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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • World record set for neutron beam at LANL

    Using a one-of-a-kind laser system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists have created the largest neutron beam ever made by a short-pulse laser, breaking a world record. Neutron beams are usually made with particle accelerators or nuclear reactors and are commonly used in a wide variety of scientific research, particularly in advanced materials science.

    Using the TRIDENT laser, a unique and powerful 200 trillion-watt short-pulse laser, scientists from Los Alamos, the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, and Sandia National Laboratories focus high-intensity light on an ultra-thin plastic sheet infused with an isotope of hydrogen called deuterium.

  • U.S. releases updated plutonium inventory report

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the public release of a report that details the current plutonium inventory of the U.S.

    Titled the United States Plutonium Balance, 1944-2009, the document serves as an update to Plutonium: the First 50 Years, which was first released by the Department of Energy (DOE) in 1996.

    The report provides the U.S. inventory of plutonium owned by DOE and includes material in the possession of the Department of Defense (DoD). It can be found online at nnsa.energy.gov/plutoniuminventory.

    As an update to the report released in 1996, the current document provides data on the plutonium inventory through 2009.

  • House seeks GAO review

    Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee requested this week that the Government Accountability Office evaluate the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s efforts to upgrade radioactive waste management capabilities, critical to maintaining its nuclear weapons stockpile.

    In addition, committee leaders requested that the GAO evaluate the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) procedures for evaluating independent contractors charged with operations and management.
    LANL spokesperson Kevin Roark said all questions should be directed to the NNSA.

    Spokesperson Josh McConaha said that NNSA had no comment.

  • Groundbreaking for new fire center

    Marking the one-year anniversary of the Las Conchas Fire — the state’s second largest fire —was the groundbreaking of a new, permanent Interagency Fire Center Tuesday.

    The effort — stemming from coordination among several agencies during last year’s fire — is part of a partnership between the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Bandelier National Monument, and Santa Fe National Forest.

    The 6,400 sq. ft. building will be located at Technical Area 49, and will accommodate up to three helicopters and other equipment used for firefighting activities.

    The project is expected to be complete by next spring.

  • LANL celebrates 1,000th TRU Waste Shipment to WIPP

    Gov. Susana Martinez was in attendance Tuesday but there was another governor that was just as thrilled to commemorate the 1,000th shipment of transuranic (TWU) waste from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    San Ildefonso Governor Terry Aguilar, whose pueblo borders the lab, had the distinction of being on hand for the first shipment back in 1999.

    “We can throw a rock across this area,” Aguilar said Tuesday at the TA-54 site. “This is important because this is our land and our people. People live here and cherish the land.”

    The domes where the waste was stored above ground inside Area G at TA-54 remains an eyesore for the pueblo.

    “But we cherish the fact that this waste is being removed,” Aguilar said.

  • Gov. Martinez visits LANL

    Gov. Susana Martinez was in Los Alamos today to mark the one-year anniversary of the Las Conchas Fire as well at the 1,000th shipment of Transuranic (TRU) waste from LANL to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.
    In 2011, the Las Conchas Fire consumed more than 156,000 acres of land around Los Alamos and the lab site, making it the largest wildfire in state history at the time.
    Following the fire, Martinez directed the New Mexico Environment Department to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to prioritize the removal of all above ground TRU waste that remains stored on the lab site.
     The Martinez administration and federal officials came to an agreement that would remove all above-ground TRU waste from the lab site by the June 2014.

  • LANS set to give $180k in donations

    Nonprofit organizations will receive more than $180,000 from Los Alamos National Security, LLC during a recognition event beginning at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, at Fuller Lodge in downtown Los Alamos.
    LANS contributions are determined by the number of volunteer hours logged by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) employees and retirees through an organization called VolunteerMatch.

  • Fire center groundbreaking

    Marking the one-year anniversary of the Las Conchas Fire — the state’s second largest fire –— is the groundbreaking of a new, permanent Interagency Fire Center. The effort - stemming from coordination among several agencies during last year’s fire — is part of a partnership between the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Bandelier National Monument, and Santa Fe National Forest. The project is expected to be complete by next spring. Details in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Letter urges Senate to kill CMRR

    The Los Alamos Study Group, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and the Project on Government Oversight sent a letter to the ranking members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and other organizations, urging them to cancel the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility at Los Alamos.

    The letter was sent to ranking Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman and ranking member respectively of the Senate committee that granted funding for fiscal year 2013.  

  • DOE meets with tribal leaders

    DENVER — The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management made history Tuesday by bringing together the leaders of eight Tribal Nations to discuss progress in the nuclear cleanup and build partnerships to better shape the future of DOE sites.
    The first-ever Tribal Leader Dialogue marked the largest gathering of leaders of Tribal Nations located near EM cleanup sites with senior DOE officials for a high-level discussion. Their meeting focused on enhancing the involvement of the Tribal Nations in decisions regarding EM’s cleanup mission and future initiatives at EM sites. In all, nine Tribal Nations were represented.