Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Los Alamos National Laboratory (or LANL; previously known at various times as Project Y, Los Alamos Laboratory, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory) is a United States Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security
Los Alamos National Security
Los Alamos National Security, LLC is a private limited liability company formed by the University of California, Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services, and URS Energy and Construction. It currently operates Los Alamos National Laboratory for the Department of Energy and the National...

 (LANS), located in Los Alamos, New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Los Alamos is a townsite and census-designated place in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States, built upon four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau and the adjoining White Rock Canyon. The population of the CDP was 12,019 at the 2010 Census. The townsite or "the hill" is one part of town while...

. The laboratory
Laboratory
A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific research, experiments, and measurement may be performed. The title of laboratory is also used for certain other facilities where the processes or equipment used are similar to those in scientific laboratories...

 is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world, and conducts multidisciplinary research in fields such as national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

, space exploration
Space exploration
Space exploration is the use of space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft....

, renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, and supercomputing.

LANL is the largest institution and the largest employer in northern New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, with approximately 9,000 direct employees and around 650 contractor personnel. Additionally, there are roughly 120 DOE employees stationed at the laboratory to provide federal oversight of LANL's work and operations. Approximately one-third of the laboratory's technical staff members are physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

s, one quarter are engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s, one-sixth are chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

s and materials scientists
Materials science
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates...

, and the remainder work in mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and computational science, biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, geoscience, and other disciplines. Professional scientists and students also come to Los Alamos as visitors to participate in scientific projects. The staff collaborates with universities and industry in both basic and applied research to develop resources for the future. The annual budget is approximately US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

2.2 billion
1000000000 (number)
1,000,000,000 is the natural number following 999,999,999 and preceding 1,000,000,001.In scientific notation, it is written as 109....

.

Los Alamos is one of two laboratories in the United States where classified work towards the design of nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s is undertaken. The other, since 1952, is Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

.

The Manhattan Project



The laboratory was founded during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 as a secret, centralized facility to coordinate the scientific research of the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

, the Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 project to develop the first nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s. In September 1942, the difficulties encountered in conducting preliminary studies on nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s at universities scattered across the country indicated the need for a laboratory dedicated solely to that purpose.

General Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

 wanted a central laboratory at an isolated location for safety, and to keep the scientists away from the populace. It should be at least 200 miles from international boundaries and west of the Mississippi. Major John Dudley suggested Oak City, Utah
Oak City, Utah
Oak City is a town in Millard County, Utah, United States. The population was 650 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Oak City is located at ....

 or Jemez Springs, New Mexico
Jemez Springs, New Mexico
Jemez Springs is a village in Sandoval County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 375 at the 2000 census. Named for the nearby Pueblo of Jemez, the village is the site of Jemez State Monument and the headquarters of the Jemez Ranger District...

 but both were rejected. Manhattan Project scientific director J. Robert Oppenheimer had spent much time in his youth in the New Mexico area, and suggested the Los Alamos Ranch School
Los Alamos Ranch School
Los Alamos Ranch School was a private boarding school for boys in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, near Otowi, in what would eventually become Los Alamos, New Mexico...

 on the mesa
Mesa
A mesa or table mountain is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape....

. Dudley had rejected the school as not meeting Groves’ criteria, but as soon as Groves saw it he said in effect This is the place. Oppenheimer became the laboratory's first director.

During the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos hosted thousands of employees, including many Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

-winning scientists. The location was a total secret. Its only mailing address was a post-office box, number 1663, in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of . Santa Fe had a population of 67,947 in the 2010 census...

. Though its contract with the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 was initially intended to be temporary, the relationship was maintained long after the war. Until the atomic bombings
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

 and Nagasaki, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 president Robert Sproul did not know what the purpose of the laboratory was and thought it might be producing a "death ray
Death ray
The death ray or death beam was a theoretical particle beam or electromagnetic weapon of the 1920s through the 1930s that was claimed to have been invented independently by Nikola Tesla, Edwin R. Scott, Harry Grindell Matthews, and Graichen, as well as others...

