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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About the photo: Sandia National Laboratories’ Mark Taylor is the chief computational scientist for Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy.
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.
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.
The big news this past week was the formal dedication of NNSA’s new National Security Campus (NSC) in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City plant manufactures or purchases 85 percent of the non-nuclear components that make up our nuclear weapons, and thus plays a huge role in keeping the nation’s stockpile safe, secure, and effective. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and I were on hand for the dedication, along with members of Congress, local leaders, and employees of the field office and plant.
This dedication represents not only the successful execution of a major project, but also the replacement of badly aging infrastructure. Previously, Kansas City Plant (KCP) employees were working in the Bannister Federal Complex, a 70-year-old facility originally built to manufacture aircraft engines during World War II. The building was home to KCP for 64 years, however, annual operations costs were growing with the age of the facility.
To address this problem, NNSA worked with the General Services Administration (GSA) to obtain a new campus through a public-private partnership, which enabled a developer to build and deliver the NSC at a cost and schedule far less than the government could have otherwise achieved.
The relocation from the Bannister Federal Complex to the NSC, which began in January 2013, was one of the Nation’s largest industrial moves. The relocation teams safely and securely moved a wide range of equipment including tools weighing as little as six ounces to a milling machine weighing 87,000 pounds. About 3,000 truckloads transported thousands of pieces of equipment and 40,000 crates. Despite this major effort, the move was completed one month ahead of the original schedule and $10 million under budget. This was a remarkable achievement!
We’ve got a lot of infrastructure across the nuclear security enterprise that is as old and in need of repair as the Bannister Federal Complex. Our highly skilled and dedicated workforce deserve facilities that are safe and modern, and provide what they need to accomplish their work—work that remains critical to the security of this Nation.
Accordingly, I’ve made the repair and modernization of our facilities and infrastructure one of NNSA’s highest priorities. It’ll take time, persistence, and consistent support from Congress. But, our success at Kansas City shows that it can be done.
Finally, a note on safety: On Monday, the nation celebrates Labor Day. Many of us will be on the road for one last trip, or to visit with friends and family over the weekend. Please enjoy; but, please also plan ahead and travel safely.
“Mission first, people always.”
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz today hailed the completion of the new National Security Campus at a dedication ceremony in Kansas City, Mo.
The new facility was completed ahead of schedule, $10 million under budget, and with the site’s best safety and security performance on record. The event celebrated the 18-month move to the new facility eight miles south of the old Kansas City Plant. The move involved more than 3,000 truckloads and 40,000 crates.
The $687 million new campus now houses about 2,600 employees and consists of advanced manufacturing, laboratory, office, and warehouse space. The new building reduces energy consumption by more than 50 percent and is one of the first LEED Gold manufacturing campuses. Overall, the new campus will save the government more than $100 million annually.