NNSA Blog

This weekend, students from the Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Mora, San Miguel, Sandoval and Taos Counties will come together to participate in the 2nd annual Robowave Rally. The event, being held on Saturday, March 7th at the Northern New Mexico Community College, will consist of students working in teams to compete in robotic challenges ranging from beginner to advanced levels.

The event is not only an excellent opportunity for the participants to utilize teamwork and critical thinking skills, but also serves to expose them science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields) at an early age.

The rally is also being used as a practice day for the upcoming 13th annual Robowave International, New Mexico’s largest K-16 robotics competition, being held April 30th to May 2nd.

The Robowave Rally Northern New Mexico is supported by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Security, LLC, Northern New Mexico University and a number of other partners.

Mar 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

The Northwest Career and Technical Academy’s Science Bowl Team had the distinct honor of meeting with members of the Las Vegas City Council yesterday, in recognition of their winning the annual 2015 Nevada Science Bowl on January 30, 2015.

The Nevada Science Bowl is the premier academic competition in the region. NNSA’s Nevada Site Office is the signature sponsor of Nevada Science Bowl. Nevada Science Bowl also receives donations from Northrop-Grumman, National Security Technology (NSTec), Navarro-Intera, Centerra, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Atomic Testing Museum and VegasPBS.

Read more about the team’s recent victory here.

The high school students will continue on to represent the state in the 2015 National Science Bowl sponsored by the Department of Energy in April 2015.

Mar 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

NNSA BlogMore than 2,000 middle school students near the Savannah River Site area recently put their engineering skills to the test during National Engineers week.

Science- and engineering-based demonstrations involving lasers, flying objects, dry ice and robotic creatures were introduced to students by employees from Savannah River Site management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS).

Known as “Teach-Ins,” 90 demonstrations were conducted by more than 40 SRNS engineers, scientists and technicians at 19 area middle schools with 7th grade students over a two-week period.

Teach-Ins have proven to be instrumental towards promoting the importance of a high level of math, science and technology literacy. SRNS volunteers provide interactive demonstrations and informative discussions to give students a broader understanding of the field of engineering.

Middle schools in seven nearby South Carolina and Georgia counties have participated in this outreach program managed and sponsored by SRNS since 2008. During this time period, more than 12,000 students from this region have benefited from the creative work and hours of effort provided by hundreds of enthusiastic Teach-In volunteers.

Mar 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

Happy Anniversary! This week, we at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) celebrate the stand-up of our agency. 

Congress established NNSA in 2000 as a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy to manage and ensure the security of the Nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, advance nuclear nonproliferation, and provide critical support to the Nuclear Navy. Much has happened in the last 15 years. Our mission has evolved to address our changing world. Managing the weapons stockpile without underground weapons testing is only one of many NNSA remarkable achievements.

You should be proud to be a part of this vital organization. Each and every day, you and others across the national nuclear security enterprise play a critical role in enhancing America’s security, reducing nuclear dangers, and advancing scientific discovery. Without your strong commitment to NNSA meeting its critical missions, the national security of the United States would not be as strong as it is today. 

We have a busy year ahead of us. This week, we begin a series of Congressional hearings on our budget request for fiscal year 2016.  This year’s request reflects the high priority the Administration places on all of programs, with a proposed 10.2 percent increase across the board and proposed increases in all four of our major appropriations categories. 

The next 15 years promises to be as eventful as the last were. Going forward, NNSA will continue to meet the needs of the Nation, while ensuring we are being effective and efficient stewards of the taxpayers’ money. 

Thank you for everything you do on behalf of the American people. Happy Anniversary! 

Frank Klotz and Madelyn Creedon

“Mission First, People Always.”

Mar 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

NNSA BlogNNSA has completed a major capital improvement project that has resulted in critical infrastructure upgrades to two key production buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex. NNSA finished the $75.7 million project nearly 11 months ahead of the construction completion schedule and approximately $5.6 million under budget.

The Nuclear Facilities Risk Reduction project included upgrades to mechanical, electrical, ventilation, and heating/cooling systems for enriched uranium operations in Buildings 9212 and 9204-2E. The project began in 2008, when 10 tasks were identified to make those facilities safer for operations. The project was originally scheduled for completion in 2016.

Read more.

About the photo:
At Building 9212, NNSA combined stacks 110 and 43, eliminating use of one exhaust stack. Further improvements on the project include replacing the old bag filtration system with a new cartridge dust collector. Photo courtesy of Y-12.

