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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Labs recognize small businesses for innovation

    Ten projects developed by New Mexico small businesses using technical expertise and assistance of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories were recognized at the 11th Innovation Celebration Tuesday sponsored by the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program at Encantado Resort in Tesuque.
    The researchers from LANL and Sandia Labs, who assisted the companies, received a medal from NMSBA.
    Among the businesses recognized were:
    • The Pueblo of Zia, to develop and export renewable energy in a project that aligns its culture and values with its economic goals. LANL assisted the pueblo with site assessments, energy transmission and distribution system access, and economic analysis of energy alternatives.

  • Plan B is in the works for CMRR

    Apparently, there are plans in the works for an alternative solution to the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility, which was deferred for five years by the administration.

    So what is Plan B exactly?

    The public is not sure yet.

    According to the Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor, the NNSA plans to use an existing facility at Los Alamos, the Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building, as well as Lawrence Livermore’s Superblock Facility and the Device Assembly Facility (DAF) at the Nevada National Security Site, and Los Alamos was expected to analyze several key components of the project during a 60-day study.

  • LAESF kickoff at Bradbury

    Many supporters of the Los Alamos Employees Scholarship Fund turned out for a kick-off reception Thursday evening. 

  • Future of CMRR meetings in question

    Sometimes, the show must go on.

    NNSA has decided to defer the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility for at least five years.
    Activists rejoiced. Those at LANL and NNSA regrouped.

    End of story, right?

    Not so fast.

    As part of a 2005 settlement between the Department of Energy/LANL and a coalition of community groups, a decision was reached to hold semi-annual meetings to discuss CMRR updates.

    Wednesday night at Fuller Lodge there was another one of those meetings.

    Steve Fong of the Los Alamos Site Office told those in attendance to expect the design deliverables to be completed by the end of the year and that the design was in “closeout mode.”

  • DOE awards contract to WIPP

     The U.S. Department of Energy announced that Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (members comprised of URS Energy and Construction, Inc., of Boise, Idaho; Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., of Lynchburg, Va.; and major subcontractor, AREVA Federal Services LLC, of Bethesda, Md.) has been awarded a $1.3 billion contract for management and operating at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.  
    The five-year contract contains an option to extend for an additional five years. The M and O contractor manages the WIPP site and the Department’s National Transuranic Waste program. After a transition period, the contractor will assume responsibility for M and O of the WIPP facility on Oct. 1.

  • Lab recognizes pollution prevention efforts

    Efforts to refurbish used gas containers, perform wildfire-related work in the winter, and recycle thousands of lead bricks were among projects winning awards at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s annual P2 Awards ceremony held April 17 at Fuller Lodge.
    Employee ideas allowed the Laboratory to save or avoid using more than 100,000 reams of paper, 3,000 chemical containers, 9,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 50 million gallons of fuel, and 80 tons of metal.  
    In addition, environmental-related projects enabled the Laboratory to recycle more than 5 million liters of water and reduce the amount of hazardous and radioactive waste generated by Lab operations by more than 2,500 cubic meters.

  • Leaked DOD memo rips DOE on size of labs

    The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has its sights set on the Department of Energy and its national laboratories.

    Somehow, the people at POGO got their hands on a leaked Department of Defense memo, which reflects DOE’s refusal to downsize, despite the end of the Cold War. It presents the arguments of a number of experts who have said DOE’s laboratories should downsize, rather than expand their mission. It also compiles evidence of DOE’s ongoing efforts to circumvent the congressional appropriations process.

    POGO investigator Pete Stockton said he could not disclose how the organization got the memo.

    But he did say, “it’s quite damaging for DOE.”

  • McMillan cites CMRR fallout

    In his testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Wednesday, Los Alamos National Laboratory director Charlie McMillan covered a lot of ground.

    Much of his testimony had to do with the ramifications of NNSA’s decision to defer the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility for at least five years and the funding issues that seem to be plaguing the lab.

    McMillan spent a great deal of time in his testimony, discussing pit reuse.

  • Nuke Watch assails lab salary increase

    Nuclear Watch New Mexico is claiming that the salary of the Los Alamos National Laboratory director has tripled in the past six years in a report it released Wednesday.

    According to federal reporting on economic stimulus funding, Charlie McMillan, the LANL director, had a salary of $1,081,059 in 2011. In 2009, the salary was $800,348 and in 2005, the year before the management of the lab was awarded to Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a corporation including the University of California, Bechtel Corporation, URS and B&W, the salary was $348,000.

    Based on Nuclear Watch’s tabulations, the director at Sandia makes $1.72 million and the director at Livermore makes $500,522.

  • Lab boss to U.S. Senate: Delaying CMRR a mistake

    LANL director Charlie McMillan’s written testimony in Washington Wednesday provided a glimpse at the various issues he has dealt with in what is not quite his first year on the job.

    In his testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, McMillan touched upon governance of the National Nuclear Security Administration, nuclear infrastructure, pit reuse, life extension programs, long-term science, looking ahead, funding issues and pension relief.