NNSA continues aerial survey

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Lab: Mechanical issues halted the flyover before the survey was finished

The National Nuclear Security Administration plans this week to complete the high-fidelity aerial survey of Los Alamos town site begun Nov. 21.

Mechanical issues with the helicopter conducting the survey temporarily halted the flyover before the survey was finished.

NNSA arranged for the Remote Sensing Laboratory/National Aerial Measuring System (RSL) of Las Vegas, Nev., to conduct the flyover following a similar survey of lab property after the Las Conchas fire.  

The objective is to ensure that any and all legacy radiological contamination sites have been identified and effectively cleaned up.  

Residents may see the helicopter make several passes at about 300 feet above ground over and near the town site to measure for background radiation.

Information from the survey will be made publically available as part of the developing 50-year Environmental Stewardship and Action Plan website which will accessible via the Internet later this year.
The Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) performed the same survey over Los Alamos National Laboratory in August.  

The silver and blue Bell 412 helicopter is equipped with sodium iodide detectors designed to sense gamma emitters including cesium and americium.  

Measurements taken from the flyover are equivalent to measurements from 1 meter above ground.
Shortly following the survey, the RSL will provide NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office with preliminary results.  

If any area has readings above background levels, LASO will immediately have it evaluated and addressed as appropriate.