February 10, 2005
Transuranic Waste Management at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos) has been involved in the development, production, and maintenance of the Nation's nuclear weapons stockpile for over six decades. Research, development, and fabrication of weapons components produced a massive quantity of waste material, including over 40,000 drums of transuranic waste. This waste is composed primarily of protective clothing, tools, equipment, and sludges contaminated with manmade radioactive elements such as plutonium. Materials contaminated with transuranic elements pose health and safety risks that require storage and disposal in highly regulated facilities, such as the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP).