Five boxes of transuranic waste were recently shipped from the Savannah River Site to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.
An SRS press release announced the news Thursday.
Transuranic waste usually consists of clothing, equipment and other items used in relation to spent nuclear fuel or plutonium. WIPP – a geologic repository resembling a sprawling mine – was primarily designed to house transuranic waste.
Michael Budney, the SRS manager, said he was “pleased” waste is headed to WIPP.
“This has been an important mission for SRS,” Budney said in a prepared statement, “and our employees are committed to ensuring safe, secure and efficient removal of transuranic waste from the state.”
WIPP, first opened in 1999, stopped accepting waste shipments in 2014 following several accidents; shipments were reinstated in 2017. Since then, SRS has made 10 deliveries, according to the press release.
“For our legacy waste that had already been packaged, characterized and certified, we took the time needed for a thorough review to ensure the waste was acceptable under the new criteria,” said Kerri Crawford, the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions solid waste manager. “Since shipments have resumed, we have been able to ship 86 cubic-meters of waste to WIPP and continue preparations to ship more.”
In July, Budney told the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board a “TRU-waste shipment” was scheduled “very shortly.”
“We’re working closely with WIPP to make those things happen,” Budney told the board.