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U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz was in town visiting the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the new algae research laboratory built by the New Mexico Consortium and he said that Los Alamos and all the DOE labs have a major role in addressing two key initiatives of the President.
“In view of the President’s emphasis on nuclear security and climate change, the work at Los Alamos has never been more important,” Moniz said.
Moniz also addressed Los Alamos employees and received briefings on the laboratory’s nuclear weapons and intelligence work. It was the first visit by a DOE secretary to Los Alamos since 2009.
Moniz was accompanied by Rep. Ben Ray Luján and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology President Daniel Lopez.
Moniz also met privately with Gov. Susana Martinez.
Here is a statement from the governor’s office.
“The governor was pleased to meet with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz in Los Alamos during his brief visit to New Mexico.
“During their private meeting, the governor congratulated the secretary on his recent Senate confirmation and thanked him personally for the Department’s role in securing additional funding necessary to meet the milestones outlined in the 2012 agreement between the State and the Department which was drafted as a result of the Governor’s personal visit to LANL during the Las Conchas fire in 2011 and designed to prioritize the clean-up of 3,706 cubic meters of TRU waste stored above-ground at LANL.
“Governor Martinez also stressed the importance of both Los Alamos National Lab and Sandia National Lab to the country’s national security, the labs’ legacies in New Mexico, and the need for predictable and adequate funding for ongoing activities at WIPP.
“She was encouraged by the secretary’s shared belief in the value of the mission and the highly-skilled workforce at the labs and WIPP and she looks forward to working collaboratively with the secretary on future endeavors tied to the success of our labs, their employees, and communities. “
Moniz then headed to Albuquerque to visit Sandia Laboratory.
The Albuquerque Journal reported that Moniz said that the labs still face significant questions in regard to funding for the coming year.
Moniz cited the biggest questions are in reference to the labs’ work on the nation’s B61 nuclear bombs and also the funding for upgrading facilities at LANL which would be used to do more plutonium work.