Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico on Jan. 26 to highlight President Obama’s State of the Union address and discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to energy innovation and advanced manufacturing. Secretary Chu was joined by U.S. Congressman Martin Heinrich and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry on a tour of Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility, which is working to advance industry collaboration on clean energy technologies. Secretary Chu also hosted a Town Hall with employees at the site as part of the visit.
Five scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory have been honored by Laboratory Director Charles McMillan as Laboratory Fellows. The new Fellows are Bruce Carlsten, Mike Leitch, Michael MacInnes, Richard Martin, and Amit Misra.
The fellows are honored for their sustained, high-level achievements in programs of importance to LANL either a fundamental or important discovery that has led to widespread use or and having become a recognized authority in the field, including outside recognition and an outstanding record of publications.
The 2011 Fellows were selected from 17 nominees, and a committee of scientists and engineers from across LANL reviewed the nominations and recommended finalists who were confirmed by the laboratory director.
Students and teachers today will get the chance to talk live with nuclear experts from across the country about various nuclear issues today as part of the National Nuclear Science Week. The talks will cover electricity production, basics in nuclear science, nuclear medicine and an overview of the future of nuclear energy in the U.S.
For a complete list of live talks see:
From left to right: NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook; Dublin, Calif. Mayor Tim Sbranti; Danville, Calif. Mayor Candace Andersen; Livermore, Calif. Mayor John Marchand; NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino
NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino hosted mayors from across the country while the mayors were in Washington, D.C. during the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting last week. The mayors represented major metropolitan cities and local communities – including Livermore, Calif., Danville, Calif., Dublin, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., Las Vegas. N.V., Amarillo. Texas, Columbia, S.C., and Kansas City. Mo. All cities are located adjacent to NNSA laboratories and plants. D’Agostino appreciated the opportunity to communicate directly with these local leaders and to discuss issues of mutual interest.
NNSA leadership recognizes that local community officials serve as a source of strength not only in advancing NNSA goals locally but also in strengthening the organization’s relationships with other key federal and state officials to move the nation’s nuclear security agenda forward. Each of the mayors expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to convey their priorities to D’Agostino and indicated they would be doing the same with other administration and congressional officials during their stay in Washington, D.C.
In just one year, the NNSA’s Kansas City Plant (KCP) will begin a carefully orchestrated move to its new location with the help of six relocation firms who were recently awarded contracts valued at about $80 million.
In one year, on Jan. 23, 2013, KCP will begin the complex task of moving manufacturing, laboratory and office equipment from its current location at the Bannister Federal Complex to a newly constructed National Security Campus eight miles south at Botts Road and 150 Highway in South Kansas City. The move will involve approximately 2,800 pieces of large capital equipment and more than 40,000 moving crates filling approximately 2,600 semi-trailer loads.
KCP selected CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), the world’s largest commercial real estate company, to plan and manage the monumental task of relocating the nearly three million square feet facility, including manufacturing, engineering and administrative offices, to the new location. Additional supporting contracts to execute the move were awarded to P1 Group, Inc., Foley Company, Fry-Wagner, Graebel, and Daniels. The total contract value is more than $80 million and is one of the largest purchasing contracts awarded by Honeywell FM&T, the management and operating contractor for KCP.
In January 2013, when construction of the new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and engineering campus is complete, the relocation contractors will begin moving the KCP operations in a phased-in approach. The move will take place over a 19-month period and will allow for dual operations at both facilities to ensure continued delivery of product in support of national security.
The new smaller, more efficient facility maintains the capability to assure the reliability, safety and security of the nation’s defense systems while enabling NNSA to recruit and retain the next generation of scientists and engineers. KCP remains committed to supporting the President’s nuclear agenda which includes enhanced safety and security and also takes advantage of opportunities to reduce the number of warhead types.
Photo Credit: National University of Malaysia
Rising energy demand in Southeast Asia could contribute to a significant growth in nuclear power over the coming decades. As states invest in new nuclear power programs, they must also simultaneously develop indigenous expertise to ensure that these programs are safe and effective as well as compliant with international nonproliferation and safeguards obligations.
