The H Canyon Facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS) recently celebrated 60 years of service to the United States; first in producing nuclear materials in support of our nation’s defense weapons programs and later, after the Cold War, helping to disposition and stabilize nuclear materials and spent nuclear fuel from legacy cleanup, and both foreign and domestic research reactors.
"H Canyon has served our nation well for 60 years and today it remains the only operating production-scale shielded chemical separations facility in the country,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Thanks to the hard work, creativity, and dedication of the men and women operating at H Canyon, the facility has stood the test of time as a national asset for large scale nuclear materials processing. It is a global asset for nuclear nonproliferation cooperation. The Department commends the H Canyon community for the essential work they are doing to strengthen our national security, nonproliferation efforts, and the safe disposition of nuclear material."
Speaking at a recent luncheon celebration for H Canyon employees and supporters, U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson said, “For 60 years, the Canyon has supported this country’s nuclear material needs….During the Cold War, it was involved with nuclear material production, significantly contributing to a victory for democracy. Today, H Canyon proves that it is a great asset to our nation by helping to keep nuclear materials in a safe and secure location, and I am grateful for their dedicated, capable employees.”
Two recent key milestones were also celebrated; resumption of the HB Line mission to prepare surplus plutonium for disposition, and readiness to begin the Second Uranium Cycle, to start processing spent nuclear fuel.
H Canyon is also being used as a Test Bed for new technologies in the spent nuclear material field. Initially started for safeguards and nonproliferation purposes, the purpose of the test bed has been expanded to include special nuclear material accountability, environmental monitoring and compliance, and improved process control.
For more on H Canyon’s history and operations, see http://www.srs.gov/general/news/releases/nr15_srs-h-canyon-60.pdf
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) has received the Department of Energy’s Small Business Mentor of the Year award for efforts at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Y-12 mentors were recognized for exceeding the requirements of their Mentor-Protégé Agreement and their commitment to enhancing their protégé’s ability to perform contracts for federal agencies. The Mentor-Protégé Program aims to build lasting relationships between small businesses and DOE prime contractors.
Y‑12 Small Business Program Manager Lisa Copeland said, “It makes me very proud to be a part of CNS. Receiving this award is a reflection of CNS’ commitment, willingness and ability to support the small business community.”
One of Y-12’s protégés, BES Technologies, LLC (BEST), is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that provides specialized services for radioactive environments and is in its third year as a protégé. BEST’s mentorship with Y-12 increased the company’s marketability by positioning them as a qualified supplier for federal sites and the commercial sector. This summer, BEST was recognized for recycling 1 million gallons of radiological waste water through its laundry operations at the East Tennessee Technology Park.
For more information on the award visit the Y-12 website.
To find out more about the 2015 DOE Small Business awards ceremony, go to http://smallbusinessconference.energy.gov/index.php/fy14-secretarial-small-business-awards.
Each summer, Sandia National Laboratories focuses on news and events occurring at its California site in a special edition of its Lab News. This year’s special edition issue focuses on stories about Sandia’s telemetry work, recycling algae nutrients and looking how computer users handle phish. A story about the Sandia LED Pulser offers a glimpse of how the device is aiding other research activities at Sandia. Also check out Sandia California Vice President Marianne Walck’s Q&A and her thoughts about the current state of the site and the momentum of the Livermore Valley Open Campus.
Read all about it here.
Today, we are pleased to announce the publication of the 2015 DOE/NNSA Enterprise Strategic Vision. This document aligns with the Department of Energy Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 and provides a framework for integrating our missions and direction for pursuing DOE’s strategic goals. The vision is a guide to advancing world-class science and engineering, supporting our people, modernizing our infrastructure, and developing a management culture that operates a safe and secure enterprise in an efficient manner.
With the release of the Strategic Vision, we must remain mindful of our obligation to continually improve today and into the future.
NNSA is comprised of talented people who do important work each and every day. We are proud of what you do on behalf of our Nation and are happy to showcase that with the publication of our Enterprise Strategic Vision.
Frank Klotz and Madelyn Creedon
“Mission First, People Always”
You may download the Strategic Vision here or view it below.
