This integrated system would store carbon dioxide in an underground reservoir, with concentric rings of horizontal wells confining the pressurized CO2 beneath the caprock. Stored CO2 displaces brine that flows up wells to the surface where it is heated by thermal plants (e.g., solar farms) and reinjected into the reservoir to store thermal energy.

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and its partners think they’ve found an answer to storing energy when the wind doesn't blow and the sun isn't shining.

The team’s paper, published in the December issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine, describes a subsurface energy system that could tap geothermal energy, store energy from above-ground sources, and dispatch it to the grid throughout the year like a massive underground battery, while at the same time storing CO2 from fossil-fuel power plants.

Learn more about the "underground battery" here.

Jan 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm


From left: Brad Mattie, Bill Collins, Chris Byrd, Gary Guge and Jake Thompson were instrumental in protecting Y‑12 water quality.

Y‑12 recently received two awards at the 33rd Annual Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry Environment and Energy Conference. Representatives from Y‑12’s Infrastructure and Environmental Compliance groups accepted the awards at the ceremony held at Montgomery Bell State Park.

Y‑12 received the following awards for businesses with more than 250 employees: Water Quality Award and Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Award.

The Water Quality Award recognized Y‑12’s reduced water usage and improved water quality. The Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Award, recognized the Uranium Processing Facility for its sustainable practices. UPF has diverted more than 74 million pounds of material from landfill disposal in FY 2015 and more than 89 million pounds since FY 2013.

Read more about these awards on the Y-12 website.

Jan 5, 2016 at 12:00 am


About 50 local business leaders made the second of their two annual trips out to Pantex recently, getting the chance to go tour the plant that remains a mystery for some many local residents.

The organization that arranged for the trip, Leadership Amarillo and Canyon, has been going strong for almost 40 years, providing tours of businesses and industries throughout the region for 10 months out of the year.

They kicked off the tour hearing from Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert followed by the history of the plant by Interim Historian Monty Schoenhals. Then the group loaded up in their tour bus and drove over to a replica of the first atomic bomb, dubbed “Fat Man,” where they got a group picture.

Read more about the visit.

Jan 5, 2016 at 12:00 am


Two NNSA supercomputers—Trinity and Sequoia—are among the top six systems in the world, according to the 46th edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 list of the most powerful supercomputers released this month. Sequoia has been the world’s third most powerful computer since June 2013, while Trinity is new to the top-ten list this fall in sixth place.

NNSA’s newest champion supercomputer was named after the Trinity Test of 1945—the world’s first nuclear detonation. Since the U.S. no longer conducts underground nuclear testing, Trinity’s primary purpose is to enable NNSA perform full-physics, 3-dimensional simulations to assess the nuclear weapons' performance, as their continued mission to ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

Other than Sequoia, among other NNSA supercomputers that have occupied the number one spot on the TOP500 list are Roadrunner, BlueGene/L and ASCI Red.

NNSA set out to build Trinity in July 2014, and the first test beds for the next generation supercomputer were delivered in February 2015.

Click to read more about Trinity, Sequoia and the TOP500 list





Jan 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

"I really just love to help people," said Erik Timpson of the National Security Campus in Kansas City. "whether that’s teaching, researching, STEM, being an artist or scientist, being a husband or a dad...all that is just semantics ... I help people.”

National Security Campus Engineer Erik Timpson isn’t your typical engineer; he carries around a bag of supplies ranging from mini-scissors to tape, a flashlight and a wide-array of colored pens and pencils. Always with a new gizmo or gadget to help stimulate the mind for students and employees...Erik himself reminds you of a modern-day, Inspector Gadget.

Timpson followed the path of his father and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering with minors in Math, Physics and Biology.

With his doctorate complete, Timpson knew he wanted to focus his extra time towards engagement, outreach and metrology. He became the engagement focus area lead for the People Center of Excellence and increased his involvement with STEM activities.

