2022 Highlights Of N3B Los Alamos’ Legacy Environmental Waste Cleanup At LANL

A truck carrying LANL legacy environmental waste off the hill. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos


In its fourth year addressing environmental impacts from Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Manhattan Project- and Cold War-era operations, N3B made significant progress as the contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office (DOE EM-LA). Here’s a snapshot of a few key N3B accomplishments during fiscal year 2022:

Ship Waste Off-Site

1.     Surpassed goal for shipping legacy radioactive waste from historical LANL operations to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) by over 70 percent, with 52 shipments. N3B comingles shipments with Triad National Security, LLC — LANL’s management and operating contractor — to maximize efficiency and reduce the number of trucks on the roads to WIPP. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

CMP Retrieval

2.     Commenced below-ground retrieval of pipes filled with cemented radioactive liquid waste, buried underground at Technical Area (TA) 54, Area G since 1986. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

Protect Water Quality


3.     Continued to characterize, control and treat the hexavalent chromium plume in groundwater beneath LANL, a key environmental remediation project. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

Los Alamos Canyon Gaging Station 3

4.     Installed a real-time gaging station to monitor streamflow from LANL’s nearby Los Alamos and Pueblo canyons into the Rio Grande. The project entailed collaboration with Buckman Direct Diversion Board representatives and the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos


5.     Began operating under a new permit, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that reflects updated water quality standards for monitoring and managing storm water that runs through sites potentially contaminated from historical LANL operations. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

Clean Up the Land                                                                            

2021_10_26_MDPR_backfilling-5 (1)

6.     Continued investigating and remediating contaminated soil at Los Alamos County-owned land along Middle DP Road. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

Twomile Canyon Soil Sampling

7.     Accelerated the investigation of potentially contaminated soil in Twomile, Starmer/Upper Pajarito and North Ancho canyons outside Los Alamos. Photo Courtesy N3B Low Alamos

Soil Sampling

8.     Requested Certificates of Completion from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for 59 sites across LANL property that were investigated for soil contamination and remediated as necessary.


9.     Completed all 18 milestones under the Compliance Order on Consent, the agreement between DOE and NMED that governs a significant portion of N3B’s work.  

Support Services

Ike White Tour

10.  Hosted 12 tours of LANL legacy sites, consisting of 135 visitors, to increase awareness of N3B’s environmental cleanup projects. Visitors included U.S. congressional staffers; Los Alamos County representatives; a Pueblo governor, lieutenant governor and Pueblo environment department staff; state elected officials; regulators and top DOE officials.


11.  Sponsored three regional job fairs, which resulted in 26 new hires to assist in N3B’s environmental cleanup mission, and accepted 24 students into our apprenticeship program and boot camps, all of whom received an all-expenses paid education at local colleges and universities. Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

12.  Committed $120 million in subcontracts to small businesses, advancing the federal government’s goal of encouraging greater economic opportunity for socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Photo Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

UWNNM Donation

13.  Donated approximately $370,000 to regional non-profit organizations, scholarships, and other entities through our Community Commitment program. Courtesy N3B Los Alamos

Clean up the Environment, Protect Our Future

Fiscal year 2022 ended with N3B receiving DOE’s intent to award N3B the three-year extension option period of the contract, which will begin in April 2023. N3B looks forward to continuing its mission to address the legacy environmental impacts at LANL from Manhattan Project- and Cold War-era operations, and to securing a safe environment for generations to come. Stay tuned for N3B’s accomplishments in FY23.

About N3B Los Alamos

N3B Los Alamos is an HII Nuclear-led company with BWX Technologies, with critical subcontractors Longenecker & Associates and Tech2 Solutions. N3B implements the $1.7 billion 10-year Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract.