February 9, 2015 Santa Fe
Afternoon Destination: Los Alamos, NM
Driving from Bandelier National Park we entered into Los Alamos from a secondary back road. Believe it or not, there was a checkpoint there! Our car was stopped, and Lou had to provide his driver's license; we were questioned as to our destination. When inside the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, we inquired if there were checkpoints at all entrances to the city, and the answer was “no”. It just so happened that we entered adjacent to sensitive research areas.
What type of research areas were these? The Brandbury Science Museum answered that question. Not only is the museum one which displays the history of nuclear development (specifically the top-secret Manhattan Project from the early 1940's--where the US gathered all top scientific minds in one location—Los Alamos—to develop the atomic bomb ending WWII against the Japanese), but the museum is also one describing innovation and research.
Nuclear regulation is the key responsibility of those working at Los Alamos. Nuclear power plants, weapons, and other devices must be inspected and monitored as they age; international watchdogging via heat-detecting instruments which show nuclear activity world wide have been developed at Los Alamos. Then, there is the problem of nuclear power plants which produce 90% of America's radioactive waste. Where does it go? Nobody wants it, and it is toxic. Researchers at Los Alamos are experimenting with algae which reproduce quicker than any other life form and leave an oily residue as a result which can be converted to usable energy—alternative energy!
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.