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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.

Researchers Test Novel Power System for Space Travel

on November 26, 2012 - 11:22am

John Bounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory's Advanced Nuclear Technology Division makes final adjustments on the DUFF experiment, a demonstration of a simple, robust fission reactor prototype that could be used as a power system for space travel. DUFF is the first demonstration of a space nuclear reactor system to produce electricity in the United States since 1965. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Joint DOE and NASA team demonstrates simple, robust fission reactor prototype

A team of researchers, including engineers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, has demonstrated a new concept for a

Bradbury Science Museum Exhibit: Strengthening Global Security

on November 26, 2012 - 5:27am

Strengthening Global Security

The central mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory is to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent while reducing the global threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

As part of that mission, the Laboratory provides the necessary expertise and technology developed here to help the nation respond effectively to significant threats of broad scope and to help make the world a safer place.

Bradbury Science Museum Exhibits:

  • Replicas of Little Boy and Fat Man, the first nuclear bombs
  • Understanding Nuclear

SFI Colloquium Explores Animal-Human Correlation

on November 26, 2012 - 4:40am

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, left, and Kathryn Bowers. Courtesy photo

SFI Colloquium

Zoobiquity: How Jaguar Breast Cancer, Dolphin Diabetes, and Flamingo Heart Attacks will Transform Human Medicine

Tuesday, Nov. 27 • 3:30 p.m. • Noyce Conference Room, 1399 Hyde Park Road in Santa Fe.

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA Division of Cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Kathryn Bowers University of California, Los Angeles.

Abstract: Dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer, arthritis and gout. Koalas catch Chlamydia.

Santa Fe Institute Elects New Chair

on November 24, 2012 - 9:13am

Michael Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist for Legg Mason Capital Management, has been elected chairman of the Santa Fe Institute’s Board of Trustees.

His three-year appointment began Nov. 4 and he replaces Jim Rutt, who served as chairman since 2009.

Mauboussin has been an active member of SFI’s Board since 2000 and of SFI’s Business Network since 1998.

He has contributed extensively to the Network’s activities as a speaker, panel member and co-organizer of Network Topical Meetings and Symposia.

His complex systems-inspired advice on market behavior and dynamics is frequently sought by

LANL Employees Make Gifts of Time, Talent and Money

on November 22, 2012 - 8:17am

A student receives a new pair of shoes from the generosity of Los Alamos National Laboratory employees through the LANL Laces Program. Courtesy/LANL

Staff Report

Throughout the year, the generous efforts of Los Alamos National Laboratory management and employees helps to enhance the lives of others through the sharing of their time, talent and money.

Each Thanksgiving season, LANL hosts "Take a Turkey to Work Day." Last year, employees donated more than 400 frozen turkeys and helped fill holiday meal food baskets for 852 Northern New Mexico families.

LANL's manager, Los Alamos National

SFI's Science On Screen Series: Raiders of the Lost Ark

on November 21, 2012 - 10:11am

Photo: George J. Gumerman

SFI News:

Science On Screen

Raiders of the Lost Ark will be presented by George J. Gumerman, Senior Scholar, School for Advanced Research and External Professor, Santa Fe Institute at 7 p.m. today, Nov. 21 at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe.

Thirty years after its premiere, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning tale of archaeological derring-do remains one of cinema’s most thrilling and rugged film adventures.

Archaeologist and SFI External Professor George Gumerman shares real-life tales of risk and reward on his journey of

Scientists Chart Emergence of High-Temperature Superconductivity

on November 21, 2012 - 8:28am

Brookhaven Lab physicist Ivan Bozovic with the molecular beam epitaxy system he uses to engineer atomically precise superconducting materials. Courtesy/BL

BL News:

  • New study reveals unexpected disappearance of superconducting fluctuations at super-cold temperatures

UPTON, NY – The next generation of sustainable energy systems, from magnetic storage to offshore wind turbines, hinges in part on high-temperature superconductors (HTS), which can carry current with zero loss and perfect efficiency.

