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January 2013

NNSA BlogThe Center for Strategic & International Studies has selected two NNSA employees as part of its 2013 class for the Nuclear Scholars Initiative. The recently selected scholars hail from NNSA’s Defense Nuclear Security and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation programs.

Craig Wiener, a Defense Nuclear Security specialist, is a doctoral candidate in Biodefense at George Mason University, and specializes in national security technology policy, international security, counterproliferation, and intelligence studies. His research as a CSIS Nuclear Scholar will involve countering Uranium-233 proliferation pathways for states seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Alicia Swift, a Global Threat Reduction Initiative fellow and nuclear engineering PhD candidate at University of Tennessee, is currently conducting physical protection upgrades at sites within the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean that house nuclear and radiological material. She is also NNSA Blogworking on the conversion of U.S. high performance research reactors from HEU to LEU fuel as part of her fellowship.

Each year, CSIS selects roughly 20 graduate students and young professionals throughout the U.S. to participate in the initiative. During the six-month program, the Scholars meet regularly to discuss nuclear weapons issues and prepare individual papers that are published in a CSIS-produced journal.

Read more about the CSIS Nuclear Scholars Initiative here.

NNSA earlier this month conducted a training course on Consequence Management (I-CM) in Israel. The training, held in the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, was attended by 25 Israeli participants. The training focused on how to respond to a radiological terrorism event.

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NNSA BlogSidney Drell, physicist, arms control expert and adviser, is one of 12 eminent researchers recently named by President Obama as a recipient of the National Medal of Science. In addition, 11 inventors are recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Both awards represent the highest honors bestowed by the United States government upon scientists, engineers and inventors.

Drell was recognized for his research on quantum electrodynamics and quantum chronodynamics and for applying basic physics to public policy, national security and intelligence. 

Drell, who until he retired last March was a member of the Board of Governors for both Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the managing contractors for the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories since 2008 and 2007, respectively, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution where his work has focused on nuclear nonproliferation. He also is a professor of theoretical physics (emeritus) at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Drell will formally receive his award from President Obama at a White House ceremony to be scheduled in early 2013.

Read more about Drell also see the complete list of award recipients.

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Sandia principal technologist Richard Simpson has filled a canyon with soap bubbles, shot photos of flaming liquefied natural gas from a helicopter, floated balloons hundreds of feet in the air to calibrate cameras, chopped out pieces of a Cape Canaveral launch pad to haul across the country for tests, and hoisted a beer with Paul Tibbets, pilot of the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan in World War II.

He also has been audited for buying such things as party bubble juice on his government procurement card.

“You buy 20 party bubble machines, they kind of wonder why. You buy 50 gallons of party bubble juice, and they really wonder why,” he said.

Simpson has worked with NASA, DOE, United Launch Alliance, the Air Force and others at Sandia and Cape Canaveral to help solve problems and sign agreements.

Read more about Simpson.

About the photo:
Principal Technologist Richard Simpson adjusts an igniter assembly at a lake Sandia built a few years ago to conduct the world’s largest liquefied natural gas fire tests ever done on water.

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