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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/

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/

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

Staff Report


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.

EPA Proposes Plan Cutting Harmful Emissions in New Mexico

on May 1, 2014 - 7:28am

EPA News:

 DALLAS –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing an action that will significantly benefit the people of New Mexico. EPA is proposing approval of revisions to the New Mexico Regional Haze plan that addresses nitrogen oxide emissions and improves regional visibility from the San Juan County power plant.

“We are committed to working with our state partners to improve visibility and reduce pollution,” EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said. “Pollution, especially air pollution, has no geographical boundaries.

Heinrich Website Wins Coveted Congressional Gold Mouse Award

on April 29, 2014 - 9:09am

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. was recognized Monday by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) for having one of the best websites in Congress, awarding Heinrich.Senate.Gov with a 113th Congress Gold Mouse Award.

"I'm honored to share this award with New Mexicans. I'm especially proud that my website was recognized as one of the best in providing transparency and online constituent services," Heinrich said.

WIPP Preparing For Future Entries

on April 29, 2014 - 8:36am

WIPP News:

Last week, Department of Energy and Nuclear Waste Partnership teams evaluated the initial photos from Wednesday’s entry into Room 7 of Panel 7. The entry confirmed that the radiation source was in Room 7, but the cause of the release was not evident.

This week, teams are finalizing safety basis documents and planning future entries to conduct additional investigations in Room 7. During the next entry, teams will have a longer stay-time, and workers are bringing equipment that allows better visibility.

The Science of WIPP

on April 26, 2014 - 11:01am

WIPP News:

In recent weeks, there have been many questions about the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and why southeastern New Mexico was selected as the location for the world’s only repository for transuranic waste disposal.

Government officials and scientists chose the WIPP site through a selection process that started in the 1950s. At that time, the National Academy of Sciences conducted a nationwide search for geological formations stable enough to contain radioactive wastes for thousands of years.

Los Alamos High School Receives 2014 Gold Medal Ranking and Makes Prestigious STEM List

on April 26, 2014 - 9:46am

LAPS News:

Out of 19,411 public high schools, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Los Alamos High School 500th of the “Best High Schools in America.”

High schools in the top 500 in the nation received Gold Medal ranking for the 2014 school year. Achieving Gold Medal ranking also qualified Los Alamos High School for status as a 2014 STEM “Best High Schools.”

To determine the top STEM (science, technology, engineering and math schools), U.S.

Udall, Heinrich Statement on DOE WIPP Radiological Release Investigation Report

on April 24, 2014 - 10:39am


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich today issued the following statement on the release of the Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management initial accident investigation report related to the Feb. 14 radiological release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad. 

The senators urge WIPP and DOE officials to fully implement all necessary corrective actions before restarting operations:

"The report on the response to the radiation release at WIPP includes many of the same deeply troubling findings as the report after the

LAHS Coaches Kathy and Rob Hipwood Nominated For National Award

on April 23, 2014 - 10:49am

Kathy Hipwood


The National High School Athletic Coaches Association has announced the advancement of Kathy and Rob Hipwood from Los Alamos High School as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association national coach of the year in the sport of cross country.

Rob Hipwood

Eight finalists from across the nation will be honored during The National Coach of the Year Awards Banquet, which will take place June 18 at the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

History of Earth Day

on April 22, 2014 - 10:43am

Earth Day 1970. Courtesy/


Each year, Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans.


Filter Bank Mock-up Complete; HEPA Filters Arriving at WIPP

on April 21, 2014 - 4:19pm

WIPP News:

Experts from the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site have arrived in Carlsbad to train WIPP employees on replacing the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters – a crucial component of the WIPP Ventilation System.

New filters are required to replace those that captured material following the Feb. 5 fire and Feb. 14 radiation event. The Savannah River Site is utilizing their expertise in changing contaminated filters to prepare WIPP site employees for potential levels of contamination on the filters.

PowerTalk 21: Talk to Teens About Dangers of Underage Drinking Today

on April 21, 2014 - 8:36am

MADD News:

April 21 is recognized as PowerTalk 21 Day, a day set aside to encourage parents to speak with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking, and to set a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking in their households.

Through both State of New Mexico and City of Albuquerque official proclamations and in partnership with the New Mexico Office of the Governor, Albuquerque Office of the Mayor, Bernalillo County’s Department of Substance Abuse Program, Albuquerque Public Schools, and other stakeholders statewide, MADD NM will conduct Power of Parents workshops, Power of

Energy Department Announces $15 Million to Help Communities Boost Solar Deployment

on April 17, 2014 - 10:22am

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.In support of the Administration’s goal of doubling renewable energy generation for a second time by 2020, the Energy Department today announced $15 million to help communities develop multi-year solar plans to install affordable solar electricity for homes and businesses.

The United States continues to be a global leader in solar, with total U.S. solar energy installations reaching 13 gigawatts last year. As the cost of solar energy continues to decline, more states and local communities are deploying solar energy projects to meet their electricity needs.


