MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations

SRIC's Nuclear Waste Documents

SRIC has a list of Nuclear Waste Documents concerning WIPP, national nuclear waste issues, other international nuclear waste disposal issues.

On February 14, 2014, the underground radiation monitors at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) detected a significant amount of radiation. It was subsequently determined that some contaminants were released to the surface.

UP-TO-THE-MINUTE INFORMATION is posted to our Twitter stream. So, please:

OCCASIONAL TOWN HALLS - DOE and the City of Carlsbad hold briefings, usually at 5:30 pm at Carlsbad City Council Chambers. Live Streaming & Archived Video of Previous Meetings


  1. WIPP Status: 09/15/2017
  2. 03/02/2015
  3. Recovery Plan Update: 01/16/15
  4. Summary of WIPP Recovery Workshop,
    Held at DOE Carlsbad Field Offices (01/14/15)
  5. What the WIPP Recovery Plan Says —
    And What It Doesn't (10/10/2014)
  6. Comprehensive Update: 09/12/2014
  7. 07/28/2014
  1. 07/25/2014
  2. 06/17/2014
  3. 05/26/2014
  4. 05/08/2014
  5. 04/30/2014
  6. 04/22/2014
  7. 04/15/2014
  8. 04/10/2014
  9. 04/04/2014
  1. 03/28/2014
  2. 03/26/2014
  3. 03/21/2014
  4. 03/18/2014
  5. 03/17/2014
  6. 03/05/2014
  7. 02/27/2014
  8. 02/26/2014
  9. 02/21/2014

DOE's Plan to Exceed WIPP Waste Limits
SRIC opposes DOE's Plan to keep WIPP open until 2050 and dramatically exceed the legal limits of waste allowed. That 2016 Plan was publicly released in response to SRIC's Freedom of Information Act request. (DOE's FOIA response and the Plan.) DOE is in the process of updating the Plan and there should be opportunities for public comment.

How does the WIPP Shutdown Impact New Mexico, Idaho, and South Carolina?

Beatrice Brailsford from the Snake River Alliance in Idaho, Tom Clements of SRS Watch in South Carolina, and Don Hancock of Southwest Research and Information Center discussed the impacts of the WIPP shutdown in all three states on September 28, 2015 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

November 18, 2015 Presentation to the Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

In September 2017, the DOE Inspector General issued a report, Interim Storage of Transuranic Waste at the Department of Energy, that "found that the sites were able to meet their individual interim TRU waste storage needs until WIPP resumed operations."


On December 6, 2014, Governor Susana Martinez hand-delivered to Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz two Compliance Orders regarding violations of the WIPP and LANL permits related to the February 2014 events at WIPP. The Orders proposed fines of $17,746,250 for WIPP and $36,604,649 for LANL. DOE and its contractors have not agreed to pay any of the fines. If they cannot reach a settlement, hearings would be held, starting on July 27 regarding the WIPP fines, and September 21 regarding the LANL fines.

There also are continuing permit violations at both WIPP and LANL, so additional fines are possible.

The two administrative orders were immediately made available on the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and WIPP websites. However, the detailed explanations of how the proposed fines were calculated were not made available. Consequently, SRIC filed an Inspection of Public Records Act request to NMED and received the documents.


  1. NEPA needed before WIPP re-opens — On November 21, 2016, the Natural Resources Defense Council and SRIC wrote to DOE regarding new NEPA documents required before WIPP can re-open to handle more nuclear waste.
  2. Will EPA Recertify the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)? Presentation by Don Hancock (06/09/2015)
  3. Challenges at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) & Impacts on DOE sites, presentation before the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board (scheduled for March 24, 2015)
  4. A Perspective On What's Wrong With and the Future For the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) by Don Hancock Before the Interim Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee, September 16, 2014.
  5. AUGUST 11, 2014 TOWN HALL — U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other officials spoke at a town hall meeting and responded to some questions and comments.
  6. VIDEO WIPP Update, Episode 802, New Mexico In Focus, a Production of KNME-TV (7/18/14)
  7. VIDEO Web Extra: WIPP; New Mexico In Focus, a Production of KNME-TV (7/18/14)
  8. "Why Do We Still Not Know What's Wrong with WIPP?" (06/25/2014) La Jicarita
  9. VIDEO Insight New Mexico - Interview with Don Hancock, latest on WIPP leak (06/12/2014)
  10. VIDEO Insight New Mexico - Interview with Don Hancock on WIPP Leak (3/13/2014)
  11. "What's Wrong with WIPP?" (03/05/2014) La Jicarita

We will provide updates as more information becomes available. If you want to receive these updates via email, send your email address to Info@sric.org.

We have received numerous inquiries about the recent serious accidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), specifically the underground fire and the radiation leak. We would like to update concerned citizens about the on-going issues at WIPP, and discuss the expansion proposals for transporting more nuclear waste through New Mexico to the WIPP dumpsite. SRIC, CARD, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and the WIPP Committee will be hosting presentation sessions for the public to discuss these issues.

For further information contact us at sricdon@earthlink.net or call (505) 262-1862, fax: (505) 262-1864.


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