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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Bishop to lead LANL STE Directorate

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charles McMillan announced Friday that after a yearlong, nationwide search, Alan Bishop has been selected to be the laboratory’s next principal associate director for Science, Technology and Engineering (PADSTE). Bishop has been acting in that role since Aug. 29, 2011.

    Over the course of a distinguished 30-year career as a research scientist and leader, Bishop has more than 700 publications in archival journals and has served as a guest scientist, guest scholar and visiting professor.

    He has received Distinguished Fellow awards from the American Physical Society, Humboldt Foundation, the Institute of Physics and American Association for the Advancement of Science and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “Alan is uniquely qualified to help shape the laboratory’s future. He has skillfully guided this critical and complex organization through challenging and uncertain times,” McMillan said.

    Bishop came to Los Alamos in 1979 and has been a group leader, division leader and finally associate director for Theory, Simulation and Computation before being named acting principal associate director for Science, Technology and Engineering last year.

  • A rose by any other name …

    It all depends on how one looks at it.

    Some are saying the Department of Energy is actually paying some anti-nuclear groups to raise awareness about environmental cleanup.

    The anti-nuclear groups are saying they would never receive any money from DOE and they are receiving funds through grants provided by the New Mexico Community Foundation.

    But here is the fact.

    Through a partnership with the Department of Energy, the New Mexico Community Foundation launched the Community Involvement Fund last year.

    And according to the NMCF website, the five-year agreement was intended to increase public awareness and participation in the DOE’s environmental cleanup at nuclear waste sites nationwide.

    In 2011, grants totaled $797,991 with recipient organizations in the states of New Mexico, Vermont, Idaho, New York, Nevada, Georgia, Tennessee, California, Maryland and Washington.

    Taking advantage of the grants was a variety of anti-nuclear groups in this state.

    They include the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in Santa Fe, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping in Albuquerque and the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque. Partnering with SRIC are the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Watch New Mexico in Santa Fe.

  • Lab weighs in on safety infractions

    According to a weekly Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board memorandum, lab director Charlie McMillan provided a final response to a September 2011 NNSA Site Office letter regarding criticality safety infractions last month.

  • Scientists, residents cheer Mars landing

    NASA’s Curiosity rover on Monday transmitted a low-resolution video showing the last 2 1/2 minutes of its white-knuckle dive through the Mars atmosphere, giving Earthlings a sneak peek of a spacecraft landing on another world.

    As thumbnails of the video flashed on a big screen on Monday, scientists and engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion let out “oohs” and “aahs.” The recording began with the protective heat shield falling away and ended with dust being kicked up as the rover was lowered by cables inside an ancient crater.

    It was a sneak preview since it’ll take some time before full-resolution frames are beamed back depending on other priorities.

  • Lab sets shipment record

    For the fourth consecutive year, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s TRU Waste Program has sent a record number of transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad for permanent disposal.

    The laboratory’s 172nd shipment of TRU waste this year left Los Alamos bound for WIPP Aug. 2. With two months left in the fiscal year, the laboratory has already beat last year’s fiscal year record of 171 shipments.

    “Our goal this fiscal year is 184 shipments and we are on track to surpass that by a substantial margin,” said Lee Bishop, TRU waste manager at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos Site Office. “We expect to send in the neighborhood of 200 shipments to WIPP this year.”

  • Mars landing may have some anxious moments

    Seven minutes of terror.

    It sounds like a Hollywood thriller, but the phrase describes the anxiety NASA is expecting as its car-sized robotic rover tries a tricky landing on Mars late Sunday.

    Skimming the top of the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph, the Curiosity rover needs to brake to a stop — in seven minutes.

    The rover is headed for a two-year mission to study whether Mars ever had the elements needed for microbial life.

    Because of its heft, the 2,000-pound robot, which has many instruments designed by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, can’t land the way previous spacecraft did.

  • TA-21 demolition makes Energy.gov photo of week

    Sarah Gerrity, Multimedia Editor, Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Energy, features "energy-related" photos on the Energy.gov website. This week, she featured a shot of demolition work being done at LANL.

  • GAO weighs in on NNSA

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that takes a look at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s reviews of budget estimates this week.

    And what did it find?

    The GAO says the NNSA needs to make better decisions when it comes to its budgets.

  • Martian fever comes to Bradbury

    Curious about Curiosity, the SUV-sized rover scheduled to touch down on Mars on Sunday? Then come to an opening party for a new exhibit about it this Sunday at the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos.
    The public is invited to a special opening reception beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday to celebrate Los Alamos National Laboratory technologies aboard the six-wheeled mobile science laboratory. The Curiosity rover, the centerpiece of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet Sunday at 11:31 p.m. local time. The museum plans to show the landing via NASA TV live that evening.

  • Anti-nuclear activities

    Friday in Santa Fe:

    • 5 p.m.-7 p.m.: Art exhibit at El Museo
    • Workshop on non-violent direct action (relating to activities planned for Mon. Aug. 6.
    Saturday in Santa Fe:

    • Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA), 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505
    Conference schedule:
    • 9 a.m.-9:15 a.m.: Ceremonial opening and blessing: Las Mujeras Hablan
    • 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.: Nuclear Weapons 101: With Jay Coghlan, Scott Kovac, and Marylia Kelley
    • 10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: The Bridge From Nuclear Weapons to Nuclear Power: Linda Gunter
    • 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Community Stories of the Nuclear Legacy: with Las Mujeras Hablan, Tina Cordova*, and Kristen Iverson