2013 NNSA Defense Programs Science Council

Members of the 2013 NNSA Defense Programs Science Council include, from left to right, Steven Trujillo from Sandia National Laboratories, Cris Barnes from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Steven Wyrick from the Savannah River National Laboratory, who represents NNSA's production sites, Ronald Streit from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Kathleen Alexander from NNSA headquarters who serves as chairperson of the council.

The Science Council was re-established in 2010 by Deputy Administrator of Defense Programs, Don Cook, to investigate and explore cross-cutting science, technology and engineering issues and opportunities that have an impact across NNSA. The Science Council supports the NNSA’s Defense Programs in a wide range of areas including promoting the best science and technology throughout the enterprise, analyzing stockpile planning and hedge strategies, and communications such as support to the NNSA Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan development. In addition, the Science Council also supports the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, Office of Counterintelligence, DoD and other federal agencies in areas aligned to Defense Programs interests. The Science Council has representatives from each of the three NNSA national security laboratories and one person representing the production sites.


Sep 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations recently hosted Illinois emergency responders during an Aerial Measuring System (AMS) Technical Exchange meeting at NNSA’s Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) in Las Vegas, Nev.

The technical exchange consisted of sharing information regarding techniques, processes, systems, capabilities and data analysis for aerial radiological measuring. As part of the exchange, AMS flights were conducted in the Las Vegas area and at the Nevada National Security Site.

The Illinois AMS Technical Exchange involved the state’s Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Department of Transportation representatives exchanging information with members of the NNSA AMS and Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) teams. The primary goal was to discuss how the state and federal emergency response units can effectively collaborate when responding to nuclear/radiological events.

The exchange was part of NNSA’s ongoing emergency preparedness and response outreach. NNSA currently collaborates with multiple domestic and international organizations on projects to improve emergency preparedness and response programs, as well as on activities to improve emergency management infrastructure worldwide.

 NNSA hosts Illinois emergency responders during technical exchange meeting

Sep 19, 2013 at 11:00 am

B&W Y-12 recently donated $10,000 to the Children’s Museum in Oak Ridge to help support the museum’s programs, including its planned Healthy Living exhibit. Y-12 previously donated $15,000 to turn the museum’s current space exhibit into a “Rocket Room,” taking children on an imaginary trip to Mars.

See more.

About the photo:
B&W Y-12 Public Affairs Manager Jud Simmons discusses ongoing projects with Mary Ann Damos, Executive Director of the Oak Ridge Children’s Museum, in the museum’s environmental center and gardens.

Y-12 donates 0,000 to Children’s Museum

Sep 18, 2013 at 10:00 am

Secretary Moniz and Director General of the Russian Federation State Corporation “Rosatom” Sergey Kirienko signed an agreement this week to further collaborate on nuclear and energy-related research and development. The agreement was signed at the IAEA General Conference being held this week in Vienna, Austria. It includes research being done at laboratories, institutes and facilities and covers topics such as nuclear technology, nonproliferation, fundamental and applied science, energy and environment. It expands on and complements a prior agreement that was signed in January 2011.

Read more.

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Contributing to DOE/NNSA’s efforts to support the Office of Personnel Management’s Feds Feed Families campaign to collect non-perishable food items for food banks across the country, NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) removed more than one ton of food from their pantries and store shelves; safely and securely transporting it to local food banks where it will be used to assist local area families in need. This year’s collection of 2,185.8 pounds of foods shattered last year’s total of 1,115.6 pounds of food donated to Washington, D.C., area food banks. This effort directly supported the DOE-wide efforts of collecting more that 190,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and household goods, that was donated to local food banks for direct distribution to those in need in the D.C. area.

NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative Removes More Than One Ton of Food

Sep 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

For more than 70 years, Los Alamos National Laboratory has been a frontrunner in explosives research, development and applications. To highlight the LANL’s work in the field of explosives, the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos is opening a new exhibit titled “The Science of Explosives” on Sept. 18.

The exhibit shows in pictures, words and videos how decades of cutting-edge research has made the Laboratory a worldwide leader in explosives applications. It will feature LANL’s work with explosives, from synthesis of new molecules to waste treatment. The exhibit also examines a variety of scenarios with many applications, ranging from explosives assessment and lethality to detonation and wave physics and blast effects.

Read more.

