The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Production Office (NPO) Management and Operating (M&O) Contract Placement team recently received the 2014 Secretary of Energy Achievement Award for their efforts in fostering innovation through efficient procurement strategy. 


Through hard work and dedication the NNSA Contract Placement Team was recognized for the extraordinary effort put forth in developing an efficient procurement strategy, awarding a highly competitive contract valued at over $22 billion, and commencing contract administration efforts on a vehicle that could save the Department of Energy over $3 billion dollars during the life of the contract. 

“The NPO M&O Contract Team demonstrated outstanding leadership, professionalism and selfless commitment during the five-year period that was necessary for the design, implementation and award of this mission-critical contract,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management Bob Raines.  “The principles espoused by this new contracting approach align contractor performance incentives with taxpayers’ best interests.” 

By combining the management and oversight of two sites, historically managed under separate and distinct contract vehicles, NNSA will increase efficiencies and significantly reduce costs for years to come.  The new contract structure, which includes a separate construction line item for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) Project, will allow NNSA to manage this first-of-a-kind nuclear project more along the approach used in private industry giving NNSA increased confidence in delivering UPF by 2025 for a cost not to exceed $6.5 billion.

Read more about NNSA Production Office.

Jul 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Live Burn trainingAs part of the training that equips them to ensure safe operations, Savannah River Site radiological protection (RP) and fire department personnel recently conducted their annual “Live Burn” training exercises that simulate fires in facilities with chemical and radiological contamination. The Live Burn exercise took place at the Martinez-Columbia County Fire Rescue Training Facility in nearby Martinez, Ga., over four days, with three different scenarios per day, giving each shift the opportunity to participate.

“We had facilities from across the Site participate. This allows radiological protection inspectors, First Line Managers and Operators to receive the same training and learn the same techniques,” said Cristie Shuford, Manager, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Site Radiological Training.

Each day began with a safety briefing, followed by sessions for the RP team to practice essential steps in the decontamination process, such as replacing a firefighter’s potentially contaminated respirator gear for a new, “clean” breathing cartridge.

After the practice session, each Live Burn exercise started with a fire in the training facility. In full bunker gear, firefighters faced many variables as they battled the fire and rescued “victims” (training dummies). Scenarios, for example, could involve a fire in a facility with radioactive materials, as well as toxic chemicals.

Training exercises, such as Live Burn drills, are conducted to ensure the safe operations of the facilities located within the Site's 300 square miles. Local communities also benefit from these extensive preparedness efforts, as SRNS has mutual aid agreements with adjacent counties, offering them emergency assistance from the SRS fire department and radiological protection when requested.

Jun 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

2015 DOE Pride Month Celebration

To recognize the accomplishments of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Department of Energy employees and highlight the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce, DOE celebrated LGBT Pride Month with a program in the Forrestal auditorium on June 16. The theme of the program was "Stronger Together - Uniting the LGBT Community and Its Allies For A Stronger Workforce."

The program began with the presentation of colors by a Washington, D.C., based Joint Color Guard and the singing of the National Anthem by Matthew Swanson from the DOE Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. In addition to comments from DOE GLOBE President Russell Ames, DOE GLOBE Vice President Tré Easton, and Director of the DOE Office of Economic Impact and Diversity Dot Harris, the program included remarks from Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall:

The Pride Month Celebration also included a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Kristina Johnson, former Under Secretary of Energy, the highest ranking out LGBT DOE official in history:

About Photo (From Left to Right): Tré Easton, DOE GLOBE VP and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs; Dr. Kristina Johnson; Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall; Dot Harris, Director, DOE Office of Economic Impact and Diversity; and Russell Ames, DOE Globe President and Program Analyst for DOE Office of Science.

In addition to this program, President Obama issued his annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month proclamation.

Jun 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Sandia Team - Sustainability Award

On June 8, Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Sandia Field Office Manager Jeffrey Harrell presented a Best in Class NNSA Sustainability Award to a team from Sandia National Laboratories. The award was in the Innovation and Holistic Approach Category for the Materials Sustainability & Pollution Prevention (MSP2) program’s development of several data management systems designed to increase productivity for the MSP2 team and its customers. The data systems have helped reduce paper use, boosted employee productivity, and reduced the need to drive to remote locations to verify and view inventory. 

The Innovation and Holistic Approach category recognizes methods and cross-disciplinary research at the site level that apply innovative ideas to tackle broad-based sustainability issues. The MSP2 program funded the development of the data management systems using revenues from the site-wide recycling program.  Sandia was one of five Best in Class winners announced in the NNSA complex.