The International Nuclear Safeguards and Engagement Program (INSEP), a program within the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security at NNSA, works with countries that are developing nuclear programs build the safeguards expertise needed to ensure that new energy initiatives are securely operated. Last month, an INSEP team traveled to Malaysia to participate in an International Workshop on Safeguards Curriculum Development at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). The event brought together experts from Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and the United States to support UKM with the development of a Safeguards, Safety and Security Program. While the workshop focused on the creation of an indigenous safeguards education program specifically for Malaysia, it also supported the shared goal of the United States and Republic of Korea to develop the next generation of safeguards experts around the world.
Sandia Site Office Manager Patty Wagner has announced that she will be retiring effective Feb. 3, 2012 after 31 years of federal service.
As Sandia Site Office manager, she was responsible for overseeing the $2.5 billion contract for Sandia National Laboratories and ensuring the safe and secure operations of the laboratories. From December 2003 to January 2004, she was the lead negotiator on the Sandia contract, which includes innovative new contracting language. In 2008, she led the NNSA's Acquisition Strategy for NNSA's production missions resulting in a decision to conduct a competition resulting in a single contract for the management of the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pantex Plant, with an option for the phase-in of Tritium Operations performed at the Savannah River Site. While serving as the Sandia Site Office manager, she also served as the chair of the Source Evaluation Board responsible for the $1.7 billion nuclear production contract competition.
Prior to coming to the Sandia Site Office, she joined the former DOE/NNSA Albuquerque Operations Office in January 1997 where she served as the assistant manager for Business Operations and in February 2002 was promoted to the deputy manager for Business & Administration and managed approximately 300 Federal personnel. She began working for DOE in 1995 as the chief of staff at the Rocky Flats Field Office in Golden, Colo. Prior to working for DOE, she worked for the Resolution Trust Corporation in Denver from June 1991 to April 1995. She held other senior management positions with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Liquidation dating back to April 1984. Her federal career began in 1978 as a bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
She is the recipient of two Presidential Rank Awards reserved for the top senior executives in government who demonstrate exceptional service over an extended period of time. She was awarded the meritorious level in 2001, an award reserved for the top 5 percent of senior executives and the distinguished level in 2008, an award reserved for the top 1 percent of senior executives. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from New Mexico State University. A Santa Fe native, she has lived in Texas, Colorado, and presently resides in Albuquerque, N.M.
Don Cook, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, toured Y-12's analytical chemistry labs during a visit to Y-12 National Security Complex yesterday.
Y-12's analytical chemistry work is highly technical and essential for worker safety, the nation's nuclear deterrent, and global nuclear nonproliferation efforts.
Cook toured Building 9995 to see Y-12's analytical chemistry capabilities first-hand. The building dates to the 1940s and has been expanded and retrofitted for its current work. Cook also discussed how a portion of the lab's function will be re-established in less space with new equipment in the new Uranium Processing Facility (UPF).
Plant Lab Manager Tom Oatts, at right, discusses lab operations with (from left) Steve Goodrum, NNSA's assistant deputy administrator for Stockpile Management; John Gertsen, B&W vice president of UPF programs; Dan Hoag, acting Y-12 site manager; and Cook.
The first four racks of NNSA’s Sequoia Supercomputer have arrived at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sequoia, a 20 petaflops (quadrillion floating operations per second) system based on BlueGene technology, will help continue to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's aging nuclear deterrent. Sequoia will also help maintain U.S. leadership in high performance computing, promote scientific discovery and advance President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.
Deliveries of the system will continue through April 2012. Integration will take place in phases with final acceptance of the 96-rack system scheduled for September 2012.
By fall Sequoia is expected to be the most powerful supercomputer in the world and will be approximately twice as fast as today's most powerful system. To put this into perspective, if each of the 6.7 billion people on earth had a hand calculator and worked together on a calculation 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, it would take 320 years to do what Sequoia will do in one hour.
Robert “Dino” Herrera has been named acting deputy manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 Site Office, replacing Dan Hoag who has been named Acting YSO manager. His assignment to YSO was effective Jan. 4, 2012.
Herrera has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2006 with managerial experience at NNSA Headquarters, Sandia Site Office, Los Alamos Site Office, and the Albuquerque Operations Office.
In his permanent assignment, Herrera serves as the deputy associate deputy administrator, Office of Infrastructure and Construction in Defense Programs. In this role, Herrera provides executive support to the Associate Deputy Administrator in directing the management of designated programs for the operations and maintenance of select NNSA facilities.
Before joining NNSA, Herrera was a resident engineer (head of construction office) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). His USACE duty stations included King Khalid Military City, Saudi Arabia, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Carlsbad, N.M.