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LANL Finishes Excavation of 1940s Waste Dump on DP Road

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Los Alamos National Laboratory on Thursday announced that it has completed excavation of its oldest waste disposal site, Material Disposal Area B (MDA-B).

The excavation removed about 43,000 cubic yards of contaminated debris and soil from the six-acre site. MDA-B was used from 1944-48 as a waste disposal site for Manhattan Project and Cold War-era research and production.

The environmental cleanup worked was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The completion of the excavation of MDA-B is a landmark for our Recovery Act projects and environmental cleanup efforts,” said George Rael, assistant manager for Environmental Operations at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office.

To protect workers and the public, the excavation of MDA-B was performed inside sturdy metal structures that resemble airplane hangars. The structures were equipped with fire and dust suppression systems and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Excavation was monitored via closed circuit television and infrared sensors.


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