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February 2012

NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino and Principal Deputy Administrator Neile Miller hosted New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam while the governors were in Washington, D.C. during the bi-annual National Governors Association meeting this weekend.

NNSA leadership recognizes that governors serve as a source of strength not only in advancing NNSA goals in states where NNSA laboratories and production plants are located, but also in strengthening the organization’s relationships with other key federal and state officials to move the nation’s nuclear security agenda forward.


Finan ROTC
Approximately 80 ROTC cadets, midshipmen and cadre from California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona attended the recent ROTC Day at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The event helps strengthen the relationship between NNSA, LLNL and the Department of Defense.

ROTC Day included an overview of LLNL's mission and a distinguished panel discussing “Future Careers in the Military and the Role Science and Engineering Will Play.” Panel members included Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan, US Air Force and Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application, Office of Defense Programs, NNSA; Dr. L. Wayne Brasure, US Air Force and Executive Director, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center; LTC David R. James, Commander, US Army; CDR Tim Unrein, US Navy, Naval Postgraduate School; Dr. James C. Petrosky, Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Dept. of Engineering Physics, Air Force Institute of Technology; Thomas F. Gioconda, US Air Force (Retired) and Deputy Director for LLNL; George Sakaldasis, US Air Force (Retired), Assistant Director for Military Affairs for LLNL.

The afternoon involved tours of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the High Explosive Application Facility (HEAF) and the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC).

Gen. Finan discussed her nuclear career experience, followed by a series of table top demonstrations and exhibits, allowing participants a chance to focus on LLNL projects that address their individual areas of interest.


Pantex science bowl winners
Members of the Amarillo High School Science Bowl Team savor their victory along with Mark Padilla, assistant manager of Contract Administration and Business Management at the Pantex Site Office, who was on hand to present the awards at Saturday’s Pantex High School Science Bowl. Amarillo High School won the event after a tense final round competition, edging out second place Lubbock High School in two straight games to take home the title. Amarillo High will represent the area at the National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C.

About 150 volunteers helped to run the event, which marked the 21st year Pantex has sponsored the Science Bowl competition.

Michelle Foster of Y-12 Facilities, Infrastructure and Services, demonstrates the use of an ultrasonic detector with Oak Ridge High School sophomores Morgan Grady, left, and Samantha Bell at Y-12's New Hope Center on Thursday, Feb. 23, during the Introduce a Girl to Engineering event. This was a first-time Y-12 event in recognition of National Engineers Week (Feb. 19-25).

Some 400 9th-12th grade girls from area schools were encouraged to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The girls were able to interact with women working in the engineering fields and experience hands-on activities at this event. Organizations, including Women in Nuclear, the American Nuclear Society, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, also were on hand to talk with the girls.

Nuclear family
"A Nuclear Family: Y-12 National Security Complex" is a four episode documentary film that provides a first-hand perspective on the reasons Y-12ers want to do their jobs well and how they view their work to support the nation’s continued freedom. The Y-12 story is both one of technological challenges being met and people serving their nation by working on nuclear weapons to help win World War II, the Cold War and now fighting the War on Terror.

February's episode, "The Manhattan District," aired last night on East Tennessee PBS and is available online at

Located in the Bear Creek Valley of East Tennessee, the Y-12 National Security Complex dates to the earliest days of the Manhattan Project, when the Army Corps of Engineers turned fields and forests into facilities that would help win World War II. Like the city of Oak Ridge that grew up around it, Y-12 would emerge from secrecy to be known worldwide for its role in creating the world’s first atomic bomb used in warfare. Y-12 is more than just a place where people come to work; they are an integral part of national security. The series is giving viewers never-before-seen glimpses into the world-changing work done in Oak Ridge by East Tennesseans, some natives, some transplants, but all proud to work at Y-12.

"A Nuclear Family: Y-12 National Security Complex" is produced by Y-12 Video Services for broadcast by the East Tennessee Public Broadcasting System. The 30-minute programs are being shown the last Thursday of each month, January - "I've seen it," February - "The Manhattan District," March - "The race for peace," and April - "Lifting the veil." After each episode is broadcast, it is placed, along with several other historical videos, on the Y-12 National Security Complex's public web site.

