Environment

New Planetarium Feature Film This Weekend: Back To The Moon for Good

Poster for ‘Back to the Moon For Good’ Courtesy/PEEC
 

PEEC News:

Back To The Moon For Good, an exciting, educational full-dome show narrated by award-winning actor Tim Allen, premieres at Los Alamos Nature Center 2 p.m. Oct. 24 and 25.

The 25-minute digital film highlights the history of exploring the moon and provides an insider’s look at the teams vying for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history.

Back To The Moon For Good begins with a tour through the history of lunar exploration, tracing back to the 1960s and 1970s. We hear from some


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Final 2015 Fourth Friday Oct. 23

CREATIVE DISTRICT News:

Los Alamos Creative District’s Final Fourth Friday of 2015 will happen in downtown Los Alamos this Friday, Oct. 23. Fourth Friday will begin again in January 2016.

Fourth Fridays is a monthly event that offers extended hours or special programming at Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos Historical Society, Fuller Lodge Art Center, The Nature Center and Mesa Public Library. Fourth Fridays also promotes special offerings from participating local businesses. This month Fourth Friday special events and include:

The Bradbury Science Museum  will


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Rings of Fire: New Explosives Provide Enhanced Safety, High Energy

Explosives chemist David Chavez weighs a small amount of tetrazine, an explosives precursor. Chavez has synthesized two new explosives molecules that promise high-energy with enhanced safety. Courtesy/LANL

A small amount of explosive material is subjected to shock wave with a striker plate to induce detonation. An explosive material’s insensitivity — it’s resistance to accidental or unintended detonation — is one set of data measured using this type of test. Photo by Daniel Preston/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory explosives chemist David Chavez has synthesized


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NNSA Announces Procurement Of Penguin Computing Clusters To Support Stockpile Stewardship At National Laboratories

Doug Wade

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.  The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory today announced the awarding of a subcontract to Penguin Computing – a leading developer of high-performance Linux cluster computing systems based in Silicon Valley – to bolster computing for stockpile stewardship at its three national security laboratories.

Under the terms of the contract, awarded by Lawrence Livermore for NNSA’s tri-lab Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program, Penguin Computing will receive $39 million to provide


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Public Input And Concerns Sought At Road Map Meeting Oct. 20

NMED News:

  • State of New Mexico Develops Collaborative Plan for Monitoring of Gold King Mine Spill’s Long-Term Effects

SANTA FE—The State of New Mexico’s multi-agency Long-Term Impact Review Team, named by Gov. Susana Martinez during the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gold King Mine Spill last August, is developing the Road Map for continuing environmental monitoring activities that are informed by continuing public input. 

By collaborating with San Juan County’s civic and regional leaders, academia, stakeholder groups, and concerned citizens, and by reaching out to the


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Scenes From Sunday’s PEECnic At Nature Center

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com


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New Project Seeks To Improve Water Management

Release valve for holding tank. Courtesy photo

 

By MANDY MARKSTEINER

Los Alamos

 

Rivers in New Mexico are often nothing more than a slow trickle.

 

David Montoya grew up in a family who has used traditional irrigation for generations. He is concerned because small farms can no longer get by as well as they used to using the acequia system.

 

“Drought conditions in the Southwest have caused quite a disruption in how irrigation is done,” Montoya said. “There is little water left for traditional irrigation.”

 

Montoya decided to do something about it. He is investigating


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Home Efficiency Expo In Los Alamos Oct. 24

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is hosting a Home Efficiency Expo Saturday, Oct. 24.

The event will be held at the Golf Course Community Building at 4244 Diamond Dr. in Los Alamos and is free to the public. Home owners and renters alike are invited to drop in between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

According to DPU’s Conservation Coordinator Christine Chavez, “the purpose of the Expo is to assist our community to lower their utility bills by bringing organizations, vendors and customers all together in one place where they can learn how to make homes more water and energy


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NMED Improvement Board Hosts Public Hearing

NMED News:

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m., Dec. 18 in Room 322 at the State Capitol Building, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the matter of EIB 15-01(R), proposed amendments to 20.2.77 NMAC (New Source Performance Standards), 20.2.78 NMAC (Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) and 20.2.82 NMAC (Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Source Categories of Hazardous Air Pollutants).

The New Mexico Environment Department is petitioning the EIB to amend these rules


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W80-4: Sandia California Works On Nuclear Weapon Life Extension Program

The W80-4 mechanical team at Sandia National Laboratories reviews the results of thermal analysis. From the top center, counterclockwise, are Ryan Johnson, Bryn Miyahara, Alvin Leung and Matt H. Jones. Photo by Randy Wong

SANDIA LABS News:

ALBUQUERQUE — Sandia National Laboratories is doing what it hasn’t done in decades: extending the life of a nuclear warhead at the same time the U.S. Air Force develops a replacement cruise missile that will carry the weapon.

