Groundwater occurrence and the dissolution of salt at the WIPP Radioactive Waste Repository Site

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Abstract

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located about 25 miles east of Carlsbad, in southeastern New Mexico, is slated to be the first deep geologic repository for permanent disposal of radioactive wastes in the United States. The repository will be located in bedded salt of Permian (225 m.y. B.P.) age, at a depth of 655 m below the ground surface. The present mission of WIPP calls for a permanent disposal of approximately 170,000 cubic meters of defense transuranic (TRU) wastes and for temporary, retrievable emplacement of 4.25 cubic meters of experimental high level wastes. The site will not be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) but will comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and all other federal and state regulations.

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