Today was a rare windless day on the plains of the Texas Panhandle, but that didn’t stop a group of nearly 100 people from gathering to break ground on the Pantex Renewable Energy Project.
The brisk Panhandle winds will power the five 2.3 megawatt turbines, scheduled for completion next summer, making the PREP the largest federally-owned wind farm in the country.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by officials from NNSA, including Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart. They were joined by Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. CEO Judy Marks and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Tech University.
Siemens will construct PREP under an Energy Savings Performance Contract, delivering a turn-key wind farm system with an annual production guarantee for 18 years. Siemens will be paid directly from the value of energy savings generated by the turbines.
PREP will be built on 1,500 acres of land east of the Pantex Plant. It will generate approximately 47 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is more than 60 percent of the electricity needed for Pantex. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 metric tons per year—the equivalent of removing 7,200 cars from the road each year or planting 850,000 trees.
The wind farm will play a key role in helping Pantex achieve President Obama’s directive that the federal government lead the way in clean energy and efficiency. The Administration set a goal for the federal government to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
About the photos (clockwise from top left):
NNSA Production Office Project Manager John Herrera, NPO Project Manager (retired) Johnnie Guelker, NPO Manager Steve Erhart, Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., President and CEO Judy Marks, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington, all take part in today’s groundbreaking event.
Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington speaks at the ground breaking event.
From left to right: B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and Amarillo community leader Bill Harris discuss the groundbreaking of the Pantex Renewable Energy Project.
NPO Manager Steve Erhart talks about the importance of the new Pantex Renewable Energy Project.
The Nevada National Security Site recently hosted a “Cans for Cupcakes” event as part of the Feds Feed Families campaign, which runs through Aug. 28. NNSS employees were able to get a cupcake in exchange for cans of food. The canned food will be donated to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
Left to right: August Schellhase and Teresa Rabe drop off cans of food for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, while volunteer Tiffany Lantow serves cupcakes.
Left to right: Volunteers Tiffany Lantow and Latonya Burke accept donated cans and help Lynn Kidman and Kathy Watson select cupcakes.
Volunteer Tiffany Lantow accepts donated cans of food from Dave Taylor. In the background, Lynn Kidman and Kathy Watson select their cupcakes from dozens of donated cupcakes, many homemade by NNSS staff.
Recently, On-Site Inspection (OSI) Division Director Oleg Rozhkov, from the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna, Austria, visited several DOE labs that are supporting CTBTO efforts to achieve on-site inspection readiness under the treaty. On his visit to Los Alamos, Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Rozhkov was joined by OSI Division Chief for Policy, Planning and Operations Gordon MacLeod and Michele Smith of NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security. While in Washington, DC, Rozhkov met with NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and other Administration officials.
The CTBTO monitoring and verification system, which is designed to detect any nuclear explosion conducted on Earth – underground, underwater, or in the atmosphere – includes an International Monitoring System (IMS) that will consist of 321 monitoring stations and 16 certified radionuclide laboratories, supported by an International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna; the IMS and IDC are already providing valuable data to States Signatories on events of interest . When the Treaty enters into force, this capability will be supplemented with a robust on-site inspection capability.
To support and prepare for an upcoming on-site inspection exercise, Integrated Field Exercise 2014 (IFE14), NNSA has loaned approximately $1 million worth of inspection-related equipment from the labs and is helping to conduct training for the surrogate inspector trainees. NNSA lab experts are participating in preparations for IFE14 on various teams, including the Inspection Team, Control Team, Inspected State Party, Evaluation Team, and Scenario Development Task Force.
About the photo:
CTBTO Preparatory Commission On-Site Inspection (OSI) Division Director Oleg Rozhkov (center) discusses overview of NNSA-supported nuclear explosion monitoring activities at PNNL. From left to right are Dr. Brian Milbrath (PNNL), Dr. Ted Bowyer (Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Policy Program Manager at PNNL), Mr. Rozhkov, Michele Smith (Deputy Director for Warhead Dismantlement Transparency in the NNSA Office of Nonproliferation and International Security, NA-24), Gordon MacLeod (CTBTO OSI Division Chief for Policy, Planning and Operations), Dr. Harry Miley (PNNL) and Dr. Craig Aalseth (PNNL).
