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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Anti-nuke protesters busted as prayer vigil concludes

    Officers from the Los Alamos Police Department arrested five protesters at 12:45 p.m. Monday after they reportedly crossed into a secure area (Pajarito Corridor) on Los Alamos National Laboratory property.

    The protesters are part of the Trinity Nuclear Abolition organization out of Albuquerque. They told authorities that they wanted to get to the CMRR building to conduct a prayer vigil.

    “Los Alamos National Laboratory fully supports the right of peaceful assembly and fully supports the right to free speech,” LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said. “The laboratory routinely cooperates with activist organizations to facilitate protest activities on laboratory property, but will not tolerate illegal or unsafe actions.”

  • DOE puts out request for WIPP management contract

    CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The Department of Energy is taking bids for management of the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico.

    Contractor Washington TRU Solutions LLC currently oversees the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, where plutonium-contaminated waste from defense projects is buried in rooms excavated in vast underground salt beds. It's contract was extended last year through 2012.

    DOE says it anticipates awarding a five-year contract with an annual value of $135 million a year and an option for a five-year extension.

  • LANL names fund recipients

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has selected Manhattan Isotopes Technology, LLC and Vista Therapeutics, Inc. as recipients of $100,000 awards from the Los Alamos National Security, LLC Venture Acceleration Fund.
    The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) invests in innovative Northern New Mexico companies seeking to commercialize technology and take it to market faster.
    VAF investments help the companies and their technologies reach the next level of success through business development activities such as proof-of-concept, prototyping, securing initial customers, or additional funding. Projects with an association with LANL technology or expertise receive preference for funding.

  • Reactions are swift to CMRR proposed cut

    The fight is on in Washington after the House Appropriations Committee recommended a $100 million cut to the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility at Los Alamos, and the committee also recommended a $175 million cut to the lab’s cleanup efforts.

    In all, the committee cut close to $500 million from the administration’s $7.6 billion weapons program request.

  • LANL, NNSS team up for critical experiment

    At 4:14 p.m. Pacific Time on June 15, a team of researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory brought the Planet criticality assembly machine located at the Nevada National Security Site to a supercritical point for approximately eight minutes, successfully repeating an experiment last conducted at Los Alamos in 2004.

  • Fire out at TA-39

    A fire at Technical Area 39 was confined Wednesday to a 3-3.5-acre area in a previously burned area. On Friday morning, lab spokesperson Steve Sandoval said the fire was out.

    Sandoval said fire crews were on site and “thus were able to respond immediately.” Fire crews were at the site overnight.

    The investigation is continuing, Sandoval said.
    “There will be discussion on what, if any, additional mitigating actions we can implement to lessen a reoccurrence,” Sandoval said. “The fire was in a previously burned area, which was helpful in this instance, i.e., very little fire fuels.”

    Sandoval said all procedures were followed, including all safety procedures.

  • Non-profits to receive $153K

    Nonprofit organizations are receiving more than $153,000 from Los Alamos National Security, LLC during a recognition event beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.

    The monetary donations from LANS are tied to the number of volunteer hours logged by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and retirees through an organization called VolunteerMatch.

    Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan is scheduled to make brief remarks as the top volunteers and nonprofit organizations receive recognition from LANS and LANL senior management and representatives from the National Nuclear Security Administration.

  • CMRR faces possible budget cut

    The House Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday to cut $100 million in FY 12 funding for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The committee recommended allocating $200 million for the project, 33 percent below the budget request.

    It’s nowhere near a done deal.

    The Energy and Water appropriation bill must now be passed by the House and sent to the Senate for consideration.

    In his report, subcommittee chairman Rodney Freylinghuysen (R-NJ) said the National Nuclear Security Administration has a lot of work to do.

  • Walp wants authorities to reopen probe

    Convinced there was more to uncover during an investigation from 2002 at Los Alamos National Laboratory, former Office of Security Inquiries (OSI) Leader Glenn A. Walp said he intends to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help.

    Because of information that surfaced in 2010, Walp said he will be in New Mexico the first week in July and plans to meet with agents and ask the bureau to reopen its case into wrongdoing that he began to uncover after the lab hired him in January 2002.

  • Taxpayers to foot hefty lab pension tabs

    A Manhattan Project-era business model is responsible for a $1.7 billion dollar tab that taxpayers will have to pick up next year to cover ballooning pension liabilities for the national labs.

    As more scientists and engineers become eligible for retirement, future liabilities represent potentially billions of dollars more, according to a report released the last day of May by the Government Accountability Office. The findings reveal that the Department of Energy has been lax in examining other post-retirement costs, such as health care, which factor into the overall reimbursements DOE makes to contractors like Bechtel, Babcock and Wilcox, URS, and Lockheed Martin, which manage operations at national labs like Los Alamos and Sandia here in New Mexico.