Apr 4, 2007
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has issued requirements to Los Alamos National Laboratory detailing improvements the agency wants to see in LANL's groundwater monitoring network.
Deficiencies in the monitoring network are hampering the lab's ability to detect contamination from polluted sites at LANL. These include improperly drilled and constructed wells, according to NMED Secretary Ron Curry. NMED's dissatisfaction with LANL's pace in addressing these issues compelled the department to impose these requirements, according to a prepared statement from the state agency.
NMED's requirement include abandonment of portions of damaged or defective wells in key locations and the rapid assessment of the lab's groundwater monitoring capabilities in areas where remedy and closure activities are imminent.
These areas include one where LANL still disposes of low-level radioactive waste. Also, NMED is requiring the lab to address monitoring problems in three areas: TA-54 (LANL's main waste management area); TA-50 (one of LANL's main waste treatment areas); and the Los Alamos Canyon area, which includes a section where plutonium manufacturing was conducted in the 1950s.
[View the NMED Press Release here.]