Keeping Impact As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)

Public tour of sediment control features and water monitoring in Pueblo Canyon
Public tour of sediment control features and water monitoring in Pueblo Canyon

Radioactive sources are all around us: the sun and the cosmos, medical tests, building materials, the foods we eat, and the air we breathe. Mammals, including humans, have adapted to living with radioactivity throughout our evolution.

Transuranic waste shipment leaves facility bound for Waste Isolation  Pilot  Plant (WIPP)
Transuranic waste shipment leaves facility bound for Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

A key element in the Long-Term Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Strategy is to keep the impact of past, present, and future operations as low as reasonably achievable. Examples of the implementation of this strategy include:

  • Pollution prevention projects that actively eliminate or reduce waste generation
  • Executing a Site Sustainability Plan to reduce greehouse gas emissions

LANL strives to keep the potential and actual radiation dose to the public and the effect on the environment as low as possible by:

  • Reducing airborne dose from stack emissions
  • Reducing radioactive inventory by shipping transuranic waste to Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM
  • Reducing the total number of outfalls and the amount of water discharged into canyons
  • Installing features to keep sediments on-site

People in the US are exposed regularly to radioactivity.

Fact Check » «

Radiation sources include the sun and other cosmic sources, food, rock and soil in addition to man-made sources such as global fallout, building materials, smoke detectors, medical tests and nuclear power and defense materials. In New Mexico, because of high altitudes, the average dose to a person from the sun is 300 millirem per year, 30 times higher than the regulatory limit allowed from LANL sources. In the last 5 years estimated doses to the public from LANL sources have ranged from 0.33 to 3.5 millirem.



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