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DOE Accident Investigation Board Concludes: Plenty Of Blame To Go Around For Radioactive Release At WIPP

on April 24, 2015 - 3:09pm
DOE Accident Investigation Board Chair Ted Wyka speaking at Thursday's Town Hall meeting at Fuller Lodge. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Visual depiction of Panel 7, Room 7 at WIPP, where Drum 68660 in row 16, column 4 leaked radioactive material. The DOE Accident Investigation Board issued a 670-page forensic study of the Feb. 2014 accident and its aftermath. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Ted Wyka, chairman for the Department of Energy Accident Investigation Board was at Fuller Lodge Thursday night to inform the Los

LANL: SOC - IGUA Agree To 60-Day Contract Extension

on April 24, 2015 - 2:58pm

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory has announced that the contractor that provides security Protective Force services to the Laboratory, SOC-LA, and the International Guards Union of America Local #69 (IGUA) have agreed to a 60-day contract extension.

Union Protective Force personnel will continue to work as normal during the extension period, so a contingency plan to deploy an augmented Protective Force will not be implemented at this time.

SFI: 'Impact Of Topology On Dynamical Processes Over Networks - Connectivity And Competition Matters'

on April 24, 2015 - 6:43am
June Zhang Carnegie Mellon University
SFI News:
Santa Fe Institute (SFI) seminar "Impact of Topology on Dynamical Processes over Networks: Connectivity and Competition Matters" 12:15 p.m. Monday, April 27 in the Collins Conference Room in Santa Fe.

Abstract: Networks capture relationships between interactive agents in a population. Dynamical processes, such as epidemics, over networks is frequently used as a model to understand how information/virus/rumors/ opinions/failures spread amongst agents in a heterogenous population.

The inclusion of heterogenous network structure introduces

WIPP Mine Rescue Team Train In Smoky Environment

on April 23, 2015 - 1:57pm

WIPP mine rescue team members practice emergency response activities in a simulated smoke-filled environment. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

WIPP mine rescue teams recently participated in an onsite rescue drill that tested their ability to perform emergency operations in a smoke filled environment.

Donning respiratory masks and oxygen tanks, team members entered a simulated smoke filled room and practiced emergency response procedures and actions that prepare them should a fire occur in the WIPP underground.

In a facility like WIPP, rescue teams must be prepared to handle underground fires.

In Landmark Achievement, DOE Projects Permanently Store 10 Million Metric Tons Of Carbon Dioxide

on April 22, 2015 - 1:18pm

DOE is capturing and storing CO2 from industrial plants. Courtesy/DOE

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a landmark accomplishment, the U.S. Department of Energy is announcing that a group of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects supported by the Department have safely captured 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the equivalent of removing more than 2 million passenger vehicles from the nation’s roads for one year.

This milestone builds on the Obama administration’s goals of providing clean energy, supporting American jobs, and reducing emissions of carbon pollution.

UNM-LA Hosts Second Annual Job Fair This Friday

on April 22, 2015 - 10:30am


UNM-LA News:

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) is holding a Job Fair 1-4 p.m. this Friday, April 24, in the Student Center on the UNM-LA campus. The event is open to all job seekers in the community.

Currently, representatives from Los Alamos National Laboratory (both Human Resources and Student Programs), Zia Credit Union, Los Alamos County, Metzger’s, COMPA Industries, UNM-LA Bachelor & Graduate Programs, Los Alamos Senior Center, and Singer Support Services will be on hand to talk to those looking for work and possible summer internships.

Grace Willerton,

New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge Winners Named

on April 21, 2015 - 4:56pm

Shaun Cooper, retired CIO at NMSU serves at master of ceremony at today's 25th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge awards ceremony at the Church of Christ in Los Alamos. Photo by Chris Clark/

Jovan Zhang of Los Alamos High School takes third place in the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge. Courtesy/LANL

Top award winners Katelynn James, left, and Meghan Hill of Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Meghan Hill and Katelynn James of Santa Fe’s Monte del Sol Charter Sol took the top prize in the 25th New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge today

Getting Better All The Time: JILA Strontium Atomic Clock Sets New Records

on April 21, 2015 - 10:02am

JILA's strontium lattice atomic clock now performs better than ever because scientists literally "take the temperature" of the atoms' environment. Two specialized thermometers, calibrated by NIST researchers and visible in the center of the photo, are inserted into the vacuum chamber containing a cloud of ultracold strontium atoms confined by lasers. Photo by Marti/JILA

NIST News:

In another advance at the far frontiers of timekeeping by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers, the latest modification of a record-setting strontium atomic clock has achieved

