Friday, October 7, 2016

Defense Secretary Carter wraps up tour of LANL

Carter (center) with Charlie McMillan (right) and Bob Webster at TA-55.  LANL photo.        

Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrapped up his visit to New Mexico Wednesday with a four-hour tour of the Los Alamos National Laboratory with Lab Director Charlie McMillan.

One of the main stops on his tour was “Plutonium Facility 4,” the country’s only plutonium science, technology and manufacturing center. Carter observed operations in the pit casting area of the facility, where molten plutonium is molded and shaped to fit inside nuclear weapons.

At the end of his tour, Carter expressed his thanks and appreciation for the LANL employees who made the plutonium cores and other nuclear weapon components. (Full Story)

Rock hounds are on the hunt for new carbon minerals

The Curiosity Rover. NASA Image.   

In 2014, Curiosity drilled into layered sediments with veins of hard, black, manganese-rich minerals within softer strata of sandstone and siltstone, says Nina Lanza, a planetary scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. A dearth of chlorine or sulfur atoms (two plausible chemical partners for manganese) plus a lack of carbon above levels normally seen in the Martian atmosphere strongly suggests that the minerals are manganese oxides, she and colleagues reported July 28 in Geophysical Research Letters. (Full Story)

Did Mars’s crust contribute to its atmosphere?

Nina Lanza, Smith College photo.

This summer, NASA reported that the rover had found oxygenated manganese on Mars, a discovery that scientists say is significant because it means that the planet might have had a more oxygen rich atmosphere than was previously thought.  ”This tells us that Mars has evolved very differently than we thought it did,” Nina Lanza, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory told the Monitor in June. “We need to start looking for different types of minerals and other evidence about Mars’s past.” (Full Story)

LANL named top 20 government employer

Los Alamos National Laboratory continues to be recognized for its diversity efforts: STEM Workforce Diversity Magazine, in its newest issue named the Laboratory a 2016 top 20 government employer, the only national laboratory to achieve this recognition.

Rankings were based on an annual survey of randomly-selected readers of the publication, according to Tamara Flaum-Dreyfuss, president and publisher of Equal Opportunity Publications, Inc., which publishes the trade publication. (Full Story)

City sees December summit on nuclear weapons as way to tap into ‘brainpower’

The preliminary program includes public discussion at the Lensic Theater on Dec. 4, tours of Los Alamos National Laboratory and other historic sites, a discussion of deterrence theory and a workshop on the future of global security.

“We want to shine a spotlight on Santa Fe and have a different type of tourist,” Conn said. “We want to establish Santa Fe as a Geneva of thought leadership. We know this is ambitious.” (Full Story)

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