Friday, September 9, 2011

LANL using cost-effective methods

Continuing the explosions

It's a sight to see: The explosion of an old test weapon with the mountains in the background. It happens all the time at two remote sites on Los Alamos lab property.

Los Alamos National Lab wants to keep those booms coming.

The lab has been blowing up waste high explosives for years and it's now applying with the state in order to k

eep blowing up the waste safely (full story).

NM lab seeks permit to detonate explosive waste

In a desolate canyon in northern New Mexico, a b

lack puff of dust and smoke rises up from the ground following a quick flash. It takes about a second and a half for the loud boom and rush of air to catch up.

Explosives experts at the nation's premiere nuclear laboratory just blew up 85 pounds of waste left over from some of the experiments Los Alamos National Laboratory conducts on improvised explosives and other terrorist threats.

Some of the high explosive waste also comes from the work scientists do to bolster national security and to ensure the stability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

Critical is how lab officials describe the work — and the detonations needed to get rid of the waste.

They're asking New Mexico regulators to modify the lab's sweeping hazardous waste permit so the detonations can continue (full story).

LANL employees remember those lost on 9/11

Los Alamos, like the rest of the country lives in the memory of Sept. 11, 2001.

But the people here had a slightly different ex

perience that day. As the Twin Towers were attacked and slowly crashed to the ground – the Pentagon was hit and the bravest of Americans took down Flight 93 in Pennsylvania – Los Alamos police and fire fighters prepared for a strike and the town’s air space was shut down.

Nancy Ambrosiano worked inside the Los Alamos National Laboratory that day (full story).

U.S. expert: North Korea may need more atomic tests

VIENNA (Reuters) - North Korea has "good technical reasons" to carry out at least one more atomic test if it wants to develop a nuclear-armed missile, a prominent U.S. scientist who has often visited the reclusive Asian state said on Friday.

Stanford University's Siegfried Hecker, who late last year was shown a previously undetected uranium enrichment facility in North Korea, said he believed the isolated state knew

how to build a "relatively simple, rudimentary plutonium bomb. . . ."

North Korea often uses Hecker, a former director of the U.S. Los Alamos National Laboratory where the atomic bomb was developed, as its preferred foreign scientist to demonstrate its nuclear capabilities. He has visited seven times since 2004 (full story).

Hubble movies provide unprecedented view of supersonic jets from young stars

Astronomers have combined two decades of Hubble observations to make unprecedented movies revealing never-bef
ore-seen details of the birth pangs of new stars. This sheds new light on how stars like the Sun form (full story).

DoE: US$38m for geothermal technology development

The US Department of Energy (DoE) is awarding US$38 million over three years to accelerate the development of geothermal technologies.

The funding will benefit 32 geothermal innovation projects in 14 states, which will focus on developing and testing new ways to locate geothermal resources and improve resource characterisation, drilling, and reservoir engineering techniques.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (US$1.0m): Allowing for more accurate imaging of seismic data through the development of an advanced processing technique.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (US$1.6m): Reducing the cost of geothermal energy by developing an innovative method that combines high pressure impulses and thermal gradients to drill through hard rock;(Link)

Editorial: UNM is a catalyst for future R&D growth

Does New Mexico have a Silicon Valley in its headlights? Maybe someday, if the growing number of patents coming from New Mexico’s technical innovation centers are any indication.

The University of New Mexico, in cooperation with the Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, is nurturing an ecosystem necessary to support start-up technology companies (full story).

LANL attracts 1,350 students

Interns conduct research in a wide range of disciplines

Los Alamos National Laboratory this summer attracted 1,350 student interns in both technical and nontechnical fields, giving them the opportunity to conduct research in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, a record number of postdocs – 452–are working at Los Alamos this year.

“Diverse people, new ideas, excellent work, that’s what the lab is about,” said Jerry Foropoulos, Jr. of High Explosives Science and Technology Division, a judge for the Laboratory’s 2011 Student Symposium, an event that showcases students’ summer projects (full story).

Also this week in the Monitor:

Lab to host LDRD Day Tuesday at Buffalo Thunder

Public has chance to view scientists’ work

Some of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s scientists will explain and present their work to the public Tuesday during LANL’s third annual LDRD Day.

The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Buffalo Thunder Resort near Pojoaque.

The event is free and open to the public, and provides an opportunity for people to see some of the most exciting research currently under way at the Laboratory (full story).

Los Alamos sets the educational pace for the nation

Los Alamos has the country's highest percentages of adults holding high-school diplomas and college degrees, according to an On Numbers analysis of the latest raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau (full story).

Capitalists, researchers meet clients

Conference fosters trade with entrepreneurs and customers

The business of ensuring the nation’s security has evolved into a vast and intimidating industry, but that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs and innovative researchers are shut out of the field.

The 2011 National Security Technology Conference & Expo, hosted by New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, is committed to helping entrepreneurs and researchers create networks, get valuable advice about venture capital and log face time with representatives from some of the biggest names in national security. . . .

The conference, sponsored by the Arrowhead Technology Incubator in support of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, takes place Sept. 12 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave (full story).

WIPP driver makes history, again

When a brand-new shipping package arrived at the Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant during the early evening hours of Aug. 25, a familiar face was behind the wheel of the vehicle carrying the package.

Long-time WIPP driver Randy Anderson made history, again, when he guided the new TRUPACT-III on its maiden voyage from the Savannah River Site, located near Aiken, S.C., to the underground repository for defense-generated transuranic waste near Carlsbad. . . .

Anderson's participation in significant WIPP shipments reads a lot like the key history of the entire WIPP project. He was one of two drivers who brought the first shipment of TRU waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to Carlsbad in 1999 (full story).

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