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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Agency selects firm to manage contract

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a move that shapes the future of the United States’ nuclear security enterprise and will save $3.27 billion in taxpayer dollars over the next decade, the National Nuclear Security Administration has announced that Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC has been selected to be the management and operating contractor for the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas.
    The contract also includes construction project management of the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex, and an option for Savannah River Tritium Operations at the Savannah River Site in near Aiken, S.C.
    Comprised of Bechtel National, Inc; Lockheed Martin Services, Inc; ATK Launch Systems, Inc; and SOC, LLC, CNS will begin a four-month transition immediately. Additionally, CNS will use subcontractors Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc as Merger and Transformation specialist, and General Atomics for Savannah River Tritium Operations if that option is exercised by NNSA in the future.

  • Homestead lecture kicks off series

    In commemoration of its 70th anniversary, Los Alamos National Laboratory kicks off a year-long lecture series at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, with a presentation about homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau at the Bradbury Science Museum.
    The inaugural lecture is based on a book by local writers Dorothy Hoard, Judy Machen and Ellen McGehee, about the area’s settlement between 1887 and 1942.
    On hikes across the Pajarito Plateau, Hoard envisioned the Los Alamos area before modern roads and bridges made transportation much easier. The trails she walked along were once old roads, often steep, with parts carved with picks and axes out of the tuff bedrock. The roads differed from trails in that they had to be wide enough to accommodate a wagon and not too steep for a horse to pull the wagon’s contents up the Los Alamos cliffs.
    Hoard developed a curiosity about the early settlers who used ordinary tools available to them to build roads and expand their settlement of the region. Her growing interest led to collaboration with Machen and McGehee. The result is the book, “Homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau, 1887-1942.”

  • Bill includes CMRR funding

    Last week, President Barack Obama signed the FY13 defense authorization law and in that bill, there is a little bit of life for the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility.

    The legislation permits up to $70 million in new funds for the building’s construction in the budget year that runs through Sept. 30, and it makes available $120 million in money previously appropriated for the project.

    The bill also establishes a $3.7 billion spending cap for the structure, which is intended to assume the responsibilities of PF-4.

    The text would require the Energy Department to give lawmakers a “detailed justification” for any projected CMRR spending in excess of the threshold.

    “We’ll move forward and get a plan in place as the law requires,” National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Josh McConaha said in a statement. “At this point, we still need funding from Congress to ensure continuity of important mission capabilities, and we’re working with them to get it done. Either way, it’s too early to know what the plan will entail or what our final approach will be.”

    In February of last year, the Obama administration and the NNSA deferred the project for five years and Los Alamos National Laboratory has been closing down the project.

  • Protesters head to court next week

    They call themselves the “LANL Six.”

    On Wednesday, the six protesters who were arrested at the gate to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Aug. 6, will make a court appearance in Los Alamos Municipal Court before Judge Alan Kirk.

    The six protesters were charged with trespass, refusing to obey an officer and obstructing movement. Each could spend 179 days in jail and be fined up to $1,500.  

    The LANL Six are Pam Gilchrist and Cathie Sullivan of Santa Fe; Benjamin (Summer) Abbott, Janet Greenwald and Barbara Grothus of Albuquerque; and Wind Euler of Tucson, Ariz.

    The LANL Six, their supporters and their defense team, have invited the public to join them from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 107 West Barcelona St., Santa Fe.

    Also, they invite all environmental and anti-nuclear activists to demonstrate outside of the courthouse on the morning of their trial.

  • Lab gets 80 percent of possible fee

    Los Alamos National Lab Director Charlie McMillan sent out a memo to employees Friday that detailed the National Nuclear Security Administration’s evaluation of the lab.

    According to the memo obtained by the Los Alamos Monitor, McMillan, who said the lab worked through a $400 million shortfall, told employees the lab scored 80 percent and the Los Alamos National Security, LLC, was awarded another year on its contract.

