Sunday, March 29, 2009
WIPP Turns 10
Ah, WIPP, ten years old this week. It was excavated into a mobile, creeping salt bed, mainly for dry waste, lightly contaminated with plutonium. It sounds like the place is run on the cheap, without a lot of brains. Since it takes defense waste, it takes on defense opacity, and critics are left muttering on the outside.
Here, you can only maintain an opening for a short time, so the waste is shoved in, sealed and forgotten. The big problem is that everything is corrosive, and you are using high-pressure water jets to carve out the openings. That means big water pipes can fail.
The wippie could never take over for yuk-yuk mountain, since that old fuel is physically hot, and the salt would flow like water. Also, you probably want to retrieve the used fuel sometime in the future. Rusty Obama Barrels for a long time.