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LANL/Courtesy
This Manhattan Project-era building used in the testing and assembly for the Gadget device and the Fatman bomb is located on TA-16.
Feds test aquifer for contamination of RDX

Chemicals used to make high explosives have reached the regional water supply, the Los Alamos federal environmental manager discovered two years ago.

The contractor for the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management field office is drilling a second well to find out just how much contamination has occurred.

Officials expect to find out the results in November.

“When we drove (well) R-68 a couple of years ago, it was identified that there was actually RDX down in the regional aquifer,” Environment Department Los Alamos Manager Doug Hintze told the Los Alamos County Council Tuesday during a question-and-answer session about the recent activities of the field office’s new legacy waste cleanup contractor, N3B.

The DOE EM Department in Los Alamos has worked since 2015 on a plan for cleaning up a decades-old, concentration of RDX, a chemical used by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the manufacturing high explosives.

The plume was discovered on the property in the early 2000s.

Hintze told county council the chemical was discovered during the drilling of a monitoring well at the site of the plume.

The plume of RDX is located under Tech Area 16, located in the southwestern corner of the lab.

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