Remediation of a Classified Waste Landfill at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico


D. C. Ward


The Sandia National Laboratories/Mew Mexico (SNL/NM) Environmental Restoration Project is currently excavating the Classified Waste Landfill in Technical Area II (TA-II), which consists of disposal pits and trenches with discrete disposal cells. TA-II is a secure, controlled access research facility managed by SNL/NM for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The 45-acre facility was established in 1948 for the assembly and maintenance of nuclear weapons. The assembly of weapons was discontinued in 1954. Since that time, TA-II has been used for explosive research and testing. Beginning in 1948, the DOE Environmental Restoration Project conducted several environmental investigations across TA-II and SNL/NM. These investigations identified sites requiring further study and possible corrective action. The majority of these sites were grouped into operable units (OUs). The TA-II OU included 13 sites, one of which was identified as the Classified Waste Landfill (CWLF). The CWLF covers about 2.5 acres and was operated from approximately 1947 through 1987. It was the site for disposal of classified weapons components, some of which are potentially explosive, hazardous, and/or radioactively contaminated. Until about 1958, no records were maintained for material disposed in the CWLF. Information on the CWLF has been assembled from interview notes, delivery to reclamation records, and other sources. Items disposed of included security containers, hoppers, skids, missiles, wooden boxes, deactivated heat sources, tritium boosters, scintillation cocktails, weapons cases, shells, lasers, radar equipment, and accountable materials. Potential contaminants include tritium, thorium, Cs-137, Sr-90, uranium, plutonium, beryllium, cadmium, lithium, chloroform, toluene, benzene, and other solvents.


This abstract was presented at the 32nd Annual Midyear Meeting, "Creation and Future Legacy of Stockpile Stewardship Isotope Production, Applications, and Consumption", Environmental Implications of Stockpile Stewardship Session, 1/24/1999 - 1/27/1999, held in Albuquerque, NM.

Index of Midyear Meeting Abstracts