CTBTO Preparatory Commission Executive signingMedical isotope mitigation efforts are one part of a comprehensive multi-laboratory NNSA approach to assisting the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in completing the treaty’s verification system. Several Energy Department laboratories are helping the CTBTO complete and operate the verification system for testing and evaluation purposes, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Idaho National Laboratory. Additional support for CTBTO activities is provided by the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

Scientists from PNNL are among the experts featured in a new video, “Zeroing in on Xenon,” which demonstrates how the world’s “nuclear investigators” detect nuclear explosions. Produced by the preparatory commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the video highlights the sophisticated analysis methods and instrumentation developed at PNNL that better differentiate between medical- and nuclear explosion-related emissions. The video appears on the CTBTO’s website and YouTube

Emissions from medical isotope production facilities – even when within health and safety standards – can increase the radioxenon background level in the atmosphere, which complicates efforts to determine whether an event was a nuclear explosion. Increasingly, producers of medical and industrial isotopes are looking at methods to reduce emissions, including by exploring alternatives to fission-based production techniques that do not emit xenon. To facilitate this goal, the CTBTO Prepatory Commission, along with experts from PNNL, engages producers in the United States and worldwide to encourage them to pledge emissions reductions.

For example, Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary-elect of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and Jean-Michel Vanderhofstadt, Managing Director of the Institute for Radioelements (IRE) in Belgium, signed the first pledge to cooperate to mitigate the effects of noble gas emissions on nuclear explosion monitoring. IRE is a major worldwide producer of radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine and its emissions – while safe from a health perspective – contribute to regional radioxenon levels that can adversely affect highly sensitive nuclear explosion monitoring sensors. Efforts by European producers to reduce radioxenon emissions serve as a model for international cooperation toward further enhancing the international community’s ability to detect nuclear explosions.



See video
Jul 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

For 20 years, the Pantex Lunch Bunch Club has been working to develop the gift of gab.

Recently, the members of the Toastmasters International club gathered at Pantex to celebrate two decades of learning to be better speakers and better leaders. About 20 members, including three who were there for the founding of the club, celebrated the achievement.

The club started in 1993 as a way to create a Pantex speaker’s bureau. Members worked to develop better presentation skills to represent Pantex at other sites and in the community. Over the years, more than 100 Pantexans passed through the organization, improving their public speaking skills by creating speeches and presentations for other members. Many of the participants advanced to area, division, district and regional Toastmasters competitions.

About the photo:
Toastmasters District Governor T.K. O’Geary presents a certificate commemorating 20 years to members of the Pantex Lunch Bunch Club Melissa Phifer and Roger Coffey.

Jul 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

B&W Y-12 recently signed agreements with two new protégés — BES Technologies and The Molecular Group. The companies join eight other groups currently involved in Y-12's Mentor-Protégé program.

These agreements are intended to significantly contribute to Y-12’s objectives of promoting technological growth and business development opportunities.

Read more.


About the photos:
Left photo: Erik Connard, BES Technologies chief executive officer, signs a Mentor-Protégé agreement with B&W Y-12 President and General Manager Chuck Spencer. Looking on are (from left) BES Technologies’ Shannon Eaker, chief scientific officer, and Brian Quinley, chief operating officer; Lisa Copeland, B&W Y-12 Socioeconomic Programs manager, and mentor Tom Ford, manager of B&W Y-12’s Industrial Hygiene organization.

Right photo: Roy Lindsey, president and chief executive officer of The Molecular Group, signs a Mentor-Protégé agreement with B&W Y-12 President and General Manager Chuck Spencer as mentor Jeremy Benton of Y-12’s Program Management and Lisa Copeland, B&W Y-12 Socioeconomic Programs manager, look on.


Jul 16, 2013 at 11:00 am


The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory launched an aggressive initiative to boost American industry's global competitiveness two years ago, by opening the High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC) in the Livermore Valley Open Campus. Since then, the HPCIC has been reaching out to industry to broaden the use of supercomputers for the technological and business innovation that underpins the nation's economic vitality.

Read more

About the photos:NNSA Blog

Above: A team of LLNL scientists, in partnership with engineers from Navistar, NASA, the U.S. Air Force and other industry leaders, utilized HPC modeling and simulation to develop technologies that increase semi-truck fuel efficiency by at least 17 percent.

Left to right: Dimitri Kusnezov, National Nuclear Security Administration chief scientist and director of Science and Policy, Michel McCoy, director of Lawrence Livermore's Advanced Simulation and Computing program, congratulate John Kelly, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, for a successful 20-year collaboration in high performance computing.

Jul 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

What better time to think about Christmas than the middle of July when it’s 100 degrees outside?

Pantex Christmas Project organizers are counting on their fellow Pantexans to overlook the sweltering heat and generate a little Christmas cheer in an effort to raise money for families who will need help this holiday season.

The Christmas Project’s committee came up with the idea to ask departments and organizations across the Pantex Plant to create baskets that are then auctioned to raise money for the Project. The response, with more than 50 baskets submitted to the silent auction, has been overwhelming. Basket themes range from outdoor activities, grilling and sports to quilting, movie night and family games.

Pantexans will bid on the baskets over the next two weeks, with bids already totaling several thousand dollars. All of the money will go the Christmas Project, which each year picks about 50 needy families to provide with gifts and necessities to ensure they have a Merry Christmas.


Jul 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

The Savannah River Site Leadership Association (SRSLA) honored Dennis Donati, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions’ (SRNS) Senior Vice President for NNSA Operations and Programs as Executive of the Year at the Association’s annual Awards Dinner. The award noted Donati’s record of achieving success through partnerships with customers, colleagues and employees as evidence of his results-oriented leadership excellence.  

The SRSLA also recognized SRNS F-Area Complex Facility Manager William “Bill” Tadlock as Leader of the Year and SRNS Financial Analyst Byron Bush as SRSLA Member of the Year. The SRSLA is the Savannah River Site (SRS) chapter of the National Management Association (NMA); its membership includes personnel from the various SRS contractor and federal employers.

SRS Leadership Association honors three

Jul 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

Sandia National Laboratories researchers Jerry Simmons, Ed Cole and John Rowe have been named Sandia Fellows.

There have been only six previous fellows in Sandia’s history, five of whom are retired. The status of fellows is reserved for those who are nationally or internationally recognized pioneers in their fields. It is considered a promotion to the highest level of Research and Development staff, equivalent to the level of management immediately below Sandia’s vice presidents.

Read more.

About the photo:
Newly appointed Sandia Fellows Jerry Simmons, left, Ed Cole, middle, and John Rowe gather outside Sandia’s Joint Computational Engineering Laboratory.

Sandia names three fellows

Jul 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Yesterday, the Department of Energy launched a website for its Asset Revitalization Initiative - a department-wide effort to advance the beneficial reuse of the full range of its diverse assets, including land, facilities, infrastructure, equipment, technologies, natural resources and a highly skilled workforce.

ARI is divided into five teams: diversification, modernization, energy, communications and real property and assets. Through effective communication and crosscutting functionality, it promotes efficient business practices, collaboration between public and private entities and helps communities put existing assets toward future beneficial uses.

Visit the ARI website here.

DOE launches website for Asset Rivatlization Initiative

Jul 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

Today, DOE officially kicked off its annual DOE Feeds Families campaign to assist local food banks in replenishing supplies during the summer months. DOE and NNSA employees can participate throughout the summer by dropping off non-perishable food items in boxes located throughout the Forrestal, Germantown and L’Enfant buildings or at field offices. 

About the photo: Joy Viars and Abel Romero from NNSA’s management and business office (NA-MB) show support for the annual DOE Feeds Families campaign.

DOE Feeds Families campaign underway

Jul 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

B&W Pantex Biologist Jim Ray works closely with West Texas A&M University to track and study the wildlife living on the Pantex site. Pantex is currently studying how wind energy can impact the surrounding ecosystems and has studied rattlesnakes and horned lizards for more than a decade. For more information, click here.

Pantex wildlife program featured on NewsChannel 10

Jul 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm