LANL responds to NAS recommendations

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By Roger Snodgrass

SANTA FE – Paul Huber, who heads the groundwater program at the lab, condensed his presentation on “actions in response” to the recommendations to the short amount of time that remained at the end of a Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board meeting Wednesday at Santa Fe Community College.Huber reminded the board and members of the public in attendance that the NAS study was requested by the Department of Energy and said it was timely, fully supported and welcomed by the lab.The report arrived, he added, as the laboratory was finishing the part of the program aimed at characterizing the complex groundwater situation on the Pajarito Plateau and beginning the next phase with its emphasis on long-term monitoring. “The 17 recommendations were not inconsistent with what any program would have had to deal with,” he said.Although the NAS committee has no continuing role and has been disbanded, LANL has produced a formal white paper for purposes of internal planning and reporting.The NAS report’s summary expressed four overarching findings about LANL’s groundwater protection program. 

• NAS called for additional work in geochemistry to better understand how contaminates move within the hydrogeological system of the land formations under and around the laboratory. 

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