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WIPP Oversight
Waste Management: 

2010 WIPP Recertification Decision


On November 18, 2010, EPA officially recertified that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) continues to comply with the waste disposal regulations at 40 CFR Part 191, Subparts B and C and WIPP Compliance Criteria at 40 CFR Part 194.

In the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act, Congress required EPA to “recertify” the facility every five years following the initial receipt of transuranic (TRU) waste until the end of its operational activities. WIPP first received TRU waste on March 26, 1999, and this action represents the second of EPA’s periodic evaluations of the facility's continued compliance. DOE's first recertification application was received on March 26, 2004, and EPA's first recertification decision was issued on March 29, 2006.

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How does recertification affect the operation of WIPP?

Recertification is a process that evaluates changes at WIPP, to determine whether the facility continues to meet all the requirements of EPA’s disposal regulations. The recertification process helps ensure WIPP's continued compliance based on the most accurate, up-to-date information available. Recertification does not mean that the decision to open WIPP is being reconsidered.

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What is the basis for EPA's recertification decision?

EPA based its recertification decision on a thorough review of information submitted by DOE, independent technical analyses, and public comments. All of the documents related to the Agency's recertification decision are available through the EPA WIPP Docket. All recertification-related documents are also available in electronic format below:

(We recommend that you read these documents in the order they are listed. The level of detail and complexity increases as you go down the list.)

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Compliance Application Review Documents

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Section: CARD Title
194.8 Approval Process for Waste Shipment from Waste Generator Sites for Disposal at WIPP (PDF) (15 pp, 63 K)
194.14/15 Content of Compliance Certification Application/Content of Compliance Recertification Application(s) (PDF) (91 pp, 1.77 MB)
194.21 Inspections (PDF) (11 pp, 34 K)
194.22 Quality Assurance (PDF) (15 pp, 55 K)
194.23 Models and Computer Codes (PDF) (50 pp, 224 K)
194.24 Waste Characterization (PDF) (69 pp, 259 K)
194.25 Future State Assumptions (PDF) (7 pp, 23 K)
194.26 Expert Judgment (PDF) (4 pp, 16 K)
194.27 Peer Review (PDF) (6 pp, 25 K)
194.31 Application of Release Limits (PDF) (7 pp, 39 K)
194.32 Scope of Performance Assessments (PDF) (14 pp, 41 K)
194.33 Consideration of Drilling Events in Performance Assessments (PDF) (9 pp, 41 K)
194.34 Results of Performance Assessments (PDF) (18 pp, 197 K)
194.41 Active Institutional Controls (PDF) (3 pp, 19 K)
194.42 Monitoring (PDF) (9 pp, 36 K)
194.43 Passive Institutional Controls (PDF) (6 pp, 30 K)
194.44 Engineered Barriers (PDF) (7 pp, 29 K)
194.45 Consideration of Presence of Resources (PDF) (5 pp, 32 K)
194.46 Removal of Waste (PDF) (4 pp, 23 K)
194.51/52 Consideration of Protected Individual and Exposure Pathways (PDF) (4 pp, 22 K)
194.53 Consideration of Underground Sources of Drinking Water (PDF) (5 pp, 25 K)
194.54 Scope of Compliance Assessments (PDF) (6 pp, 30 K)
194.55 Results of Compliance Assessments (PDF) (7 pp, 29 K)
************* Master Reference List for CRA-2009 (PDF) (16 pp, 97 K)

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Technical Support Documents

Support for Section(s): Support Document Title Size
194.22/23 Review of Changes to the WIPP Performance Assessment Parameters from the Compliance Recertification Application to the Performance Assessment Baseline Calculation (PABC-2004) (PDF) (112 pp, 328 K)
  Review of WIPP Recertification Performance Assessment Computer Code Migration Activities (PDF) (141 pp, 335 K)
  Review of the 2009 Compliance Recertification Performance Assessment Baseline Calculation (PDF) (134 pp, 1.80 MB)
194.24 Review of the Baseline Inventory used in the Compliance Recertification Application (CRA-2009) and the Performance Assessment Baseline Calculation (PABC-2009) (PDF) (43 pp, 252 K)
  Evaluation of the Compliance Recertification Actinide Source Term and Culebra Dolomite Distribution Coefficient Values (Rev. 1) (PDF) (183 pp, 844 K)
194.25/32/33 Review of Changes to the Performance Assessment Features, Events and Processes (FEPs) since the 2004 CRA (Rev. 2) (PDF) (36 pp, 140 Kb)
194.32/33 2009 Compliance Recertification Application Re-evaluation of Select Human Intrusion Activities (Rev. 3) (PDF) (57 pp, 490 K)

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Recertification-related Outreach Materials

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How can I obtain WIPP publications not offered on-line?

Request hard copies of any of the publications listed using any of the following contact information:

WIPP Contact Information
By Mail By Phone By Email
Radiation Protection Division/WIPP Oversight
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Radiation and Indoor Air
Radiation Protection Division
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW  (MC 6608T)
Washington, DC 20460-0001
202.343.9290 Questions About Radiation

You can find Federal Register notices and other documents relating to the legal aspects of EPA's certification and recertification decisions on the WIPP Compliance Certification and Recertification Decisions Documents page and in the Dockets.

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