NNSA Awards $25 Million Grant to Improve Capabilities for Detecting Nuclear Proliferation

on April 16, 2014 - 11:40am

Anne Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development today announced the award of a $25 million grant to a North Carolina State University-led consortium for research and development (R&D) in enabling capabilities for nonproliferation.

This sizeable, long-term investment will support the consortium at $5 million per year for five years.

LANL Physicist Honored With E.O. Lawrence Award

on April 16, 2014 - 11:17am

LANL physicist John Sarrao is being honored with the 2013 Ernest O. Lawrence Award. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • John Sarrao’s research in plutonium, superconductivity, magnetism praised

Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist John Sarrao is being honored by the U.S. Department of Energy with the 2013 Ernest O. Lawrence Award in Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences.

"John Sarrao's exciting advances in actinide studies exemplify the quality of research performed at Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan.

NNSA’s Nevada Field Office Transfers ACAVs to FBI

on April 13, 2014 - 9:43am

NNSA's Nevada Field Office recently transferred two Advanced Concept Armored Vehicles to the local FBI office in Nevada. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

  • Transfer provides cost avoidance of $474,000

LAS VEGAS – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Nevada Field Office recently transferred two Advanced Concept Armored Vehicles (ACAVs) to The Department of Justice’s local FBI office in Nevada.

The transfer created $474,000 in savings to the government as the NFO security force no longer had a mission need for the specialized and expensive tactical vehicles.

Udall Bill to Curb False Advertising Claims on Protective Sports Gear Clears Commerce Committee

on April 11, 2014 - 11:48am
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has announced that the Youth Sports Concussions Act (S. 1014), a bill he introduced with Commerce Committee Chairman John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV, D-W.V., cleared a major hurdle when it passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
The legislation would help protect youth athletes from the dangers of concussions by curbing false advertising claims made by sports equipment manufacturers to increase protective sports gear sales. Action on S.

IRS Aggressively Goes After Tax Crooks

on April 11, 2014 - 7:38am

IRS News:

IRS Criminal Investigation Enforcement Actions Underway Across the Nation

PHOENIXAs the April 15 tax deadline approaches, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Thursday it has started more than 200 new investigations this filing season into identity theft and refund fraud schemes.

IRS Criminal Investigation has started 295 new identity theft investigations since January, pushing the number of active cases to more than 1,800.

The coast-to-coast effort by Criminal Investigation is underway as part of a larger effort at the IRS to combat identity theft and refund fraud by

Atomic Heritage Foundation Launches 'Ranger in Your Pocket' Website

on April 10, 2014 - 8:42am
Ranger in Your Pocket website. Courtesy/AHF

AHF News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Heritage tourists around the world are now able to tour the historic B Reactor and learn about life at the Hanford site on a new website. “Ranger in Your Pocket,” launched Wednesday at The website features dozens of first-hand accounts of working on the top-secret Manhattan Project from solving the mysterious “poisoning” of the B Reactor to enduring the “termination winds.”   

The Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) has created a powerful new interpretive tool called “Ranger in Your Pocket,” based

Udall Opens Application Process for Military Service Academy Nominations

on April 10, 2014 - 8:32am

Sen. Tom Udall


ALBUQUERQUE. – Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is now accepting applications for nominations to U.S. military service academies. Staff for Udall will also host several information sessions throughout the state for high school students and recent graduates who are interested in applying. In northern New Mexico, the session is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 at Santa Fe High School at 2100 Yucca St.

Four of the five service academies – the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S.

NNSA Announces Recipient of $25 Million Grant to Improve Nuclear Arms Control Verification Technology

on April 10, 2014 - 7:46am
NNSA News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development March 31 announced the award of a $25 million grant to a consortium, which includes Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), for research and development (R&D) in nuclear arms control verification technologies, including nuclear safeguards effectiveness.
The long-term investment will support the consortium, led by the University of Michigan, at $5 million per year for five years.

Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz Confirmed as DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security

on April 9, 2014 - 10:16am

Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON D.C. – Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, United States Air Force (Ret), was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday as the Department of Energy’s Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Lt. Gen. Klotz’s confirmation comes at a critical point for the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said.

Luján Highlights Equal Pay Day and Importance of Passing Paycheck Fairness Act

on April 9, 2014 - 10:10am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., highlighted Equal Pay Day and the importance of taking steps to close the wage gap that still exists between men and women, including passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. 

Equal Pay Day symbolizes when, more than three months into the year, women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid the previous year. Luján is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that strengthens and closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act that was signed into law nearly 51 years ago.

"Equal pay for equal work

Udall Recruiting Summer Interns for New Mexico Offices

on April 9, 2014 - 7:42am

Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON –Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., invites New Mexico college students interested in gaining legislative or press relations experience to apply for internships in his Albuquerque, Carlsbad, Las Cruces, Portales and Santa Fe offices. 

For more information and to apply for an internship, visit Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but students are encouraged to submit their applications early. 

"Congressional internships provide an unparalleled educational opportunity for students to gain first-hand