NNSA to conduct radiation assessments for Boston Marathon race route

October 7, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

Low-altitude radiation survey flights over downtown Boston and the Boston Marathon race route will take place from Friday, October 8, through Monday, October 11, by a team from the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The surveys to be done using the NNSA’s Aerial Measuring System (AMS) are what the agency calls “a normal part of security and emergency preparedness activities.”

More information and video footage of the NNSA’s aerial assessments are available online.

Nevada’s legacy nuclear propulsion facilities slated for demolition

September 15, 2021, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
An archive photo of the Nevada National Security Site’s Test Cell C complex, which is being prepared for demolition and closure. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy is preparing to demolish two large, complex facilities at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site with ties to historical nuclear propulsion rocket development and testing programs. The DOE’s Environmental Management (EM) Nevada Program and its environmental program services contractor, Navarro Research and Engineering, have begun characterization and hazard reduction work on the site’s Engine Maintenance, Assembly, and Disassembly (EMAD) and Test Cell C (TCC) complexes.

New maintenance process reduces worker dose at Savannah River tritium facility

September 9, 2021, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Operators disassemble a cutter head inside a module at the Savannah River's Tritium Extraction Facility using manipulators and hand tools. (Photo: SRNS)

Using basic hand tools and remote manipulators, operators at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) were able to reduce radiation exposure to workers performing cutter head maintenance in the Savannah River Site’s Tritium Extraction Facility (TEF).

According to SRNS, the innovative procedure proved to be an excellent example of real-world application of As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principles of time, distance, and shielding.

NNSA launches radiological security initiative in 100 U.S. cities

September 2, 2021, 12:01PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has launched a radiological security project known as the RadSecure 100 Initiative. The initiative will focus on removing radioactive material from facilities (where feasible) and improving security at the remaining facilities located in 100 metropolitan areas throughout the United States. It includes a partnership with local law enforcement.

The initiative is being announced this week by the NNSA during the National Homeland Security Conference in Las Vegas.

A list of the 100 U.S. cities where the initiative will be enacted is available online.

NorthStar awarded $37 million for Mo-99 production

August 30, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News
NorthStar’s RadioGenix system produces the medical radioisope Mo-99 without the use of uranium. (Photo: NorthStar)

NorthStar Medical Technologies of Beloit, Wis., will receive $37 million under two cooperative agreements with the National Nuclear Security Administration for the production of molybdenum-99 without the use of high-enriched uranium. Considered a critical medical radioisotope, Mo-99 is used in more than 40,000 medical procedures in the United States each day, including the diagnosis of heart disease and cancer.

Former NNSA chief joins Westinghouse

August 25, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News


Westinghouse Electric Company has appointed Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, to the board of directors for Westinghouse Government Services (WGS), the company announced yesterday. WGS is the delivery platform for Westinghouse’s nuclear technologies and services for government programs globally.

As the lead director for strategic programs at WGS, Gordon-Hagerty will help the company with continued strategy and development of programs to support Department of Energy and Department of Defense nuclear decommissioning, security, and energy goals, according to the announcement.

U.S. Nuclear Nexus created to guide exporters of advanced nuclear technology

August 23, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

Companies, universities, and national laboratories across the United States are working together to develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear technologies. To deploy those technologies on a global scale and maximize U.S. efforts to combat climate change, technology developers eyeing the export market must navigate rules and recommendations designed to ensure that international safeguards, security, and nonproliferation standards are met. Understanding and, where appropriate, integrating these standards early in the development process is crucial for streamlining export and technology deployment.

National Ignition Facility experiment achieves record-breaking yield

August 18, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
A color-enhanced photograph of the NIF target bay. (Photo: LLNL/Damien Jemison)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is celebrating the yield from an experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) of more than 1.3 megajoules of energy—eight times more than the yield from experiments conducted this spring and 25 times more than NIF’s 2018 record yield.

DOE seeking comments on domestic uranium reserve program

August 13, 2021, 6:14AMNuclear News
[Image: U.S. DOE]

The Department of Energy has issued a request for information (RFI), inviting public comment on topics related to the establishment of its Uranium Reserve Program to support U.S. fuel cycle capabilities. Notice of the RFI was published in the August 11 Federal Register, with a deadline of September 10 for submitting comments.

Corey Hinderstein nominated for NNSA nonproliferation post

August 5, 2021, 3:01PMNuclear News


President Biden has nominated Corey Hinderstein, ANS member since 2016, for deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Hinderstein is vice president of international fuel cycle strategies at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, based in Washington, D.C. Her focus is on international nuclear fuel cycle and nonproliferation policy, global nuclear security, and arms control and nonproliferation monitoring and verification.

