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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • LANL Foundation announces its scholarship recipients

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation through the Los Alamos Employees Scholarship Fund (LAESF) announces ten 2012 Regional College/Returning Student Scholarship Fund recipients.
    This fund awards scholarships to students returning to formal education, after a hiatus for other pursuits. These scholarship candidates may have left formal education for business, the military, or other reasons, possibly for an extended period, and are now seeking to expand their opportunities with a certificate or a two-year degree through a program in the regional area.

  • DOE mulls plutonium disposition

    The Department of Energy held a scoping meeting last week at Cities of Gold Casino to consider additional alternatives for the pit disassembly and conversion capability as it pertains to surplus plutonium disposition (SPD).

    The scoping period began with the issuance of the amended Notice of Intent on Jan. 12 and the scoping ends March 12.

    The Scope of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement will consider the following:
    • Options to disassemble pits and convert plutonium metal to an oxide for disposition.
    • Disposition of seven metric tons of additional pit plutonium.
    • Disposition of six metric tons of non-pit plutonium.
    • Irradiating Mixed Oxide (MXO) fuel in Tennessee Valley Authority reactors.

  • NNSA tackles safety concerns at PF-4

    Last week, the National Nuclear Security Administration sent a letter to the Defense Nuclear Safety Board concerning the safety of the Plutonium Facility (PF-4) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The DNFSB asked NNSA and lab officials numerous questions about the safety of the facility at a hearing in Santa Fe late last year.

    In the letter, Donald Cook, the deputy administrator for weapons programs wrote, “Our evaluation of the existing PF-4 facility in 2008 established a Documented Safety Analysis (DSA) for the facility that was compliant with the Department’s Nuclear Safety Rule.

  • LANL conference set for Thursday

    Over the next five years, the Laboratory plans to award some $200 million in master task order agreements for general construction services, such as civil, architectural-structural, electrical, mechanical and piping.
    Learn specifics about the task order agreements at a free general construction services solicitation conference from 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque.
    Laboratory procurement, construction, and contract management staff will make presentations and be available to answer questions about the master task order agreements, and LANL’s safety, security, quality assurance, and Lab engineering standards requirements, explained Acting Associate Director for Project Management John Bretzke.

  • Controversial ‘icon’ takes in DOE meeting

    Just before the public comment session of Thursday night’s public scoping meeting to discuss the Department of Energy’s Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, the crowd grew noticeably larger at the Cities of Gold Hotel conference room.

    At that point, it was pretty clear this was not going to be an ordinary public comment session.

    A group of about 20 members representing the Citizens of the American Constitution for Nuclear Non-Proliferation entered the room. That wasn’t all.

  • Review cites issues with CMR fire suppression system

    The Office of Enforcement and Oversight conducted an independent review of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) Facility fire suppression system (FSS) safety system last July.

    And the results were just recently released.

    “The DOE-HS and NNSA LASO review of the CMR fire suppression system was part of DOE’s normal processes to maintain operational awareness of the status of important safety systems, communicate identified issues, and ensure continuous improvement.  This assessment and improvement process increases DOE, NNSA, and LANS confidence that safety-credited systems will function upon demand in the event of an accident,” said Chuck Keilers, LASO Assistant Manager for Safety Operations.

  • IBEX probe glimpses Interstellar Neighborhood

    Space scientists, including researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, have described the first detailed analyses of captured interstellar neutral atoms—raw material for the formation of new stars, planets and even human beings.

    The information was presented in Washington, D.C., at a press conference sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    Researchers presented data from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), which directly sampled material carried from outside our solar system across the galaxy by solar and stellar winds. Full details of the research comprise a six-paper special section in the February edition of Astrophysical Journal Supplements.

  • CMRR funding in limbo

    What’s next for the future of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility in the next fiscal year is just about anybody’s guess.

    Last week, an article in the Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor, said Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) officials are bracing for a “massive cut” to the proposed CMRR facility.

    “We’re not expecting funding for CMRR (in FY2013),” a LANL manager told the trade publication.  “Right now, we’re planning to go without.”

    In FY 12, the project did receive $200 million in funding but the final Congressional report said that no construction activities were funded.

  • LANL honors four for leadership, research

    Achievements in scientific research and leadership are being honored at Los Alamos National Laboratory this week.
    Laboratory Director Charles McMillan and the Laboratory’s Fellows organization have awarded the 2011 Fellows Prize for Leadership in Science or Engineering to scientists John Gordon of LANL’s Inorganic Isotope & Actinide Chemistry group and Geoffrey Reeves of the Lab’s Space Science & Applications group.
    “This year’s Fellows Prize winners embody the excellence of the science that is so vital to completing our national security missions,” McMillan said. “I congratulate each of the four winners and salute their creativity and innovation.”

  • DOE to Transfer Tracts to County

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration issued an amended Record of Decision (ROD) to the Environmental Impact Statement for the conveyance and transfer of certain land tracts to Los Alamos County.

    The tracts include the remaining acreage of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 21 (about 245 acres) and the remaining acreage of the Airport Tract (about 55 acres).

    In the ROD, NNSA administrator Thomas D’Agostino wrote that DOE/NNSA has determined that it is no longer necessary to retain these lands and will make them available for conveyance and transfer.