LANL Construction: Pajarito Corridor


Existing and Proposed Project Planning (2011-2020)

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Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Project

Radiological Laboratory Utility Office Building

The CMRR Project comprises three primary elements that define the scope and drive the acquisition strategy: the Radiological Laboratory/ Utility/Office Building (RLUOB), the RLUOB Equipment Installation (REI), and the Nuclear Facility (NF). RLUOB and NF will be equipped with special facility equipment, which includes gloveboxes, open front boxes, fume hoods, gloveports, enclosure coatings, double-door transfer systems, and analytical instruments.

Project milestones
Line Item PhaseStatusFinish Date
Phase 1 - Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building Complete 09/09
Phase 2 - RLUOB Equipment Installation Complete 06/12
Phase 3 - Nuclear Facility In design N/A

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Transuranic Waste Facility (TWF) Project

Plan of Consolidated Waste Capability Transuranic Waste Facility

This facility will ensure enduring solid waste capability and operations required to support all NNSA programs at LANL.

The Laboratory obtained approval to begin design on a new radioactive waste staging facility. See September 1, 2010, news release.

NMED is accepting comments from the public from August 25 through October 24, 2011.

Project milestones
TypeStatusFinish Date
Critical Decision 1 Approval Complete 08/10
Phase A Site Development In Design 01/13
Phase B RCRA Facilities In Design 01/15

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Material Disposal Area C (MDA-C) Closure

Material Disposal Area C is an 11.8-acre fenced and radiologically-controlled area consisting of 7 pits and 108 shafts, with depths ranging from 10 to 25 feet below the original ground surface. This area is closed to the general public.

Historically, MDA-C was used for the disposal of solid and liquid materials, including uncontaminated classified wastes, hazardous chemicals, and radioactive materials. While a final closure remedy for MDA-C has not been determined or approved by the state of New Mexico, one possible remedy involves an "engineered earthen cap" of soil and rock. The cap material would come mostly from the material excavated for the CMRR facility. The final closure remedy will be determined by the state after a public input process.

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Material Disposal Area G (MDA-G) Closure

Material Disposal Area G is located in LANL's Technical Area 54 (TA-54), a secured area closed to the general public. MDA-G is the Lab's only active disposal area for low-level radioactive waste and is scheduled to close by the end of 2015, per the Consent Order with the state of New Mexico. It has 35 large, rectangular disposal pits and more than 200 disposal shafts.

A final closure remedy for MDA-G will be determined by the state after a public comment process. LANL has recommended an "engineered" cap of bentonite clay and crushed rock at least eight feet thick. The cap would be installed in three phases as operations at MDA-G close or move elsewhere.

Material for the cap would be obtained and transported from another Lab technical area. It is assumed that transporting the material could be completed in less than a year and that the New Mexico Environment Department will allow stockpiling of the material.

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Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrades Project (NMSSUP)

Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrades, NMSSUP

The NMSSUP will support the viability of the mission assigned to TA-55 by providing an effective and robust external physical security system that addresses protection strategy and security requirements.

Project milestones
Type Status Finish Date
Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrades In construction 10/12

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Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility (RLWTF)

Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, RLWTF

The RLWTF will replace the existing treatment capability at TA-50, involving both the transuranic and low-level waste operations, as well as construction of a "zero liquid discharge" capability.

Project milestones
Type Status Finish Date
Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility In design 09/14

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Technical Area 55 Revitalization Project (TRP), Phases II & III

Cooling tower

This project will support a 25-year life extension of the Laboratory's Plutonium Facility through replacement or refurbishment of essential safety structures, systems, and components, such as cooling towers, chillers, and air dryers.

Project milestones
Type Status Finish Date
Cooling Tower Complete 06/10
Chiller Installation on track 06/10
TRP III In design 01/17

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Waste Disposition Project (WDP)

The Waste Disposition Project is a multi-year effort to remediate waste from past operations at TA-54, as well as manage waste from ongoing missions at the Lab. WDP's operations are primarily located at TA-54 and -50, both of which are closed to the general public.

WDP must retrieve transuranic waste from above and underground storage and repackage it properly for shipment and final disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, NM. These retrieval and repackaging operations must be complete before MDA-G within TA-54 can be closed. The current deadline for closure is December 2015.

WDP also manages hazardous and chemical wastes, low-level radioactive waste, and low-level waste mixed with hazardous materials. Nearly all of this waste is shipped to licensed, out-of-state disposal facilities.

As TA-54 is closed in phases, these waste management activities will have to move elsewhere in the Lab. New facilities will be needed for processing transuranic and mixed low-level wastes.

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LANL Construction Corridor map

The Pajarito Corridor is a series of technical areas along Pajarito Road, which runs through Los Alamos National Laboratory. These technical areas house a significant portion of LANL's nuclear operations.

Over approximately the next ten years, the infrastructure of these areas will be modernized to ensure continuous support of U.S. stockpile stewardship objectives.

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