The National Nuclear Security Administration has postponed its decision on whether to meld the tritium operations at Savannah River into the combined Y-12/Pantex management contract held by Consolidated Nuclear Security.
The decision had been expected sometime this spring or summer, roughly a year after the CNS startup and in time for a possible transition into the start of FY 2016, but now it’s not expected until sometime next year. NNSA spokeswoman Shelley Laver was not specific, saying there is “no specific date to revisit the decision.” Continue reading
Grant winners from left are Christian Engelmann, Cory Hauck, Katharine Page and Chad Parish. (ORNL photos)
Four researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will receive at least $500K a year a year for the next five years as part of a Department of Energy program to boost the work of scientists and engineers early in their careers. All told, 44 scientists across the U.S. received the early-career grants.
Here are the four from ORNL: Continue reading
Terry Hazen, who holds the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology, has been named directcor of the UT Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment. The announcement is posted at Tennessee Today.
The Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General released a couple of reports this week. An audit report on DOE management of spare parts at selected sites including a review of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The IG said spare parts are of critical importance at high-hazard nuclear facilities because they ensure continuity of operations.
“Although Oak Ridge National Laboratory appropriately managed spare parts in its nuclear facilities, it did not track all spare parts inventories for non-nuclear applications,” the report stated. Continue reading
John Eschenberg, who earlier announced he would be stepping down as federal project director of the Uranium Processing Facility and retiring from federal service, today acknowledged he will be joining PricewaterhouseCoopers. Continue reading
William J. Broad has a story in The New York Times about Sister Megan Rice and her thoughts and plans following her recent release from federal prison. Continue reading
There’s apparently no major news to report at this point, but Clarence Rashada, president of the Metal Trades Council at the Pantex warhead assembly/disassembly plant, said talks with the government’s contractor are continuing.
“We’re just continuing to negotiate at the table,” Rashada said this morning. The existing labor contract expired at Pantex in February and talks with Consolidated Nuclear Security have continued since then.
The Metal Trades Council represents about 1,200 hourly workers at Pantex. Continue reading
The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced that it had helped the Republic of Armenia to safely and securely remove three “unused radioactive sources” from two locations in Armenia. Continue reading
The folks at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant are mighty particular when measuring quantities of bomb-grade uranium, tracking the material virtually down to the atom to make sure that even the smallest amounts aren’t lost or diverted.
Therefore, it must have been a big surprise last month when a Y-12 engineer determined that a uranium bomb part had gained weight during a machining operation. Continue reading
Aerial view of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, looking west. (ORNL photo)
Earlier this year, I reported that China had once again topped the list of foreigner visits to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2014, and I provided the total visit number for the other countries in the Top 10.
Below is a complete list of the 2014 visits by country, from Albania to Zambia, with a total of 110 countries represented (although some of the countries with approved visits don’t have numbers that show up on this list of actual visits). Continue reading
A June 11 community lecture in Oak Ridge will feature Dr. Tamara Vern-Goss, radiation oncologist, and Marc Blakely, medical physicist, of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy. Their lecture sponsored by Friends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be titled, “Theory and Application of Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatment.” The event is free and open to the public, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and lecture at 6:30. It will be held at the American Museum of Science & Energy, 300 S. Tulane Ave.
As shown in this May 20 photograph, the demolition of K-31 — a former uranium-enrichment facililty — is entering its final stages. URS-CH2M Oak Ridge, the Department of Energy’s cleanup manager, is planning an event for late June to celebrate the conclusion of the project. After K-31 is a done deal, only K-27 will remain of the major production facilities at the Oak Ridge site. DOE photo/Lynn Freeny.
It seems like I’ve been hearing more grumbling lately from local companies who do business with the Department of Energy or aspire to be a DOE contractor.