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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • 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.

  • LANL employees receive pollution prevention awards

    Nearly 400 Los Alamos National Laboratory employees on 47 teams received Pollution Prevention awards for protecting the environment and saving taxpayers more than $8 million. The employees were recognized at the Laboratory’s annual Pollution Prevention Awards ceremony on Monday, Earth Day.
    Five projects received the Lab’s Best in Class Star Award for outstanding achievement. These projects will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration for national Pollution Prevention award consideration. They are:
     Acetone out, rhenium in: employees made changes to an acetone sample rinsing process, eliminating 48 liters of mixed low-level waste per year. Now the team separates a small rhenium metal ribbon from stainless steel posts and recycles the steel instead of disposing of the entire apparatus.
    Streamlined plutonium operation: By changing the vessel shape for the process, which extracts americium from old plutonium so that the plutonium can be reused, this method generates less than half of the waste of the former process. The new approach also requires less salt and avoids the generation of more than 20 kilograms of mixed transuranic and low-level radioactive waste per year and an additional 80 kilograms from subsequent processes.

  • LANL makes progress on tuberculosis

    New work from Los Alamos National Laboratory shows promise for stemming the advance of tuberculosis (TB) by revealing how the bacterium interacts with its human hosts and thus providing a new pathway for early detection in patients.
    A recent publication from the Los Alamos Biosensor Team describes the association of a key tuberculosis virulence factor, lipoarabinomannan (LAM) with human high-density lipoproteins (HDL) in blood. “Understanding the pathophysiology of tuberculosis, and the distribution of pathogen-associated molecules in the host, is essential to developing efficient methods of intervention,” said Harshini Mukundan, corresponding author on the paper.
    “Association of lipoarabinomannan with high density lipoprotein in blood: Implications for diagnostics” Tuberculosis 93 (2013) was published April 3rd, 2013, in the journal Tuberculosis.

  • Scholarships up for grabs

    Northern New Mexicans wanting to return to college for a certificate or two-year program are eligible for $1,000 awards from the Regional College/Returning Student program of the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund.
    The application deadline is June 17 to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation’s Regional College/Returning Student Scholarship Fund. Applications must be submitted online at lanlfoundation.org before June 17.
    The awards go to students returning to a formal education after an absence, such as business, the military or personal reasons. Candidates from Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Taos, Mora and Sandoval counties are eligible and must show that have been accepted for certification, or a two-year degree program at an accredited regional college.
    Since the program began in 2011,
    36 students have been awarded the scholarship. Students who previously received the Regional College/ Returning Scholar award may reapply.
    Funding for the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund comes from contributions by LANL employees and a match from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.
    Sauer to chair campaign