WIPP`s long-standing mission is to demonstrate the safe disposal of TRU waste from US defense activities. In 1980, to comply with NEPA, US DOE completed its first environmental impact statement (EIS) which compared impacts of alternatives for TRU waste disposal. Based on this 1980 analysis, DOE decided to construct WIPP in 1981. In a 1990 decision based on examination of alternatives in a 1990 Supplemental EIS, DOE decided to continue WIPP development by proceeding with a testing program to examine WIPP`s suitability as a TRU waste repository. Now, as DOE`s Carlsbad Area Office (CAO) attempts to complete its regulatory obligations to begin WIPP disposal operations, CAO is developing WIPP`s second supplemental EIS (SEIS-II). To complete the SEIS-II, CAO will have to meet a number of challenges. This paper explores both the past and present EISs prepared to evaluate the suitability of WIPP. The challenges in completing an objective comparison of alternatives, while also finalizing other critical-path compliance documents, controlling costs, and keeping stakeholders involved during the decision-making process are addressed.
Abstract: An evaluation extending over a two-year period was made of primary system sodium and of stainless steel, zirconium, and beryllium specimens exposed in the hot and cold legs of a bypass loop in the primary system of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE).