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Officials Break Ground on Interagency Fire Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory's TA-49

on June 27, 2012 - 2:03pm

Dignitaries broke ground Tuesday morning on an Interagency Fire Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Technical Area-49. The 6,400 square foot facility will serve as a joint coordination and response center for fire events around the area. From left, Ray Todd, associate regional director for Facilities and Lands for National Park Service Intermountain Region; Rebecca Montoya, field representative for Sen.

Celebration Marks 1,000th TRU Waste Shipment

on June 27, 2012 - 1:38pm

Employees of the Transuranic (TRU) Waste processing facility are joined by local and state officials to celebrate the 1,000th (1,014th) shipment of TRU waste to WIPP. Photo by Greg Kendall/

By Greg Kendall

New Mexico's governor and other dignitaries gathered at Los Alamos National Laboratory Tuesday for a special event marking the 1,000th shipment of nuclear waste to a permanent repository at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad.

“I am pleased we continue to make progress on our environmental cleanup commitment to protect this beautiful place where we live

Drumheads Tuned to Make Quantum Dots

on June 26, 2012 - 7:45am

NIST researchers showed that straining graphene membrane creates pseudomagnetic fields that confines the graphene's electrons and creates quantized quantum dot-like energy levels. The background is a false color image of the graphene drumheads made from a single layer of graphene over 1 micron-sized pits etched in a silicon dioxide substrate.Credit: N. Klimov and T. Li, NIST/UMD

NIST News:

Tightening or relaxing the tension on a drumhead will change the way the drum sounds.

The same goes for drumheads made from graphene, only instead of changing the sound, stretching graphene has a

Friendship: An Evolutionary Puzzle

on June 26, 2012 - 7:43am

SFI News:

Dan Hruschka will present his talk: Friendship: An Evolutionary Puzzle at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday June 27 in the James A. Little Theater in Santa Fe.

Hruschka is a Santa Fe Institute Omidyar Fellow alumnus, is an assistant professor of anthropology at Arizona State University and author of Friendship: Development, Ecology, and Evolution of a Relationship

Abstract: Friends sacrifice for one another with little concern for past behavior or consequences.

Such unconditional helping provides an important buffer against hardship. But it also poses an evolutionary puzzle.

How have

LANS Donates to Over 230 Nonprofits

on June 25, 2012 - 11:59am

LANL News:

LANL employees Randy Erickson, center, and Louise Mendius, at right, help fill sandbags at Santa Clara Pueblo. Courtesy/LANL
  • LANS Recognizes Employee and Retiree Volunteer Efforts

Nonprofit organizations will receive more than $180,000 from Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) during a recognition event beginning at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 28, at Fuller Lodge in downtown Los Alamos.

LANS contributions are determined by the number of volunteer hours logged by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) employees and retirees through an organization called VolunteerMatch.


LANL Dissolves N-4 Today

on June 25, 2012 - 8:02am

In a memo to staff members, Associate Director W. Scott Gibbs of Threat Identification and Response at Los Alamos National Laboratory announced late last week that N-4 (Safeguards and Security Systems Group) is being dissolved.

N Division recently became the Nuclear Engineering and Nonproliferation Division (NEN) to recognize and expand on two important capabilities for the Laboratory, Gibbs explained in the memo.

As the next step in furthering those capabilities, he decided that the International and Nuclear Systems Engineering Group (D-5) should join NEN to leverage that group’s

The Crown Jewel of Manhattan Project Properties: The Oppenheimer House

on June 24, 2012 - 9:24am

Exterior of Master Cottage #2, when May Connell lived there. Courtesy/LA Historical Society


By Heather McClenahan, Executive Director
Los Alamos Historical Society

When conducting school tours of the Los Alamos Historic District and the Oppenheimer House, I like to tell kids that A. J. Connell, director of the Los Alamos Ranch School, thought girls had cooties. Most third and fourth graders love that!

Even the hard-headed Connell had to give in a bit, though, realizing that if he intended to prepare his young male students for Ivy League schools, he would have to offer art education, a

NIST: Protocols for Measurement and Dispersion of Nanoparticles

on June 21, 2012 - 12:53pm

NIST News:

This series of NIST Special Publications (SPs) consists of protocols developed by NIST researchers in conjunction with external collaborators, such as Duke University's Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT) and the National Cancer Institute's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL).

