DOE Plans to Ship LANL TRU Waste to Commercial Facility; Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about WIPP

Runs 3/14/14 through 3/21/14

(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

•    DOE Plans to Ship LANL TRU Waste to Commercial Facility; Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about WIPP

On March 13th, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it was working on a contract with a commercial waste facility to “stage” the plutonium-contaminated transuranic waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that is scheduled to be disposed at the closed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  Frank Marcinowski, a DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary, said that the shipments would begin in early April to the unnamed commercial facility.

The transport of the waste is needed for LANL to meet the unenforceable Framework Agreement that Governor Susana Martinez established for the removal 3,706 cubic meters of transuranic waste stored in fabric tents to WIPP.  A June 30th, 2014 deadline was established and the state and federal governments want to move the remaining 546 cubic meters of waste from LANL before the deadline.

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “The Framework Agreement, which has delayed other legacy waste cleanup at LANL, was established without any public input.  Now DOE now is making plans to move transuranic waste to an unnamed commercial facility for staging.  Is DOE thinking what will happen to that waste if WIPP never reopens?  Before the contract is signed, there should be an opportunity for informed public input.”

Ted Wyka, Chairman of the DOE Accident Investigation Board, is leading the investigations of the February 5th fire and the February 14th release at WIPP.  The 180-page fire investigation report is available at

Southwest Research and Information Center, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, and Nuclear Watch New Mexico will be sponsoring three public information meetings in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe about the recent incidents at WIPP and how you can get involved.

The first public information meeting will take place in Albuquerque on Tuesday, March 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) office, located at 10th and Gold, Southwest.  The second Albuquerque meeting will take place on Thursday, March 27th from 6 to 8 pm at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, located at 202 Harvard, Southeast.  A complementary dinner will be available at both meetings.  Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, will provide the latest information, along with Rey Garduño and Lucille Cordova.

The third meeting will take place in Santa Fe on Monday, March 31st from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Santa Fe Main Library, located at 145 Washington, in downtown Santa Fe.  Please note the new location.  Don Hancock and Scott Kovac, of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, will give presentations.

This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information and to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit our website at



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