Friday, January 14, 2011

The dark-horse lab that just might figure out fusion

It is the energy source that could change the world. It has eluded every effort to master it. But LANL physicist Glen Wurden thinks he knows how to tame the heart of the sun.

"My goal in life is to make fusion energy happen. Period," says Wurden. The control of nuclear fusion - the reaction that powers stars and hydrogen bombs - would permanently solve the world's energy problems, not to mention a few geopolitical ones (full story).

Rees awarded AAAS Fellow

William S. Rees, Jr. of Los Alamos National Laboratory has been awarded the distinction of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow.

Rees was elected as an AAAS Fellow for scientific and educational contributions to the field of materials chemistry, and for sustained policy contributions leading to enhancements in national security basic research (full story).

Also this week in the Los Alamos Monitor:

Anastasio addresses community leaders

Michael Anastasio, who announced his retirement as the head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory last week, addressed a Community Leaders breakfast hosted by LANL at Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort Tuesday morning.

Anastasio said he plans to step down on June 1 and he has no specific retirement plans except to say he and his wife plan to stay in New Mexico (full story).

Wary of North Korea

Siegfried Hecker has toured North Korea's nuclear centers, and he does not think Kim Jong Il's Communist regime will be able to launch nuclear weapons into the United States within the next five years.

"If North Korea goes unchecked, it might get midrange missiles in five years," Hecker said Wednesday at a discussion hosted by the Santa Fe Council on International Relations (full story).

Hecker finds new nuclear activity in North Korea

On Nov. 12, former Los Alamos National Laboratory director Sig Hecker made a stunning observation at the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Korea. He found a previously undisclosed, industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility.

He found a previously undisclosed, industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility with 2,000 advanced centrifuges, and a light-water nuclear reactor under construction (full story).

Explore once supersecret Los Alamos

History was changed by what went on in Los Alamos, whose existence wasn't acknowledged during World War II while scientists and thousands of support workers developed the bombs that eventually were dropped on Japan.

We were in New Mexico with a friend who's a rocket scientist, and he was eager to see the Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bradbury Science Museum (named for the laboratory's second director, Norris E. Bradbury.) (full story)

Labs offer free technical assistance to small businesses

The New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program is seeking small business owners who need technical assistance in 2011.

The program, run by state government in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, connects scientists, engineers and others with local businesses to solve critical challenges and promote economic development (full story).

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