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May 2012

Logs and trucks

Maintenance Support and Utilities Management personnel at NNSA's Y-12 National Security Complex have taken steps to make sure old utility poles aren’t sent to the landfill. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division and Y-12 staff collaborated to deliver utility poles to Lone Mountain State Forest’s parking lots.

Mike Disney, Y-12 Power Operations section manager, said, “It’s good that we can help other agencies, save tax dollars, and help save the environment all at the same time. Opportunities like this don’t happen very often.”

After the old utility poles were inspected and approved for off-site use, six forestry service employees brought five lumber trucks on site in October 2011. Y-12’s line crew cut the 90-foot poles into smaller sections and helped load the trucks. The lumber trucks eventually hauled away more than 100 poles.

Cables pass through holes in waist-high sections of the poles, creating a border and confining vehicles and horse trailers to designated parking areas. In the near future, forestry personnel will use some of the poles as structure posts for a much-needed pavilion that will provide cover for Morgan and Roane County wildland firefighting equipment. Other sections of the poles will be used to block motorized vehicles from using the horse trails. 

Additional uses for the old poles have been found. The U.S. Department of Energy is using some of the old poles at its secure transportation courier training facility in Oak Ridge. Some of the poles have been used to build a façade for a bunker on a live firing range. Additional poles have been stockpiled, and a combat conditioning course will be built as soon as funding is provided.

Captain David Stewart

Pantex volunteers recently made lunch for 350 honor roll students as part of the plant’s ongoing efforts to support academic achievement in area youth, particularly in areas such as science and math. This is the second year in a row Pantex has cooked lunch for the A and A-B honor roll students from Sam Houston Middle School in Amarillo.

Education Outreach Coordinator Debra Halliday

NNSA BlogThanks to Sandia technology, radioactive material from more than 43 million gallons of contaminated wastewater have been removed at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power.

Sandia developed a technology that uses crystalline silico-titanate, or CST, as a molecular sieve that can separate highly volatile elements from radioactive wastewater.

The CSTs  were developed in the early 1990s response to a need for materials to remove radioactive contaminants from wastewater. During that time, researchers found that a certain class of synthetic zeolite is more effective in capturing some radioactive elements, like cesium, than other technologies.

To read more about the technology click here.

About the image:
Crystalline silico-titanate, or CST, is an inorganic molecular sieve that can capture and separate highly volatile elements from radioactive wastewater.



Members of the B&W Pantex Explosives Technology Division celebrated a significant safety milestone Thursday with a cookout to commemorate working three million man hours without a lost time injury.

Managers from the division grilled up lunch for approximately 150 workers to mark the achievement, which is made even more significant by the nature of the work done by Explosives Technology employees.

According to David Cole, acting division manager, safety is the absolute priority for Pantex and it is something they talk about every day.“Explosives operations are a high-consequence area,” he said. “If you have a mistake, the consequences can be very grave. We have to make sure we never forget that and never become complacent.”

Explosives Technology staff have worked diligently to make sure everyone works safely, said Monty Cates, manager of the Materials and Analytical Services Department. At daily standup meetings, safety is always the first topic, and every month, department safety meetings are held. Explosives Technology staff also participate in the many safety programs that operate plant wide.

B&W Pantex Acting Deputy General Manager Rod Johnson said the fact the Explosives Technology Division was able to achieve such a milestone is testament to the dedication of the staff. “Safety, security and quality are the basis of all of our activities at Pantex,” he said.

The hard work of the members of the division led to Pantex being named the High Explosives Center of Excellence for High Explosives Manufacturing by the Department of Energy.