LANL Storm Water and EPA WIPP Meetings Next Week


WIPP Panel Closure:  Will it reduce safety? fact sheet

WIPP Panel Closure FS 1-15-14



Runs 1/17/14 through 1/24/14

(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:

  • LANL Storm Water and EPA WIPP Meetings Next Week

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) will hold a required public meeting about its individual storm water permit on Wednesday, January 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Cities of Gold Conference Center in Pojoaque.

The meeting will begin with a 20-minute poster session.  Then LANL will provide an overview of the 1,000 year flood events that occurred late last summer; provide an update about permit compliance in 2013; and provide information about the application they will submit soon to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a new permit.  Robert Chavez, the Youth Initiative Project Coordinator for the Communities for Clean Water, will also make a presentation about the new project.  Its purpose is to develop and enhance the capacity of youth who live downstream and downwind of LANL to become leaders and stewards for the protection and restoration of the health of Northern New Mexico communities impacted by historic and current operations at LANL.

LANL has a dedicated website for the storm water permit where you can sign up to receive meeting information. [for email version:]

Additionally, the EPA will hold two meetings regarding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico next week.  The first will be held in Carlsbad on Wednesday, January 22nd in the Main Auditorium of the Department of Energy (DOE), Carlsbad Field Office, from 1 to 4 pm.  The field office is located at 4021 National Parks Highway.  The second EPA meeting will be held in Albuquerque on Thursday, January 23rd at the Albuquerque Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa, Sandia Ballroom, from 1 to 4 pm.  The hotel is located at 1000 Woodward Place, Northeast.  If there are a considerable number of requests from the public for an additional evening session in Albuquerque, a meeting from 6 to 8 pm will be added.

The public meetings are about the proposed rule for the redesign of the structures to be used to close the panels where plutonium-contaminated waste is disposed.  Because the waste generates hydrogen gas, the panel closures are needed to protect workers.  Instead of installing concrete monolith and mortared explosion walls, DOE has proposed a Run-of-Mine Salt Panel Closure System.  The proposed design will use the mined salt and steel bulkheads to seal the filled waste panels.  DOE claims that the new panel closure system will cost less and will reduce the impacts on disposing of waste, even though it is a much less robust barrier to prevent releases from the closed panels.   A 60-day public comment period closes on February 3, 2014.  For more information, please visit our website to download a fact sheet.  WIPP Panel Closure FS 1-15-14

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