On August 4 - 6, 2015, representatives from DOE/NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (DNN) traveled to Mumbai, India, for meetings of the Joint Working Group (JWG), in support of India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP).
The GCNEP will be India’s world-class national nuclear training center and an international resource. NNSA works with India’s Department of Atomic Energy in support of GCNEP development, under a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
NNSA officials enjoyed hearing about the progress on building the GCNEP, which already conducts training for domestic and international audiences. JWG participants discussed previous and planned technical exchanges. Both representatives saw this as a positive step in U.S.-India bilateral relations, and a greater effort toward strengthening nuclear security around the world.
About this photo: Hosts explain the layout of a key Indian container cargo port for visiting NNSA delegation.
About this photo: Visiting NNSA delegation reviews radiation alarm annunciation center at a key Indian cargo container port.
NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz was a featured speaker on June 22, 2015, at the fifth Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) Science & Technology Conference (SnT15) in Vienna, Austria. Over 1100 participants met to further strengthen the relationship between the international scientific and technological community with the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization (CTBTO). The Administrator’s remarks focused on multilateral collaboration on nuclear explosion monitoring, highlighting NNSA’s extensive collaboration with the CTBTO Preparatory Commission in all aspects of the international monitoring and verification regime.
NNSA supports advancements in the International Monitoring System (IMS), supported by the International Data Centre, as it builds capacity to detect nuclear explosions at ever-decreasing yields. In his speech, the Administrator’s offered to “facilitate making [NNSA’s] Nevada National Security Site available to future classes of CTBT inspectors in order to enrich their training and experience.” This offer is a natural extension of NNSA’s strong support for the development of the CTBT’s on-site inspection capabilities, and will allow trainee inspectors, under carefully controlled conditions, to gain real world experience with a nuclear test site.
Over 40 NNSA experts from six DOE National Laboratories and NNSA Headquarters gave presentations on a wide range of topics, and two NNSA presentations were honored with awards. Walt Dekin of Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) won the Best Oral Presentation Award for "Understanding the Challenges of OSI Drilling to Safely Recover Relevant Radiological Samples from an Underground Nuclear Explosion.” Walt has extensive underground nuclear explosion monitoring experience and was a key inspection team leader at the 2014 CTBTO Integrated Field Exercise in Jordan. Sophie Guillon of France, who recently spent three months at LLNL won the Best Oral Presentation by a Young Scientist Award for "Variability in Sub-surface Gas Transport in the Light of Field Experiments and Numerical Modeling," co-authored with LLNL’s Charles Carrigan and Yunwei Sun.
While in Vienna, the Administrator met with CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo and several of his division directors, toured the International Data Centre and viewed radionuclide monitoring equipment at the Vienna International Centre (VIC). NNSA will continue its strong support for the CTBTO, and seek ways to further contribute to the improvement of its nuclear explosion monitoring and verification capabilities.
About this photo: NNSA Administrator meeting with NNSA experts at SnT15.
About this photo: NNSA Administrator addressing a session at SnT15, discussing NNSA’s support for multilateral collaboration on nuclear explosive test monitoring and verification.
About this photo: NNSA Administrator meeting with CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo.
About this photo: NNSA Administrator and Assistant Secretary of State Frank Rose hearing about capabilities of the CTBTO International Monitoring System at the International Data Centre in Vienna, Austria.
A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held in Livermore, Calif., for a building that will enable consolidation of “front door” activities for Sandia National Laboratories California.
Building 926 will house the site’s human resources department and will be home of the training center for students and new hires. The new 20,000 square foot facility, funded by institutional investments, will provide employment candidates, new hires, and student interns an open, welcome, accessible space. All employees, including foreign nationals, will have easy access to the building. The new building will be located in the space created where Building 927 once stood and is scheduled for completion next year.
Marianne Walck, vice president of Sandia’s California laboratory, said having a welcoming environment where visitors, recruits, and new hires can access without having to immediately enter layers of visible security allows a greater ease in collaborations and builds a sense of community for new hires from the start.
Building 926 will enable the site to bring Building 911 into the Limited Area and repurpose it for growing its classified mission work. In addition, when Building 926 is inhabited, several substandard mobiles will be removed.
