Environment

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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Energy Department Invests More Than $20 Million To Advance Fuel Cell Technologies

Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy David Danielson

DOE News:

The Energy Department announced Thursday a new report that shows the fuel cell industry is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, totaling more than $2.2 billion in sales in 2014.

In order to further expand on this emerging market, the Department also announced the investment of more than $20 million in 10 projects to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, and enable early adoption of fuel cell applications such as light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). 

These projects will


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WIPP’s Mine Rescue Team Wins Top Honors at National Competition

WIPP New:

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Blue Mine Rescue team competed in the Missouri Regional Underground Mine Rescue Competition last week bringing home top honors in the field and first aid competitions.

They also took the “Best Out of State” and the Governor’s traveling trophy. The competition included 22 nationally ranked mine rescue teams representing Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

WIPP has two mine rescue teams, designated as the Blue and Red teams. In an underground facility


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Simpler Way To Estimate Feedback Between Permafrost Carbon And Climate

Although permafrost carbon has the potential to be a huge player in the planet’s climate, it’s difficult to predict the amount that will enter the atmosphere for a given increase in temperature. This photo was taken near Barrow, Alaska. Courtesy/Berkeley Lab
 
BERKLEY LAB News:
 
One of the big unknowns in predicting climate change is the billions of tons of carbon frozen in Arctic permafrost.
 
As global warming causes soil temperatures to increase, some of this carbon will decompose and enter the atmosphere and accelerate climate change.
 
Although permafrost carbon

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Saturday: Interior Secretary Jewell Celebrates Valles Caldera’s Addition To National Park Service

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

U.S. DEPT. OF INTERIOR News:

SANTA FE – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is visiting the Valles Caldera Saturday, Oct. 10.

Jewell will join U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, tribal, state and local officials, and other conservation and community leaders to celebrate the inclusion of the Valles Caldera National Preserve as part of the National Park System.

The dedication ceremony is 11 a.m. in the Valle Grande Contact Station Parking Area

Valles Caldera National Preserve was established


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Lujan Grisham Opens Hearing On 2015 Fire Season

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the following opening statement during today’s Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation & Forestry. As the ranking member on the committee, Lujan Grisham kicked off the hearing to review 2015 fire season and long-term trends.  

—As Prepared for Delivery—

“Thank you Mr. Chairman. I really appreciate you calling today’s hearing to review the 2015 fire season and long-term wildfire trends. Although wildfires have occasionally been discussed in


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Los Alamos-lead Consortium Works To Enhance Fuel Cell Technology

Rod Borup, left, and David Langlois simulate drive cycles on a fuel cell test station at LANL to understand how carbon corrosion affects catalyst stability. Balancing durability and cost is a key challenge for the success of hydrogen-powered electric cars. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Alternative energy key to greener future

Los Alamos National Laboratory is leading a Department of Energy – Fuel Cells Technologies Office-funded project to enhance the performance and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, while simultaneously reducing their cost.

“The cost


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Clear View Of Mount Sharp On Mars

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA News:

A composite image looking toward the higher regions of Mount Sharp on Mars was taken Sept. 9 by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

In the foreground — about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the rover — is a long ridge teeming with hematite, an iron oxide. Just beyond is an undulating plain rich in clay minerals. And just beyond that are a multitude of rounded buttes, all high in sulfate minerals. The changing mineralogy in these layers of Mount Sharp suggests a changing environment in early Mars, though all involve exposure to water billions


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Road Map Meeting For Monitoring Gold King Mine Spill’s Effects In New Mexico Oct. 20

NMED News:

SANTA FE – The State of New Mexico’s Long-Term Impact Review Team, named by Gov. Susana Martinez during the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gold King Mine Spill last August, is developing a road map for continuing environmental monitoring activities.

The Road Map meeting is 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 San Juan College, Rooms 9008 & 9010 at the Henderson Fine Arts Center, 4601 College Boulevard in Farmington.

Through working together and sharing ideas and information based on the public’s input and different agencies’ areas of expertise, we’ll be able to better ensure that


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Visit Bandelier Free During ‘Senior Skip Day’ In National Parks Oct. 8

New arrivals enter the Bandelier Visitor Center. Courtesy/NPS Photo

BANDELIER News:

 

Usually “Senior Skip Day” is a day when high school seniors play hooky. This Thursday, Oct. 8, it will be an opportunity for senior citizens 62 and over, nationwide, to visit National Park units for free.
 
By inviting senior citizens out to the National Park System, “Senior Skip Day” is being promoted by health-care company Humana, for improving the health of the communities they serve.
 
“National parks are great resources offering a range of healthy experiences for people of all

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