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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Non-profits to receive donations from LANS

    Nonprofit organizations will receive more than $180,000 from Los Alamos National Security (LANS), LLC during a recognition event beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge in downtown Los Alamos.
    LANS contributions are determined by the number of volunteer hours logged by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and retirees through a web-based organization called VolunteerMatch and through the Los Alamos Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP).
    Deputy Laboratory Director Beth Sellers is scheduled to be the keynote speaker and present awards.
    “The genuine care and commitment Laboratory employees and retirees have for their communities are clearly demonstrated by the number of hours volunteered to these nonprofit organizations,” said Kurt Steinhaus, director of the Community Programs Office, which manages the lab’s volunteer program. Since the Laboratory joined VolunteerMatch and RSVP in 2007, nearly 3,000 Los Alamos employees and retirees reported more than 1.2 million volunteer
    hours. 

  • IG faults payments

    Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson collected nearly half a million dollars in questionable payments from four federally funded nuclear labs after she left office, the Energy Department’s inspector general says in a new report.

    Wilson failed to provide documentation for the work she did to earn $20,000 a month from the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs in New Mexico from January 2009 to March 2011, the report said. Officials at the Nevada Test Site and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee acknowledged there “were no deliverables” associated with $30,000 the two labs paid Wilson. Sandia had Wilson lobby for more defense dollars, an apparent violation of her contract, the report said.

    In total, nearly $450,000 in questionable payments were identified, the bulk from Los Alamos and Sandia.
    In a statement, LANL defended Wilson and her work.

    “LANS, LLC has reimbursed the government approximately $195,000 in potentially unallowable costs related to the consulting arrangement with Heather Wilson,” the statement said.

  • Sellers to make nonprofit awards at Wednesday event

    Area nonprofit organizations will receive more than $180,000 from Los Alamos National Security (LANS), LLC during a recognition event beginning at 9:30 a.m. June 12, at Fuller Lodge in downtown Los Alamos.

    LANS contributions are determined by the number of volunteer hours logged by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and retirees through a web-based organization called VolunteerMatch and through the Los Alamos Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP).

    Deputy Laboratory Director Beth Sellers is scheduled to be the keynote speaker and present awards. Sellers also will recognize the top volunteers and nonprofit organizations.

    “The genuine care and commitment laboratory employees and retirees have for their communities are clearly demonstrated by the number of hours volunteered to these nonprofit organizations,” said Kurt Steinhaus, director of the Community Programs Office, which manages the laboratory’s volunteer program.

    Since the laboratory joined VolunteerMatch and RSVP in 2007, nearly 3,000 Los Alamos employees and retirees reported more than 1.2 million volunteer hours. In 2012, more than 269,000 hours of volunteer service were reported through the lab’s Vecinos volunteer program. Vecinos is Spanish for neighbor. Additionally,

  • LANL nuke waste to be buried at Texas fed site

    The portion of a West Texas radioactive waste disposal site built to handle waste from U.S. Energy Department locations nationwide is set to open.
    Waste from New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory on Thursday will be the first low-level radioactive waste to be buried in the 90-acre federal dump on a site operated by Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists.
    Company spokesman Chuck McDonald says the Los Alamos waste is derived from nuclear materials research and development stored at the laboratory for decades.
    “I am proud to be here today to celebrate this historic event. We appreciate the state of Texas, the local communities and Waste Control Specialists for their support of our important national cleanup mission and look forward to a continued, collaborative relationship to ensure the safe disposal and long-term management of this nation’s low-level and mixed low-level (LLW/MLLW) radioactive waste,” EM Senior Advisor David Huizenga said.
    The DOE Los Alamos Field Office is the first to dispose of waste in this new facility.

  • Los Alamos nuke waste to be buried in fed site

    ANDREWS, Texas (AP) — The portion of a West Texas radioactive waste disposal site built to handle waste from U.S. Energy Department locations nationwide is set to open.

    Waste from New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory on Thursday will be the first low-level radioactive waste to be buried in the 90-acre federal dump on a site operated by Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists.

    Company spokesman Chuck McDonald says the Los Alamos waste is derived from nuclear materials research and development stored at the laboratory for decades.

    After a large wildfire lapped at the edges of lab property in summer 2011, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez identified removal of the waste as a top priority.

    Low-level radioactive waste from non-Energy Department sources is buried in a smaller, separate site nearby.

