The laboratorys complex transformation

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By Ralph Damiani

You can have questions if you want about what Los Alamos National Laboratory should or should not be doing workwise, but they do deserve credit this past couple of weeks in inviting the community to take a look at its newest, and biggest, project.We have argued for some time that the lab has a story to tell – and in many ways it is a good story. And they should be trying harder to tell it.Lately, it seems that they are trying.At the quarterly community leaders breakfast last week in Pojoaque, a detailed program by the NNSA and lab officials outlined the work being done, and to be done, on the new Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility (CMR). There was also a discussion of a continued role for the lab in weapons work.Now, like it or not, a good portion of what the lab does is weapons work. From design to terrorist intervention, it is engaged in the world of nuclear energy. It was pointed out that this has many, non-weapon off-shoots that must be appreciated in the lab’s overall mission.Last week the lab allowed a reporter with the Monitor to tour the CMRR facility and get a briefing. This week, it held two tours for community leaders from the region. I was on one of those tours.The lab told about how important to our national security their work in the nuclear field is – something we should all recognize.

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