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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Fallout continues from CMRR: Legislative decision leaves more questions than answers in Los Alamos

    It’s been a long week for those involved with the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility.

    And the extent of the fallout remains uncertain.

    Lab director Charlie McMillan has scheduled an all-hands meeting for LANL employees Tuesday to discuss the CMRR project, which was deferred for five years after the funding was yanked in the President’s FY13 budget request.

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce has become involved in an attempt to figure out the impact on several businesses and subcontractors.

  • Fallout continues from CMRR: Protesting and lobbying helped turn the tide in Washington

    Depending on how one looks at it, the activists can take credit and/or the blame for the decision that will defer construction of the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement.

    On Monday, the President’s FY 13 budget zeroed out funding for the project.

    Throughout the process critics showed up in force at the various public comment meetings throughout the state.

    With the exception of the Los Alamos meeting, at least 40 to 50 people spoke out against the project.

    And a lot of those same people headed to Washington to lobby Congress.

    Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group has been to Washington three times and also New York once this year.

  • LANL selects small businesses for nuke waste services

    Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced it has selected four small businesses to compete for up to $200 million in services related to safely packaging Cold War-era wastes for final disposal.
    The companies—Environmental Dimensions, Inc.; North Wind, Inc.; Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc.; and Portage, Inc.—will now use a streamlined process to bid for a number of individual tasks under this “master task order agreement.”  
    Tasks include such activities as handling waste containers, transporting them to licensed disposal facilities, and providing verification and certification of delivery.

  • Reaction continues to ripple from CMRR decision

    The National Nuclear Security Administration further clarified its position on deferring the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility for at least five years.

    NNSA spokesperson Josh McConaha issued the following statement: “NNSA has taken steps to ensure the nation has a capabilities-based nuclear security enterprise focused on needs and solutions. We view this constrained budget environment as an additional incentive to ask ourselves how we can re-think the way we’re operating, how we can innovate, and how we can get better.

  • NNSA, labs need to mend fences

    Scientists and engineers at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) three national security laboratories appear committed to their work and core mission of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile, but according to a new National Research Council  report, a “broken relationship” between NNSA and the labs threatens to erode the quality of the scientific research and engineering being conducted there.

    The committee that wrote the report said that an intrusive degree of oversight stemming from past security and safety concerns at one of the labs has led to a “breakdown of trust.”

  • LISC seeks feedback from LANL employees

    In the past three weeks, LANL employees have submitted more than 200 cost-saving ideas to the Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council (LISC) through a direct email address and a blog on the lab’s internal website.
    Submitted ideas went through a screening and scoring process aimed at finding everything from “low-hanging fruit” (easy to implement, high potential savings) to longer term, more complicated projects. And some of those ideas were submitted anonymously.
    Other criteria included the ability to measure the savings, the impact of implementation, and whether the idea presents any compliance issues with safety, environmental, labor, or other regulations.

  • LANL gets $239 million for cleanup

    While most of the attention fell on the deferment of the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility, President Obama’s FY13 budget called for an increase in appropriation when it comes to cleanup.
    The request is up $51 million from $188 million to $239 million, and will allow LANL to pursue cleanup in accordance with the consent order with the state.
    The increase includes an extra $36 million to expedite the removal of above ground TRU waste and an extra $13 million to meet milestones on soil and water remediation.
    The budget allocation also took two construction projects at LANL.

  • Wilson: Congressional delegation failed to stick up for Los Alamos

    Heather Wilson, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, said she is very concerned about Los Alamos.
    After President Obama released the FY13 budget, it was revealed the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement project would be deferred for at least five years.

    “A little over a year ago, President Obama made a commitment to modernize our nuclear weapons complex in order to maintain a safe, reliable nuclear deterrent at lower levels of forces,” Wilson said. “That commitment included replacing a 60-year-old facility at Los Alamos for handling plutonium. In his new budget, however, President Obama has broken that commitment. And as a result, an estimated 1,000 jobs will be killed for 10 years in Los Alamos.”

  • Local leaders react to CMRR decision

    “Funding for national security and science at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including the CMRR Project” is one of the top four priorities for the county council’s 2012 Federal Agenda.

    Council will have to work even harder to achieve that goal, now that President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal recommends putting CMRR funding on hold for five years.

    “We’re very disappointed. I’m really trying to understand what went wrong with this. The administration was in support of this at one time,” Council Chair Sharon Stover said.

    Neither county officials nor the business community were surprised by the decision.

  • Obama Administration mulls historic nuclear weapons cuts

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.

    Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama's 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.