Westinghouse designed, built and managed the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolations Pilot Plant (WIPP), a repository for transuranic radioactive (TRU) waste from the nation’s commercial and defense nuclear programs. Transuranic waste includes tools, plastic, laboratory clothing, rubber gloves and other such items contaminated with man-made radioactive materials. The repository, located 2,150 feet deep in New Mexico salt beds, employs about 650 operators, engineers and other technical personnel at the 16-square-mile site. Located in southeastern New Mexico, 26 miles east of Carlsbad, project facilities include disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation, 2,150 feet (almost half a mile) underground.
The transuranic waste is sent to WIPP in the Transuranic Packaging Transporter (TRUPACT), a reusable shipping container certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Each stainless steel TRUPACT is approximately eight feet in diameter, 10 feet high, and constructed with leak tight inner and outer containment vessels. The TRUPACT can hold up to 14 fifty-five gallon waste drums, two standard waste boxes (63 cubic feet capacity each), or one 10-drum overpack (a container designed to provide additional protection for older, deteriorating drums).
CHAMPS is implemented at WIPP to maintain the TRUPACT units that are in service. The application tracks the lot numbers associated with inventory levels at all sites. When the units arrive at WIPP, they are maintained as necessary and cleaned for reuse. The CHAMPS equipment, preventive maintenance, work order, purchasing and inventory components are implemented to accomplish the work and retain the maintenance history. The CHAMPS system also helps optimize the inventory levels of the TRUPACTS at all facilities.