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NNSA, Los Alamos County Revised Fire Protection Agreement a Win-Win

on December 12, 2012 - 11:02am

Shaking hands recently on a modified Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement are from left, LASO's Kevin Smith, Fire Chief Troy Hughes and County Administrator Harry Burgess. Courtesy/LAC


The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) recently modified the Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement to ensure world-class emergency response capabilities for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Los Alamos County.

County Administrator Harry Burgess and Manager Kevin Smith of NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office signed the agreement

LANL's Dr. Wingo Introduces Rotarians to the Power of Domestic Honeybees

on December 12, 2012 - 10:31am

Dr. Bob Wingo discusses the power of bees as Rotary President Linda Hull and her husband Robert Hull of Los Alamos Technical Associates (LATA) listen at right. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The incredible power of bees as a detection tool was literally the buzz among many Rotarians assembled for a lunchtime presentation Tuesday at the Dixie Girl Restaurant in downtown Los Alamos.

Dr. Robert M. Wingo, the Environmental Science and Engineering Team Leader for the Chemical Diagnostics and Engineering Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory delivered the talk.


NNSA Completes Removal of All HEU From Austria

on December 12, 2012 - 8:17am

Anne Harrington

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), the Vienna University of Technology, and the Government of Austria Tuesday announced the successful return of all remaining U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) nuclear reactor fuel from Austria to the United States.

This makes Austria the 22nd country that has worked with GTRI to remove all HEU from its territory.

“The completion of this project with Austria is another important step in the global effort to minimize the civilian use of HEU

Plutonium Going Strong at 150 Years

on December 10, 2012 - 2:43pm

Livermore chemist Brandon Chung, left, and mechanical technologist Kenneth Lema peer through a glovebox to check the setup on the dilatometer that measures the dimensions of plutonium samples. Courtesy/S&TR


PLANNING the future needs of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile as well as the nuclear weapons complex depends in part on maintaining confidence in the long-term stability of the pit, or core, of plutonium-239 residing inside every weapon.

Scientists and engineers who ensure the safety and reliability of the nation’s stockpile had long been concerned

Metric System Born in France 213 Years Ago

on December 10, 2012 - 12:56pm

Illustration courtesy/CSU

NIST News:

The International System of Units, universally abbreviated SI (from the French Le Systéme International d´Unités), is the modern metric system of measurement.

Long the dominant measurement system used in science, the SI is becoming the dominant measurement system used in international commerce.

The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of August 1988 [Public Law (PL) 100-418] changed the name of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and gave to NIST the added task of helping U.S.

Exploiting the Power of IBM Blue Gene/Q Supercomputers

on December 9, 2012 - 11:13am

Sequoia supercomputer. Photo by Bob Hirschfeld/LLNL

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Breaking new ground for scientific computing, two teams of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists have for the first time exceeded a sustained performance level of 10 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second) on the Sequoia supercomputer at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL.)

A team led by Argonne National Laboratory used the recently developed Hardware/Hybrid Accelerated Cosmology Codes (HACC) framework to achieve nearly 14

SFI Seminar: 'Information Theoretic Tools for Social Media'

on December 8, 2012 - 10:01am

SFI News:

Greg Ver Steeg will present a talk on "Information Theoretic Tools for Social Media" at the Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road in Santa Fe.

Monday, Dec. 10 • 12:15 p.m. • Medium Conference Room

Greg Ver Steeg
University of Southern California

Abstract: Information theory provides a powerful set of tools for discovering relationships among variables with minimal assumptions. Social media platforms provide a rich source of information than can include temporal, spatial, textual and network information.

What are the interesting information theoretic measures for social

NNSA Conducts Pollux Subcritical Experiment at Nevada National Security Site

on December 8, 2012 - 9:43am


NNSA News:

LAS VEGAS – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced Friday that Pollux, a subcritical experiment, was successfully conducted Thursday at its Nevada National Security Site (NNSS.)

NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. Courtesy/NNSA

The experiment, conducted by staff from NNSS, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, gathered scientific data that will provide crucial information to maintain the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons.

