NNSA Blog

Sandia National Labs recently hosted an informational seminar on flying Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Participants learned how unmanned aerial systems can reduce costs and expand program capabilities. The presentation explained the process for obtaining approval to fly a UAS at Sandia, described operational requirements, and shared lessons learned from direct program experience.

Sandia hosts unmanned aircraft seminar

Sep 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

“Stockpile Stewardship: How we ensure the nuclear deterrent without testing” is a recently-released video by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that explains stockpile stewardship and Livermore’s role in it. For a behind-the-scenes look at the unique capabilities at the lab that are indispensable to NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, watch below. The video covers high performance computing, the Superblock category II nuclear facility, the JASPER a two stage gas gun, the High Explosive Applications Facility (HEAF), the National Ignition Facility (NIF), and the Site 300 contained firing facility.

See video
Sep 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Sandia highlights California work

Each summer, Sandia highlights research, activities and people at Sandia California in a special edition of Lab News.

This year’s issue highlights a story about researchers that are using their “fuze” expertise in assisting the Air Force. Other stories include big data, climate modeling, how the adoption of natural gas vehicles would have little effect on emission objectives, and a feature about summer interns.

Read more.

Sep 9, 2014 at 10:00 am

NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for Stockpile Management Steve Goodrum recently presented Defense Programs Awards of Excellence (DPAE) to 175 Pantexans who excelled at Stockpile Stewardship work during 2013.

The seven awards were presented to teams involved in a variety of efforts, including nuclear weapons work, environmental remediation, high explosives testing and production planning.

The DPAE program was established in 1982 to recognize individuals or teams for significant achievements in quality, productivity, cost savings, safety or creativity of work performed in support of the Stockpile Stewardship Program.

About the photo: Pantexan David Thomas, from right, receives a Defense Programs Award of Excellence from NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for Stockpile Management Steve Goodrum as NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart and Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert wait to congratulate him.

Pantex recognized by NNSA’s Defense Programs

Sep 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully fired the latest in a series of experiments at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). The experiment provides important surrogate hydrodynamic materials data in support of NNSA’s mission.

NNSA BlogThe experiment, dubbed Leda, was conducted on Aug. 12, 2014, and consisted of plutonium surrogate material and high explosives to implode a "weapon-relevant geometry."

Hydrodynamic experiments such as Leda involve non-nuclear surrogate materials that mimic many of the properties of nuclear materials. Hydrodynamics refers to the physics involved when solids, under extreme conditions, begin to mix and flow like liquids. Other hydrodynamic experiments conducted at NNSS use small amounts of nuclear material, and are called "sub-critical" because they do not contain enough material to cause a nuclear explosion.

See the video.

Read more.

About the photos: 
(Above) Technicians at the Nevada National Security Site move the "Leda" experiment in a specially designed container from the Device Assembly Facility.  LANL photo.

(Below) Technicians at the Nevada National Security Site make final adjustments to the "Leda" experimental vessel in the "Zero Room" at the underground U1a facility. 

Hydrodynamic experiment conducted in Nevada

Sep 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have named NNSA’s Pantex Plant a Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassador. The WRN program is a new initiative to spread critical information to residents about how to prepare for and respond to a weather emergency. Ambassadors take the lead in helping unify efforts across government, non-profits, academia and private industry to make the nation more ready, responsive and resilient against severe weather.

Pantex joined Carson County this month as a WRN Ambassador, with plans for multiple events throughout September to spread the message about weather preparedness to Pantexans and county residents. Pantex is the first DOE entity named a WRN Ambassador, and Carson County is the first county in the Texas Panhandle to achieve the designation.

Read more.

About the photo: National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Krissy Scotten, from left, presented the WRN Ambassador designation to Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert and Carson County Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Vermillion at a Pantex ceremony Tuesday.

Pantex named weather ambassador

Sep 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm

This summer, more than 100 college students interned at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the Department of Energy’s primary contractor at the Savannah River Site. Engineering major Jessica Maddocks worked for the Savannah River National Laboratory’s Global Security department during her summer vacation from Georgia Tech.

Maddocks’ internship was part of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative launched by NNSA, which was designed to develop the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise and infrastructure necessary to sustain the international safeguards system as its mission evolves over the next 25 years.

Read about her internship here.

Georgia Tech engineering major Jessica Maddocks interns at SRNS

Sep 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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.

Aug 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm

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.

Read more.

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

Aug 29, 2014 at 10:00 am

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.

See more.

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

Aug 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm