NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington spoke today at a side event to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference in Vienna, and much of her talk focused on lessons learned from the July 28, 2012 break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. Here’s a link to a story at World Nuclear News.
According to URS-CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) spokesman Wayne McKinney, the demolition of the old K-31 building will likely begin in early October. That’s in line with earlier reports from DOE’s cleanup manager in Oak Ridge. The contractor has been doing pre-demolition work at K-31 for the past several weeks. Recent photo, above, shows that much of the siding has been removed from the 1.66-million-square-foot building to prepare for demolition. (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)
Jeffrey Johnson, who previously headed the Marine Corps’ civilian law enforcement, has been named chief of defense nuclear security for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He’ll also hold the title of associate administrator for NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Security.
His appointment is effective today, according to info distributed by NNSA. Continue reading
Retired Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar of the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, India, will speak Wednesday (Sept. 24) at the University of Tennessee Institute for Nuclear Security’s meeting. His lecture will be on current security issues in South Asia, according to information distributed by the UT institute. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Baker Center, 1640 Cumberland Ave., in Knoxville.
Thousands of employees at the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plants were informed late last week that the link to the Office of Special Counsel — where whistleblower complaints can be lodged — did not work from the NNSA Production Office “cloud” or from the computer networks at Y-12 and Pantex.
“We have called the IG (Inspector General) office to notify them of the problem,” Lloyd D. Deserisy, the acting deputy manager of the NNSA Production Office, said in the message to employees. The cause of the problem was not immediately clear. Continue reading
The reactor pool at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor at ORNL, where workers are trying to pinpoint a leak. (UCOR photo). Below, inset, is an exterior look at the research reactor, which was shut down in the late 1980s. (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)
Mike Koentop, a spokesman in the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, said a radiation monitor also will be lowered into the pool to better assess conditions and determine the radioactivity of pieces of metal stored there. The assessment could take two to three days to complete, he said.
Koentop said the leak at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor — which has been shut down since the 1980s — has remained consistent since it was discovered more than a week ago. The “seep rate” has been estimated at 100 drops per minute, and workers continue to monitor the leak. Continue reading
The Senate this week confirmed Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall’s nomination as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. She’ll succeed Dan Poneman, who has stated his plans to leave the federal agency in early October.
Here’s what Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said about Sherwood-Randall: Continue reading
Air Force Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Davis has been named the National Nuclear Security Administration’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application — the top military position at the Department of Energy – where he’ll assist Deputy Administrator Don Cook in directing the stockpile stewardship program. Continue reading
Rich Brown, the architect of the procurement strategy and systems for the Uranium Processing Facility and a central force in developing a vendor community for the huge project, is leaving Y-12 for a Bechtel job in the United Kingdom. His departure, which had been rumored for weeks, was confirmed in an announcement this morning from Brian Reilly, the UPF project director for Consolidated Nuclear Security.
As Reilly noted, “For many in the supplier community, Rich has become synonymous with the project.”
Brown will be replaced by Mark Swager as manager of procurement for UPF. According to the announcement, Swager has more than 30 years of experience in supply chain management. Since 2005, he has been the acquisition services manager for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant in Colorado.
Here’s the announcement from Reilly: Continue reading
Sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning something happened in the city-delivered water system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The pressure change resulted in five line ruptures, and lab workers were asked Wednesday to avoid non-essential water use while the lab “valved off” some of the lines and got things back in order. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Energy has reached agreement with its energy-savings contractor to replace the failed Biomass Steam Plant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a new high-efficiency unit fueled by natural gas.
“Our premise was we’ve got to have steam to deliver to the plant, and it was our goal to come up with a solution that was of least cost to the taxpayer,” Moore said in a telephone interview. He said he’s confident that the decision to switch to a natural gas system will prove successful. Continue reading