johnson and Batt are particularly interested in seeing that the WIPP opens. That's because the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho, will be the first generator/temporary storage sites to ship transuranic waste for permanent disposal at the WIPP.

Crapo, meanwhile, visited the WIPP for the first time and explained his interest in the project.

"The reason this facility should open is obvious. Without a place to dispose of the waste, cleanup is impossible," said the Idaho congressman, "and without cleanup, further decommissioning cannot occur."

Batt spoke briefly about Idaho's agreement with the DOE and the U.S. Navy to remove transuranic waste from his state. AThe agreement I negotiated in late 1995 requires the DOE to begin shipping the transuranic waste now stored in Idaho, to the WIPP by 1999," he said. AWe can't solve environmental problems at sites like Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and others without WIPP."

The DOE is working to get the WIPP licensed for operation through a permitting process with the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When the DOE meets all applicable regulatory requirements, the Secretary of Energy will decide in October 1997 whether to operate the WIPP as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository. A positive decision by the Secretary will mean that waste shipments from Los Alamos and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory could begin in April 1998.

The DOE's Carlsbad Area Office is responsible for the WIPP and National Transuranic programs.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for characterizing, transporting, packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste. Defense-generated transuranic waste is temporarily stored at more than 30 small and large sites nationwide.

INNOVATIVE USE OF VIDEO EQUIPMENT ENHANCES WIPP MINE MAINTENANCE

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 19 - - Mine Operations personnel at the U. S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are using a video system adapted to a mining machine for safer, more efficient scaling of walls (ribs) in the project's underground facility. Scaling of the mine walls is a routine part of ground control efforts in the WIPP underground, ensuring a continued safe work environment.

The WIPP is a repository designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Operated by the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, the WIPP is located 26 miles east of Carlsbad. Project facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in an ancient, stable salt formation.

Mining personnel with the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division (WID), the management and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP, have successfully used the Fletcher scaler for years to remove loose salt from the walls of the mined areas. The scaler is seven feet wide and 25 feet long, with a 20-foot boom to which the chisel tip is mounted. This configuration requires the operator to rely on another person to direct the positioning of the boom.

"Always looking for ways to improve their work, our mining technicians felt scaling operations could be accomplished more efficiently and effectively if the operator could actually see the chisel tip from his position on the machine," said Curtis McAvoy, WID's manager of Underground Operations. "The idea that came out of this was to adapt a video system to the scaler."

Continuous Mining Machine Specialist Mike Daniels, who operates the scaler, began investigating the possibility of using a video camera to view the chisel tip during operation. With the help of Curtis Potter and Roy Dearing, Sr., a camera and monitor recovered from a closed WIPP underground experimental room were used in a series of field tests. The results of the field tests were promising and the trio gained approval to proceed.

A Plexiglas screen cover and a filtered, forced-air cooling system were developed to protect the monitor from salt dust. The monitor and camera are both mounted on rubber to minimize vibration, and "quick-connect" mounts allow for easy removal of the video equipment when direct overhead scaling is performed. Additionally, the camera mount adjusts vertically and horizontally, and the video cable is plated with metal for added protection.

"I'm really happy with the way this has turned out," said Daniels. "I can really see what I'm doing with the chisel tip, and I like the added comfort of knowing things are safer for the other operators working around the machine."

DOE Carlsbad Area Office Manager George Dials sees the innovation as just one more example of why the WIPP has amassed its impressive safety record and string of eight consecutive Mine Operator of the Year awards from the state of New Mexico Mine Inspector. "Safety and efficiency are keys to the success of the WIPP program, and WIPP employees continuously respond to the challenges by devising better ways of doing business," Dials stated.

TRUPACT-II WASTE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM ON EXHIBIT IN INDIANAPOLIS

CARLSBAD, NM, April 17 -- One of the safest radioactive and hazardous waste transportation systems on the road today will be on exhibit for two events sponsored by state and federal agencies, April 23-25, in Indianapolis, Ind.

On loan from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office for the events, the Transuranic Package Transporter, Model 2 (TRUPACT-II) is specially designed to safely transport drums of transuranic radioactive waste to the DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, N.M.

The TRUPACT-II Transportation System will be on display beginning April 23 at the Radisson Hotel City Centre for the final day of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Workshop. The transporter will remain on exhibit, April 24-25, for the Eighth Annual National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials Conference.

Described by the National Academy of Sciences as "the safest (transportation system) employed for any hazardous material in the United States today," the TRUPACT-II measures eight feet in diameter and ten feet high. The receptacle is certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and considered safe under U.S. Department of Transportation standards. At a cost of about $350,000, the leaktight container is built with stainless steel and constructed with inner and outer containment vessels.

