Friday, March 18, 2016

An exclusive look at the world’s largest-ever nuclear cleanup

LANL's Chris Morris on the PBS NewsHour.

TEPCO has turned to a team of scientists and engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory for some assistance. They are helping build a device designed to see through the walls of the reactor buildings and hopefully make what looks like three-dimensional X-rays of the reactor cores.

Physicist Chris Morris leads the team. "You can reconstruct the amount of material at the core in the reactor. And we can actually measure if there’s any uranium there, if there’s a lot of uranium there, how much is left." (Full story)


Melting of ice wedges adds to Arctic warming

Arctic ice, from VOA

Ice wedges are a particularly cool surface feature in the Arctic tundra. And new research suggests they are melting fast, which is bad news for the ecosystem at the top of the world — and the planet in general.

"The unique structure of ice wedge polygon landscapes promotes ponding of water and the accumulation of vast stores of soil carbon as wetland vegetation dies off seasonally and is buried and frozen over thousands of years" said Cathy Wilson, the Los Alamos National Laboratory geomorphologist. (Full story)

Also in Science Codex

Science on the Hill: Can we someday predict earthquakes?

Paul Johnson holds a cracked sample of
acrylic used to study damage effects linked
to faulting, LANL photo.

Millions of earthquakes shake the globe every year, the ground suddenly lurching in response to movements of the tectonic plates that form Earth’s crust.

We still don’t fully understand the details inside faults or how those details might control the location and timing of earthquakes, but geophysicists and computer scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their colleagues are wielding an array of new tools to study the interactions among earthquakes, precursor quakes (often very small earth movements) and faults. (Full story)

Bringing MRI where it’s needed most

Al Urbaitis and the portable MRI device, LANL photo.

At Los Alamos National Laboratory, we’ve developed a portable MRI, also called Battlefield MRI that uses ultra-low-field magnetic resonance imaging to create images of the brain that can be used in field hospitals for wounded soldiers or in remote villages in developing countries.

Conventional MRI machines use very large magnetic fields that align the protons in water molecules to create magnetic resonance signals, which are detected by the machine and turned into images. The large magnetic fields create exceptionally detailed images, but they are difficult and expensive to make. (Full story)


Seagate sets sights on broader HPC market

Trinity supercomputer, LANL image.

Today, four of the top ten supercomputer sites in the world run on Seagate, including all of the newcomers to the top ten. It leads the SAGE project, a Horizon 2020 storage technology program in support of Europe’s exascale effort, and it’s the storage provider (with Cray) on the second phase of the Trinity Supercomputer at Los Alamos National Lab, which when finished will be the fastest storage system in the world at 1.6 TB/s. (Full story)

LANL employees pledge record $2.2 million in 2016 giving campaign

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees pledged a record $2.2 million to United Way and other nonprofits during the 2016 Employee Giving Campaign. More than 500 community and social service organizations will benefit. (Full story)


Small businesses win technical support to develop clean energy technologies

Four small businesses will be working with Los Alamos National Laboratory to accelerate the nation’s transformation toward a clean energy economy as part of the Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot project.

These businesses will gain access to world-class laboratory resources to help move innovative ideas and technologies closer to the marketplace. (Full story)

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