File photo depicting an aerial view of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Source/LANL.gov
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., July 7 (UPI) -- Employees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico were back at work more than a week after a wildfire drove them away.
Most of the lab was shut down and its experiments put on hold until Wednesday, when the process to resume them began, the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday.
"At a number of operations here, if you shut them down there's a significant process to turn them back on," said Larry Schultz, a team leader in the lab's applied modern physics division.
A dollar amount for the lost productivity because of the Las Conchas fire won't be known for a while, LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said.
Employees conducted walk-throughs to assess safety and make sure electronics and computers were in the same condition as they were when the facility was ordered closed because of the fire June 27.
Roark said the lab's closure didn't create any urgent issues.
"There's no one-day project," he said. "In science, everything takes a considerable amount of time."
Roark said the biggest undertaking in resuming operations is firing up the lab's two largest supercomputers, a process that takes days, not hours. Both were shut down because of potential power drain, Roark said, and "turning them off and on is like taking a new computer out of the box."
The facility's smaller supercomputers remained operational during the shutdown and some employees accessed them remotely for work, the Journal said.