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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Ohio Rep. pushes funding move

    More details have emerged from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) after it marked up the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) when it comes to the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility.

    Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) submitted two amendments. The first of them would appropriate $160 million to the CMRR-NF for FY2013.  That’s $60 million more than HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) recommended in his mark-up on Monday.

    A couple of weeks ago, the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee provided zero funding for CMRR-NR in its FY 2013 bill. 

  • CMRR project may not be dead yet

    The House Armed Services Committee took another look at the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility and voted 38-24 to authorize the project.

    The amendment was a part of $643 billion defense bill passed by the committee early Thursday morning. There still is a long way to go. The bill still has to be passed by the House and the Senate.

  • Researchers test theory of planets

    Recent research by Jarrett Johnson and Hui Li of LANL’s Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology group suggests that the first planets in the universe formed well after the first generations of stars.

    The scientists calculated the minimum metallicity that must be present in the dusty disks surrounding newborn stars in order for planets to take shape.
    Astronomers use the term “metallicity” to refer to elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, such as oxygen, silicon and iron. Because the heavy elements required for assembling the cores of planets were not produced in the Big Bang, they must have been produced instead by fusion reactions within early generations of stars and supernovae.

  • Sandia ships final barrels of TRU waste to WIPP facility

    Sandia National Laboratories on Wednesday shipped its final four truckloads of radioactive legacy waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

    Gov. Susana Martinez was on hand for a press conference marking the final shipment of the so-called transuranic waste. 

    “This is a significant milestone in our efforts to protect New Mexico’s environment and keep our state beautiful,” Martinez said. “Today’s final shipment of TRU waste demonstrates an important partnership with Sandia National Laboratories as we work to preserve our state for future generations.”

  • LANL wins six pollution prevention awards

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has congratulated its national laboratories and sites for achievements in environmental stewardship, awarding a total of 24 Pollution Prevention (P2) Awards for innovative initiatives across the enterprise.
    The P2 Awards recognize performance in integrating environmental stewardship practices that helps to reduce risk, protect natural resources and enhance site operations.

  • Labs recognize small businesses for innovation

    Ten projects developed by New Mexico small businesses using technical expertise and assistance of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories were recognized at the 11th Innovation Celebration Tuesday sponsored by the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program at Encantado Resort in Tesuque.
    The researchers from LANL and Sandia Labs, who assisted the companies, received a medal from NMSBA.
    Among the businesses recognized were:
    • The Pueblo of Zia, to develop and export renewable energy in a project that aligns its culture and values with its economic goals. LANL assisted the pueblo with site assessments, energy transmission and distribution system access, and economic analysis of energy alternatives.

  • Plan B is in the works for CMRR

    Apparently, there are plans in the works for an alternative solution to the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility, which was deferred for five years by the administration.

    So what is Plan B exactly?

    The public is not sure yet.

    According to the Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor, the NNSA plans to use an existing facility at Los Alamos, the Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building, as well as Lawrence Livermore’s Superblock Facility and the Device Assembly Facility (DAF) at the Nevada National Security Site, and Los Alamos was expected to analyze several key components of the project during a 60-day study.

  • LAESF kickoff at Bradbury

    Many supporters of the Los Alamos Employees Scholarship Fund turned out for a kick-off reception Thursday evening. 

  • Future of CMRR meetings in question

    Sometimes, the show must go on.

    NNSA has decided to defer the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility for at least five years.
    Activists rejoiced. Those at LANL and NNSA regrouped.

    End of story, right?

    Not so fast.

    As part of a 2005 settlement between the Department of Energy/LANL and a coalition of community groups, a decision was reached to hold semi-annual meetings to discuss CMRR updates.

    Wednesday night at Fuller Lodge there was another one of those meetings.

    Steve Fong of the Los Alamos Site Office told those in attendance to expect the design deliverables to be completed by the end of the year and that the design was in “closeout mode.”

  • DOE awards contract to WIPP

     The U.S. Department of Energy announced that Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (members comprised of URS Energy and Construction, Inc., of Boise, Idaho; Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., of Lynchburg, Va.; and major subcontractor, AREVA Federal Services LLC, of Bethesda, Md.) has been awarded a $1.3 billion contract for management and operating at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.  
    The five-year contract contains an option to extend for an additional five years. The M and O contractor manages the WIPP site and the Department’s National Transuranic Waste program. After a transition period, the contractor will assume responsibility for M and O of the WIPP facility on Oct. 1.