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.