SFI Presents: 'Optimal Learning For Finding Minimal Peptide Substrates'

on April 20, 2015 - 2:52pm
Peter Frazier of Cornell University
SFI News:
The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) presents "Optimal Learning For Finding Minimal Peptide Substrates" 12:15 p.m. Friday, April 24 at Collins Conference Room in Santa Fe.
Scientists use laboratory experiments to search for molecules with desirable properties, e.g., that make efficient solar cells; or that cure cancer. The success of such a search hinges on making good decisions about which experiments to perform.
We show how Bayesian statistics and value of information analysis can be used to choose good experiments, that reach

New Mexico's Norman C. Bay to Assume Leadership Post At Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

on April 19, 2015 - 7:38am

Norman C. Bay


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich welcomed Norman C. Bay, a former University of New Mexico law professor and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, as the new chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

In July 2014, the Senate confirmed Bay with bipartisan support as a commissioner of FERC, and slated him to be named chairman nine months following the confirmation. Prior to serving as a FERC commissioner, Bay had served as Director of the Office of Enforcement at FERC since 2009. 

"Throughout his tenure

SFI: 'Statistical Physics Of Massive Data Acquisition'

on April 19, 2015 - 6:42am
Marc Mezard (l'Ecole Normale Supérieure)
SFI News:
The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) presents "Statistical Physics and Massive Data Acquisition" at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, at Noyce Conference Room in Santa Fe.
The rapid increase in the amount of data that is presently being generated, acquired and processed opens new perspectives in many branches of science.
In order to take full advantage of this data revolution, and to turn it into a major tool for scientific discoveries, new concepts and methods need to be developed, thus allowing us to focus on the extraction of significant

DOE Issues WIPP Radiological Release Phase II Investigation Report

on April 17, 2015 - 11:06am

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) released Thursday the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) Phase II Report related to the Feb. 14, 2014, radiological event at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad. 

The AIB completed an exhaustive investigation at WIPP and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to examine the cause of the radiological release at WIPP and identify managerial controls and safety measures necessary to prevent or minimize the probability or severity of a recurrence of this type of accident.

Based on

New Awards For Advanced Nuclear Energy Development

on April 17, 2015 - 10:56am

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Building on the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and efforts to expand clean energy innovation, the Department of Energy today awarded more than $5 million to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing nuclear engineering degrees and other nuclear science and engineering programs relevant to nuclear energy.

The awards include 59 undergraduate scholarships and 32 graduate-level fellowships for students at American colleges and universities.

“The awards announced today will directly help support the future of the nuclear energy research workforce, as

LANL’s Feynman Center For Innovation Reaches Out To Teen Entrepreneurs

on April 17, 2015 - 9:54am

Isaac Schilling, LAHS alum and Feynman Center coordinator for entrepreneurship event. Courtesy photo


The Feynman Center for Innovation at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, with the help of Los Alamos High School alumnus Isaac Schilling, will host a series of events for teenagers interested in entrepreneurship. 

The Teen Startup Challenge is a series of events to teach teens how to quickly and effectively share their entrepreneurial ideas with the goal of gaining funding to start a business or to expand a current venture, according to Schilling.

Schilling will

New Mexico Congressional Delegation Responds To WIPP Accident Investigation Board Report

on April 17, 2015 - 8:29am


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Luján issued the following joint statement on the report by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Accident Investigation Board, analyzing the direct cause of the of the Feb. 14, 2014, radiological incident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP): 

"According to today's report, a series of critical failures of leadership at every level led to the very serious accident and release that put numerous New Mexicans at risk, shuttered WIPP for over a year, and have

DOE Hosting Los Alamos Town Hall At Fuller Lodge

on April 17, 2015 - 7:36am

DOE News:

The Department of Energy will host a Town Hall meeting in Los Alamos Thursday, April 23, to discuss the Accident Investigation Board findings from the Feb. 14, 2014, drum breach at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

Members of the AIB will be on-hand to present the findings and answer questions.

The Los Alamos meeting is the second of two public meetings following the AIB’s release of its Phase II Report on the WIPP event. The report is available at 

The Los Alamos meeting begins at 5:30 p.m., April 23 at Fuller Lodge,

VIDEO: Heinrich Advocates Tech Transfer Legislation, ‎Labs’ Role In Monitoring Iran’s Nuclear Program

on April 16, 2015 - 10:04am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. advocated for legislation he sponsored to encourage technology transfer and highlighted the national laboratories' role in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for Iran's Nuclear Program.

