Western Governors disappointed Technical Advisory Group not involved with DOE Strategic Plan update

Western Governors expressed their disappointment that the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of state nuclear waste and transportation experts was not involved with updates to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Strategic Plan for the Carlsbad Field Office and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The TAG, established by WGA in 1989 to address issues affecting the safe and uneventful movement of waste to WIPP, would have made a valuable contribution to DOE’s consideration of future plans and activities at WIPP, asserts the letter signed by WGA Chair North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Vice Chair Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

The Strategic Plan makes only minimal references to the crucial role that states play in planning, organizing, and transporting waste to WIPP,” notes the outreach of Sept. 30, 2019. "The success of the WIPP shipping campaign relies on rigorous planning and coordination with states, and this practice should have been replicated when updating the Strategic Plan.”

The letter to Kirk D. Lachman, Acting Manager of DOE's Carlsbad Field Office, additionally recommended that the Strategic Plan “provide more detailed information on corrective actions related to the 2014 radiation exposure incident that resulted in a pause in waste shipments. The amount of discussion devoted to the 2014 incident and DOE’s response is minimal given the severity of the accident.”

Read, download the letter.

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