.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Hoffman, Zurek are honored by LANL

    Darleane Hoffman and Wojciech Zurek are 2014 Los Alamos Medal recipients, the highest honor bestowed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, LANL’s press office announced Thursday.
    “Darleane Hoffman’s distinguished career and her contributions to nuclear science and actinide chemistry make her a trailblazer and role model for all women in science, while Wojciech Zurek’s world-renowned work in quantum theory has inspired Nobel Laureates and provided a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan. “Los Alamos does not necessarily award a medal each year, preferring instead to wait to bestow the honor only upon a prestigious subset of nominees who have demonstrated the highest levels of scientific achievement. This year’s recipients are well worth the wait.”
    The Los Alamos Medal was established in 2001 to honor those who have contributed to the laboratory at the highest level. The Los Alamos Medal recognizes individuals who have made a contribution that changed the course of science, a major enhancement of LANL’s ability to accomplish its mission, a significant impact on sustainability and/or established a major direction for the lab and the nation.

  • Hoffman, Zurek are honored by LANL

    Darleane Hoffman and Wojciech Zurek are 2014 Los Alamos Medal recipients, the highest honor bestowed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, LANL’s press office announced Thursday.
    “Darleane Hoffman’s distinguished career and her contributions to nuclear science and actinide chemistry make her a trailblazer and role model for all women in science, while Wojciech Zurek’s world-renowned work in quantum theory has inspired Nobel Laureates and provided a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan. “Los Alamos does not necessarily award a medal each year, preferring instead to wait to bestow the honor only upon a prestigious subset of nominees who have demonstrated the highest levels of scientific achievement. This year’s recipients are well worth the wait.”
    The Los Alamos Medal was established in 2001 to honor those who have contributed to the laboratory at the highest level. The Los Alamos Medal recognizes individuals who have made a contribution that changed the course of science, a major enhancement of LANL’s ability to accomplish its mission, a significant impact on sustainability and/or established a major direction for the lab and the nation.

  • Santa Fe students take top prize at Challenge

    Meghan Hill and Katelynn James of Santa Fe’s Monte del Sol Charter Sol took the top prize in the 25th New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge Tuesday at Los Alamos National Laboratory for their research project.
    The title of the winning project was “Using Concentrated Heat Systems to Shock the P53 Protein to Direct Cancer into Apoptosis.”
    Their project, which posited that using nanotechnology robots can kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells, also won several other awards in the challenge.
    “The goal of the yearlong event is to teach student teams how to use powerful computers to analyze, model and solve real-world problems,” said David Kratzer of Los Alamos’ High Performance Computer Systems group, and executive director of the Supercomputing Challenge.
    “Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications and teamwork.”
    The Albuquerque Academy trio of Carl Cherne, Mark Swiler and Jason Watlington took second place for their research, “Popuation Fluctuation in Ecosystems,” which studied interactions between organisms and answers the question of how wild animal populations fluctuate.

  • Computer challenge returns Monday

    More than 200 New Mexico students and their teachers are expected for Los Alamos National Laboratory’s for the 25th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony.
    “One of the goals of the year-long competition is to teach student teams how to use powerful computers to analyze, model and solve real-world problems,” said David Kratzer of LANL’s High Performance Computer Systems group, LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge. “Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications and teamwork, and have fun doing it.”
    The challenge is project-based learning geared to teaching a wide range of skills, such as research, writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentations and computer programming.
    Any New Mexico middle-school or high-school student is eligible to enter.
    While at LANL, students will present their projects and take part in tours, talks, and demonstrations with scientists.
    Student projects will be recognized during an awards ceremony Tuesday from 9 a.m.-noon at the Church of Christ Auditorium, 2323 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos. More than $20,000 in scholarships will be awarded to student participants, along with many plaques and cash awards.

  • Report: Safety lapses, management at fault in WIPP leak

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A radiation leak that forced the indefinite closure of the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository could have been prevented, a team of investigators said Thursday.

    A combination of poor management, lapses in safety and a lack of proper procedures were outlined in a final report released by the U.S. Department of Energy's Accident Investigation Board. Officials planned to review the findings Thursday night during a community meeting in Carlsbad.

    The investigators spent more than a year looking into the cause of the radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico.

    Like a separate team of technical experts, they too found that a chemical reaction inside a drum of waste that had been packaged at Los Alamos National Laboratory forced the lid open, allowing radiation to escape. The contents included nitrate salt residues and organic cat litter that was used to soak up moisture in the waste.

