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Lab completes Recovery Act-funded demolition

The building was the largest of the 24 demolished at LANL’s historic Technical Area 21.
January 19, 2011
Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

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Project finishes ahead of schedule and under budget

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, January 19, 2011— With a not-so-gentle tug from a piece of heavy equipment, the last bit of the 24th building crashed to the ground. The final building demolished under the Recovery Act program at Los Alamos National Laboratory is now a pile of rubble.

Built in 1965, the 34,000-square foot High Temperature Chemistry Facility was the hub of Project Rover—LANL's research into the use of nuclear reactors to propel rockets in space. Rover was among the Lab's earliest non-weapons projects.

Later, the building provided office and lab space for LANL’s research on nuclear fusion.

“This is a major milestone for us,” said Gordon Dover, LANL’s director of Recovery Act cleanup projects. “Not only are we removing unused buildings and contamination from the environment, we’ve done it with an excellent safety record.”

The building was the largest of the 24 demolished at LANL’s historic Technical Area 21. Since September of 2009, Lab and subcontractor crews have demolished 175,000 square feet of buildings and other structures. More than half of the rubble has been packaged and shipped to licensed disposal facilities.

“We owe a huge thank you to the small-business subcontractors who helped us get to this day,” said George Rael, manager of Environmental Projects at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office. “Their outstanding performance has provided a great service to the environment and the community, resulting in a successful project under the Recovery Act Program.”

Key demolition subcontractors include Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. (ITSI) of Walnut Creek, CA and ARSEC, LLC of White Rock, NM.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management allocated $212 million in Recovery Act funding to Los Alamos. Some $73 million was slated for demolition.

Through cost efficiencies, the Lab added two buildings to the demolition list and still finished $16 million under budget and six months ahead of schedule.

Post-Recovery Act work to excavate the slabs, underground pipes and contaminated soil below the former buildings already has begun. Eventually, the site will be made available for land transfer.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

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, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS 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.


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