Final Draft - WIPP shipment 1 Controversy over Waste...

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WIPP shipment 1 Controversy over Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) shipments Marvin Baum Axia College of University of Phoenix COM 125 Utilizing Information in College Writing Tasha Tillman September 17, 2006
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WIPP shipment 2 Controversy over Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) shipments When someone says the word nuclear or radioactive most people panic and are scared to death. Would one be safer transporting a trailer loaded with 9,000 gallons of gasoline or would the same person be safer transporting a loaded trailer of transuranic (TRU) waste? Therefore, transporting any commodity can be as safe as the driver transporting the commodity or the opposing traffic makes the situation. With the continued controversy over the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site, the Department of Energy (DOE) has continued to transport transuranic (TRU) waste from different sites around the U.S. to the world’s first repository for radioactive waste. This paper will explain what the WIPP site does and where WIPP is located. Will explain the birth of the program and why. Will explain what TRU waste is. Will explain what the process of disposal is from birth to the grave. Will show what the public has to say about the program. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant ( WIPP) is the world's first underground repository licensed to safely and permanently dispose of TRU waste left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. After more than 20 years of scientific study, public input, and regulatory struggles, WIPP began operations on March 26, 1999. Located in the remote Chihuahuan Desert of Southeastern New Mexico, about 30 miles east of Carlsbad, NM, project facilities include disposal rooms mined 2,150 feet underground in a 2,000-foot thick salt formation and have been stable for more than 200 million years. TRU waste is currently stored at sites nationwide. WIPP is the nation’s solution for permanently disposing of defense-related TRU waste in temporary storage at Department of Energy (DOE) sites across the country (WIPP, 2006). In 1957, the National Academy of Sciences concluded in a report commissioned by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) the most promising method of disposing of radioactive
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WIPP shipment 3 waste appears to be in underground salt deposits. In 1972, after nearly a decade of study, an underground salt mine near Lyons, Kansas, is judged unacceptable after Kansas officials raise technical concerns. The AEC officials announced they would examine southeastern New Mexico as a potential waste storage site after being invited by a group of Carlsbad leaders. In 1979, congress authorizes WIPP as a research and development facility to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive wastes resulting from defense activities. In 1999, after negotiations between the DOE and New Mexico failed to produce an agreement, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, now governor of New Mexico, sends the first shipments of waste to WIPP from Los Alamos National Laboratory in March 1999. Shipments follow from Idaho National
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course COM 125 taught by Professor Unknown during the Winter '06 term at University of Phoenix.

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Final Draft - WIPP shipment 1 Controversy over Waste...

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