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NNSA Announces Safety Professional of the Year Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the federal and contractor Safety Professional of the Year awards for 2008.

Xavier F. Aponte, functional area representative for electrical safety, NNSA Nevada Site Office was named the 2008 Federal Safety Professional of the year.  Lloyd Gordon, laboratory chief electrical safety officer for Los Alamos National Laboratory was named as a recipient of the 2008 Management & Operating (M&O) Contractor Safety Professional of the year.

The award recognizes distinguished service and outstanding safety related achievements and contribution. This marks the fourth year that NNSA has recognized one of its federal safety professionals and its first year in recognizing an M&O contractor safety professional.

"Aponte and Gordon have demonstrated outstanding leadership, oversight and skill in implementing effective safety programs at their respective facilities. Their contributions have helped NNSA to develop better tools and gain better insight into solving longstanding problems and driving electrical safety improvements across the complex" said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. 

Aponte, a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico and a mechanical engineering graduate from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico began his federal career with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He has worked at the Nevada Site Office as a safety engineer since 2005.  At the site office, he developed improved oversight procedures for facility representatives, enhanced oversight and training programs in electrical safety.  Aponte serves as a contributing member to the Department of Energy's Hoisting & Rigging Technical Advisory Committee, its Construction Safety Advisory Committee and its Voluntary Protection Program Steering Committee.

Gordon, an experimental researcher with a background in pulsed power engineering and plasma physics, holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University.  During the first 15 years of his career, he conducted and supervised research for the Department of Energy, the Defense Nuclear Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Auburn University, and the University of Texas, Arlington. Gordon served as chair of the 30-member Energy Facility Contractors Group's Electrical Safety Subgroup in 2008 and has chaired or co-chaired EFCOG/DOE Electrical Safety workshops for the past five years. He is also the primary author of the Electrical Severity Measurement Tool, which is now used across NNSA to categorize and report electrical incidents.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise.  NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371