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Cracked Lid of Nuclear Waste Container May Be Source of WIPP Radiation Leak

on May 22, 2014 - 7:54am

Waste container photographed earlier this month at WIPP with its lid unsealed and apparent heat discoloration. Courtesy/WIPP

HSNW News:

The radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad has been linked to a waste container shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), raising questions about the safety of other containers stored at the lab’s northern New Mexico facility and at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) site in Andrews, Texas.

As a precautionary measure, LANL has been ordered to remove thousands of similar containers filled with toxic waste from

Cottage Cheese Recall Underway

on May 21, 2014 - 12:31pm

NMED News:

The New Mexico Environment Department has announced that a recall is underway of select Knudsen Cottage Cheese, Breakstone’s Cottage Cheese, Simply Kraft Cottage Cheese, and Daily Chef Cottage Cheese products with code dates of 09 MAY 2014 to 23 JUL 2014, manufactured by Kraft Foods of Northfield, IL.

The product was distributed nationally and in New Mexico at Walmart stores. The products are being recalled due to "out-of-standard" storage temperatures.

 

Luján Statement on Reports of Mismanagement at VA Medical Centers

on May 21, 2014 - 11:29am

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today on reports of mismanagement at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. 

Luján recently sent a letter to Secretary Shinseki expressing concerns with these reports and excessive wait times for veterans in New Mexico seeking health care services from the VA. Click here to read the letter.

"When we as a nation ask brave Americans to serve and protect our country, we make a promise that when they answer the call of duty we will provide them with the care

Secretary Moniz Announces Members to New Commission on National Labs

on May 20, 2014 - 10:51am

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

DOE News:

  • Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the Energy Department’s National Laboratories

WASHINGTON – Today, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories, a congressionally-mandated committee that will evaluate the effectiveness of the Energy Department’s 17 national laboratories. The Commission is being established pursuant to the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

“The Energy Department’s national laboratories are a leading force in driving U.S.

Early Summer Activities at Bandelier National Monument

on May 19, 2014 - 8:24am

Pocket gophers dig burrows underground searching for food and can be very damaging to archeological sites. Photo by Sally King/NPS

BANDELIER News:

In addition to listed activities, the park movie is shown on request every day and there are ranger-guided tours on the first section of the Main Loop Trail throughout the week as staffing permits. All activities are weather permitting.

For information, call the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505.672-3861 x 517.

MAY 23 - Summer Free Shuttle Service from White Rock Begins

First day for the summer shuttle service from White Rock to the Bandelier Visitor

Absorbent Used in Kitty Litter May Be Cause of Radiation Leaks at WIPP

on May 18, 2014 - 10:48am

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Courtesy WIPP

HSNW News:

A wheat-based absorbent often used in kitty litter may be the likely cause of the radiation leak that led to the closure of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the U.S. only underground nuclear waste repository, according to Jim Conca, a former geochemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Conca noted that EnergySolutions, a Salt Lake City-based company hired to package radioactive waste at LANL into containers for shipment to the WIPP, switched from using a clay-based absorbent in the storage drums to a wheat-based mixture.

New Information Provided About Possible Contributor to WIPP Radiological Event

on May 18, 2014 - 10:15am

The May 15 entry into Panel 7, Room 7 produced this photo of a waste container, left, with its lid unsealed and apparent heat discoloration. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

The Department of Energy issued the following statement Friday regarding new information generated during the May 15 entry into WIPP:

Since the Feb. 14 radiological release, the Department and its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant have been working deliberately to safely determine the cause of the release.

New Data Tool Shows New Mexico Among Top in Science & Engineering Categories

on May 16, 2014 - 11:48am

HSNW News:

Homeland Security News Wire (HSNW) reports that a newly updated, online, interactive state data tool allows policymakers, educators and other users to discern trends in education, science and research in each of the 50 states and New Mexico is among the top three.

The three states with the highest scores in the number of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded, share of a state’s workforce employed in science and engineering occupations, and the amount of R&D performed, as a share of a state’s gross domestic product (GDP), are Vermont, Virginia and New Mexico.

