Wednesday, March 29, 2006

EPA Recertifies DOE's Nuke Waste Site

EPA recertified the Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) today, confirming that the facility continues to comply with the agency's radioactive waste disposal regulations. The WIPP is a deep geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactivewaste. The WIPP site is located outside of Carlsbad, N.M., where waste is entombed in a 2,000 foot thick layer of natural salt 2,150 feet below the surface. This is the first recertification of WIPP since EPA's initial certification decision in 1998.

Congress requires EPA to recertify that WIPP meets the agency's disposal regulations every five years, following the first receipt of waste, for the operational lifetime of thefacility. The first shipment of waste was received at WIPP in March1999. EPA's WIPP website at: Another permanent repository for nuclear waste is being prepared at Yucca Mountain in Arizona.

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