NNSA achieves 50 percent production for W76-1 units

Frank Klotz

Frank Klotz

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Nuclear Security Administration said last week that it had reached the halfway point in the production phase of the W76-1 warhead Life Extension Program, or LEP. An event held at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, underscored NNSA’s commitment to meeting the U.S. Navy’s requirements for the W76-1.

Gen. Frank G. Klotz, U.S. Department of Energy under secretary for nuclear security and NNSA administrator, was on hand to personally thank the men and women of Pantex who helped achieve the production milestone.

“The W76-1 Life Extension Program is one of several steps we must take as a nation to ensure that America’s smaller nuclear arsenal remains safe, secure, and effective,” Klotz said. “The highly skilled Pantex team will continue to play an indispensable role in protecting the security of the United States, as well as our allies and partners, for many years to come. For that reason, it’s imperative that we continue to invest in the people and in the infrastructure needed to carry out that important, enduring task.” [Read more...]


ORNL technology transfer continues strong upward trend

Mike Paulus Technology Transfer

Mike Paulus, director of Technology Transfer, says initiatives like SPARK! have been effective at connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts with ORNL technologies and capabilities. (Submitted photo)


New methods are improving connections between private businesses and technology from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with 101 licenses and options executed during the last three years.

Mike Paulus, director of Technology Transfer, attributes the growth in large part to the Technology Innovation Program, Bridging the Gap, and SPARK! These programs helped the lab double the number of licenses for the fiscal years 2012-2014 compared to 2009-2011, and Paulus expects a new initiative, the Invention to Innovation Webinar Series, to help maintain the upward trend.

“We have a talented staff that has worked very hard to identify, develop, and market high-potential technologies that provide the best opportunities to licensees,” Paulus said. “Our two-pronged approach focuses on increasing the overall deal volume while at the same time concentrating on our most promising technologies.” [Read more...]


DOE comment period on K-33 land transfer ends Thursday

ETTP ED11 and K-33 Notice of Document Availability Oak Ridge, TN

The public comment period for the transfer of about 136 acres at the East Tennessee Technology Park (the former K-25 site) ends Thursday, October 23.

The U.S. Department of Energy has proposed transferring the land, known as the Former K-33 Area at the ETTP Heritage Center, for mixed-use economic development purposes.

The Former K-33 area is located in the northwest portion of the Heritage Center and includes the site of the now-demolished K-33 Building. No buildings are included in the transfer. [Read more...]

Council to discuss DOE funding, support tonight

Oak Ridge City Council

The Oak Ridge City Council has a special meeting tonight to discuss U.S. Department of Energy support and funding. (File photo/August 2013)


The Oak Ridge City Council will discuss U.S. Department of Energy funding and support during a special meeting tonight. It’s described at least in part as an “information-gathering session.”

The special meeting was called by City Council members Trina Baughn and Charlie Hensley. Hensley, in particular, has raised questions about whether DOE is paying its fair share to the city.

Here’s the language outlining tonight’s discussion:

“to discuss and possibly take action on a plan to engage DOE officials with regards to their obligations to the City of Oak Ridge and its citizenry. Let it [the special meeting request] include formally requesting, in writing, a DOE Community Assistance Review as allowed within AECA 1955, PL 84-221, DOE Order 2100.12A, and other supporting legislation, including those self-sufficiency plans dating from 1980 through a Council Resolution and other joint local government collaborative action to include a specific date for a response.”

[Read more...]

CORRE has annual membership meeting on Monday


The Coalition of Oak Ridge Retirees will have its annual meeting at 2 p.m. Monday, October 20, at the Heritage Fellowship Church in Oak Ridge.

CORRE is an organization of retirees that works to improve the welfare of more than 12,000 former employees and surviving spouses of the various managing contractors of U.S. Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge. All retirees, their spouses, and surviving spouses are urged to attend and are encouraged to bring other retirees, a press release said.

CORRE expects about 200-250 retirees and spouses to attend, and invitations have been extended to members of the East Tennessee congressional delegation. [Read more...]

Brown to remain as UPF procurement manager

Rich Brown will remain procurement manager for the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex, UPF Project Director Brian Reilly said last week.

Here is an announcement that Reilly sent to the UPF team on Tuesday, October 7: [Read more...]