Feb 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Nine Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have been named fellows of the American Physical Society, an honor that indicates recognition by scientific peers of exceptional contributions to physics.

Those honored are: Cristian Batista, Malcolm Boshier, Dana Dattelbaum, Stephen Doorn, Michelle Espy, George Rodriguez, Avadh Saxena, Sergei Tretiak and Lin Yin.

APS, a non-profit membership organization, works to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through research journals, scientific meetings, education, outreach, advocacy and international activities.

Read about the fellows here.

NNSA Blog

Feb 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

NNSA Blog

Staff at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories welcomed the first hardware delivery for NNSA’s next generation supercomputer, called Trinity. Test beds for Trinity were delivered (two to Los Alamos and one to Sandia) as part of the New Mexico Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scale (ACES) collaboration.

Trinity came out of a partnership between the two laboratories, Cray Computers and Intel. The computer will have at least eight times greater applications performance than Cielo, the current NNSA supercomputer sited at Los Alamos and will be one of the most advanced computers in the world. Trinity will be sized to run the largest and most demanding simulations of stockpile stewardship, assuring the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear deterrent without the use of underground testing.

Read more about Trinity here.

Feb 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm

National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today several impending key leadership changes that are expected to be phased in over the next several weeks.  

NNSA is re-establishing an Office of Policy to serve as a central resource for strategic planning and policy analysis. Steve Erhart, Manager of the NNSA Production Office (NPO), will head this new office.Steve has previously served as the Pantex Site Office Manager and the Pantex Site Office Senior Scientific and Technical Advisor. He has both the breadth of experience and the right professional attributes to assume this key integrating role in NNSA. 

Geoff Beausoleil, Sandia Field Office manager, will assume leadership for NPO. Geoff brings with him more than 30 years of experience, which includes Deputy Manager at the Pantex Site Office, Assistant Manager at DOE Idaho Operations Office, and Manager of the Sandia Field Office (SFO), where he has served since April 2012. Geoff’s experience puts him in an excellent position to manage NPO.

Jeff Harrell, Assistant Deputy Administrator (ADA) for the Office of Secure Transportation (OST), has agreed to accept the SFO Manager position. Jeff has been at OST since 2009 where he is responsible for ensuring the safe and secure delivery of nuclear weapon components and strategic nuclear material throughout the United States. His outstanding record at OST, following a distinguished 25-year military career, has prepared him to take on this larger role for NNSA. Kerry Clark will be the Acting ADA until a permanent selection can be made.

NNSA is extremely fortunate to have these accomplished leaders, and we commend them for their willingness to take on new career challenges and help our organization build broad based executive skills across our SES cadre.

Feb 19, 2015 at 11:14 am

NNSA BlogNorthwest Career and Technical Academy (NWCTA), a public magnet school in Las Vegas, recently won the Nevada Science Bowl. NWCTA did not lose a single match, defeating Reno High School in the finals. More than 30 teams from 29 schools from throughout Nevada, and from parts of California and Utah participated in the competition.

The Nevada Science Bowl is the premiere academic competition in the region. During fast paced matches, students “buzz-in” to answer exceptionally difficult questions covering science and mathematics.

The Northwest Career and Technical Academy team received $5000 for their school’s math/science departments, plus an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for DOE’s National Science Bowl in April.

NNSA’s Nevada Site Office is the signature sponsor of Nevada Science Bowl. Nevada Science Bowl also receives donations from Northrop-Grumman, National Security Technology (NSTec), Navarro-Intera, Centerra, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Atomic Testing Museum and VegasPBS.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:00 am

NNSA BlogThis week, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Madelyn Creedon visited the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). She discussed experiments that take place in the U1a complex. U1a is a complex 963 feet below the surface which is used for dynamic experiments with special nuclear material and other weapon materials.

Kristen Crawford, from Defense Experimentation and Stockpile Stewardship (DESS)/NSTec, described to Creedon how data from an experiment on detonators will be used in an upcoming subcritical experiment. After the detonation, probes track the movement of the surface of the detonator and show data on the screens. The data from the images is mathematically extracted to provide the velocity of the detonator surface as it moves. Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists take this data and use it to better understand surface velocities in dynamic experiments and to improve the conditional codes that help assure the safety and reliability of the nuclear stockpile without nuclear weapons testing.

In the photo, from left to right are Raffi Papazian, Director of DESS/NSTec, Kristen Crawford, Marylesa Howard, DESS/NSTec; and Madelyn Creedon.

Feb 13, 2015 at 10:00 am