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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Two LANL scientists honored by DOE

    Two Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers are among the 61 national recipients of the Energy Department’s Early Career Research Program awards for 2013.
    Marian Jandel won for his proposal, “New Data on Neutron Reactions Relevant to Basic and Applied Science,” selected by the Office of Nuclear Physics.
    Nathan M. Urban will be supported for his work on “Beyond the Black Box: Combining System and Model Dynamics to Learn About Climate Uncertainties,” selected by the Office of Biological & Environmental Research.
    The Early Career Research Program, now in its fourth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.
    “The Early Career Research Program reflects the Administration’s strong commitment to creating jobs and new industries through scientific innovation,” said Acting Energy Secretary Poneman. “Strong support of scientists early in their careers is crucial to sustaining America’s scientific workforce and assuring U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation for many years to come.”

  • Production of medical isotope moves a step closer at LANL

    Los Alamos National Laboratory announced Monday that for the first time, irradiated uranium fuel has been recycled and reused for molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production, with virtually no losses in Mo-99 yields or uranium recovery.

    This demonstrates the viability of the separation process, as well as the potential for environmentally- and cost-friendly fuel recycling. Medical isotope production technology has advanced significantly now that scientists have made key advances in separating Mo-99 from an irradiated, low-enriched uranium (LEU) solution.

    Low-Enriched Uranium as a Source of Mo-99

    Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is the most commonly used medical isotope today, accounting for about 50,000 medical imaging procedures daily in the United States. Tc-99m is derived from the parent isotope Mo-99, predominantly produced from the fission of uranium-235 in highly enriched uranium targets (HEU) in aging foreign reactors. The North American supply of Tc-99m was severely disrupted when the Chalk River nuclear reactor in Canada experienced an outage several years ago.

  • All about Mars

    LANL scientist Roger Wiens signs a copy of his book “Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity,” Saturday at CB Fox.

  • N.M. delegation seeks $19M more in cleanup

    Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) announced earlier this week that the Department of Energy and the White House have responded to their calls for critical funding needed to maintain ongoing environmental management efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory by sending a reprogramming request to Congress in the amount of $19 million.

    They are now urging the necessary Congressional Committees to approve the request without delay and advocating for an additional $21 million from the National Nuclear Security Administration to meet a federal agreement with the State of New Mexico. Reprogramming actions allow federal agencies to shift funds between accounts during a fiscal year but must be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Committees with jurisdiction.

    “We would like to impress upon you the importance of this reprogramming and the urgency of its approval,” they wrote to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and Armed Services. “Due to the continuing resolution for FY2013 and the negative impacts of sequestration, Environmental Management programs do not have the funding needed for much-needed cleanup efforts.”

  • McMillan testifies on Capitol Hill -- updated with written testimony

    Good afternoon Chairman Udall, Ranking Member Sessions, and the members of the Subcommittee. My name is Charles McMillan and I am the Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to discuss the challenges facing the nuclear weapons enterprise today.

    Since I was last before you, Los Alamos has had to take steps, like the rest of the federal government, to deal with the consequences of declining budgets followed by sequestration. Although we have not yet had to furlough any of our permanent workforce this year, we are currently taking actions to constrain procurements and shrink the size of the subcontractor workforce. The sequester cuts resulted in roughly $130 million in program reductions across the Laboratory.

    This cut is on top of the roughly $450 million in reductions we have absorbed over the last two fiscal years. A little over a year ago, the Laboratory employed about 11,800 scientists, engineers, other professionals, and contractor partners. Today we are at 10,300.

  • Talking about Mars

    Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Roger Wiens talks about the NASA Mars Curiosity rover, its journey to Mars and some of its discoveries on the Red Planet thus far in a series of Frontiers in Science presentations beginning May 7 in the Duane Smith Auditorium at Los Alamos High School. After the talk, Wiens will sign copies of his book “Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity.” Wiens also plans to sign copies of his book from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m., Saturday at CB Fox Department Store on Central Avenue in Los Alamos.

