NNSA Blog

When the Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was in Tennessee last week, she took time to meet two Calutron Girls at Y-12. 

Peggy Stuart and Ruth Huddleston both arrived at Y-12 when they were 18 years old. They were recruited to join the war effort when they were seniors in high school.

The Calutron Girls, who were known as Cubicle Operators at the time, are getting fewer and fewer as even 18-year-old girls from the 1940s are now approaching their 90s. 

Read more.

NNSA BlogAbout the photo:
Two of the Calutron Girls met with Deputy Security Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall during her recent visit to Y-12. Seated, left to right, is Patty Stuart and Ruth Huddleston. Standing, left to right, is Kathryn Grant, special assistant to Sherwood-Randall; Commander Wayne Smith, senior military assistant; Sherwood-Randall; and Timothy McClees, chief of staff.

Apr 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm

NNSA BlogNNSA BlogNNSA has announced the recipients of the 2014 Bradley A. Peterson Federal and Contractor Security Professional of the Year Awards.

Pamela Valdez from the Los Alamos Field Office will receive the federal award and Randy Fraser from Los Alamos National Laboratory will receive the contractor award.

The awards recognize one federal and one contractor employee whose contributions to security programs within the NNSA enterprise exemplify the excellence and commitment for which NNSA is known.

Read more.

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Apr 1, 2015 at 9:00 am

NNSA BlogMore than 275 individuals from NNSA and its laboratories, and academia attended this year’s Stewardship Science Academic Programs Annual Review Symposium held in Santa Fe, N.M., earlier this month. The symposium featured overviews of work to date from ongoing grants and cooperative agreements from NNSA’s Stewardship Science Academic Alliances Program, the NNSA-supported grants from the Joint Program for High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas, and grants awarded under the National Laser Users’ Facility.

Some 100 posters were on display during this year’s session on topics including low energy nuclear science, properties of materials under extreme conditions, high energy density physics, and predictive science. Poster session winners are:

Patricia Kalita, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, High Pressure Behavior of Mullite-Type Oxides: Phase Transitions, Amorphization and Microstructural Implications
Keith Loebner, Stanford University, Plume Characterization of a High Directed Energy Plasma Source for Material Interaction Studies
Mindy Lorance, University of Nevada, Reno, Spectroscopic Modeling of the First Planar Wire Array Experiments on the LTD Generator at the University of Michigan
Amy Lovell, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory/Michigan State University, Reaction Theory/VANDLE Simulations
Mark Mikhaeil, Georgia Tech, Dynamics of Rayleigh-Taylor Driven Flows
Tane Remington, University of California, San Diego, Spall Strength Dependence on Strain Rate and Grain Size in Tantalum
Nathan Riley, University of Texas at Austin, Magnetized Radiative Blast Waves
Daniel Sneed, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Forcing Cesium into Higher Oxidation States Using X-Ray Induced Photochemistry at Extreme Pressures
Bryan Wiggins, Indiana University, Measuring the Position Resolution of Low Intensity Signals using a Resistive Anode Microchannel Plate Detector
Willow Wan, University of Michigan, Observation of Single-Mode, Kelvin-Hemholtz Instability in a Supersonic Flow
Eloisa Zepeda-Alarcon, University of California, Berkeley, Visco-plastic Modeling of MgSi03 + Periclase Aggregates

View the 2015 SSAP Annual here.

Mar 31, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS), managing and operating contractor of NNSA’s Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex, this week donated $10,000 to Bushland Independent School District (ISD) in Texas. The donation will help create a multi-level robotics program for the school district. The donation also serves as an investment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and helps encourage the next generation of scientists, engineers and technical professionals.

The district plans to form elementary, middle and high school teams to participate in FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competitions. CNS also helped Bushland ISD form a mentor-protégé relationship with Oak Ridge Schools in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Read more.

NNSA BlogAbout the photo:
Don Wood (left), Bushland ISD Superintendent, discusses how the CNS donation will help the Bushland robotics program with Savannah Gates, a CNS Pantex engineer and 2008 Bushland graduate.

Mar 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Sandia National Laboratories has begun making silicon wafers for three nuclear weapon modernization programs, the largest production series in the history of its Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) complex.

MESA’s silicon fab in October began producing base wafers for Application-Specific Integrated Circuits for the B61-12 Life Extension Program, W88 Alteration 370 and W87 Mk21 Fuze Replacement nuclear weapons. Planning and preparation took years and involved more than 100 people.

