Y-12 employee-led Help to the Smokies team still going strong

Y-12 Employees Help the Smokies

Y-12’s Help to the Smokies employee-led team volunteered at a Great Smoky Mountains National Park cleanup event on Nov. 8. The team contributed 154 hours in restoration and enhancement activities during the event. (Submitted photo)


Note: This story was updated at 10:40 a.m. Nov. 26.

Y-12’s employee-led Help to the Smokies team tacked another 154 hours onto their already massive volunteer service record at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during their annual volunteer work day on November 8. Since its start, the volunteer team has contributed about 14,000 hours in the Park.

Some 22 volunteers assisted park staff in maintenance and refurbishment of Loop B campsites at the Cosby Campground. The volunteer team performed general restoration activities for 31 individual campsites. These activities included elevating, leveling, and resetting 31 picnic tables, distributing and applying 85 tons of gravel covering to 26 campsites, and leveling selected camp fire rings. [Read more…]

Oneida man gets three-month prison sentence for plot to extort B&W Y-12

Y-12 Aerial Photo June 2012

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is pictured above in June 2012. (Photo courtesy NNSA)


A 25-year-old Scott County man was sentenced to serve three months in prison on Monday after he pleaded guilty in July to charges that he tried to extort Babcock and Wilcox Y-12 LLC, the former managing and operating contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

Adam Winters, 25, of Oneida received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Monday, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a press release. After he is released from prison, Winters will be supervised for one year by U.S. Probation.

Killian said Winters, who had appeared on the television reality show “The Millionaire Matchmaker” in February, pleaded guilty in July to transmitting communications containing threats to injure the reputation of B&W Y-12 in interstate and foreign commerce, with intent to extort money and other things of value from the corporation. Winters admitted that he emailed Babcock and Wilcox and attempted to email the vice president of the United States regarding copies of slides that he possessed that contained information he believed would injure the reputation of Babcock and Wilcox. That May 8 email reportedly referred to slides of evidence from nuclear testing. [Read more…]

2014 Election: Interest in mayor position, mall redevelopment, better ties with BOE

Oak Ridge City Council Candidate Forum

Nine of the 10 Oak Ridge City Council candidates are pictured above. From right, they are Kelly Callison, Rick Chinn, incumbent Anne Garcia Garland, Warren Gooch, Gary Love, incumbent David Mosby, Pedro Otaduy, former Council member Ellen Smith, and Eric Tobler. Not pictured is Aditya “Doc” Savara.


A majority of the Oak Ridge City Council candidates said they would consider running for mayor or vice mayor if elected on Tuesday, and almost all supported the incentives recommended for the proposed redevelopers of the former Oak Ridge Mall.

The candidates were mixed on whether to bring back red-light cameras, and most seemed to think the city’s property tax rate is about right, in light of current budget needs.

Asked to grade the current Council as leaders, the candidates handed out grades ranging from “A” to “F.”

In a series of recent forums, the candidates generally advocated for better communication between the City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education and, for the most part, seemed to be in favor of taking over Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge, although their approvals would hinge on factors such as cost and property restrictions.

There are 10 candidates running for four seats on the seven-member Council in Tuesday’s election. Two of the incumbents—Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby—are seeking re-election—and two others—Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller—are not.

Many consider it a critical election, with a business boom under way and major projects on the horizon, including the proposed redevelopment of the mall and the planned $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex.

The new Council is expected to elect a new mayor and mayor pro tem (like a vice mayor) during its next meeting after Tuesday’s election.

Here is a look at some of what the candidates said during the recent forums. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

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.

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…]

Y-12 employees recognized for excellence in nuclear weapons program

NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence Penny Cunningham

Defense Programs 2013 Award of Excellence recipient Penny Cunningham, left, receives congratulations from Jim Haynes, CNS president and chief executive officer; Tim Driscoll, NNSA uranium program manager, and Mark Padilla, NNSA Production Office’s assistant manager for programs and projects. Thirteen teams at Y-12 received DP Awards of Excellence for 2013 at an annual ceremony held recently at the New Hope Center. (Photos courtesy CNS)


Thirteen teams at the Y-12 National Security Complex received Defense Programs Awards of Excellence from the National Nuclear Security Administration at an annual ceremony held recently at the New Hope Center.

A total of 209 recipients were recognized, with several participating on more than one team. In total, 235 awards were presented for significant achievements in 2013.

NNSA’s newly appointed Uranium Program Manager Tim Driscoll gave the keynote address.

“I’m here today as a patriot, a citizen, a father, a friend to some of you, and as a customer,” Driscoll said. ”These awards are a testament to the good work that goes on here every day at every level. They’re a testament to the loyalty and dedication of all those involved.”

Mark Padilla, the NNSA Production Office’s assistant manager for programs and projects, and Jim Haynes, CNS president and chief executive officer, joined Driscoll in presenting the awards. [Read more…]

The ABCs of giving—Y-12 donates school supplies to ADFAC

Y-12 School Supplies Donated to ADFAC

CNS Security Police Officer John Fellers, left, and Y-12 Site Manager Bill Tindal deliver school supplies to the Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties office. (Submitted photo)


Y‑12 National Security Complex employees donated more than $2,000 and numerous school supplies to ensure students in need are starting the school year with what they need. Working with Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, or ADFAC, employees donated money along with some 144 wide-ruled notebooks, 132 packs of crayons, 111 packs of pencils, 80 packs of paper, and 66 packs of glue sticks.

“Employees once again shared their giving spirit with those in our communities,” Y‑12 United Way Chair Yvonne Bishop said.

While the event precedes the site’s formal United Way campaign kickoff, Bishop said site employees always are ready to respond. ADFAC volunteers use the donations to provide backpacks and school supplies to fulfill more than 7,000 requests for assistance. [Read more…]

Demolition of Building 9744 completed at Y-12

Y-12 Building 9744 Demolition

The Y-12 National Security Complex completed the demolition of Building 9744 this week. The facility was a deteriorated, former utilities and maintenance facility taking up more than 9,000 square feet in Y-12’s high-security area. Despite challenges, the CNS demolition team was able to bring down the facility nearly two months ahead of schedule. (Photo courtesy NNSA)


The Y-12 National Security Complex recently celebrated another improvement in its site infrastructure with the demolition of Building 9744, a former utilities and maintenance facility occupying more than 9,000 square feet in Y-12’s Protected Area.

“This facility was in danger of collapse and posed a risk to the site’s personnel and operations,” said James McConnell, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s acting associate administrator for infrastructure and operations. “Upon realization of this risk, we were able to secure funding to stabilize the area from both a safety and environmental perspective.

The demolition proved challenging due to the deteriorating facility conditions, precluding the standard approach of entering the facility to abate hazards and remove hazardous waste prior to the structural demolition. Despite structural issues and associated waste disposal concerns, the facility was safely demolished nearly two months ahead of schedule. The demolition team collaborated with several internal and external organizations to accomplish the aggressive schedule in accordance with environmental and safety standards. [Read more…]

Photos: Remembering fallen heroes of Sept. 11, 2001

Sept. 11, 2014 Ceremony with Firefighter at Y-12

Y-12 photo courtesy Consolidated Nuclear Security


Area firefighters, police officers, Oak Ridge school students and staff, and others came together on Thursday to remember and honor the fallen heroes of September 11, 2001. There were ceremonies at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge High School.

The firefighters were at Y-12 this week for their annual Fire Officer Conference, held in conjunction with Safety Fest.

The ceremony at Oak Ridge High School included students and staff, and the Oak Ridge police and fire departments. [Read more…]