Moisture Monitoring Program of the Subsurface
Brought to you by Jack Grow, PG with Banda Group International.
Jack Grow is a licensed professional geologist (Idaho) with five years of environmental industry experience focusing on remediation, soil/sediment and surface water sampling, and project planning. Mr. Grow has an additional seven years of oil and gas industry experience in conventional and unconventional exploration and unconventional operations and production geology.
Material Disposal Area T (MDA T) is located within Technical Area 21 (TA-21) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). MDA T is a 2.2-acre radiological waste disposal site consisting of four plutonium-contaminated absorption beds used to dispose of liquid wastes from the plutonium-processing laboratories at TA-21 from 1945-1952; a retrievable waste storage area; a series of disposal shafts containing radioactive elements; an acid holding tank and acid sump; a caisson built in 1959 at the northwest corner of Absorption Bed 1; an inactive container storage area for alcohol, acetone, and freon; and two surface spills of radioactive waste. The MDA T Moisture Monitoring Pilot Study took place west of MDA T proper, partially on the footprint of the former filter house (SWMU 21-020(a)).
BGI conducted a pilot study to evaluate three monitoring instrumentation scenarios for the detection of vertical migration of moisture within the subsurface lithology at MDA T. The goal of the project was to determine the most effective combination of monitoring well design and equipment for detecting moisture in the subsurface for the eventual large-scale implementation below the MDA T Nuclear Environmental Site (NES). Conducting this pilot test outside of the NES (a Category II Nuclear Facility) provided an opportunity for a “dry-run” to reduce some of the testing complexities and uncertainties in an area with fewer health and safety concerns.
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