TA-21 Brief Description

4.13.1 Site Description
TA-21, called DP Site [Table 4-11 and Figure 4-13 (index map of TA-21)], has two primary research
areas: DP West and DP East. DP West is the site of the former radioactive-materials-processing
facility and is gradually being decontaminated and decommissioned. DP East consists of
two tritium facilities that provide space for energy, environmental, and weapons defense research.
TA-21 is on DOE-controlled land approximately 0.6 mi (1 km) from the nearest residential area. A
limited-access airstrip (TA-73) is located across a canyon, 0.37 mi (0.6 km) to the north, on a parallel
mesa. The main public highway to the townsite runs along the north boundary of TA-21 parallel
to the airstrip. TA-21 is isolated from other Laboratory facilities, and its only access route is
through the Los Alamos townsite. Access to the fenced site is uncontrolled; building access is
controlled by badge readers.
The Laboratory’s long-range plan is to close TA-21. Plans are currently under way to obtain funding
and support to consolidate TA-21 tritium operations and activities at WETF. This consolidation
project will result in an upgrading of tritium facility safety features, more cost-effective tritium operations,
and improved efficiencies in tritium operations and programs. The project is envisioned as
a consolidation that will result in new building construction, equipment changes, improved safety
designs and capabilities, and some reconfiguration of tritium operations currently conducted at
TA-21. Although processes and operations may be changed to incorporate new technology, the
primary focus is on relocating existing TA-21 tritium process equipment and operations. This
move will result in an increased tritium inventory at WETF (Section and a reduced
tritium inventory at the TA-21 Tritium Systems Test Assembly (TSTA) Facility and Tritium Science
and Fabrication Facility (TSFF). Following relocation, the remaining facilities at TA-21 would become
candidates for D&D, which would result in a short-duration increase in radioactive waste
volumes for the affected facilities. The consolidation project could begin as early as 2000 and be
completed by 2006. These planned actions would reduce the overall impact of tritium operations
on the environment and the public.


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