NNSA’s Consequence Management Team today participated in the second nationwide RadResponder drill during a regional tabletop exercise simulating an improvised nuclear device (IND) at the 45th annual New England Radiological Health Conference. The RadResponder Network is a FEMA-sponsored cloud-based radiation data collection system, based on NNSA-developed technology, which provides federal, state, local, tribal and territorial response teams and leadership with a standardized service for managing, organizing, analyzing and mapping radiation data.
Participants across the country were able to see the progress live throughout the day. Periodic situation briefings were led by the DOE’s Consequence Management Home Team while analyzing RadResponder data and generating data products summarizing measurements collected in the IND-affected area as well as across the country.
At a time when middle school students are often apathetic toward science and learning, students in Kansas City are excited to learn about science and technology at the local Blue River.
The National Security Campus has partnered with the T.R.U.E. Blue (Teaching Rivers in an Urban Environment) program to help local students make the connection between science and the environment. In October, NSC employees volunteered their time to help students perform tests and monitor stream conditions. Students went to the river to collect samples, record the data, and learn how to conduct a site survey. Using the collected data, classes are encouraged to plan and implement water quality improvement projects.
The first flight and drop tests for the latest variant of the W88 nuclear warhead are providing data for Sandia National Laboratories to validate designs, improve computer modeling and update component specifications.
The two successful tests, which were conducted this summer, provide data for the program, the W88 ALT 370 (alteration), to move forward, The Critical Radar Arming and Fuzing Test (CRAFT) was the first flight test of a prototype radar for the W88 ALT 370. CRAFT demonstrated how the radar performed during re-entry through plasma generated by the hypersonic speeds at which the warhead travels.
About the photo:
Sandia performed a drop test for the W88 ALT 370 program, designed to replicate a crane accidentally dropping the re-entry body onto a concrete surface. The test was conducted at Sandia’s 185-foot Drop Tower Facility, using the same handling gear a crane would use to move the weapon.
As of today, NNSA has collected slightly more than 21 percent of its goal of $174,000 for this year’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). With seven weeks remaining before the campaign closes on Dec. 15, 2014, everyone is encouraged to join those who have become a “Super Hero” and help push NNSA over its goal.
Contributions can go to any of more than 20,000 tax-exempt organizations. Each individual can choose the recipients or make a general contribution. Organizations represent such diverse fields as medical research, education, environment, recreation and sports, civil rights and science and technology. By working collectively, the campaign can lower administrative costs and may give greater direct benefit to these member organizations.
Each of us may know friends, colleagues or family members who have directly benefited from medical or technological breakthroughs, enabled by charitable contributions. Consider, that any one of us may join that group at some future date, if not already a direct beneficiary. Whether your contribution goes directly toward helping those in need of basic sustenance or to enabling future scientific breakthroughs or educational and environmental advances, you make those choices. Together, all of these CFC contributions strengthen our social fabric and national well-being, benefiting ourselves and our families, as well as our friends, colleagues and communities.
Online processes allow employees to locate and contribute to organizations that meet your interests or for things that matter most to you. Everyone is encouraged to make use of the CFC as an efficient, tax-deductible mechanism for contributing to those causes. Key Workers can be contacted for assistance if needed.
The Alarm Response Training Academy officially celebrated its new location at the Y-12 National Security Complex today. On hand to cut the ribbon were (from left) Teresa Robbins, NNSA Production Office Acting Assistant Manager for Environment, Safety, Health and Quality; Anne Harrington, NNSA Deputy Administrator, Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation; and Morgan Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Nuclear Security.
The free course taught at Y-12’s ART facility provides an opportunity for security forces, health and safety personnel, law enforcement officials and other responsible parties to develop, discuss and exercise their own tactics, techniques, procedures and protocols when responding to a theft and/or sabotage event involving risk-significant nuclear and radiological materials.
Gen. Frank Klotz, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator, thanked the men and women at Pantex who helped reach the halfway point in the production phase of the W76-1 warhead Life Extension Program.
Klotz also highlighted NNSA’s commitment to meeting the U.S. Navy’s requirements for the W76-1.
The primary goals of the W76-1 Life Extension Program are to extend the original warhead service life from 20 to 60 year and address aging issues.
The W76-1 Life Extension Program involves engineers, scientists and technicians from Pantex, Y-12, Savannah River Site, National Security Campus, Los Alamos Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.
