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NNSA Completes Removal of High Security Special Nuclear Material from LLNL

on September 24, 2012 - 7:30am

Research at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory supports the nation's nuclear weapon Stockpile Stewardship Program as well as studies high energy density physics and astrophysical phenomena. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced Friday that the last of the Security Category I/II special nuclear material items that required the highest level of security at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been removed.

LLNL’s primary mission will continue to be to ensure the safety,

U.S. Marks 20 Years Without Underground Nuclear Explosive Testing

on September 21, 2012 - 4:47pm

Technicians are installing a piece of tooling in the workstand for further dismantlement operations during W56 dismantlement training. Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA News:

Science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program Ensures Safety, Security, Reliability of American Nuclear Weapons

WASHINGTON, D.C. Twenty years ago, on Sept. 23, 1992, the United States conducted its last underground nuclear explosive test.

Since then, the United States has developed the capability to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of its stockpile through the use of state-of-the-art technology and research while

Manhattan Project National Historical Park Fails to Pass House

on September 20, 2012 - 4:05pm

Staff report

Earlier this afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Resolution 5987. 

A 2/3 vote was require to pass the "Yeas and Nays" vote. The Park received 257 Yeas and 158 Nays, however, 276 Yea votes were needed to pass the park through the House and on to the Senate for consideration.

H.R. 5987 is titled, "To establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington, and for other purposes."

Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director

LANL Reopens Trails Temporarily Closed for Environmental Sampling and Cleanup

on September 20, 2012 - 2:27pm

A Los Alamos National Laboratory worker removes a “closed” sign from a trail south of Trinity Drive. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory has reopened trails located on U.S. Department of Energy property near the Timber Ridge and Ridge Park condominiums south of Trinity Drive near Oppenheimer Drive.

The trails were closed temporarily while the Laboratory conducted environmental sampling and cleanup work in the area, which is south of Trinity Drive and west of Oppenheimer Drive.

The trails will remain open while the Laboratory and the New Mexico Environment Department

NNSA, DOE Office of Science Award $14M in Grants

on September 20, 2012 - 2:09pm

 

Courtesy/NNSA

NNSA/DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Office of Science (SC) today announced that 46 research grants totaling $14 million have been awarded as part of the Joint Program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP).

Contemporary advances in laser, particle beam and pulsed power technologies have made possible the creation of increasingly high energy density states in the laboratory.

Cold War Heroes Overcome Major Hurdle in Battle for Just Compensation

on September 20, 2012 - 7:17am
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Tuesday applauded a federal advisory panel’s approval of a petition that could pave the way for hundreds of sick Los Alamos National Laboratory workers to receive compensation for their service.
 
The panel, called the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, approved a petition Tuesday granting “Special Exposure Cohort” (SEC) status to all LANL workers who developed radiogenic cancers after having been employed for at least 250 days from Jan. 1, 1976 to Dec. 31, 1995.
 
A previous LANL SEC petition covering workers from March 15, 1943 to

Bandelier Assesses Paint Spill Effects on Park

on September 20, 2012 - 6:42am

A tractor-trailer rig traveling eastbound on N.M. 4, northwest of the junction of N.M. 4 and 501, missed a sharp curve and fell about 200 feet down a steep slope into Bandelier Tuesday spewing paint in all directions. CourtesyNPS

BANDELIER News:

Bandelier National Monument Park staff is in the process of identifying the toxicity of the paint and assessing its impacts to the environment that was splattered in the forest Tuesday when a tractor-trailer rig traveling eastbound on New Mexico State Highway 4, northwest of the junction of N.M.

Luján: Decision ... Step in Right Direction

on September 19, 2012 - 6:13am

Photo: U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

Santa Fe – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District called a decision Tuesday by the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health a step in the right direction to help workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) who have suffered illnesses as a result of their work at the Lab.

The board’s 12 to one decision to recommend compensation for all workers, contractors, and subcontractors who were employed at LANL between 1976 and 1995 is a vital step in the process that has dragged on since the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) petition was submitted

AUDIO: Udall Talks Burn Pits & Senate Business

on September 19, 2012 - 6:10am

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On his weekly radio call Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall discussed the Senate Veterans Committee’s unanimous passage of his legislation to create an open burn pits registry and this week’s Senate business.
 
