wipp_stratigraph_(public domain)On December 4th, the DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office announced the appointment of Sandia’s Sean Dunagan (recently manager of Sandia’s Performance Assessment & Decision Analysis Dept.) to take on the role of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Senior Recovery Manager under an IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act) arrangement between the DOE and Sandia. Sean officially began his new duties at WIPP the week of December 8th. Sean replaces Tom Teynor, who returned to the Hanford Site in Washington state.

WIPP Feb2014 leak incidentIn February, a Los Alamos National Laboratory waste canister leaked in one of WIPP’s storage rooms, contaminating 22 workers and forcing the facility’s indefinite closure.

A final accident investigation report is expected before the end of the year.

Sean will serve in this Senior Recovery Manager capacity for somewhere between two and three years. Cleanup at the waste repository and resuming full operations could take years. The cost has been esti­mated at more than $500 million.

Read the Daily Journal/AP article.