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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.”

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz today hailed the completion of the new National Security Campus at a dedication ceremony in Kansas City, Mo.

The new facility was completed ahead of schedule, $10 million under budget, and with the site’s best safety and security performance on record. The event celebrated the 18-month move to the new facility eight miles south of the old Kansas City Plant. The move involved more than 3,000 truckloads and 40,000 crates.

The $687 million new campus now houses about 2,600 employees and consists of advanced manufacturing, laboratory, office, and warehouse space. The new building reduces energy consumption by more than 50 percent and is one of the first LEED Gold manufacturing campuses. Overall, the new campus will save the government more than $100 million annually.

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Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman led his band, “Yellow Cake,” at “Lollachilipalooza” today to benefit DOE’s 2014 Feds Feed Families effort. Poneman was joined by Deputy Chief of Staff Jonathan Levy on drums, Deputy Assistant Secretary Julio Friedman on keyboards, and a special guest appearance featuring the vocal talents of Anna Ruch from the Office of the Secretary. 

This summer, DOE employees have contributed more than 150,000 pounds of donations for distribution to local food banks and pantries. DOE’s goal this summer is to collect more than 215,000 pounds of food.

DOE and NNSA employees can still participate throughout this month by dropping off non-perishable food, household items and hygiene products in boxes located throughout the Forrestal, Germantown and L’Enfant buildings and field offices.

See more photos from the event here.



Sandia National Laboratories has received four regional awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for its work to develop and commercialize innovative technologies.

The FLC is a nationwide network of more than 300 members that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.

To see the Sandia awards click here.

About the photo:
Mike Heroux of Sandia, co-lead of the Federal Laboratory Consortium award-winning Mantevo project, shows the code from the Mantevo miniapp MiniFE.


DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank G. Klotz will deliver keynote remarks this week at the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) Deterrence Symposium. The Symposium, held in Omaha, Neb., from August 13 – 14, gathers members from the defense, policy, and academic communities to discuss approaches to deterrence in the 21st century. General Klotz will discuss NNSA’s role in maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent; countering nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism around the world; and efforts to develop a more agile infrastructure and maintain a strong science base to meet future mission needs and challenges.

For highlights of General Klotz’s remarks, follow him on Twitter: @FrankKlotzNNSA

Read more about the 2014 STRATCOM Deterrence Symposium here.

Augusta Technical College recently announced a formal Agreement of Understanding with Georgia Power and Savannah River Site management and operating contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) in support of the College’s Nuclear Engineering Technology Program. The agreement recognizes SRNS as an industry partner, which means the contractor will collaborate on developing curriculum, support outreach efforts to students and participate on advisory councils.

More than 75 students have graduated since the program began admitting students in the Fall of 2010, and most are currently working at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle or at the Savannah River Site.

The Engineering Technology programs at Augusta Technical College are high-tech, associate degree programs that prepare graduates for careers in plant maintenance and operations at commercial nuclear facilities, Department of Energy nuclear facilities such as those at SRS, and other related nuclear support companies. These robust programs span three technical areas to include electrical, mechanical and nuclear specific courses.

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About the photo: Jeff Gasser, Site Manager, Plant Vogtle (left), joins Dr. Rick Hall, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Augusta Technical College and Carol Johnson, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President & CEO, to sign an Agreement of Understanding, creating a mutually beneficial partnership to support the nuclear industry throughout the region.


NNSA BlogLos Alamos National Laboratory scientist Jaqueline L. Kiplinger has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry, sponsored by the F. Albert Cotton Endowment Fund.

Kiplinger was honored for her work in establishing synthetic routes to novel uranium and thorium compounds that have opened new frontiers in understanding the nature of bonding and reactivity in actinides. The award recognizes outstanding synthetic accomplishment in the field of inorganic chemistry. A formal announcement of the names of the 2015 ACS National Award Recipients is in the August 11 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. The American Chemical Society will present Kiplinger with the award at the Society’s 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver, Colo., next spring.

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