Friday, July 6, 2012

Las Conchas: One year later
Las Conchas Fire.  KOB video.
It has been a year since the 155,000-acre Las Conchas fire threatened Los Alamos and surrounding communities.
At the time, it was the largest fire in New Mexico's history until this year's Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 reporter Eddie Garcia shows us the long-lasting impact the Las Conchas fire had on the Santa Fe National Forest.  See the story here.

Scientists sorting out beetle-fire relationship

Fire retardant drop during the 2011 Las Conchas firefighting effort.  LANL photo.
Inside university laboratories andgovernment research facilities across the country, scientists are playing with dozens of variables — mixing and matching and rearranging — to gain a better understanding of what makes wildfire go.
Researchers at Colorado State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Rocky Mountain Research Station are working on new models that will help managers deal with fire and beetles. Read the story here.

Lab ramps up cleanup schedule
Last year’s Las Conchas Fire – at the time the largest recorded wildfire in the state’s history – burned more than 156,000 acres and destroyed 63 homes and 49 other buildings near Los Alamos.
It also sparked increased efforts by Los Alamos National Laboratory, federal agencies and the state to eliminate radioactive waste stored above ground on LANL property.  Read the story here.

Measuring the uncertainties of pandemic influenza

Avian influenza virus. UCLA image.
A major collaboration between U.S.research centers has highlighted three factors that could ultimately determine whether an outbreak of influenza becomes a serious epidemic that threatens national health.     
"It has become critical to assess the potential range of consequences of a pandemic influenza outbreak given the uncertainty about its disease characteristics," explains Jeanne Fair of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Read the story here.

Lab Breakthrough: Asteroid Killer Simulation

A supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory is helping scientists understand how a nuclear detonation might affect an incoming, Earth-threatening asteroid.
Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bob Weaver took some time recently to talk about how his research would help avert a catastrophic asteroid impact; saving the world from complete destruction and rescuing humans from mass extinction.  See the video and interview here.

 Labs grab research and development 'Oscars'

New Mexico's pair of national labs landed a half-dozen "Oscars of Innovation," better known as R&D Magazine's 2012 R&D 100 Awards, for technology advances that include rapid identification of pathogens and new reagents to help with disposal of nuclear waste
Los Alamos National Laboratory's three R&D100 awards were for developing UTurn, a method that produces two new uranium iodide reagents, Sequedex, a software package for processing DNA, and a shared award for Valveless Laser Processing.  Read the whole story.

Photos: LANL celebrates 1,000th TRU waste shipment to WIPP

LANL director Charlie McMillan at the June 26 event. Monitor photo.
See a collection of Los Alamos Monitor photos from the June 26, 2012 event celebrating the 1,000th shipment of Transuranic waste from Los Alamos to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M.   See the photo gallery here.

Also from the Monitor this week:

VIDEO: Robot Rodeo 2012 at LANL

 N.J. State Police robot races through an event. LANL video.

Bomb Squads from across the U.S. wrangled their bomb squad robots at the sixth annual Robot Rodeo beginning Tuesday, June 19 at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Eight teams participated in the three-day competition that featured 12 events. The Laboratory — along with Sandia National Laboratories, the Region II International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, REMOTEC, U.S. Technical Working Group and QinetiQ — sponsor the Robot Rodeo. This year's winner, the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office. Watch the video here! 

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