“Challenging subcritical experiments maintain our capabilities to

New Microscopy Technique Gets Close Enough to See Lengths of Atomic Bonds

on December 8, 2012 - 7:36am

For the first time, scientists have used an imaging technique that’s so precise that it’s possible to see the different lengths of individual atomic bonds. Using a method called non-contact atomic force microscopy, IBM researchers scanned a microscopic probe with a tip only an atom wide over a nanographene molecule and measured the forces between the probe and the sample. In this colored image, the bonds with more electrons—which are also shorter—are a brighter green. Courtesy/IBM Research-Zurich

LANL Names Weapons Program Associate Directors

on December 7, 2012 - 10:58am

LANL News:

Bob Webster has been named Associate Director for Weapon Physics and John Benner has been named Associate Director for Weapon Engineering and Experiments at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Both have been in their positions at LANL as acting associate directors since March 2012.

As Associate Director for Weapon Physics, Webster has responsibility for weapon design and computational physics along with programmatic responsibility for the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program and Science Campaigns.

The Directorate consists of Computational Physics and Theoretical Design

Udall, Kyl Announce NNSA Reform in Defense Bill

on December 6, 2012 - 12:00pm


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall, D-N.M. and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., announced the adoption of their amendment to the Senate-passed 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to evaluate the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in light of major management issues, cost overruns and security breaches in recent years.


“The NNSA has been plagued with problems that have impacted the scientific and stockpile stewardship work being done at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, as well as the security and safety of the workers there,” Udall and Kyl said.

LANL's 'Individual Permit for Storm Water' Public Meeting is Dec. 13

on December 6, 2012 - 8:48am

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is holding an “Individual Permit for Storm Water” public meeting is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Ave.

The Individual Permit for Storm Water encompasses corrective actions and monitoring for 405 sites across Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and find out about the results of monitoring, design and installation work completed during the summer season and LANL's plans for upcoming permit-related actions.

The design criteria for retaining storm water will be

Los Alamos County Council Honors Kevin Smith

on December 4, 2012 - 8:22pm

Los Alamos County Councilor Vincent Chiravalle, right, on behalf of the Council, presents Los Alamos Site Office Manager Kevin W. Smith with a gift of a framed photograph of aspen trees by Leslie Bucklin in recognition of his service to the County. The DOE/NNSA recently announced that Smith will be departing Los Alamos in January to become the manager of the Office of River Protection.

SFI Seminar: Reconceptualizing Cultural Evolutionary Typologies

on December 4, 2012 - 12:55pm

Peter N. Peregrine

SFI news:

SFI Seminar: Reconceptualizing Cultural Evolutionary Typologies

Wednesday, Dec. 5 • 12:15 p.m. • Medium Conference Room

Peter N. Peregrine, Professor of Anthropology, Lawrence University and External Professor, Santa Fe Institute

Abstract: Typological approaches to understanding cultural evolution have been utilized, and strongly criticized, for more than a century (Sanderson 2007.)

Some of my own work has been a part of that long critique.

NNSA Exceeds 2012 Goal for Nuclear Weapons Dismantlements

on December 3, 2012 - 10:37am

U.S. nuclear weapons declared excess to the stockpile are sent to Pantex Plant, America's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. Pantex Plant is on a 16,000-acre site 17 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas. Courtesy/Pantex

NNSA's Don Cook

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has accomplished 112 percent of its goal for planned stockpile dismantlements in FY 2012.

“NNSA delivered on President Obama’s commitment to reduce the numbers of U.S.

Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Launches New Website

on December 3, 2012 - 9:16am

RCLC News:


The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities announced today that it has launched a new website at


As part of the Regional Coalition's goal to increase transparency, the website includes the latest information regarding Regional Coalition Board members, meeting notices and minutes and news related to the Regional Coalition.


It also has a sign-up feature where community members can be added to the Regional Coalition's information distribution list.


"We are excited to launch the new website to ensure that our communities are informed and

Administration Strongly Objects to 2013 Construction Start Date for CMRR Project

on December 3, 2012 - 6:16am



In a statement of administration policy issued Nov. 29 by the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, the Obama Administration expresses its reluctance to commence construction in 2013 on the replacement project for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Building (CMRR) at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

To do so would require taking funding from other National Nuclear Security Administration priorities, which would create "undue risks" for other parts of the program, according to the policy statement.


LANL Director Addresses Protective Force Terminations

on November 30, 2012 - 9:36am

Illustration photo of SOC guards from

Staff Report

Five protective force firing range personnel at Los Alamos National Laboratory were terminated earlier this month for inappropriate behavior while on duty.

These individuals worked for SOC (Securing Our Country), a full-service security management company under contract to protect the Laboratory.

SOC is owned by Day & Zimmerman, a 110-year-old company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa.

SOC's mission is to provide security services for individuals, domestic facilities, nuclear power plants and military bases in the United States

LANL Cosponsors Northern New Mexico Resource Fair

on November 30, 2012 - 7:34am

LANL News:


Doing Business With LANL


Business owners who want to learn more about doing business with Los Alamos National Laboratory or other government agencies are encouraged to attend the Northern New Mexico Resource Fair.


When: 8-11 a.m., Dec. 5.

Where: Ohkay Owingeh Convention Center, north of Española.


At the resource fair, attendees can:


• get up-to-date information on how to register their business with various state government agencies;

• learn how to become more successful in bidding for contracts from LANL and other government agencies;

• learn how to certify their

SFI Seminar: A Hidden Markov

on November 29, 2012 - 9:26am

SFI Seminar: A Hidden Markov

Tuesday, Dec, 612:15 p.m.Medium Conference Room 1399 Hyde Park, Santa Fe

Speaker: Aram Galstyan
University of Southern California

Abstract: A Hidden Markov

Model (HMM) is a Markov process observed through a noisy channel. HMMs are used extensively for modeling sequential data and have various applications in natural language processing, bioinformatics, mathematical economics, and so on.

One of the main problems underlying HMMs is inferring the hidden state sequence based on noise-corrupted observations, which is usually solved via the maximum a

NIST Experiments Challenge Fundamental Understanding of Electromagnetism

on November 29, 2012 - 8:00am

Photo: Observations made with NIST's Electron Beam Ion Trap indicate that in ions with a strongly positive charge, electrons can behave in ways inconsistent with quantum electrodynamics (QED) theory, which describes electromagnetism. While more experiments are needed, the data could imply that some aspects of QED theory require revision. Courtesy/NIST

NIST News:

A cornerstone of physics may require a rethink if findings at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are confirmed.

Recent experiments suggest* that the most rigorous predictions based on the fundamental theory

Udall, Bingaman Offer Amendments to Defense Authorization Act

on November 29, 2012 - 6:18am

Key Amendments Target Energy & Defense Industries, Support NM Military Communities


Sen. Jeff Bingaman
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman announced that work on several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, including one amendment passed Wednesday that would ensure the Department of Defense could continue to purchase biofuels, such as those being advanced by companies in New Mexico.
“With these amendments, we are ensuring New Mexico is a leader in the 21st century clean energy economy, and at the forefront of the national security achievements

Bradbury Science Museum Director to Address Kiwanis Dec. 4

on November 28, 2012 - 10:21am

Linda Deck. Courtesy photo


Bradbury Science Museum Director Linda Deck is the guest speaker at the noon, Tuesday Dec. 4 meeting of the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club.

Deck will speak on the current displays at the Bradbury Science Museum.

Approximately 40 interactive exhibits trace the history of the WWII Manhattan Project, highlight Los Alamos National Laboratory's current and historic research projects related to defense and technology, and focus on Laboratory research related to national and international economic, environmental, political, and social concerns.

These exhibits

Audit of LANL Notes Millions in Unresolved Costs in FY2010

on November 27, 2012 - 5:34pm

Staff Report

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General has identified millions of dollars in "Questioned, Unresolved and Potentially Unallowable Costs" incurred by Los Alamos National Laboratory during Fiscal Year 2010 ending Sept. 30, 2010. 

In a memorandum released this month to the National Nuclear Security Administration, Rickey R. Hass of the Office of Inspector Geneneral reported specific problems uncovered by an audit of LANL's FY 2010 financial reports.

Here are excerpts from the memorandum:

We identified approximately $50,000 in questioned and unresolved costs

Cobalt Discovery Replaces Precious Metals as Industrial Catalyst

on November 26, 2012 - 11:49am


LANL News:

  • Transforming the chemistry of catalysis

Cobalt, a common mineral, holds promise as an industrial catalyst with potential applications in such energy-related technologies such as the production of biofuels and the reduction of carbon dioxide.

That is, provided the cobalt is captured in a complex molecule so it mimics the precious metals that normally serve this industrial role.

In work published Nov.