". The only member of the UC administration who knew its true purpose—indeed, the only one who knew its exact physical location—was the Secretary-Treasurer Robert Underhill, who was in charge of wartime contracts and liabilities.
The work of the laboratory, machined by Rudolph Vergoth and George Hackbarth, culminated in the creation of several atomic devices, one of which was used in the first nuclear test
Nuclear testing
Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine the effectiveness, yield and explosive capability of nuclear weapons. Throughout the twentieth century, most nations that have developed nuclear weapons have tested them...

 near Alamogordo, New Mexico
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Alamogordo is the county seat of Otero County and a city in south-central New Mexico, United States. A desert community lying in the Tularosa Basin, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains. It is the nearest city to Holloman Air Force Base. The population was 35,582 as of the 2000...

, codenamed "Trinity", on July 16, 1945. The other two were weapons, "Little Boy
Little Boy
"Little Boy" was the codename of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets of the 393rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, of the United States Army Air Forces. It was the first atomic bomb to be used as a weapon...

" and "Fat Man
Fat Man
"Fat Man" is the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, by the United States on August 9, 1945. It was the second of the only two nuclear weapons to be used in warfare to date , and its detonation caused the third man-made nuclear explosion. The name also refers more...

", which were used in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Laboratory received the Army-Navy ‘E’ Award
Army-Navy ‘E’ Award
The Army-Navy "E" Award was an honor presented to a company during World War II for excellence in production of war equipment. The award was also known as the Army-Navy Production Award. The award would consist of a pennant for the plant and emblems for all employees in the plant at the time the...

 for Excellence in production on October 16, 1945.

After the war, Oppenheimer retired from the directorship, and it was taken over by Norris Bradbury
Norris Bradbury
Norris Edwin Bradbury , was an American physicist who was born in Santa Barbara, California. He served as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 25 years , succeeding J. Robert Oppenheimer, who personally chose Bradbury for the position of director after working closely with him on the...

, whose initial mission was to make the previously hand-assembled atomic bombs "G.I. proof" so that they could be mass-produced and used without the assistance of highly trained scientists. Many of the original Los Alamos "luminaries" chose to leave the laboratory, and some even became outspoken opponents to the further development of nuclear weapons. During the late-1950s, a number of scientists including Dr. J. Robert "Bob" Beyster
John Robert Beyster
Dr. John Robert Beyster is the founder of Science Applications International Corporation, the largest employee-owned research and engineering company in the United States. He was Chairman of the Board until his retirement in July 2004, and also served as Chief Executive Officer until November 2003...

 left Los Alamos to work for General Atomics
General Atomics
General Atomics is a nuclear physics and defense contractor headquartered in San Diego, California. General Atomics’ research into fission and fusion matured into competencies in related technologies, allowing the company to expand into other fields of research...

 (GA) in San Diego.

In the years since the 1940s, Los Alamos was responsible for the development of the hydrogen bomb, and many other variants of nuclear weapons. In 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

 was founded to act as Los Alamos' "competitor", with the hope that two laboratories for the design of nuclear weapons would spur innovation. Los Alamos and Livermore served as the primary classified laboratories in the U.S. national laboratory system, designing all of the country's nuclear arsenal. Additional work included basic scientific research, particle accelerator
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

 development, health physics, and fusion power research as part of Project Sherwood
Project Sherwood
Project Sherwood was the codename for a United States program in controlled nuclear fusion. It was funded under the Atoms for Peace initiative during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower...

. Many nuclear tests were undertaken in the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

 and at the Nevada Test Site
Nevada Test Site
The Nevada National Security Site , previously the Nevada Test Site , is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about northwest of the city of Las Vegas...

.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1965.

Post–Cold War


At the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, both labs went through a process of intense scientific diversification in their research programs to adapt to the changing political conditions that no longer required as much research towards developing new nuclear weapons and has led the lab to increase research for “non-war” science and technology. Los Alamos' nuclear work is currently thought to relate primarily to computer simulations and stockpile stewardship
Stockpile stewardship
Stockpile stewardship refers to the United States program of reliability testing and maintenance of its nuclear weapons without the use of nuclear testing....

. The development of the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility
Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility
The Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility is a facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory which is part of the Department of Energy's stockpile stewardship program. It uses two large x-ray machines to record three-dimensional interior images of materials...

 will allow complex simulations of nuclear tests to take place without full explosive yields.

The lab has made intense efforts for humanitarian causes through its scientific research in medicine. Three vaccines for the AIDS virus are being tested by lab scientist Bette Korber and her team. “These vaccines might finally deal a lethal blow to the AIDS virus,” says Chang-Shung Tung, leader of the Lab’s Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group.

There is also development for a safer, more comfortable and accurate test for breast cancer
Breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas...

 by Lab scientists Lianjie Huang and Kenneth M. Hanson and collaborators. The new technique, called ultrasound-computed tomography (ultrasound CT), uses sound waves to accurately detect small tumors that traditional mammography cannot.

Other research performed at the lab includes developing cheaper, cleaner bio-fuels and advancing scientific understanding around renewable energy.

Non-nuclear national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 and defense development is also a priority at the lab. This includes preventing outbreaks of deadly diseases by improving detection tools and the monitoring the effectiveness of the United States’ vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

 distribution infrastructure. Additional advancements include the ASPECT airplane that can detect bio threats from the sky.

The laboratory has attracted negative publicity from a number of events. In 1999, Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee
Wen Ho Lee
Dr. Wen Ho Lee is a Taiwan-born Taiwanese American scientist who worked for the University of California at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He created simulations of nuclear explosions for the purposes of scientific inquiry, as well as for improving the safety and reliability of the US nuclear...

 was accused of 59 counts of mishandling classified information by downloading nuclear secrets—"weapons codes" used for computer simulations of nuclear weapons tests—to data tapes and removing them from the lab. After ten months in jail, Lee pled guilty to a single count and the other 58 were dismissed with an apology from U.S. District Judge James Parker for his incarceration. Lee was suspected for a time of having shared U.S. nuclear secrets with China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, but investigators were never able to establish what Lee did with the downloaded data. In 2000, two computer hard drives containing classified data were announced to have gone missing from a secure area within the laboratory, but were later found behind a photocopier; in 2003, the laboratory's director John Browne
John C. Browne (physicist)
John C. Browne was born on July 29, 1942 in Pottstown, Pa. as the fifth child of Charles I. and Mary Agnes Browne. He received a B.S. in Physics from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from Duke University in Durham, NC. His thesis John C. Browne was born on...

, and deputy director, resigned following accusations that they had improperly dismissed two whistleblower
Whistleblower
A whistleblower is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities occurring in a government department, a public or private organization, or a company...

s who had alleged widespread theft at the lab. The year 2000 brought additional hardship for the laboratory in the form of the Cerro Grande Fire
Cerro Grande Fire
The Cerro Grande Fire was a disastrous forest fire in New Mexico, United States of America that occurred in May 2000. The fire started as a controlled burn, and became uncontrolled owing to high winds and drought conditions. Over 400 families in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico lost their homes...

, a severe forest fire
Wildfire
A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, squirrel fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wilkjjofire may be used to describe the same...

 that destroyed several buildings (and employees' homes) and forced the laboratory to close for two weeks.

In July 2004, an inventory of classified weapons data revealed that four hard disk drives were missing: two of the drives were subsequently found to have been improperly moved to a different building, but another two remained unaccounted for. In response, director Peter Nanos shut down large parts of the laboratory and publicly rebuked scientists working there for a lax attitude to security procedures. In the laboratory's August 2004 newsletter he wrote, "This willful flouting of the rules must stop, and I don't care how many people I have to fire to make it stop". Nanos is also quoted as saying, "If I have to restart the laboratory with 10 people, I will". However, a report released in January 2005 found that the drives were in fact an artifact of an inconsistent inventory system: the report concludes that 12 barcodes were issued to a group of disk drives that needed only 10, but the two surplus barcodes nevertheless appeared on a master list. Thus, auditors wrongly concluded that two disks were missing. The report states, "The allegedly missing disks never existed and no compromise of classified material has occurred". This incident is widely reported as contributing to continuing distrust of management at the lab. In May 2005, Nanos stepped down as director.

