At the dawn of discovery ...
The deep geologic repository at WIPP is more than a place to dispose of transuranic (TRU) waste Ė itís also a science laboratory.
Following the designation of the Department of Energyís Carlsbad office as a field office in 2000, numerous universities and research institutions across the nation sought to take advantage of WIPPís strong safety culture, open door policy, and extremely low levels of natural background radiation in the underground.
Itís an excellent environment for a variety of scientific disciplines to conduct experiments, and itís a testimony to the success of the underground repository that the nearby radioactive waste does not in any way impede experiments which require minimal exposure to radiation.†
WIPPís visiting scientists have become regular members of the facilityís working community.
Lunch pails in tow, they join the facilityís radiation control technicians, miners, waste handlers, and underground operations employees in the daily trek 2,150 feet down into the underground repository. A summary of several ongoing research projects at WIPP follows: