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Voices Of Los Alamos To Discuss RDX Concentration

on January 25, 2019 - 8:19am

The RDX concentration will be discussed at the next Voices of Los Alamos meeting. Courtesy/LANL 2016 Annual Site Environment Report


Voices of Los Alamos will receive an upate on the RDX concentration at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) during its meeting 6:30-7:30 p.m Jan. 28 at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, 1738 N Sage Loop.

Danny Katzman, technical program manager at N3B (the Department of Energy’s legacy cleanup contractor at LANL), will provide an update on the characterization of RDX concentrations at LANL. RDX was used by the Lab in the manufacturing of high explosives and was discovered in groundwater the late 1990s. He also will give an update on the chromium plume monitoring and mitigation efforts.

Chromium-6, or hexavalent, was used by the Lab as a corrosion inhibitor in power plant cooling towers from 1956 to 1972. During that time, about 160,000 pounds of excessive concentrations were removed and released into Sandia Canyon. The hexavalent form, which dissolves in water, is used for chrome plating and is toxic to humans.

The chromium plume was discovered in 2005; it is approximately one mile by one-half mile in size and 50-60 feet thick. It floats near the top of the aquifer below laboratory property, south of East Jemez Road and extending to the San Ildefonso Pueblo border, and it is migrating in an easterly direction.

Katzman is a hydrogeologist with 27 years of experience addressing environmental issues at LANL. He has been the technical lead for the chromium project since it began in 2006 and involved with the RDX project for more than 10 years.