Contract changes


Continuing efforts to make the laboratory more efficient led the Department of Energy to open its contract with the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 to bids from other vendors in 2003. Though the university and the laboratory had difficult relations many times since their first World War II contract, this was the first time that the university ever had to compete for management of the laboratory. The University of California decided to create a private company with the Bechtel
Bechtel
Bechtel Corporation is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 5th-largest privately owned company in the U.S...

 Corporation, Washington Group International
Washington Group International
Washington Group International was an American corporation which provided integrated engineering, construction and management services to businesses and governments around the world. Based in Boise, Idaho, it had approximately 25,000 employees working in over 40 states and more than 30 countries...

, and the BWX Technologies
BWX Technologies
Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., formerly known as BWX Technologies, Inc. , is the group that operates the Y-12 National Security Complex, and a member of the Los Alamos National Security, LLC. The group also holds the contract to manage the Pantex plant in Texas, alongside...

 to bid on the contract to operate the laboratory. The UC/Bechtel led corporation - Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) - was pitted against a team formed by the University of Texas System
University of Texas System
The University of Texas System encompasses 15 educational institutions in Texas, of which nine are academic universities and six are health institutions. The system is headquartered in Austin and has a total enrollment of over 190,000 students...

 partnered with Lockheed-Martin. In December 2005, the Department of Energy announced that LANS had won the next seven-year contract to manage and operate the laboratory.

On June 1, 2006, the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 ended its 60 years of direct involvement in operating Los Alamos National Laboratory, and management control of the laboratory was taken over by Los Alamos National Security, LLC. Approximately 95% of the former 10,000 plus UC employees at LANL were rehired by LANS to continue working at LANL. Other than UC appointing three members to the eleven member board of directors that oversees LANS, UC now has virtually no responsibility or direct involvement in LANL. UC policies and regulations that apply to UC campuses and its two national laboratories in California (Lawrence Berkeley
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory conducting unclassified scientific research. It is located on the grounds of the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills above the central campus...

 and Lawrence Livermore
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

) no longer apply to LANL, and the LANL Director no longer reports to the UC Regents or UC Office of the President. Also, LANL employees were removed from the UC's 403(b)
403(b)
A 403 plan, also known as a tax-sheltered annuity, is a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan available for public education organizations, some non-profit employers , cooperative hospital service organizations, and self-employed ministers in the United States...

 retirement savings and defined benefits pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

 program and placed in a LANS run program. While the LANS retirement program provides rehired UC employees with pensions similar to what UC would have given them, LANS no longer guarantees full pensions to newly hired LANL employees, instead it only provides them with basic 401(k)
401(k)
A 401 is a type of retirement savings account in the United States, which takes its name from subsection of the Internal Revenue Code . A contributor can begin to withdraw funds after reaching the age of 59 1/2 years...

 retirement saving options.

Concern has been voiced about the new contractor's effectiveness in correcting the perceived problems in safety, security and financial management that were cited as the reasons for bidding the contract, and Bechtel's lack of transparency (as a private corporation) and increasing control of national nuclear facilities.

Award of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

 contract to LLNS LLC was announced to take effect October 1, 2007, rounding out Bechtel's control of the bulk of the US nuclear weapons facilities including LANL (design), LLNL (design), Savannah River Site
Savannah River Site
The Savannah River Site is a nuclear reservation in the United States in the state of South Carolina, located on land in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties adjacent to the Savannah River, southeast of Augusta, Georgia. The site was built during the 1950s to refine nuclear materials for...

(nuclear materials), Hanford Site
Hanford Site
The Hanford Site is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, operated by the United States federal government. The site has been known by many names, including Hanford Works, Hanford Engineer Works or HEW, Hanford Nuclear Reservation...

 (nuclear materials), Pantex Plant (assembly/disassembly), and Y-12 National Security Complex
Y-12 National Security Complex
The Y-12 National Security Complex is a United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration facility located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory...

 (nuclear materials).