University students explore nuclear nonproliferation with LANL experts

August 2, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News
Left: The University of Texas at Austin SBD Challenge team: from left, Michael Butero, Matthew Frangos, Daniel Gutierrez, and John (Jack) Whelan. Right: The University of Rhode Island team: from left, Jay Macchia, Sean Babin, and Peter Tillinghast. (Photo: NNSA)

The National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control has been partnering with national laboratories and universities to introduce engineering students to the field of international safeguards. Safeguards ensure that nuclear material and facilities are not used to illicitly manufacture nuclear weapons, the NNSA noted in a July 27 article.

DOE puts $9.35 million toward high-energy-density plasma research

July 29, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News
Invisible infrared light from the 200-trillion-watt Trident Laser at Los Alamos National Laboratory interacts with a 1-micrometer thick foil target (in the center of the photo) to generate a high-energy-density plasma. (Photo: Joseph Cowan and Kirk Flippo, LANL)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE-SC) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) on July 27 announced $9.35 million for 21 research projects in high-energy-density laboratory plasmas. High-energy-density (HED) plasma research, originally developed to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program, has applications in astrophysics, fusion power plant development, medicine, nuclear and particle physics, and radioisotope production.

Hruby sworn in as NNSA administrator

July 27, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News
Jill Hruby, joined by her husband, Stewart Griffiths, is sworn in as the Department of Energy’s under secretary for Nuclear Security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. (Photo: NNSA)

Jill Hruby was sworn in by energy secretary Jennifer Granholm on July 26 as the Department of Energy’s undersecretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. Hruby was nominated for the position by President Biden on April 14.

Mapping the scattered family tree of fission neutrons

July 20, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
Nicholas Thompson of LANL helps set up the neutron clustering measurements at the Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Schenectady, NY. (Photo: LANL)

A statistically predicted tendency for neutrons produced inside fission reactors to form in clusters can cause asymmetrical energy production that is counterbalanced, at least in part, by the spontaneous fission of radioactive material in the reactor.

Researchers share their cutting-edge work in AI for national security

July 15, 2021, 12:06PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Within the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (DNN R&D) is leading efforts to drive advances in artificial intelligence and accelerate the adoption of AI-enabled technologies to solve nuclear nonproliferation and national security challenges.

The goal is to incorporate AI into advanced techniques for detecting nuclear weapons and materials. According to the NNSA, these detection capabilities support the nuclear nonproliferation and arms control goals of the United States, while also driving the development of new capabilities.

NNSA to host virtual job fair

June 17, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

A virtual job fair for the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE) is being held on Wednesday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). The job fair will be hosted by the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration.

The NSE is looking for the next generation of nuclear security professionals and is planning to hire more than 2,500 new employees in 2021.

Interested candidates are encouraged to register online for the event.

DOE finishes demolition of Biology Complex at Y-12 site

June 11, 2021, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Demolition of the last of 11 structures at the former Y-12 Biology Complex at Oak Ridge was completed in June, and the removal of the building’s slab foundation is scheduled to be completed this fall. (Photo: DOE)

Crews with the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) have completed the demolition of Building 9207, the largest and final building at the former Biology Complex at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the DOE announced this week. Removal of the massive six-story, 255,000-square-foot building ushers in a new chapter of transformation at Y-12, the DOE said.

Biden administration’s proposed FY 2022 budget supports nuclear

June 3, 2021, 3:02PMNuclear News

The Biden administration’s fiscal year 2022 budget sent to Congress last week would, according to the Department of Energy, move the United States toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The FY 2022 budget request includes $1.85 billion for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

“President Biden’s budget request puts America in the driver's seat as we transition toward a 100 percent clean energy economy,” said secretary of energy Jennifer Granholm on May 28. “These investments will ensure the U.S. is the global leader in research, development, and deployment of critical energy technologies to combat the climate crisis, create good-paying union jobs, and strengthen our communities in all pockets of America.”

Accelerators delivered to NorthStar medical isotope facility

April 27, 2021, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
NorthStar is capable of producing Mo-99 using non-uranium-based processes. Photo: NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes

Completing a 5,700-mile journey from Belgium, two 24-ton particle accelerators were delivered to NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes’ facility in Beloit, Wis., on April 22, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Photos and a video of the accelerators being received at the facility are included in the report.

Shrinking Y-12 will facilitate cleanup, reduce costs, DOE says

April 16, 2021, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Federal and contractor officials participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the WEPAR project on April 7 at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. Photo: DOE

A project to reduce by approximately half the high-security protected area at the Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., will avoid millions of dollars in costs and accelerate cleanup, the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) announced.