Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories this week hosted two U.S. senators as part of a Congressional delegation visit. Senators Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Angus King, I-Maine, toured and learned about the work done at the two labs that help achieve NNSA’s nuclear security mission.
As part of the visit to Sandia, the Congressional delegation received a tour of Sandia’s MESA facilities. From left to right: Geoffrey Beausoleil, Manager, Sandia Field Office; Dr. Jerry McDowell, Sandia Deputy Labs Director & Executive Vice President for National Security Programs; Gen. Frank Klotz, DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator; Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; Dr. Paul Hommert, Sandia President and Laboratories Director; and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.
Members of the Congressional delegation get a historical briefing on a flag that was given to LANL after World War II. From left to right: Gen. Frank Klotz, DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Sen. Angus King, I-Maine; Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; and Charlie McMillan, LANL Director.
As we focus on our day-to-day work, it’s sometimes easy to miss the many accomplishments that contribute to NNSA’s important and enduring mission. Here are a few news items from around our organization that demonstrate mission success, as well as our commitment to effective management and efficient operations:
We recently achieved several milestones within the Stockpile Stewardship Program that ensures our Nation’s nuclear warheads are safe, secure, and effective. This week, we reached the halfway point for production of the W76-1 warhead. This is a remarkable achievement for Defense Programs and our lab and production plant teams who have guided this Life Extension Program from being a design to a certified product for delivery to our Navy partners.
We have also completed tests for other weapons systems that have all been resounding successes. These include joint flight tests for the W78 and W80-1 systems; a flight test measuring performance of the W88 ALT 370 new radar system; and for the B61-12, a successful wind tunnel test and fit checks on various aircraft including the F-15, the F-16, and soon the B-2.
Additionally, we have been working at an impressive pace to use our unique facilities to their fullest potential in support of stockpile stewardship without nuclear testing. Our efforts continue to deliver high quality data for the advanced assessment and certification of the Nation’s stockpile. The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has completed nine target shots per week for the past two weeks, all yielding valuable data to provide insights into how our weapons work. The Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories and JASPER at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), have both executed numerous experiments for the validation of advanced computational models.
We also continue to advance our critical nuclear nonproliferation mission. Last week, Secretary Moniz led the U.S. delegation to the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the annual policymaking meeting of all 162 IAEA Member States. The General Conference passed resolutions establishing policies on nuclear security, strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of safeguards, and nuclear safety. The language in these resolutions affirmed the close alignment of NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation mission with issues of central importance to the international community.
These accomplishments represent only a small sample of the awesome work being done within our organization. It may seem routine to many; however, it is worthy of kudos and recognition.
“Mission First, People Always”
DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz recently presented the Gold Medal of Excellence for Distinguished Service to Doug Dearolph, manager of the Savannah River Field Office. The medal is the highest honorary award granted by NNSA and was presented to Dearolph in recognition his dedication and commitment to public service and the mission of NNSA.
The award reads: “Your leadership, communication and organizational skills ensured stability and continuity of operations during a time of organizational transformation in the Office of Defense Nuclear Security, NA-70. Your unwavering service for more than six months at Headquarters as the Acting Deputy Associate Administrator, NA-70 and then as Acting Associate, NA-70/Chief, Defense Nuclear Security has not only significantly benefited the Office but the entire NNSA. Through your personal sacrifice, support and leadership of the Defense Nuclear program, you have contributed immeasurably to the overall security of the NNSA and the United States of America.”
Y‑12ers donated more than $2,000 and numerous school supplies to ensure students in need have everything required to start the school year. Working with Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties (ADFAC), employees donated money along with 144 notebooks, 132 boxes of crayons, 111 packs of pencils, 80 reams of paper and 66 packs of glue sticks.
“Employees once again shared their giving spirit with those in our communities,” Y‑12 United Way Chair Yvonne Bishop said. While the event precedes the site’s formal United Way campaign kickoff, Bishop said site employees always are ready to respond. ADFAC volunteers use the donations to provide backpacks and school supplies to fulfill more than 7,000 requests for assistance.
