Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories have contributed to a decade of revolutionary research that has helped create the first ever retinal prosthesis – or bionic eye. The artificial retina, dubbed the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for blind individuals with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa.
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System proves to be an aid to those blinded by the disease retinitis pigmentosa, which can run in families and is estimated by the National Institutes of Health to affect about one in 4,000 people in the United States. Over the ten year lifetime of the project, the Department of Energy has provided $75.2 million for the development of technologies aimed at advancing artificial retinas like the Argus II.
The American Red Cross was at NNSA's Kansas City Plant yesterday to honor a special group of employees for saving a coworker's life with CPR. The employees were presented the highest American Red Cross award. The award, signed by President Obama, is only presented once or twice in the region each year. More than 300 KCP employees are trained in CPR and automated external defibrillator use.
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KCP Electronics Equipment Technician George Hickman, center, was saved by a group of KCP employees who performed CPR on Hickman. The employees were honored by the American Red Cross yesterday.
More than 30 teams from various students from across the Texas Panhandle took part in the annual Science Bowl competition this weekend at West Texas A&M University hosted by Pantex.
The students had been preparing for months to compete in the competition, which challenges students to answer questions in math and science for prizes, prestige and the right to represent the area at the national competition in Washington, D.C. Part of the goal of the competition is to help foster enthusiasm for science and engineering in young students.
Dumas Junior High School (Black Team) took first place. Second place went to Canyon Junior High School and third place went to Panhandle Junior High School (Purple Team).
The Meadows School from Las Vegas, Nev., won the Nevada High School Science Bowl last Friday, which was sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Field Office. The Meadows School competed against 32 other teams from across the state in one of the nation’s regional competitions of the 23rd Annual U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl. The team is now eligible to compete in the National Finals in Washington, D.C., at the end of April.
The National Science Bowl brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, astronomy and math. Over the next several months, more than 9,000 high school students and 5,000 middle school students will compete in 70 high school and 48 middle school regional Science Bowl tournaments.
DOE’s Office of Science manages the competition. See the National Science Bowl website.
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Photo: (left to right) Darwin Morgan, NNSA NFO, Sunny Zhou, Audrey Chang, Michael Chen, Daniel Chen, Divya Ramakrishnan, David Santo Pietro, coach.
The Kansas City Plant officially began the move on Jan. 23 to the new National Security Campus. The new facility showcases innovation and cost savings, highlighted by environmentally friendly features and innovative space management.
Over the next 18 months, about 3,300 truckloads will transport some 2,800 pieces of equipment ranging from desk size to tractor trailer size. Estimates are that the entire move will use 30,000 crates – which if stacked would be more than five times the height of Mount Everest. Kansas City Field Office Manager Mark Holecek says the biggest challenges of the move are the sheer size and complexity of what is to be moved.
The on-time, on-budget project has boosted the local economy by generating more than 1,000 construction jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in needed economic development to the region, according to Holecek.
The new facility is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-rated green campus. It’s expected to save an estimated $100 million in operating costs from a combination of overhead reduction and sustainable strategies that cut energy consumption by more than 50 percent.
The phased-in approach has about 55 office personnel moving in January, joining skeletal shipping and maintenance staffs. Another 200 office employees will make the move next month, when the first of several manufacturing moving stages begin. By the time move-in is complete next year, 2,500 employees will relocate into five new buildings comprising 1.5-million-square-feet on the campus.
Dual operations will be under way at both facilities to ensure uninterrupted delivery of KCP’s mission critical components.
Sandia President and Laboratories Director Paul Hommert has been named 2013 Laboratory Director of the Year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for his support of technology transfer activities at Sandia.
The award recognized the work during 2012 by Hommert and the entire Sandia tech transfer program. The FLC also honored Sandia and UOP, a Honeywell company, with the 2013 Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for their work in bringing an innovative radioactive waste cleanup technology to the private sector.
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Sandia President and Laboratories Director Paul Hommert has promoted technology transfer through a variety of programs.
More than 30 teams of middle school students from across the area will converge on West Texas A&M University Saturday for a competition that will test their mental mettle.
The students, who hail from 15 schools across the Panhandle, have been preparing for months to compete in the Science Bowl competition, which challenges students to answer questions in math and science for prizes, prestige and the right to represent the area at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
Pantex has sponsored the bowl for more than 20 years in hopes of fostering a love of science and math in the youth of the Texas Panhandle.
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Pantexans brush up on their skills in preparation for this weekend’s Pantex Middle School Science Bowl competition. More than 100 Pantex employees and community volunteers will run the competition Saturday, which will feature more than 30 teams from 15 schools across the Texas Panhandle. The high school competition will be held later this month.
Sandia National Laboratories employees and retirees in 2012 increased donations to the United Way of Central New Mexico by 17.1 percent over the previous year, giving $5,508,717 to the charitable organization. When it passed the $5 million mark, Sandia became the first company to donate that amount in a single campaign to United Way. Sandia’s employees in Livermore, Calif., added $236,227, making the total employee/retiree giving between both sites $5,744,944.
Last week representatives from NNSA briefed the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) in Glynco, Ga. Kristina Hatcher, Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) Regional Manager for Northern U.S. Programs; and Dan Blumenthal, Consequence Management Program Manager, discussed issues relating to nuclear security and emergency response, strengthening the relationship with governors’ senior advisors on issues of mutual significance for NNSA and governors.
Ms. Hatcher educated the GHSAC on GTRI’s assets available to help train states’ officials and make their states more secure. She encouraged the development and reinforcement of the federal-state partnership including through outreach to new high-activity radiological source facilities and enhanced communication with local fusion centers. As a result of the briefing, GTRI was approached by many homeland security advisors that were eager to learn more about NNSA’s domestic security program and help set up outreach meetings within their states.
Dr. Blumenthal emphasized that NNSA’s office of emergency response program provides a single resource to support the states over the full range of radiological emergency response activities from crisis response through consequence management. There was recognition among the homeland security advisors that one of the key resources that NNSA assets provide is technical assessments needed for leaders to make public safety decisions.
A ribbon-cutting at the Savannah River Site opened the door to the first of two new buildings that the Savannah River Tritium Enterprise (SRTE) has scheduled for occupancy this year as part of its modernization program.
The Tritium Engineering Building is one of the cornerstones of NNSA's long-term plan to modernize and consolidate the Savannah River Site tritium facilities as part of its mission to turn a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st Century nuclear security enterprise.
Addressing the crowd of employees gathered to witness the ribbon-cutting, NNSA Savannah River Field Office Manager Doug Dearolph credited the excellent partnership, teamwork and collaboration among NNSA, construction contractor Akima Construction Services and SRS management and operating contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions for completing the building with zero accidents and on budget.
The new Tritium Engineering Building, which will provide office space for nearly 100 engineers, is the first building in the Tritium Limited Area that will meet the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings. The guiding principles cover: integrated design principles, optimized energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality and reduced environmental impact of materials.
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(From left) Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Senior Vice President for NNSA Operations & Programs Dennis Donati, NNSA Savannah River Field Office Manager Doug Dearolph, and Akima Construction Services President Paul Karmanzinski open the Savannah River Site’s new Tritium Engineering Building.