For homeowners around the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, occasional shockwaves and loud booms from test explosions are a normal part of life.
A group of those neighbors got a rare chance last week to visit Pantex and find out how high explosives (HE) testing helps Pantex accomplish its critical mission of ensuring the capability of the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile.
Pantex officials invited the neighbors as part of the Plant’s ongoing efforts to maintain positive relationships with nearby landowners. Pantex regularly conducts test shots of HE to ensure that HE in the nation’s stockpile remains reliable. Neighbors are informed when test shots are scheduled, but they’ve never gotten to see one up close before.
Explosives experts had already planned a demonstration as part of an ongoing effort to train new employees on the capabilities and characteristics of HE. Neighbors were allowed to observe the demonstration, then talk to experts from the Explosives Technology Division about the types of testing that go on at Pantex.
About the photos:
Pantex neighbors got a rare chance to visit Pantex and find out about how high explosives testing helps Pantex meet its mission.
Bottom: Monty Cates, Division Manager for Explosives Technology at Pantex, discusses the High Explosives work done at Pantex during a lunch with visiting neighbors of the Plant.
Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman led his band, “Yellow Cake,” at a DOE Feeds Families event today. The event was the beginning of the August kick-off to DOE’s final push to meet or beat the goal of collecting 212,000 pounds of non-perishable items by August 30.
DOE and NNSA employees can participate throughout August by dropping off non-perishable food, household items and hygiene products in boxes located throughout the Forrestal, Germantown and L’Enfant buildings or at field offices. Collected items will be donated to local food banks and distributed to those in need.
About the photos:
Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman led his band, “Yellow Cake,” at a DOE Feeds Family event today.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz talks to Richard Veliz, a DOE intern, during the DOE Feeds Family event today.
Bruce Held, NNSA Acting Administrator and Acting Undersecretary for Nuclear Security, spent time at Sandia National Laboratories yesterday and spoke with employees during a special all hands talk. Held discussed his plans as acting administrator. Prior to his time as director of DOE’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Held served as Chief of Counterintelligence at Sandia.
NNSA’s Defense Programs (DP) is doing its part to support DOE’s Feeds Families campaign with weekly “Two Can Tuesdays.” Each week DP employees are asked to bring in two cans of food each Tuesday.
DOE and NNSA employees can participate throughout the summer by dropping off non-perishable food, household items, and hygiene products in boxes located throughout the Forrestal, Germantown and L’Enfant buildings or at field offices. DOE’s goal is to meet or beat the goal of collecting 212,000 pounds of non-perishable items by August 30. The items will be donated to local food banks and distributed to those in need in our communities.
During his first visit to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as the acting NNSA Administrator and acting Undersecretary for Nuclear Security, Bruce Held spoke with employees during a special all hands talk yesterday.
Held spoke on three issues: why a former spy was selected for this position; safety culture surveys with important implications for management; and how to address governance of the Department of Energy enterprise in a healthy, sustained fashion.
NNSA Graduate Fellow Matt Kaspar (from left to right) and NNSA Interns Dominic Cisneros, Leah Cristobal, Aaron Avrakotos, Toni Carrasco, Omar Flores and Paulo Huelgas visited Sandia National Laboratories yesterday for tours of the Z Pulsed Power Facility and the Microsystems & Engineering Sciences Applications Complex. They were also provided the opportunity to view displays and demonstrations of Sandia technologies related to homeland security, homeland defense and nonproliferation and assessment during their visit.
Acting NNSA Administrator and Acting Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Bruce Held visited the Y-12 National Security Complex last week. Held toured the site and conducted an all hands meeting at the site's New Hope Center addressing federal and contractor employees. In the picture on the left, Held (center) is accompanied to the all hands meeting by NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart (left) and Captain Geoffrey deBeauclair, Held's military aide.