Unfortunately, that loss-free behavior comes at the cost of extreme and inefficient cooling,

LASO's Kevin Smith Gets New Assignment

on November 20, 2012 - 12:24pm


Washington, D.C. – The Office of Environmental Management (EM) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today jointly announced two key personnel changes that will bring significant leadership and project management experience to both organizations.

Scott Samuelson, Manager of the Office of River Protection (ORP), will be leaving EM in January to return to NNSA, where he previously worked from the date it was formed in 2000. With Samuelson’s departure, Kevin Smith, Manager of NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office (LASO), will become the ORP Manager.

“Scott and Kevin are

Los Alamos Research and Leadership Prizes Awarded

on November 20, 2012 - 9:16am

  • Garzon, Batista and Beyerlein noted for exemplary research

Commendations for exemplary scientific research and leadership have been bestowed upon three Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, Fernando Garzon, Cristian Batista and Irene Beyerlein, by the Laboratory Fellows organization.

Leadership Prize – Fernando Garzon

Over the course of a 20-year career at LANL, Fernando Garzon’s efforts in the development of electrochemical sensors have become recognized world-wide, and have received sustained support through a multi-million dollar program from DOE’s Energy Efficiency and

Los Alamos Honors Laboratory Fellows

on November 19, 2012 - 4:49pm
  • Engineering, physics and computer science leaders announced

Three distinguished members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientific staff are being honored with appointment as Laboratory Fellows for 2012.

The committee ranked a collection of nominations on the basis of:

  • Sustained, high-level achievements in programs of importance to the Laboratory;
  • A fundamental or important discovery that has led to widespread use;
  • Having become a recognized authority in the field, including outside recognition and an outstanding record of publications.

The new Los Alamos Fellows are Charles Farrar,

New Companies Get Boost from Los Alamos National Security

on November 19, 2012 - 4:09pm

  • Venture Acceleration Fund awards help region’s businesses grow

Two local biotech start ups, a water and power company and a hardware inventor are the latest recipients of $165,000 in Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

Mustomo, Inc., IX Power, Synfolia, and Tape-Ease will receive funding to take their products and services to the next development level.

Three of the four companies are commercializing technology and intellectual property developed by New Mexico’s national laboratories and educational institutions.

“Although the program was

NNSA Delivers W76-1 Units to Navy for 2012

on November 18, 2012 - 11:16am

W76-1 units. Courtesy/SNL

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced that it delivered all of its scheduled W76-1 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile warhead units to United States Navy in FY 2012.

“As our stockpile ages, we have to put ourselves in a position where the president can be certain that it is safe, secure and effective,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook. “Our continued success with the W76-1 Life Extension Program is key to the United States’ nuclear deterrent.

LANL's Ward Hawkins to Speak on Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

on November 17, 2012 - 12:05pm
Ward L. Hawkins, Program Manager for Nuclear Testing Limitations at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will present a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at an open meeting of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security.
Hawkins talk, "CTBT On-Site Inspection: The Final Verification Measure” will provide general background information on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and a detailed description of the On-Site Inspection verification regime.
The public is invited to attend Hawkin's talk, which will be held in Room 311 in the Education

US, Kazakhstan Commission Radiation Detection Systems Aimed at Preventing Nuclear Smuggling

on November 17, 2012 - 10:11am

Anne Harrington. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee (KCCC) recently held a ceremony to commission the specialized radiation detection equipment at Astana International Airport – a significant milestone in the joint effort to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials.

The ceremony recognized the effective ongoing cooperation between the U.S.

'Voices of the Manhattan Project' Website Launched

on November 16, 2012 - 12:26pm
Manhattan Project Insignia. Courtesy/Atomic Heritage Foundation
Staff Report
Voices of the Manhattan Project is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. 
The Manhattan Project was a great human collaboration with 130,000 people around the country working on the top-secret project.
A list of the available Los Alamos Oral Interviews available today on the website (more will be added):
  • Arno Roensch, a glass blower in the Army,

Shrinking Horizons: Help Preserve Indigenous Human Societies in SFI's First Crowdfunding Campaign

on November 13, 2012 - 6:51am

SFI News:

Working with the SciFund Challenge, SFI has joined other scientists and science research centers in this emerging, social-networked way to generate financial backing for critical scientific research. The campaign runs through Dec. 15.

