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Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – building of ventilation shaft is halted, due to Covid-19 and planning problems

WIPP: New Mexico regulators halt utility shaft project, cite COVID-19, planning problems, Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus, 25 Nov 20,  Construction of a $100 million utility shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant could be halted after the New Mexico Environment Department denied a request to extend state authorization to build the shaft, citing missed deadlines in the planning of the project and the continued spread in COVID-19 cases at the facility.

The shaft, part of an almost $300 million rebuild of WIPP’s ventilation system, along with a series of fans and filter buildings known as the Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System (SSCVS), was intended to improve airflow in the WIPP underground and allow for waste emplacement and mining to occur simultaneously along with future expansions of the nuclear waste repository……….

Spike in COVID-19 at WIPP could put workers in danger

NMED also cited a recent rise in COVID-19 cases at WIPP, as the pandemic continued to spread in record-breaking numbers across New Mexico, and the agency’s responsibility to ensure human health is not put at risk by activities under the TA, requesting a plan for COVID-19 mitigation at the facility. https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2020/11/24/wipp-utility-shaft-halted-new-mexico-cites-covid-planning-problems/6397790002/

November 26, 2020 - Posted by | safety, USA

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