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.
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.
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.
The 2011 NNSA Future Leaders Program (FLP) participants were honored this week for completing their two-year program at NNSA. Each graduating FLP participant gave a presentation on his or her accomplishments throughout the program.
The objective of the program was to help develop subject matter experts in wide variety of disciplines to ultimately manage programs and projects within NNSA, including managing national defense weapons-related programs at both nuclear and non-nuclear facilities. The program helped strengthen participants' technical knowledge to apply theory to real world problems in actual work situations.
On Monday, the Kansas City Field Office will relocate to the new National Security Campus. Some federal staff will report to the Bannister Federal Complex in a "hoteling" situation to oversee remaining operations and other required duties as needed. The move, which began in January 2013, is expected to take until August 2014 to complete for the entire Kansas City Plant. During that time, the Kansas City Plant will operate at both sites in order to maintain the production schedule.
The address at the National Security Campus is 14520 Botts Road, Kansas City, MO 64147. In addition, the prefix for phone numbers will change from 997 to 488. The 816 area code is the same. To mail a letter, address it to the Kansas City Field Office or Honeywell FM&T, as appropriate.
About the photo:
Kansas City Field Office staffers line up on the steps of the Bannister Federal Complex, a place most have worked for many years. Another group photo will be taken after they arrive at the new National Security Campus. The staffers are changing their commute each morning to drive to a new building eight miles south of the current facility.
NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application Brig. Gen. James C. Dawkins visited Sandia National Laboratories yesterday. During his visit he toured the Z Pulsed Power Facility, also known as the Z machine, which is part of the pulsed power sciences program at Sandia. Pulsed power is a technology that concentrates electrical energy and turns it into short pulses of enormous power, which are then used to generate X-rays. The Z machine is a major tool in the development of Sandia’s weapons effects, weapons physics, and fusion technologies, all of which make invaluable contributions to science, national security and fusion energy research.
About the photo (L-R):
Heather Trumble, Defense Programs Liaison, Sandia Field Office; Brig. Gen. James C. Dawkins, NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application; Keith Matzen, Director, Pulsed Power Sciences Center, Sandia; and Mark Herrmann, Senior Manager, High Energy Density Science, Sandia.
NNSA Acting Administrator Neile Miller, Associate Deputy Administrator for Fissile Materials Disposition Peter Hanlon and Senior Advisor for Environmental Management Dave Huizenga today hosted the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) leadership group for a meeting. The CSRA is comprised of the business, civic, and elected leaders representing the South Carolina and Georgia communities surrounding the Savannah River Site (SRS).
Acting Administrator Miller provided insight into NNSA’s and EM’s fiscal year 2014 budget formulation process and explained how national security and environmental management priorities were examined across the Department. She reaffirmed the NNSA’s commitment to the missions of surplus plutonium disposition and environmental management and to upholding its commitments to its international and intergovernmental partners.
A recent event gave Savannah River Site (SRS) employees whose work supports NNSA Defense Programs the opportunity to increase their knowledge of computer security, counterintelligence, and a range of other security and emergency preparedness topics.
As part of the Savannah River Tritium Enterprise “Focus on Security” Roadshow, exhibitors were on hand to help employees learn who to contact for document reviews, how to spot the signs of espionage, where to get CPR training, and more. Among the day’s activities were a demonstration by SRS security contractor of their canine team’s training and performance, as well as an opportunity for employees to experience wearing the SRS Fire Department’s fire-fighting gear.
Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) visited Sandia National Laboratories last Friday for tours and briefings. This was the Congresswoman’s first visit to Sandia. Congresswoman Lujan Grisham was accompanied by her Deputy Chief of Staff Deborah Armstrong and her Deputy District Director Gilbert Gallegos. While at Sandia, Congresswoman Lujan Grisham participated in a tour of Sandia’s Integrated Technologies and Systems exhibit that includes displays and demonstrations of technologies related to homeland security, homeland defense, and nonproliferation and assessment.
About the photo: From left to right, Jerry McDowell, Deputy Laboratories Director & Executive Vice President for National Security Programs, Sandia National Laboratories; Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham; Paul Hommert, President and Laboratories Director, Sandia National Laboratories; Kim Sawyer, Deputy Laboratories Director & Executive Vice President for Mission Support, Sandia National Laboratories; Geoff Beausoleil, Sandia Field Office Manager and Los Alamos Field Office Acting Manager.
In an effort to create new opportunities and to save money, the Pantex Plastics Shop has began formulating a new method of mixing polyurethane to make molded parts for explosives, coatings, seals, cushions, tool covers and more.
As part of this project, Pantex has teamed up with West Texas A&M University to give students the opportunity to be engaged in this research.
About the photo:
Pantex chemist Stephanie Steelman, right, and West Texas A&M University student Devin Cook work on a new dynamic adiprene mixing machine.
Cary Bronson, from Los Alamos Field Office, and Michael Kaufman from Los Alamos National Laboratory were honored Monday for receiving the 2012 Bradley A. Peterson Federal and Contractor Security Professional of the Year Awards. Bronson received the federal award and Kaufman received the contractor award.
The awards recognize employees whose contributions to security programs within the NNSA enterprise exemplify the excellence and commitment for which NNSA is known.
Bronson was recognized for his proactive approach to contractor oversight in security resulting in significant achievements. Kaufman was recognized for his active engagement and leadership in security which has greatly facilitated operations at LANL.
About the photo:
Steve Asher, center, NNSA Acting Chief and Associate Administrator for the Office of Defense Nuclear Security, presents Cary Bronson, left, and Michael Kaufman with the 2012 Bradley A. Peterson Federal and Contractor Security Professional of the Year Awards.