    Out of a possible total of $74.5 million, NNSA awarded LANS a combined total of $59.6 million in fees for executing more than $2.2 billion in work for the nation in FY 2012.

    “To be sure, our performance evaluation is only one measure of our success,” McMillan wrote. “I have always maintained that if we do the right thing for our customers and the nation, the award term and fee will take care of themselves.

    “They are, however, a documented evaluation of how the government values our work. This year, we have very plain evidence of how issues in safety or project execution can overshadow a very successful year when measured in other ways.”

    McMillan said the extra year awarded was significant.

  • Program has waiting list

    Even with support from the LANL Foundation and New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department, the Los Alamos First Born® program has 11 parents on its waiting list. The local program has launched a campaign to raise $20,000 by March.

    Contributions can be made to the Los Alamos Medical Center Auxiliary, attention First Born®, 3917 West Road, Los Alamos, 87544. For more information, contact director Patty Worth at 661-9224.

     

  • APS awards fellowships to LANL scientists

    Ten scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are being inducted into the ranks of fellowship in the American Physical Society for 2012.

    The criterion for election as an APS Fellow involves exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; such as performing outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.

    Fellowship is an honor signifying recognition by professional peers. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

    “In our fields, the respect of one’s peers is a most valuable reward,” Los Alamos Director Charlie McMillan said. “I congratulate this year’s inductees. They again show the depth of talent here at the laboratory and we’re proud to call them colleagues.”

  • D’Agostino leaves post at NNSA

    The National Nuclear Security Admninistration has confirmed that administrator Thom D’Agostino will be leaving his post Jan. 18.

    D’Agostino said NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Neile Miller will become acting administrator and acting undersecretary for nuclear security.

    D’Agostino is leaving after more than 36 years of federal service, including the last five-and-a-half years as the NNSA administrator and under secretary for Nuclear Security, and two years as deputy administrator for Defense Programs.

    “My wife Beth and I have decided the timing is right for me to leave Federal service,” he said. “This was a difficult decision for me as I am committed to serving our country, committed to the missions of the NNSA, the Environmental Management Organization, the Office of Legacy Management and I am committed to you in carrying out this mission.  

    “However, I have an equally important commitment to my wife and family and I am a strong believer that organizations are healthier when leadership changes on a periodic basis. The time is right for this change and I will step down from this position on 18 January 2013, at the end of the first term of the Obama administration.”

  • Track Santa Claus Monday

    Los Alamos trackers will use state-of-the-art technology to mark the course taken this year by Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer during the jolly elf’s annual mission to spread joy to all the children of the world. Visit LAMonitor.com beginning at 6 a.m. Monday to see St. Nick’s whirlwind journey.

    Dec. 21 marks the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere and also the eve of the completion of the 13th b’ak’tun on the Mayan calendar. Despite some rumors to the contrary that are being spread by very naughty children, Santa Claus takes to the skies above the North Pole again this year on Christmas Eve, bringing joy to all those who believe in the spirit of Christmas.

    “We expect Santa and his team to arrive in Northern New Mexico about midnight on Christmas Eve,” said Los Alamos space scientist Diane Roussel-Dupré of the lab’s Space Data Systems group.

    While Santa’s tradition of delivering toys and goodies across the world has endured for countless generations, Los Alamos has helped track Father Christmas for nearly two decades. Working in concert with the North American Aerospace Defense Command and other agencies, Los Alamos has helped ensure Santa’s safe passage across the globe.

  • Spreading cheer

    Some 1,031 holiday gifts from LANL employees are being readied for Northern New Mexico children and seniors. The gifts are being delivered to partner agencies in Northern New Mexico. Some of the partners include: Wings for Hope, Santa Fe; Los Alamos Family Council; Taos Housing Authority; Boys and Girls Club Del Norte; Chimayo and Abiquiu; State Children, Youth and Families Department offices in Española, Las Vegas, Raton and Santa Fe.