Pantex firefighters flush water from a fire hydrant at the Plant this week. Each of the 250 hydrants on the Plant are flushed and tested annually to ensure they function properly and flow enough water to provide fire protection capabilities at Pantex.
The Savannah River Tritium Enterprise took advantage of a recent multi-week outage to safely complete a complicated array of tasks.
During the long-planned outage to start up the replacement to the Automated Reservoir Management System (ARMS), SRTE took advantage of the shut-down conditions to perform an assortment of needed upgrades, replacements and maintenance in the Tritium Facilities without impact to operations. Through careful attention, making use of a “War Room” approach that provided central coordination of all the tasks, SRTE personnel completed the complex ballet of simultaneous work with zero injuries.
SRTE's last injury requiring time away from work was back in 2008. That's more than four million safe work hours.
The careful use of good radiological practices meant that the work was also completed without employees receiving any radiation dose and without allowing the escape of contamination. For one major task, which involved opening a glovebox designed to isolate contaminated items, a large containment hut was placed around the glovebox, which effectively controlled contamination. Employees made almost 300 entries into the hut, wearing plastic suits for protection against airborne exposure, receiving no dose.
About the photo:
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President and CEO Dwayne Wilson congratulates Savannah River Tritium Enterprise employees on the safe completion of the ARMS Outage.
Members of the Savannah River Tritium Enterprise's Fire Protection department have taken their expertise out into the local community, joining with other members of the local Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) to install a new sprinkler system in the sleeping quarters of a local fire station.
The Silver Bluff Volunteer Fire Department station in rural Aiken County, S.C., was destroyed by a tornado in 2009. One of the last steps in the long rebuilding effort was to design and install a new fire protection sprinkler system in the area where on-call firefighters sleep. The Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) chapter of SFPE adopted the project as one of their volunteer activities, and spent two Saturdays installing the new equipment.
The Silver Bluff Volunteer Fire Department is a 100 percent volunteer department that serves 4,000 people. The CSRA Chapter of SFPE includes fire protection engineers from the Savannah River Site contractors Savannah River Nuclear Solutions and Savannah River Remediation, as well as other engineering firms from the local area.
About the photo:
Don Shelley and Eric Johnson, both of SRNS Savannah River Tritium Enterprise, install a sprinkler system at the Silver Bluff Fire Station. Johnson is incoming president of the CSRA Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visited Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories this week. While in Los Alamos, he visited LANL and the new biological laboratory built by the New Mexico Consortium to explore alternative fuel sources from algae and other plants. Secretary Moniz said that Los Alamos and all the DOE labs have a major role in addressing two key initiatives of the President. While at Sandia, Moniz held a meeting with labs staff and saw presentations from researchers showcasing Sandia technology in topics ranging from solar and photovoltaics, to energy and climate.
About the photos:
(top) Dick Sayre, left, of Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bioscience Division and the New Mexico Consortium, briefs DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology President Daniel Lopez, New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan Tuesday at the New Mexico Consortium biological laboratory.
(bottom) Mark Taylor, Lead Developer for Numerical Analysis & Applications at Sandia, gives a presentation to Sandia President & Laboratories Director Paul Hommert, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Jill Hruby, Vice President, Energy, Nonproliferation & High Consequence Security and the International, Homeland & Nuclear Security Mission).
DOE and NNSA employees still have the opportunity to participate in DOE’s Feeds Families campaign. The deadline for the campaign has been extended through Friday, Sept. 6. The goal is to collect more than 212,000 pounds of non-perishable items.
Employees can drop off non-perishable items 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.
Employees reach 3.6 million hours working safely at midway point of one of the largest industrial moves in the United States
U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri’s 5th District stopped by the new National Security Campus to congratulate employees for working 3.6 million hours safely during one of the largest industrial moves in the nation.
As the massive relocation effort nears the midway point, employees briefly paused to enjoy some ice cream at a “half-time” rally. Cleaver and KCFO Manager Mark Holecek praised employees for keeping safety and security a primary focus and reiterated the importance of the plant’s national security mission.
