Sorption studies of subsurface pantex soils
The Pantex Plant is a Department of Energy facility that is jointly managed by Mason and Hanger-Silas Mason Company, Inc., and Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI). It is located approximately 18 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas. The plant was built by the U.S. Army in 1942 for the purpose of ordnance production. The current primary mission deals with the assembly, disassembly, maintenance and modification of the nation's nuclear weapons. The plant also performs on-site machining and casting of conventional high explosives for use in nuclear weapons. Contamination of the groundwater beneath the Pantex Plant by several contaminants has been detected. Primary contaminants that have been detected are chromium, trinitrotoluene (TNT), trichloroethylene (TCE), high mehing explosive (HMX), and research and development explosive (RDX). The contamination has thus far been restricted to a perched aquifer that underlies the plant. However, there is concern that these contaminants could reach the Ogallala aquifer below if not naturally attenuated by the perched aquifer.