Before its original certification by the NRC in 1989, the TRUPACT-II underwent extensive drop, puncture and burn tests by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. Each container can hold two layers of seven 55-gallon drums, or two standard waste boxes, containing transuranic waste.

A conventional, lightweight diesel tractor and semi-trailer is used to transport as many as three TRUPACT-II containers at one time. A key feature of the carrier includes a computer console that links the vehicle with a nationwide/communication tracking system and the central monitoring room at the WIPP site. The tractor also features mobile and cellular telephones to allow backup two-way communication.

Drivers are required to pass stringent traffic safety and emergency response examinations, maintain excellent driving records and renew their certification each year. Training includes a driver recovery procedure in case a TRUPACT-II becomes separated from the trailer in an accident.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division serves as the management and operating contractor for the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office at the WIPP. CAST Trucking, Inc. of Denver, Colo. will transport transuranic waste for the DOE under a subcontract to Westinghouse. Transuranic waste will be transported to the WIPP from more than 23 small and large temporary storage sites nationwide

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

When all applicable state and federal environmental regulations have been met, the Secretary of Energy is expected to make a decision in October 1997 to open the WIPP as the nation's first deep-geologic repository for defense-generated nuclear waste. Shipments to the repository are scheduled to begin in April 1998.

DOE ADDRESSES STATE'S COMMENTS ON WIPP PERMIT APPLICATION

Carlsbad, N.M., April 12 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office today responded to comments received from the New Mexico Environment Department regarding technical aspects of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's (WIPP) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Part B permit application.

The application, required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and New Mexico hazardous waste management regulations, describes disposal of transuranic mixed waste in the underground repository. The Hazardous and Radioactive Materials Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department is reviewing the WIPP's Part B application for technical adequacy.

The response to the New Mexico Environment Department addresses the state's request for additional information on waste characterization, risk assessment, monitoring plans, and closure plans. The reply was provided within the allotted 30-day response period.

"We appreciate the thoroughness of the New Mexico Environment Department review and believe it has resulted in a more comprehensive application," said George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office. "We are confident that the regulator will stay on schedule for completing its review of the DOE application."

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

TRUPACT-II WASTE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM FEATURED AT TRICIPE IV

BEND, Ore, April 11 -- One of the safest radioactive and hazardous waste transportation systems on the road today will be exhibited at the TRICIPE IV Trade Show and Conference, August 7-8, in Pasco, Wash.

TRICIPE IV, to be held at the TRAC facility, spotlights the latest technologies in radioactive and hazardous materials handling, cleanup and disposal, pollution monitoring and remediation, recycling, workplace safety and other environmental fields.

This year's two-day show and conference is expected to draw more than 3,000 people from the United States and Canada.

On loan from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office for the show, the Transuranic Package Transporter, Model 2 (TRUPACT-II) is specially designed to safely transport drums of transuranic radioactive waste to the DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, N.M.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

Transuranic waste will be transported to the WIPP from more than 23 small and large temporary storage sites nationwide, including the Hanford Nuclear Site, a 560-square-mile expanse of eastern Washington desert where plutonium and other materials for nuclear weapons and other uses were produced for more than 40 years. The Hanford site is targeted for the most extensive environmental cleanup ever undertaken.

Described by the National Academy of Sciences as Athe safest (transportation system) employed for any hazardous material in the United States today," the TRUPACT-II measures eight feet in diameter and ten feet high. The receptacle is certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and considered safe under U.S. Department of Transportation standards. At a cost of about $350,000, the leaktight container is built with stainless steel and constructed with inner and outer containment vessels.

Before its original certification by the NRC in 1989, the TRUPACT-II underwent extensive drop, puncture and burn tests by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. Each container can hold two layers of seven 55-gallon drums, or two standard waste boxes, containing transuranic waste.

A conventional, lightweight diesel tractor and semi-trailer is used to transport as many as three TRUPACT-II containers at one time. A key feature of the carrier includes a computer console that links the vehicle with a nationwide/communication tracking system and the central monitoring room at the WIPP site. The tractor also features mobile and cellular telephones to allow backup two-way communication.

Drivers are required to pass stringent traffic safety and emergency response examinations, maintain excellent driving records and renew their certification each year. Training includes a driver recovery procedure in case a TRUPACT-II becomes separated from the trailer in an accident.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division serves as the management and operating contractor for the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office at the WIPP. CAST Trucking, Inc. of Denver, Colo. will transport transuranic waste for the DOE under a subcontract to Westinghouse.

When all applicable state and federal environmental regulations have been met, the Secretary of Energy is expected to make a decision in October 1997 to open the WIPP as the nation's first deep-geologic repository for defense-generated nuclear waste. Shipments to the repository are scheduled to begin in April 1998.