The

Udall Opposes FCC's Proposed Internet 'Fast Lane'

on May 16, 2014 - 8:06am

U.S. SENATE News:

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement expressing concern about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote Thursday for net neutrality rules that include a "fast lane" or "toll lane" to charge companies for faster delivery of content: 

 

"Today's vote by the FCC is very disappointing. As the commissioners move forward to make a final rule, I'm calling on them to protect free expression, competition and innovation online.

Los Alamos Police Hold Peace Officers Memorial Day Ceremony This Morning at the Justice Center

on May 15, 2014 - 10:55am

LAPD Officers from left, Daniel Roberts, David Boe and Paige Early at this morning's Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony outside the Justice Center. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone at this morning's Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony honoring the men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A crowd begins to gather at the Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony this morning outside the Justice Center. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com

Police Det. Daniel Roberts, left, and Cpl. David Boe prepare to raise the American flag to

WIPP Personnel Upgrading Safety Programs

on May 14, 2014 - 4:04pm

WIPP News:

While attention is focused on determining the cause of the February radiological release, WIPP personnel are also upgrading WIPP safety programs and addressing issues identified by federal accident investigators following the fire and radiological event.

Experts from across the DOE complex and nuclear industry are on-site to evaluate and help improve WIPP safety, emergency management and radiological programs.

A corrective action plan for the salt haul truck fire is in development and improvements to emergency response plans are being implemented.

Dr. Steven Croley Confirmed as DOE General Counsel

on May 13, 2014 - 6:48am

Dr. Steven Croley. Courtesy/wikipedia

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Steven Croley was confirmed by the Senate Monday as the Department of Energy’s General Counsel.

“Dr. Croley brings to the Department leadership team both extensive experience representing the interests of the United States and wide-ranging interests in energy and environmental issues,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. “I thank the Senate for approving his nomination, and I look forward to his advice and counsel. I also thank Anne Harkavy for serving as Acting General Counsel in his stead.

Latest Underground Entry Reveals More Information About Event

on May 13, 2014 - 6:45am

Photo from a townhall slide show presentation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

Workers entered
the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) underground facility again Saturday to further investigate Room 7 of Panel 7, the suspected scene for the Feb. 14 radiological event.

Using a portable camera on an extender, workers were able to take pictures over the top of stacked waste containers. The photographs showed evidence of melted plastic and rubber on 55-gallon drums and standard waste boxes, indicating the production of heat likely occurred in the room.

Happy Mother's Day!

on May 11, 2014 - 10:03am
A Northern Pacific Railway postcard for Mother's Day 1916.
Courtesy/wikipedia
 
Staff Report
 
Happy Mother's Day! Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in spring. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father's Day and Siblings Day.

The celebration of Mother's Day began in the United States in the early 20th century; it is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have

Bandelier Inviting Public to Help Build Monument Foundation Document May 13

on May 9, 2014 - 10:49am

Entrance to Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

BANDELIER News:

The staff at Bandelier National Monument is inviting everyone interested in the monument’s future to attend one or both of two public meetings Tuesday, May 13 to help with preparing a Foundation Document. 

This is the first step in considering the monument’s future planning and study needs.

The first meeting is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave. in Los Alamos, upstairs in meeting room 1.

The second is 6–7 p.m. in White Rock at the White Rock Town Hall, 139 Longview Dr.

These meetings will

Udall Calls for VA to Broaden Probe into 'Secret' Waiting Lists

on May 9, 2014 - 10:28am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
  • Udall says VA should investigate NM, entire service network after alleged cover-up scheme at Phoenix VA
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has expressed outrage at the ongoing allegations that the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System and possibly others were covering up the extent of their waiting lists while veterans died waiting for appointments.
 
In a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Udall called for VA officials to expand their investigation to facilities in New Mexico and elsewhere.
 
Arizona, New Mexico and part of

NNSA Administrator, Three Lab Directors Including Charlie McMillan Tour Key Weapons Facility

on May 8, 2014 - 2:54pm

NNSA's Gen. Frank G. Klotz

NNSA News:

The Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Gen. Frank G. Klotz, and the directors of Los Alamos, Sandia Lawrence Livermore national laboratories met today in Albuquerque, N.M., and toured a recently-completed facility at Sandia designed to ensure the continued stewardship of the U.S. nuclear deterrent without underground testing.

