Los Alamos Lab Once Again Breaks Record for Shipping Radioactive Waste

05 August 2013 RESTON, Virginia

Bechtel-led Program More than 55 Percent Complete

Bechtel announced today that Los Alamos National Laboratory set a new annual transuranic (TRU) waste shipping record.  With three months remaining in the 2013 fiscal year, the Los Alamos TRU Waste Program has already shipped 1,074 cubic meters of the radioactively contaminated waste, topping last year’s laboratory record of 916 cubic meters.

The Los Alamos TRU Waste Program is set to remove more than 3,700 cubic meters of radioactive waste by June 30, 2014, as part of an agreement between the New Mexico Environmental Department and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Environmental Management.

“Safely surpassing the 2012 record is an important milestone for the project and the communities of New Mexico, and would not be possible without the substantial efforts of the program’s employees and its partners,” said Michael Graham, manager of Bechtel’s U.S. Environmental operations.  “Working together with our customer and our partners is enabling current progress and continued success of the TRU Waste Program for Los Alamos National Laboratory.”

The waste, which consists of clothing, equipment, tools and other items contaminated with radioactive elements such as plutonium, is a result of decades of nuclear research and weapons production at the Laboratory.  It is shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant where shipments from Los Alamos  account for nearly one-third of the volume received for permanent storage.

Bechtel manages and operates LANL with the University of California and is a leader in environmental restoration and cleanup of nuclear production sites.  The company has more than 30 years of experience managing radioactive waste cleanup projects throughout the United States and across the world.