From its inception, AECOM-led teams have been an integral part of solving the nation’s nuclear waste problem at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP) now operates WIPP, the nation’s only licensed deep geological nuclear waste repository.
Located near Carlsbad, New Mexico, the repository is being mined 2,150 feet deep in a prehistoric salt bed. This extensive underground repository for transuranic (TRU) waste (items contaminated by radioactive elements heavier than uranium) is the first facility to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be in compliance for long-term radioactive disposal. It will forever secure the TRU waste generated by DOE’s nuclear facilities and national laboratories.
In addition to operating the repository, AECOM also coordinates the DOE’s National Transuranic Waste Program to assure that TRU waste from across the country meets federal and state packaging, transportation, and disposal requirements.
Over the next 30 years, WIPP is expected to receive approximately 37,000 shipments of TRU waste. NWP recently earned a 3-year contract extension from DOE to continue its operations and ongoing upgrades to the facility. The extension includes an option for two additional years, which will take the contract to 2022.