The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - Successful Radioactive Wast Disposal

Event Date: April 11, 2012
Speaker: Christopher M. Timm, PE
Speaker Affiliation: Vice-President/Senior Project Manager
PECOS Management Services, Inc.
Type: Joint Seminar
Time: 3:30 p.m. - Joint Seminar
Location: ME 1061


The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – Successful Radioactive Waste Disposal

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) located in southeastern New Mexico is the only operating deep geological repository for radioactive waste in the United States, much less the world.  Since opening in 1999, it has been safely operated by the U.S. Department of Energy specifically for the disposal to transuranic radioactive wastes and mixed transuranic and hazardous wastes.  The evolution of WIPP from the basic objective of safe and permanent disposal of radioactive waste to an actual operating facility will be discussed in detail in this seminar.  The seminar will present the scientific, engineering, health and safety, environmental, political, and public issues raised and addressed during the 40+ year history from concept to opening and will also discuss ongoing research supported by WIPP, current proposed improvements for WIPP, and its possible place in future radioactive waste disposal initiatives for the nation.


Christopher (Chris) Timm is a registered professional engineer who received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue in 1962.  Following 3 years with the U.S. Army, he began his engineering career with the Bureau of Reclamation.  Returning to college, he received a M.S. in Civil Engineering (Sanitary Engineering major) from the University of New Mexico. That degree led to him joining the predecessors to the US Environmental Protection Agency and being a charter member of the EPA. His work with the EPA covered extensive water pollution problems in the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest and included an assignment to establish the national quality assurance program for EPA.  He also was selected for an assignment to the World Health Organization in Geneva Switzerland to develop a global water quality monitoring network.

Mr. Timm transitioned to the area of radioactive and hazardous waste cleanup in 1980 starting with providing engineering support for the cleanup of 26 old uranium mills across the USA.  He continued in that area for most of the next 30 years culminating in a five year assignment to provide independent oversight of the WIPP, the only operational deep geological radioactive waste disposal facility in the USA.  During his career, he has authored numerous papers and presentations regarding the management and disposal of radioactive waste.

2012-04-11 15:30:00 2012-04-11 00:00:00 America/Indiana/Indianapolis The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - Successful Radioactive Wast Disposal ME 1061