- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - Four sites in northern New Mexico are now free of toxic waste left over from the Manhattan Project and early Cold War atomic research, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The soil was contaminated at four locations on the on the south rim of the Los Alamos Canyon, reported The Los Alamos Monitor (https://bit.ly/2e7NjAE ). Cleanup at the sites began in June and was conducted by private subcontractor TerranearPMC.

During the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos scientists worked to develop the atomic bomb later dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The program also involved facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington.

In early October, the DOE said it had removed about 133 cubic yards of soil from the area and sent it to a waste disposal site in Utah. The agency said the project was finished under budget and ahead of schedule.

The DOE plans to clean the last sites on the south rim next year.

Doug Hintze, a manager at the Environmental Management Field Office in Los Alamos, said at a conference this week that TerranearPMC is using remote-controlled equipment to help clean up waste at some cites. It’s not clear whether the technology was used in the Los Alamos Canyon operation.

“What that allows us to do is use the machinery to dig up the contaminated soil, take it, put it in containers and ship it off,” Hintze said. “This way it’s safer for the workers because they aren’t working on the steep slopes . and you’re also reducing the exposure to personnel to that contaminant.”


Information from: Los Alamos Monitor, https://www.lamonitor.com

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