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NNSA Blog
NGFP Fellows at the annual NGFP Career Skills Workshop, where they met with PNNL and NNSA leaders to gain practical guidance and best practices for applying to positions after their fellowships.

The NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) participated a Career Skills Workshop earlier this month in Washington. The annual event provides Fellows practical guidance and best practices for applying to positions after their fellowships. Fellows learned about what to expect when for applying for federal positions, resources for working with national laboratories across the U.S. Department of Energy complex, and general information about federal positions and hiring processes. Key presenters included:

  • NNSA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Management and Budget Frank Lowery, who shared information about federal hiring and the USAJobs job portal. 
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Director of Talent Acquisition Rob Dromgoole, who provided guidance for writing résumés and preparing for interviews.
  • PNNL NGFP Operations Lead Ryan Boscow, who shared advice on how best to pursue positions in the federal government and the national laboratories.
  • PNNL Technical Recruiter Colin Sanders, who shared tips for using LinkedIn and other social networking tools to assist in career searches.

NNSA Blog
NNSA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Management and Budget Frank Lowery speaks to Fellows at the NGFP Career Skills Workshop.

NNSA Blog
PNNL Technical Recruiter Colin Sanders presents to Fellows at the NGFP Career Skills Workshop.

NNSA Blog

Jan 19, 2016 at 1:00 am

NNSA Blog

Most of us just reach into the closet to pull on a warm coat to shield us from the winter weather, but for thousands of needy children in the Kansas City area who have outgrown their coats, it’s not so simple.

Thanks to the Coats for Kids program, which provides new and gently used coats for children who need them, many of these children will be toasty warm.

Each year, NSC contractor Honeywell teams up with local radio station KMBZ 98.1 FM to support the effort.

“We are on a mission to get students excited about math and science,” says Chris Gentile, Honeywell FM&T President. “We’ve found that kids cannot concentrate on their studies and be successful at school if they are not well equipped with the basic necessities. This is why we feel it is important and take part in this effort.”

This is the sixth year that Honeywell issued a challenge to KMBZ radio listeners to donate $1,000 over a 10 day period. When the goal was reached, Honeywell doubled it with a $10,000 donation to help purchase new coats for Kansas City kids in need. Together, we contributed more than $24,000 to help area children keep warm.

Jan 19, 2016 at 1:00 am

Installation of part of ARC preamplifer systems.

X-ray radiograph of a backlit grid produced on the first programmatic ARC shot.

The National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) performed the first programmatic experiments with Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) on December 1-3, 2015. ARC, a petawatt-class laser with peak power that will exceed a quadrillion watts, is designed to produce brighter, more penetrating, higher-energy X-rays than can be obtained with existing radiographic techniques. In the December tests, good quality images of a backlit test grid were recorded on an image plate diagnostic. This is an important milestone toward the quality imagery of NIF experiments that ARC will be able to produce.

The world’s highest-energy short-pulse laser, ARC will take high resolution x-ray images at very high speeds and brightness under experimental conditions that are relevant to understanding the operation of modern nuclear weapons. ARC captures imagery at a resolution of 20 millionths of a meter and up to 50 billion frames per second. ARC will create images so quickly, brightly and clearly that it will be able to produce radiographic “movies” of the small scale experiments conducted at NIF—a feat it is expected to achieve in 2016.

ARC is one of the many diagnostic tools serving as part of NNSA’s non-explosive nuclear stockpile stewardship program. NIF experiments are essential to the nation’s stockpile assessment and certification strategy. NIF will be the only place for scientists to gain access to and examine thermonuclear burn without nuclear explosive testing.

 

After amplification in the NIF laser, the ARC beams are compressed in the target bay and focused to Target Chamber Center (TCC).

 

Jan 13, 2016 at 1:00 am

NNSA Blog

The team in front of Los Alamos' Trident Laser Target Chamber. Back, from left: Tom Shimada, Sha-Marie Reid, Adam Sefkow, Miguel Santiago, and Chris Hamilton. Front, from left: Russ Mortensen, Chengkun Huang, Sasi Palaniyappan, Juan Fernandez, Cort Gautier and Randy Johnson.

 

A transformative breakthrough in controlling ion beams allows small-scale laser-plasma accelerators to deliver unprecedented power densities. That development offers benefits in a wide range of applications, including nuclear fusion experiments, cancer treatments, and security scans to detect smuggled nuclear materials.

“In our research, plasma uses the energy stored in its electromagnetic fields to self-organize itself in such a way to reduce the energy-spread of the laser-plasma ion accelerator,” said Sasikumar Palaniyappan of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plasma Physics group. “In the past, most of the attempts to solve this problem required active plasma control, which is difficult.”

Laser-plasma accelerators shoot a high-energy laser into a cloud of plasma, releasing a beam of ions, or electrically charged particles, in a fraction of the distance required by conventional accelerators. The laser generates electromagnetic fields in the plasma.

Learn more about it here.

Jan 12, 2016 at 1:00 am

NNSA Blog

The last row of panels at the Whitethorn Solar Facility project site at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California was installed last week. When complete, the 3.3 MW fixed-tilt solar photovoltaic facility will represent the largest DOE/NNSA purchase of solar energy from an onsite facility. Electrical installation will continue for several more weeks, then start-up testing and commissioning will be necessary before commercial operation begins.

Click here to learn more about the project.

Jan 11, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Jan 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist Les Nakae, front, shows off a liquid scintillator detector for measuring neutrons and gamma rays with nanosecond timing, which requires the new theoretical formulations detailed in a recent research paper. Joining him are team members, from left: Neal Snyderman, Jerome Verbeke and Ken Kim. Not shown is Manoj Prasad. Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have created a new method for detecting and analyzing fission chains to assess and evaluate nuclear material.

The powerful mathematical tools enable the team to detect, analyze and assess unknown objects containing fissionable material in a wide range of applications, from safeguards and border security, to arms control and counterterrorism. The research appears in a recent edition of the journalNuclear Science and Engineering.

Special nuclear materials (SNM) -- highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium 239 -- are unique among radioactive materials in sustaining neutron-induced fission chain reactions. Only SNM naturally create self-perpetuating fission chain reactions and in turn emit bursts of many neutrons and gamma rays.

Their new methods are designed to exploit the burst timing pattern of neutrons and gamma rays emitted by fission chains in HEU and plutonium. One of the goals is to determine the mass and geometric properties of the unknown material and its configurations.

Learn more about their method.

Jan 8, 2016 at 1:00 am

NNSA Blog
NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz, Dr. Steve Aoki, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

Colleagues:

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of Dr. Steve Aoki, Associate Administrator for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. Steve officially retired on December 31st after 33 years of Federal service. He served his country at the State Department and the National Security Council, and helped stand up NNSA in 2000. Steve is a valued colleague and a dedicated public servant who will be greatly missed. He made many significant contributions to the public welfare and advanced the national security throughout his distinguished career.

In accordance with NNSA’s succession policy, Jay Tilden will serve as Acting Associate Administrator for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. Jay has supported nuclear counterterrorism and incident response at DOE since 1996, and joined NNSA eight years ago as the Intelligence and Security Advisor to the Deputy Under Secretary of Energy for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. He has served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation since 2012. Dave Bowman will fill in as the Acting Deputy Associate Administrator. We have extraordinary confidence and trust in both Jay and Dave.

We wish Steve well on his future endeavors, and welcome Jay and Dave to their new roles.

Frank Klotz and Madelyn Creedon
“Mission First, People Always”

Jan 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm

NNSA Blog

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 3:00 pm

NNSA Blog

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 1:00 am