STUDENTS GAIN WORK EXPERIENCE AT DOE'S CARLSBAD AREA OFFICE

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 8 -- Students in grades 8-11 from schools in Eddy and Lea counties are gaining valuable experience by spending time with employees of the U.S. Department of Energy's Carlsbad Area Office and the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division.

Ninety-eight students from schools in Carlsbad, Eunice, Hobbs, Jal, and Loving are participating in the 1996 Shadowing Program at the Carlsbad Area Office, which oversees the National Transuranic Program and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the Carlsbad Area Office at the WIPP.

A "shadow" is a student who teams up with an employee to gain hands-on experience in the workplace. This activity helps the students identify career options and develop confidence. Each student spends three days during the school year with a volunteer mentor at the work location.

"This program offers our employees the opportunity to share their knowledge and encourage these young people to continue pursuing their educational goals," said George Dials, Manager of the Carlsbad Area Office. "Our participation in this program is a great investment in the future."

The Shadowing Program began in 1990 with two students, two mentors, and a one-time visit to the WIPP site. Today, the program boasts of nearly 100 students, an equal number of mentors, and three visits to the WIPP site and the Carlsbad Area Office.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and development of nuclear weapons. Located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated 2,150 feet (nearly half a mile) underground in an ancient, stable salt formation. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

WESTINGHOUSE, DOE TO SERVE AS MENTORS FOR ARIZONA MINING COMPANY

CARLSBAD, N.M., April 3 -- An Arizona mining company will enter into a first-of-a-kind agreement with Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division, the primary contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office.

The Cyprus Miami Mining Corporation, located 85 miles east of Phoenix, Ariz., will receive technical assistance under a mentoring agreement to be signed with Westinghouse and the DOE on April 4, 1996. This will be the first time a DOE project has been named by the Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association (VPPPA) to mentor a commercial industry in safety.

The Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division received the prestigious DOE-VPP "star" status designation, October 3, 1994. When a site receives "star" status, it designates that its employees and management have embraced a total safety program that exceeds all industry and government standards.

The Cyprus Miami Mining Corporation is preparing an application to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a VPP designation. The company is expected to submit its application in June, followed by an OSHA on-site review. In support of the VPP application process, an applicant receives assistance from a similar industry that has received "star" status.

The Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division manages and operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for the DOE. The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other disposable items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

A delegation of senior executives and hourly workers from both Cyprus Miami and its parent corporation, Cyprus Amax, will visit the WIPP on April 4, 1996, to sign an agreement and kick off the mentoring activities.

Cyprus representatives will spend time with WIPP personnel to learn how the VPP safety culture works. In addition, WIPP workers and managers will share past experiences, including the application process and the week-long OSHA onsite inspection.

Cyprus Miami Mining Corporation is a copper mining and processing operation that has received international recognition for its environmental reclamation successes and its total quality management programs.

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DOE AND WESTERN STATES SIGN MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT FOR SAFE SHIPMENTS TO WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., MARCH 28 - - Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary and Nebraska Gov. E. Benjamin Nelson, chairman of the Western Governors' Association, have signed a memorandum of agreement on how transuranic waste will be shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, NM.

The agreement states how the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will use the regional protocols to safely transport transuranic waste to the WIPP, scheduled to begin receiving waste in April 1998.

The memorandum of agreement is intended to enhance the safety of transuranic waste transport, endorse the principles and procedures contained in the Western Governors' Association WIPP Transportation Safety Program Implementation Guide, and ensure communication between the Secretary of Energy, the Manager of the DOE-Carlsbad Area Office, and the western state governors on transuranic waste transportation issues. The regional planning and dialogue process facilitated by the Western Governors' Association provides member states and the DOE with the mechanism to address WIPP and other DOE transportation issues. Each state appoints a representative to the Western Governors' Association Technical Advisory Group for WIPP Transport.

Elements of the program address such areas as accident prevention, emergency preparedness, route designation, and public involvement. Managing the safe transportation of waste to the WIPP is the joint responsibility of federal, state, local, and tribal governments.

The Carlsbad Area Office works with the Western Governors' Association and the 11 shipping corridor states to conduct the WIPP shipping campaign employing standards and procedures negotiated through the 1991 DOE/ Western Governors= Association Cooperative Agreement, many of which are above federal regulatory requirements.

"This memorandum of agreement reaffirms the commitment made by the DOE and the western states to ensure the safe transport of waste to the WIPP," said Carlsbad Area Office Manager George E. Dials. "The western governors are actively involved in the WIPP program, and together we are ensuring operation of the safest possible nuclear waste transportation system available."

"Our goal is to have every one of the estimated 31,000 shipments of nuclear waste to WIPP be routine and uneventful," Nelson said. "At the same time, western governors are committed to ensuring that appropriate state, local, and tribal personnel are properly trained and equipped to handle any emergency that may arise."

