Skip to main content

You are here

June 2012


Today, the MOX project at the Savannah River Site reached 10 million safe working hours – representative of nearly two years of continuous work during heavy construction without a lost workday.

”The first construction project of its kind in the United States, the MOX project is being executed with precision and safety because of the shared commitment between everyone involved to successfully completing the mission while making safety the first priority,” said Clay Ramsey, NNSA federal project director. “To reach this milestone during such a heightened level of construction is a remarkable achievement.”  

Read the press release here.

The May 2012 NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available here.

The quarterly summary 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.

The NNSA 2012 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program Symposium was held today in Washington, DC. The event, "Discovery and Innovation for National Security," featured keynote presentations by Dr. Charles Shank, inventor of the DFB laser and former Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Dr. Norman Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), discussed the White House priorities for science, technology, and Innovation. Neile Miller, Principal Deputy Administrator for NNSA, provided a DOE/NNSA perspective of the NNSA TriLab LDRD program.


Red Storm, a massively parallel processing supercomputer, was recently decommissioned at Sandia National Laboratories. Red Storm was part of NNSA's Advanced Simulation & Computing (ASC) supercomputer program and helped monopolize world computing records.

Red Storm was designed by Sandia and Cray, Inc., to address the highly complex nuclear weapons stockpile computing problems. Red Storm allowed modeling and simulation of complex problems in nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship that were thought impractical, if not impossible.

Red Storm was used to run simulations during Operation Burnt Frost, a U.S. military operation, to intercept and destroy a nonfunctioning U.S. satellite before it could reenter the atmosphere and release its potentially toxic fuel supply.

To read more about the stand down of Red Storm see:

White House Science Advisor John Holdren

White House Science Advisor John Holdren, right, and Gilbert Herrera, director of Sandia National Laboratories’ microsystems technology center, during a tour of Sandia’s Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) facility. During his June 7 visit to Sandia, Holdren was briefed on a wide range of Labs’ capabilities. Holdren is the senior advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology issues through his roles as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award recipients

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu recently awarded the recipients of the 2011 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for their outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy and its missions. Three recipients from Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories were among the nine winners. Recipients in each category received a gold medal, a citation and $20,000.

To read more about the awards click here.

About the photo (from left to right)

Riccardo Betti, University of Rochester; Paul C. Canfield, Ames Laboratory; David E. Chavez, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Amit Goyal, Oak Ridge National Laboratory L; Secretary of Energy Steven Chu; Mark B. Chadwick, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bernard Matthew Poelker, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility; Lois Curfman McInnes, Argonne National Laboratory; Barry F. Smith, Argonne National Laboratory; and Thomas P. Guilderson, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


NNSA employees and their friends and families enjoyed the annual NNSA Day at the Ball Park on Thursday, June 7. More than 300 tickets were sold. The Nationals lost to the New York Mets, 3-1.

Nevada celebrates VPP status

It was a banner day for two NNSA/NNSS contractors as they were re-certified as Star Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). National Security Technologies (NSTec) and WSI Nevada Team received their certificates and banners from NNSA Nevada Site Manager Stephen A. Mellington. VPP promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management and labor establish cooperative relationships at the workplace to implement a comprehensive safety and health management system. 

For NSTec this is their fourth Star Certification, which is the highest level under VPP. WSI is in their 11th year of VPP Star Status. 

“Achieving this status demonstrates the willingness of NNSS contractors to collaborate for efficiency and establish continuity. In this case, it is in the areas of worker health and safety,” said Mellington.

About the picture:

Holding the banner is Mike Kinney (L) of NSTec and WSI Nevada Team Security Police Officer Will Stinson.  NSTec President and General Manager Dr. Raymond Juzaitis (L) and David Bradley General Manager, WSI Nevada Team (R) hold certificates presented to their companies by Stephen A. Mellington (C), NNSA Nevada Site Office Manager.


This year, 23 children and seven spouses of Pantexans were selected to receive scholarships of up to $1,000 to help with their college education. B&W Pantex has been administering the annual scholarship program since taking over as the Pantex Management and Operating contractor in 2001.

“B&W Pantex recognizes the importance of education,” Woolery said. “These students have worked hard and we look forward to seeing what they will accomplish as they continue their studies.”

About the photo:

B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery, left, congratulates Alex Graham, right, while his mother, Pantex Historian Monica Graham looks on at a reception honoring winners of the B&W Pantex scholarship program Monday.

Lin Yin speaks at 2011 LDRD Symposium

The 2012 NNSA Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Symposium is set for Tuesday, June 12. This year’s theme is “Discovery and Innovation for National Security” featuring highlights of game-changing, mission-relevant research supported by the LDRD Program throughout NNSA.

The program includes keynote presentations by:

•Neile L. Miller, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator

•Charles V. Shank, Senior Fellow, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Former Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

•Norman R. Augustine, Retired Chairman & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation

•Thomas A. Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy

The symposium also includes technical talks and poster presentations by NNSA laboratory researchers relevant to national security missions. At day’s end, Victor Reis, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, will lead a panel discussion on discovery and innovation issues for national security.   

To register click here.
Click here to view the agenda.