Pantex engineers and scientists attended the event.
Pantex industrial engineer Natalie Waters, Ph.D., was a keynote speaker at the Louise Daniel Women’s History Luncheon. Pantex scientists and engineers attending the event included (from left) Rachel Ehler, Hannah Pemberton, Isela Galan, Erin Robinson, Raquel Barrera-Chavez, Halianne Crawford, Waters, Brandy Ramirez, Meagan Brown, Courtney Waddell, Karishma Myers, Jessie Phifer, Zelda Martinez and Ava Azores.

Since the 1940s when they traded in their aprons for coveralls and gas masks, women have played a key role at the Pantex Plant. To honor their past contributions and celebrate the work they currently perform, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC was a corporate sponsor of the recent 2015 Louise Daniel Women’s History Luncheon and Women’s Equality Day Celebration.

The sponsorship was fitting because this year’s event highlighted the work done by women in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Natalie Waters, a Pantex industrial engineer, spoke about the history of local women in STEM and presented a vignette about female STEM professionals at Pantex.

“Young girls and women who live in the Panhandle today should be proud of the women pioneers who worked hard, paved the way and excelled in their STEM fields,” said Waters.

Read more about the joint resolution on the Pantex website

Oct 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Sandia National Laboratories chemist Mark Allendorf

Sandia National Laboratories chemist Mark Allendorf, shown here at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source facility, is leading the Hydrogen Materials – Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC) to advance solid-state materials for onboard hydrogen storage.

Sandia National Laboratories will lead a new tri-lab consortium to address unsolved scientific challenges in the development of viable solid-state materials for storage of hydrogen onboard vehicles. Better onboard hydrogen storage could lead to more reliable and economic hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Called the Hydrogen Materials – Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC), the program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at $3 million per year for three years, with the possibility of renewal. In addition to Sandia, the core team includes Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories.

The consortium will address the gaps in solid-state hydrogen storage by leveraging recent advances in predictive multiscale modeling, high-resolution in situ characterization and material synthesis.

Read more

Oct 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

The management and operating contractor for the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Nevada National Security Site, has been recognized for having one of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicle fleets in the nation.

Competing with more than 38,000 public fleets, National Security Technologies' (NSTec) Fleet, Fuel & Equipment Service operation was rated 4th by the 2015 100 Best Fleets, Green Fleet Awards organization, which tracks and rates the performance of vehicle fleets throughout the continent.

To be recognized for having a top fleet, a company must demonstrate vision, outstanding operations, and strategic planning toward the future environmental role of fleet that other public fleets can emulate; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and fleet composition demonstrating a commitment to alternative fuel vehicles such as hybrid vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles and alternative fueled vehicles. Candidates must also demonstrate fleet utilization goals that validate a strong commitment to a “green” approach toward keeping the environment clean.

 NSTec’s fleet is comprised of 960 vehicles, ranging from sedans to large trucks. More than 40 of them are alternative-fueled or plug-in electric vehicles.

“Congratulations all. This is quite an accomplishment!” said Jim McConnell, Assistant Administrator for Safety, Infrastructure and Operations for NNSA.

Oct 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm


The NNSA Livermore Field Office in California donated over 4,000 pounds of food to local food banks, food pantries and other local groups in support of the 2015 Feds Feed Families campaign. As part of the campaign LFO staff, family and friends worked with The Urban Farmers to pick 600 pounds of apples for donation to local organizations. Urban Farmers is an all-volunteer, non-profit that harvests fresh backyard fruit for donation to those in need. 

Oct 9, 2015 at 8:00 am

NNSA BlogSandia National Laboratories post-doctoral fellow Stan Chou demonstrates the reaction of more efficiently catalyzing hydrogen. In this simulation, the color is from dye excited by light and generating electrons for the catalyst molybdenum disulfide to evolve hydrogen.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Sandia National Laboratories researchers seeking to make hydrogen a less expensive fuel for cars have upgraded a plentiful catalyst nearly as cheap as dirt — molybdenum disulfide, “molly” for short — to stand in for platinum, a rare element with the moonlike price of $1,500 a gram.

Simple Sandia-induced changes take the 37-cents-a-gram molly from being a welterweight outsider in the energy-catalyst field — put crudely, a lazy bum that never amounted to much — to a possible contender with the heavyweight champ.

The catalyst’s action can be triggered by sunlight, which eventually may provide users an off-the-grid means of securing hydrogen fuel.

To learn more, click here.

Oct 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm


Brigadier General Stephen L. Davis, NNSA’s Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, gets a lesson on how to drive a Safeguards Transporter during a recent visit to the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. OST is responsible for transporting nuclear weapons, components and special nuclear materials to Department of Energy and Department of Defense customers throughout the nation.


After his driving lesson at a training pad, General Davis poses outside the vehicle with his instructors and OST management. From left, they are: William Vigil, Senior Federal Agent; Angel Hernandez, Squad Commander; General Davis; Isaiah Bullock, Senior Federal Agent; Mark Jackson, OST Acting Deputy Assistant Deputy Administrator; Fred Roberts, Deputy Director Facility; and Kerry Clark, OST Acting Assistant Deputy Administrator.

Oct 6, 2015 at 7:00 am


During a recent visit to the Y-12 National Security Complex, NNSA Uranium Program Manager Tim Driscoll stopped by Building 9204-2E’s new direct canning machine, which allows operators to package enriched uranium material removed from dismantled weapons and ship it directly to the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility for long-term storage. An important element of the Uranium Transformation Strategy at Y-12, shipping directly to HEUMF stops the flow of material into Building 9212, enabling faster inventory reduction and improved safety. Direct canning at Y-12 is estimated to save $20-30 million by 2021, assuming current dismantlement plans.

Oct 5, 2015 at 9:00 am


The hydrogen plasma phase transition experimental team, outside the NIF Control Room

At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a National Ignition Facility experimental campaign may have unlocked scientific secrets behind how hydrogen becomes metallic at high pressure.

“Hydrogen properties are still puzzling,” said Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Marius Millot. “In particular, back in 1935, it was predicted that hydrogen should become metallic at sufficiently high pressure. But, using static compression, our colleagues have yet to find clear evidence for metallization at room temperature.”

Read more about the quest for metallic hydrogen.

Oct 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

A rigger scales Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s cargo container stack.A rigger scales Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s cargo container stack.

Researchers from five laboratories and a private company recently spent two days in blistering 100 degree heat testing radiation detection technologies amidst cargo containers. The 15 researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using gamma-ray and neutron imaging detectors to identify radioactive materials using the Laboratory’s cargo container stack testbed.

Read more

Oct 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm


During a recent visit to the Y-12 National Security Complex, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, is shown some of the technology in the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility by Warehousing and Transportation Operations Manager Byron Hawkins. Simpson toured Y-12 with Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) as well as NNSA Production Office Deputy Manager Teresa Robbins, Consolidated Nuclear Security President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Haynes, and CNS Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal. In addition to touring HEUMF, the congressmen also visited Building 9212, Building 9204-2 and the future site of the Uranium Processing Facility.

Sep 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm