b'C H A P T E R 25M I SS I O N : F U T U R EThe laws laid a grid of regulatory concrete walls, in lab drains and vents chemists, metallurgists, engineers, andcompliance vocabulary over the entire and sumps. the other specialists focused on theSite. The familiar old namesCentral home ground. Facilities Area, Test Reactor Area, Tes t But a CERCLA lens was a feeble tool. Area Northtook on additional labels When seen through the lens of science, Ir l y, the laboratory building too n i calas Waste Area Groups (WA G s).the Site was something else entirely: which many of these scientists report-There are 10 WAGs at the INEL. the impact of human activity on the ed for work was located in Idaho Falls,Individual remediation targets within desert environment opened up a brand not out on the desert. The INELthe WAGs became Operable Units new laboratory. The theme of waste Research Center (IRC) had been a(OUs). The CERCLA work was, management became a new platform growing part of the research and engi-h o w e v e r, heavily laced with check- from which to leap into new frontiers neering mission since 1983. Idaho sen-points and consultations among the of knowledge. Waste was an environ- ator James McClure, who had beenthree agencies. The burden of intera- mental problem all over the world, and responsible for securing the funds forgency communication and public hear- the INEEL would, as Kempthorne had the lab from Congress, dedicated it inings sometimes seemed to the workers said, lead. Scores of biologists, April 1984. Like so many other leapsto exceed the actual work into the future taken byof removing and treating Site employees, the IRCthe hazardous materials. materialized because of aWAG 10 included the strategic assessment ofdesert land beyond the the future that hit thefences of the Sites nine bu lls eye. Dennis Keisermain activity complexes. was director of researchIn WAG 10, DOE combed and development and vicethe desert forand president of EG&G, thefoundunexploded ord- IDOs prime contractor in nance and chunks of T N T the early 1980s. Keiserfrom Naval Proving s aid :Ground detonation testsand bombing practice. The major drive for thel a b o r a t o yr was the needWhen seen through ato support the nuclearCElens, the Site reactor safety pro g r a m .R CLAseemed to be a collection We needed to developof wastewater ponds, diagnostic and instur m e n -sewage lagoons, burn pits, tation devices for LOFT,tank sites, spill sites, waste P B F, and other safety testinjection wells, leach reactors. At first, wefields, landfills, evapora- planned to build the labtion ponds, contaminated out on the desert, butbuildings, and once-leaky INEEL 84-621-1-10 e n e gr y conservation waspipes. Traces of the industrial and Box of waste is burned at the Waste Experimental a major issue at the time, and trans -radioactive materials that had been the Reduction Facility. p o rtation was cheaper in town.7ingredients of daily work for so manyyears had settled in patches of soil, on247'