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June 2014


B&W Y‑12 employee and tour guide Bill Wilburn, left, chats with Teresa Neas, and her husband Kim, whose mother, Audeane Bowers-Neas, worked at Y‑12 in the 1940s. Tours of Y‑12 on June 13 brought almost 500 visitors. Tourists from 23 states and the District of Columbia toured the site as part of Oak Ridge’s 12th annual Secret City Festival. Photo by Scott Fraker


Former Y-12 employee James Spicer points out the various ID badges used at the site during its 70-year history to his grandson Matthew Sellers. Spicer and Sellers joined almost 500 visitors who toured Y-12 as part of the Secret City Festival. Y-12 has been giving tours of the site for almost 10 years with guests traveling from all over the world to see a piece of history and learn how the site still is ensuring our country’s security. Photo by Scott Fraker

To improve efficiency across the nuclear security enterprise, NNSA recently transferred the mission assignment of several product families from Sandia National Laboratories to the Kansas City Plant. The mission reassignment better aligns responsibilities with each site’s core competencies and will leverage Kansas City’s Supply Chain Management systems and tools.

Leaders from both organizations were at the National Security Campus in Kansas City on June 24 to sign the transfer agreement and finalize the details.

The Production Agency mission transfer includes Frequency Devices, Power Assemblies, Magnetics and certain Custom Pulse Discharge Capacitors. There will be no change in production agency mission assignment for all other Sandia External Production (SEP) product families: Switch Tubes, Electronics Packaging, Power Sources and Explosive Devices.

Pictured left to right: Steve Goodrum, NNSA Asst. Deputy Administrator of Stockpile Management; Chris Gentile, Honeywell FM&T President; Paul Hommert, Sandia Director

NNSA authorizes mission assignment transfer to Kansas City Plant

Los Alamos Field Office Safety Systems expert earns DOE awardDOE recently awarded Chris Fischahs of Los Alamos its annual Safety System Oversight (SSO) Award. At the time of the award, Fischahs was an SSO staff member of the Safety Evaluation Team at NNSA’s Los Alamos Field Office.

The award is national recognition of the extensive safety systems oversight Fischahs performed in 2013 and the resulting improvements in operational safety at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His operational awareness and oversight activities consistently provided Los Alamos Field Office managers with accurate, objective information on the performance of safety systems. 

Examples of his oversight activities in 2013 were four vital safety systems assessments that led to safety improvements; input to a federal-integrated project team that led to improved safety systems designs for the LANL Transuranic Waste Facility project; participation in an important federal operational readiness review; and cross-cutting assessments of engineering processes and procedures that resulted in improved overall performance of all safety systems at LANL.

Brig. Gen. Jim Dawkins, NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application, presented Col. Emil Kabban with the NNSA Defense Programs Excellence award during a ceremony honoring Kabban’s retirement from the military. Kabban, Chief Systems Engineer and Executive Director in the NNSA’s Defense Programs Systems Engineering and Integration Office, served nearly 27 years in the U.S. Air Force.

Col. Kabban receives NNSA Defense Programs Excellence Award

Sandia National Laboratories recently hosted students from various tribal colleges and universities. During the event, Sandia’s Stan Atcitty and Julius Yellowhair lead tours of renewable energy work at Sandia.

Sandia hosts tribal colleges and university students
Julius E. Yellowhair shows students molten salt receivers at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (Solar Tower).

Sandia hosts tribal colleges and university studentsStan Atcitty shows students energy modeling at the Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory.


Los Alamos National Laboratory recently installed a new high-performance computer system, called Wolf, which will be used for unclassified research. Wolf will help modernize mid-tier resources available to the lab and can be used to advance many fields of science.

Wolf, manufactured by Cray Inc., has 616 compute nodes, each with two 8-core 2.6 GHz Intel “Sandybridge” processors, 64 GB of memory and a high-speed Infiniband interconnect network. It utilizes LANL's existing Panasas parallel file system as well as a new one based on Lustre technology. 

About the photo: The Wolf computer system modernizes mid-tier resources for Los Alamos scientists.

LANL installs high-performance computer system Installed

Under Secretary Klotz delivered remarks at the Pantex Renewable Energy Project (PREP) ribbon-cutting this week. PREP establishes the largest federally-owned wind farm in the country and will generate approximately 47 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, more than 60 percent of the electricity needed for Pantex. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 metric tons per year—the equivalent of removing 7,200 cars from the road each year or planting 850,000 trees.

General Klotz delivers remarks at PREP ribbon-cutting

Below, Under Secretary Klotz and DOE Chief of Staff Knobloch conduct ribbon-cutting for the event. Pictured from left to right: General Klotz, Kevin Knobloch (Chief of Staff),  Steve Erhart (Manager, NNSA Production Office), Judy Marks (President & CEO, Siemens Government Technologies), and Russell Thomasson (Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of Corporate Engagement, Texas Tech University).

General Klotz delivers remarks at PREP ribbon-cutting

Additional photos available here.

DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz recently presented the Gold Medal of Excellence for Distinguished Service to Michael Lempke, former Acting Chief and Associate Administrator for Defense Nuclear Security. The medal is the highest honorary award granted by NNSA and was presented to Lempke in recognition of his outstanding contributions to achieving the strategic deterrent and nuclear nonproliferation missions of the NNSA through his demanding and visionary leadership for the past two years.

Lempke began his naval career in the enlisted ranks as a yeoman serving on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations Telecommunications Officer at the Pentagon. He received his commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps after completing Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. During initial training at the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Ga., he was hand-selected for service at Naval Reactors Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Michael Lempke receives NNSA's Gold Medal of Excellence

NNSA BlogSandia National Laboratories researcher Stephanie Hansen has received a $2.5 million, five-year Early Career Research Program award from the DOE's Office of Science for her fundamental science proposal to improve existing atomic-scale models for high-energy-density matter.

Hansen’s winning submission, “Non-Equilibrium Atomic Physics in High Energy Density Material,” describes an approach to improve simulation tools used to design high-energy experiments in dense hot plasmas, as well as the diagnostic tools used to interpret data from them.

Read more.

DOE Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz visited the Y-12 National Security Complex today. Klotz toured the site and conducted an all hands meeting at the site's New Hope Center.

Julie Huff of B&W Y-12's Materials Management Organization leads a tour of the Highly Enriched Uranium Facility.

Captain Virgil Hester discusses some of Y-12’s security equipment with Gen. Klotz.