The massive relocation of the manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Mo. to the new National Security Campus began in January 2013. The relocation teams have safely and securely moved a wide range of equipment including tools weighing as little as six ounces to a milling machine weighing 87,000 pounds. By the end of the move in August 2014, about 3,000 truckloads will have transported thousands of pieces of equipment and 30,000 crates – which if stacked would be more than five times the height of Mount Everest.
This on-time, on-budget project represents a significant part of federal government’s focus on modernization and infrastructure investment. The modern engineering and manufacturing campus showcases innovation and cost savings, highlighted by environmentally efficient features.
Pete Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, recently visited Sandia. During his visit, Lyons received a review of the Brayton Cycle Laboratory and the Cylindrical Boiling Laboratory. The tour was led by Steve Rottler, Vice President of Sandia's California laboratory.
Lawrence Livermore's National Ignition Facility (NIF) recently focused all 192 of its ultra-powerful laser beams on a tiny deuterium-tritium filled capsule. In the nanoseconds that followed, the capsule imploded and released a neutron yield of nearly 3x1015, or approximately 8,000 joules of neutron energy – approximately three times NIF's previous neutron yield record for cryogenic implosions.
The primary mission of NIF is to provide experimental insight and data for NNSA's science-based stockpile stewardship program. The experiment attained conditions not observed since the days of underground nuclear weapons testing and represents an important milestone in the continuing demonstration that the stockpile can be kept safe, secure and reliable without a return to testing.
About the photo:
The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility are the first step in increasing the energy of laser beams as they make their way toward the target chamber.
By repurposing an old decontamination trailer, rather than buying a new one, B&W Pantex Radiation Safety personnel recently saved Pantex approximately $100,000.
In 2012, the search began for ways to improve the emergency response capabilities of the Pantex Radiation Safety Department with a mobile decontamination trailer. The purchase of a new trailer through the U.S. General Services Administration was approved at a cost of $122,000, but B&W Pantex kept searching for a less expensive alternative.
The search led to an available trailer already at Pantex that was in critical need of repair. After a lengthy search, employees from the Radiation Safety Department found a local business that could refurbish the trailer for $23,000.
The trailer is fully equipped with four showering units, water supply, self-contained waste handling, two 80-pound propane tanks and its own generator. It is intended for use in decontaminating victims in the unlikely event of a radiological or chemical accident. The trailer is currently slated to be used to decontaminate victims prior to moving them into the site’s medical facilities, but it remains mobile and could be used in other locations.
Through innovative thinking and a willingness to look for new solutions to existing problems, B&W Pantex personnel improved the radiation safety capabilities of the site while utilizing a local small business to control the cost of the project.
About the photos:
Members of the Pantex Radiation Safety Department conduct training utilizing a new decontamination trailer the department had refurbished, saving about $100,000 as compared to the cost of a new trailer.
A former U.S. Army reserve equipment facility on the former Fort Chaffee property in Ark. is now a modernized logistics support site for NNSA’s Office of Secure Transportation (OST). The property, which had a commercial value estimated at $30-35 million, was acquired at no cost through the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990. The OST Training Command is located at Fort Chaffee.
Transfer of the Army facility was accepted by Jeff Harrell, OST Assistant Deputy Administrator, in April of this year. Constructed in 1984, it had been empty for several years prior to the transfer.
After $1.8 million in improvements, it was recently opened for warehousing of supplies and equipment, office space for thirty-five employees and a fully functional vehicle maintenance facility. The nearly 40,000 square foot warehouse and 29,000 square foot vehicle maintenance facility sit on 39 acres of land. The additional acreage of the facility improves the driver training portion of OST’s agent candidate training class. Now the whole training course can be conducted simultaneously at multiple stations. OST’s Logistics and Property Management Branch moved into the facility from several buildings, which will save OST an estimated $50,000 per year in rental costs.
Personnel moved into the new facility in May and the ribbon cutting took place at the end of June to officially dedicate the facility and recognize individuals who contributed to different phases over the life of the project.
About the photo:
Pictured left to right: Dr. William “Jim” Vosburg, Office of Training and Resources (OTR), Manager; Jeffery P. Harrell, Office of Secure Transportation, Assistant Deputy Administrator; and Mike Callahan, Logistics and Property Management Branch Chief in OTR.