skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Risk Considerations for WIPP Passive Institutional Controls.


Abstract not provided.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the WM2015 Conference held March 15-19, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ.
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Wagner, Stephen Wade. Risk Considerations for WIPP Passive Institutional Controls.. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Wagner, Stephen Wade. Risk Considerations for WIPP Passive Institutional Controls.. United States.
Wagner, Stephen Wade. 2015. "Risk Considerations for WIPP Passive Institutional Controls.". United States. doi:.
title = {Risk Considerations for WIPP Passive Institutional Controls.},
author = {Wagner, Stephen Wade},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 2

Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • Abstract not provided.
  • Abstract not provided.
  • The Department of Energy/Carlsbad Field Office (DOE/CBFO) is responsible for managing all activities related to the disposal of TRU and TRU-mixed waste in the geologic repository, 650 m below the land surface, at WIPP, near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The main function of the Passive Institutional Controls (PIC's) program is to inform future generations of the long-lived radioactive wastes buried beneath their feet in the desert. For the first 100 years after cessation of disposal operations, the rooms are closed and the shafts leading underground sealed, WIPP is mandated by law to institute Active Institutional Controls (AIC's) with fences, gates, andmore » armed guards on patrol. At this same time a plan must be in place of how to warn/inform the future, after the AIC's are gone, of the consequences of intrusion into the geologic repository disposal area. A plan was put into place during the 1990's with records management and storage, awareness triggers, permanent marker design concepts and testing schedules. This work included the thoughts of expert panels and individuals. The plan held up under peer review and met the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today the NEA is coordinating a study called the 'Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory (RK and M) Across Generations' to provide the international nuclear waste repository community with a guide on how a nuclear record archive programs should be approached and developed. CBFO is cooperating and participating in this project and will take what knowledge is gained and apply that to the WIPP program. At the same time CBFO is well aware that the EPA and others are expecting DOE to move forward with planning for the future WIPP PIC's program; so a plan will be in place in time for WIPP's closure slated for the early 2030's. The DOE/CBFO WIPP PIC's program in place today meets the regulatory criteria, but complete feasibility of implementation is questionable, and may not be in conformance with the international guidance being developed. International guidance currently under development may suggest that the inter-generational equity principle strives to warn the future, however, in doing so not to unduly burden present generations. Building markers and monuments that are out of proportion to the risk being presented to the future is not in keeping with generational equity. With this in mind the DOE/CBFO is developing conceptual plans for re-evaluating and revising the current WIPP PIC's program. These conceptual plans will suggest scientific and technical work that must be completed to develop a 'new' PICs program that takes the best ideas of the present plan, blended with new ideas from the RK and M project, and proposed alternative permanent markers designs and materials in consideration. (authors)« less
  • The WIPP Case Study describes the compliance monitoring program, record keeping requirements, and passive institutional controls that are used to help ensure the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will safety contain radioactive waste and indicate dangers and location of the wastes. The radioactive components in the waste are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while the hazardous components in the waste are regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). This paper addresses monitoring relating to radionuclide containment performance, passive institutional controls, and record keeping over a 10,000-year time frame. Monitoring relating to the hazardous components and themore » associated regulator are not addressed in this paper. The WIPP containment performance is mandated by release limits set by regulation. Regulations also require the radioactive waste containment performance of the WIPP to be predicted by a ''Performance Assessment.'' The EPA did not base the acceptance of the WIPP solely on predicted containment but included additional assurance measures. One such assurance measure is monitoring, which may be defined as the on-going measurement of conditions in and around the repository. This case study describes the evolution of the WIPP monitoring program as the WIPP project progressed through the planning, site characterization, regulatory promulgation, and eventual operational stages that spanned a period of over 25 years. Included are discussions of the regulatory requirements for monitoring, selection of monitoring parameters, trigger values used to identify unexpected conditions, assessment of monitoring data against the trigger values, and plans for post-closure monitoring. The United EPA established the requirements for Passive Institutional Controls (PICs) for disposal sites. The requirements state the a disposal site must be designated by the most permanent markers, records, and other passive institutional controls practicable to indicate the dangers of the wastes and their location. The PIC Task Force assessed the effectiveness of PICs in deterring inadvertent human intrusion and developed a conceptual design for permanently marking the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), establishing records, and identifying other practicable controls to indicate the dangers of the wastes and their location. The marking system should provide information regarding the location, design, contents, and hazards associated with WIPP. This paper discuss these controls including markers, records, archives, and government ownership and land-use restrictions.« less