  • DOE issues WIPP report

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) released the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) Phase II Report related to the Feb. 14, 2014, radiological event at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.
    The AIB completed an exhaustive investigation at WIPP and Los Alamos National Laboratory to examine the cause of the radiological release at WIPP and identify managerial controls and safety measures necessary to prevent or minimize the probability or severity of a recurrence of this type of accident. Based on post-event chemical, radiological, and fire forensic analyses, the AIB concluded that the release was caused by an exothermic reaction involving the mixture of organic materials and nitrate salts in one drum that was processed at LANL in December 2013. The Board also concluded that an underground salt haul truck fire that occurred at WIPP on Feb. 5, 2014, did not cause or contribute to the radiological release event. The AIB’s findings identify shortcomings within both contractor and federal processes at LANL, WIPP, EM, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

  • Community office gives an update

    On Friday, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities heard on update on the Los Alamos National Security (LANS) Community Commitment Plan (CCP) from Community Programs Office Deputy Director Carole Rutten.
    Rutten’s presentation highlighted last year’s accomplishments.
    Funding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs is a major priority for CCP funding.
    Last year, 60 STEM programs received $74 million, impacting more than 4,000 students and 341 teachers. Those programs were either coordinated by LANL or sponsored through other partners.
    Two of the most successful programs were RoboRAVE, a robotics competition in its second year, and the Math and Science Academy.
    This year’s RoboRAVE competition drew 1,480 students competing in 85 teams. Only 35 teams competed the first year.
    The Math and Science Academy — a three-year program that helps teachers better understand and deliver math and science to their students−has graduated 1,440 participants.
    The CCP also offers regional business support. In 2014, program results included:

  • Coalition hears update from EM

    ESPAÑOLA — On Friday, Pete Maggiore updated the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities on the transition of the Los Alamos Environmental Management office from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s to the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM).
    Maggiore is with the NNSA Los Alamos Field Office. He helped develop the transition plan and will be involved in coordinating the transition.
    For the most part, Maggiore reviewed information already released to the public.
    In September 2014, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz directed that oversight of the EM-LA office and legacy cleanup would be transferred to Environmental Management.
    That office became operational on March 10, with Christine Gelles appointed acting EM-LA field manager until a permanent field manager can be appointed. Recruitment for that and other EM-LA positions is currently underway. Los Alamos EM employees have been reassigned to the new EM-LA Office.
    Negotiations with Los Alamos National Security over the sole source bridge contract are ongoing. The bridge period is expected to be between 18 and 24 months, the anticipated time required to conduct competitive procurements.

  • Superconductivity research nets results

    Taking understanding of quantum matter to new levels, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are exposing high-temperature superconductors to very high magnetic fields, changing the temperature at which the materials become perfectly conducting and revealing unique properties of these substances.
    “High magnetic-field measurements of doped copper-oxide superconductors are paving the way to a new theory of superconductivity,” said Brad Ramshaw, a Los Alamos scientist and lead researcher on the project. Using world-record high magnetic fields available at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) Pulsed Field Facility, based in Los Alamos, Ramshaw and his coworkers are pushing the boundaries of how matter can conduct electricity without the resistance that plagues normal materials carrying an electrical current.
    The eventual goal of the research would be to create a superconductor that operates at room temperature and needs no cooling at all. At this point, all devices that make use of superconductors, such as the MRI magnets found in hospitals, must be cooled to temperatures far below zero with liquid nitrogen or helium, adding to the cost and complexity of the enterprise.

  • NNSA guests take tour of LANL sites

    Last month, the National Nuclear Security Administration hosted representatives from 11 members of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and one representative from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, who visited facilities in Los Alamos.
    The officials from non-nuclear-weapon states visited not only Los Alamos National Laboratory facilities, but also Sandia National Laboratories facilities related to U.S. implementation of the NPT.
    The NNSA laboratories gave an overview of the multidisciplinary work involved in maintaining a smaller stockpile of nuclear weapons in a non-explosive testing environment through science-based stewardship. They also showed activities that increase confidence in the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and ultimately allow for future reductions.
    The party visited facilities and observed R&D demonstrations illustrating U.S. efforts to meet future nuclear arms control monitoring and verification requirements.
    These activities highlighted laboratory capabilities supporting a wide variety of other national and international security goals, including nonproliferation and nuclear security.