Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sandia Announces Completion Of Mixed Waste Landfill Cover Construction

Date:
November 3, 2009
Source:
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Summary:
The Environmental Restoration Project at Sandia National Laboratories reports the successful construction of an alternative evapotranspirative cover at the Mixed Waste Landfill in September. The 2.6-acre site is located in Technical Area 3 in the west-central part of Kirtland Air Force Base.

Environmental managers Mike Mitchell and Don Schofield check on the establishment of the new vegetation on the MWL cover.
Credit: Photo by Randy Montoya

The Environmental Restoration Project at Sandia National Laboratories reports the successful construction of an alternative evapotranspirative cover at the Mixed Waste Landfill (MWL) in September. The 2.6-acre site is located in Technical Area 3 in the west-central part of Kirtland Air Force Base.

The protective cover consists of four engineered layers, including three layers of compacted soil and a biointrusion rock barrier that will keep burrowing animals out of the former disposal areas. Together, these four layers and the native plants will control water infiltration, thus isolating the wastes from the accessible environment. Because the cover is constructed without rigid layers, it can accommodate differential subsidence without undue impairment of its performance.

The MWL was established in 1959 as a disposal area for low-level radioactive waste generated by Sandia's research facilities. Low-level radioactive waste and minor amounts of hazardous waste were disposed in the MWL from 1959 through 1988. Approximately 100,000 cubic feet of waste containing about 6,300 curies of activity (in 1989) were disposed of in the landfill. Over time, the radioactive materials in the landfill decay and become less hazardous.

The MWL has been monitored since 1969 and actively studied since 1991. An extensive investigation effort provided the technical foundation for the determination that the landfill is not expected to contaminate groundwater and does not represent an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. After the extensive investigation, public meetings and a public hearing, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary issued the final order in 2005 selecting an evapotranspirative cover with a biointrusion rock barrier as the selected remedy. After a review of competitive bids, Sandia awarded the construction contract to a local, small business. Cover construction was completed on schedule, near budget and without any safety incidents.

The NMED regulates the corrective action of the MWL as well as the implementation of institutional controls and long-term monitoring and maintenance. Sandia and DOE continue to provide quarterly progress reports to the NMED. In addition, the final order requires compilation of a report that re-evaluates the feasibility of excavation and analyzes the continued effectiveness of the selected remedy every five years. Construction of the MWL alternative cover will be documented in the Corrective Measures Implementation Report which will be submitted to the NMED for approval.

According to NNSA Sandia Site Office Federal Project Director Joe Estrada, "If it had not been for the personal perseverance of the project team, this mission would have withered. Now that the remedy is in place the team is looking forward to sharing lessons learned from the project."

The implementation of the selected remedy at the MWL is a critical step forward for the site. More than a decade of work and many personnel contributed to the success of the project. Although the cover is now constructed, monitoring work continues at the MWL. "The groundwater, soil gas and the cover will be monitored long-term to ensure performance and the protection of human health and the environment," said ER project task leader Mike Mitchell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. "Sandia Announces Completion Of Mixed Waste Landfill Cover Construction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102402.htm>.
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. (2009, November 3). Sandia Announces Completion Of Mixed Waste Landfill Cover Construction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102402.htm
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. "Sandia Announces Completion Of Mixed Waste Landfill Cover Construction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102402.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A dozen more bodies were found Wednesday as Japanese rescuers resumed efforts to find survivors and retrieve bodies of those trapped by Mount Ontake's eruption. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins