International collaboration compares geologic repository assessment tools

Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and partner U.S. national laboratories will compare their Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment software framework to the safety assessment software of international peers at a late-April workshop.The Sandia-led Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment framework is a computer modeling system designed to answer critical safety assessment questions about future disposal options for spent nuclear fuel deep underground and the system of tunnels, containers and possible concrete-like barriers used to keep the radioactive material contained far from the surface and water sources, said Emily Stein, a Sandia manager overseeing the development of the framework.

Unlocking the secrets of Earth’s early atmosphere

Research partly conducted at the Advanced Photon Source helped scientists discover the composition of Earth’s first atmosphere. What they found raises questions about the origin of life on Earth.

Gulf of Mexico Mission: ‘Ocean Blue Holes Are Not Created Equal’

Scientists recently got a unique glimpse into the “Green Banana” Blue Hole thanks to gutsy divers and a 500-pound autonomous, benthic lander. Together with hand-picked, elite scuba divers, the research team is unraveling the structure and behavior of these marine environments by examining geochemistry, hydrodynamics, and biology. Findings from this exploration also may have important implications for phytoplankton in the Gulf of Mexico, including blooms of the Florida Red-tide species Karenia brevis.

Life could have emerged from lakes with high phosphorus

Life as we know it requires phosphorus, which is scarce. How did the early Earth supply this key ingredient? A University of Washington study, published Dec. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds answers in certain types of carbonate-rich lakes.