Moniz no stranger at LANL

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DOE > Secretary takes tour of New Mexico labs

By The Staff

This week’s visit was not the first time that Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz had stepped foot in Los Alamos.

Back in 1972, Moniz was a postdoc at the lab and in 1976 he was a limited term employee.
Moniz returned as a lab affiliate from 2002-2005.

Last Tuesday, Moniz returned to Los Alamos in his new capacity as DOE secretary. He later traveled to Albuquerque to visit Sandia lab.

Moniz took a little time to weigh in on a couple of issues.

On the subject of an advisory panel, which is looking at the relationship between the NNSA and the labs, Moniz said, “We think the NNSA governance issues do need to be addressed. We view this as an opportunity actually to help work through the issues. We want to make this a very strategic relationship with the lab leadership, helping us all work together, establishing directions going forward.”

On the subject of President Barack Obama making national security and climate change the subject of two speeches, Moniz said, “In view of the President’s emphasis on nuclear security and climate change, the work at Los Alamos has never been more important.”

Moniz also was asked about the cleanup funding.

“I can assure you we are trying our best to have the funding needed,” Moniz said. “We have a cleanup challenge across our entire complex.”

Moniz also said the sequestration cuts that were enacted have also added to budget uncertainty.

While on his trip to Los Alamos, Moniz took time to address lab employees and received briefings on the laboratory’s nuclear weapons and intelligence work. It was the first visit by an energy secretary to Los Alamos since 2009 when Steven Chu came to town. Moniz was accompanied by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and New Mexico Tech President Daniel Lopez.