B&W Pantex was honored last week with a pair of awards for its exemplary safety record.

The President’s Award for Best Performing Business Unit and the Target Zero Award were presented on behalf of Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group (B&W TSG) President George Dudich. “I am happy to honor the thousands of men and women who do the critical work at Pantex with such a high commitment to safety,” Dudich said.

The President’s Award is presented to the large site that demonstrates “Best in Class” safety performance, while the Target Zero Award goes to sites that complete the year without a lost time injury.

“The key to the outstanding safety performance at Pantex is employee involvement. Pantex employees lead numerous safety committees and initiatives,” said B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery.

During 2012, Pantexans worked more than seven million man hours without a lost time injury and continue to lead the nuclear security enterprise in several measures of safety.

Earlier this year, Pantex was also honored with the Department of Energy’s Voluntary Protection Program’s Star of Excellence.

Nov 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Ray Rempe, KCP employee for 55 yearsIn the summer of 1957, a postage stamp cost three cents, Russia launched the first earth-orbiting satellite, Leave it to Beaver premiered on CBS, and Ray Rempe embarked on his career as a draftsman at the Kansas City Plant. Now, 55 years later, Ray is still serving the same customer as a Senior CAD Designer to help support national security for NNSA.

A lot of things have changed in technology and in Kansas City since Rempe joined the company.

Rempe says he’s enjoyed designing circuits when it was done on the board. “We drew designs on paper or Mylar,” he said. “That changed dramatically in 1975 when we went to computers. Now we draw circuits using a CAD system, and I like that even more. Circuit boards are now much smaller and more intricate and sophisticated."

Nov 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm


Supercomputer simulations of blast waves on the brain are being compared with clinical studies of veterans suffering from mild traumatic brain injuries by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and University of New Mexico. The intent is to help improve helmet designs.

The research team hopes to identify threshold levels of stress and energy on which better military and sports helmet designs could be based. They could be used to program sensors placed on helmets to show whether a blast is strong enough to cause injuries.

Read about the work.

About the photo:
Each millimeter square in this model represents the type of tissue in that square. Sandia and UNM researchers are comparing supercomputer simulations of the physical effects of blast waves on the brain with Ford's analyses of patients who have suffered such injuries. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Nov 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

NNSA’s Sequoia supercomputer, housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is ready to shake out and fully develop its capabilities required to fulfill its national security missions, starting early next year.

Researchers from NNSA's three nuclear weapons laboratories are testing Sequoia's power and versatility by running unclassified science codes relevant to NNSA missions. Science being explored by Lawrence Livermore researchers includes high energy density plasmas and the electronic structure of heavy metals.

The early science runs are part of the "shakeout" of the 20-petaflop peak IBM BlueGene/Q system, which will transition in March 2013 to classified work for NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing program, a cornerstone of the effort to ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation's nuclear deterrent without underground testing. Sequoia's mammoth computational power will be used to assess physical weapons systems and provide a more accurate atomic-level understanding of the behavior of materials in the extreme conditions present in a nuclear weapon.

Read more about Sequoia.


Nov 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Criticality safety expert Michaele C. “Mikey” Brady RaapCriticality safety expert Michaele C. “Mikey” Brady Raap, from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was recently appointed a member of the U.S. Department of Energy Criticality Safety Support Group (CSSG). The CSSG supports the DOE Nuclear Criticality Safety Program by providing operational and technical expertise involving experiments, nuclear data, methods, training, organizational structures and criticality safety evaluations. As a CSSG member, She will provide technical support to DOE missions including stockpile stewardship, materials stabilization, transportation, storage, facilities decommissioning and waste disposal.

Brady Raap was selected for her exceptional experience and knowledge, including 25 years of contributions in criticality safety and nuclear engineering. She has supported NNSA across a variety of programs. She was the lead criticality safety engineer supporting the disposition of excess plutonium from the nation’s dismantled nuclear weapons.

She contributed to nuclear criticality safety assessments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. Currently she provides technical expertise for NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative, to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials at civilian sites worldwide. She has also supported DOE projects related to waste tank storage and the transportation, storage and disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel.

Nov 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Jolie A. Cizewski, APS November Woman Physicist of the Month

Jolie A. Cizewski of Rutgers University has been selected as the Woman Physicist of the Month for November by the American Physical Society (APS). She is the director of NNSA’s Stewardship Science Academic Alliance (SSAA) Center of Excellence for Radioactive Ion Beam Studies for Stewardship Science and has served in that capacity since 2003. The Center conducts leading-edge nuclear physics research using short-lived nuclei produced at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Michigan State University and elsewhere.

“The award by the American Physical Society is a tribute to the excellent work done by Professor Cizewski and her team,” said Dr. Chris Deeney, NNSA’s Assistant Deputy Administrator for Stockpile Stewardship. “We are extremely proud of the NNSA’s academic programs and the superb scientists we support.”

