Los Alamos National Laboratory hires state firm for waste staging facility

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By The Staff

Los Alamos National Laboratory has selected an Albuquerque small business, Weidlinger-Navarro Northern New Mexico Joint Venture, to perform architectural and engineering work for the Lab’s new transuranic (TRU) waste staging facility.
The approximately $5 million task order is expected to run through October 2012.
Weidlinger-Navarro will support the preliminary and final design phases of the 5-acre complex, where waste containers will be staged, characterized, and certified prior to shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository near Carlsbad.
TRU waste, which by law must go to WIPP, contains items such as gloves, clothing, and lab equipment contaminated with elements heavier than uranium and above certain quantities.
The new facility would replace a number of buildings and fabric domes at LANL’s Technical Area 54. That area must be closed and remediated under the Consent Order agreement with the state of New Mexico.
“The Lab is committed to closing Technical Area 54, but we’ll need a facility to safely continue some of that work,” said Craig Leasure, deputy principal associate director of LANL’s Weapons Program.
“This contract brings us closer to having a safer and more efficient facility.”
The facility will include multiple staging buildings plus an operations center and a concrete pad for mobile waste characterization equipment.  It is planned for a site at the Lab’s Technical Area 63, in an area closed to the general public.  
After preliminary and final designs are approved, the construction will occur in two phases: site infrastructure and facility construction. Completion is targeted for the end of 2015.
Weidlinger-Navarro is one of six small businesses pre-selected by LANL in 2009 to compete for various architectural and engineering tasks through 2014.