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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • 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

  • Protesters coming to LA

    With anti-nuclear groups coming to town Sunday and Monday to mark the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, residents can expect a little more edge and passion to the protests and events, thanks to the national “Occupy” movement.

    “This year, we’ve had lots of participation because of the Occupy movement,” co- organizer Bud Ryan said. “This year, we have more than 30 volunteers helping us.”

  • More questions on PF-4

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board is keeping tabs on the Department of Energy, NNSA and the Los Alamos National Laboratory when it comes to the structural integrity of the Plutonium Facility (PF-4).

    In DNFSB’s latest letter, dated July 18, the board said an ongoing government analysis of the lab’s ability to withstand earthquakes may be flawed.

    The board used the term “technically inadequate” in several ways when it described the lab’s own analysis of how well PF-4 would hold up in a strong earthquake.

    The letter stated, “Timely action must be taken to fully understand if additional building modifications are required.”

  • Seen @ the Scene: Lab Picnic

    Hundreds turned out for the annual laboratory picnic with fun-for-the-family games, prizes, demonstrations and food. Free sno cones made life grand for children of all ages, while many participated in dancing and Zumba.

  • Plutonium disposition project possible

    The National Nuclear Security Administration has released the Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment.

    And not surprisingly, Los Alamos could be in the mix.

    The Draft Supplemental EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for the disposition of 7.1 metric tons (MT) of additional weapons-usable plutonium from pits that were declared surplus to national defense needs in 2007 but were not included in DOE’s prior decisions as well as 6 MT of surplus weapons-usable non-pit plutonium.

  • NNSA looks to impede nuclear threat

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced the approval of nearly $3 million in funding for collaborative research and development projects aimed at addressing nuclear security challenges.

    The projects, financed by NNSA’s Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (GIPP) program, will be managed jointly through the intergovernmental International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), located in the Russian Federation, and the Science and Technology Center (STCU) in Ukraine.