THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
Committee on Disposal of Surplus Plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Disposal of Surplus Plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant:
This new interim report, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, evaluates the general viability of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE-NNSA’s) conceptual plans for disposing of 34 metric tons (MT) of surplus plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a deep geologic repository near Carlsbad, New Mexico. This report evaluates DOE-NNSA’s plans to ship, receive, and emplace surplus plutonium in WIPP and its understanding of the impacts of these plans on WIPP and WIPP-bound waste streams. This report, the first of two to be issued, provides a preliminary assessment of the general viability of DOE-NNSA’s conceptual plans, focusing on some of the barriers to their implementation.