The Department of Energy Inspector General gave the Los Alamos National Laboratory a passing grade when it comes to its characterization wells.
It was the second time in eight years that the DOE IG has examined LANL’s characterization report.
In that 2005 report, the IG said “we noted that the use of mud rotary drilling methods during well construction was contrary to specific constraints established in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act guidance. We also noted that muds and other drilling fluids that remained in certain wells after construction created a chemical environment that could mask the presence of radionuclide contamination and compromise the reliability of groundwater contamination data.
The report, that was released July 9, said, “specifically, we noted that Los Alamos no longer uses mud rotary drilling methods during well construction, and appropriate steps have been taken to ensure data derived from monitoring wells is reliable. Additionally, we found that responsibility for the monitoring well program had been transferred to the New Mexico Environmental Department.”
On March 1, 2005, a consent order was agreed to by NMED, DOE and the University of California, which was the prior management company of the lab before Los Alamos National Security LLC., took over in 2006.