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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • LANL employees make record number of pledges

    Los Alamos National Laboratory employees have pledged a record $1.81 million to United Way and other eligible nonprofit programs. Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages and operates the laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, plans to prorate its $1 million match among the selected nonprofit organizations, bringing the total donation to $2.81 million.

    “Our Los Alamos employees can take pride in this accomplishment,” said Carolyn Zerkle, LANL’s associate director for Information Technology and this year’s campaign champion. “The LANL team raised $1.81 million, which surpassed last year’s total of $1.5 million by more than 20 percent.”

  • Questions swirl around $6 billion nuclear lab

    SANTA FE (AP) — At Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists and engineers refer to their planned new $6 billion nuclear lab by its clunky acronym, CMRR, short for Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility. But as a work in progress for three decades and with hundreds of millions of dollars already spent, nomenclature is among the minor issues.

    Questions continue to swirl about exactly what kind of nuclear and plutonium research will be done there, whether the lab is really necessary, and — perhaps most important — will it be safe, or could it become New Mexico’s equivalent of Japan’s Fukushima?

  • Citizens speak out on NNSA's waste facility

    This week, the National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Site Office dotted its Is and crossed its Ts as it sent a 386-page Class 2 permit modification request for the addition of a new Transuranic Waste Facility at Technical Area 63 to the New Mexico Environment Department.

    In addition, the LASO office sent a 1,074-page document to the NMED, concerning a Class 3 permit modification request for the addition of open detonation units at TA-36 and TA-39.

    There were no public comments associated with the open detonation permit modification request.

    But that certainly was not the case with the Transuranic Waste Facility, with 30 different emails accompanying the request, all of them against LANL’s plans for the new facility.

  • LANL storm water permit meeting cancelled

    The public meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to review the individual permit for storm water initiated by Los Alamos National Laboratory has been cancelled due to icy road conditions, snow, and extreme temperatures that have gripped the area for the past few days.

    The meeting, which was set to take place at Cities of Gold Conference Center, will be rescheduled for a later date, according to lab officials.

  • LANL, LAPS announce closure due to weather

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed Monday due to the winter storm currently gripping the Los Alamos area.

    The lab posted the notice on its website at 4:42 a.m.

    Likewise, Los Alamos Public Schools have called off classes Monday. The school district posted a notice on its website shortly after 5 a.m.

  • Christmas Burst reveals neutron star collision

    A strangely powerful, long-lasting gamma-ray burst on Christmas Day, 2010 has finally been analyzed to the satisfaction of a multinational research team.
    Called the Christmas Burst, GRB 101225A was freakishly lengthy and it produced radiation at unusually varying wavelengths.
    But by matching the data with a model developed in 1998, the team was able to characterize the star explosion as a neutron star spiraling into the heart of its companion star.
    The paper, “The unusual gamma-ray burst GRB 101225A from a helium star/neutron star merger at redshift 0.33,” appears in Friday’s issue of the journal Nature.  

  • NNSA continues aerial survey

    The National Nuclear Security Administration plans this week to complete the high-fidelity aerial survey of Los Alamos town site begun Nov. 21.

    Mechanical issues with the helicopter conducting the survey temporarily halted the flyover before the survey was finished.

    NNSA arranged for the Remote Sensing Laboratory/National Aerial Measuring System (RSL) of Las Vegas, Nev., to conduct the flyover following a similar survey of lab property after the Las Conchas fire.  

    The objective is to ensure that any and all legacy radiological contamination sites have been identified and effectively cleaned up.  

  • LANL scrutinizes costs, spending

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan has announced a plan to establish the Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council (LISC) in response to the uncertainties of operating in FY12 under a Continuing Resolution through Dec. 16.

    “This leaves us in a financial position that is filled with uncertainty, since the timeframe for a completed budget is unknown,” McMillan said in an organization-wide memo. “While we have already implemented a number of cost savings measures at the laboratory, we must do more given the financial uncertainty facing us.”

    Will there be layoffs at the lab?

  • Lab names new weapons boss

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan announced the selection of Bret Knapp as the new principal associate director for Weapons Programs Thursday.  Knapp has been acting in that position since June 2011 when McMillan left the post to become laboratory director.

    As the head of LANL’s Weapons Programs, Knapp is responsible for the leadership, development, and execution of the Laboratory’s primary mission: ensuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The programs have a $1.5 billion annual budget that is split between two directorates with a workforce of more than 1,400.  

  • LANL names new head of weapons programs

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan announced the selection of Bret Knapp as the new principal associate director for Weapons Programs Thursday.  Knapp has been acting in that position since June 2011 when McMillan left the post to become Laboratory director.

    As the head of LANL’s Weapons Programs, Knapp is responsible for the leadership, development, and execution of the Laboratory’s primary mission: ensuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The programs have a $1.5 billion annual budget that is split between two directorates with a workforce of more than 1,400.