About the photo:
A typical explosives experiment fired in front of the PHERMEX bunker produces a brilliant fireball long after the hydrodynamics measurements have been recorded. PHERMEX was the location for more than 1,000 hydrotests and was the premier radiographic test facility during the Cold War.

LANL highlights explosives work

Sep 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

B&W Pantex continued its remarkable safety record in 2013, once again receiving honors from the Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program (DOE VPP).

For the second year in a row, DOE awarded B&W Pantex the VPP Star of Excellence for its safety performance, singling out the plant as one of the top safety performers within the DOE. This is the fourth year Pantex has been honored by the VPP.

Read more.

 Pantex once again awarded Star of Excellence for outstanding safety record

Sep 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Employees of the NNSA Production Office (NPO) have donated 17,348 pounds of food as part of the annual U.S. Department of Energy’s “Feds Feed Families” campaign. The campaign, which ended on Sept. 6, surpassed the goal of 17,000 pounds.

The NPO donations are supporting the efforts of the High Plains Food Bank, Amarillo, Texas, and the Second Harvest Food Bank, Maryville, Tenn.

The Feds Feed Families campaign is a voluntary effort undertaken by federal employees across the country to provide non-perishable food items to local food banks. Since the start of this effort five years ago, federal employees have donated more than 15 million pounds of food to support families across America.

NNSA Production Office tops Feds Feed Families campaign goal

NNSA Production Office tops Feds Feed Families campaign goal

Sep 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

Members of the Aspiring Mid-Career Professionals (AMP) at the Savannah River Site took to the streets to clean up a roadway near SRS as part of their commitment to the local community.

AMP’s Outreach Committee chose the Adopt-a-Highway program as one of its activities for the year, selecting a 2-mile stretch of road beginning just outside the SRS barricade. Seventeen volunteer members gathered and, after the distribution of reflective safety vests and protective gloves, filled 13 bags with the litter they found by the road. As adopter of this stretch of road, AMP will conduct pickup days twice a year.

The stretch of Atomic Road was chosen because it's right at the site boundary and is what people first see as they approach the site.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions launched AMP in April of this year to provide mid-career professionals – those with five to twenty years of work experience – a forum for professional networking and opportunities for career growth and development.

About the photos:
Aspiring Mid-Career Professionals members receive cleanup tools, helpful materials, reflective vests and a safety briefing prior to beginning work.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Aspiring Mid-Career Professionals members clear debris from Atomic Road near the Savannah River Site boundary.

 Aspiring SRS professionals adopt, clean up road

Aspiring SRS professionals adopt, clean up road

Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

Leigh Outten, Y-12 Legal intern, is something of a degree collector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering; two master’s degrees from MIT — one in nuclear engineering, the other in technology and policy; and an MBA from a French school. Now she’s in her third year of UT’s law program. What does one do with such a wide array of degrees?

Outten said her dream is to work at the International Atomic Energy Agency, and she thinks the laws associated with the handling of nuclear materials are really interesting.

Thanks to the Y-12/UT Field Placement Program, a unique collaboration between Y-12 and the University of Tennessee College of Law, she was able to find a setting that puts each of her unique educational experiences to use.

Y-12 Lawyer Chuck Young, who’s also an adjunct professor at UT’s law school, says the program offers students experience with things they can’t get elsewhere. A good example is the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a massive book governing the ways federal entities and often their contractors, like B&W Y-12, conduct their business and procurement operations. It details everything from how to plan for and solicit an acquisition to how the resultant bids are evaluated.

Young says he’d been practicing law for 15 years before coming to Y-12 and is still learning about the FAR. He also estimates that fewer than two dozen practicing attorneys in the Knoxville legal community understand them. He said that for a second-year law student to be exposed to things that some lawyers never encounter is a huge advantage.

The Field Placement Program is designed to give students a unique internship opportunity centered on the contractual, commercialization and compliance activities that take place at a federal site like Y-12. That includes work on numerous technology transfer initiatives, patent applications and other site-wide efforts to commercialize Y-12 innovations.

For Outten, the internship is an opportunity to work toward her IAEA dream. Young says the program not only gives law students experience in the federal complex, but Y-12 is putting more people out into the world who understand what we do, and that ultimately benefits NNSA as a whole.

About the photo:
Y-12 lawyer Chuck Young discusses the Federal Acquisition Regulation with intern Leigh Outten

Y-12 lawyer Chuck Young talks with intern Leigh Outten.

Sep 10, 2013 at 11:00 am