  • LANL launches anniversary app

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has launched its first app for iPhones and iPads as part of the laboratory’s yearlong celebration of 70 years serving the nation. The free application is available from the Apple Store (search for Los Alamos National Lab).
    (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lanl-app/id647349599?mt=8)
    The app enables users to learn more about the Laboratory’s national security mission, cutting edge research, unique history, top-flight scientists and the many other people who work at the lab. It also provides easy access to news, feature stories, publications, social media and videos; an interactive timeline of 70 years of innovation and a look ahead to the future; and includes an educational feature showcasing the actinide series of the periodic table, as well as fun facts and links to the complete table. A version of the app for the Android platform is expected to be available soon.
    “We’re excited to be a part of the 70th anniversary of Los Alamos’ service to the nation,” said Associate Director for Information Technology Carolyn Zerkle.

  • LANL Catalyst Could Advance E-Cars, Green Energy

    Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have designed a new type of nanostructured-carbon-based catalyst that could pave the way for reliable, economical next-generation batteries and alkaline fuel cells, providing for practical use of wind- and solar-powered electricity, as well as enhanced hybrid electric vehicles.

    In a paper published in Nature Communications, Los Alamos researchers Hoon T. Chung, Piotr Zelenay and Jong H. Won, the latter now at the Korea Basic Science Institute, describe a new type of nitrogen-doped carbon-nanotube catalyst. The new material has the highest oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in alkaline media of any non-precious metal catalyst developed to date. This activity is critical for efficient storage of electrical energy.

    The new catalyst doesn’t use precious metals such as platinum, which is more expensive per ounce than gold, yet it performs under certain conditions as effectively as many well-known and prohibitively expensive precious-metal catalysts developed for battery and fuel-cell use. Moreover, although the catalyst is based on nitrogen-containing carbon nanotubes, it does not require the tedious, toxic and costly processing that is usually required when converting such materials for catalytic use.

  • Wadt named president of LANL Foundation board

    Bill Wadt has been elected president of the Board of Directors of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation.

    He succeeds Liddie Martinez, Director of the Community and Economic Development Division of SOC Los Alamos, who continues to serve on the Executive Committee.

    After retiring as Deputy Contract Assurance Officer for Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2010 following a 34-year career, Wadt is chair-elect of Quality New Mexico and becomes president of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation in July.

    Other officers are:
    • Richard Marquez, LANL Executive Director on the senior executive management team at the Lab, vice president.
    • Wayne Kennedy, former Senior Vice President of the University of California, treasurer.
    • Ginger Richardson, Vice President for Education and Institutional Outreach at the Santa Fe Institute, secretary.

    New members elected to the Board are Walter Dasheno, former Governor of Santa Clara Pueblo; and Jerry Lopez, former Group Leader for NIE-CS at LANL, who retired in 2012.

    Re-elected to three-year terms are Jeffrey Howell and Kennedy.
     

  • Lab begins tests on chromium plume

    Los Alamos National Laboratory will begin pumping tests in two groundwater monitoring wells this summer located on lab property within a chromium plume in the regional aquifer.
    The purpose of the pumping tests is to refine understanding of the plume properties within the regional aquifer and evaluate the potential for large-scale pumping to remove chromium. Chromium concentrations in the plume exceed state and federal standards for groundwater.
    “These pumping tests are a key step in identifying measures to address the plume,” said Pete Maggiore, assistant manager for environmental projects at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos Field Office. “Data from this testing will be used to recommend a final remedy which we will then submit to the state.”
    The chromium investigation is part of environmental work being conducted under the 2005 Consent Order between New Mexico, the lab and the Department of Energy. Under the Consent Order process, the state will select a final remedy after input from the public.

  • Bradbury to honor military personnel

    Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum is again partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families Foundation and the Department of Defense in the Blue Star Museums program to host active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
    “In this the 70th anniversary year celebration of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Bradbury Science Museum is once again excited and proud to be part of the 1,800 museums throughout the United States participating in the Blue Star Museums program to thank our nation’s military personnel — and their families — for their service,” Bradbury Science Museum Director Linda Deck said.
    “The museum already has a free-admission policy, but we’re participating in this program to raise awareness of the importance of honoring members of the U.S. armed services, as we share our collective history,” Deck said.
    The Bradbury Science Museum features films and interactive exhibits interpreting LANL’s contributions to modern science, research and technology, including its role in the Manhattan Project and current mission in national security. The museum is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.