On Thursday, July 16, NNSA Administrator Klotz had a brown bag lunch with the 14 high school and college students participating in NNSA’s Minority Serving Institutions’ (MSI) Internship Program assigned to NNSA headquarters. The MSI Internship Program targets students who are majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines, as well as non-technical majors such as business, political science, pre-law, and other non-STEM disciplines.
In 2015, NNSA placed 104 MSI interns throughout its sites. Since this program’s implementation in FY 2007, NNSA has placed more than 655 minority interns across the NNSA enterprise. These internships create excellent research opportunities for students to gain experience in their academic disciplines and afford NNSA an opportunity to groom potential employees for its workforce.
By participating in this program, NNSA hopes to increase the number of minority students pursuing science and technology degrees and to help establish the next generation of creative and committed leaders in meeting the demands of national nuclear security.
The DOE Headquarters Office of Aviation Management (OAM) awarded the following aviation management awards for performance in 2014.
The NNSA, Office of Secure Transportation, Aviation Operations Division, Albuquerque, NM, has, for the second consecutive year, won the U.S. Department of Energy Jeff Snow Aviation Program Memorial Award. The Division provides safe and secure transportation of nuclear weapons components, nuclear limited-life components, and Federal-agent task forces. It is vital to the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Program, and it maintains one aircraft and aircrew on 24-7 alert, ready to respond to nuclear incidents or accidents anywhere in the U.S.
Mr. Les Winfield, the NFO Federal Aviation Manager, is the winner of the 2014 DOE Federal Aviation Management Professional Award. Mr. Winfield provided outstanding management and oversight of the NSTec Aircraft operations at Nellis AFB, NV, and Joint Base Andrews, MD. Les initiated a process to implement an aviation-focused Safety Management System program by completing Stage I Certification of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). He then prepared and submitted the NFO team for IS-BAO Stage II certification, which they achieved with a performance cited for “clear evidence of buy-in to a proactive safety environment, and an overall outstanding flight department, will all pieces in place to pursue Stage III certification.”
Mr. Charles Lightfoot, a Pilot in Command, and Aviation Site-Supervisor for the National Security Technologies LLC(NSTec), Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL), Aviation Section-Joint Base Andrews, MD, is the winner of the 2014 John Cooley Aviation Operations/Support Professional Memorial Award. Chuck consistently demonstrated superior professionalism in Operational Support to this NFO Program, and he was the catalyst and conduit for promoting professional excellence through successful team dynamics. His approach to each mission requirement started with a collaborative effort between Contractor and Federal Management oversight. This approach produced the most effective plans that considered requirements from both aviation, and scientific perspectives, that ensured mission success.
Mr. Tim Rourke, the Chief of Aviation Safety, National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec), Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL), Aviation Section-Joint Base Andrews, MD, is the winner of the 2014 U.S. DOE Aviation Safety Professional Award. Tim’s systematic approach to safety and risk management in the RSL Aviation Section at both Las Vegas and Washington, DC locations, for both ground and flight safety, provides objective assessments of the operational risks, and recommendations for the necessary mitigations to reduce them to their lowest practical level. Tim’s single largest improvement to the RSL Aviation Safety culture was through the development of a means to allow him to identify, document, and track to conclusion, any issue, short-coming, or suggested improvement to the RSL Aviation organization.
The Department of Energy nominated these winners, in their respective categories for the 2014 GSA Federal Aviation Awards, and both Mr. Winfield and Mr. Rourke won! Mr Winfield was selected the winner of the 2014 Federal Aviation Professional Award in the Managerial Official Category. This award is presented annually to the best Federal employee in a managerial position whose primary duties involve management of a non-DoD Federal flight program. Likewise, the GSA judges selected Mr. Tim Rourke the winner of the 2014 Federal Aviation Professional Award in the Safety Official Category. This award is presented annually to the best Federal or Contract employee in an aviation safety position whose primary duties support a non-DoD Federal flight program.
Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator, visited the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in West Mifflin, PA on July 2, 2015.
Gen. Klotz toured through several test facilities where Bettis personnel reviewed ongoing development efforts to qualify techniques for in-situ repairs of nuclear powered submarine components, discussed full scale flow testing of prototypical reactor components, and demonstrated how state-of-the-art instrumentation and control equipment has been developed and deployed to aircraft carriers and submarines. Gen. Klotz was also briefed on the reactor design challenges that will require investment in advanced technologies to meet the future mission of the U.S. Navy.
During the visit the Bettis personnel demonstrated exceptional dedication to the support of the U.S. Navy's submarines and aircraft carriers. Their technical aptitude and strong engineering skills have enabled the Navy to safely operate nuclear powered ships for over 156 million miles and 6,700 reactor-years of operation since the USS NAUTILUS went to sea in 1955.
