Project sets records for laser performance

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently produced 10,400 Joules or 10.4 kiloJoules (kJ) of ultraviolet laser light in a single laser beamline, setting a world record for laser performance. In recent weeks NIF laser scientists also have used the first four NIF beamlines to set records for infrared and green single beam laser energies with 21 kJ and 11 kJ of energy delivered, respectively. NIF researchers focused this light into a special diagnostic system designed to provide precise measurements of laser beam quality and performance at these different frequencies.

Los Alamos restores U.S. ability to make nuclear weapons

Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully made the first nuclear weapons pit in 14 years that meets specifications for use in the U.S. stockpile. The six-year effort at Los Alamos’ plutonium processing facility restores the nation’s ability to make nuclear weapons, a capability the United States lost when the Rocky Flats Plant near Boulder, Colo., shut down in June 1989.

Sandia director details serious concerns with lab security force

Sandia National Laboratories President C. Paul Robinson today announced that a recent lab self-assessment and an ongoing investigation have revealed serious concerns about the management of the lab’s security force. He specified actions Sandia has taken to correct those concerns and provided information about continuing investigations into the matter.

Darling Named UC Interim Vice President for Laboratory Management

University of California President Richard C. Atkinson has named longtime UC senior administrator Bruce B. Darling as interim vice president for laboratory management. Darling, who currently serves as systemwide senior vice president for university affairs, will take on the additional responsibilities of overseeing the university’s administration of the national laboratories UC manages for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. “By making this appointment of Bruce Darling, one of my oldest and closest associates, I am sending a very clear signal that the University of California’s management of the national laboratories is among my highest priorities,” said Atkinson. “Bruce has been intimately involved in getting to the bottom of recent allegations surrounding business practices at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has worked closely with the Department of Energy and the NNSA on these matters, and has proved again and again that he is a trusted and effective manager and problem solver on a wide range of university issues. All these are the attributes I need in the vice president position at this critical time.”