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and development of nuclear weapons. Located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated 2,150 feet (nearly half a mile) underground in an ancient, stable salt formation. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

CARLSBAD AREA OFFICE WILL DO MORE WITH LESS MONEY IN FY-1997

CARLSBAD, N.M., March 19 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office will manage the National Transuranic Program and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) with less money in Fiscal Year 1997, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary announced this morning in making the DOE=s FY-1997 Congressional Budget Request.

O'Leary is requesting $165.9 million to fund the Carlsbad Area Office. The request -- $12 million less than current funding ($177.7 million) -- is needed to administer nationwide programs at several nuclear waste generator/storage sites, and to open and operate the WIPP.

The DOE's proposed FY-1997 budget Ainvests taxpayer dollars for maximum returns," O'Leary stressed today. The budget request enables the department to deliver concrete benefits fulfilling the Clinton adminstration's commitments to U.S. national security, environmental quality, energy security and science and technology.

George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office, which is responsible for the National Transuranic and WIPP programs, said additional funding may be needed for activities related to addressing waste disposal criteria developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"Upon review of the criteria, which the EPA issued in February 1996, it is now our opinion that additional resources are necessary to address requirements included in the criteria pertaining to engineered alternatives, human intrusion scenarios, certification monitoring, peer review, additional computer modeling and others," said Dials upon hearing O'Leary's budget request. "We have determined that an additional $21.5 million is needed for these purposes. These additional requirements were not in place when the Carlsbad Area Office FY-1997 budget was developed."

Dials said it is important to note that the DOE is on schedule to open the WIPP no later than April 1998. "We are proceeding in the most cost-effective manner that we can," he said. "The additional requirements are not expected to result in a schedule slip on any of our current milestones. I anticipate meeting the needs of the compliance activities through reallocation of resources from the National Transuranic Program, particularly with waste characterization activities at the generator sites."

"It will be a challenge to address the additional EPA requirements for certification under the current budget proposal's Dials added. "However, I expect that we will obtain a portion of the necessary funding. The Carlsbad Area Office's mission to open and operate the WIPP remains a priority in DOE. Secretary Hazel O'Leary and Under Secretary Thomas P. Grumbly are firm supporters of the program."

O'Leary is requesting $16.3 billion, a significant drop from the FY-1993 level of $19.3 billion, to fund all DOE activities in FY-1997. Of that amount, $6.3 billion is proposed for environmental quality programs, which include, but are not limited to, the cleanup, treatment and disposal of radioactive wastes left from the research and development of nuclear weapons. The Carlsbad Area Office is funded through the Office of Waste Management, which submitted a budget proposal of $1.5 billion for FY-1997.

The WIPP is designed to permanently dispose of transuranic waste left from the research and development of nuclear weapons. Located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated 2,150 feet (nearly half a mile) underground in an ancient, stable salt formation. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

The National Transuranic Program administers nationwide generation/storage site programs for packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste.

LEONARD NAMED MANAGER OF COMPLIANCE, PERMITTING AT THE WIPP

CARLSBAD, N.M., March 8 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division announces the appointment of Richard J. Leonard as Manager of Compliance and Permitting at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

In this capacity, Leonard is responsible for Westinghouse support of the WIPP's compliance with environmental regulations for the commencement of waste disposal operations. This includes a permit from the state of New Mexico for operation of a hazardous waste disposal facility, certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for WIPP's disposal of transuranic radioactive waste, and a determination by the EPA that hazardous constituents will not migrate from the facility.

Leonard has been with Westinghouse at the WIPP since 1990 in various capacities, including governmental affairs, program planning, and Executive Assistant to the General Manager. Prior to that he was with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Kansas City, Mo., working in the radiological emergency preparedness program for nuclear power plants in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Leonard, a native of St. Louis, Mo., is a civil engineering graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society.

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office at the WIPP. The WIPP is an underground repository designed to dispose of defense-generated transuranic radioactive waste. Located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in a stable salt formation that is more than 225 million years old.

WESTINGHOUSE OFFERS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS TO LOCAL STUDENTS

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 29 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation announced today that two $2,500 college scholarships will be awarded to Eddy County students. Deadline to apply is April 5.

The scholarships will be honored by New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, and the College of the Southwest (CSW) in Carlsbad. High school seniors applying for the NMSU scholarship should be interested in careers related to science, mathematics or engineering. The CSW-Carlsbad scholarship, available to Eddy County students, may be used for any discipline.

To qualify for either scholarship, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and actively involved in their community. Financial need of applicants will also be considered in awarding the scholarships.