In many cases, the original version of these protocols was posted on external collaborator web sites; all previous versions are superseded by these SP versions.

Updates to the SP version of the protocols may be released in the future.

Federal Agencies Join to Build Permanent Local Interagency Fire Center

on June 21, 2012 - 12:01pm

NNSA News:

As the one-year anniversary of New Mexico’s second largest wildfire on record approaches, a focused multi-federal agency effort is underway to build a permanent Interagency Fire Center in the heart of Northern New Mexico’s fire country.

Building upon the success of last year’s multi-agency coordination during the Las Conchas Fire, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Bandelier National Monument (BAND), and Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) have again partnered to greatly enhance northern New Mexico fire protection efforts by building a 6,400 square foot facility to

LANL Proposes to Submit Interim Work Plan on Chromium Contamination Monitoring

on June 21, 2012 - 8:10am

LANL News:

On Monday, Los Alamos National Laboratory sent the following letter to Hazardous Waste Bureau Chief John Kieling at the New Mexico Environment Department.

In the letter, LANL proposes to develop by Dec. 15, a work plan to perform interim measure alternatives analysis for chromium in Mortandad and Sandia canyons.

Can Spin Glasses be Used to Study Opinion Formation?

on June 21, 2012 - 6:44am

Helmut Katzgraber will present a talk at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 26 in the Medium Conference Room at the Santa Fe Institute.

Katzgraber works at the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Texas A&M University and ETH Zurich.

His talk is, Boolean Decision Problems with Competing Interactions on Scale-Free Networks: Can Spin Glasses be Used to Study Opinion Formation?

Abstract: Spin glasses are paradigmatic models that deliver concepts relevant for a variety of systems.

However, despite ongoing research spanning several decades in the area of glassy systems, there remain many fundamental

BREAKING NEWS: LANL Director Calls All-Employee Meeting Regarding Workforce Update

on June 20, 2012 - 1:56pm

From/MS: Charles F. McMillan, A100
Date: June 20, 2012

Subject: Workforce Update and All-Employee Meeting

Over the past several months, we have been engaged in efforts to manage Laboratory costs to live within the current budget and to position the Laboratory to successfully deal with future funding scenarios.

With the help of the entire Laboratory, I believe we have been successful in working the myriad budget issues so that we can more confidently face future challenges while delivering on our mission commitments.

In the Fall of 2011, I established the Laboratory Integrated Stewardship

NNSA Sites, Labs Earn 12 R&D 100 Awards

on June 20, 2012 - 12:51pm


NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today congratulated its laboratories and production sites for receiving 12 of R&D Magazine’s 2012 R&D 100 Awards.

"Congratulations to this year's R&D 100 award winners," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. "The research and development at the Department of Energy's laboratories continues to help the nation meet our energy challenges, strengthen our national security and improve our economic competitiveness."

Awarded annually by R&D Magazine to the best technological advances at universities,

Police and Lab Join Forces for Robot Rodeo

on June 20, 2012 - 9:32am

Los Alamos Police Department explosive devices experts and LANL hazardous devices experts joined forces to compete against seven other teams in the sixth annual Robot Rodeo underway this week in Technical Area 49 at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In this scenario, a pair of robots inspect a car involved in a chase and abandoned by drug traffickers.  Photo by Salvador Zapien/

Bob Clark, a Hazardous Devices technician at Los Alamos National Laboratory makes some final adjustments to the LANL/LAPD team robot. Photo by Salvador Zapien/

One of the tasks the robots

LANL Helps Medicine, Cosmetics and Crop Irrigation Businesses Gain Traction

on June 19, 2012 - 9:04am

LANL News:

Three small companies in the diverse fields of medicine, cosmetics and crop irrigation are the latest recipients of Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards from the Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

Integrative Enzymatics, Vapour Organic Beauty and HydroBio will receive startup funding from the Laboratory to help them gain traction in their respective markets.

"The VAF program fills a unique need by providing capital that reduces a company’s risk," said David Pesiri, the Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division leader.

