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NNSA Conducting Radiation Survey Over Washington

on December 27, 2012 - 9:09am


NNSA News:

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will be flying a helicopter over portions of Washington, D.C., between Dec. 27, 2012, and Jan. 11, 2013.

The purpose of these flights is to measure naturally occurring radiation in the Washington, D.C., area.

The radiation assessment will cover approximately 70 square miles and NNSA will complete the assessment using a helicopter equipped with remote gamma radiation sensing technology.

The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the areas, 150 feet or higher above the ground surface, at a speed of

LANL Employees Spread Holiday Joy

on December 24, 2012 - 7:29am

Holiday Project Coordinator Ed Vigil from Los Alamos National Laboratory's Community Programs Office on Tuesday with several of the Christmas presents LANL employees purchased to brighten the holidays for more than 1,000 children and seniors in Northern New Mexico. CPO Director Kurt Steinhaus commended the project team, LANL employees and the project partner agencies who helped identify those in need and are delivering the gifts throughout Northern New Mexico. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

LANL employee Kristen Honig helps process the massive amount of Christmas presents purchased

LANL Implements Stricter Security Measures

on December 23, 2012 - 7:31am

Effective immediately, NNSA has directed Los Alamos National Laboratory personnel at its inspection stations at East Jemez Road and West Jemez Road to inspect all vehicles and check every driver for photo IDs such as driver's licenses. Alternative routes for visitors traveling to Bandelier, the Jemez or the Pajarito Ski Area include N.M. 4 through White Rock or West Road past the ice rink and reservoir area. Courtesy/BNM

Scientists to Surveil Santa’s Sleigh Christmas Eve

on December 22, 2012 - 10:49am

Santa Claus takes off on his annual global trek to spread joy to children everywhere. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Efforts will help ensure Magical Elf’s safe passage across the globe

Los Alamos trackers will use state-of-the-art technology to mark the course taken this year by Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer during the Jolly Elf’s annual mission to spread joy to all the children of the world.

Visit beginning at 6 a.m. Dec. 24 to see St. Nick’s whirlwind journey.


Senate Sends House Defense Authorization with NNSA Amendment

on December 22, 2012 - 8:17am
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall reported the Senate on Friday passed legislation that contains critical funding for New Mexico's military bases, national laboratories and military families by a vote of 81-14.
Sen. Tom Udall
The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which also includes Udall's amendment to reform the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), must now be cleared by the House of Representatives before being sent to the president for signature.
“This bill will ensure that New Mexico’s bases and laboratories remain strong and

NNSA Orders Security Enhancements at LANL

on December 21, 2012 - 3:53pm

LANL News:

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, has directed Los Alamos National Laboratory to increase its security, effective immediately.

LANL is the only Laboratory in the DOE Complex under this increase in security. Spokesman Kevin Roark responded to an email request from the Los Alamos Daily Post this afternoon for additional information, saying simply that the Lab cannot elaborate as to what has spurred the order for heightened security.

Because of this government order, until further notice all vehicles entering

NNSA Administrator D’Agostino Retiring in January

on December 21, 2012 - 2:22pm

Thomas P. D’Agostino. Courtesy Photo

NNSA News:

National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino announced today that he will retire Jan. 18, 2013.

NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Neili Miller will serve as Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Acting Adminstrator of the NNSA.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement:

From the reactor room on the U.S.S. Skipjack to the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Tom D’Agostino has proven himself to be a talented leader, a trusted adviser, and a true confidant.

LANL Top Science News of 2012

on December 21, 2012 - 7:05am

Top science stories for the year traveled from the canyons of Mars to the high desert forests of New Mexico, from cosmic particles to the structure of proteins and enzymes. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Scientific advances that caught the world’s interest

Los Alamos National Laboratory made its scientific mark in a wide variety of areas, and the stories that caught the public’s attention and that of the science community reflect those broad capabilities.

Top science stories for the year traveled from the canyons of Mars to the high desert forests of New Mexico, from cosmic particles to the

Luján Amendment Passes to Study Broader National Labs Mission

on December 21, 2012 - 7:01am


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District voted in support of the Conference Report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Thursday, which includes an amendment he offered that calls for a study to broaden the mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) national laboratories.

A 2012 report by the National Academy of Science (NAS) and a Stimson report in 2009 recommended that the NNSA laboratories transition more fully to a broader national security mission and that a mechanism be put in place to

Ten LANL Scientists Achieve American Physical Society Awards Fellowships

on December 20, 2012 - 8:23am

LANL News:

Ten scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are being inducted into the ranks of fellowship in the American Physical Society (APS) for 2012.

The criterion for election as an APS Fellow is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; such as performing outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.

Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by professional peers.

