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WIPP - Who Wants It?

WIPP has been marketed (at taxpayer expense) as a cleanup solution for the backlog of nuclear wastes at the DOE's nuclear weapons production sites. Among these polluted installations are Rocky Flats, Hanford, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Savannah River, Los Alamos and Livermore Labs.

The lesser-known fact is that WIPP hasn't a prayer of cleaning up those sites because only 2% of the wastes that pollute them are slated to go to WIPP. The DOE has no plans to address the other 98%, much of which is already in contact with soil and water (unlike the neatly packaged WIPP barrels). You may be wondering: why will WIPP hold so little of the exiting waste?

Because over two-thirds of its capacity is reserved for wastes the DOE wants to generate in the future!

Supporters of the project are those who stand to gain financially from it or from on-going nuclear weapons development. For every barrel of new WIPP waste from new weapons production, other wastes will be generated that will continue to be dumped into the environment in classic DOE fashion.

For example, the DOE's proposed new weapons activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) would entail the dumping of 45 million more gallons of liquid radioactive waste directly into Mortendad Canyon each year, on top of the 230 million currently dumped there annually. This liquid waste comes out of an old treatment plant that the government admits fails to meet standards. Why should DOE get approval and funding for new programs when its attentions could be turned to effective cleanup of its polluted empire?

It's a little like going shopping because you don't feel like doing your laundry.

Supporting WIPP will not result in real cleanup - it will lead only to increased on-site pollution, weapons proliferation, and the creation of an irretrievable mess.