Simulation of a WIPP waste-storage barrel rupture due to an internal cook-off event.

Simulation of a WIPP waste-storage barrel rupture due to an internal cook-off event.

A multi-disciplinary team provided critical analysis as part of the Technical Assessment Team supporting the investigation of a radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Subsequent to a February 5, 2014, truck fire, a radi­ation leak was detected above ground on February 15, 2014. Visual inspection underground traced the source to a waste room exhibiting evidence of bar­rel rupture and fire. Leveraging prior research in­vestments in simulation code, material models, and chemistry modeling, the team analyzed potential event initiation and evolution scenarios. Results were provided to a complex-wide team charged with reporting to the Secretary of Energy the source of radiation release as a first step to re-establishing operations at WIPP.