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April 2013

NNSA Sandia Field Office Manager Geoff Beausoleil hosted a visit to Sandia National Laboratories by Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson on this week. Commissioner Johnson received briefings on technology transfer and commercialization, economic development, and environmental restoration including Sandia's groundwater protection programs. Following the meetings at Sandia's Science & Technology Park, the commissioner received a windshield tour of the Mixed Waste Landfill in Technical Area 3.

Bernalillo County commissioner visits Sandia

Miller participates at Energy Communities Alliance meeting

This week Neile Miller, Acting Administrator for NNSA, spoke to the elected leaders of the communities that host NNSA facilities at the Energy Communities Alliance annual meeting in D.C. Acting Administrator Miller thanked the communities for their support over the past year and indicated that their partnership is essential to helping NNSA execute its mission.

Acting Administrator Miller noted that in his FY14 budget request delivered to Congress this week, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to leading the global effort to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, ensuring the safety of the American people, and guaranteeing that the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe, secure, and effective while it is still needed. His request includes $11.7 billion for NNSA, an increase of 1.6 percent over FY13.

She also provided insight into NNSA's priorities for the coming year emphasizing three core things NNSA will be focused on accomplishing in 2013.

Miller participates at Energy Communities Alliance meetingFirst, as always, NNSA is keeping the American people safe, and our communities are the pillars that support our nuclear deterrent, nonproliferation, and counterterrorism efforts. Second, NNSA is also modernizing in every way, as many have probably seen with construction jobs, subcontractor support, and changes to the nature and scope of work at our facilities. And, finally, NNSA is holding our people - Federal employees and Management & Operating contractors - accountable. NNSA must do more with less, so we owe it to our communities and the American taxpayers to rethink and revise everywhere we can. 

NNSA recognizes that our community partners have a great interest in how we communicate and engage on issues of mutual interest. NNSA is committed to operate in a manner that is open, proactive, responsive, and well-coordinated in managing relationships with state, local and tribal government stakeholders.

KCP employees continue to ‘rescue’ the Blue River


Nearly 100 Kansas City Plant employees and family members turned out to “rescue” Kansas City’s Blue River last Saturday. The annual Blue River Rescue event successfully cleaned up approximately 100 tons of trash along its banks.

Each year the NNSA and Honeywell join hundreds of business and residential volunteers to help pick up trash and plant trees during the largest one-day stream clean-up in Missouri.

The effort calls on community volunteers to be environmental stewards of a 22-mile stretch of land that surrounds the waterway which flows near Kansas City Plant.



KCP employees continue to ‘rescue’ the Blue River

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Parney Albright recently honored LLNL scientists and engineers who won six R&D 100 awards for 2012 at a reception at the Livermore Valley Open Campus.

LLNL served as the principal developer for four of the awards, while the other two were joint submissions with individual Laboratory researchers.

Before noting that the R&D 100 awards, often called the "Oscars of invention," are international awards, Albright said the lab performs amazing scientific and engineering feats every day and it's fantastic to receive unique external recognition like the R&D 100 awards.

Read more. See more photos here.

About the photo: The LEOPARD (Laser Energy Optimization by Precision Adjustments to the Radiant Distribution) technology has been developed to enhance the operability of laser facilities. Shown are members of the team.

LLNL director honors R&D 100 award winners

The Nevada Field Office (NFO) and U.S. Air Force staff recently conducted inspections of a historic rocket located at Clean Slate III on the Tonopah Test Range. Clean Slate III, a plutonium dispersal test, was part of Operation Roller Coaster and was conducted on June 9, 1963. The origin of the rocket in the photo and the time frame when it was launched are unknown. Based on interviews with TTR personnel, however, the rocket has been present at the site since at least the mid-1980s.

NFO helps inspect historic rocket

This morning, the White House issued the below statement regarding NNSA's recent removal of the last remaining highly enriched uranium from the Czech Republic:


Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the Removal of Highly Enriched Uranium from the Czech Republic

Today we can announce that the United States, with the cooperation of our international partners, successfully removed 68 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) – enough material for two nuclear weapons - from the Czech Republic. The HEU was securely transported to Russia, where it will be downblended into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in nuclear power reactors. Unlike highly enriched uranium, low enriched uranium cannot be used to make a nuclear weapon. With this shipment, the Czech Republic becomes the tenth country from which all HEU has been removed since President Obama announced the international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world. 

This achievement comes on the anniversary of President Obama’s remarks in Prague on April 5, 2009, where he stated that nuclear terrorism remains our greatest threat. The President called on the world to act with a sense of purpose and without delay to secure vulnerable nuclear material.  The United States and the global community have responded with an unprecedented effort that has secured thousands of kilograms of HEU and plutonium, enough for dozens of nuclear weapons.

The removal of highly enriched uranium from the Czech Republic was the culmination of a multi-year effort by the United States’ National Nuclear Security Administration, the Czech Republic’s Nuclear Research Institute, Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The United States is grateful to these partners and to the Czech and Russian governments for their outstanding cooperation.


Two senior leaders of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) today visited the Pantex Plant to tour the facility and deliver a message of support to the workers.

U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) told an assembled group of Pantexans he was aware of the critical work done at Pantex through his role as the HASC chairman, but seeing it firsthand really made an impact.

McKeon traveled to Pantex with HASC vice chairman, U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, whose district includes the Pantex Plant. Thornberry talked about the challenging budget situation facing all levels of government and the importance of maintaining the capabilities of facilities like Pantex.

After taking questions from several Pantexans, the two congressmen concluded the all-hands meeting with a few final words of encouragement.

HASC leaders visit Pantex