Pete Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, recently visited Sandia. During his visit, Lyons received a review of the Brayton Cycle Laboratory and the Cylindrical Boiling Laboratory. The tour was led by Steve Rottler, Vice President of Sandia's California laboratory.

Pete Lyons visits Sandia California

Aug 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Lawrence Livermore's National Ignition Facility (NIF) recently focused all 192 of its ultra-powerful laser beams on a tiny deuterium-tritium filled capsule. In the nanoseconds that followed, the capsule imploded and released a neutron yield of nearly 3x1015, or approximately 8,000 joules of neutron energy – approximately three times NIF's previous neutron yield record for cryogenic implosions.

The primary mission of NIF is to provide experimental insight and data for NNSA's science-based stockpile stewardship program. The experiment attained conditions not observed since the days of underground nuclear weapons testing and represents an important milestone in the continuing demonstration that the stockpile can be kept safe, secure and reliable without a return to testing.

Read more.

About the photo:
The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility are the first step in increasing the energy of laser beams as they make their way toward the target chamber.

 Laser fusion experiment yields record energy at NIF

Aug 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Pantex saves 00,000 by repurposing old trailerBy repurposing an old decontamination trailer, rather than buying a new one, B&W Pantex Radiation Safety personnel recently saved Pantex approximately $100,000.

In 2012, the search began for ways to improve the emergency response capabilities of the Pantex Radiation Safety Department with a mobile decontamination trailer. The purchase of a new trailer through the U.S. General Services Administration was approved at a cost of $122,000, but B&W Pantex kept searching for a less expensive alternative.

The search led to an available trailer already at Pantex that was in critical need of repair. After a lengthy search, employees from the Radiation Safety Department found a local business that could refurbish the trailer for $23,000.Pantex saves 00,000 by repurposing old trailer

The trailer is fully equipped with four showering units, water supply, self-contained waste handling, two 80-pound propane tanks and its own generator. It is intended for use in decontaminating victims in the unlikely event of a radiological or chemical accident. The trailer is currently slated to be used to decontaminate victims prior to moving them into the site’s medical facilities, but it remains mobile and could be used in other locations. 

Through innovative thinking and a willingness to look for new solutions to existing problems, B&W Pantex personnel improved the radiation safety capabilities of the site while utilizing a local small business to control the cost of the project.


About the photos:
Members of the Pantex Radiation Safety Department conduct training utilizing a new decontamination trailer the department had refurbished, saving about $100,000 as compared to the cost of a new trailer.

 Pantex saves 00,000 by repurposing old trailer

Aug 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

A former U.S. Army reserve equipment facility on the former Fort Chaffee property in Ark. is now a modernized logistics support site for NNSA’s Office of Secure Transportation (OST). The property, which had a commercial value estimated at $30-35 million, was acquired at no cost through the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990. The OST Training Command is located at Fort Chaffee.

Transfer of the Army facility was accepted by Jeff Harrell, OST Assistant Deputy Administrator, in April of this year. Constructed in 1984, it had been empty for several years prior to the transfer.

After $1.8 million in improvements, it was recently opened for warehousing of supplies and equipment, office space for thirty-five employees and a fully functional vehicle maintenance facility. The nearly 40,000 square foot warehouse and 29,000 square foot vehicle maintenance facility sit on 39 acres of land. The additional acreage of the facility improves the driver training portion of OST’s agent candidate training class. Now the whole training course can be conducted simultaneously at multiple stations. OST’s Logistics and Property Management Branch moved into the facility from several buildings, which will save OST an estimated $50,000 per year in rental costs.

Personnel moved into the new facility in May and the ribbon cutting took place at the end of June to officially dedicate the facility and recognize individuals who contributed to different phases over the life of the project.

About the photo:
Pictured left to right: Dr. William “Jim” Vosburg, Office of Training and Resources (OTR), Manager; Jeffery P. Harrell, Office of Secure Transportation, Assistant Deputy Administrator; and Mike Callahan, Logistics and Property Management Branch Chief in OTR.

OST opens new logistics support site

Aug 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

On Aug. 23, Sandia National Laboratories received an ASML Scanner as part of the Sandia Silicon Fabrication Recapitalization (SSiFR) project. Once fully operating, the ASML Scanner will help reduce risks to production, research and development at the Silicon Fab (SiFab), specifically for the W88 ALT 380 and B61-12 LEP. The ASML Scanner is a piece of photolithography equipment which is the main component of the production process.

About the photo:
Ken Sheely (far right), NNSA Program Executive Officer and Acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure and Operations (NA-00), stands in front of the crane that delivered a major new piece of equipment to the MESA Complex. Joining Ken (from left to right) were Jeff Chamberlin, NA-00.1, Dale Hetherington, Sandia National Laboratories, Bill Wechsler, NA-00-SN.

Sandia Silicon Fabrication Recapitalization project underway

Aug 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Last week, NNSA conducted an advanced course in radiation medical (Advanced I-MED) training in Taiwan. The course provided participants with in-depth information on how to treat injured contaminated patients following a radiation incident. During one of the demonstrations, Dr. Carol Iddins, from the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education, taught participants how to handle a contaminated injured patient.

Read more.

 NNSA conducts hands-on radiation medical training in Taiwan


Aug 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

The NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available. The summary presents descriptions of key NNSA facilities that have recently conducted stockpile stewardship experiments..

The quarterly summary prepared by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs provides descriptions of key NNSA facilities that conduct stockpile stewardship experiments. These include the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories.

The U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program is a robust program of scientific inquiry used to sustain and assess the nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear tests. The experiments carried out within the program are used in combination with complex computational models and NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing Program to assess the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile.

Aug 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

The Kansas City Field Office recently hosted the semi-annual NA-00 Leadership meeting for field managers and headquarters' senior management team. During the visit, Associate Principal Deputy Administrator Michael Lempke and the group toured the advanced manufacturing areas of the newly constructed National Security Campus. Relocation activities are in full swing as the Kansas City Plant nears the midway point of one of the largest industrial moves in the United States.

This on-time, on-budget project represents a significant part of NNSA's focus on modernization and infrastructure investment. The modern campus showcases innovation and cost savings, highlighted by environmentally friendly features and innovative space management. Several years of significant planning laid the foundation for a successful relocation while maintaining dual operations at both facilities for uninterrupted delivery of mission critical components. The Kansas City Plant will be fully moved into the National Security Campus by August 2014.

About the photos:
Associate Principal Deputy Administrator Michael Lempke (center) and Mark Holecek, Kansas City Field Office Manager, tour the advanced manufacturing areas of the newly constructed National Security Campus.

The Kansas City Field Office hosted the semi-annual NA-00 Leadership meeting for field managers and headquarters' senior management team on Aug. 6-8.

KCP Field Office hosts leadership meeting

KCP Field Office hosts leadership meeting

Aug 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Today was a rare windless day on the plains of the Texas Panhandle, but that didn’t stop a group of nearly 100 people from gathering to break ground on the Pantex Renewable Energy Project.

The brisk Panhandle winds will power the five 2.3 megawatt turbines, scheduled for completion next summer, making the PREP the largest federally-owned wind farm in the country.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by officials from NNSA, including Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart. They were joined by Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. CEO Judy Marks and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Tech University.

Siemens will construct PREP under an Energy Savings Performance Contract, delivering a turn-key wind farm system with an annual production guarantee for 18 years. Siemens will be paid directly from the value of energy savings generated by the turbines.

PREP will be built on 1,500 acres of land east of the Pantex Plant. It will generate approximately 47 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is more than 60 percent of the electricity needed for Pantex. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 metric tons per year—the equivalent of removing 7,200 cars from the road each year or planting 850,000 trees.

The wind farm will play a key role in helping Pantex achieve President Obama’s directive that the federal government lead the way in clean energy and efficiency. The Administration set a goal for the federal government to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

About the photos (clockwise from top left):
NNSA Production Office Project Manager John Herrera, NPO Project Manager (retired) Johnnie Guelker, NPO Manager Steve Erhart, Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., President and CEO Judy Marks, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington, all take part in today’s groundbreaking event.

Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington speaks at the ground breaking event.

From left to right: B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and Amarillo community leader Bill Harris discuss the groundbreaking of the Pantex Renewable Energy Project.

NPO Manager Steve Erhart talks about the importance of the new Pantex Renewable Energy Project.

Pantex breaks ground on renewable energy project

Aug 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

The Nevada National Security Site recently hosted a “Cans for Cupcakes” event as part of the Feds Feed Families campaign, which runs through Aug. 28. NNSS employees were able to get a cupcake in exchange for cans of food. The canned food will be donated to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.

'Cans for cupcakes' at NNSS

Left to right: August Schellhase and Teresa Rabe drop off cans of food for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, while volunteer Tiffany Lantow serves cupcakes.

'Cans for cupcakes' at NNSS

Left to right: Volunteers Tiffany Lantow and Latonya Burke accept donated cans and help Lynn Kidman and Kathy Watson select cupcakes.

'Cans for cupcakes' at NNSS

Volunteer Tiffany Lantow accepts donated cans of food from Dave Taylor. In the background, Lynn Kidman and Kathy Watson select their cupcakes from dozens of donated cupcakes, many homemade by NNSS staff.

Aug 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm