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Los Alamos breaks record for waste shipments

In 2012, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) began the first year of accelerated transuranic (TRU) waste shipments, and proceeded to break its own record to become one of the largest movers of hazardous radioactive waste in America.

"Our goal was to transport 184 shipments of waste during the first year of an accelerated schedule, and we surpassed that by nearly 60 shipments," said Dan Cox, deputy associate director of environmental programs at the lab.

The rapid acceleration of the cleanup project, which involves moving 3,706 cubic meters of TRU waste from above ground storage units by June 30, 2014, was due to an agreement between the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Department of Energy. Los Alamos transported 920 cubic meters of TRU waste from it's grounds during 2012, and plans to double that effort by removing another 1,800 cubic meters in 2013.

"We successfully realigned our environmental cleanup priorities and shifted resources to meet our first-year goals," Cox said.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), exposure to radioactive waste can lead to serious health issues. Protect workers by providing the appropriate safety products, including protective clothing and respiratory protection.