Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

—Interim Status Report—

Committee for the Technical Assessment of Environmental Programs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board

Division of Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory —Interim Status Report— Committee for the Technical Assessment of Environmental Programs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board Division of Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management contract #DE-FC01-04EW07022. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-10 0-309-10391-6 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13 978-0-309-10391-6 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10 0-309-66726-7 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-13 978-0-309-66726-5 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report COMMITTEE FOR THE TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS AT THE LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY LARRY W. LAKE (chairman), The University of Texas, Austin RODNEY C. EWING (vice chairman), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor DEANNA S. DURNFORD, Colorado State University, Fort Collins ROLF U. HALDEN, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland INEZ HUA, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana ANNIE B. KERSTING, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California ANTHONY J. KNEPP, YAHSGS, LLC, Richland, Washington CHRISTOPHER J. MURRAY, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington KENNETH A. RAINWATER, Texas Tech University, Lubbock ARTHUR W. RAY, Wiley Environmental Strategies, Columbia, Maryland JOHN R. SMITH, Alcoa Inc., Alcoa Center, Pennsylvania NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD LIAISON WARREN F. MILLER, Texas A & M University, Albuquerque, New Mexico Staff JOHN R. WILEY, Study Director TONI GREENLEAF, Financial and Administrative Associate COURTNEY GIBBS, Senior Program Assistant JAMES YATES, JR., Office Assistant

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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD RICHARD A. MESERVE (chairman), Carnegie Institution, Washington, DC S. JAMES ADELSTEIN (vice chairman), Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts HAROLD L. BECK, Department of Energy Environmental Laboratory (retired), New York City, New York JOEL S. BEDFORD, Colorado State University, Fort Collins ROBERT M. BERNERO, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired), Gaithersburg, Maryland SUE B. CLARK, Washington State University, Pullman ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Oak Ridge, Tennessee DAVID E. DANIEL, The University of Texas at Dallas SARAH C. DARBY, Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU), Oxford, United Kingdom RODNEY C. EWING, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor ROGER L. HAGENGRUBER, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque DANIEL KREWSKI, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KLAUS KÜHN, Technische Universität Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany SUSAN M. LANGHORST, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow MILTON LEVENSON, Bechtel International (retired), Menlo Park, California C. CLIFTON LING, Memorial Hospital, New York City, New York PAUL A. LOCKE, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland WARREN F. MILLER, Texas A & M University, Albuquerque, New Mexico ANDREW M. SESSLER, E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California ATSUYUKI SUZUKI, Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, Tokyo JOHN C. VILLFORTH, Food and Drug Law Institute (retired), Gaithersburg, Maryland PAUL L. ZIEMER, Purdue University (retired), West Lafayette, Indiana Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Board Director EVAN B. DOUPLE, Scholar RICK JOSTES, Senior Program Officer MICAH D. LOWENTHAL, Senior Program Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Program Officer NAOKO ISHIBE, Program Officer TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate LAURA D. LLANOS, Administrative and Financial Associate COURTNEY GIBBS, Senior Program Assistant MARILI ULLOA, Senior Program Assistant JAMES YATES, JR., Office Assistant

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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purposes of this review are to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following for their participation in the review of this report: Jean M. Bahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison Sue B. Clark, Washington State University, Pullman James R. Cook, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina Werner Lutze, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC Bruce M.Thomson, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lloyd A. Duscha, Deputy Director of Engineering and Construction, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (retired). Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Research Council.

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Plans and Practices for Groundwater Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Interim Status Report Contents     PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT   1     INTRODUCTION   1     THE COMMITTEE’S TASK   3     CHALLENGES CONFRONTING LANL’S GROUNDWATER PROTECTION PROGRAM   5     STATUS OF THIS STUDY   7     SUMMARY OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE   12     FUTURE PLANS FOR THIS STUDY   24     REFERENCES   25     APPENDIXES     A   Presentations to the Committee   28 B   Committee Biographies   31