Spotlight: Weapons lab directors visit Y-12

Weapons Lab Directors Visit Y-12

From left above are Assembly/Disassembly Operations Manager Reed Mullins, Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal, LLNL Director William Goldstein, LANL Director Charles McMillan, SNL Director Paul Hommert, and NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart. (Photo courtesy CNS)


Laboratory directors from Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory recently visited the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

The group toured facilities at the site, including production buildings and Y-12’s Nuclear Detection and Sensor Testing Center, a press release said.

Pictured above are employees at Y-12; lab directors from SNL, LLNL, and LANL; and the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office.

Iddins promoted to associate director of REAC/TS

Carol Iddins

Carol Iddins

Dr. Carol J. Iddins has been named associate director of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, or REAC/TS. In this position, Iddins will provide management and medical leadership, participate in all aspects of emergency response planning, and manage all professional and technical activities of radiation emergency management and REAC/TS.

Iddins has more than 20 years of experience in civilian and military medicine, with extensive knowledge of nuclear accident response.

Iddins has worked for five years as a staff physician at REAC/TS, serving as a subject matter expert for patients with radiological injuries and illnesses and for disaster medicine readiness, preparedness, and education. [Read more...]

Y-12 to hold emergency management exercise Wednesday

New Hope Center

New Hope Center

New Hope Center to be closed to public until noon

Emergency response personnel from the State of Tennessee and the Y-12 National Security Complex—along with other federal, state and local emergency management personnel—will conduct an emergency management exercise on Wednesday, October 15, at Y-12’s New Hope Center.

Because of the activities associated with the exercise, New Hope Center, located on Scarboro Road, will be closed to the public from 8 a.m. to noon the day of the exercise, and so will East Portal Road from Scarboro Road up to and including Portal 13.

The exercise should be completed by late morning or early afternoon, a press release said. [Read more...]

Presidential museum, Baker Center director featured at AMSE meeting Thursday

Alan Lowe

Alan Lowe

Alan Lowe, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, will be the featured speaker this week in the third of a series of community meetings on the future of the American Museum of Science and Energy.

The community meeting is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, October 9, at AMSE.

Lowe was previously founding director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Thursday’s meeting has been organized by the City of Oak Ridge and the American Museum of Science and Energy Foundation. Lowe’s presentation is titled “The Path Forward for AMSE: Lessons Learned from a Life in Museums.” [Read more...]

Site Specific Advisory Board elects officers for FY 2015

Dave Hemelright

Dave Hemelright

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board elected its Fiscal Year 2015 officers during its September board meeting. Re-elected for second terms are Dave Hemelright, chair, and Lisa Hagy, secretary. Jan Lyons was elected vice-chair. Their terms of service are October 2014 through September 2015.

Hemelright was the vice chair for FY 2013 and served as acting chair for a time when the previous chair’s term of service ended in July 2013. He also has served on the Finance and Process, Environmental Management and Stewardship, Public Outreach, and Executive committees.

Hemelright, who lives in Lenoir City, is the K-12 facilities specialist for Kaatz, Binkley, Jones, and Morris Architects Inc., specializing in Tennessee public school planning, design, and construction. He has 20 years of construction management experience in commercial, retail, and food service construction, and 10 years in maintenance management for retail and K–12 public schools. He currently serves on the board of the Tennessee School Plant Management Association and has served on the Loudon County Planning Commission. [Read more...]

Spotlight: ORAU’s Abelquist authors 2nd edition of ‘Decommissioning Health Physics’

Eric Abelquist

Eric Abelquist

Revised handbook provides experienced guidance on technical issues of radiation decommissioning projects

As one of the original authors of the “Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM),” Oak Ridge Associated Universities Executive Vice President Eric Abelquist released updated information on the cleanup of radioactive sites in the second edition of a new handbook geared toward those involved in characterization or remediation efforts.

Extensively revised and updated, the second edition of “Decommissioning Health Physics: A Handbook for MARSSIM Users” covers release criteria, survey instrumentation, detection sensitivity, statistics, dose modeling, and survey procedures. The handbook is published by CRC Press, a division of the Taylor and Francis Group.

Abelquist served as a member of the multi-agency committee representing the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who produced the MARSSIM to provide guidance to federal agencies, states, site owners, contractors, and other private entities on how to demonstrate that their site is in compliance with a radiation dose or risk-based regulation, otherwise known as a release criterion. [Read more...]