Beauty is in Simplicity for Newly Discovered 'Quantum Spin Liquid'

on December 20, 2012 - 7:41am

This image depicts magnetic effects within Herbertsmithite crystals, where green regions represent higher scattering of neutrons from NIST's Multi-Angle Crystal Spectrometer (MACS). Scans of typical highly-ordered magnetic materials show only isolated spots of green, while disordered materials show uniform color over the entire sample. The in-between nature of this data shows some order within the disorder, implying the unusual magnetic effects within a spin liquid. Courtesy/NIST

NIST News:

A research team including scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

LANL Cancels Thursday's Surplus Property Sale!

on December 18, 2012 - 9:10am
LANL News:
The monthly surplus property sale at Los Alamos Nation Laboratory scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 20, has been canceled because of weather and the forecast for possible snow in Los Alamos later this week.
Weather permitting, the next regularly scheduled surplus property sale is Jan. 17, 2013.

NNSA Tops $290 Million in Small Business Contract Obligations in FY 2012

on December 18, 2012 - 7:17am

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In recognition of its commitment to working with small business partners, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it provided more than $290 million in small business obligations for federal prime contracts in fiscal year 2012.

Nearly 80 percent of new federal award actions went to small businesses. NNSA’s Management & Operating (M&O) contractors provided an additional $1.65 billion to small businesses in FY 2012, equal to 49 percent of all money subcontracted by the M&Os.

“Small businesses are the heart of the American

LANL's 2013 Employee Giving Campaign Reaps Record $3.1 Million in Pledges

on December 18, 2012 - 7:06am

LANL employee P.J. Timmerman outside the Española Valley Animal Shelter. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees have again demonstrated concern for their communities and those in need by pledging a record $2.13 million to United Way and other eligible nonprofit programs.

Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), which manages and operates the Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, plans to prorate its $1 million match among the selected nonprofit organizations, bringing the total donation to $3.1 million.

“I am again touched by the

NNSA Highlights Achievements and Improvements in 2012

on December 18, 2012 - 7:00am


NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As 2012 draws to a close, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has compiled a list of some of its most important accomplishments and improvements over the past year.

Thomas P. D’Agostino

The NNSA, in conjunction with its Management & Operating contractor partners, reached significant milestones in its nonproliferation and counterterrorism portfolios, made a host of significant achievements through its work with the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile, and maintained a constant focus on continuous improvement.

“We had our

LANL Has Closed Due to Dangerous Road Conditions

on December 14, 2012 - 8:41am

Los Alamos National Laboratory has closed as of 8:30 a.m. today due to adverse road conditions caused by heavy snow falling on the area. Employees are asked to leave the Lab now. For more information, call LANL's Closures, Delays and Emergency Hotline at (877) 723-4101. Courtesy/LANL

LANL Scientists Honored for Helping Small Businesses

on December 13, 2012 - 6:57am

Harshini Mukundan of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists Harshini Mukundan of the Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy group and Mark E. Smith of the Chemical Diagnostics and Engineering group received Principal Investigator Excellence (PIE) Awards from the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program (NMSBA) for assisting several New Mexico small businesses.

Los Alamos National Security, LLC, (LANS) the NMSBA and Northern New Mexico Connect sponsored the recognition event.

Mukundan was recognized for the assistance she

LANL's Piotr Zelenay Wins Research Award

on December 13, 2012 - 6:46am

Piotr Zelenay. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Piotr Zelenay of Los Alamos National Laboratory's Sensors and Electrochemical Devices group has won the 2012 Research Award presented by the Energy Technology Division of The Electrochemical Society.

The award recognizes Zelenay’s “outstanding and original contributions to the science and technology of energy-related research areas that include scientific and technological aspects of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources, energy management and environmental consequences of energy utilization.”

The award includes a monetary prize and membership in

Luján Urges Congressional Leaders to Support Labs During Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

on December 13, 2012 - 6:34am
  • Lujan Will Co-Chair New National Lab Caucus to Highlight Importance of Labs to National Competitiveness

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District sent a letter to Congressional leaders today urging them to resolve the fiscal cliff in a manner that prevents damaging funding cuts to the national laboratories, including Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.

In the letter, Luján highlights the important role these labs have played in providing cutting-edge research and innovation for applications ranging from national security to the Mars rover and

Gell-Mann Presents 'The Gods Must Be Crazy'

on December 12, 2012 - 8:49pm

SFI News:

The 2012 Science On Screen series wraps up at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, with Murray Gell-Mann's presentation of Jamie Uys’ groundbreaking 1980 comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy.

The event takes place at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe.

In the movie, a wayward Coca-Cola bottle upsets the balance in a utopian African village, setting off a chain of unlikely events, including bewildering (and hilarious) confrontations with “modern culture.”

Gell-Mann, a Nobel laureate, physicist, complexity pioneer, world traveler, and Santa Fe Institute icon will

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.