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April 2012


“Discovery and Innovation for National Security” is the theme of the fifth annual NNSA Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Symposium set for June 12 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS Center) in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will feature highlights of game-changing, mission-relevant research supported by the LDRD Program from throughout the enterprise. Emphasis will be on scientific discovery and technological innovation that benefits DOE and NNSA missions of national security. Technical topics will include adiabatic quantum architectures; sensing and modeling for national security; uncertainty quantification for science-based stockpile stewardship; and optical velocimetry for nuclear security.

The symposium features LDRD technology advancements from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. It also includes research, development, and demonstration projects from the Site Directed Research and Development Program at Nevada National Security Site, and from the Plant Directed Research and Development Program at the NNSA plants. NNSA researchers will provide briefings and a poster session at noon.

Dr. Victor Reis, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Secretary, will lead a panel discussion on discovery and innovation issues for national security. Keynote presenters will include Neile L. Miller, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator; Charles V. Shank, Senior Fellow, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Former Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Norman R. Augustine, retired Chairman & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation; and Thomas A. Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

Click here for more information.  

MOX Conservation GardenA conservation garden that features a rare, endangered plant native to the Savannah River Site (SRS) was dedicated today at the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility in celebration of Earth Day last week. The MOX Conservation Garden is located at the entrance of the MOX project’s administration building and was established to promote the preservation and awareness of a federally endangered plant species, the smooth purple coneflower.  The MOX administrative building, where the conservation garden is located, is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building.  The building is the first at SRS to be LEED Gold Certified. Two additional buildings of the MOX project will pursue certification.  

Other SRS plant species in the conservation garden include scaly blazing star, sky-blue lupine and beargrass.  Another unique feature of the garden are the stone that were created from cobblestones collected near the MOX construction site that were deposited by high-energy rivers more than 10 million years ago.






Nearly 100 sons and daughters of DOE and NNSA employees participated in today's "Bring our Daughters and Sons to Work" day. The event is geared for children to see what their parents do when at work, and it is also is intended to start a conversation about his or her own future. This year, the foundation that created this event is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Several activities planned for the DOE event include face painting, fitness activities, educational programs include a health and nutrition talk and a presentation on solar energy.

PNNL/Dep Sec

The Physical Sciences Facility Project, funded in part by NNSA, recently received the DOE Secretary’s Award of Excellence in Project Management. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman presented the award to DOE’s Pacific Northwest Site Office and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  Deputy Secretary Poneman stands at left in the photo, next to DOE’s Chad Henderson, PNNL’s Jeff Pittman, and DOE officials Marcus Jones, Daniel Lehman and Ingrid Kolb.

The seven-year, $224 million project was co-funded by NNSA and other federal agencies.  It was managed by an integrated team consisting of the DOE’s Office of Science, the NNSA, the Department of Homeland Security, and PNNL.

The 200,000-square-foot complex houses unique, state-of-the-art equipment to support national and homeland security and energy research missions, particularly the development and advancement of radiation detection technologies. Scientists use the Radiation Detection and Ultra-Trace laboratories to help identify weapons of mass destruction and terrorist activities. The Large Detector Laboratory and accompanying Test Track are used to develop and test radiation detection technologies for deployment.  Entrenched 40 feet below ground is the Underground Lab, which supports homeland and national security missions in radiation detection. The complex also includes a Materials Science & Technology Laboratory to develop and test high-performance materials used in future energy, construction, and transportation technologies and systems. 

The facility project, which was completed ahead of schedule and within budget, allowed for a smooth transition of a large group of PNNL researchers and equipment to new facilities while minimizing impacts to mission-critical research. 

DOE gives the award annually to management teams that have demonstrated exceptional results in completing a project within cost and schedule.