 
Below are highlights from Udall’s remarks:
 
0:00 - Udall expresses his support for Americans serving in the Middle East and discusses the loss of four Americans in Libya last week, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
 
0:28 - “Ambassador Stevens had a deep commitment to the people

LANL Taps Mousseau for Associate Director of Environmental Programs

on September 18, 2012 - 2:39pm

Jeffrey Mousseau has been named the new associate director for Environmental Programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News

Mousseau Will Oversee Transuranic Waste Disposal and Environmental Cleanup Projects

Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced that Jeffrey Mousseau has been hired as the new associate director for Environmental Programs.

Mousseau currently works as a senior project manager for the Laboratory’s transuranic waste disposal program.

In his new position, he will oversee this program as well as other key environmental cleanup and monitoring

International Dignitaries Tour NEDO Smart House

on September 18, 2012 - 1:46pm

Dignitaries from Japan join officials from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County, Gov. Susana Martinez and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in Monday's NEDO Smart House Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Los Alamos County Council Chair Stover, NEDO Chairman Kazuo Furukawa and other dignitaries tour the NEDO Smart House Monday. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com

Local, state, national and international officials tour the NEDO Smart House including this garage area.

First of Six LANL Protesters Set to Face Judge

on September 17, 2012 - 2:15pm
Los Alamos National Laboratory protesters from left, Catherine Euler, Cathie Sullivan, Janet Greenwald, Benjamin (Summer) Abbott, Barbara Grothus and Pamela Gilchrist following their release from the Los Alamos County Detention Center Aug. 6 after being issued criminal citations to appear in court. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com
 
Editor's Note Sept. 17: Due to a scheduling conflict, the hearing has been postponed. A new date has not been set yet.  
 
Staff report
 
The first of six protesters arrested Aug. 6 during an anti-nuke demonstration at Los Alamos National Laboratory is

Washington Post Columnist Claims Los Alamos in Disrepair

on September 17, 2012 - 6:15am
ON THE MESA FACING NORTH
Column by Greg Kendall

In the Washington Post's National Security section is a two-part report, "Aging U.S. nuclear arsenal slated for costly and long-delayed modernization," published on Saturday, Sept. 15.

 

 

 

A frontal view of four B-61 nuclear free-fall bombs on a bomb cart. Courtesy/DoD

Dana Priest writes:


"... parts of Los Alamos are in serious disrepair. Inside one critical building, pipes carrying dangerous wastewater are duct-taped together at the joints to plug leaks; plastic bags have been wrapped around the tape to trap seepage.

The building,

Senate Vets Committee Advances Udall's Burn Pit Legislation

on September 13, 2012 - 11:58am
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., reported Wednesday that the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee unanimously passed legislation that includes S. 1798, The Open Burn Pits Registry Act.
 
Udall became an advocate for a burn pit registry after meeting Albuquerque veteran Msgt. Jessey Baca and his wife Maria. MSgt Baca was stationed at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, which hosted approximately 25,000 personnel at the height of operations and over 10 acres of land for burning toxic debris.
 
MSgt Baca has faced a multitude of health problems believed to be associated with burn pits,

Luján Announces $1.2 Million Grant for LANL to Improve Energy Efficiency of Vehicles

on September 12, 2012 - 8:16am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District announced Tuesday that Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is receiving a $1.2 million grant through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicles Technology program. 

The program is investing in three new projects that focus on increasing the efficiency of engines and powertrain systems for future highway transportation vehicles. 

The federal government will contribute $1.2 million to the project, while the private sector will invest $300,000.

LANL will use the grant to develop a low cost and robust nitrogen

Powering Up the Los Alamos Smart Grid & Smart House

on September 11, 2012 - 11:20pm

Let the Demo Begin!  Powering up the Los Alamos Smart Grid & Smart House

By Greg Kendall

  • First international project in the U.S. to demonstrate how to provide a significant proportion of renewable power on the electric grid to meet a community’s residential needs.


