Fourteen hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma will test their skills at the 18th annual Hazmat Challenge July 29 through Aug. 1 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The intent of the challenge is to provide hazardous materials responders the opportunity to test their skills, share best practices with other response agencies, and learn new techniques through realistic hazardous materials release scenarios in a safe, non-hazardous environment.
A video about the 2008 and 2012 Hazmat challenges is on the Laboratory’s Web site and on LANL's YouTube channel.
Officials from NNSA’s Uranium Processing Facility Project Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security recently signed an agreement to create a team dedicated to accomplishing the Uranium Processing Facility mission: a new UPF with Building 9212 capabilities by 2025 for under $6.5 billion.
The agreement also emphasizes a collaborative approach to problem solving and issue resolution focused on early identification and rapid communication. It was signed by 25 leaders of the project from both UPO and CNS, including UPF Federal Project Director John Eschenberg and CNS Project Director Brian Reilly.
Partnering is an industry best practice that has been used by DOE’s Environmental Management Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and large commercial construction projects. UPO’s partnering agreement with CNS represents the first such agreement for NNSA and serves as yet another example of the way in which NNSA is applying industry best practices to improve project management.
Shaking hands: On left, UPF Federal Project Director John Eschenberg; on right, CNS Project Director Brian Reilly
The Y-12 National Security Complex recently was recognized by NNSA for achieving the highest savings rate in the NNSA enterprise for fiscal year 2013.
At the recent Supply Chain Management Center (SCMC) biannual operational meeting, NNSA presented Y‑12 Procurement Operations with the award for attaining the Highest Total Strategic Savings Rate among NNSA’s seven management and operating contractors. Y‑12 achieved a total 6.51 percent savings rate of total strategic spending, as measured by the SCMC.
In FY 2014, the SCMC also accepted Y‑12’s recommendation for a regional sourcing approach. This new localized approach will award regional supplier contracts to improve lead time, reduce freight cost, and increase use of local small businesses. Sites within the same region will be served by the contracted supplier in the area instead of a national, single-source supplier.
Sandia radiation effects researcher Jim Schwank has won the 2014 IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Merit Award, which recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the fields of nuclear and plasma sciences.
The award is based on the importance of individual technical contributions, importance of technical contributions made by teams the individual led, quality and significance of publications and patents, years of technical distinction and leadership, and service in the fields of nuclear and plasma sciences and related disciplines.
NNSA this week showcased its twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter during the Health Physics Society’s annual meeting in Baltimore. The helicopter is equipped with gamma radiation sensing technology and used to measure naturally occurring background radiation at various locations throughout the country.
Thousands of employees at the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex came together recently to celebrate the formation of a new team joining the two sites under the leadership of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC. Both sites’ luncheons and safety fairs delivered a strong emphasis on safety. Each employee received a CNS lanyard with the Pantex, Y-12 and CNS logos, along with the slogan “One Team, Better Together.”
CNS assumed responsibility for management and operations at Pantex and Y-12 on July 1 after a four-month transition process. The two sites will be operated jointly under a unique arrangement that will allow the new contractor to focus on its main priorities of safety, security, quality, mission delivery and cost efficiency.
Hazardous devices teams from around the Southwest recently wrangled their bomb squad robots at the eighth annual Robot Rodeo at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Teams participated in various events and simulations including searching vehicles for explosive devices, recovery of a stolen weapon, navigating obstacle courses and dealing with suicide bombers.
See photos from the event here.
DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz visited Kansas City today just in time to pack the last crate at the Bannister Federal Complex, marking the final day of an 18-month move to the National Security Campus eight miles south of the old facility. His crate was one of 30,000 packed since January 2013. In all, more than 3,000 truckloads transported thousands of pieces of equipment, some weighing as little as six ounces to a milling machine weighing 87,000 pounds. Later in the day, General Klotz thanked everyone who was involved in this massive effort at an all-hands meeting at the new facility. He congratulated them on completing 99.9 percent of their deliverables on time and on budget while completing one of the largest industrial moves in the country.
Learning techniques to combat nuclear trafficking, touring the world’s first plutonium production reactor, and spending time analyzing radiation detection methods in a state-of-the-art underground laboratory are not opportunities available to most students. These are just a few of the activities that students recently participated in at the third annual Radiation Detection for Nuclear Security Summer School.
Co-sponsored by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development, the program brought 13 graduate students from across the country to Richland, Wash., for hands-on training in detecting radiological signatures relevant to nuclear security. Participants engaged in interactive discussion and activities on a variety of technical, policy, and operational challenges, including the Fukushima incident response, NNSA’s technology-focused threat reduction program, and the nuclear fuel cycle.
The two-week course provides students with a unique understanding of nuclear security challenges and real-world constraints faced in the field. It is designed to expose them to the technical foundations, analysis and insight that will fuel future research and careers in nuclear security.
PNNL physicist Bob Runkle (middle) explains the nuances of neutron detection to physics students Matthew Michalak, Univ. of Wisconsin Madison, and Emily Jackson, Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell, during a testing exercise at PNNL’s Large Detector Laboratory.
2014 Radiation Detection for Nuclear Security Summer School students and instructors.