The deep geologic repository at WIPP provides an ideal environment for experiments in many scientific disciplines, including particle astrophysics, waste repository science, mining technology, low radiation dose physics, fissile materials accountability and transparency, and deep geophysics.
The designation of the Carlsbad Department of Energy office as a “field” office has allowed WIPP to offer its mine operations infrastructure and space in the underground to researchers requiring a deep underground setting with dry conditions and very low levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials.
Please contact Roger Nelson, chief scientist of the Department of Energy’s Carlsbad Field Office, if you have specific questions about locating an experiment at WIPP.
|Waste hoist at WIPP is state of the art - 45 ton capacity|
|No interference from radioactive waste at WIPP|
|High quality excavations are routine|
|The very first underground physics experiment near Carlsbad was Project Gnome, December 10, 1961|
|Community, State and Congressional Support for WIPP as a host for Underground Experiments|
|Read DOE's Environmental Assessment to evaluate impacts of conducting research in the WIPP underground.|
|WIPP's role in the National Underground Science Laboratory|
Science at WIPP- Highlights
- 1993: WIPP began accommodating the calibration of prototypes of the neutral-current detectors for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.
- 1999: WIPP was used for research with prototype WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) detectors by measuring gamma and muon background radiation in the underground.
- 2000: The Carlsbad Office of the US Department of Energy and Institute for Nuclear Particle Astronomy and Cosmology sponsored a workshop to encourage the research community to discuss the use of the WIPP site as a next generation underground laboratory.
- 2000: Scientists manage to cultivate bacteria from 250-million-year-old spores found in WIPP salt crystals.
- 2004: The MAJORANA Project's Segmented Enriched Germanium Assembly (SEGA) and Multiple Element Germanium Array (MEGA) experiments began in the WIPP underground.
- 2006: An Argonne counting chamber is refurbished and placed in the WIPP underground.
- 2007: The first two clean room modules for the Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) project were successfully placed in the WIPP site.
- 2008: In examining fluid inclusions in the salt and solid halite crystals of the WIPP underground, scientists found abundant cellulose microfibers, estimated to be 250 million years old.
- 2009: Researchers begin an experiment in the WIPP underground designed to examine the effects of low background radiation on bacteria.
- 2010: The detector for the EXO project, called the Time Projection Chamber (TPC), is installed in January. The experiment itself begins in the fall of 2010.
- 2010: The Dark Matter Time Projection Chamber (DMTPC) is installed in the WIPP underground.