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Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Scholarship committee evaluates its priorities

    Newly elected Los Alamos Employee’s Scholarship Fund Chair Phil Tubesing led the Advisory Committee’s self-assessment retreat recently at the LANL Foundation offices in Española.
    The committee annually evaluates outreach practices, criteria and selections, fundraising and summer job placement at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in addition to welcoming new volunteer members.
    Tubesing, who has been a donor since the scholarship campaign began in 1998, said serving on the committee is one of the most rewarding things he does.
     “It was an easy choice to support and participate in the funding and distribution of scholarships in a place I’ve called home for over 20 years. We’ve awarded nearly 1,000 scholarships to amazing students.”
    Serving on the 2014–15 Committee are Eve Bauer, Julie Bremser, David Bowman, Michael Cai, Immediate Past Chair Rebecca Chamberlin, David Chavez, Norman Delamater, Randy Erickson, Greg Erpenbeck, Bryan Fearey, LANL Foundation Scholarship Program Officer Tony Fox, Phil Goldstone, Elaine Jacobs, Leon Lopez, Wendy Marcus, Rebecca Martinez, Stephanie McReynolds, Anne Menefee, Evelyn Mullen, Carole Rutten, Andrea Salazar, Tania Sanchez, Toni Taylor, Donald Thorp, Patrick Trujillo, Phil Tubesing and Clare Webber.

  • WIPP cleanup plans expected in two weeks

    CARLSBAD (AP) — Officials working to reopen the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico say they are making significant progress and will detail their recovery plans in two weeks.
    Tammy Reynolds, who is leading the effort at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, told a community meeting Thursday evening that there are more than 7,000 pieces to the plan for cleaning up radiological contamination and resuming operations after a mysterious February leak that contaminated 22 workers.
    Officials have said it could be three years before WIPP completely reopens.
    It’s still unclear exactly what caused the leak from a barrel of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    WIPP is the government’s only permanent repository for legacy waste such as contaminated gloves, tools and clothing from decades of nuclear bomb building.
     

  • Secure Computing for the 'Everyman'

    The largest information technology agreement ever signed by Los Alamos National Laboratory brings the potential for truly secure data encryption to the marketplace after nearly 20 years of development at the nation’s premier national-security science laboratory.
    “Quantum systems represent the best hope for truly secure data encryption because they store or transmit information in ways that are unbreakable by conventional cryptographic methods,” said Duncan McBranch, Chief Technology Officer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “This licensing agreement with Whitewood Encryption Systems, Inc. is historic in that it takes our groundbreaking technical work that was developed over two decades into commercial encryption applications.”
    By harnessing the quantum properties of light for generating random numbers, and creating cryptographic keys with lightning speed, the technology enables a completely new commercial platform for real-time encryption at high data rates.
     For the first time, ordinary citizens and companies will be able to use cryptographic systems that have only been the subject of experiments in the world’s most advanced physics and computing laboratories for real-world applications.

  • Grand Canyon awaits LANL scientist

    Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist, Pawel Listwan, has always liked a challenge — like leaving his home country of Poland at the age of 19, living, studying and exploring Australia for nearly twenty years and arriving in Los Alamos eight years ago where he settled with his wife Dorota Listwan and their three children.
     In November 2012, together with his business partners, Patrick Mockler-Wood, Catherine Mockler and his wife Dorota, they opened the Pajarito Brewpub.
    Now Listwan has set his sights on a new challenge. On Sept. 24, Listwan will join Albuquerque attorney, Matthew Vance, at the Grand Canyon to step off the South Rim in pre-dawn darkness for a 48-mile “Feat for Justice” fundraising hike to support New Mexico Legal Aid’s Veterans Justice Project.
    They will hike “rim-to-rim-to-rim,” from the South Rim to the Canyon floor, up to the North Rim, back down and up to the South Rim again, all in 22 hours or less.

  • C-130 makes way to LANL

    Los Alamos National Laboratory finally received a C-130 airplane from Kirtland Air Force Base Thursday. The fuselage of the plane will be used for emergency response training purposes. The plane, which is surplus from Kirtland Air Force Base, has been demilitarized and will be located at the laboratory’s emergency response training area at Technical Area 49. The transport was delayed a day. 

