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November 2012

NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) recently launched a project management mobile app for both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, a first for NNSA. The app is part of G2, GTRI’s awarding winning project management information system. The app will further support GTRI project and program managers’ ability to manage complex projects to secure vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials around the world.

G2 incorporates all the project management tools into a single, comprehensive, and agile IT platform, allowing GTRI project managers to quickly and effectively filter and analyze large amounts of real time, geo-spatial linked information and integrate that data with scope, schedule, cost and infrastructure information for the entire portfolio of GTRI projects. This app will allow the GTRI team to manage projects wherever they are in the world, all from the palm of their hand. Because of G2, GTRI has been able to increase the scale and scope of its work and manage large increases in its budget without having to hire additional staff.

This app is a further demonstration of NNSA’s commitment to project management, and an example of how NNSA is innovating to improve program effectiveness and efficiency. As NNSA works around the world to reduce nuclear dangers, to keep the American people safe, and enhance global security, NNSA is committed to ensuring it has the best project management tools and practices in place to ensure NNSA is a good steward of the taxpayers’ money.


The public face of Pantex on the Internet has a new look following a project to redesign its homepage.

Pantex unveiled its new website this week which features updated information, easier navigation and new search tools. A prime objective of the redesign was to provide up-to-date information to the public and stakeholders in an efficient manner. The site features a new section on doing business with Pantex that will be beneficial to subcontractors and others who work with the site. Plant status and emergency information is also more easily accessed. New content will continue to roll out on the site over the coming months.

The site was created over the past several months by Pantex’s Chief Information Officer Division, the Public Affairs Department and an external Web development contractor.

Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories also recently redesigned their sites.

Pantex unveils new Website

Cleanroom inventor Willis Whitfield

When retired Sandia National Laboratories physicist Willis Whitfield invented the modern-day cleanroom 50 years ago, researchers and industrialists didn’t believe it at first. But within a few short years, $50 billion worth of laminar-flow cleanrooms were being built worldwide and the invention is used in hospitals, laboratories and manufacturing plants today.

Whitfield was dubbed “Mr. Clean” by TIME Magazine at the time, but the travel, scientific presentations and accolades didn’t change the unassuming scientist, who was always modest about the invention that revolutionized manufacturing in electronics and pharmaceuticals, made hospital operating rooms safer and helped further space exploration.

Read about more about the cleanroom.

About the photo:
Cleanroom inventor Willis Whitfield, who passed away this month at age 92, steps out of a transportable cleanroom at Sandia National Laboratories, which could be transported to remote sites.

John Bounds, Los Alamos National Laboratory

A new concept for a reliable nuclear reactor that could be used on space flights has been demonstrated by a team of researchers, including engineers from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The research team recently demonstrated the first use of a heat pipe to cool a small nuclear reactor and power a Stirling engine at the Nevada National Security Site’s Device Assembly Facility near Las Vegas. The Demonstration Using Flattop Fissions (DUFF) experiment produced 24 watts of electricity. A team of engineers from Los Alamos, the NASA Glenn Research Center and National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) conducted the experiment.

A heat pipe is a sealed tube with an internal fluid that can efficiently transfer heat produced by a reactor with no moving parts. A Stirling engine is a relatively simple closed-loop engine that converts heat energy into electrical power using a pressurized gas to move a piston. Using the two devices in tandem allowed for creation of a simple, reliable electric power supply that can be adapted for space applications.

Read about the work.

See animation of the new reactor concept.

About the photo:
John Bounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory's Advanced Nuclear Technology Division makes final adjustments on the DUFF experiment, a demonstration of a simple, robust fission reactor prototype that could be used as a power system for space travel. DUFF is the first demonstration of a space nuclear reactor system to produce electricity in the United States since 1965.