For more information on the NMSU-Las Cruces scholarship, high school seniors should contact their counselors. College students wishing to apply for the CSW-Carlsbad scholarship should call Linda Aycock at 887-3500.

WESTINGHOUSE PLANS WIPP PROCUREMENT, TECH TRANSFER SYMPOSIUM

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 22 -- Local businesses are invited to attend the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Procurement Symposium, which is designed to enhance supplier relations and reinforce supplier quality expectations. The event is scheduled for March 7, 1996, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Motel Stevens, 1829 S. Canal St.

The symposium is sponsored by Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division, the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the WIPP.

Companies will also have the opportunity to obtain DOE-funded, Westinghouse-developed information technology at no cost. The DOE technology transfer program is designed to promote economic development and competitiveness in the private sector, improve the quality of organizational operations, enhance education and training, and ensure maximum return on taxpayer investment. Most DOE-funded, Westinghouse-developed technologies are available to organizations for nonexclusive commercialization or internal use.

For more information, or to make reservations, please contact Prissy Dugger at 234-8113. February 26 is the deadline to make reservations for the symposium.

WIPP PERSONNEL TO OBSERVE NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 16 -- Engineers associated with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are on a mission this week -- to encourage students to pursue careers in engineering, math and science.

The recruiting blitz is in observance of National Engineers Week, scheduled for February 18-24. It includes an evening engineering program at the Riverside Country Club in Carlsbad, Thursday, February 22. Colin McMillan, a former New Mexico legislator from Roswell who served as assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Defense during the Gulf War, is the featured speaker for the event.

"Scientists and engineers are critical to the success of the WIPP project," said Joe Epstein, general manager of Westinghouse's Waste Isolation Division. "It is our hope that National Engineers Week activities will help students and the public learn how these disciplines benefit society."

Engineers employed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division, and the cities of Artesia and Roswell, are scheduled to visit several local high school students throughout the area. They will communicate the theme "Engineers Make It Work."

The public is invited to attend the McMillan presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 22, at the Riverside Country Club in Carlsbad. Engineers from Westinghouse and Sandia National Laboratories will answer questions on engineering and science applications.

A coalition of engineering societies, government agencies, and major corporations representing thousands of engineers, sponsors National Engineers Week. Westinghouse is one of ten 1996 corporate affiliate sponsors.

National Engineers Week, founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, is held annually around the birthday of President George Washington. A military engineer and land surveyor, Washington is commonly remembered as the nation's first engineer.

Westinghouse is the management and operating contractor for the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, which administers the WIPP and National Transuranic programs. Sandia National Laboratories serves as the scientific advisor.

The WIPP, located 26 miles east of Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico, is designed to demonstrate the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and development of nuclear weapons. Plant facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in 250-million-year-old bedded salt rock.

KEY MILESTONES MARK IMPORTANT YEAR FOR WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 16 -- In less than 20 months, the Secretary of Energy will decide whether to open the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as the nation's first underground nuclear waste repository.

Before the WIPP opens, however, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) must clear a series of regulatory checks, including the completion of several compliance applications to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department.

George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office, believes that 1996 is a pivotal year in the WIPP's success. The Carlsbad Area Office is responsible for the WIPP and National Transuranic Program, which manages waste scheduled for permanent disposal.

"We have a great deal to do in 1996," said Dials. "There are numerous milestones that must be completed before the Secretary makes a decision in October 1997 on opening the WIPP. We are on a very aggressive schedule, but are confident it can be done. The schedule must be met to open the WIPP as a critical step toward solving this nation's nuclear waste disposal problem."

Since establishment of the Carlsbad Area Office in December 1993, the DOE and contractor workforce has met every milestone, and remains on budget and on schedule to open the WIPP in April 1998. Dials, however, is the first to admit that the road will only get tougher as a disposal decision approaches in October 1997. "The DOE definitely has several challenges to meet," he said.

Authorized by Congress in 1979 and constructed 26 miles east of Carlsbad in the mid-1980s, the WIPP is designed for the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste resulting from the nation's nuclear weapons program. Project facilities include disposal rooms mined in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in a remote section of the southeastern New Mexico desert.

Transuranic waste began accumulating in the 1940s with the beginning of the nation's nuclear weapons program. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags and other items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium, and in some cases, hazardous chemicals. Current temporary storage of this waste above ground and in shallow burial sites was never intended to serve as a permanent disposal solution.

The DOE's primary WIPP regulatory compliance activities for 1996 include:

The Compliance Certification Application. Submitted in draft form to the Environmental Protection Agency in March 1995, the DOE is preparing this application to demonstrate compliance with 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 191, "Environmental Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes." The final application will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air in October 1996.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized the specific criteria for the WIPP compliance demonstration. The final disposal criterion, located under 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 194, was approved by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner on February 1, 1996. A companion document, referred to as the Compliance Application Guidance, will further interpret the final criteria.