The award recognizes female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals’ lives and careers.

Read more about Cizewski.

About the photo:
Jolie A. Cizewski and her former postdoc Nick Fotiades who is currently a LANL staff member check out the GEANIE array of Compton suppressed Ge detectors at The Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE).

Nov 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Scholarship winners Sara Lemmonds and Wes Jenkins

In its ongoing support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, Y-12 recently awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarships to Roane State Community College freshmen Wes Jenkins and Sara Lemmonds.

Recipients of the Y-12 STEM Scholarship must be full-time students at Roane State pursuing a degree in one of the STEM fields of study. Jenkins is a Harriman High School graduate and plans to major in biology. Lemmonds graduated from Oak Ridge High School and is enrolled in the college’s pre-med program.

Read more about the scholarships.

About the photo:
From left: Y-12 Commercialization manager Jeremy Benton chats with STEM Scholarship winners Sara Lemmonds and Wes Jenkins about Y-12’s opportunities for students pursuing a degree in one of the STEM fields of study.

Nov 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and NNSA’s nearly two decade partnership with IBM, which has produced an unparalleled record of top-ranked supercomputers and award winning computational science, was celebrated recently at LLNL.

Calling computing the “intellectual electricity” of the laboratory, Parney Albright, LLNL's Laboratory Director, said that “we embed computation into the DNA of LLNL organizations” and as a result “it’s hard to find a project at the Lab that doesn’t involve computing.” High performance computing (HPC) will remain critical to the Lab’s ability to fulfill its stockpile stewardship mission well into the future, he said.

The strength of the relationship allowed the development of Deep Computing Solutions, a partnership within LLNL’s High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC), which aims to “make Vulcan and the Laboratory’s HPC ecosystem available to U.S. industry to advance the nation’s competitiveness,” Albright said.

Dimitri Kusnezov, NNSA's Chief Scientist and director of the Office of Science and Policy,, said the strength of the relationship has produced “ a remarkable line of success: novel insight into national security issues, novel product lines, breaking the speed of computing over and over; lasting marks in this enterprise.” Of the 34 cycles of worldwide top supercomputer rankings from 1996 through 2012, NNSA has been recognized 21 times for #1 systems, 14 of which with IBM and 11 with IBM and LLNL.

“There are many complex faces of this partnership,” Kusnezov said. “It can be very ugly at times. At other times there is glory to be celebrated. We recognize the differences in our needs,” he said. “It is the communication between all of us that has made this work. If we did not build in the flexibility rooted in trust into our partnership, we would fail.”

The impact of the partnership on NNSA’s national security missions has demonstrated simulation as the increasingly cost-effective means to examine the array of national security problems we face, and help frame the context for next generation exascale systems, Kusnezov said.

John Kelly III, director of IBM Research, reminded the audience that the IBM relationship went back to 1954 with the purchase of IBM 701 machines. The HPC advancements under the ASCI program, which began in the mid-1990s have contributed to IBM’s commercial success, Kelly said. “In the end we’re a business. The technologies we’ve developed have broader application and have made it into our commercial systems.”

The development of the BlueGene line of supercomputers “put us on an entirely different trajectory,” he said. “It took risk. Failure was not an option. What galvanized us was your mission and your success in that mission. It’s what inspires us moving forward.”

Nov 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Titan, a new supercomputer located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has taken over the top spot as the world’s most powerful according to the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. NNSA’s Sequoia supercomputer, housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is now ranked as the second fastest supercomputer. Sequoia was previously ranked as the fastest last June.

This brings the total number of DOE systems in the fastest 20 to five, with: Mira at Argonne National Laboratory, ranked fourth; Cielo, located at Los Alamos National Laboratory and operated jointly by Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, ranked 18th; and Hopper at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ranked 19th.

“The nation that leads the world in high-performance computing will have an enormous competitive advantage across a broad range of sectors, including national defense, science and medicine, energy production, transmission and distribution, storm weather and climate prediction, finance, commercial product development, and manufacturing,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “Titan joins the Department’s top-ranking supercomputers in equipping our nation’s researchers with the tools needed to keep the United States on the cutting edge of innovation.”

Read more about DOE’s rankings. Check out complete list of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Nov 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

A new American Quarter Horse sculpture is now on display at Pantex outside Building 16-12, a first stop for visitors. The horse is a unifying symbol within the community, and horses with various designs are on display across Amarillo at banks, restaurants, civic organizations, hospitals, factories, schools and retail stores.

The Plant’s 125-pound fiberglass American Quarter Horse sculpture was painted by artist Gary Ward and features a rendering of the American flag, an eagle, and wind turbines. It was purchased from Amarillo Center City as part of its Hoof Prints project, which began in 2002 to provide eye-catching landmarks. Proceeds benefit Center City, an organization that works to enhance downtown Amarillo.

Nov 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm