The Dept. of Energy apparently is being forced to join the Do-More-With-Less Club.
John Shewairy, the agency’s director of public affairs, is getting a second job at the Oak Ridge Operations. Effective immediately, he also is the deputy assistant manager for administration and will assist Dan Wilken with that program.
After Shewairy told me he wasn’t getting a second salary, I wasn’t sure whether to congratulate him or not, but I did anyway.
Here’s a video I did, based on that question, at Monday’s event celebrating the construction of the new storage center for bomb-grade uranium at Y-12.
There are storm clouds hovering, and they’re not just on the horizon. Some of them are directly overhead.
The financial crisis on Wall Street may affect the fabric of everything in this country, and that sure as heck includes the federal institutions, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Y-12, it seems, can crawl or climb under the umbrella of national security, but shockingly enough — despite the known impact on the nation’s economy — science and technology research sometimes get shunted aside during periods of financial difficulty.
Today’s celebration at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant was about completing construction of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, but folks were very much looking ahead to the next big project — the Uranium Processing Facility, a proposed multibillion-dollar production center that would really set up Y-12 for the future.
Nobody got a bigger ovation at the ceremonies than did A.J. Eggenberger, chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, who wholeheartedly endorsed the UPF at Y-12 and urged those folks with any influence to get behind the project.
Dub Shults, left, talk with Shafik Iskander at last week’s meeting.
Dub Shults, ex-director of ORNL’s Analytical Chemistry Division, is the newly elected president of the Coalition of Oak Ridge Retired Employees. The group represents the interests of about 12,000 contractor retirees and surviving spouses.
About 350 people last week attended the group’s annual meeting at Heritage Fellowship Church in Oak Ridge.
The elected officials due to be in Oak Ridge today, including U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, were forced to cancel because of the pending action on the Wall Street bailout legislation. Much of the Tennessee delegation had been expected to attend the event celebrating completion of the new storage complex for weapons-grade uranium at Y-12.
Reinhold Mann is packing his bags again, this time for the trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he’ll join the management team with Battelle Asia for a renewable energy lab just getting starting there. His appointment is effective Nov. 1.
Mann has been a research leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a while, with his tenure at ORNL interupted for a 2001-2003 stint as deputy director for science and technology at Pacific Northwest National Laboraory in Washington state.
Most recently at ORNL, Mann has been associate laboratory director for biological and environmental sciences.
It’s that time of month, also known as First Wednesday,
Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Dept. of Energy contractors will test their emergency systems at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, OaK Ridge National Laboratory and the East Tennessee Technology Park. Folks in the area will hear the screaming sirens.
Darrel Kohlhorst, president and general manager of B&W Technical Services Y-12, will speak Sept. 30 (Tuesday) at the American Museum of Science and Energy. His talk is part of the Dick Smyser Community Lecture Series that’s open to the public.
A reception starts at 6 p.m., followed by Kohlhorst’s presentation at 6:30.
Jim Hack, director of ORNL’s National Center for Computational Sciences, said the 150 cabinets for the Cray XT5 have arrived or will shortly, as well as the AMD quadcore processors, and he’s confident that the lab’s new “Jaguar” will reach petascale status by the end of the year.
“To a large extent, the cabinets have been delivered and assembled,” Hack said. By the way, the cabinet color this time around is GREEN.
U.S. Reps. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, sent letter to NRC asking them to reject the EnergySolutions application to import nuclear waste from Italy. Thomas Burr of the Salt Lake Tribune has the story.
The Dept. of Energy confirmed that the first shipment of TRU waste from Oak Ridge arrived today at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant at 10:37 a.m. Mountain Time. It left Oak Ridge shortly after 9 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday).
Two drivers shared the time behind the wheel on the straight-through trip to New Mexico. Visionary Solutions is handling the transportation.