The No-Migration Variance Petition. Submitted in draft form to the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response in May 1995, the DOE is petitioning for a variance from federal Land Disposal Restrictions by demonstrating, to a reasonable degree of certainty, that there will be no migration of hazardous chemicals from the WIPP repository as long as the waste remains hazardous.

In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency granted a No-Migration Determination that was applicable to proposed on-site test-phase activities. Before implementation, these activities were moved to national laboratories in 1993, requiring the DOE to seek another variance for permanent disposal of the hazardous component of transuranic mixed waste. The final document is scheduled to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency in June 1996, followed by a possible No-Migration Determination in June 1997.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Part B Permit. Under this Act, the DOE is required to comply with regulations specifically pertaining to hazardous waste management. Most of the radioactive waste identified for permanent disposal at the WIPP contains small amounts of hazardous elements such as lead and cleaning solvents. The New Mexico Environment Department must issue a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit before the WIPP can accept this type of radioactive/hazardous mixed waste for disposal.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit application was submitted to the New Mexico Environment Department in May 1995. This submittal initiated a formal regulatory process during which the New Mexico Environment Department conducts an administrative and technical review.

Discussions relative to the permit application have been ongoing. Formal comments are scheduled to be released by the New Mexico Environment Department this month. When these comments are resolved by the DOE, it is hoped the state will issue a draft permit, followed by a final Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit in August 1996.

Additional parallel compliance activities scheduled for 1996 include final data input from the experimental and performance assessment programs (June 1996), and issuance of the transuranic waste management plan (September 1996).

The DOE will continue to involve the public in the WIPP decision-making process. Several opportunities for stakeholder involvement are scheduled in 1996 as the Carlsbad Area Office completes a second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. This document will update information contained in the first Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 1990, and the original 1980 WIPP Environmental Impact Statement. The process will focus on formal public hearings and will integrate the current regulatory compliance activities. An anticipated completion date for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is spring 1997.

WIPP EMPLOYEES REACH TWO MILLION SAFE WORK HOURS

CARLSBAD, NM, Feb. 9 -- The 650 Westinghouse workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) reached a major safety milestone today, achieving two million consecutive hours without a lost-time injury or illness that resulted in days away from work. Based on criteria established by the National Safety Council, this achievement places WIPP employees among the safest in the nation.

The WIPP is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office by the Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division.

During a brief ceremony at the WIPP, George Dials, manager of the Carlsbad Area Office, presented Westinghouse employees and management a certificate of recognition.

"As you know, safety is paramount in everything we do at the WIPP and Carlsbad Area Office," Dials said in addressing employees. "I am proud to be part of a workforce where safety is the foundation of each employee's behavior and attitude."

This is the second time employees at the Waste Isolation Division have reached two million perfect work hours without injury or illness. Westinghouse employees previously reached two million safe work hours on September 12, 1991.

Additionally, in 1992, Westinghouse received the Award of Honor from the National Safety Council for 3.2 million perfect employee hours, setting an industry record that still stands.

Westinghouse's attention to safety also paid off in 1994 when the WIPP became the first -- and currently the only -- DOE site to receive "Star" status under the DOE's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Star is the highest rating a site can earn. The DOE-VPP is modeled after a similar safety program managed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The DOE and Westinghouse are addressing a number of rigorous regulatory compliance activities in preparation for receiving radioactive waste. The WIPP, located 26 miles east of Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico, is designed to demonstrate the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and development of nuclear weapons. Plant facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in 250-million-year-old bedded salt rock.

WESTINGHOUSE RECEIVES SAFETY AWARD FROM STATE MINE INSPECTOR

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 9 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) today received special recognition for "excellence in underground operations" at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The award, presented by New Mexico State Inspector of Mines, Desi Apodaca, during a special ceremony at the WIPP, recognizes Westinghouse's close attention to safety in a mining environment. Westinghouse serves as the management and operating contractor for the DOE.

"The WIPP underground is in excellent condition," said Apodaca. "It should be used as a showcase mine for the rest of the state and nation. Westinghouse, its employees, and management team should be commended for maintaining a safe environment."

The special honor continues a string of safety awards Westinghouse and the WIPP have received including, most recently, "Star" status under the DOE's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Star is the highest rating a site can earn. The DOE-VPP is modeled after a similar safety program managed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Westinghouse has also performed well in safety inspections. Since 1993, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has reported no significant negative findings at the WIPP. MSHA enforces federal safety and health regulations for the mining industry. Because of the nature of its underground facilities, the WIPP is considered a "mining operation" and is required by federal and state law to maintain the same safety standards as other mines.

