October 1, 2004
The Honorable John T. Conway
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The purpose of this letter is to transmit a status of wet combustible transuranic (TRU) waste shipments from the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). RFETS expects to complete shipping all TRU waste (including wet combustibles) to WIPP by April 2005.
As stated in Section 5. 2 of Revision 2 of the Department of Energy’s Implementation Plan for stabilization of the nuclear materials identified in Recommendation 2000-1 (July 22, 2002), the wet combustibles were to be shipped to WIPP by June 2004. At this time, more than 1,200 wet combustible residue containers have been shipped to WIPP but approximately 230 containers still remain at RFETS. The RFETS implemented actions and “Vent Filter Monitoring Program” monitoring indicate that the drums can be safely stored and shipped. Any failed filters are mitigated by replacing the filters and increasing the monitoring frequency for the failed drum. There have been no vent filter failures identified to date in the fiscal year 2004 monitoring program. Wet combustible wastes are being shipped in a manner that maximizes the efficiency of the entire TRU waste shipping program.
If you have any further questions concerning these issues, please call Patrice M. Bubar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Integrated Safety Management and Operations Oversight, at (202) 586-5151 or Frazer Lockhart, Manager, Rocky Flats Project Office, at (303) 966-2025.
Deputy Chief Operating Officer
cc: M. Whitaker, DR/DOE
F. Lockhart, RF/DOE