Site Characterization and Monitoring of Technical Area 49 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Description

In 1959-1961, subcritical hydronuclear safety experiments were conducted at Technical Area (TA) 49 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). These underground experiments were designed and conducted to investigate safety issues. Seventy hydronuclear safety, tracer, and containment test experiments were conducted in 1-m or 2-m diameter shafts at depths ranging between 9 m and 33 m. The subsurface radiological and metals inventory consists of about 40 kg of plutonium, 93 kg of uranium-235, 170 kg of uranium-238, 11 kg of beryllium, and possibly more than 90,000 kg of lead. Explosives used in the experiments consisted largely of TNT, RDX, HMX, ... continued below

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11 pages

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Levitt, D. G.; Kisiel, K. C.; Newell, D. L; Hopkins, J. K.; Criswell, C. W. & Woodworth, L. A. February 25, 2003.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this article can be viewed below.

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Description

In 1959-1961, subcritical hydronuclear safety experiments were conducted at Technical Area (TA) 49 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). These underground experiments were designed and conducted to investigate safety issues. Seventy hydronuclear safety, tracer, and containment test experiments were conducted in 1-m or 2-m diameter shafts at depths ranging between 9 m and 33 m. The subsurface radiological and metals inventory consists of about 40 kg of plutonium, 93 kg of uranium-235, 170 kg of uranium-238, 11 kg of beryllium, and possibly more than 90,000 kg of lead. Explosives used in the experiments consisted largely of TNT, RDX, HMX, and barium nitrate. It is highly likely that the explosives, except for the barium component, were completely consumed by the detonations. Hydronuclear safety test shafts were drilled, test materials were placed at the bottom of the shafts, shafts were backfilled with sand or local crushed tuff, tests were detonated, subsidence in the shafts were backfilled, and cement caps were poured over the test shafts. The diameter of the affected detonation zones is believed to be less than 6 m. Most test shafts were drilled on an 8-m grid spacing in four main areas within TA-49.

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11 pages

Source

  • Waste Management 2003 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/23/2003--02/27/2003

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 826276
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc777278

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  • February 25, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 1:53 p.m.

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Levitt, D. G.; Kisiel, K. C.; Newell, D. L; Hopkins, J. K.; Criswell, C. W. & Woodworth, L. A. Site Characterization and Monitoring of Technical Area 49 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, article, February 25, 2003; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc777278/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.