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Radiation Protection

WIPP 700-C Fan Restart-Projected Schedule and Initial Response to EPA Questions

In December 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) notified the EPA that they are planning to restart one of their legacy exhaust fans – the 700-C – to provide increased airflow to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) underground. The fan was initially suspended after the WIPP radiological incident in 2014. The DOE has sent the Agency a projected schedule and a response to EPA’s initial questions on the 700-C fan restart.

The EPA has reviewed all the information and documentation that the DOE submitted regarding the 4-hour test of the fan at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The Agency expects that the emissions will remain within all regulatory limits. 

The EPA expects that the DOE will be able to accurately measure the air emissions at sampling Station A.

  • Any radioactivity from these emissions will be collected on station filters, which then go to labs for testing. 

  • There will also be real-time sampling of the exhaust from the WIPP facility, which we expect to give confirmation of low-levels of radioactivity from any emissions

The EPA will closely evaluate the DOE’s activities and sampling results as they progress with additional testing.

View the DOE website dedicated to the 700-C fan restart.

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