MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations
On February 14, 2014, the underground radiation monitors at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) detected a significant amount of radiation. It was subsequently determined that some contaminants were released to the surface.
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BIWEEKLY TOWN HALLS - On the first and third Thursday of the month, 5:30 pm at Carlsbad City Council Chambers. Live Streaming & Archived Video of Previous Meetings
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We will provide updates as more information becomes available. If you want to receive these updates via email, send your email address to Info@sric.org.
We have received numerous inquiries about the recent serious accidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), specifically the underground fire and the radiation leak. We would like to update concerned citizens about the on-going issues at WIPP, and discuss the expansion proposals for transporting more nuclear waste through New Mexico to the WIPP dumpsite. SRIC, CARD, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and the WIPP Committee will be hosting presentation sessions for the public to discuss these issues.
Please check back for updates ( Latest update: 3/25/2014)
Shielded Container (Updated 7/24/14)
UPDATE: DOE has announced that the first shipment of shielded containers will be on September 12 from Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. This date was not known when SRIC filed its "Motion for Stay."
The Court is aware of the September 12 date, but we do not know whether it will issue a decision before that date. (9/6/13)
BACKGROUND: Disposal of remote-handled (RH) waste in shielded containers. DOE has re-submitted a permit modification request to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). This follows their request in 2011 (see documents below). The Modification Request was submitted on 7/5/2012.
On April 8, 2013, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 2 Permit Modification Request Modify Excluded Waste Prohibition to eliminate the requirement in the WIPP permit for a public hearing before any waste that has ever been managed as high-level could be allowed. This change would significantly reduce health and safety protections at WIPP and the public involvement requirements. Comment period ended June 10, 2013.
Letter Opposing Proposal to Ship Hanford High-Level Radioactive Waste to New Mexico Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Hanford Challenge, and Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) (3/26/13)
SRIC OpEd: No need for change in law to expand WIPP Regarding Journal Editorial of 5/17/2013 and Rep. Steve Pearce's bill, HR 1879 (5/23/2013)
La Jicarita article: WIPP: Expanding Threat to Public Health? (3/12/2013)
FACT SHEET: Why WIPP is Not the Place for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High Level Waste (2/8/2013)
WIPP ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS
(all of the GNEP Site Awards can be found at http://www.gnep.energy.gov/gnepSitingStudies.html)
Ontario Power Generation Company has applied for a license from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for Low and Intermediate Level Waste disposal from its nuclear power plants Deep Geologic Repository (DGR). In 2013 Northwatch, a Canadian public interest organization, requested that SRIC be part of its team of consultants in the environmental review and licensing process.
Southwest Research and Information Center prepared a report for Northwatch WIPP and International Experience with Deep Geologic Repositories, (August 2013), on Canada's Proposed Deep Geologic Repository on the shores of Lake Huron. There was a public hearing from September 16 to October 12, 2013. Northwatch's complete written submission of the hearing is at:
The Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel Hearing began on September 17, 2013. Details about the hearing schedule could be found on: http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/documents/p17520/94174E.pdf
SRIC's Don Hancock testified on Monday, September 23, 2013 during the afternoon session - 2 to 5 pm (Eastern Time); Noon to 3 pm Mountain Time. Read SRIC's presentation on behalf of Northwatch. It is to be given at the Public Hearing in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada on the proposed Deep Geologic Repository.
All of the hearings were webcast live starting September 17, 2013, lasting 25 days. Transcripts and other documents from the hearing can be found at here.
On June 3, 2014 a notice posted regarding an additional Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel Hearing, set to resume on September 9, 2014. Among the issues about which the Panel requested additional information is what impacts, if any, the WIPP events in February 2014 have on the safety analysis for the DGR.
Northwatch has again asked SRIC's Don Hancock to provide information for that hearing. The report is "Recent Events at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and Initial Questions and Lessons for the Ontario Power Generation Proposed Deep Geologic Repository."
Northwatch's complete submission for this hearing is at: http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/documents/p17520/99600E.pdf
WIPP Transportation Accidents 2002 - 2009 (5/8/2012)
Letter to New Mexico Environment Department, RE: Deadlines for pending Class 3 modification (1/11/2006). See NMED's response here.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: How Well is "Accelerated Cleanup" Working? (large 2 M .pdf) (8/16/2005)
Cumulative WIPP Shipments (10/25/2004)
WIPP SHIPMENT PROBLEMS 12/21/01
Site by Site Breakdown of WIPP Shipments (UPDATED 1/16/2002)
Information on Shipments to WIPP (UPDATED 2/15/2001)
The Ambushed Grand Jury is the true story of four Citizen Investigators who uncover the Justice Department’s cover-up of deadly radioactive contamination at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant.
Deceived by the Justice Department’s cover-up, relying on false assurances that Rocky Flats wasn’t as contaminated as everyone had thought, public officials now plan to open the former nuclear weapons plant to recreation. Children will play in these radioactive fields ... unless the Citizens’ Investigation – with the reader's help - can stop these dangerous plans. All authors' profits will be donated to environmental and nuclear activist groups around the country to help them carry on their important work. You will be asked during checkout to pick the organization of your choice. Read more.
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