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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • NNSA, labs need to mend fences

    Scientists and engineers at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) three national security laboratories appear committed to their work and core mission of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile, but according to a new National Research Council  report, a “broken relationship” between NNSA and the labs threatens to erode the quality of the scientific research and engineering being conducted there.

    The committee that wrote the report said that an intrusive degree of oversight stemming from past security and safety concerns at one of the labs has led to a “breakdown of trust.”

  • LISC seeks feedback from LANL employees

    In the past three weeks, LANL employees have submitted more than 200 cost-saving ideas to the Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council (LISC) through a direct email address and a blog on the lab’s internal website.
    Submitted ideas went through a screening and scoring process aimed at finding everything from “low-hanging fruit” (easy to implement, high potential savings) to longer term, more complicated projects. And some of those ideas were submitted anonymously.
    Other criteria included the ability to measure the savings, the impact of implementation, and whether the idea presents any compliance issues with safety, environmental, labor, or other regulations.

  • LANL gets $239 million for cleanup

    While most of the attention fell on the deferment of the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility, President Obama’s FY13 budget called for an increase in appropriation when it comes to cleanup.
    The request is up $51 million from $188 million to $239 million, and will allow LANL to pursue cleanup in accordance with the consent order with the state.
    The increase includes an extra $36 million to expedite the removal of above ground TRU waste and an extra $13 million to meet milestones on soil and water remediation.
    The budget allocation also took two construction projects at LANL.

  • Wilson: Congressional delegation failed to stick up for Los Alamos

    Heather Wilson, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, said she is very concerned about Los Alamos.
    After President Obama released the FY13 budget, it was revealed the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement project would be deferred for at least five years.

    “A little over a year ago, President Obama made a commitment to modernize our nuclear weapons complex in order to maintain a safe, reliable nuclear deterrent at lower levels of forces,” Wilson said. “That commitment included replacing a 60-year-old facility at Los Alamos for handling plutonium. In his new budget, however, President Obama has broken that commitment. And as a result, an estimated 1,000 jobs will be killed for 10 years in Los Alamos.”

  • Local leaders react to CMRR decision

    “Funding for national security and science at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including the CMRR Project” is one of the top four priorities for the county council’s 2012 Federal Agenda.

    Council will have to work even harder to achieve that goal, now that President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal recommends putting CMRR funding on hold for five years.

    “We’re very disappointed. I’m really trying to understand what went wrong with this. The administration was in support of this at one time,” Council Chair Sharon Stover said.

    Neither county officials nor the business community were surprised by the decision.

  • Obama Administration mulls historic nuclear weapons cuts

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.

    Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama's 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.

  • CMRR to be deferred five years

    The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF) at Los Alamos National Laboratory will be deferred for at least five years, according to President Obama’s FY 2013 Budget request to Congress Monday.

    According to the budget request, “The Administration proposes deferring the construction of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facility and meeting plutonium requirements by using existing facilities in the nuclear complex.”

    And what was the justification?

  • Construction begins on TRU Waste facility

    Construction has begun on a new facility that will help Los Alamos National Laboratory accelerate the shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste stored in large boxes at Technical Area 54, Area G.

    The new facility will allow the Lab to repackage boxes as large as 25 feet long that contain TRU waste from as long ago as the 1970s. Mostly equipment stored in fiberglass reinforced boxes, the waste must be repackaged into containers that meet stringent requirements before it can be shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad for permanent disposal.

  • Legislators want federal help at Area G

    House Memorial 33, which requests full federal funding for cleanup of Area G in Los Alamos, passed unanimously in the state House Representatives and Senate Thursday.

    The memorial was introduced by Jim Hall (R-Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Sandoval Counties).

  • Stockpile Stewardship: Los Alamos

    "Heritage of Science" is a short video that highlights the Stockpile Stewardship program at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Stockpile Stewardship was conceived in the early 1990s as a national science-based program that could assure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear deterrent without the need for full-scale underground nuclear testing.