Brig. Gen. James Dawkins, Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application for NNSA's Office of Defense Programs, was formally honored at a promotion ceremony at the Pentagon last week. Special guests were invited to witness his promotion from Colonel to Brigadier General.
Brig. Gen. Dawkins began working at NNSA in January 2013. He is responsible for maintaining global nuclear deterrence through effective planning, maintenance and enforcement of a safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile and its associated materials, capabilities and technologies. He serves as a bridge between the NNSA and the DoD on joint nuclear operational and infrastructural matters, engaging in frequent dialogue with the various military services concerning weapons issues specific to each service and supporting related programming and budget matters pertinent to the NNSA and the DoD.
More photos are available on NNSA's Flickr page.
Pantex sponsored its Electric Battery Car Race this weekend as part of the annual Science Bowl Competition. Nearly 30 teams from middle schools across the Texas Panhandle competed in the races, which were won by Bovina Middle School. Panhandle Junior High came in second and Dumas Junior High was third.
Workers at the Pantex Plant are in the process of erecting nearly 400 metal supports that will be used to hang approximately 4,800 linear feet of new steam and condensate piping. The steam lines, which are as large as 14 inches in diameter, will run from the onsite steam generating plant to scores of buildings, where the steam will be used for various processes.
The $10 million project, which began construction in September 2012, will replace trenched steam lines with elevated lines that are less prone to corrosion. The project is being executed by a pair of local small businesses and is on schedule for completion in September.
Sandia National Laboratories Director Paul Hommert shows appreciation for Sandia scientists and engineers who won four R&D 100 awards for 2012. Visit NNSA's Flickr page for more photos.
The awards were won in competition with an international pool that included universities, corporations and other government labs. R&D Magazine presents the awards each year to researchers whom its editors and independent judging panels determine have developed the 100 most outstanding advances in applied technologies.
The awards, with their focus on practical impact rather than pure research, reward entrants on their products’ design, development, testing and production. The Chicago Tribune science writer Jon Van once described the contest as “the Oscars of invention.”
NNSA Sandia Field Office Manager Geoff Beausoleil hosted a visit to Sandia National Laboratories by Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson on this week. Commissioner Johnson received briefings on technology transfer and commercialization, economic development, and environmental restoration including Sandia's groundwater protection programs. Following the meetings at Sandia's Science & Technology Park, the commissioner received a windshield tour of the Mixed Waste Landfill in Technical Area 3.
This week Neile Miller, Acting Administrator for NNSA, spoke to the elected leaders of the communities that host NNSA facilities at the Energy Communities Alliance annual meeting in D.C. Acting Administrator Miller thanked the communities for their support over the past year and indicated that their partnership is essential to helping NNSA execute its mission.
Acting Administrator Miller noted that in his FY14 budget request delivered to Congress this week, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to leading the global effort to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, ensuring the safety of the American people, and guaranteeing that the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe, secure, and effective while it is still needed. His request includes $11.7 billion for NNSA, an increase of 1.6 percent over FY13.
She also provided insight into NNSA's priorities for the coming year emphasizing three core things NNSA will be focused on accomplishing in 2013.
First, as always, NNSA is keeping the American people safe, and our communities are the pillars that support our nuclear deterrent, nonproliferation, and counterterrorism efforts. Second, NNSA is also modernizing in every way, as many have probably seen with construction jobs, subcontractor support, and changes to the nature and scope of work at our facilities. And, finally, NNSA is holding our people - Federal employees and Management & Operating contractors - accountable. NNSA must do more with less, so we owe it to our communities and the American taxpayers to rethink and revise everywhere we can.
NNSA recognizes that our community partners have a great interest in how we communicate and engage on issues of mutual interest. NNSA is committed to operate in a manner that is open, proactive, responsive, and well-coordinated in managing relationships with state, local and tribal government stakeholders.
Nearly 100 Kansas City Plant employees and family members turned out to “rescue” Kansas City’s Blue River last Saturday. The annual Blue River Rescue event successfully cleaned up approximately 100 tons of trash along its banks.
Each year the NNSA and Honeywell join hundreds of business and residential volunteers to help pick up trash and plant trees during the largest one-day stream clean-up in Missouri.
The effort calls on community volunteers to be environmental stewards of a 22-mile stretch of land that surrounds the waterway which flows near Kansas City Plant.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Parney Albright recently honored LLNL scientists and engineers who won six R&D 100 awards for 2012 at a reception at the Livermore Valley Open Campus.
LLNL served as the principal developer for four of the awards, while the other two were joint submissions with individual Laboratory researchers.
Before noting that the R&D 100 awards, often called the "Oscars of invention," are international awards, Albright said the lab performs amazing scientific and engineering feats every day and it's fantastic to receive unique external recognition like the R&D 100 awards.
About the photo: The LEOPARD (Laser Energy Optimization by Precision Adjustments to the Radiant Distribution) technology has been developed to enhance the operability of laser facilities. Shown are members of the team.
The Nevada Field Office (NFO) and U.S. Air Force staff recently conducted inspections of a historic rocket located at Clean Slate III on the Tonopah Test Range. Clean Slate III, a plutonium dispersal test, was part of Operation Roller Coaster and was conducted on June 9, 1963. The origin of the rocket in the photo and the time frame when it was launched are unknown. Based on interviews with TTR personnel, however, the rocket has been present at the site since at least the mid-1980s.
This morning, the White House issued the below statement regarding NNSA's recent removal of the last remaining highly enriched uranium from the Czech Republic:
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the Removal of Highly Enriched Uranium from the Czech Republic
Today we can announce that the United States, with the cooperation of our international partners, successfully removed 68 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) – enough material for two nuclear weapons - from the Czech Republic. The HEU was securely transported to Russia, where it will be downblended into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in nuclear power reactors. Unlike highly enriched uranium, low enriched uranium cannot be used to make a nuclear weapon. With this shipment, the Czech Republic becomes the tenth country from which all HEU has been removed since President Obama announced the international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world.
This achievement comes on the anniversary of President Obama’s remarks in Prague on April 5, 2009, where he stated that nuclear terrorism remains our greatest threat. The President called on the world to act with a sense of purpose and without delay to secure vulnerable nuclear material. The United States and the global community have responded with an unprecedented effort that has secured thousands of kilograms of HEU and plutonium, enough for dozens of nuclear weapons.
The removal of highly enriched uranium from the Czech Republic was the culmination of a multi-year effort by the United States’ National Nuclear Security Administration, the Czech Republic’s Nuclear Research Institute, Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The United States is grateful to these partners and to the Czech and Russian governments for their outstanding cooperation.