For SFI’s first cowdfunding campaign we are highlighting SFI Postdoctoral Fellow Marcus Hamilton and his collaborators at the University of Missouri, who are seeking better ways to understand how to preserve the rainforest land on which indigenous human groups depend.

Visit the SFI campaign page here.

There are an estimated 100 uncontacted human groups

Clouds Could Explain How Snowball Earth Thawed Out

on November 12, 2012 - 8:26am

Giant snowball created by Oxford students. Courtesy photo

AGU News:

Glaciation events during the Neoproterozoic (524-to-1,000 million years ago) and Paleoproterozoic (1,600-to-2,500 million years ago) periods - events that
spawned ice ages that persisted for millions of years at a time - may have seen glacier ice encircle the planet in a frosty planetary configuration known as a
Snowball Earth.

Whether the planet could have existed in such a state, however, is a matter of considerable debate.

An elevated planetary albedo, caused by the planet being covered in reflective snow and ice,

First Controllable Atom SQUID

on November 10, 2012 - 11:55am

Researcher Kevin Wright checks part of the experimental apparatus. Courtesy/NIST

NIST News:

Scientists have created the first controllable atomic circuit that functions analogously to a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) and allows operators to select a particular quantum state of the system at will.

By manipulating atoms in a superfluid ring thinner than a human hair the investigators were able for the first time to measure rotation-induced discrete quantized changes in the atoms’ state, thereby providing a proof-of-principle design for an “atomtronic” inertial sensor.

Column: Insecurity with LANL Security Project

on November 9, 2012 - 10:20am

By Greg Kendall
When news broke out a few months ago that an 80-year-old nun and two retiree peace activist had defeated our nation's highest level security systems at the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and had spent a leisurely evening throwing blood on the walls of a building that houses nuclear weapon components, I was glad that it had not happened here in Los Alamos. 
Los Alamos security had to be better - much better than the apparent joke that is security at Y-12, I thought to myself. I have now had to re-evaluate that thought.
Would an octogenarian nun

OBITUARY: THOMAS ILG Sept. 9, 1958 – Nov. 2, 2012

on November 6, 2012 - 9:24am


Thomas Ilg of Los Alamos, N.M., passed away unexpectedly Friday Nov. 2, 2012. He died while perusing his passion of photographing the ruins of the Jemez Mountains.

He was born Sept. 30, 1958 in Suffern, N.Y. He was graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. in 1980 with an engineering degree.

He lived in the town of White Rock, with his wife Wendy, the love of his life for 17 years.

Tom was employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 20 years where he worked as a mechanical engineer.

He was an avid and accomplished photographer; he loved hiking,

Contractors Hear New LANL Cost Model Details

on November 4, 2012 - 11:50am

LANL Budget Officer K. Aaron Menefee explains the new LANL budgeting formula to LANL contractors attending a Nov. 1 Chamber Business Breakfast at UNM-LA. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

By Bonnie J. Gordon

Los Alamos National Laboratory has adopted a new cost model for Fiscal Year 2013 and LANL contractors have expressed concern about the consequences the new model may have on their businesses.

The Los Chamber of Commerce organized a special Chamber Breakfast for LANL officials and contractors Nov. 1 at UNM-LA.

LANL Budget Officer K.

LANL's Carl Beard Presents Talk to Rotarians

on November 4, 2012 - 8:14am

Carl Beard presents a talk on LANL's environmental stewardship program to local Rotarians. Photo by Hal Davis

By Carol A. Clark

Dr. Carl Beard presented a talk on the Los Alamos National Laboratory's long-term environmental stewardship and sustainability strategy during Tuesday's Rotary lunch meeting at the Dixie Girl Restaurant in downtown Los Alamos.

Beard is the Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business Services (PADOPS) at LANL.

PADOPS provides oversight of Business Services, Maintenance and Infrastructure Planning, Environment, Safety and Health, Nuclear High Hazard