Plutonium-239 and Chromium-6 Contamination at Los Alamos National Laboratory: Analyzing Contaminant Migration and Assessing RemediationPublic
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Work on nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory has resulted in widespread contamination on site since its inception in the 1940s. We assessed the presence and migration of plutonium and chromium using publicly available environmental sampling data to inform ongoing debates about remediation approaches. Chromium concentrations at laboratory borders are increasing and continue to pose a risk to the adjacent Pueblo. Plutonium is present at deep depths and in areas off property. Our analysis revealed inconsistent sampling and reporting of data to enable reliable conclusions about migration trends. We recommend a re-evaluation of current characterization and clean-up efforts, improvements in sampling strategies, and funding for independent assessments.
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