The goal of the W80-4 Life Extension Program (LEP) is refurbishing the W80 warhead with replacement components for aging technology


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Valles Caldera Plans Prescribed Burn Thursday

VCNP News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS – The Valles Caldera National Preserve is planning to implement a prescribed burn project Thursday, Oct. 15. 

The prescribed burn will be within a 380-acre unit on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, north of N.M. 4 in the Banco Bonito area near mile marker 30. Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the burn may be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area. The burn operations should be completed in 1-2 days and are not expected to necessitate road closures.

The pretreatment of the forest substantially reduced the amount of fuel


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Public Astronomy Dark Night Saturday Oct. 17

PAJARITO ASTRONOMERS News:

The Pajarito Astronomers will hold a County-sponsored Dark Night starting at 6:30 p.m. (sunset) Saturday, Oct. 17 at Spirio Soccer Field in Overlook Park in white Rock.

Weather permitting, the public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes, and star gaze. A crescent moon and the planets Saturn, Neptune and Uranus may be visible. 

There will be a tour of the summer and fall constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Viewing will end before


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Trustees Reach $4 Million Settlement With Chevron Molycorp To Restore Natural Resources Near Questa

NMED Ryan Flynn
 
NMED News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Natural Resource Trustees and Chevron Molycorp Inc. reached a $4 million settlement to restore natural resources injured as a result of releases of hazardous substances from the Chevron Molycorp mine facility in Questa.
 
The Trustees will use the money to implement restoration projects that benefit natural resources through the implementation of restoration projects that have yet to be specifically selected.
 
Such projects would be implemented in the area of the mine facility and include projects that compensate

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Waters Of The U.S. Rule Blocked Nationwide

NMED News:

The Oct. 9 Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling applying a nationwide stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineer’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule affirms the success already achieved by the New Mexico Environment Department, Office of the State Engineer, and 12 other Rocky Mountain coalition states in halting the implementation of the WOTUS rule, while the rule’s serious deficiencies are litigated. 

The federal appeals court in Ohio ruled that delaying implementation of the WOTUS rule nationwide, while litigation proceeds, would not threaten


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DOE Invests Over $34 Million To Improve Protection Of Nation’s Energy Infrastructure

DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting America’s energy critical infrastructure, the Energy Department (DOE) announced more than $34 million for two projects that will improve the protection of the U.S. electric grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure from cyber threats.
 
The University of Arkansas and the University of Illinois will assemble teams with expertise in power systems engineering and the computer science of cybersecurity to develop new technologies that will help protect energy delivery systems

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Mountain Biking In The Jemez With Tom Mayer Oct. 17

Mountain bikers enjoying Jemez hidden single track. Courtesy/PEEC
 
PEEC News:
 
Calling all mountain bikers! Tom Mayer will guide an intermediate mountain bike ride Saturday, Oct. 17.
 
The group will ride in the Jemez Mountains on hidden single track through stands of aspens displaying peak fall colors. This ride is made possible by support from Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).
 
The ride consists of about 8 miles of trail on Cebollita Mesa. Those who want to go farther can follow Mayer on an optional extended

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The Pajarito Rambler: Wildflower Paradise

The Pajarito Rambler
By NINA THAYER
Los Alamos

Wildflower Paradise: Dot Grant Trail in Late Summer

This is truly Wildflower Paradise. The walk this rambler will share is near the Guaje Pines Cemetery, joins the Dot Grant Trail (See Craig Martin, Los Alamos Trails, 2nd ed., #20.) and returns by an unnamed trail. 

There are a whole complex of trails in this area and the one described is about a mile around an interesting loop with two rather different microenvironments. This rambler identified more than two-dozen species on this particular day, and experts will see and know twice as many.

Follow


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Energy Secretary Releases Report On America’s Regional Vulnerabilities To Climate Change

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
 
DOE News:
 
LOS ANGELES  While visiting California, a state plagued by persistent drought and dangerous wildfires, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz released an Energy Department report that examines the expected regional energy sector vulnerabilities to climate change.
 
The report divides the United States into nine regions, finding that the severe challenges from climate change across America will require a more comprehensive and accelerated national, regional and community approach to keep the U.S. energy system

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Family Night At Nature Center Tuesday

This bunting is teaching biologists about its migration. Courtesy/PEEC
 
PEEC News:
 
Starting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13 is Family Night at Los Alamos Nature Center. Bandelier biologists will lead activities to simulate how they catch, measure, band, and release birds in the field.
 
Don’t worry, no real birds will be inconvenienced. Kids will also have the chance to make their own bird bands. Family Nights at the Nature Center are free thanks to generous sponsorship by the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos.
 
Every Tuesday, the

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Even When It’s Out Of Commission, Everybody Wants A Piece Of WIPP

Beatrice Brailsford, left, of the Snake River Alliance and Tom Clements, right, of Savannah River Site Watch teamed up last week for nuclear waste site visits with their New Mexico counterpart, Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program at the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

By ROGER SNODGRASS

Los Alamos Daily Post
 
Twenty months after a truck fire and a Valentine’s Day radiation release almost half a mile underground, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico is still out of business

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