Los Alamos National Laboratory

Community Programs Office
Connections Newsletter
The Lab's Connection to the Northern New Mexico Community!

November 2012

Beware of Migrating Animals

Now that daylight is growing shorter and nights and evenings are cooler, large game animals have begun their seasonal migrations and are more likely to travel during commuting hours and move through recreational areas (parks and hiking trails).

Keep an eye out for wildlife on roadways and in recreational areas, and take extra caution while driving or hiking. Deer-vehicle collisions occur disproportionately in the one to two hours following sunset.

Tips to avoid accidents:

  • Elk and deer generally travel in herds; if you see one, expect others nearby.
  • Elk and deer are most active between dusk and dawn when temperatures are coolest – it’s also the most difficult time to spot them.
  • These animals make split-second decisions. A seemingly calm deer can instantly change into a frightened animal that tries to cross the road.
  • Deers' eyes are located on the side of their heads, allowing a 310-degree view. That’s great to perceive possible danger approaching, but means they have very poor depth perception.

When encountering elk or deer near roads, drivers should:

  • Brake firmly. Don't swerve into the other lane.
  • Honk the horn.
  • Flash high-beam headlamps.
  • Drive a few miles slower than the posted speed limit.
  • Continually scan roads for wildlife.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.

Those who encounter injured and or aggressive wildlife should contact their local police department. Avoid calling 9-1-1 unless it is a true emergency.

People shouldn't intentionally put food out for bears or other wildlife or toss food in the forest. Remember to cover refuse containers, and keep possible food sources away from areas where bears and other wildlife have easy access.

Lab Sets New Record for Waste Volume Removed

The LANL Transuranic (TRU) Waste Program has met its commitment to ship 800 cubic meters of TRU waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) during fiscal year 2012. This sets a new record for the volume of TRU waste removed for permanent disposal in a single year.

“The credit for accomplishing this important milestone goes to the many team members who made it possible,” said Lee Bishop, TRU waste manager at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Los Alamos Site Office. “A lot of people worked together to make this happen, including our partners at the State of New Mexico and WIPP, as well as NNSA, the Los Alamos Site Office, and the Laboratory.”

In the process, the Laboratory set records for both the volume of transuranic waste removed and the number of shipments sent to WIPP in a single year. Even with just under a week left to go in the fiscal year, 806 cubic meters of the waste were removed, and 220 shipments were sent to WIPP. The data represents the fourth year in a row that the Lab has set new LANL records for TRU waste shipments.

Next year, the Lab plans to more than double the volume and number of shipments.

The work was performed safely, with 800,000 safe job hours and 264 safe working days consecutively accumulated.

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