"Safety is the number one priority in everything we do," said WID General Manager Joe Epstein. "We are proud of our safety record and will continue to maintain safety programs as our top priority."

The WIPP, located 26 miles east of Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico, is designed to demonstrate the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons. Plant facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in 250-million-year-old bedded salt rock.

The DOE and Westinghouse are involved in a number of rigorous regulatory compliance activities in preparation for receiving radioactive waste. The WIPP is on schedule to receive waste in April 1998.

WESTINGHOUSE NAMES NEW EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MANAGER AT WIPP

Carlsbad, N.M., Feb. 6 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Waste Isolation Division (WID) has named Chris L. West as Manager of External Affairs. In making the announcement, WID General Manager Joseph L. Epstein said that West is responsible for maintaining effective communications with the general public and other stakeholders interested in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and its associated programs. West also has the responsibility of developing and maintaining links with the media and community representatives. WID is the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the WIPP.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., West has more than 30 years of journalism and industrial and government communications experience. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

During his federal career, West worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and the DOE. While working for the DOE, West served as acting press secretary for energy secretaries on two occasions, in 1988 and 1991. Most recently, he served as a senior community outreach and public relations advisor to the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office (CAO). The CAO manages the WIPP and the National Transuranic Program, which integrates and coordinates transuranic waste activities at more than 20 other DOE locations.

West is the recipient of the EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service, the DOE Bronze Medal for Exceptional Service, and the DOE Distinguished Career Service Award. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society, Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and International Association of Public Participation Practitioners.

West and his wife, Nadine, will live in Carlsbad. They have two grown children, Eric and Holly.

The WIPP is an underground repository designed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Operated by the DOE's Carlsbad Area Office, the WIPP is located 26 miles east of Carlsbad. Project facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in an ancient, stable salt formation.

WIPP INFORMATION HOME PAGE ESTABLISHED BY DOE

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 2 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office announced today the recent establishment of a home page on the World Wide Web of the Internet. The page allows the public, stakeholders, universities, and reporters easy access to information about the DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the National Transuranic Program.

Using a modem and personal computer, the public can access WIPP and National Transuranic Program information on the World Wide Web by typing http//:www.wipp.ws. More information can be obtained by calling 1-800-336-WIPP (9477).

Information that is added to the home page or updated on a regular basis includes press releases, fact sheets, reports, tour details, project photographs and graphics, and links to other WIPP-related home pages.

Located in southeastern New Mexico, the WIPP is designed to demonstrate the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Project facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in an ancient, stable salt formation.

The National Transuranic Program, another element of the Carlsbad Area Office, administers nationwide generator/storage site programs for packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements -- mostly plutonium.

DOE RELEASES $500,000 FOR REGIONAL TRAINING CENTER

CARLSBAD, N.M., Feb. 1 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office today released $500,000 to begin startup operations for the Carlsbad Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Training Center. Groundbreaking activities for the regional training center are scheduled for April 1996.

"In March 1994, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary made a commitment to construct the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Training Center," said Carlsbad Area Office Manager George Dials. "Not only will this facility provide valuable training, it will help transfer valuable technology to existing businesses, while expanding the area's tax base. More jobs will be created by businesses and individuals taking advantage of programs offered at the center."

The training center will be part of New Mexico State University's (NMSU) Advanced Manufacturing Center in Las Cruces, and will be linked to regional universities to enhance education and training opportunities in southeastern New Mexico.

Startup funds, including the $500,000 released today, are part of a $1.96 million DOE Financial Assistance Award. The facility is scheduled to be completed by January 1997. In the interim, basic classes, which will lead to courses in advanced manufacturing, are being offered at NMSU-Carlsbad.

When completed, the center will offer certificate and two-year degree programs, apprenticeship programs, safe worker courses, customized short-term industry training, and other manufacturing-related courses.

The Carlsbad Area Office administers the WIPP and National Transuranic programs. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, the WIPP is designed to demonstrate the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. Project facilities include excavated rooms 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in an ancient, stable salt formation.

The National Transuranic Program directs nationwide generator/storage site programs for packaging, storing, and disposing of transuranic waste. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, and other items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.

LAWMAKERS HEAR THAT WIPP IS ON SCHEDULE TO RECEIVE WASTE IN 1998

SANTA FE, N.M., Jan. 24 -- State legislators heard this morning that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is on schedule to begin radioactive waste disposal operations in April 1998.

During a legislative breakfast hosted by southeastern New Mexico lawmakers at the Santa Fe Hilton, George Dials, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carlsbad Area Office, assured legislators that the DOE has met every WIPP milestone for the past two years, "and we're about 20 months away from a disposal decision by the Secretary of Energy," he said.