At the hearing with leadership from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Senator Heinrich highlighted the Microlab Technology Commercialization Act, a bill he introduced with

Supercomputing Challenge Draws Over 200 Students

on April 16, 2015 - 8:52am

LANL News:
  • Student teams thriughout New Mexico showcase year-long research projects April 21-22

More than 200 New Mexico students and their teachers will be at Los Alamos National Laboratory April 20-21 for the 25th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony.

“One of the goals of the year-long competition is to teach student teams how to use powerful computers to analyze, model and solve real-world problems,” said David Kratzer of the Laboratory’s High Performance Computer Systems group, LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge.

SFI Presents: 'Rugged Landscapes And Timescale Distributions In Complex Systems'

on April 16, 2015 - 7:28am
Dan Stein (New York University; SFI Science Board Co-Chair)
SFI News:
Santa Fe Institute (SFI) presents "Rugged Landscapes and Timescale Distributions in Complex Systems" at 12:15 p.m. Monday, April 20 at the Collins Conference Room.
Complex systems are generally characterized by a high degree of metastability. In such cases it is often useful to characterize their dynamical behavior as a random walk on a "rugged landscape."
There are many approaches toward studying this generic problem, and it remains a common theme in the mathematical analysis of the evolution of complex

SOC Contract Negotiations Underway With LANL

on April 15, 2015 - 4:38pm

SOC image. Courtesy/SOC


Staff Report

Negotiations are going down to the wire as the contract for SOC LLC to provide protective force services to Los Alamos National Laboratory ends April 25. 

SOC LLC was awarded a three year contract in 2010 with two one-year extension options at a total value of about $251 million. 

LANL spokesperson Kevin Roark said in a statement to the Los Alamos Daily Post: "While we still are hoping that SOC-LA - the protective force subcontractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory - can resolve this labor situation, in anticipation of a possible work

New Technique For Growing High-efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells Discussed Thursday At Science On Tap

on April 14, 2015 - 10:16am

Scientists Aditya Mohite, left, and Wanyi Nie are perfecting a crystal production technique to improve perovskite crystal production for solar cells at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists Aditya Mohite and Wanyi Nie of the Materials Synthesis and Integrated Devices Group discuss their work on perfecting a crystal production technique to improve perovskite crystal production for solar cells in a Science on Tap conversation at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at UnQuarked the Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square in downtown Los Alamos.


LANL: Promising Future Of Quantum Dots Explored In Conference In Santa Fe This Week

on April 13, 2015 - 8:14pm

Quantum dot LSC devices under ultraviolet illumination. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • ‘20 Years of Quantum Dots at Los Alamos’ Runs April 12-16

Researchers from around the world are gathering this week in Santa Fe to reflect on two decades of quantum dot research at a special topical conference, “20 Years of Quantum Dots at Los Alamos.”

The conference is hosted by the New Mexico Consortium and its program committee includes several past and present members of the Nanotechnology and Advanced Spectroscopy Team (NanoTech team) of the Chemistry Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory.


LANL Biologist Dr. Nathan McDowell To Speak At Phi Beta Kappa Banquet Honoring High School Scholars

on April 13, 2015 - 8:40am

LANL biologist Dr. Nathan McDowell. Courtesy photo


Sunday evening, April 26, the Los Alamos Phi Beta Kappa Association will hold its 59th annual banquet to honor the top graduates of Los Alamos High School.

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest undergraduate honor society in the United States and has about 230 members in Los Alamos County (1.3 percent of the county’s population). The banquet for the honor graduates, Phi Beta Kappa Members, and their guests will be held at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos starting at 5:30 p.m. and catered by The Blue Window.

The 52 students of the

Regional Coalition Of LANL Communities Gathers Friday Morning In Española

on April 11, 2015 - 1:31pm

Assistant Manager Pete Maggiore of NNSA's Environmental Projects Office at the Los Alamos Field Office gives a presentation at Friday's RCLC meeting in Española City Chambers. Photo by Eric Vasquez/

Staff Report

The Regional Coalition Of LANL Communities (RCLC) met Friday morning in the Española City Chambers at 405 N. Paseo de Oñate.

RCLC members heard an update on activities of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation.

LAGS Talk: Methane Hot Spot In Four Corners: Where Is It coming from? Why Does It Matter?

on April 10, 2015 - 10:53am
Manvendra Dubey
Scientist and Climate Focus Lead, LANL

LAGS News:

Manvendra Dubey is the guest speaker at the Los Alamos Geological Society's (LAGS) monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m., April 21 at Christian Church, 92 East Road in Los Alamos.

Dubey is a scientist and Climate Focus Lead at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He will present the talk, “Methane Hot Spot In Four Corners: Where Is It coming from? Why Does It Matter?”


Methane is 25 times more potent gas than carbon dioxide and its production has increased dramatically from advanced mining and extraction technique.