<b>Los Alamos Lab Halts Operations</b><br /><br />Los Alamos National Laboratory director Pete Nanos shut down the country's leading nuclear weapons lab on Friday, after a set of classified computer disks disappeared and a student was hit in the eye with a powerful laser beam -- all in the space of a week. <br /><br />"As of today, director Nanos has suspended all operations at the laboratory," an internal e-mail obtained by Wired News read. "This is a very serious step." <br /><br />"This willful flouting of the rules must stop, and I don't care how many people I have to fire to make it stop. If you think the rules are silly, if you think compliance is a joke, please resign now and save me the trouble," Nanos added in a separate e-mail to Los Alamos employees. <br /><br />It's a nearly unprecedented move, lab watchers said. The only other time in recent memory that the entire facility was shut down was in 2000, when the Cerro Grande forest fire tore through Bandelier National Monument, on Los Alamos' border. The suspension couldn't come at a more delicate moment. The lab is under fire for losing track of its classified material three times in the last eight months. One of Los Alamos' chief overseers in Congress, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), is due at the lab on Monday for security inspections. <br /><br />After entrusting the University of California to run the lab for more than 60 years, the Energy Department has opened the Los Alamos contract for bidding when it expires next year. The latest incidents won't help UC if it decides to bid. <br /><br />On Thursday, Nanos suspended all classified work at Los Alamos, after officials there lost track of a pair of Zip disks and two external hard drives containing classified information. Nanos ordered a rechecking of all classified inventories throughout the nuclear weapons complex, and a retraining of all personnel on how to handle secrets properly. Kevin Roark, a lab spokesman, said this "