Dials and New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Mark Weidler were the featured speakers at the breakfast hosted by New Mexico reps. Robert Light (D-Carlsbad) and Joe Stell (D-Carlsbad) and state sens. Don Kidd (R-Carlsbad) and Gary Don Reagan (D-Hobbs).

Authorized by Congress in 1979 and constructed 26 miles east of Carlsbad in the mid-1980s, the WIPP is designed to demonstrate the safe, permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste resulting from the nation's nuclear weapons program. Project facilities include

disposal rooms mined in an ancient, stable salt formation 2,150 feet below the earth's surface in the southeastern New Mexico desert. The Carlsbad Area Office administers the WIPP and National Transuranic programs.

Transuranic waste includes things like gloves, pipes, tubing, clothing and other materials exposed to radiation during the research and production of nuclear weapons. No liquid wastes will be disposed of in the WIPP.

Since the WIPP is a critical step toward solving the nation's nuclear waste problem and equally important to New Mexico because of its economic contribution, Light said it is important that lawmakers are informed of the project's progress.

"The WIPP is a national project that is of great importance to New Mexicans," said Light, who chairs the Legislative Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Committee. "Because it's important to New Mexicans and the nation, it's vital that lawmakers understand the mission of the project and its economic benefit to the state."

During the update, Dials talked about the progress and schedule of the WIPP, which -- in 1996 -- will include the submission of compliance applications to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The NMED and EPA provide regulatory oversight for the WIPP and will determine if the facility complies with applicable regulatory standards prior to the beginning of waste disposal operations in April 1998.

Economic benefits resulting from WIPP-related activities were also mentioned by Dials. In fiscal year 1995, which includes October 1994 to September 1995, the Carlsbad Area Office and its primary contractor, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, placed almost 300 contracts with vendors statewide for about $15 million in products and services. In 1995 more than 1,200 employees benefited from the WIPP program, which resulted in additional economic benefit to New Mexico cities. Another $9 million was also spent in the state for various activities including technical review, emergency response training and equipment, and environmental monitoring. Los Alamos National Laboratory will be one of the first sites to ship waste to the WIPP when disposal operations begin. It is projected that Los Alamos National Laboratory will ship about 15 percent of the transuranic waste to be disposed of at the WIPP.

"This project is on schedule and I feel sure that we're very close to achieving success," said Dials, who was named manager of the Carlsbad Area Office in 1993. "New Mexico is taking the lead in helping to solve the critical national problem of nuclear waste disposal."

WESTINGHOUSE CONTINUES COMMUNITY SUPPORT IN EDDY COUNTY

CARLSBAD, N.M., Jan. 15 -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation continued its tradition of strong corporate citizenship in 1995, donating more than $100,000 to nonprofit organizations in Eddy County. "Westinghouse and its employees are committed to investing in their communities, and our contributions in 1995 reflect that commitment," said Jim Gallagher, executive vice president of the corporation's Government and Environmental Services Company. "These donations are above the monetary contributions and countless volunteer hours our employees devote to many nonprofit programs that benefit their communities." Westinghouse's Waste Isolation Division is the management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in Eddy County, 26 miles east of Carlsbad. The division employs more than 600 Eddy County residents at the WIPP, which is a repository designed to safely and permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste left from the research and development of nuclear weapons.

Among the programs receiving contributions from Westinghouse in 1995 are the Boys and Girls Club, Hospice Services, and the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. Schools and business organizations in Artesia, Carlsbad, and Loving also benefited from Westinghouse donations in 1995. Contributions were also made to College of the Southwest and New Mexico State University-Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Boys and Girls Club was one of Westinghouse's beneficiaries, receiving almost $8,000 in donations.

Education is also supported through Westinghouse's 1995 donations. Checks totaling almost $5,000 were presented to the College of the Southwest, which serves residents in both Eddy and Lea counties. The funds will be used as part of the school's operating budget. An additional $16,000 was earmarked for college scholarships through the Carlsbad Foundation and the League of United and Latin American Citizens.

Westinghouse also did its part to support city activities. Besides giving $18,000 to the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, the Pittsburgh, Pa. company presented the Carlsbad Department of Development with $15,000. Other Eddy County charities also received help. Westinghouse presented the Eddy County Safe House with $15,000. Hospice Services, Inc. received almost $8,000 in donations, while the Carlsbad Association of Retarded Citizens received $12,000. Westinghouse employees also opened up their hearts and pocketbooks in 1995, pledging more than $60,000 in 1996 United Way contributions. Employee donations are above and beyond the corporation's contributions.

"I find it refreshing to know that Westinghouse and its employees can help organizations like these," said Gallagher. "It is our goal to give something back to the communities in which we live."

 


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