About the photos:
Gen. Frank Klotz, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, and Administrator, NNSA U.S. Department of Energy, participated in the W76-1 Halfway Celebration at Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. The General helped other Pantex senior managers hand out ice cream treats to thank all Pantex employees for their work to support the W76-1 LEP.
Gen. Frank Klotz, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, and Administrator, NNSA U.S. Department of Energy, spoke with Amarillo elected officials and business leaders about Pantex Plant’s ongoing nuclear security mission.
Ever wonder what it's like to tap into the human brain? Or did you ponder about the best ways to understand neurological diseases and functions such as memory? Did you know tiny neural devices can potentially help patients see, hear and move?
Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at LLNL's Center for Bioengineering, will be answering those questions and more on the popular social media site Reddit as part as of the Bay Area Science Festival activities.
Tolosa will be answering questions about her neural research from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Oct. 29, on Reddit's AMA (Ask Me Anything) social media forum. The forum is opened to all Reddit users who post questions for a subject-matter expert to answer.
About the photo:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineer Vanessa Tolosa holds up a flexible electrode array that gets implanted into animals to record brain signals. Tolosa will be answering questions about this technology and more on the social media site Reddit.
This month, we gathered all of NNSA’s Senior Executive Service leaders together for a productive and valuable set of discussions on the strategic direction of NNSA. At this offsite meeting, leaders from several different government agencies shared their best practices to being a high performer on the annual “Best Places to Work” survey. We also held breakout sessions devoted to communicating effectively, driving a performance-based culture, fostering effective leadership, and developing a strategic plan.
This is not the first time NNSA’s senior leadership has addressed these issues. Much work has already been done on identifying and addressing enterprise-wide problems that need attention. We are now in a position, however, to move from having high-level discussions to identifying concrete, actionable solutions, and bringing these measures to closure.
Thus, the final product of this meeting will be an action plan detailing steps NNSA’s leaders can implement in the next 120 days. This plan also kicks-off an effort to update the NNSA Strategic Plan. We want all employees of the nuclear security enterprise to be involved in developing the strategic direction of NNSA, so there will be several opportunities for you to share suggestions and ideas in the weeks to come.
Your leaders are focusing their efforts on making the nuclear security enterprise a great place to work, which is an absolutely paramount part of achieving our enduring national security mission and taking care of our people.
“Mission First, People Always”
Y‑12 has been recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for its outstanding work in support of science, technology, engineering, and math education. The FLC Southeast Region selected Y‑12 for the 2014 Outstanding Accomplishment in STEM Education Support award for its partnership with the Young Innovators’ Society STEM league.
Y‑12 assembled a project team of scientists and experts from Y‑12, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Conservation Fisheries to work with middle school students from northern Ohio, who call themselves The Awesome Eyeballs, on their untested but innovative technology to reduce mercury levels in fish.
If successful, the students’ method of reducing mercury levels in fish would directly benefit Y‑12’s efforts to improve the environmental quality of the East Fork Poplar Creek, where mercury contamination in sediments from historical manufacturing processes is an ongoing issue.
When Robin Stubenhofer, vice president of engineering at the National Security Campus, heard that women account for only ten percent of the engineering workforce in America, she made a personal commitment to inspire young women to pursue technical careers. Throughout her 30-year career, she has devoted time to mentoring and developing talent for leadership and technical advancements to integrate evolving technologies into the business.
Kansas City’s Central Exchange recently honored Stubenhofer’s significant contributions to the STEM community by awarding the “Groundbreaker Award” at the inaugural Stemmy Gala and Awards celebration. The event puts a well-deserved spotlight on the accomplishments of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math careers across the greater Kansas City area. Formed in 1979, Central Exchange fosters community service and business leadership in women.
At the National Security Campus, Stubenhofer leads an organization with nearly 1,000 engineers and technical employees charged with delivering mission-critical mechanical, electrical and engineered material components and integrating evolving technologies, such as 3D printing, to improve the safety and security of our nation’s defense programs.
Stubenhofer was recently awarded the 2014 Women Who Mean Business Award in Kansas City and is a strong community supporter of FIRST Robotics, Science Pioneers and KC STEM Alliance. She works with a collaborative network of educators, business affiliates and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust force of related professionals for our community.