A $52 million state‐of‐the‐art, international smart grid project will power up at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 at 1925‐D Trinity Dr. in Los Alamos, a high desert residential community of scientists, engineers and their families.

At the event, the New Energy and Industrial Technology and Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan,

SFI Seminar: On the Interface between Movement and Sociality in Animal Behavior & What Lies on Either Side

on September 10, 2012 - 2:53pm

Nicolas Perony
ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design

SFI News:

The Santa Fe Institute presents the talk, "On the Interface between Movement and Sociality in Animal Behavior, and What Lies on Either Side" by Nicolas Perony at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in the Medium Conference Room at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe.

Abstract: Scientists working on the study of animal groups are mainly divided between two schools: those who study social behaviour, and those who study spatial dynamics.

Whilst these two dimensions are intrinsically linked, traditionally there has been little interaction

DOE Extends Comment Period, Adds Hearing in Espaňola for Draft Supplemental Environmental Study on Plutonium Disposition

on September 10, 2012 - 2:38pm

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration has given the public an additional 15 days and a fourth hearing in New Mexico to comment on the Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

The Draft Supplemental EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for the disposition of 7.1 metric tons (MT) of additional weapons-usable plutonium from pits that were declared surplus to national defense needs in 2007 but were not included in DOE's prior decisions as well as 6 MT of

LANL Study's Tree Death Climate Change Connection [VIDEO]

on September 10, 2012 - 2:02pm

Los Alamos National Laboratory News:

What are the exact physiological mechanisms that lead to tree death during prolonged drought and rising temperatures?

These are the questions that scientists are trying to answer in a Los Alamos National Laboratory research project called SUMO.

SUMO stands for SUrvival/MOrtality study; it's a plot of land on the Lab's southern border that features 18 climate controlled tree study chambers and a large drought structure that limits rain and snowfall.

Scientists are taking a wide variety of measurements over a long period of time to determine what happens

UPDATE: SFI Lecture: Leveraging Social Science for Prediction

on September 6, 2012 - 9:35am

Richard Colbaugh of Sandia National Laboratories will give the talk, "Leveraging Social Science for Prediction" at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 in the Medium Conference Room at the Santa Fe Institute.

Abstract: There is significant interest in developing methods for predicting human behavior, for instance to enable the outcomes of unfolding events to be forecast or the nature of ongoing but “hidden” activities to be inferred, and machine learning (ML) has proven to be a useful approach to such problems.

In this talk I suggest that the performance of ML algorithms can often be improved by

Comment Dates on Plans to Expand Disposal at WIPP

on September 6, 2012 - 7:31am

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety News:

There are two opportunities to make public comment on the Department of Energy (DOE) proposals to expand the disposal options at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

DOE is seeking to use lead shielded containers for disposal of “hot” Remote-Handled (RH) waste and to dispose of six metric tons of “surplus plutonium.” 

Fact sheets and sample comment letters about both proposals are available on the CCNS website: http://www.nuclearactive.org. Public comments about the proposal to use shielded containers are due to the New Mexico Environment

Disseminating the Kilogram, No Strings Attached

on September 5, 2012 - 8:44am

Patrick Abbot inspects the upper (vacuum) section of the apparatus. Courtesy/ NIST

NIST News:

The impending redefinition of the kilogram presents a weighty dilemma. Methods to be used to realize the redefined kilogram are based on the Planck constant and the Avogadro constant respectively and realize the kilogram in vacuum.

But secondary standards, as well as transfer standards for laboratory and industrial use, must be deployed in air.

Devising a practical method of resolving this difference is extremely complicated. Two masses can easily be compared when both are in vacuum.

Just Crazy to Ski Raffle Benefits Bathtub Row Press

on September 1, 2012 - 11:42am

HISTORICAL SOCIETY News:

The Los Alamos Historical Society and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area have teamed up for a raffle featuring the publication, Just Crazy to Ski: A Fifty Year History of Skiing at Los Alamos.

For $10, raffle ticket buyers will receive the book and an opportunity to win a 2013-2014 season pass to the Ski Hill.

Only 700 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held Nov. 1, 2013. (Yes, that is more than one year away, as is the season for which the ski pass can be used.)

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Historical Society’s publishing venture, Bathtub Row

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