Gnome Site and Environs

Page 1 of 3: About the Gnome site

Project Gnome is well described on this web page maintained by the US Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  

What is the connection between WIPP and Gnome?  Salt!  Both projects are using the same salt-stone formation.  One sought to store energy in salt (did not work well), the other is permanently disposing of transuranic waste in salt.

This photo shows persons re-entering the very large cavity made by the Gnome shot.  To see a video of this re-entry, go to this page and play the MPG file for best viewing:


and the Gnome site:

are not very far apart (my car is at the Gnome site for easier identification, the distinctive WIPP buildings are in the distance to the right):

Walking a little way on the surrounding sand dunes and using a little telefoto gives another perspective, this time WIPP is to the left and an oil/gas rig is to the right:

Note that there is oil and gas exploration close to the Gnome site.  The monument explains the site:

And it also reminds visitors that there is a restriction on land use close to the site:

Note that if the rig in the previous photo employs horizontal drilling once it gets to the depth where there is oil and gas it is allowed to move under this site.  It only restricts land use down to 1,500 feet (about 500 meters).

The damage to the concrete of the monument is from gunshots.  The site is maintained by the US Department of Energy's Office of Legacy Management (DOE-LM).  Going to the linked site allows you to learn how DOE-LM manages sites such as these and also allows you to download a fact-sheet about this particular site.

Not much to see here, is there?  No, so let's leave the monument and take a walk to the west where the sand dune field seems to end:

As we approach this crest the natural question is: are we there yet?

The answer is no, there is always another ridge, but it takes another page to illustrate that.

Go to second Gnome site and environment page

Go to third Gnome site and environment page


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