Read more.

NNSA BlogAbout the photo:
Sandia’a Dana Pulliam enters information before running an operation in Sandia’s MESA complex. The fab has begun making silicon wafers for three nuclear weapon programs in the largest production series in MESA’s history. 

Mar 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

NNSA BlogThree children of NNSA’s National Security Campus employees were among 300 students from 39 countries selected to attend the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. The scholarship program uses interactive technology and science-oriented workshops and team exercises to teach students leadership skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., the program engages students in team-building challenges such as building their own rockets and participating in simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions and a moon walk. Students also meet scientists, engineers, and former astronauts, who help reinforce core leadership competencies and share their first-hand experience.

About the photo:
Emily Allgeyer, left, daughter of HS&E Sr. Manager Kevin Allgeyer; Christian Greeff, son of Mechanical Engineer III Matthew Greeff; and Alexandria Whelan, daughter of Mechanical Principal Engineer Tim Whelan attended the week-long academy last month.

Mar 25, 2015 at 11:38 am

Sandia National Laboratories employees and retirees in 2014 increased donations to the United Way of Central New Mexico  by 8.2 percent as compared to the previous year, giving $6,556,666 to the charitable organization.

The 2014 campaign stressed participation rather than dollars, and a record 77.3 percent of the Sandia workforce contributed. Employees with five or fewer years increased participation by 6 percent to 69 percent.

Read more.

NNSA BlogAbout the photo:

Albuquerque Reads is a program supported by the United Way of Central New Mexico’s Community Fund. The Career Guidance Institute administers the program, which is a partnership with the Albuquerque Public Schools to help kindergarten students at Title 1 schools through one-on-one tutoring. Photo courtesy of the United Way of Central New Mexico.

Mar 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

More than 200 students converged in Kansas City recently for the annual Science Bowl Regional Competition to answer questions like, "One-hundredth of a millibar equals how many Pascals?" (The answer is 1).

During the many rounds of competition, students showed a remarkable understanding of chemistry, geology, physics, biology, electronics, and more as they used brainpower to compete their way through several rounds of the science-focused contests. Some carried out a theme - from wearing pajamas to wild hairstyles to face paint. Many brought cheering sections.

At the end of the grueling day, Blue Valley West High School won the Kansas division and Fort Zumwalt South won the Missouri division. Both teams will advance to Washington, D.C., to compete against 65 other regional winners at the DOE’s National Science Bowl from April 30 – May 4. 

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.

NNSA BlogNNSA Blog

Mar 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm

NNSA BlogNNSA has released its 2016 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP). The plan documents NNSA’s 25-year strategic plan for accomplishing its core stockpile stewardship mission area of maintaining the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing.

The SSMP describes NNSA’s comprehensive approach to maintaining and recapitalizing the scientific and production infrastructure of the nation’s nuclear security enterprise.

As the SSMP details, NNSA’s life extension program remain on schedule and on budget. Significant changes from the last SSMP include: the W88 Alteration 370 effort; the cruise missile warhead life extension program (LEP) is now designated as the W80-4 LEP; additional resources have also been requested to ensure the nation’s long-term ability to perform highly-enriched uranium operations at Y-12 and at Los Alamos National Laboratory; and the revised the Uranium Processing Facility Project design concept.

See the plan here.

Mar 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Medical patients, both locally and potentially nationwide, should be the beneficiaries of the first-ever public-private partnership agreement between National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), and Henderson, Nevada-based Global Medical Isotope Systems, LLC (GMIS). The agreement on research and development aims to enable production of an essential radioactive isotope used in millions of medical diagnostic imaging procedures every year.

Known primarily as the management and operations contractor for the Nevada National Security Site, NSTec is leveraging its traditional national security role with the signing of its first CRADA. The agreement describes NSTec’s technical integration, modeling, materials, and design support to GMIS’s mission in the development and deployment of a ground-breaking approach in the production of the radioactive isotope - molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).

Read more.

NNSA BlogAbout the photo:
Imaging is Everything! (from left to right) Dr. Francis Tsang of Global Medical Isotope Systems (GMIS), Dr. Chris Deeney of National Security Technologies (NSTec), and Zane Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of GMIS, observe the electrically powered neutron source that generates isotopes for medical imaging in GMIS’s southern Nevada facility.   

Mar 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm