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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • 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.

  • McMillan to testify in Washington today

    Los Alamos National Laboratory director Charlie McMillan, along with other lab directors and NNSA officials, will testify in Washington Wednesday afternoon.
    McMillan will testify before the subcommittee on strategic forces, which is a part of the Committee on Armed Services.
    Also testifying is Paul Hommert from Sandia, Penrose Albright from Livermore, Charles Shank and Kumar Patel, co-chairs of the committee to review the quality of management and of the science engineering research at the Department of Energy’s labs.
    Senator Ben Nelson (D-Fla.) chairs the subcommittee on strategic forces. A report on McMillan’s testimony will be in Thursday’s Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Perma-Fix picks up two cleanup contracts at LANL

    Perma-Fix Environmental Services, based in Idaho, was selected for two major Master Task Order Agreement clean-up contracts at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    DOE’s prime contractor at Los Alamos, Los Alamos National Security, LLC selected the Portage/Perma-Fix team, along with several other teams, to retrieve, manage, process and disposition a variety of low-level radioactive, mixed, hazardous, and transuranic wastes that have been generated over decades as part of the DOE’s nuclear weapons mission.

  • Supercomputing challenge slated for this next week

    More than 200 New Mexico students and their teachers will convene at Los Alamos National Laboratory April 23 and 24 for judging and the awards ceremony in the 22nd annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

    More than 60 teams of students from elementary, middle, and high school are participating in the event, said David Kratzer of the Laboratory’s High Performance Computer Systems group and LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge.

    While at LANL, students will present their projects and take part in tours, talks, and demonstrations with Laboratory scientists and researchers. Student projects will be recognized during an awards ceremony from 9 to 11:30 a.m., April 24 at the Church of Christ, 2323 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos.

  • LANL post-docs, staff members honored

    Three postdocs and six staff members will receive Postdoc Distinguished Performance and Postdoc Distinguished Mentor awards respectively at an invitation-only event April 25.
    Tanmoy Das, Nan Li and Nikolai Yampolsky are recipients of Postdoctoral Distinguished Performance awards, which recognize individual postdoctoral researchers or teams of no more than three postdoctoral researchers who have made an outstanding and unique contribution resulting in a positive, significant impact on the lab’s programmatic or organizational efforts, or status in the scientific community during the 2011 fiscal year.