Twenty-nine Y‑12 inventors were recognized for their technology and innovation during the recent 11th Annual Technology Transfer Awards. The site has long been producing technologies initially used at Y-12 and later transferred to the private sector.
The patents that were awarded were in areas ranging from nuclear material simulation devices to enhancing the functional performance of machine tools.
The inventors brought forward new ideas that led to nine patents and 23 invention disclosures. The new inventions developed by the honorees will be used to further Y-12’s mission work, as well as be made available to license out to benefit the public through Y-12’s Technology Transfer program.
“Technology Transfer is a way for us to share our Nuclear Enterprise technologies with businesses. It allows us to share the good work of Y-12 and Pantex employees with others to better businesses, communities and the nation,” said Dave Beck, CNS Vice President, Program Integration. “These new ideas showcase the wide range of talent and innovative thinking at both facilities.”
For more information visit the Y-12 website.
Y-12 Senior Metallurgist Steven Dekanich and NASA Materials Science Branch Chief Steve McDanels teamed up to lead a weeklong materials science camp that took at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The camp, which has been held since 2004, was jointly sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Services (CNS), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and the Knoxville chapter of American Society of Metals (ASM).
The 2015 Tennessee camp coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first American spacewalk. The 20 Tennessee students, who participated in the 2015 ASM International Materials Camp talked via Skype with two NASA astronauts who have spacewalked a dozen times during their careers. Students listened to astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Jeffrey Williams describe their experiences living and working aboard the International Space Station. The astronauts then answered questions related to experiments the teens performed on debris from the space shuttle Columbia.
Throughout the week, students used state-of-the-art equipment to perform failure analyses on materials from the Columbia. On Friday, the students presented the results of their failure analyses to professional judges and their family members. The winning team received iPhone cases printed from a three-dimensional printer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and they will be guests at a future ASM meeting.
WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth interviewed Steve Dekanich of Y-12 and Steve McDanels, Chief of NASA Materials Science Branch at Kennedy Space Center about the camp and the importance of materials science. You can listen to the interview on WUOT’s website and read more about the camp at Y-12’s website.
The U.S. Department of State hosted the 6th Annual Generation Prague Conference in Washington, DC, on July 15-17, 2015. Generation Prague 2015: Bridging Divides, Defining the Future explored the potential for creative and cooperative solutions to global arms control and nonproliferation challenges with a focus on youth engagement. Participants interacted with a wide variety of U.S. and international experts and leaders in arms control and nonproliferation, including Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. US Sherman had just returned to the United States after completing negotiations with Iran on the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The importance of NNSA contributions to U.S. nonproliferation and arms control efforts was highlighted in a number of speakers’ remarks, including an overview of U.S. efforts by Jon Wolfsthal, the National Security Council Senior Director for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, and Ambassador Adam Scheinman’s remarks regarding the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, who addressed the group on the 70th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear explosion at the Trinity site in New Mexico, reminded attendees of the seriousness of nonproliferation and arms control efforts by the U.S. and its foreign partners.
In a spotlight on young leaders moderated by Katherine Croft, Senior Policy Advisor to the NNSA Administrator, entitled “Nuclear Explosive Testing in Meridia,” Dr. Julia Craven Jones of Sandia National Laboratories and Dr. Derek Haas of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory spoke about their experiences in the recent Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) large-scale on-site inspection (OSI) Integrated Field Exercise 2014 (IFE14) that took place in Jordan last year. Dr. Jones was a member of the external Evaluation Team and Dr. Haas was a member of the Inspection Team at IFE14. They spoke about their personal experiences supporting the CTBT effort, the intersection of advanced technology and national security policy, and the importance of new generations of experts choosing to pursue arms control and nonproliferation as a career.
NNSA Director of Public Affairs Thom Metzger also spoke on a panel, “Shaping Opinions on Nuclear Weapons,” about current public views regarding nuclear weapons and how public engagement and information can positively impact views about national security issues, including NNSA’s highly technical missions. NNSA Public Affairs works to educate American public about the importance of NNSA’s mission and its value to U.S. national security.