U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Lujan Tours Los Alamos And Sandia National Labs

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Lujan toured both Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs Wednesday. Courtesy photo


U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) toured Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs Wednesday and met with their leaders to discuss the importance of passing the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. Recently, Senator Luján secured an amendment to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that will invest $17 billion in America’s National Labs and other Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. He also championed an amendment to establish a nonprofit foundation that would channel private-sector investments to support DOE’s mission and to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies. Together, these measures would strengthen the Labs’ ability to create economic opportunities for New Mexicans.

At Los Alamos, Senator Luján stopped by the Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research, Earth and Environmental Systems Science Division to discuss the Lab’s efforts to address the climate crisis and improve carbon capture. Senator Luján also visited Los Alamos National Lab’s Regional Workforce Development Office to discuss the partnerships and job pipelines created to support local workforce development throughout the region. At Sandia, he was briefed on the progress of the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed (QSCOUT) program, which is a Sandia-led research project aimed at making investments in quantum computing that will likely help shape the long-term future of the information age. QSCOUT is unique in its ability to provide users an uncommon amount of control over their research through a free, open-access quantum computing testbed made with trapped ion technology.

“I was honored to join the leadership of Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs on a tour of their facilities and to receive briefings on just a fraction of the incredible work that happens here. The discoveries made in our Labs are essential to public health, to national security, and to our long-term global competitiveness. That’s why I fought to ensure the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act included strong support for the Department of Energy,” said Luján. “I look forward to returning to Washington next week to keep fighting to get this critical legislation past the finish line.”

“Sandia Labs was pleased to host Sen. Luján to hear about our nuclear deterrence mission and tour a new quantum testbed called QSCOUT that is available for researchers inside and outside Sandia to use,” said James Peery, Director of Sandia National Laboratories. “The senator has long been a champion of the national laboratories. We are grateful for Sen. Luján’s ongoing support of the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories to help research and development move forward so that the U.S. remains competitive, and our nation endures safely and securely.”

“History has shown that investing in U.S. innovation means economic growth and strategic advantages in security. Senator Luján’s efforts to bring our robust national laboratory system into the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act would go a long way toward making the nation more competitive into the future,” said LANL Director Thom Mason. “We were pleased to welcome the Senator to LANL to discuss the many technical capabilities at the Laboratory that could support U.S. innovation and global competitiveness, workforce development and training, and our climate research and technology transfer program.”