Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Technical Assessment Team Report

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Publisher:  U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security - AU

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Chemical Safety, Environmental Protection, Nuclear/Nuclear Safety, Vehicle Safety, Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Quality Assurance, Waste Management, Work Management/Planning, Transportation and Packaging, Laboratory

March 26, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy today released a report by an independent team of technical experts that evaluated the mechanisms and chemical reactions contributing to the failure of a waste drum at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, N.M.

The Technical Assessment Team (TAT) concluded that one drum, Drum 68660, was the source of radioactive contamination released during the February 14, 2014, radiological event at WIPP. The contents of Drum 68660 were chemically incompatible and the drum breached as a result of internal chemical reactions.

The Department charged the TAT with determining to the extent feasible the mechanisms and chemical reactions that may have resulted in the breach of at least one waste drum and release of waste material. The TAT included scientists from several DOE national laboratories, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory, and was led by Savannah River National Laboratory. Lab participants included scientific experts from across several disciplines, such as sampling and analysis, forensic science, modeling, and reaction chemistry, enabling the generation and peer review of scientifically-based conclusions.

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