Lansing Details LANL’s New Security Initiative

Conceptual image of “Split Road” Option. See link to power point presentation below for full description of the three options under consideration. Courtesy/LANL
First Vice President
Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos

Mike Lansing, associate director for Safeguards and Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos Tuesday lunch meeting March 19. 

Lansing, who is starting his fourth year at LANL, discussed the “game plan for the future of the ‘large intestine.’”

He said his team must balance supporting the mission of the Lab, engaging the local community and for his dedicated staff of professionals, securing the Lab and community’s safety and security.

Safeguards refer to the accountability of the nuclear material at LANL, he said, and security refers to protecting the classified material and data, employees and the community.

The significant incident at Oak Ridge Y12 has changed how DOE and the labs do security business. Los Alamos National Laboratory is the only Category 1 Special Nuclear Site that allows general access into the Lab.

Several years ago, DOE and DOD professionals came in and made recommendations on security measures. Not all of the measures are visible to the public, Lansing said. One suggestion was to better secure access to the facility.

Known as the “C” project or Site Envelope Enhancement Project, the goal is to allow public access to the ski hill and areas north of the Laboratory, but do what is appropriate to generally only allow those who should be at the Lab access. Currently the project is in the design phase.  

Lansing said that there are three options being explored.

  • The West Road Option would entail enhancing the existing West Road by bringing the roadway up to current standards.
  • The Bypass Option would involve constructing a road north and parallel to West Jemez Road from Diamond Drive. An environmental protection study would be required with this option.
  • The Split Road Option would involve widening Jemez Road with a barrier down the middle. This would allow one side of the road to be secure for LANL property and the other side of the road to be open to through traffic. A critical issue with this option is allowing the fire station the ability to quickly access the Lab in case of an emergency.

Lansing said that the estimate is around $30 million for the project. There is momentum from DOE, which would be the funding source for the project.

In April, the DOE Construction Working Group will evaluate all projects around the country to determine a priority for all projects. Lansing indicated that this ranking of DOE priorities for all projects will determine the timing and feasibility of the Site Envelope Enhancement Project at LANL.

He emphasized that due to the vulnerability of the Lab to a car bomb or active shooter scenario and the “high level champions” for this project, it will be approved by DOE.

Lansing said that LANL has made a commitment to police, fire, County Council and the Chamber of Commerce to solicit public input and provide opportunities for the public to hear about the three design options.

Although access to the Lab will be locked down, there will be a Badge Office outside the Lab and this will allow continued opportunities for temporary badges for students accessing the library or other hosted visits to the Lab.

During the question and answer portion of his presentation, Lansing said that the current plans are for the truck route to remain open to the public.

He also reminded the audience that currently at the check points they are checking driver’s licenses and doing random vehicle searches.

“We are trying to reduce the hassle factor while still making the Lab a safe place to come to work. We will do the right thing,” Lansing said.

Lansing leads LANL’s physical security, safeguards and emergency operations and has more than 30 years’ experience in nuclear, federal and military security operations and in other disciplines, such as safety, training and law enforcement. 

Prior to joining the Laboratory, Lansing managed security operations at Babcock and Wilcox (BWXT) Nuclear Operations Group in Lynchburg, Va. He led a 200-employee security force at this site.

Lansing holds a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Click HERE to view Lansing’s power point presentation.

Note: The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos meets every Tuesday at noon at the Pajarito Masonic Lodge, 15th Street and Sage Loop. The public is welcome to attend to hear speakers and learn more about the Club’s community service projects.

 Conceptual image of “By-Pass” Option. See link to power point presentation above for full description of the three options under consideration. Courtesy/LANL

 Conceptual image of “West Road” Option. See link to power point presentation above for full description of the three options under consideration. Courtesy/LANL

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