Lt. Gen. Tom Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), visited Pantex this week to tour the High Explosives Pressing Facility (HEPF). Bostick toured the facility and said he came away impressed, singling out HEPF as an excellent demonstration of what can happen when federal agencies and contractors work together effectively to manage projects. USACE is managing construction in cooperation with NNSA, B&W Pantex and main construction contractor Kiewit Building Group.
Construction on HEPF is approximately 90 percent complete and is on schedule and under budget. When finished, the $65 million project will combine high explosives work from a half dozen older buildings – two dating back to World War II – into one state-of-the-art facility.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., yesterday. The tour was part of a broader visit to the national laboratory and Kirtland Air Force Base. While at Sandia, Secretary Hagel was provided with briefings and tours of several of the unique capabilities at the laboratory used to assist the Department of Defense in support of the national security mission.
About the photo:
Dr. Paul Hommert, Sandia President & Laboratories Director
Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics
Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense
Dr. Mark Herrmann, Director, Pulsed Power Sciences Center, Sandia National Laboratories
Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary for Global Strategic Affairs
Andrew Weber, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs
Warm coats, big thanks
As East Tennessee faces the coldest temperatures seen in a long while, Y-12ers have shown their volunteer spirit for the twelfth straight year by helping countless people stay warm thanks to another successful United Way Coat Drive to benefit the Volunteer Ministry Center. In total, the site donated 589 coats and winter wear items, 64 pairs of gloves, 47 scarves, and 66 hats and toboggans, which VMC makes available to the public through its Knoxville office.
In addition, this year’s efforts were expanded to include collection of toiletries for VMC. Y-12 collected more than 20 copy paper boxes full of soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotions and many other necessities. With these hundreds of items, VMC was able to restock their supply closet for the winter.
The Volunteer Ministry Center was established in 1987 and offers specialized services to the homeless and those within our community who are in crisis. VMC’s programs support its two-fold mission of facilitating permanent supportive housing for those who are homeless and providing services to prevent homelessness.
About the photo:
Y-12 employees load some of the 589 coats from United Way drive that benefits Volunteer Ministry Center.
Four Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have been selected as 2013 fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). They include Charles Cerjan, Ian Thompson, Eric Schwegler and Marilyn Schneider.
APS fellowships are awarded after extensive review and are considered a distinct honor because the evaluation process, conducted by the fellowship committees of individual divisions, topical groups and forums, relies on nominations and recommendations by one's professional peers.
About the photo:
From left: Charles Cerjan, Ian Thompson, Eric Schwegler and Marilyn Schneider.
On Dec. 18-19, 2013, the United States hosted a visit by delegations from France and the United Kingdom to see experimental facilities at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) related to stockpile stewardship, arms control and nonproliferation. Discussions included technical issues associated with the goals identified in the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference Action Plan.
About the photo:
Policy and technical representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, and France visiting the U1a Underground Research Complex at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada National Security Site.
Wireless networks have become commonplace in homes, restaurants and retail environments, but up until now, they have not been suitable for secure environments. That may be about to change.
NNSA’s Savannah River Tritium Enterprise (SRTE) has begun a year-long test using secure wireless technology in a tritium air monitoring system. The test is an important step in demonstrating the ability to reap the benefits of wireless technology in a secure environment, with potential for applications across the NNSA, other federal agencies and critical manufacturing facilities. The Savannah River National Laboratory designed and fabricated a prototype wireless Tritium Air Monitoring cart, funded by SRTE’s Plant-Directed Research and Development program. NNSA and its sites around the country could benefit greatly from the ability to use this type of wireless technology for radiation monitoring in nuclear facilities, where monitoring is essential for operating the equipment safely and protecting personnel. Advantages of wireless, compared to a wired system, include lower cost, greater reliability and freedom of movement.
Y-12 historian Ray Smith was among the recipients at the recent East Tennessee Economic Council annual Muddy Boot Award ceremony.
The Muddy Boot Award was created in the 1970s to honor individuals who have gone above the call of duty — like those who served the nation during the Manhattan Project — to make the community, the state of Tennessee and the nation a better place to live and work. More than 70 people have received the award since that time. A full list of recipients and more information about the award can be found on the ETEC website.
According to an ETEC news release, Smith’s more than four decades of service to Y-12 “provides him a deep understanding and appreciation the heritage of Y-12 and the Oak Ridge community.”
Smith came to Y-12 in 1970 as an electronics technician, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he joined the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs as the complex’s official historian — after demonstrating his indispensable knowledge of the plant during infrastructure reduction, the release said. From tours of select facilities and a newly updated history center, to video productions and countless public appearances, Smith has educated people around the country about Oak Ridge through his passion and dedication to preserving history.
He also has testified in front of congress in support of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park legislation.
About the photo:
Ray Smith, left, is one of three recipients of this year's Muddy Boot award from the East Tennessee Economic Council.
B&W Y-12 President and General Manager Chuck Spencer, pictured at left, and B&W Y-12 Senior Vice President and Deputy General Manager for Projects Jim Haynes present a $75,000 donation to Emory Valley Center President Jennifer Enderson. The funds will go toward the center’s capital campaign to construct a much-needed facility for the developmentally challenged of East Tennessee.
Pantex Security Police Officers Byron Logan and Randy Stokes completed their annual Run Against Hunger last week. The two officers ran and biked approximately 50 miles Friday to raise awareness of the problem of hunger in the Texas Panhandle and to raise money for the High Plains Food Bank.
On the route, Logan and Stokes stopped talk to the students from Highland Park High School in Amarillo, Texas, about the importance of getting involved to address community problems.
On a recent Saturday at the Department of Energy, 45 Boy and Girl Scouts earned their Science Merit Badges/Patches, thanks to the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation R&D staff that held an annual class for the scouts. Sponsored by the Energy Information Administration, the class covered the basics of nuclear science from elementary particles to nuclear power generation. Mini-courses, coordinated by Dr. Arden Dougan, included topics on electricity, energy, and nuclear science. The scouts took part in hands-on activities such as building an electroscope to detect charge, completing a circuit, using a Geiger counter, building atom models, and locating their nearest nuclear power plant.
Eight members of DNN R&D (and several of their family members), along with other DOE, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) employees taught the courses that were designed for kids aged 12 to 18. The American Nuclear Society provided informational handouts and Geiger counters that the scouts could take home after the event.
A high point of the day was the demonstration of the “mousetrap reactor” on loan from NIST. The reactor simulated nuclear fission through the collision of ping pong balls placed atop mouse traps. When the first trap was set off, the scouts were able to observe a visual representation of an atomic chain reaction.
You can view the photos and blog from the event here. Additional resources for nuclear science education can be at the following websites: