NNSA Blog

Pantex honored its fire department personnel on Friday in advance of National Emergency Medical Services Professionals Week. All firefighters at Pantex are trained as emergency medical technicians and many are paramedics, qualified to perform advanced life support operations in the new ambulances. Pantex has fire and ambulance crews on standby 24 hours a day to respond to plant emergencies and to assist surrounding municipalities through mutual aid agreements.

About the photo:
Firefighter/paramedics Nikki Weiss, left, and Chard Zarback prepare to load equipment into one of two new ambulances recently acquired by the Pantex Plant.

Firefighter/paramedics Nikki Weiss, left, and Chard Zarback

May 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

During a recent visit to the Y-12 National Security Complex, eighth graders Miller Sullivan, center, and Tyler Young, right, from Halls Middle School, learn what happens to a banana when it is submerged in liquid nitrogen. Darryl Smith, left, was one of four engineering, science and history experts to give nearly 50 Halls Middle School students a taste of science past and present at Y-12.

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Miller Sullivan, center, and Tyler Young, right, from Halls Middle School

May 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Y-12 earns national Best Workplaces for Commuters designation

Y‑12 National Security Complex was recently recognized for meeting the National Standard of Excellence, awarded by Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC).

BWC is an innovative program that encourages sustainable transportation. Qualified employers receive national recognition and designation for offering commuter benefits, and this year marks the second year Smart Trips and BWC have recognized local companies.

The Sustainability and Stewardship group estimates that Y‑12's compressed work week prevents more than 190,000 vehicle miles traveled each week and eliminates about 4,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

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About the photo:
Durand Carmany shares how Y‑12's 4/10 schedule and on-site taxi service help make Y‑12 one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters. Sara Martin of Smart Trips looks on.

May 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions awards family scholarships

Fifteen students have each won a $3,000 Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) Family Scholarship, received at a special ceremony held recently. The winners are sons and daughters of SRNS employees.

This program rewards graduating high school students on the basis of general ability, leadership, and scholastic achievement, recognizing the top students participating in the competition.

About the photo:
Westminster High School student Caroline Powell discusses her college and career plans with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Executive Vice President & COO Fred Dohse. Powell received a $3,000 scholarship from SRNS during the recent Family Scholarship Awards ceremony, where scholarships totaling $45,000 were awarded to 15 area students.

May 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Los Alamos IT Specialist Jerry Massee

Jerry Massee, a member of the Los Alamos Field Office Cyber Security Team, recently earned recognition as New Mexico Federal Employee of the Year by the New Mexico Federal Executive Board.

Massee provides oversight of the Information Technology and Records Management programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The two programs account for $250-$300 million of the lab’s $2.1 billion annual budget. As the local interface with NNSA’s Headquarters IT office, Massee spearheaded discussions with the Department of Energy regarding the impact that changes in IT requirements would have on LANL. The dialogue resulted in an alternative solution that saved the lab several million dollars and minimized adverse impacts to major software upgrades. The solution also led to significant savings for other contractors across the NNSA enterprise.

May 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

More than 100 Pantexans attended the annual Armed Forces Day Celebration at Pantex Wednesday. For more than 15 years, Pantex has hosted a lunch and ceremony to honor those who fought to keep our country free. This year, the Pantex Fire Department Honor Guard presented the colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.

More than 700 Pantexans are veterans of the armed forces.

About the photo (top left):
Victoria Hofeldt, Petty Officer, Second Class, U.S. Navy, speaks at the annual Pantex Armed Forces Day Celebration. Hofeldt, who is married to a Pantexan, was the guest speaker and was on hand to speak about the importance of supporting our military personnel. Seated next to Hofeldt is Pantexan and retired U.S. Navy Commander Dave Butler.

Pantex celebrates Armed Forces Day

May 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Participants in the 10-month Leadership Amarillo and Canyon program recently visited Pantex. During the visit, the participants viewed a security weapon display, toured the Firing Site and experienced the Visitor’s Center. They also received an overview on the history of Pantex. Because Pantex tours are not open to the public, the visit was a unique opportunity to learn about one of the top three employers in Amarillo.

The program is designed to introduce leadership development, networking, community awareness and social consciousness to those who want to make a difference in their community.

Pantex hosts community leaders

May 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Sandia Field Office receives Technical Qualification Program accreditation

The Sandia Field Office has been recognized for receiving Technical Qualification Program (TQP) reaccreditation from the Department of Energy. Just four DOE sites have ever obtained TQP accreditation and all are part of NNSA.

NNSA Acting Administrator Neile Miller congratulated SFO in achieving reaccreditation of their TQP and on their commitment to a competent federal workforce.

A multidisciplinary team from DOE conducted the TQP review at SFO last December. An accreditation board, convened by Patricia Worthington by unanimous decision, recommended to DOE Deputy Secretary that he grant TQP reaccreditation to SFO. The memo was approved and signed by the Deputy Secretary on April 8, 2013.

A DOE order requires organizations to conduct periodic self-assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of their TQP. Accreditation is voluntary, goes above and beyond requirements and demonstrates that the site has an effective program in place. Accreditation is valid for four years.

About the photo:
Geoff Beausoleil, NNSA Sandia Field Office Manager, recently accepted an award on behalf of the NNSA Sandia Field Office (SFO) in recognition for the Accreditation of the SFO Technical Qualification Program (TQP). The award was presented by NNSA Acting Administrator Neile Miller and Patricia Worthington, Director of the Office of Health and Safety, Office of Health, Safety and Security.

May 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

NATO delegates toured Sandia National Laboratories during a recent three-day visit highlighting the labs’ programs that support extended deterrence to U.S. allies, as well as broader national security programs ranging from homeland security to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The visitors included more than 50 representatives from 23 European countries, along with officials from the Department of Defense, NNSA, the State Department and other U.S. government agencies.

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Sandia hosts NATO visitors

May 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

It’s a balance between simplicity of design and robustness for the job. The seals and enclosures being developed by NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security (NIS) and scientific experts employ technologies to safeguard and secure nuclear materials, weapons or components from diversion, theft, or sabotage – tasks critical to support arms control treaties. Yet these technologies must also be simple to use, provide clear indications of tampering, be suitable and safe for deployment in hostile environments, and not include covert or proprietary features.

Reflective Particle Tag technology; developed for START

That’s a tall order, but experts at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and their colleagues in the U.K. are striving to learn what is possible and workable for future arms control treaties that involve the monitoring of nuclear weapons dismantlement. In a bilateral treaty, the monitoring party must rely upon these technologies to confirm that the treaty provisions are being met. In turn, the host must certify that seals and enclosures meet the provisions of the treaty, while protecting sensitive information.

In a dismantlement facility where the host has the opportunity for free access to the monitoring equipment, seals and enclosures can be used to deter unauthorized access to or tampering with the equipment. For the sake of nuclear facility safety and security, monitors may have constraints on the equipment they can bring in for authentication purposes. So the simpler the designs for tamper-indicating seals and enclosures are, the easier they are to authenticate and inspect.

When implemented in tamper-indicating devices, simple designs and defense in depth are concepts that enable treaty partners to safeguard and secure their nuclear items and associated monitoring equipment. NIS’s Office of Nuclear Verification continues to support the development of these technologies as part of its contribution to the U.S. nonproliferation and verification agenda.

May 10, 2013 at 10:00 am