Monthly Archives: January 2016

UT, ORNL to participate in NNSA-funded research

The National Nuclear Security Administration this week announced a grant award of $25 million to a consortium led by the University of California at Berkeley to pursue research and development in nuclear science and security.

Other members of the consortium includes the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Michigan State University; the University of California, Davis; the University of California, Irvine; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; George Washington University; and Texas A&M University. Continue reading

Public meeting on Manhattan Project Park

graphitereactor.jpgThe National Park Service and the Department of Energy will hold a public meeting in Oak Ridge on Monday (Feb. 1) to get input on planning for the Manhattan Project National HIstorical Park. The public meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Food Court of Oak Ridge High School.

Oak Ridge is one of three Manhattan Project sites hosting the national park, and public meetings will be held later this month at the other sites, Hanford, Wash., and Los Alamos, N.M. Continue reading

Klotz provides update to DNFSB on Y-12 project

klotz1In a Jan. 7 letter to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz provided an update on the Electrorefining Project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and how the project is addressing issues/concerns raised by the safety board last October.

The Electrorefining Project is supposed to replace some of the uranium recovery processes currently carried out in the aged 9212 complex at the Oak Ridge plant. The NNSA is trying to get out of 9212 as soon as possible because of its deteriorated condition. Continue reading

Aide to Rep. Fleischmann departing

Tyler Threadgill, communications director for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn. whose district includes Oak Ridge, is leaving the staff at week’s end to join Mercury, a public strategy firm. “It has been a privilege to work for Rep. Fleischmann over the last four years and as an East Tennessee native it’s been particularly rewarding to work for the great 3rd District,” Threadgill said in a statement distributed to members of the news media. According to the statement, Conner Ingram will serve as communications contact on a temporary basis.

NRC cites Y-12 for uranium export violation

y12overviewThe U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a notice of violation to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant for shipping Canadian-origin enriched uranium to Jamaica for use in a reactor there.

According to the notice, Y-12 is not allowed to export non-U.S. nuclear materials unless specifically requested in advance and authorized by the NRC.

In this case, Y-12 apparently did not have the advance approval of the NRC or permission from the government of Canada. Continue reading

Bald eagles on DOE’s Oak Ridge Reservation

2012-P01070A bald eagle nest was photographed on the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation in April 2011. (ORNL photo/Jason Richards)

The bald eagle, the national bird of the United States and a magnificent bird of prey that for decades held a sacred spot on the endangered species list (it was taken off the list in 2007), has a presence on the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation.

Or at least that’s presumed to be the case, based on documentation by scientists in the past few years and a sighting as recent as a week ago.

Kelly Roy, an environmental scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and wildlife management coordinator for the reservation, said he spotted a bald eagle near White Oak Lake last week. Continue reading

Omega gets Defense Dept. contract

Omega Consultants, Inc., a woman-owned small business in Oak Ridge, was among 17 companies — 10 small businesses, 7 large — that were selected for awards from the Department of Defense via the U.S. Army’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.

According to information released by the company, the overall Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract has a spending cap of $900 million over the next few years, and it’s not yet clear how much of that work Omega — doing business as Omega Technical Services — will acquire under the program. Continue reading

The war to end all wars was over, and it was time to drink beer and stack the cans

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The date was Oct. 11, 1946, a year after the atomic bombs were dropped and the war was won, and the Oak Ridge mood was pretty relaxed. M.P.’s were putting nickels in the juke box in the Club Room, drinking beers and stacking the cans as high they could get them. (Department of Energy archives/Ed Westcott photo)