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The Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Report site reports have added some insight to what was happening at Area G in relation to the radiological leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad the past couple of months.
On the week of June 6, LANL management announced it will not complete the 3706 Campaign on schedule and is working to relocate all remaining campaign wastes (i.e., combustible and dispersible forms) into Dome 230 for storage under fire suppression. In addition, Area G management suspended all legacy transuranic waste repackaging, treatment, and remediation activities.
This suspension excludes drum venting, replacement of degraded components, non-destructive assay, and similar actions that improve the safety posture. That week, Area G personnel conducted a tabletop exercise involving the nitrate wastes that resulted in the identification of several important improvements. Area G and Chemistry Division personnel have also initiated development of a “safing” process to treat the nitrate salt wastes using a water addition followed by eventual cementation.
NMED spokesman Jim Winchester said “all of the consequences of the missed Framework Agreement deadline are yet to be determined. “
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