Nuclear Waste Partnership submitted a plan on Monday to the U.S. Department of Energy to fully utilize the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant workforce to lead recovery activities from two recent incidents.
The DOE approved the plan outlined by NWP on Tuesday, calling for the utilization of the workforce at WIPP. Under this plan, all workers currently assigned to WIPP will be needed during recovery efforts, according to a DOE news release.
“The Department understands the value of utilizing the experience and expertise of the NWP workforce in all aspects for recovering from the recent fire and radiation release incidents,” said Joe Franco, manager of DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office.
“One of the key concerns at last week’s WIPP town hall meeting was the future of WIPP employees,” said U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce. “Today, WIPP reports that DOE has approved a plan to keep all employees on board through the recovery process.
“This is great news for New Mexico, for the Carlsbad community, and for the hundreds of hardworking individuals who provide a vital service at WIPP.”
NWP employees will be involved in investigating what caused the radiation release. They will also be involved in implementing any corrective actions once the investigations into each incident are complete.
NWP was asked to establish a system to ensure that the WIPP workers are fully utilized during the recovery process. The Department will perform periodic reviews to ensure workforce utilization is consistent with the plan.