Bettis and the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, NY are operated by the Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation (BMPC) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bechtel National Inc. For nearly 70 years, both laboratories have been developing advanced naval nuclear propulsion technology and providing technical support to ensure the safe and reliable operation of our nation's submarine and aircraft carrier fleets. The Laboratories are solely dedicated to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program for the research, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of U.S. nuclear-powered warships.
The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Production Office (NPO) Management and Operating (M&O) Contract Placement team recently received the 2014 Secretary of Energy Achievement Award for their efforts in fostering innovation through efficient procurement strategy.
Through hard work and dedication the NNSA Contract Placement Team was recognized for the extraordinary effort put forth in developing an efficient procurement strategy, awarding a highly competitive contract valued at over $22 billion, and commencing contract administration efforts on a vehicle that could save the Department of Energy over $3 billion dollars during the life of the contract.
“The NPO M&O Contract Team demonstrated outstanding leadership, professionalism and selfless commitment during the five-year period that was necessary for the design, implementation and award of this mission-critical contract,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management Bob Raines. “The principles espoused by this new contracting approach align contractor performance incentives with taxpayers’ best interests.”
By combining the management and oversight of two sites, historically managed under separate and distinct contract vehicles, NNSA will increase efficiencies and significantly reduce costs for years to come. The new contract structure, which includes a separate construction line item for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) Project, will allow NNSA to manage this first-of-a-kind nuclear project more along the approach used in private industry giving NNSA increased confidence in delivering UPF by 2025 for a cost not to exceed $6.5 billion.
Read more about NNSA Production Office.
As part of the training that equips them to ensure safe operations, Savannah River Site radiological protection (RP) and fire department personnel recently conducted their annual “Live Burn” training exercises that simulate fires in facilities with chemical and radiological contamination. The Live Burn exercise took place at the Martinez-Columbia County Fire Rescue Training Facility in nearby Martinez, Ga., over four days, with three different scenarios per day, giving each shift the opportunity to participate.
“We had facilities from across the Site participate. This allows radiological protection inspectors, First Line Managers and Operators to receive the same training and learn the same techniques,” said Cristie Shuford, Manager, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Site Radiological Training.
Each day began with a safety briefing, followed by sessions for the RP team to practice essential steps in the decontamination process, such as replacing a firefighter’s potentially contaminated respirator gear for a new, “clean” breathing cartridge.
After the practice session, each Live Burn exercise started with a fire in the training facility. In full bunker gear, firefighters faced many variables as they battled the fire and rescued “victims” (training dummies). Scenarios, for example, could involve a fire in a facility with radioactive materials, as well as toxic chemicals.
Training exercises, such as Live Burn drills, are conducted to ensure the safe operations of the facilities located within the Site's 300 square miles. Local communities also benefit from these extensive preparedness efforts, as SRNS has mutual aid agreements with adjacent counties, offering them emergency assistance from the SRS fire department and radiological protection when requested.
To recognize the accomplishments of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Department of Energy employees and highlight the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce, DOE celebrated LGBT Pride Month with a program in the Forrestal auditorium on June 16. The theme of the program was "Stronger Together - Uniting the LGBT Community and Its Allies For A Stronger Workforce."
The program began with the presentation of colors by a Washington, D.C., based Joint Color Guard and the singing of the National Anthem by Matthew Swanson from the DOE Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. In addition to comments from DOE GLOBE President Russell Ames, DOE GLOBE Vice President Tré Easton, and Director of the DOE Office of Economic Impact and Diversity Dot Harris, the program included remarks from Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall:
The Pride Month Celebration also included a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Kristina Johnson, former Under Secretary of Energy, the highest ranking out LGBT DOE official in history:
About Photo (From Left to Right): Tré Easton, DOE GLOBE VP and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs; Dr. Kristina Johnson; Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall; Dot Harris, Director, DOE Office of Economic Impact and Diversity; and Russell Ames, DOE Globe President and Program Analyst for DOE Office of Science.
In addition to this program, President Obama issued his annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month proclamation.
On June 8, Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Sandia Field Office Manager Jeffrey Harrell presented a Best in Class NNSA Sustainability Award to a team from Sandia National Laboratories. The award was in the Innovation and Holistic Approach Category for the Materials Sustainability & Pollution Prevention (MSP2) program’s development of several data management systems designed to increase productivity for the MSP2 team and its customers. The data systems have helped reduce paper use, boosted employee productivity, and reduced the need to drive to remote locations to verify and view inventory.
The Innovation and Holistic Approach category recognizes methods and cross-disciplinary research at the site level that apply innovative ideas to tackle broad-based sustainability issues. The MSP2 program funded the development of the data management systems using revenues from the site-wide recycling program. Sandia was one of five Best in Class winners announced in the NNSA complex.
Photo: The team members are Sam McCord, Ralph Wrons, Sean Naegle, Debra Clifford, Ben St. Clair, Lynda Innis, Charles Snider, Chadwick Johnson, Matthew Smith, Jason Loyd, and Gabe Arrillaga.
After nearly four decades of public service, Bruce Held, Department of Energy’s Associate Deputy Secretary, announces retirement from federal govenrment.
In July 2013 and with President Obama’s approval, Held stepped in to serve as the Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. He provided exceptional leadership during a critical 10 month period, helping to craft a realistic NNSA budget, working effectively with the Nuclear Weapons Council and Congress, and enhancing communications and trust between DOE headquarters and field elements to advance national security missions. In May 2014, he returned to the Office of the Secretary as a Senior Advisor, providing trusted counsel on nuclear governance, lab management, cyber security and other matters. He championed the importance of organizational culture for our mission effectiveness across the entire department and worked tirelessly to enhance that culture in the public service tradition.
Held served as Director of DOE’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence from 2009-2012, presiding over a transformation of that organization. His experience in the field from 2002-2009 at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory as the Chief of Counterintelligence provided him the perspective that won support from the laboratory scientific community.
An accomplished author, Held is the recipient of the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award, a career National Intelligence Superior Service Medal from the Director of National Intelligence, and the NNSA Gold Medal. Before coming to DOE, Held spent three decades with the Central Intelligence Agency as a clandestine operations officer. He served in challenging circumstances as Chief of Station in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
NNSA Supervisory Contract Specialist and Senior Mediator for the New Mexico Federal Executive Board (FEB), Douglas Bergevin provides volunteer mediation services and promotes constructive conversations for federal agencies throughout the Albuquerque area dealing with workplace conflicts, grievances, and EEO issues. Acting as a change agent, the impact of his efforts has profound importance in New Mexico to federal agencies seeking alternative dispute resolution services.
The Shared Neutrals Program of which Mr. Bergevin is a member, is a program within the New Mexico FEB that provides mediation as an alternative method to resolve workplace disputes. The combined resources of the Federal community are shared to provide interagency mediators. The program’s goal is to resolve workplace disputes at the earliest possible date. Early resolution results in improved communication within the workforce, a more productive work environment, and reduced cost and time in resolving disputes. The Shared Neutrals Program estimates between $500K and over $1M in cost avoidance savings to the Federal Government each fiscal year.
For his volunteer services to the NM FEB, Douglas was recently recognized with a Team Excellence Award for his commitment to public service and dedication to the Federal community at the New Mexico FEB 2015 Excellence in Public Service Recognition Awards Ceremony on May 21, 2015. In conjunction with the ceremony Mr. Bergevin also received recognition from Senator Martin Heinrich, NM for "extraordinary contributions you make to the National Nuclear Security Administration and the nation every day.”
In addition to his service as a Senior Mediator, Mr. Bergevin serves as a Lead Contracting Officer who manages the NNSA Services Acquisition Branch located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. He oversees staff that place and administer contracts and agreements that satisfy NNSA requirements for services. His staff is instrumental to meeting various NNSA missions through acquiring and managing information technology, engineering, research and development, security, environmental, maintenance, and other professional and non-professional services.
The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Acquisition and Project Management (NA-APM) is grateful and congratulates Mr. Bergevin for his outstanding dedication and service to the U.S. Government which resulted in being honored with the New Mexico FEB’s Excellence in Public Service Award. Mr. Bergevin’s extraordinary contributions advance the goals of the Agency through solution-oriented, cost efficient, and constructive strategies that strengthen community relationships in New Mexico.
In coming weeks, NNSA will start welcoming the 2016 Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) participants to its workforce. This year, NNSA will bring onboard more than 18 of those highly talented Fellows. On June 18th, Fellows will arrive at all NNSA locations except Forrestal, where the 2016 NGFP program will begin on July 1st.
NGFP is an integral and key aspect of NNSA’s student and entry level employee effort. The program helps NNSA recruit talent from America’s leading academic programs. During that year Fellows get hands on experience with our mission for a full year, and NNSA gets the opportunity to benefit from their skills and ideas. With wide ranging specialties and a strong focus in science technology engineering and math (STEM) and policy making, these individuals possess qualifications helping NNSA build a strong foundation for its future workforce. Many former NNSA NGFP students have made, and continue to make, tremendous contributions across the Nuclear Security Enterprise by joining the NNSA team, labs, and other government organizations.
The NGFP is funded by the NNSA and is administered by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). While NGFP Fellows work in NNSA offices in the Washington metropolitan area, they are PNNL employees.
If you have the opportunity to work with and interact with the Fellows, share your knowledge and assist them in their time here at NNSA.
Is one of these positions right for you? To help you decide, please visit the NNSA Graduate Program’s dedicated website for additional information regarding eligibility criteria, application requirements, program timelines, etc.