Los Alamos wins 2008 Pollution Prevention awards
- Kevin Roark
- Communications Office
- (505) 665-9202
Two Awards For “Best-in-Class” programs that protect environment and save money
LOS ALAMOS, NM, Feb. 7, 2008—Los Alamos National Laboratory is a 2008 winner of two Best-in-Class Pollution Prevention awards and six Environmental Stewardship awards from the National Nuclear Security Administration. The competition for these awards included more entries this year than ever before from across the NNSA complex, and Los Alamos has more winners than any previous year.
According to NNSA the annual pollution prevention awards program affirms the importance and benefits, both environmental and fiscal, of integrating pollution prevention into all NNSA sites’ operations through environmental management systems.
The Laboratory’s 2008 Best-in-Class winners are:
Wastewater Recycling Saves More Than $1 Million Annually
The Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility reduced the amount of reverse osmosis concentrate (ROC) that needs treatment through evaporation. Instead of sending all of the ROC directly to the evaporator, it is sent to an intermediate storage tank before being recycled and blended with influent. The amount of ROC that is wasted was reduced fourfold, and total cost savings exceed $1.3 million per year.
Ultrapure Carbon and Carbon-Nitride Nanomaterials
Development of new solvent-free methods to prepare ultrapure carbon and carbon-nitride nano-particles. The new methods are faster, involve less purification, and eliminate the need for high temperatures and pressures so that the preparation work is safer for employees. These very useful materials can now be produced without generating hazardous fumes or waste in the process.
2008 Environmental Stewardship awards:
More than $900,000 Saved with Steam Generator Optimization
A project to eliminate approximately half the low-level liquid waste produced at the Plutonium Facility at TA-55, for a waste reduction of more than 500,000 liters, and a savings of more than $900,000 annually. This was accomplished by changing the operation of steam generators so that they only run as needed instead of non-stop.
Perchloric Acid Exhaust System Saves $750,000 Annually
Activities involving perchloric acid are consolidated so that just one exhaust system is used instead of four separate exhaust systems. This project is expected to eliminate the generation of about 500,000 liters per year of low-level liquid waste since fewer ducts require cleaning and also save approximately $1 million annually.
Recycling of Soil, Asphalt, and Mulch Saves $1.7 Million
The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project reuses soil, asphalt, and mulch from vegetation instead of paying for their disposal. Approximately 207,000 cubic yards of soil and 486 cubic yards of asphalt will be used at the Laboratory and at the Los Alamos County landfill. Trees and other vegetation will be turned into mulch to help with dust suppression. This recycling project could save a total of $1,735,000.
Mixed Office Paper Recycle Program
The new mixed office paper recycle program simplifies collection of paper at the Laboratory with a focus on safety and security. The combined collection is more efficient and user-friendly because all unclassified paper can be recycled together. The program reduces the amount of sanitary waste disposed and alleviates previous environmental impacts and security issues related to using out-of-state recyclers.
Integrating Safety and Security into the Environment Management System Life-cycle: A Body-contact Sport
Integrating Environmental Management Systems (EMS) with safety is required both DOE and Executive Order. Such integration depends on sustained effort and the cumulative effect of many individual steps to assure that meaningful results are demonstrated at the worker level of any organization. In fiscal year 2007, the Laboratory executed efforts at every stage of the EMS life-cycle to continuously improve such integration.
The Uninterruptible Power Supply Project
The Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) project is an educational, electrical safety, pollution prevention, waste reduction, and environmentally preferable purchasing initiative. Unnecessary UPSs are removed, and workers educated about the proper uses of UPSs. This project will help avoid future legacy waste materials and assist in Laboratory clean up efforts.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWXT Government Group, and URS, an AECOM company, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.