The team members are Sam McCord, Ralph Wrons, Sean Naegle, Debra Clifford, Ben St. Clair, Lynda Innis, Charles Snider, Chadwick Johnson, Matthew Smith, Jason Loyd, and Gabe Arrillaga.

Jun 15, 2015 at 11:00 am

Bruce Held Retirement

After nearly four decades of public service, Bruce Held, Department of Energy’s Associate Deputy Secretary, announces retirement from federal govenrment.

In July 2013 and with President Obama’s approval, Held stepped in to serve as the Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. He provided exceptional leadership during a critical 10 month period, helping to craft a realistic NNSA budget, working effectively with the Nuclear Weapons Council and Congress, and enhancing communications and trust between DOE headquarters and field elements to advance national security missions. In May 2014, he returned to the Office of the Secretary as a Senior Advisor, providing trusted counsel on nuclear governance, lab management, cyber security and other matters. He championed the importance of organizational culture for our mission effectiveness across the entire department and worked tirelessly to enhance that culture in the public service tradition.

Held served as Director of DOE’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence from 2009-2012, presiding over a transformation of that organization. His experience in the field from 2002-2009 at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory as the Chief of Counterintelligence provided him the perspective that won support from the laboratory scientific community.

An accomplished author, Held is the recipient of the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award, a career National Intelligence Superior Service Medal from the Director of National Intelligence, and the NNSA Gold Medal. Before coming to DOE, Held spent three decades with the Central Intelligence Agency as a clandestine operations officer. He served in challenging circumstances as Chief of Station in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Jun 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Douglas BergevinNNSA Supervisory Contract Specialist and Senior Mediator for the New Mexico Federal Executive Board (FEB), Douglas Bergevin provides volunteer mediation services and promotes constructive conversations for federal agencies throughout the Albuquerque area dealing with workplace conflicts, grievances, and EEO issues.  Acting as a change agent, the impact of his efforts has profound importance in New Mexico to federal agencies seeking alternative dispute resolution services.

The Shared Neutrals Program of which Mr. Bergevin is a member, is a program within the New Mexico FEB that provides mediation as an alternative method to resolve workplace disputes.  The combined resources of the Federal community are shared to provide interagency mediators.  The program’s goal is to resolve workplace disputes at the earliest possible date.  Early resolution results in improved communication within the workforce, a more productive work environment, and reduced cost and time in resolving disputes.  The Shared Neutrals Program estimates between $500K and over $1M in cost avoidance savings to the Federal Government each fiscal year. 

For his volunteer services to the NM FEB, Douglas was recently recognized with a Team Excellence Award for his commitment to public service and dedication to the Federal community at the New Mexico FEB 2015 Excellence in Public Service Recognition Awards Ceremony on May 21, 2015.  In conjunction with the ceremony Mr. Bergevin also received recognition from Senator Martin Heinrich, NM for "extraordinary contributions you make to the National Nuclear Security Administration and the nation every day.”

In addition to his service as a Senior Mediator, Mr. Bergevin serves as a Lead Contracting Officer who manages the NNSA Services Acquisition Branch located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Washington, D.C.  He oversees staff that place and administer contracts and agreements that satisfy NNSA requirements for services.  His staff is instrumental to meeting various NNSA missions through acquiring and managing information technology, engineering, research and development, security, environmental, maintenance, and other professional and non-professional services.

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Acquisition and Project Management (NA-APM) is grateful and congratulates Mr. Bergevin for his outstanding dedication and service to the U.S. Government which resulted in being honored with the New Mexico FEB’s Excellence in Public Service Award.  Mr. Bergevin’s extraordinary contributions advance the goals of the Agency through solution-oriented, cost efficient, and constructive strategies that strengthen community relationships in New Mexico.

Jun 10, 2015 at 11:00 am

In coming weeks, NNSA will start welcoming the 2016 Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) participants to its workforce. This year, NNSA will bring onboard more than 18 of those highly talented Fellows. On June 18th, Fellows will arrive at all NNSA locations except Forrestal, where the 2016 NGFP program will begin on July 1st.

NGFP is an integral and key aspect of NNSA’s student and entry level employee effort. The program helps NNSA recruit talent from America’s leading academic programs. During that year Fellows get hands on experience with our mission for a full year, and NNSA gets the opportunity to benefit from their skills and ideas. With wide ranging specialties and a strong focus in science technology engineering and math (STEM) and policy making, these individuals possess qualifications helping NNSA build a strong foundation for its future workforce. Many former NNSA NGFP students have made, and continue to make, tremendous contributions across the Nuclear Security Enterprise by joining the NNSA team, labs, and other government organizations. 

