On March 26, 1999, the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico, United States of America (USA), for safe deep geological disposal of up to 175,584 cubic meters (m3) of long-lived radioactive wastes/materials (LLRMs). Twenty-four years of intensive, iterative interactions with scientific, environmental, public, institutional, political, and regulatory interest groups resolved all regulatory and legal challenges involved in bringing a deep geological repository for LLRMs to adequate scientific, technical, institutional, political, and public acceptance and fruition.
International strategic partnerships and research and development (R&D) collaborations are cornerstones in both past and current strategies designed to timely, cost-effectively, and safely accomplish the CBFO mission. The primary objectives of the CBFO’s international programs are to:
1. Acquire information supporting the CBFO mission.
2. Present and share CBFO mission information, expertise, and facilities of potential interest and/or value to other radioactive waste management and disposal programs, including using the WIPP underground research laboratory (URL) for joint R&D and training.