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August 2014

United Way campaign kickoff event

Clarence Rashada holds up a sign expressing Pantexans’ support during the United Way campaign kickoff event last week as (from left) Kendra Garcia, Katy Felder and Charles Thomas look on. The four are loaned executives from Pantex sent to support the United Way campaign. This year’s theme is “Make it Personal.” Each year, Pantex employees pledge hundreds of thousands of dollars to United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, making the plant a top giver to the campaign.

Several national laboratories and institutions have joined forces to develop and apply the most complete climate and Earth system model to address the most challenging and demanding climate change issues.

Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, or ACME, is designed to accelerate the development and application of fully coupled, advanced Earth system models for scientific and energy applications.

Fourteen institutions will work together to develop the most accurate climate change predictions yet and investigate fundamental questions, such as the interaction of clouds and climate and the role of secondary organic aerosols. The partners include eight national laboratories — Sandia, Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest — along with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions and one private sector company.

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About the photo: Sandia National Laboratories’ Mark Taylor is the chief computational scientist for Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy.

Sandia's Mark Taylor is the chief computational scientist for ACME

Three Lawrence Livermore researchers have received the Department of Energy's 2014 Hydrogen Production R&D Award for their research in producing hydrogen photoelectrochemically − by splitting water using sunlight.

Shared with collaborators from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), the award recognizes the team for its work developing models of photoelectrochemical solar-hydrogen production and corrosion processes.

These models have been crucial in the development of corrosion mitigation strategies for high-efficiency devices based on III-V semiconductor materials, offering a viable pathway to meet DOE's ultimate cost targets in renewable hydrogen production.

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About the photo: From left, Tadashi Ogitsu, Woon Ih Choi and Brandon Wood recently won a Department of Energy 2014 Hydrogen Production R&D Award for their research in producing hydrogen photoelectrochemically − by splitting water using sunlight.

3 Livermore researchers won a DOE 2014 Hydrogen Production R&D Award

The big news this past week was the formal dedication of NNSA’s new National Security Campus (NSC) in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City plant manufactures or purchases 85 percent of the non-nuclear components that make up our nuclear weapons, and thus plays a huge role in keeping the nation’s stockpile safe, secure, and effective. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and I were on hand for the dedication, along with members of Congress, local leaders, and employees of the field office and plant.

This dedication represents not only the successful execution of a major project, but also the replacement of badly aging infrastructure. Previously, Kansas City Plant (KCP) employees were working in the Bannister Federal Complex, a 70-year-old facility originally built to manufacture aircraft engines during World War II. The building was home to KCP for 64 years, however, annual operations costs were growing with the age of the facility.

To address this problem, NNSA worked with the General Services Administration (GSA) to obtain a new campus through a public-private partnership, which enabled a developer to build and deliver the NSC at a cost and schedule far less than the government could have otherwise achieved.

The relocation from the Bannister Federal Complex to the NSC, which began in January 2013, was one of the Nation’s largest industrial moves. The relocation teams safely and securely moved a wide range of equipment including tools weighing as little as six ounces to a milling machine weighing 87,000 pounds. About 3,000 truckloads transported thousands of pieces of equipment and 40,000 crates. Despite this major effort, the move was completed one month ahead of the original schedule and $10 million under budget. This was a remarkable achievement!

We’ve got a lot of infrastructure across the nuclear security enterprise that is as old and in need of repair as the Bannister Federal Complex. Our highly skilled and dedicated workforce deserve facilities that are safe and modern, and provide what they need to accomplish their work—work that remains critical to the security of this Nation.

Accordingly, I’ve made the repair and modernization of our facilities and infrastructure one of NNSA’s highest priorities. It’ll take time, persistence, and consistent support from Congress. But, our success at Kansas City shows that it can be done.

Finally, a note on safety: On Monday, the nation celebrates Labor Day. Many of us will be on the road for one last trip, or to visit with friends and family over the weekend.  Please enjoy; but, please also plan ahead and travel safely. 

Frank Klotz

Mission first, people always.”

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