Extended operations


With support of the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

, LANL operates one of the three National High Magnetic Field Laboratories
NHMFL
the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory is a laboratory at Florida State University, with branches in University of Florida and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. NHMFL develops and research at magnetic fields for research in physics, biology, bioengineering, chemistry, geochemistry,...

 in conjunction with and located at two other sites Florida State University
Florida State University
The Florida State University is a space-grant and sea-grant public university located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. It is a comprehensive doctoral research university with medical programs and significant research activity as determined by the Carnegie Foundation...

 in Tallahassee, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and University of Florida
University of Florida
The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

 in Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Alachua County, Florida, United States as well as the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area . The preliminary 2010 Census population count for Gainesville is 124,354. Gainesville is home to the sixth...

.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is a partner in the Joint Genome Institute
Joint Genome Institute
The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute was created in 1997 to unite the expertise and resources in genome mapping, DNA sequencing, technology development, and information sciences pioneered at the DOE genome centers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , Lawrence Livermore...

 (JGI) located in Walnut Creek, California
Walnut Creek, California
Walnut Creek is an incorporated city located east of the city of Oakland. It lies in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. While not as large as neighboring Concord, Walnut Creek serves as the business and entertainment hub for the neighboring cities within central Contra Costa...

. JGI was founded in 1997 to unite the expertise and resources in genome mapping
Genome project
Genome projects are scientific endeavours that ultimately aim to determine the complete genome sequence of an organism and to annotate protein-coding genes and other important genome-encoded features...

, DNA sequencing
DNA sequencing
DNA sequencing includes several methods and technologies that are used for determining the order of the nucleotide bases—adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine—in a molecule of DNA....

, technology development, and information science
Information science
-Introduction:Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information...

s pioneered at the three genome
Genome
In modern molecular biology and genetics, the genome is the entirety of an organism's hereditary information. It is encoded either in DNA or, for many types of virus, in RNA. The genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA/RNA....

 centers at University of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory conducting unclassified scientific research. It is located on the grounds of the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills above the central campus...

 (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

 (LLNL), and LANL.

The Integrated Computing Network (ICN) is a multi-security level network at the LANL integrating large host supercomputers, a file server, a batch server, a printer and graphics output server and numerous other general purpose and specialized systems.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory also used to host the arXiv
ArXiv
The arXiv |Chi]], χ) is an archive for electronic preprints of scientific papers in the fields of mathematics, physics, astronomy, computer science, quantitative biology, statistics, and quantitative finance which can be accessed online. In many fields of mathematics and physics, almost all...

 e-print archive. The arXiv
ArXiv
The arXiv |Chi]], χ) is an archive for electronic preprints of scientific papers in the fields of mathematics, physics, astronomy, computer science, quantitative biology, statistics, and quantitative finance which can be accessed online. In many fields of mathematics and physics, almost all...

 is currently operated and funded by Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

.

In the recent years, the Laboratory has developed a major research program in systems biology modeling, known at LANL under the name q-bio.

Controversy and criticism


In 2009, 69 computers which did not contain classified information were lost. 2009 also saw a scare in which 2.2 pounds of missing plutonium prompted a Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 investigation into the laboratory. The investigation found that the "missing plutonium" was a result of miscalculation by LANL's statisticians and did not actually exist; but, the investigation did lead to heavy criticism of the laboratory by the DOE for security flaws and weaknesses that the DOE claimed to have found.

Directors

  • J. Robert Oppenheimer (1943–1945)
  • Norris Bradbury
    Norris Bradbury
    Norris Edwin Bradbury , was an American physicist who was born in Santa Barbara, California. He served as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 25 years , succeeding J. Robert Oppenheimer, who personally chose Bradbury for the position of director after working closely with him on the...

     (1945–1970)
  • Harold Agnew (1970–1979)
  • Donald Kerr
    Donald Kerr
    Donald MacLean Kerr, Jr. is the current Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, October 4, 2007. He most recently was the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office. He was sworn into that position July 2005 by Secretary of Defense...

     (1979–1986)
  • Siegfried S. Hecker
    Siegfried S. Hecker
    Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker, PhD, is an Austrian-Polish-American nuclear scientist and metallurgist who served as the Emeritus Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 till 1997. A nuclear weapons specialist, Dr...