“I think it is so important to introduce electrical engineering at a young age. I truly believe soon electrical engineer and computer classes will be a part of the elementary curriculum...technology is bound to benefit us.”

Read more about Timpson and the other news at the National Security Campus.

Jan 4, 2016 at 12:00 am


A math project at the school included cake baking. The approach to education is interdisciplinary, pulling subjects like algebra, physics, and language arts into a single, hands-on assignment.

Technology Leadership High School, a public charter located close to Sandia National Laboratories and technology-based businesses, opened in August with 90 students in grade 9. The school will add a grade level each year until it reaches 12th grade.

Sandia donated refurbished laptop computers and other equipment, and its scientists are working with the school's teachers on curriculum.

“Our focus is to engage students who have been disengaged, students who might fall through the cracks at traditional schools,” said Velina Chavez, director of community engagement. “We know students can succeed, and it’s great to see that happen.”

Read more about the school.

Dec 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently received a second presidential award as a climate champion. From left are: Mathew Moury, Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security; Michael Sweitzer, NNSA; Josh Silverman, Director, DOE Office of Sustainability Support; Christy Goldfuss, Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Denny Hjeresen, LANL Waste Management Division; Leslie Hansen, LANL Environmental Protection Division; Jessica Arcidiacono and NNSA Sustainability Program Eric Bradley, DOE Office of Sustainability Support.

In recognition of their proactive commitment to protecting the environment of Northern New Mexico from the potential impacts of a changing climate, a consortium of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s federal and contractor staff received the GreenGov Presidential Award.

“We recognized the need for a different approach after a devastating wildfire and a series of impactful environmental events,” said Michael Brandt, associate director for the Laboratory’s Environment, Safety and Health directorate. “As a laboratory, we seek to be good stewards of the environment by implementing scientific, engineering and operational measures that mitigate the impacts of climate change and by managing our natural and cultural resources.”

Read more about the award.

Dec 30, 2015 at 12:00 am


Some 23,000 tons of asphalt removed during this summer’s UPF site work have been put to use throughout the site. Potholes and gravel roads are now “paved” with the recycled asphalt that has been ground into a material called base course. Unlike gravel, the material tends to rebind into a solid form as it is packed down, thus sending it back to its former life as asphalt.

Read more about it.


Dec 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

Sandia National Laboratories technologist Catherine Sobczak prepares a silicon wafer to load into a machine. She has been honored with the inaugural Thin Film Distinguished Technologist Award from the American Vacuum Society.

The American Vacuum Society has honored Sandia National Laboratories technologist Catherine Sobczak with its inaugural Thin Film Division Distinguished Technologist Award for providing exceptional technical support of thin film research and development.

Sobczak will be formally recognized next fall by the society’s Thin Film Division at the society’s 63rd International Symposium & Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee.

“It’s an honor to receive this award. The people who nominated me are high-level folks in the vacuum technology field. It’s nice to be recognized for all your years of service doing this,” Sobczak said.

Read more about it.

Dec 28, 2015 at 12:00 am

SRS contractor employees compete in the fifth annual “Dash for Bikes, Walk for Trikes” relay race, which has raised $25,000 for the Savannah River Site’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Dozens of contractor employees at the Savannah River Site (SRS) recently combined zany fun with athletic competition to create a race like no other, all for a good cause. Each year, the “Dash for Bikes, Walk for Trikes” relay race raises thousands of dollars to purchase bicycles and tricycles for the SRS Toys for Tots campaign.

According to event founder, environmental geologist Jeff Ross, this was the fifth Dash for Bikes, Walk for Trikes race held at the SRS training track. “Most teams wear some sort of costumes, each team with their own theme,” said Ross. “At this point, I feel like we’ve pretty much seen it all, from Christmas elves and super heroes to a bridal party; last year the fire department even ran in full gear wearing air tanks. I’m always impressed with the creativity and enthusiasm displayed by our contestants.”

Read more about it.

Dec 23, 2015 at 12:00 am