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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • LANL makes strides in cleaning runoff

    Engineer Erin English, with Biohabitats, Inc., a firm representing the Communities for Clean Water (CCW), gave the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities a progress report on Los Alamos National Laboratory’s efforts at storm water management.

    English spoke highly of the LANL stormwater team.

    “We’ve actually ended up in quite a collaborative process and have found that the LANL folks have gone far above what they had committed to doing as a result of that lawsuit, and have really looked to us for some assistance in how to manage that storm water, not only in conventional ways but perhaps in ways that give them a little more flexibility that are rooting in green infrastructure grounds,” English said.

    English believes LANL’s budget for compliance with the stormwater mitigation is approximately $10 million.

    The core members of CCW are Amigos Bravos, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Honor our Pueblo Existence and the New Mexico Acequia Association, with several other groups also participating.

  • Congress approves additional LANL cleanup money

    LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Congress has approved an additional $19 million for nuclear waste cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The New Mexico congressional delegation on Wednesday announced the approval of a "reprogramming" request by the Department of Energy to transfer money from other programs to ensure the lab can meet its promise to remove thousands of barrels of radioactive waste by 2014.

    The potential dangers of the waste, which is stored above ground, made national headlines in 2011 when the Las Conchas fire raged near the lab.

    The Obama Administration had requested $239 million for the cleanup in the fiscal year 2013 budget. But a continuing budget resolution froze the cleanup funding level at $189 million and sequestration cuts further reduced that figure to $173 million.

    Watch for more details on this developing story in the Los Alamos Monitor.

  • 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)