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SRIC's Nuclear Waste Documents
WIPP Permit Changes


WIPP PERMIT CHANGES 2013-2018

Please check back for updates (Latest update: 04/27/2018)

  1. On February 22, 2018, the NMED issued a Draft Panel Closure Modification (see #5 below).
    https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp-february-22-2018-draft-permit/
  2. On January 31, 2018, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 2 Permit Modification to change the way waste volumes are measured. (http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/Information_Repository_A/
    Class_2_Permit_Modifications/18-0308_Redacted_enclosure.pdf
    )
  3. On June 14, 2017, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 1 Permit Modification (which doesn’t require NMED approval) of nine items. http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/Information_Repository_A
    /Class_1_Permit_Modifications/17-1036_Class1_PMN_Letter_Enclosure.pdf
    • On June 20, SRIC submitted a letter to NMED strongly objecting to Item 9 as not being a proper class 1 modification and asking NMED to reject it or for the permittees to withdraw that item.
    • On August 31, NMED Secretary Butch Tongate responded to SRIC's letter, saying that the modification was proper. He described forthcoming inspections that NMED would conduct at WIPP.
  4. On April 27, 2017, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 1 Permit Modification (which doesn’t require NMED approval) to change Table 3.1.1 of the Permit regarding container equivalent quantities that can be stored in the Waste Handling Building. On April 28, SRIC submitted a letter to NMED strongly objecting to the modification and stating that it must be rejected because it is not an appropriate class 1 modification request. On May 12, the permittees withdrew the modification. http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/Information_Repository_A/
    Class_1_Permit_Modifications/17-1041_Class1_PMN_Withdrawal_Redacted.pdf
  5. On November 10, 2016, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a revised class 3 Permit Modification Request for panel closure (see #6 below) and a Temporary Authorization (TA) request so that it could make the proposed changes before public comments are considered. On February 13, 2017, DOE withdrew the TA request. http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/Information_Repository_A/
    Temporary_Authorization_Requests/17-1009_TA_Withdrawal_Redacted.pdf
  6. On September 29, 2016, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 3 Permit Modification Request –Above Ground Storage. If approved, the modification would allow an open air storage pad that would increase the amount of contact-handled waste that can be stored on the surface by more than 500 percent from 434. 1 cubic meters to 2,270.1 cubic meters. SRIC and many other groups strongly oppose the request and urge people to comment by February 3, 2017.
  7. On June 3, 2016, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 2 Permit Modification Request –Active Room Ventilation Flow Rate and Contingency Plan changes. The change to ventilation allows DOE to decide to continue operations in a waste room even if the ventilation flow rate was less than the 35,000 cubic feet per minute permit requirement.
  8. On September 8, 2015, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a package of seven topics as class 2 Permit Modification Requests - Revise Volatile Organic Compound Monitoring Procedures. Some of the changes are similar to those proposed in the March 18, 2013 request (see #3) and would reduce worker and public health protection. The request also would result in eliminating some of the ventilation requirements, while also not discussing the proposed new supplemental ventilation system.
  9. On April 8, 2013, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 2 Permit Modification Request — Modify Excluded Waste Prohibition — to eliminate the requirement in the WIPP permit for a public hearing before any waste that has ever been managed as high-level could be allowed.  This change would significantly reduce health and safety protections at WIPP and the public involvement requirements. Comment period ended June 10, 2013.
  10. On March 18, 2013, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a package of three class 3 Permit Modification Requests - Modify WIPP Panel Closure Design, Repository Reconfiguration of Panels 9 and 10, and Revise the Volatile Organic Compound underground monitoring system. These changes would significantly change the underground operations that have been established over the past 14 years. SRIC's comments suggest numerous changes and request negotiations before NMED issues a draft permit and holds public hearings.
  11. On December 12, 2012, DOE and its co-permittee, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, submitted a class 2 Permit Modification Request - Revise Waste Analysis Plan Waste Characterization Methods so that it can eliminate the chemical sampling and analyis requirements of the WIPP permit Waste Analysis Plan (WAP). This would reduce health and safety protections at WIPP. Let NMED know that you are concerned, see SRIC Fact Sheet about Sampling for details. Comment period ended February 18, 2013.



Documents

Letter to New Mexico Environment Department, RE: Deadlines for pending Class 3 modification (1/11/2006). See NMED's response here.

SRIC's comments to NM Environment Dept. re: Agency-Initiated WIPP Permit Modification (1/30/2004)

SRIC Comments to NMED re: Class 2 Permit Modification 11/2/01

SRIC comments to NMED re: Class 3 permit modification 9/27/01

SRIC Opposition to "Temporary Authorization Request" 9/6/01

SRIC urges NMED to NOT Grant DOE's Storage Extension Request 7/13/2001

SRIC urges NMED take immediate action before permit violations occur 7/13/2001

SRIC Comments on the requested 5/2/01 Class 2 Permit Modifications for WIPP 7/6/2001

Class 1 Permit Modification Violations per the WIPP Hazardous Waste Act Permit — 6/25/01

SRIC Comments on Class 2 Permit Modification for the WIPP Hazardous Waste Act Permit — 5/14/01

Letter to Sec. Maggiore, NM Environment Dept., re: Opposition to Class 1 modification to permit 4/24/00


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