  • LASO employee wins top NNSA award

    Cary Bronson of the Los Alamos Field Office Security Operations Team is the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Federal Security Professional of the Year.
    Bronson provides federal oversight of the nuclear Material Control and Accountability (MC&A) operations and programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    On Monday, Steve Asher, Acting Chief and Associate Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Security, presented Bronson with the Bradley A. Peterson Federal Security Professional of the Year Award.
    The award recognizes one federal and one contractor employee whose contributions to security programs within the NNSA enterprise exemplify NNSA’s commitment to improving and enhancing security. Mike Kaufman, who leads and manages the MC&A program at LANL, received the NNSA award for top contractor security professional.
    “I’m proud to have Cary and Michael as part of the LANL security team” said Geoff Beausoleil, Acting Manager for the NNSA’s Los Alamos Field Office. “This award speaks volumes to the focus we place on safeguards and security at the lab.”

  • Employees Scholarship Fund Award Winners

    Gold Scholars: $20,000 
($5,000 per year for four years)
    • Kevin Gao, Los Alamos High School
    • Danielle Harrier, Pojoaque Valley High School
    • Micaela Lucero, St. Michael’s High School

    
Silver Scholars: $10,000
($2,500 per year for four years)
    
• Aaron Bao, Los Alamos High School
    
• Anna Finck, West Las Vegas High School
    • Victoria Gomez, Robertson High School

    • Paulina Majewska, Los Alamos High School

    • Kimberly Nguyen, Rio Rancho High School

    
Domenici Scholars: $10,000
($2,500 per year for four years)
    
• Monica Abeyta, Escalante High School

    • Isaac Green, Desert Academy
    • Andrew Mascarenas, Questa High School
    • Gregory Medina, West Las Vegas High School

    • Chantel Rivera, Mora High School
    
• Dalton Smith, Los Alamos High School

    • Carly Thomas, Cuba High School

    Leadership Scholars: $10,000
($2,500 per year for four years)

    Christy Lovato, Española Valley High School
Sarah Pyatt, Taos High School


    Bronze Scholars: $4,000 
($1,000 per year for up to four years)

  • 73 students receive LANL employees' scholarships

    Seventy-three students from seven Northern New Mexico counties are recipients of this year’s scholarships through the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund.

    Funding for the scholarships comes from $411,500 in donations from Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

    Los Alamos High School senior Kevin Gao, Micaela Lucero of St. Michael’s High and Danielle Harrier of Pojoaque High School share this year’s gold scholarship, which provide $5,000 in financial assistance annually for four years.

    Five students will receive $2,500 annual, four-year silver scholarships: Aaron Bao and Paulina Majewska of Los Alamos High School; Anna Finck of West Las Vegas High School; Kimberly Nguyen of Rio Rancho High School; and Victoria Gomez of Las Vegas Robertson High School; Gomez also received a $1,000 Phil Barker Memorial Scholarship.

    Seven students will receive $2,500 annual four-year Domenici scholarships named after former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.): Dalton Smith of Los Alamos High School; Chantel Rivera of Mora High School; Monica Abeyta of Escalante High School; Gregory Medina of West Las Vegas High School; Cary Thomas of Cuba High School; Isaac Green of Desert Academy; and Andrew Mascareñas of Questa High School.

  • La Cueva takes top prize

    A trio of Albuquerque La Cueva High School students — two who are siblings — took the prize in the 23rd New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge for their research project that used statistical analysis to identify and analyze topics in human language.

    The team, Ari Echt-Wilson, Eli Echt-Wilson and Justin Sanchez also won the CHECS Teamwork and Cray High Performance Computing awards for their project, “Learning and Analyzing Topics in Human Language.”

    Los Alamos High School freshman Cole Kendrick took second place for his computer simulation project of Saturn’s ring structure. Kendrick, who won the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge’s top prize in 2011 as a seventh-grade student, also received the Technical Poster Award, the Visualization prize from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and the Professional Presentation Award.

    La Cueva High’s Alexandra Porter received third place for her project “Simulation of Approximate Computing Applied to Numerical Methods.” Porter was part of a La Cueva High team that took last year’s third prize.

    All the finalist teams received plaques for their school, a large banner suitable for hanging at their schools and other gifts.