Donna Soria
Donna Soria, campaign director with the United Way of Amarillo & Canyon, presents the Sybil B. Harrington Leadership Award to B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery on Monday. B&W Pantex received the award for being the company that does the most to increase the number of leadership givers, those who pledge $1,000 or more to the United Way. Pantex pledged $614,535 to United Way this year, including gifts of $40,000 from B&W Pantex and $1,000 from the Metal Trades Council.

Woolery said Pantex was honored to receive award. “This confirms what we’ve always known, that Pantexans are incredibly generous and are eager to support this community,” he said. “The United Way is an important organization that does so much to help people in need. We are proud to support its work.”

President Obama has asserted that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation.” With new threats arising every day, it is important that we have a superior mechanism in place to monitor and protect our sensitive data. As we work to be a smarter, more modern and more secure NNSA, the new Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (JC3) will help us to better understand the health and security of our systems, data and networks complex-wide.

The JC3 is a unique way to tackle cybersecurity threats. I am working with members of senior leadership from the Department of Energy and other federal agencies to spearhead a team that will help maintain constant surveillance of our sensitive information. By pooling the resources of multiple organizations, we will more efficiently protect our cyber assets from those with malicious intent.

As issues arise, the JC3 will be able to pinpoint the problem area and work quickly to neutralize the threat. It will streamline information sharing, reporting and access to technical resources 24/7, while preserving individual participating organizations’ unique requirements and information.

This diagram shows how the JC3 will function:

JC3The JC3 aims to consolidate more than 11 stand-alone security solutions into one super cyber security monitoring machine, saving all involved parties time and money. This pillar of the NNSA Network Vision is vital to national security and the health of our organization.

Check back soon to hear more exciting news as we continue to work towards becoming a smarter, unified and more secure OneNNSA.

NNSA recently hosted the 2012 Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Symposium at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C.

The symposium highlighted the accomplishments and promotes interaction among SSAA program participants, sponsors and the NNSA national laboratories. The symposium was geared toward NNSA-supported researchers with grants or cooperative agreements in the areas such as low energy nuclear science, the study of properties of materials under extreme conditions, high energy density physics, and grants awarded under the National Laser Users’ Facility Grant Program.

NNSA founded the SSAA to create opportunities for scientists in physics and other disciplines important to NNSA missions.

For details about the symposium see:

Geoff BeausoleilGeoff Beausoleil has been named as the manager of the Sandia Site Office (SSO) effective April 8. He succeeds Patty Wagner who retired on Feb. 3, 2012.

Beausoleil has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry with DOE and Newport News Shipbuilding. His most recent assignment has been deputy manager for the Pantex Site Office, to which he was appointed in November 2008, with responsibilities for the day-to-day administration of the Site Office and oversight of Plant operations.

Prior to his Pantex assignment, Beausoleil served as the assistant manager, Office of Operational Support at the DOE Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID), and as the DOE-ID integrated safety management champion. In that position, Beausoleil was responsible for all of the Idaho National Laboratory site environment, quality, safety, health, worker protection, safeguards/security, emergency management and information technology programs.

Other positions held by Beausoleil at DOE-ID included director of the Quality and Safety Division and the facility director for the Radioactive Waste Management Complex and the Waste Reduction Operations Complex, where he was responsible for all transuranic, low-level, hazardous, and mixed-waste operations. Prior to arriving at DOE, he held various engineering positions at Newport News Shipbuilding, finishing his career there as the chief refueling engineer for the USS Enterprise.

Rich Sena has been serving as the acting manager of the SSO since Wagner’s retirement. Sena is currently the deputy manager.

The most recent NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available here.

The quarterly summary for the 1st quarter of FY2012 prepared by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs provides descriptions of key NNSA facilities that conduct stockpile stewardship experiments. These include some of the most sophisticated scientific research facilities in the world including, the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. The summary also provides the number of experiments performed at each facility during each quarter of the fiscal year.

The U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program is a robust program of scientific inquiry used to sustain and assess the nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear tests. The experiments carried out within the program are used in combination with complex computational models and NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program to assess the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile. An extraordinary set of science, technology and engineering (ST&E) facilities have been established in support of the stockpile stewardship program.