     (1986–1997)
  • John C. Browne
    John C. Browne (physicist)
    John C. Browne was born on July 29, 1942 in Pottstown, Pa. as the fifth child of Charles I. and Mary Agnes Browne. He received a B.S. in Physics from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from Duke University in Durham, NC. His thesis John C. Browne was born on...

     (1997–2003)
  • George Peter Nanos
    George Peter Nanos
    George Peter Nanos is a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Vice Admiral in the US Navy. Having served from January 2003 to May 2005, he was one of the shortest serving directors of the laboratory.-Early life:...

     (2003–2005)
  • Robert W. Kuckuck (2005–2006)
  • Michael R. Anastasio
    Michael R. Anastasio
    Michael Anastasio was the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and president of the Los Alamos National Security LLC, the company that operates the laboratory. He is the former director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory . The University of California Board of Regents appointed...

     (2006–2011)
  • Charles F. McMillan
    Charles F. McMillan
    Charles McMillan is the 10th director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.Prior to joining Los Alamos, McMillan, an experimental physicist, spent more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. He holds a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of...

     (2011-current)

See also

  • Anti-nuclear movement in the United States
    Anti-nuclear movement in the United States
    The anti-nuclear movement in the United States consists of more than 80 anti-nuclear groups which have acted to oppose nuclear power or nuclear weapons, or both, in the United States. These groups include the Abalone Alliance, Clamshell Alliance, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research,...

  • Association of Los Alamos Scientists
    Association of Los Alamos Scientists
    The Association of Los Alamos Scientists was founded on 30 August 1945, by a group of scientists, who had worked on the development of the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos Laboratory, a division of the Manhattan Project.-Purpose:...

  • Bradbury Science Museum
    Bradbury Science Museum
    The Bradbury Science Museum is the chief public facility of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, located at 1350 Central Avenue in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the United States. It was founded in 1963, and was named for the Laboratory's second director , Norris E. Bradbury...

  • Clarence Max Fowler
    Clarence Max Fowler
    Clarence Max Fowler was an American physicist who worked at Los Alamos between 1952 and 1996. His main contribution was on explosively pumped flux compression generators.-Career:...

  • David Greenglass
    David Greenglass
    David Greenglass was an atomic spy for the Soviet Union who worked in the Manhattan project. He was the brother of Ethel Rosenberg.-Biography:...

  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
    Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg were American communists who were convicted and executed in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. The charges related to their passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union...

  • History of nuclear weapons
    History of nuclear weapons
    The history of nuclear weapons chronicles the development of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons possess enormous destructive potential derived from nuclear fission or nuclear fusion reactions...

  • Hydrogen Moderated Self-regulating Nuclear Power Module
    Hydrogen Moderated Self-regulating Nuclear Power Module
    The Hydrogen Moderated Self-Regulating Nuclear Power Module , also referred to as the Compact Self-regulating Transportable Reactor , is a new type of nuclear power reactor using hydride as a neutron moderator. The design is inherently safe, as the fuel and the neutron moderator are uranium hydride...

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

  • Manhattan Project
    Manhattan Project
    The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

  • Ed Grothus
    Ed Grothus
    Edward B. Grothus was a machinist/technician and employee of the Los Alamos National Laboratory during the 1950s and 1960s...

  • Timeline of Cox Report controversy
  • University of California
    University of California
    The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

  • Venona Project
    Venona project
    The VENONA project was a long-running secret collaboration of the United States and United Kingdom intelligence agencies involving cryptanalysis of messages sent by intelligence agencies of the Soviet Union, the majority during World War II...

  • Wen Ho Lee
    Wen Ho Lee
    Dr. Wen Ho Lee is a Taiwan-born Taiwanese American scientist who worked for the University of California at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He created simulations of nuclear explosions for the purposes of scientific inquiry, as well as for improving the safety and reliability of the US nuclear...

  • Federation of American Scientists
    Federation of American Scientists
    The Federation of American Scientists is a nonpartisan, 501 organization intent on using science and scientific analysis to attempt make the world more secure. FAS was founded in 1945 by scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs...


External links