After 66 years, the landscape of Technical Area 21 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is showing signs of change thanks to the removal of two water towers at the site. TA-21, as it is known, was home to early Manhattan Project and Cold War-era research. The area also housed the world’s first functioning plutonium processing facility.
TA-21-258, known as the Western Tower and the first tower dropped on the project, was the older of the two at 66 years old and standing 156 feet tall. The second tower felled was 170 feet tall and the newer of the two towers installed 37 years ago. Their removal demonstrates progress for a Department of Energy cleanup plan that began onsite in 2009.
The two towers were safely felled over a two day period then size reduced, loaded and transported for recycling at a salvage facility in Albuquerque, NM. The Envirocon field scope for the project was completed seven days ahead of schedule.
Work on the LANL water towers required joint planning and execution between the Lakeworth Group, an 8(a) Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business, as the prime contractor and the Envirocon Nuclear and Demolition service lines. Envirocon provided the expertise for preparing and implementing the felling plan for the two towers. Envirocon’s work on the project included the planning and execution for felling, size-reduction and loading of the two water towers for transport to the Albuquerque salvage facility, providing scrap credit and meeting stringent sustainability goals for the project.
The safe and successful water tower drops are a positive step towards project completion and part of a larger effort to return the property back to Los Alamos County.