Test Capabilities Revitalization Phase 2 (TCR 2), a project that had previously been announced as delivered on-time and under-budget, conducts environmental testing on nuclear weapons components,

Los Alamos Girls Athletic Program in Running for USA TODAY High School Sports Contest

on May 4, 2014 - 12:12pm

LAHS News:

The USA TODAY High School Sports is hosting a contest of which the Los Alamos Girls Athletic Program is in the running. 

To vote for the Los Alamos Girls Athletic Program, click here.

Helpful tip when voting:

Step 1: You will see a map of the United States and you have to click on the state of New Mexico
Step 2: The website will take you to another screen then find LAHS to vote (the system will make you type in a verification code)

USA TODAY High School Sports launched a new contest Thursday to determine which high school boasts the best girls sports - the overall strength of

New Mexico Teacher of the Year Carolyn Torres of Los Alamos Visits Washington, D.C.

on May 4, 2014 - 11:54am

New Mexico Teacher of the Year Carolyn Torres of Los Alamos, front row fourth from right, during a visit to Washington, D.C. to meet President Obama. Courtesy photo

New Mexico Teacher of the Year Carolyn Torres of Los Alamos, front row fifth from left, at the White House during a visit to Washington, D.C. Courtesy photo

LAHS Graduate Cory Miller Ranks 5th Overall at 2014 National Junior Olympics

on May 4, 2014 - 11:22am

Cory Miller of Los Alamos shooting at the 2014 National Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs. Courtesy/USA Shooting

SPORTS News:

Los Alamos High School graduate Cory Miller wins the finals match and finishes fifth overall at the 2014 Junior Olympics April 22-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Miller is one of 105 shooters from all over the nation who qualified to compete this year in the Air Rifle category at the Junior Olympics. Miller qualified 65th but after a good first day of competition, ended up in 13th place. The second day of competition went better and Miller finished in 7th place and

Hopeful News on Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act

on May 4, 2014 - 10:38am
Rep. Doc Hastings

AHF News:

The Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) reports that April 30, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act was included as an amendment to the House FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness added the amendment. 

The full House will probably consider the NDAA during the week of May 19. The Senate is expected to consider the NDAA in the fall, probably after the Congressional elections.

Last year, the Senate dropped the amendment over lack of agreement on what additional public lands bills might be

WIPP Update: Underground Ventilation System Worked as Designed

on May 4, 2014 - 7:22am

The WIPP Underground Ventilation System ensures proper air flow is provided during mining and waste handling activities. It also is designed to automatically switch to Filtration Mode if radioactive contamination is detected in the underground. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

Since February, there has been considerable coverage about the WIPP Underground Ventilation System. On Feb. 14, the ventilation system worked as designed, protecting human health and the environment.

In normal exhaust mode, the ventilation system provides a continuous flow of fresh air to the underground tunnels and rooms

Los Alamos Residents Celebrate National Prayer Day

on May 1, 2014 - 4:43pm

Members of the Los Alamos community bow their heads during National Prayer Day event at noon today at Ashley Pond Park. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Local clergy and faith based organization representatives take turns leading prayers for federal and state government, local government, military, business, education, family, youth and church during the hour-long event. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Community members gather near the stage at Ashley Pond Park to pray during today's National Prayer Day event. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Staff Report

The

LAHS Students Win at National History Day State Competition and are Headed to Nationals

on May 1, 2014 - 8:32am

From left, Kim Pestovich, Kaylen Pocaterra and Sarah Criscuolo. Photo by Pam Criscuolo

LAHS News:

The National History Day New Mexico State competition was Friday, April 25 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Sarah Criscuolo, Kaylen Pocaterra and Kim Pestovich are amoung five students who will represent Los Alamos High School at the National History Day contest in June at the University of Maryland, College Park. They entered a Senior Group website titled, "The Pentagon Papers: The Freedom of Information vs.

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