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Bradbury Science Museum


Energy research is a large part of the Los Alamos National Lab's national security role

May 31, 2017
Interior of a reactor

Built as a research tool, the Omega West reactor operated 120 hours per week during its first 16 years.

Energy research at Los Alamos

The United States of America runs on energy. Energy research is a large part of the work performed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in our national security role. From fuel cells to superconductors, carbon dioxide capture and storage, smart grid technology, solar, wind, and geothermal energy research, we do it here.

Energy questions to ponder

What is the ultimate source of nuclear energy?

Most of our energy sources can be traced back to the sun, but where does uranium come from? It comes from stars that exploded before the sun formed.

Learn more about the ultimate source of energy (pdf).

Is there a nuclear reactor at Los Alamos?

There used to be research reactors at Los Alamos, starting during the Manhattan Project, and continuing into the 1990s. They have all since been dismantled.

Learn more about Lab nuclear reactors (pdf).

How does a fuel cell work?

A hydrogen fuel cell uses a membrane that allows protons to pass through, but rejects electrons. A hydrogen atom has one proton, and one electron. Passing hydrogen through this membrane causes a voltage potential across the two sides of the membrane.

Learn more about how a fuel cell works (pdf).

Cool energy links