“What struck me the most was the passion the volunteers had for their mission. Even with the number of children they serve, each one of the backpacks was customized,” CNS Vice President and Y‑12 Site Manager Bill Tindal said. “They took into account the teacher supply list, the gender, the age of the child, and the school system and filled the backpack with specifically what that child needed.”
ADFAC, which began in the 1980s, works to meet the unfilled needs of community members. To find out more about ADFAC, visit their website (www.adfac.org) or call 865-483-6028.
About the photo: CNS Security Police Officer John Fellers (left) and Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal deliver school supplies to the Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties office.
More than 100 individuals from several National Security Campus teams received recognition this week for their work supporting NNSA’s Defense Programs.
Mike Roberts, KCFO Manager of Stockpile Management, presented the awards in a special ceremony on September 22 to the six teams, including the B61-12 Spin Rolamite Harvesting and Reuse Team; B83 Alt353 Production Team; Common Tester Architecture Design Team; DLC Coating Development Team; Forgings Development Team; and Preflight Case Assembly Team. The seventh award went to NSC engineer Wesley Mossinghoff for his design of a new Zero Insertion Force connector for inertial switches.
The awards recognize on an annual basis the contributions of work performed in support of the Stockpile Stewardship Program. The awards are given for significant achievements in quality, productivity, cost savings, safety or creativity in support of the nuclear weapons program.
OneVoice, the employee/community newsletter for the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), was recognized recently with two awards in the 2014 Better Newspapers Contest, sponsored by the Nevada Press Association.
OneVoice Co-editor Lory Jones received a first-place award in the category of Community Journalism for weekly or monthly newspapers with circulations of 10,000 or less for her December 2013 story on the volunteer efforts of NNSS employees during the holidays. OneVoice Layout Design Editor David Wieand received a second-place award, also in the Community Journalism category, for his September 2013 design of a special “back-to-school” section of the newspaper.
Both Jones and Wieand are employed by National Security Technology, the managing and operating contractor for the NNSS. They competed against staff members from dozens of weekly and monthly newspapers from across Nevada. The contest attracted hundreds of entries which were independently judged by a panel of newspaper editors from South Dakota.
The Y‑12 National Security Complex recently completed another improvement in its site infrastructure with the demolition of Building 9744, a former utilities and maintenance facility occupying more than 9,000 square feet.
Despite structural issues and waste disposal concerns, the facility was safely demolished nearly two months ahead of schedule.
The demolition proved challenging due to the deteriorating facility conditions, precluding the standard approach of entering the facility to minimize hazards and remove hazardous waste prior to the demolition.
The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, N.M., recently unveiled a new interactive exhibit featuring the rich history and current research in archaeology, wildlife biology, local climate and sustainability efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The exhibit, “Environmental Research and Monitoring,” shows in posters, interactive elements and videos LANL’s compliance work and research into the diverse archaeological and biological resources found here, as well as local climate research and LANL’s environmental sustainability activities. It also shows how current LANL research into tree mortality is giving clues to how global climate change will affect the local area, and lets visitors learn about energy savings activities at LANL.
Gerald Martinez of Environmental Stewardship Services listens to a description of the new environment exhibit at the Bradbury Science Museum.
Families attend the new environment exhibit opening at the Bradbury Science Museum.
A standing wall at the Nake'muu Pueblo archaeological site on LANL property.
During opening night, visitors were giving a seedling to take home and plant.
As students return to school this fall, many will have great stories to tell about their summer internship and experience. For seven students who attended the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) annual Minority Serving Institution Program (MSI), that is particularly true.
During the summer, these seven students with varying backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics who attend different minority serving institutions got to spend 10 weeks working across various parts of NNSA labs, field offices and program offices. The students gained practical experiences, directly correlated to their education, inspiring many with the ambition to join the federal workforce in the future.
For Connor Natzke, an undergraduate student at Colorado School of Mines pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, the MSI program exposed him to the unique and innovative work conducted at the NNSA. Furthermore, he was able to continue a long-standing family tradition, given that both of his grandfathers had previously worked for defense contractors.
Image Background Caption: Connor by the Z Machine | Air-gas breakdown when Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories fires.
When I began my summer internship at the NNSA, I had no idea what the organization accomplished, or the role of the federal government in managing our national labs. The college I attend did not have a substantial NNSA presence during its annual on-campus job fairs, instead being overshadowed by the plethora of petroleum, mechanical, and chemical engineering companies. As a result, my time spent at the NNSA opened my mind to the state-of-the-art work being done, the hard-working employees that compose the agency and their commitment to fulfilling NNSA’s mission.
Given that both of my grandfathers worked for defense contractors during the height of the Cold War, my family instilled in me a certain sense of patriotism. We have always supported the defense industry in the United States, and I have longed to be a part of it since I began my studies in engineering. To that end, the summer opportunity at NNSA gave me the chance to experience the mission first hand. I’ve also gained tangible insight into the steps I would need to take in my pursuit for a career in nuclear field. During my internship, my coworkers were extremely helpful in teaching me how the federal government functions, and also showed me just how tight knit the working relationships at NNSA is. Every person I encountered showed a deep rooted passion for their job, and pride in the work that they do on behalf of the United States. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of the organization and now look forward to working in the nuclear industry upon completion of my degree.
As a graduate student at Florida A&M University pursuing a Masters in Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, the MSI program gave me the opportunity to utilize my academic experience in Quality Control and ISO 9000.
I was placed in the Office of Audit Coordination and Internal Affairs. Upon starting the internship, I was initially unsure of what to expect from a federal government agency with nuclear responsibilities. Then, to throw in the acronym usage which I now know is common within the federal environment, I was met with a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, I overcame that obstacle with the assistance of my co-workers, who ensured I was equipped with the necessary learnings to get up to speed.
Through the internship, I learned how various multifaceted parts of the department – labs and program offices contribute to the overall nuclear mission at NNSA. This experience afforded me the opportunity to work on exciting projects while also partaking in learning modules and other online training programs that facilitated the transition into the federal work system. Having experienced the MSI program firsthand, I highly recommend it to future students. It is likely the best opportunity possible to truly experience and understand the federal government, and gain practical work experience.
During our time in the program, students got the opportunity to interact with NNSA senior level management in various departments, including the Department of Energy's Under Secretary for nuclear security and NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz, and the Associate Administrator for External Affairs, Clarence Bishop.
Frank Lowery, Deputy Associate Administrator for Management and Budget also worked with and mentored the students. His involvement motivated us to pursue federal careers as we select our prospective employers in the future.
About the MSI Program
The MSI Internship Program offers undergraduate or graduate student attending a participating Minority Serving Institution the opportunity to explore future careers, through practical work experiences directly related to their academic background at world-class scientific facilities or Federal offices across the country. Prospective students are afforded a real opportunity to combine their studies with on-the-job training and experience as it directly relates to their academic program, so that they can make more informed career choices in the future. For 10 weeks during the summer break, they are given the opportunity to work on exciting projects in research environments with some of the nation’s top scientists and engineers at NNSA’s laboratories, Federal field offices or with small business partners.
For information on eligibility requirements and applying for these positions, please visit MSI Vacancies.
Dozens of government agencies, area businesses and other organizations recently offered classes, demonstrations and displays during the third annual Safety Fest TN. Most of the activities took place at Y‑12’s New Hope Center and were organized by the Oak Ridge Business Safety Partnership with CNS serving as one of the event sponsors.
The Secret City Fire Officer Conference was also held at Y-12 last week in conjunction with Safety Fest. The Conference sponsored by the Y‑12 Fire Department, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Fire Department, and the fire departments of Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Maryville and Alcoa.