The NGFP is funded by the NNSA and is administered by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). While NGFP Fellows work in NNSA offices in the Washington metropolitan area, they are PNNL employees.

If you have the opportunity to work with and interact with the Fellows, share your knowledge and assist them in their time here at NNSA.

Is one of these positions right for you?  To help you decide, please visit the NNSA Graduate Program’s dedicated website for additional information regarding eligibility criteria, application requirements, program timelines, etc.

Jun 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm

NNSA BlogLawrence Livermore National Laboratory broke ground today on a modular and sustainable supercomputing facility that will provide a flexible infrastructure able to accommodate the Laboratory’s growing demand for high performance computing (HPC).

The $9.7 million building, located on the Laboratory’s east side, will ensure computer room space to support the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program’s unclassified HPC systems. ASC is the computing arm of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) effort to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent without testing – stockpile stewardship. 

For the press release from Lawrence Livermore National Lab, click here. 

About Photo: From left, Patricia Falcone, deputy director for Science and Technology, Charles Verdon, principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration, Michel McCoy, director of Weapons Simulation and Computing, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Bill Goldstein, LLNL director, and Dona Crawford, associate director of the Computation Directorate.

May 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

NNSA’s Director of the Office of Enterprise Project Management Michael Hickman has announced that he will be retiring effective May 29, 2015 after 34 years distinguished federal service. As a member of the Senior Executive Service, he has spent approximately 25 of those years in senior leadership positions across DOE and NNSA.

In his current capacity, Hickman has been instrumental in helping NNSA establish the Office of Acquisition and Project Management, under which he serves, to address longstanding and significant contract and project management challenges identified by the Government Accountability Office, the Inspector General, and Congress. He developed policies and procedures for enterprise-wide project management that have resulted in NNSA delivering its $800 million project portfolio approximately $60 million – or 7.5 percent – under budget, thus contributing to NNSA’s credibility being restored on Capitol Hill and NNSA’s removal from the GAO’s High Risk List for contracts and projects less than $750 million.

Hickman served as Acting Deputy Manager for the Los Alamos Field Office for a period of time during 2013. From 2005-2010, Hickman was assigned as the Technical Director, Office of Defense Programs Project Management and Systems Support. From 2004-2005, he was assigned as Construction Manager, Office of Defense Programs Project Management and Systems Support. From 1994-2004, Hickman was assigned as a Federal Project Director for NNSA’s Tritium Extraction Facility project at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Hickman began his career with DOE/NNSA at SRS in 1989 supporting the Reactor Restart Program.

Prior to working at DOE, he worked in commercial nuclear power operations and construction-working for TVA at the Watts Bar Unit 1 nuclear power plant, Alabama Power and with Daniels Construction at various nuclear power construction sites in Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia and Kansas. He is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a post-graduate MBA from Nova Southeastern University. He served six years in the US Navy in the nuclear powered submarine force.

NNSA BlogAbout the photo:
Michael Hickman (right) receives the Distinguished Service Award and NNSA’s Gold Medal from Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management, Robert B. Raines (left). Hickman received the award and medal for exemplary federal service at DOE and NNSA and his lasting contributions to the delivering safe quality construction on budget.

May 28, 2015 at 9:00 am

Three researchers from NNSA labs were among the nine exceptional U.S. scientists and engineers honored with the 2014 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award. The awards recognize mid-career scientists and engineers in the United States who have advanced new research and scientific discovery in the chemical, biological, environmental and computer sciences; condensed matter and materials; fusion and plasma sciences; high energy and nuclear physics; and national security and nonproliferation.

  • Pavel Bochev, Sandia National Laboratories, is honored for his pioneering theoretical and practical advances in numerical methods for partial differential equations which includes the invention of new algorithms, the rigorous mathematical analysis of algorithms and of the mathematical models to which they apply.

  • Eric E. Dors, Los Alamos National Laboratory, is honored for his development of a new generation of exo-atmospheric radiation sensors used to fulfill a critical mission need for satellite-based nuclear explosion monitoring crucial to DOE's nonproliferation mission of global nuclear detonation monitoring and verification of the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

  • Christopher L. Fryer, Los Alamos National Laboratory, is honored for his major advances addressing fundamental questions in astrophysics, computational multiphysics, and high-energy density science, and more specifically, for supernova core collapse work using 3-dimensional modeling assimilation to model, explain, and predict astrophysical observations (e.g. from NASA’s Swift mission) and phenomena. 

Read more

May 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm