Radiological risk reduction activities include establishing a new mine floor in some areas
WIPP's new hybrid (diesel/electric) bolter
Concrete placements for the Interim Ventilation System
Supplemental Ventilation System fans arrive at WIPP

WIPP Update

August 20, 2015

New Hybrid Bolting Machine Ready for Service

WIPP’s new hybrid bolting machine was recently transported to the WIPP underground, where it was reassembled by site personnel. The bolter is designed to run on either diesel or electricity. The unit was inspected and acceptance tested at the manufacturer’s site before it was disassembled and transported to the WIPP site. Operational checks have been completed, and the automatic fire suppression system has been installed on the unit. Before the bolter can be placed into service, portable power units that will supply the necessary electricity must be relocated to the appropriate areas of the underground, and operator training will need to be completed. Use of the hybrid bolter should significantly increase the capacity for bolting crews without requiring higher ventilation rates.

bolterBolting, or ground control, is the process of installing steel bolts, up to 20 feet in length, into the roof (back) and walls (ribs) of underground drifts (tunnels). The bolts slow the natural movement of the salt and help prevent rock falls, while allowing the time necessary for placement of waste. Since November 2014, approximately 3,300 bolts have been installed, recovering the WIPP underground and providing
a safe work environment for employees. 

Next WIPP Town Hall Meeting Scheduled September 3

The City of Carlsbad and the Department of Energy will co-host the next WIPP Town Hall meeting featuring updates on recovery activities. The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 3, at the Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno Street.  Live streaming of the meeting can be seen at

Reports and Plans


AIB Phase II Report on the February 14 Radiological Event

AIB Phase II Investigation Summary Slides


AIB Investigation Report on the February 5 Fire

AIB Investigation Summary Slides

AIB Phase I Report on the February 14 Radiological Event

AIB Phase I Investigation Summary Slides

Office of Environmental Management Corrective Action Plan for Fire Event

Office of Environmental Management Corrective Action Plan for the Radiological Event

CBFO Corrective Action Plan for the Fire and Radiological Events

NWP Corrective Action Plan for the Fire and Radiological Events

Technical Assessment Team Report

Supporting Documents

Supporting documents for the AIB and TAT reports

Did you know?

WIPP has made significant progress in its recovery efforts

On September 30, 2014, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Recovery Plan was issued. It outlines the necessary steps to resume limited waste disposal operations in the first quarter of calendar year 2016. 

Several of the steps have been completed and WIPP is making good progress in its recovery efforts.

For more information about the WIPP Recovery Plan, see the Plans and Reports page.