LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — William “Ike” White, senior advisor for the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM), visited the Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) last week for a tour of key projects underway to address environmental impacts from Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) legacy operations. White toured with staff members from EM-LA and its environmental cleanup contractor, Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos (N3B), receiving briefings on work conducted to ship legacy waste off-site, protect water quality, remediate contaminated soil and debris, and decontaminate and demolish historical LANL buildings.
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EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White, pictured third from right, finishes his tour of N3B and EM-LA cleanup sites with, from left, EM Acting Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory and Policy Affairs Jay Mullis; EM Headquarters EM-LA Site Liaison Beth Lisann, EM-LA Office of Completion Project Delivery Dave Nickless, EM-LA Field Manager Michael Mikolanis, N3B President Kim Lebak, and N3B Vice President and Executive Officer Joe Legare.
N3B personnel brief EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White, far left, on a campaign to retrieve 158 metal pipes — similar in appearance to culverts — filled with cemented radiologically contaminated wastewater treatment sludge. Buried underground, the pipes measure 20 feet long, 30 inches in diameter and weigh about 14,000 pounds each. N3B will use a hydraulic shear to cut the pipes into segments that are suitable for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where they will be permanently disposed. Also pictured are, from left, EM Acting Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory and Policy Affairs Jay Mullis, N3B TA-54 Facility Operations Director Gail Helm and N3B TA-54 Maintenance and Work Control Director John Martinez.
EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White, far left, observes preparations underway to implement a processing line that allows the removal of liquids from drums containing transuranic (TRU) waste. Removal of liquids will enable the acceptable shipment and permanent disposal of these TRU waste drums at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Also pictured from left are EM-LA Field Office Manager Michael Mikolanis and N3B Waste Processing Operators Nico Randall and Dale Salazar.
Ellen Gammon, N3B’s transuranic waste management director, briefs EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White on legacy waste stored above ground at Technical Area 54 and slated for off-site shipment. Since N3B’s contract inception in April 2018, 418 cubic yards of transuranic waste have been shipped off-site for permanent disposal — the equivalent of about 1,690 55-gallon waste drums.
EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White, at right, is briefed on progress to control migration of a plume contaminated with hexavalent chromium in groundwater beneath the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) site. The EM Los Alamos Field Office is conducting interim remediation measures to control plume migration until a final remedy is agreed upon with the New Mexico Environment Department. As part of that measure, the plume has been pushed back 500 feet from LANL’s boundary with Pueblo de San Ildefonso, and Los Alamos County water supply wells have been protected. At left is Danny Katzman, groundwater remediation program manager for Tech2 Solutions, a subcontractor to N3B’s Water Program.