  • LANL to receive C-130 airplane for training purposes

    Los Alamos National Laboratory will receive a C-130 airplane from Kirtland Air Force Base. The fuselage of the plane will be used for emergency response training purposes.
    “This plane will boost our training capabilities for first responders,” Christian Rittner of the Laboratory’s Security and Emergency Operations Division said.
    The plane, which is surplus from Kirtland Air Force Base, has been demilitarized and will be located at the laboratory’s emergency response training area at Technical Area 49.
    The C-130 will depart from Kirtland today via flatbed truck and will arrive in Los Alamos. The expected transportation time is six hours and will be transported, under escort by New Mexico State Police, via Interstate 25, north to N.M. 599, to U.S. 84/285, west on N.M. 502 and up N.M. 4 to Technical Area 49.
    Motorists traveling along the expected route from Albuquerque to Los Alamos should be aware that this transportation could cause traffic delays and adjust their schedules, or take an alternate route.
     

  • Former Sandia scientist pleads guilty to transporting government property to China

     Jianyu Huang, a scientist formerly employed by Sandia Corporation at Sandia National Laboratories pleaded guilty this afternoon to making a false statement and unlawfully transporting converted government property in interstate and foreign commerce.
    The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.
    Huang, 46, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the People’s Republic of China who resides in Albuquerque was arrested in June 2012, on a six-count indictment charging him with misusing U.S. government resources and equipment to conduct research for Chinese research institutions and with falsely stating that he did not intend to take U.S. government equipment with him on a trip to China. The indictment subsequently was superseded to add an interstate transportation of converted property charge and a theft of government property charge. Huang was employed by Sandia until his employment was terminated in late April 2012.

  • New nuke pit report released

    Jonathan Medalia, a specialist in nuclear weapons policy with the
    Congressional Research Service in Washington, has issued another report in regards to manufacturing nuclear weapons pits.
    It’s called “A Decision making approach for Congress” and the Los Alamos National Laboratory is front and center in the report.
    Medalia starts off with a little history. First off, a “pit” is the plutonium “trigger” of a thermonuclear weapon.
    During the Cold War, the Rocky Flats Plant (Colorado) made up to 2,000 pits per year (ppy), but ceased operations in 1989. Since then,the Department of Energy (DOE) has made at most 11 ppy for the stockpile, yet the Department of Defense stated that it needs DOE to have a capacity of 50 to 80 ppy to extend the life of certain weapons and for other purposes.
    Medalia’s report focuses on 80 ppy, the upper end of this range.
    And he explains what options are out there.

  • Scientists urge rehiring of fired nuke lab worker

    SANTA FE (AP) — A group of scientists who work to limit the spread of nuclear weapons is urging the U.S. Energy Secretary to intervene on behalf of a fired worker at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Santa Fe political scientist James Doyle says he was fired after 17 years on the job in July after writing an article for a nonprofit website in support of abolishing nuclear weapons.
    Doyle worked on the lab’s non-proliferation team.
    Federation of American Scientists President Charles Ferguson urged Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to ensure that that Doyle isn’t penalized for participating in the national dialogue over nuclear policy. Doyle tells the Santa Fe New Mexican he was fired after lab officials claimed his article raised classification concerns.
    He says the article had been cleared for publication. 

  • Cleanup project begins at upper Truck Route

    Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Corrective Actions Program has begun a legacy-contaminant soil cleanup project at the former Technical Area 61.
    Located on the south side of East Jemez Road adjacent to the county landfill, the project began on Aug. 11 and will last until mid-September.
    Crews will excavate about 120 cubic yards of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are common in industrial sites, from a utility corridor where a leaking transformer was staged in the past. The contamination is underground, covered with clean soil, and poses no human health risks.
    “This is yet another step in a larger effort to clean up sites around Los Alamos that are more accessible to the public,” said Corrective Actions Program Director Dave McInroy. “We hope to increase this type of work during the next two years.”
    Crews will use an excavator to remove contaminated soil and replace it with fresh fill. The work will occur behind temporary fencing and is not expected to impact traffic.
    “We look forward to doing this work safely and returning the site in good environmental condition which will not restrict future use,” McInroy said.