Better Los Alamos monitoring urged

Mar 04, 2006

A geologist says new monitoring wells and an independent company should monitor the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for contamination.

Bob Gilkeson told the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety Thursday that 14 of the lab's 33 wells can't properly detect pollution because they had not been installed properly and had drilling additives like bentonite clay, which can conceal contamination, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Friday.

"The specter of problems with this work over the last 10 years is very large," Gilkeson said.

Los Alamos Lab spokeswoman Kathy DeLucas said the lab has been cooperating with the state Environment Department, the public and the National Nuclear Security Administration "to characterize the groundwater and develop a path forward" for the wells.

"We've been listening to their concerns about the validity of the data, and we are developing a comprehensive and aggressive plan to review the data and address the concerns in a well-rehabilitation effort," she said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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