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December 2012


Federal and contractor employees at the Y-12 National Security Complex recently expressed best wishes to Robert “Dino” Herrera on his upcoming retirement from NNSA. He currently serves as deputy associate deputy administrator, Office of Infrastructure and Construction, in Defense Programs. In this role, Herrera provides executive support to the Associate Deputy Administrator in directing the management of designated programs for the operation and maintenance of select NNSA facilities. Herrera has overseen some of Y-12's recent significant accomplishments, such as installation of a new steam plant, replacement of the site's potable water system and the construction of multiple facilities including a vehicle maintenance shop, records storage building and a technical support facility. 

Above is a photo from the informal reception held for Dino this week, with Steve Erhart (right), NNSA Production Office Manager.

NNSA BlogLawrence Livermore National Laboratory employees pledged more than $2.5 million in this year's Helping Others More Effectively (HOME) Campaign, a charitable drive that benefits local community and nonprofit agencies in and around Livermore. Combined with Lawrence Livermore National Security's matching donation of $1 million, it was one of the largest drives in HOME's 38-year history.

Since 2007, the HOME Campaign has raised more than $2 million annually. The donations go directly to community groups selected by LLNL employees.

Read more about the donations.

NNSA Defense Programs recently collected items for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Hundreds of new and unwrapped toys were collected from throughout Forrestal Building. Don Cook, Deputy Administrator for NNSA’s Defense Programs, presented the toys to the Marines at the annual Defense Programs holiday party today.

Now in its 65th year, the Toys for Tots Program provides toys to less fortunate children during the holiday season.

Pantexans again hit the road last Friday to raise awareness about hunger in the Texas Panhandle during the second Pantex Run Against Hunger. Byron Logan, an officer from the Pantex Safeguards and Security Division, escorted by four coworkers and a Bearcat armored vehicle, made a 40-mile bicycle ride from Pantex to Panhandle schools and then to Highland Park schools. While at the schools, the Pantexans encouraged the students to support their schools’ food drives and the importance of giving to those who are in need. The students then had an opportunity to explore the Bearcat.

At Highland Park schools, four Pantexans took to the road for a 20-mile run to the High Plains Food Bank’s food drive collection center in Amarillo. Other Pantexans and family members joined them along the route. A group of Pantexans met the runners at the food drive finish line, where they presented a $4,300 check to the food bank. The donation was from Pantex employees to support the runners.

In addition to Logan, the Pantex runners included Randy Stokes, Cliff Cawthon and Sherry Philyaw. Darla Fish joined them for the last five miles of the run.

Pantex employees helped gather food at Pantex Night at the annual High Plains Food Bank Food Drive Wednesday in Amarillo. Every year, Pantexans volunteer to help gather food during the weeklong drive, which aims to raise 500,000 meals worth of food to help feed the 21,000 families that get meals from the Food Bank on a weekly basis.

Savannah River Site employees recently celebrated more than 20 years of support for the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots Program. This year more than 14,200 toys were collected by SRS employees. The 2012 campaign marked one of the largest toy contributions to date at SRS, an effort requiring several large trucks and numerous volunteers. More than 242,200 gifts have been donated by SRS employees since 1991.

This year more than 14,200 toys were collected by SRS employees.

The October 2012 NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available.

The quarterly summary prepared by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs provides descriptions of key NNSA facilities that conduct stockpile stewardship experiments. These include the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. The summary also provides the number of experiments performed at each facility during the last quarter of FY 2012.

The U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program is a robust program of scientific inquiry used to sustain and assess the nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear tests. The experiments carried out within the program are used in combination with complex computational models and NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing Program to assess the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile.

NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security (NIS) applies its technical, policy and programmatic resources to advance technical solutions in support of future arms control requirements, including verification of limits on total warhead stockpiles. NIS is able to conduct this work by leveraging assets and technology available across NNSA and throughout the nuclear security enterprise.

Currently, NIS is leading the integration of different disciplines and areas of expertise with the development of a 3rd Generation Attribute Measurement System, or 3G-AMS. This project involves a team of specialists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Pantex Plant.

The objective of this team is to conceptually design a measurement system that can confirm declared attributes (or properties) of a nuclear weapon or weapon component safely without revealing classified information, and in a manner that can be authenticated by a monitoring party such that they have confidence that the system is functioning properly and delivering accurate measurement results. For 3G-AMS, this involves the integration of different measurement and analysis techniques, including determining the presence of plutonium, highly enriched uranium, and high explosives, into a system that can be certified and authenticated.

Work on the conceptual design of verification systems such as 3G-AMS can inform and enable negotiations for future arms limitation and reduction initiatives. This type of research provides essential understanding of potential monitoring system requirements and deployment challenges, and can lead to the development of certification and authentication concepts and processes to reduce negotiating time in the future, and help manage expectations along the way.


Pantexans have displayed their generosity for 57 years through the Christmas Project, which is featured this month in Amarillo Magazine. Pantex employees adopt “angels” on Christmas trees located throughout Pantex. By adopting an angel, they gift a child in need with a brand new set of clothes, socks, underwear and a pair of shoes.