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17june02

Dr. Matthew Silva

Dr. Matthew Silva, Director of the New Mexico Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) is a participant in the 27th biennial Material Research Society Conference on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management, June 15-19 in Kalmar, Sweden. At the invitation of the Swedish sponsors, Dr. Silva gave a presentation entitled, "Public Oversight of the WIPP Repository, USA," in the opening plenary session. His presentation is particularly relevant to several nations interested in how the oversight provided by EEG was, and remains, an important aspect of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) ability to effectively assure local populations and officials of the safe siting and operation of a nuclear waste disposal facility such as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Dr. Silva served on the conference planning committee and will chair the technical session on geologic characterization and modeling. Dr. Silva has also been invited to brief officials of the Municipality of Oskarsham, Sweden, a community near a contemplated nuclear waste disposal facility, on the working details of the Environmental Evaluation Group.

The EEG was established in 1978 with funds provided by DOE to the State of New Mexico to conduct an independent technical evaluation of the WIPP Project to ensure the protection of the public health and safety and the environment of the State of New Mexico. The EEG was assigned to New Mexico Tech in 1989 by Public Law 100-456. The WIPP Project, located in southeastern New Mexico, became operational in March 1999 for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) radioactive wastes generated by the nation's defense programs.

For more information on the 27th biennial Conference on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management, visit the website at: http://www.skb.se/templates/Page.asp?id=3556. For more information on the New Mexico Environmental Evaluation Group, call (505) 828-1003 or visit the EEG website at: http://www.eeg.org.