Los Alamos National Laboratory has brought a third waste repackaging facility online to increase its capability to process nuclear waste for permanent disposal.
The “375 box line facility” enables Los Alamos to repackage transuranic waste stored in large boxes.
Built inside a dome once used to house containers of waste at the laboratory, the facility is the largest Perma-Con structure ever constructed. A Perma-Con is a modular structure typically used for radiological or hazardous containment.
Contaminated items such as equipment and protective clothing, used during past operations at Los Alamos, are removed from their containers inside the structure and then are repackaged for shipment to licensed, permanent disposal facilities.
The record-setting structure is 110-feet long by 48-feet wide.
“We needed to build a structure big enough to accommodate these waste boxes, some of which are 40 feet long,” said Jeff Mousseau, associate director of environmental programs at LANL. “These are the largest, most contaminated boxes of waste at Los Alamos, and this facility will give us the capability to repackage them safely.”
The Perma-Con structure was provided by Radiation Protection Systems, Inc.