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DOE Under Secretary Dabbar tours LA legacy waste cleanup

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Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar toured legacy waste cleanup sites in Los Alamos last week and met with the employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory last week, according to lab officials Tuesday.

Accompanied by Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office Manager Doug Hintze, Dabbar stopped at Technical Area 54, where legacy waste is stored and remediated prior to shipment offsite, and Mortandad Canyon, where a temporary measure is underway to stop the migration of a chromium plume until a permanent remediation strategy is found.

Representatives from EM-LA’s cleanup contractor N3B explained waste storage configurations at Technical Area 54’s Area G and plans to recover domes where waste containers are stored.

At Mortandad Canyon, Dabbar was briefed on the origin of the chromium plume and progress toward implementing the interim measure, which is in place along the plume’s southern boundary.

At the EM-LA field office, Dabbar participated in talks about the recent contract transition for the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract and spoke to employees at an all-hands meeting.

“Site visits like this provide an unparalleled perspective on both the progress that is being made and the remaining challenges we face,” Dabbar told the employees at the meeting.“They also afford me the opportunity to communicate directly with all of you – the men and women who are responsible for EM’s tremendous progress in the field and who call this community home.”

Dabbar noted the site’s successes that have boosted momentum and propelled the site closer to completing cleanup:

• Safe, successful treatment of remediated nitrate salt drums;

• Infrastructure for the chromium plume interim measure;

• Newly completed transition to a dedicated cleanup contract for legacy waste and management, positioning the workers for continued progress as Los Alamos marks its 75th anniversary this year.

“Knowing the cleanup successes the EM team is achieving here, as well as the possibilities that are ahead for this site and this community, I am incredibly proud to be a part of your team,” Dabbar said.

DOE benefits from the input and ideas the workforce brings to the cleanup, Dabbar said.

“As we work together, please know that DOE wants to hear from you,” Dabbar said. “I value having the benefit of your input, your ideas, and your good counsel, for no one understands this site and the local priorities better than people like you, who live, work, and raise your families here.”