LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos (N3B) recently reconfigured a groundwater monitoring well in the southeastern corner of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) property. The well would give advanced warning of groundwater contamination migrating toward drinking water supply wells south of the laboratory’s boundary.

N3B is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office contractor responsible for the cleanup of pre-1999 radiological and hazardous waste at LANL.

R-31’s old sampling system was replaced with a new one that offers improved quality control and assurance that the samples are consistent and representative of what is actually in the groundwater. Sampling on a regular basis at this well, which is located in Technical Area 39, is scheduled to restart in the spring of 2020.

Groundwater samples are analyzed for many different constituents and the results are compared to the standards required for drinking water, though there are no potable water wells in this part of LANL property.

A report detailing the reconfiguration of R-31 was a fiscal year 2020 Consent Order milestone.  It was submitted in advance of its due date of February 17, 2020.