NNSA Production Office Open for Business

on June 19, 2012 - 7:27am
NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart, left, presents DOE Secretary Steven Chu with an overview last year of a B83 tooling system. Courtesy/NNSA
NNSA News:
  • New organization combines federal offices in Tennessee and Texas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Production Office (NPO) is now in operation, providing federal oversight of nuclear production missions at the Pantex Site in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

“This is an historic move for NNSA that puts us in a position to improve performance, reduce the

Seeing the Color of Disease

on June 18, 2012 - 2:52pm

Microarrayer machines (A) now can mix colors and deposit them on microscope slides, which can be used to calibrate hyperspectral imagers (HSI) for use in medical applications. The finished slides can be custom-colored (B) to calibrate HSIs to find specific types of tumors or disease tissue. Close up, they resemble dot-matrix printwork (C). Credit: Clarke/NIST

NIST News:

A powerful color-based imaging technique is making the jump from remote sensing to the operating room—and a team of scientists* at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken steps to ensure it

LANL to Host Robot Rodeo Tuesday

on June 18, 2012 - 12:03pm

  • Events test skills of hazardous devices team from around the Southwest

Hazardous devices teams from around the Southwest will wrangle their bomb squad robots at the sixth annual Robot Rodeo beginning Tuesday, June 19 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL.)

The rodeo gets under way at 8 a.m. in Technical Area 49, a remote section of Laboratory property near the entrance to Bandelier National Monument.

Eight teams are scheduled to participate in the three-day competition.

“The Robot Rodeo gives bomb squad teams the opportunity to practice and hone their skills in a lively

World's Fastest Supercomputer Passes 16 Petaflops!

on June 18, 2012 - 7:26am

NNSA News:

An IBM technician loads CPUs into Sequoia, the world's fastest supercomputer. Courtesy Courtesy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced this morning that a supercomputer called Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was ranked the world’s most powerful computing system.

Every six months, the biggest supercomputers have a giant race to see which can lay claim to being the world’s fastest high-performance computing cluster.

Clocking in at 16.32 sustained petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per

U.S. and Latvia Commission Radiation Detection Equipment

on June 17, 2012 - 8:00am

NNSA News:

Freeport of Riga in Latvia. Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the State Border Guard of Latvia (SBG) Friday announced the commissioning of specialized radiation detection equipment at the Freeport of Riga, in an effort to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials.

Under a 2007 agreement between the U.S. and Latvia, NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program has been working with SBG on projects at seven sites and a training center in Latvia.

LANL: After-hours, Weekend Changes Through East Jemez Road Vehicle Access Portal Begin Monday

on June 15, 2012 - 11:03am


Beginning Monday, June 18, all vehicles entering Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Vehicle Access Portal at East Jemez Road must use center lane number 4 between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.

All other lanes will be closed during LANL’s non-work hours.

During these hours, drivers and bicyclists must stop at the center lane guard post and proceed only upon verbal or hand-signal direction from a LANL protective force officer.

Orange traffic safety cones will be used to funnel vehicle traffic into the center lane.

All drivers are reminded that

UK Continues Support for NNSA Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs

on June 15, 2012 - 9:43am
NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced that NNSA and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will continue cooperation to secure vulnerable nuclear and radiological material and reduce nuclear threats around the world.

Under an agreement signed with NNSA's Office of Global Threat Reduction (GTRI), the U.K. Global Threat Reduction Programme will provide the U.S. $3.5 million to support efforts in Uzbekistan, Belarus and Afghanistan.

"We welcome the U.K.’s longstanding and generous partnership with NNSA’s nuclear

Manhattan Project Historical Park Site Bill Moves Through Congress

on June 14, 2012 - 7:22pm

Chairman Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) today introduced legislation that would designate Manhattan Project sites around the country as a National Historic Park. 

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are cosponsors of S. 3300

In the House of Representatives, Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) said today that he will introduce a similar bill when the House returns to session next week.

As an expert panel of historians reported in 2001, the top-secret program to create an atomic bomb during World War II centered in Los

LANL Facility Receives LEED® Gold Certification

on June 13, 2012 - 4:39pm

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s newest facility, the Radiological Laboratory Utility Office Building (RLUOB), is also its first to achieve both the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status and LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

From its robust design to its advanced scientific equipment, RLUOB is essential to the Laboratory’s national security mission in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) nuclear weapons program.

At more than 200,000 square feet, this building is the only radiological facility