News

DOE Releases Request for Information/Sources Sought for the SPRU F-Yard Cleanup Services project

DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought for its Separations Process Research Unit (SPRU) F-Yard Cleanup Services project under RFI No. 89303318NEM000006. The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is currently planning for a potential upcoming procurement to perform environmental remediation, waste treatment/waste disposal, soil remediation, and developing a variance petition at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) located in Niskayuna, near Schenectady, NY.

UWF Holds Florida’s First Hacking 4 Defense Course Helps CNS Y-12

University of West Florida undergraduate students are working as teams to come up with solutions to problems critical to national security as part of an eight-week pilot course that launched recently. The class, Hacking for Defense, or H4D, originated at Stanford University in 2016. UWF is the first institution in the state of Florida and one of only 12 universities in the country to offer the course. As part of the course, one student team is working to solve a problem concerning logistical issues at Eglin Air Force Base as it relates to situational awareness and safety at the range. The other team will tackle a potential cybersecurity problem for DOE’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, focusing on how to mitigate insider threats.

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

Recently, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. “As the nation’s largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, with expertise in big data science, advanced algorithms, data analytics and high performance computing, the Department of Energy (DOE) is uniquely equipped to fund robust fundamental research in machine learning,” said Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas), who opened the meeting. Weber noted there are broad applications for machine learning and advanced computing in the DOE mission space, including high energy physics, fusion energy sciences and nuclear weapons development.

DOE Memos: NNSA Considers Taking Over SRS, Relocating Tritium Mission

The NNSA is considering making sweeping changes at the Savannah River Site following a June 7 federal court injunction that further entrenched the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility project. In a June 29 internal memo, ultimately obtained by the Aiken Standard, NNSA chief Lisa Gordon-Hagerty told the Savannah River Field Office manager her agency is commissioning a working group to study several Site-specific shakeups. Those potential changes include the NNSA becoming SRS's "landlord," issuing separate contracts for "all mission related activities" at SRS and relocating the SRS tritium mission, according to the memo.

Making Nuclear Energy Safer and More Affordable

In March 2011, as the disastrous accidents were unfolding at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, Xingang Zhao was contemplating his next steps after completing a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree in energy and environmental engineering at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon, France. Zhao went on to study nuclear engineering at the National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology in France, where he tuned into the details of nuclear technology and the societal implications of nuclear energy development. Now, Zhao is a fourth-year graduate student in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and he is on a quest to revamp nuclear energy safety measures to make nuclear technologies safer and more efficient.

Catalyzing Innovation via Centers, Labs, and Foundries

The cornerstone of collaboration is based on knowledge transfer; sharing of research tools, methodologies and findings; and sometimes combining mutual funding resources to meet shortfalls necessary to build prototypes and commercialize technologies. Collaborations often involve combinations of government, industry and academia who work together to meet difficult challenges and cultivate new ideas. A growing trend for many leading companies is creating technology specific innovation centers, labs, and foundries to accelerate collaboration and invention.

Alexander Appointed to House-Senate Conference on First Three Appropriations Bills

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander released the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appointed Alexander to serve on the House-Senate “Conference Committee” that funds Tennessee priorities including construction of Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga, funding for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex and supercomputing: “I look forward to continuing the good work the Senate and House have done so far to restore regular order to the appropriations process and set priorities with budget limits. These are important bills for Tennesseans...

EM Releases New Site-Specific Infographics on Cleanup Progress

EM recently updated its “By the Numbers” infographics filled with quick and clear metrics demonstrating EM’s cleanup progress. A total of 14 infographics — one for each major cleanup site and EM’s Savannah River National Laboratory — are available on this EM webpage. The easy-to-read, one-page infographics summarize each site’s history before delving into eye-catching statistics. For example, the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management’s infographic points out that crews there prevented 5,000 pounds of mercury from entering the environment.

White House Continues Push for Public-Private Collaboration on AI

The Trump administration wants to leverage a coalition of the public, private and academic sectors to ensure the U.S. has the lead in artificial intelligence development. Michael Kratsios, U.S. deputy CTO and the current de facto head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said that while the administration is pushing for agencies to make AI a priority in their research and development spending, it also wants to partner that with the private sector and academia to help outpace competitors like China on development.

ORAU Honors Penn State Professor with Powe Award

Rebekah Dawson, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State, has been awarded the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The Powe Award program provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty. Recipients of the award, each of whom is in the first two years of a tenure track position, receive a grant to enhance their research during the early stages of their careers.