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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Record of Decision reached on CMRR project

    A Record of Decision (ROD) has been issued for the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facility Wednesday afternoon by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

    Sources close to the situation have indicated the decision has been made to move ahead with the project that promises to be an economic shot in the arm for the Los Alamos area at least during the construction phase of the multi-billion dollar project.

    The NNSA is remaining mum on the decision, according to spokesperson Toni Chiri, who said a press release will be issued Thursday morning with details of the ROD.

    “We will be spending tonight making Congressional notification,” she said.

  • Lab finishes demolition of former admin building--video extra

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has completed demolition of its former Administration Building. Demolition of the 316,500-square-foot building that was home to seven Laboratory directors was completed five months ahead of the original schedule and significantly under budget.

    “After we removed all regulated, hazardous materials such as asbestos, our team was able to recycle about 95 percent of the building,” said Darrik Stafford, LANL’s project director for the demolition.

    “At more than 300,000 square feet, this was a sizable undertaking,” added John Gallegos of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office. “I am pleased with the results of this project.”

  • Sayre joins LANL for plant research

    Richard Sayre, one of the nation’s top specialists in algae and energy-producing plant research, has joined the Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory to help boost cutting-edge research in this area.

    Cited by Nature magazine as “one of five crop researchers who could change the world,” Sayre brings a crew of postdoctoral researchers and a range of funding to LANL.

  • Lab, subcontractors help flood-damaged Santa Clara Pueblo

    LANL and a consortium of major subcontractors, including EnergySolutions and Frank’s Supply Company, teamed to help Santa Clara Pueblo this week as families there struggle with the effects of flooding caused by the Las Conchas Fire.

    Two front-end loaders from EnergySolutions will help the Pueblo remove debris and mud from retention ponds and drainages. Without properly functioning flood controls, storm water simply flushes down canyon—taking trees, boulders, trash, and anything in its way.

  • NNSA disassembles nuclear weapons pits

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced this week that it had successfully disassembled nuclear weapons “pits” and converted them into more than 240 kg of plutonium oxide, an initial step in permanent plutonium disposition.
    The certified oxide is an initial source of feed for NNSA’s Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility, which is currently under construction at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The disassembly, conversion and certification, which were completed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), is a significant accomplishment in an ongoing effort to safely dispose of surplus weapon-grade plutonium.

  • LANL sets waste hauling record

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has set a new LANL record for the amount of transuranic (TRU) waste from past nuclearoperations shipped in a single year to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, NM. In fact, the lab has shipped record numbers of transuranic waste each of the past three years.

    The lab’s TRU Waste Program completed 171 shipments in the past fiscal year, between October 2010 and September 2011, breaking last year’s record of 158. The Lab has ramped up its waste disposal effort and has transported more than 450 shipments safely to WIPP since 2009.

  • Researcher nets Presidential Award

    Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Evgenya Simakov has been named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

    Simakov, of the Laboratory’s Acceleration and Operations Technology Division, was one of 94 scientists within 16 federal agencies nationwide to receive the honor.

  • LANL Researcher Nets Presidential Early Career Award

    Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Evgenya Simakov has been named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Simakov, of the Laboratory’s Acceleration and Operations Technology Division, was one of 94 scientists within 16 federal agencies nationwide to receive the honor.

  • Aspen probe widens

    Officials are still working on the autopsy of the infamous aspen tree that caused the largest wildfire in New Mexico history and threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Town Site.
    Last month, Bob Parmenter, Dennis Trujillo, and Rebecca Oertel from the Valles Caldera, and Craig Allen, Collin Haffey, and Leanna Lucore from Bandelier, discovered the tree lying across the power line right-of-way on a ridge-top about a quarter mile west of Las Conchas.

  • Safety Board eyes criticality issues during LANL inspection

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board was in Los Alamos last month to meet with NNSA and lab officials and tour transuranic waste operations at Area G and review seismic upgrades the Plutonium Facility.

    In a memorandum dated Aug. 19, addressed to technical director T.J. Dwyer, a number of infractions were uncovered.

    At the Plutonium facility, a criticality safety infraction was declared. Nuclear criticality safety is dedicated to the prevention of  accidents resulting from an inadvertent, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.