VIDEO: LANL’s Canyon Cleanup Near Smith’s

A spider excavator is lowered partway down the canyon side at Smith’s Marketplace during May 11 work to remove mercury-contaminated soil. Photo by Robert Hull

Cleanup work in the canyon is scheduled to take about two months to complete. Photo by Robert Hull

Staff Report

Watch video here.

To reduce the historical footprint through environmental cleanup, Los Alamos National Laboratory began this month performing a high-angle canyon-side cleanup on DOE property just south of  Smith’s Marketplace.

In collaboration with experts from contractor TerranearPMC, the Laboratory’s Environmental Remediation program is using a specialized telescoping crane and spider excavator to remove from the rugged, steep slope side of Los Alamos Canyon a small area of mercury-contaminated soil that derived from Manhattan Project and early Cold War era operations at former Technical Area 32 (TA-32).

Work crews have mobilized a crane to the site where it is being used to hoist the spider excavator onto the slopes of the canyon to remove the contaminated soil. The excavated soil has been placed in waste bags and lifted from the slope using the crane, loaded onto flatbeds and driven to a waste storage area on DOE property. From there, the waste will be shipped to a licensed disposal facility.

Before leaving the site, experts have evaluated results of confirmatory samples to ensure that the cleanup is complete and restore the project site. This legacy cleanup project is a cooperative effort with Los Alamos County and the property owner, who were involved in establishing site access arrangements.

For more information, or to download an informational Fact Sheet about this project, link to the LANL Environmental Remediation webpage.

This container hooked to a tall crane is filled with rocks and lowered into the canyon Friday afternoon to cover over the excavated area. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Rocks are scooped up and dropped into a container that is lowered into the canyon Friday afternoon to cover over the excavated area. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

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