NNSA recently hosted the 2012 Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Symposium at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C.

The symposium highlighted the accomplishments and promotes interaction among SSAA program participants, sponsors and the NNSA national laboratories. The symposium was geared toward NNSA-supported researchers with grants or cooperative agreements in the areas such as low energy nuclear science, the study of properties of materials under extreme conditions, high energy density physics, and grants awarded under the National Laser Users’ Facility Grant Program.

NNSA founded the SSAA to create opportunities for scientists in physics and other disciplines important to NNSA missions.

For details about the symposium see: http://www.orau.gov/ssaa2012/default.htm

Feb 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

Geoff BeausoleilGeoff Beausoleil has been named as the manager of the Sandia Site Office (SSO) effective April 8. He succeeds Patty Wagner who retired on Feb. 3, 2012.

Beausoleil has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry with DOE and Newport News Shipbuilding. His most recent assignment has been deputy manager for the Pantex Site Office, to which he was appointed in November 2008, with responsibilities for the day-to-day administration of the Site Office and oversight of Plant operations.

Prior to his Pantex assignment, Beausoleil served as the assistant manager, Office of Operational Support at the DOE Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID), and as the DOE-ID integrated safety management champion. In that position, Beausoleil was responsible for all of the Idaho National Laboratory site environment, quality, safety, health, worker protection, safeguards/security, emergency management and information technology programs.

Other positions held by Beausoleil at DOE-ID included director of the Quality and Safety Division and the facility director for the Radioactive Waste Management Complex and the Waste Reduction Operations Complex, where he was responsible for all transuranic, low-level, hazardous, and mixed-waste operations. Prior to arriving at DOE, he held various engineering positions at Newport News Shipbuilding, finishing his career there as the chief refueling engineer for the USS Enterprise.

Rich Sena has been serving as the acting manager of the SSO since Wagner’s retirement. Sena is currently the deputy manager.

Feb 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The most recent NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available here.

The quarterly summary for the 1st quarter of FY2012 prepared by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs provides descriptions of key NNSA facilities that conduct stockpile stewardship experiments. These include some of the most sophisticated scientific research facilities in the world including, the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. The summary also provides the number of experiments performed at each facility during each quarter of the fiscal year.

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 (ASC) Program to assess the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile. An extraordinary set of science, technology and engineering (ST&E) facilities have been established in support of the stockpile stewardship program.

Feb 22, 2012 at 10:00 am

More than 300 students recently converged in Kansas City for the annual Science Bowl Regional Competition.

Blue Valley West High School won the Kansas division and The Barstow Academy won the Missouri division. Both teams will advance to Washington, D.C. to compete against 65 other regional winners at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl® from April 26 – 30.

Support for the Science Knowledge Bowl is an important piece of NNSA’s efforts to promote science, math, and technology education in order to keep America technologically competitive and to stoke the pipeline with future employees.


Missouri winner: Barstow Academy, Kansas City, Mo.


Kansas winner: Blue Valley West High School; Overland Park, Kan. 

Feb 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman recently visited the site of NNSA's new National Security Campus at Botts Rd. and 150 Hwy in Kansas City, Mo. Poneman met with GSA Regional Administrator Jason Klumb, NNSA KCSO Manager Mark Holecek, and Honeywell FM&T President Chris Gentile.

On Jan. 23, 2013, the NNSA's Kansas City Plant will begin the carefully orchestrated move from the Bannister Federal Complex to the new site. The relocation, one of the largest and most complex moves in the nation, will involve approximately 2,800 pieces of large equipment and more than 40,000 moving crates filling more than 2,600 semi-truckloads. 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.

Feb 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Canyon Junior High students were crowned the champions during this weekend’s Science Bowl competition held in Amarillo, Texas. Pantex has sponsored the bowl for 21 consecutive years in hopes of fostering a love of science and math in the youngsters of the Texas Panhandle.

For months, 29 teams from 14 area schools prepared for the competition, where they squared off for a test of science and math knowledge in a game-show type format.

Around 150 Pantex employees and community volunteers assisted with Science Bowl. The competition features teams of four students answering science and math questions in a round-robin format, followed by a double elimination round after lunch. The team will travel to Washington, D.C., in April to compete with dozens of other teams from across the U.S. for the national title.

Feb 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Construction has begun on a new facility that will help Los Alamos National Laboratory accelerate the shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste stored in large boxes at Technical Area 54, Area G. Construction is scheduled for completion in March 2012.

The new “375 Box Line” facility will allow the Laboratory to repackage boxes up to 25 feet long that contain TRU waste from as long ago as the 1970s.

The new facility will contain a number of safety features, including fire protection and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering.

To read more see: http://www.lanl.gov/news/releases/new_facility_boosts_labs_ability_to_ship_transuranic_waste.html

Feb 10, 2012 at 11:00 am


NNSA federal and contractor counsel gathered at the Savannah River Site recently for the annual NNSA Office of General Counsel conference. Bruce Diamond, NNSA General Counsel, awarded Terri Slack, YSO Site Counsel, the attorney of the year award. The group received updates on topics and issues impacting the NNSA Counsel Enterprise-wide. 

Feb 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

The team from Advanced Technologies Academy (A-Tech) in Las Vegas took first place at the 21st annual Nevada Regional Science Bowl was held recently at VegasPBS in Las Vegas. The A-Tech team was awarded $5,000 (for use in the school’s math or science department) and all team members will receive expense paid trips to Washington, D.C. for the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl in April.

More than 150 of the best and brightest high school students in Nevada, California and Utah made up the 32 high school teams that started the Nevada Regional Science Bowl competition.

The Nevada Regional Science Bowl participants joined 15,000 other high school students across the United States trying to qualify for the finals of DOE's annual National Science Bowl®. DOE established the Nevada Regional Science Bowl in 1991 to promote math and science education and encourage high school students to pursue scientific and technical careers.

The final round was recorded for television and will be broadcast by VegasPBS in March.

To see more visit: http://www.nv.doe.gov/outreach/news/Default.aspx

Feb 8, 2012 at 11:00 am

The New START Treaty between the United States and Russian Federation celebrated its first anniversary of entering into force yesterday. The treaty will cap the strategic deployed nuclear arsenals of each country at 1,550 warheads, a nearly 75% reduction compared with the first START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which expired in 2009. As of the most recent update to the treaty’s database on Sept. 1, Russia reported 1,566 deployed nuclear warheads and the United States reported 1,790. New START follows a series of similar treaties between the United States and Russia all with the goal of reducing nuclear weapons in both countries and, ultimately, lowering the global nuclear proliferation risk and increasing international security. The obligations laid out in the treaty must be met within seven years of the treaty’s entry into force on February 5, 2010. 

Feb 6, 2012 at 12:00 am