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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • McMillan addresses community leaders' event

    Los Alamos Site Office Manager Kevin Smith probably summed it best when it comes to LANL Director Charlie McMillan.

    “It was a good first month challenge for a new lab director,” Smith said.

    McMillan, attending his first regional community leaders’ breakfast as director, assumed the post at the beginning of June. But on June 26, the Las Conchas Fire erupted, threatening the lab and the townsite.

    McMillan put himself up front and center during the crisis, attending daily news conferences at Ashley Pond. And most of what the lab went through during the fire already has been well documented.

  • Cielo begins high res 3-D weapon simulations

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced that it has begun production runs focusing on high resolution 3-D weapon simulations on NNSA’s largest supercomputer platform, Cielo.
    The simulations will be used to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile while maintaining the moratorium on underground nuclear explosive testing. Users from NNSA’s laboratories – Los Alamos (LANL), Lawrence Livermore and Sandia laboratories – are using Cielo for NNSA’s Capability Computing Campaign 2 (CCC2).

  • Spending cuts could impact lab

    Legislation was passed in the nick of time so the United States would not default on its obligations.

    But at what cost? And how will the national labs, including the one at Los Alamos, be affected?

    Most assuredly, the people at the National Nuclear Security Administration are now wondering, what is next?

    The answer is … nobody really knows.

    The compromise deal to persuade GOP lawmakers to raise the federal debt limit will cut federal spending by $2.1 trillion or more over the next decade. The bill allows a quick $900 billion increase in borrowing authority as well as a first installment on spending cuts amounting to $917 billion over a decade.

    But what about the other $1.4 trillion in cuts?

  • Hazmat Challenge is coming to LANL Aug. 2-5

    Twelve hazardous materials response teams from Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma will test their skills at the 15th annual Hazmat Challenge Aug. 2-5 sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory. The challenge provides hazardous materials responders the opportunity to network and learn new techniques under realistic conditions in a safe environment.
    Held at the Laboratory’s Technical Area 49, the event challenges participants to respond to simulated hazardous materials emergencies involving a rail car, a clandestine laboratory, transportation and industrial piping scenarios, simulated chemical releases, and a confined space incident, said Chris Rittner of the Laboratory’s Emergency Operations Division.

  • LANL employees raise $272K for scholarship fund

    Los Alamos National Laboratory employees pledged a record $272,000 during the 2011 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund drive. The drive encourages LANL employees, retirees, and subcontract personnel to donate to a fund that awards college scholarships to Northern New Mexico students. Further, more employees donated to the fund this year than in past years.
    Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages and operates the laboratory, will match employee contributions to the scholarship fund up to $250,000.
    Scholarships are awarded on the basis of grade-point average, test scores, diversity, financial need, academic rigor, leadership, and community involvement. Funds pledged will be used to award scholarships in 2012.

  • 133 acres burned on DOE, lab property

    Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory were insistent throughout that the Los Conchas Fire only came onto LANL and Department of Energy property twice.

    The first came when the fire jumped over NM 4 onto TA-49, causing a one-acre fire that was quickly extinguished June 27, the second day of the fire.

    The second came on July 2 when a squirrel touched contacts in an electrical substation’s transformer at TA-53, the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) Facility substation and that fire was put out within a short period.

    On Friday, the Las Conchas Burned Area Emergency Response team released the acreage burned by jurisdiction. The chart said that 133 acres burned on DOE and LANL property.

    So what’s the story?

  • Collection for pet supplies underway

    Tyler Ryan of Pet Pangaea and lab employee Gowri Srinivasan, who works in the Applied Mathematics and Plasma Physics group, take part in the Pet Supply Drive that runs through July 29.

  • Potential key to unlock biomass energy discovered

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center have found a potential key for unlocking the energy potential from non-edible biomass materials such as corn leaves and stalks, or switch grass.

    In a paper appearing in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Los Alamos researchers S. Gnanakaran, Giovanni Bellesia, and Paul Langan join Shishir Chundawat and Bruce Dale of Michigan State University, and collaborators from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in describing a potential pretreatment method that can make plant cellulose five times more digestible by enzymes that convert it into ethanol, a useful biofuel.

  • Lab cited for RACER violation

    The New Mexico Environment Department sent the Department of Energy and the Los Alamos National Security, LLC a notice of violation of the June 14, 2007 settlement agreement.
    In a letter dated June 3, 2011, the violation occurred when the respondents failed to enter environmental data, such as soil, rock and pore gas, from the Los Alamos National Laboratory every week into the Risk Analysis, Communication, Evaluation and Reduction (RACER).

  • LANL installs additional protective flood measures

    Los Alamos National Laboratory work crews completed additional flood and erosion-control measures this week to reduce the environmental effects of any flash floods following the Las Conchas Fire.

    Crews installed concrete barriers to protect wellheads, utility poles and underground natural gas lines in Los Alamos Canyon. They also installed sampling gauges on the lab’s western boundary to compare run-on water with run-off water and collected samples from fish at Cochiti Reservoir.

    Sampling is being coordinated with the New Mexico Environment Department and other agencies, and all results will be made public. Additional fish samples will be collected from the Rio Grande and at Cochiti Reservoir before and after the summer monsoons for comparison.