NNSA does aerial survey

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LANL: Helicopters will continue to fly over until Wednesday

The National Nuclear Security Administration plans this week to complete a high-fidelity aerial survey of Los Alamos town site, a dual-step project initiated last fall.


The survey began Monday and will run through Wednesday. Residents may notice the silver and blue Bell 412 helicopter flying overhead.  The county release indicated that the NNSA is conducting flights to do aerial radiation surveys over LANL property and the townsite.

NNSA arranged for the Remote Sensing Laboratory/National Aerial Measuring System (RSL) of Las Vegas, Nev., to conduct this second flyover following a similar survey of lab property in August 2011, after the Las Conchas fire.

“The objective of the flyover is to ensure that any and all legacy contamination sites have been identified and effectively managed,” said Bill Gentile, emergency program manager for NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office. “This is another step in implementing a long-term plan for environmental stewardship.”

Residents may see the silver and blue Bell 412 helicopter make several passes at 150-300 feet above ground over and near the town site to measure for background radiation.

Information from the survey will enhance NNSA’s and Los Alamos County’s understanding of the local environment. Data will be included in the 50-year Environmental Stewardship and Action Plan developed to guide long-term protection of the environment.  

The information will also aid in characterizing the land in Rendija Canyon, scheduled for transfer from the U.S. Department of Energy to Los Alamos County.