CNS recently hosted the Joint Working Group 39 Manufacturing Practices Lean Summit to grow continuous improvement through a community of sharing and practice. The summit, held at Y‑12, included attendees from each site within the Nuclear Security Enterprise as well as the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment.
“A significant part of our operation is continuous improvement, and we learn from others in the complex,” said Pantex Site Manager Todd Ailes. “The summit has given us an opportunity to share lean strategies to help us continue forward. Our work is about people, core missions, and techniques for continuous improvement.”
Reed Mullins, senior director of Production Operations at Y‑12, said, “We’re coming together as a complex to break out of our silos, to learn from our mistakes, and to look at what did and did not work well. Our goal is to better support our people daily.”
With a nickname like “Wolf,” Neal Wolfenbarger was bound to be a key player in Y-12’s Protective Force Operations. A recent NNSA security award confirms that assessment.
Wolfenbarger was recognized, along with Y-12’s Meghann Parrilla, at a June 7 ceremony at Y-12’s New Hope Center, where they were joined by their families and co workers. Wolfenbarger received the NNSA Security Manager of the Year award, and Parrilla received the NNSA Bradley A. Peterson Contractor Security Professional of the Year award.
NNSA Deputy Associate Administrator for Defense Nuclear Security David B. McDarby presented the awards, telling Parrilla and Wolfenbarger, “For what you have done, thank you, continue to do it, and motivate others to do it.”
Pantex security personnel also received an NNSA award that acknowledged their excellence and dedication to national nuclear security and their contributions to NNSA security programs.
The Pantex Security Posture Change Working Group won the NNSA Security Team or Group Award. Team members included Richard Belott, Randy Boone, Jeff Collins, Dwayne Cunningham, Daniel Holmes, Kirk Kelley, Byron Logan, Dunnigan McWhorter, Matthew Mullins, Jeff Oldham, Mike Stumbo, and Zeb Wilson.
Holmes, part of Pantex Protective Force Operations and Training, said, “Safeguards and Security works tirelessly to protect our Pantex family and assets entrusted to us. Recognition of our efforts to implement a modern protection strategy that helps us complete our mission is very rewarding. Our recognition is only possible because of the many men and women who protect our site day and night. We have amazing people that stand guard in all conditions and all hours no matter what. We would not be able to accomplish anything at Pantex if it wasn’t for their diligence.”
Award presentation arrangements are being made for the Pantex team.
At the Y-12 ceremony, NPO Assistant Manager for Safeguards and Security Arnold Guevara congratulated the recipients and remarked on their commitment to tasks and distinguished efforts.
“Every time I see Meghann and Wolf, I thank them,” Guevara said. “You have got a glow on you now that shines on CNS, DOE, and NPO. This is a milestone for us.”
For Senior Director of Y-12 Safeguards and Security Tom Hayden, the awards confirm CNS’s commitment to excellence.
“I think the award itself signifies excellence in the nuclear security profession and it reinforces what we as a company view as one of our core values,” Hayden said. “It is exciting for the CNS security team to see these talented professionals recognized for their hard work, talent, and commitment to excellence. Each award recipient represents all of us in S&S and we are proud of their accomplishment and the example they set for all of us.”
CNS welcomed 47 summer interns pursuing bachelors’, masters’, and doctoral degrees to Pantex and Y‑12. The students, who will be on site until August, represent 24 universities and have a variety of backgrounds: engineering, chemistry, biology, and physics. Six CNS organizations are hosting the interns, and 21 are part of NNSA’s Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program or other university partnership programs and consortia.
“The intern program at Pantex and Y‑12 helps ensure that the workforce of tomorrow understands the critical role our sites play in global security,” said Nicole Eminger, acting senior manager of Diversity and Talent Management. “These students spend 10 weeks in the program performing important hands‑on work, growing professionally, and getting an idea of how their future careers could look. In addition, they go back to their campuses across the country as advocates, sharing their experiences and the extraordinary work that goes on here.”
Interns will spend 10 weeks at Y‑12 this summer working across various disciplines and building skills for their future careers.
How often do you think about the items you purchase and use daily — everything from paper to coffee to cleaning supplies? Where do they come from? How are they made? Are they good for the environment?
The Department of Energy’s Sustainable Acquisition Program is committed to “green purchasing,” giving preference to products that are energy and water efficient, made from biobased or recycled content, are nontoxic or less toxic than conventional alternatives, release nonozone depleting chemicals, and support the overall use of alternative fuels and fuel efficient products.
A broader focus
Pantex and Y-12 are recognized across the Nuclear Security Enterprise as sustainability champions. Now the company is poised for broader efforts at both sites to evaluate purchases to ensure they meet or exceed federally required sustainability criteria.
“We do a significant amount of recycling our different materials streams to keep them from becoming waste streams,” said Sherith Colverson of Sustainability and Stewardship Programs. “Now, we’re going to take the next step. My focus will be on helping organizations purchase green products to begin with.”
Colverson’s role is to provide oversight and assistance to CNS employees, which includes interpreting and implementing all facets of DOE’s Sustainable Acquisition Program. She will help organizations comply with Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements as well as Executive Order 13834.
“The Sustainable Acquisition Program simply ensures that our federal government leads by example in protecting the health of our shared environment and reducing environmental impact through the purchase of sustainable products, as well as services,” Colverson said. “It is an activity that spans all organizations. It is part of our contracts, cafeteria service, construction and remodeling of buildings, custodial operations, vehicle fleet, grounds and facility maintenance, operations and office environments, and information technology.”
One of the ways CNS can lead by example is by purchasing biobased products. Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials and provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products. Products include lubricants, cleaning agents, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics. Some of these products, such as hand soaps and hand sanitizers, are already used throughout Pantex and Y-12.
“I look forward to learning more about how both sites are operating, building, and providing maintenance with current products,” Colverson said. “I’m here to work with all organizations to find those sustainable and biobased products or services that could potentially help increase efficiency, optimize performance, reduce environmental impacts, and cut costs.”
The NBL Center was officially opened June 11, with about 50 representatives from the Nuclear Security Enterprise and Y‑12 in attendance.
The newly formed NBL Program Office ensures the reliability of the nation’s supply of special nuclear certified reference materials to provide measurement proficiency samples and technical expertise and support to U.S. programs in the areas of nonproliferation, safeguards, and other national security programs.
“This is very important work that helps ensure stability around the globe,” said Morgan Smith, CNS president and chief executive officer. “We envision this new facility operating sort of like an Amazon fulfillment center but for very unique and very small orders of nuclear samples — things you definitely can’t get on Amazon. This small facility footprint and small, as-needed operating crew will reduce the time and cost required for customers to receive radiological materials. New missions don’t come to Y‑12 by chance. They come thanks to our employees’ dedication, expertise, and patriotism in all things uranium established over our proud history of vital nuclear security work.”
The new facility is operational and made its first shipment in April. By the end of FY 2019, the center will house 8800 Certified Reference Materials. The Office of Science funded Y‑12 to establish a new center, and Y‑12 is taking on the storage and distribution mission for the NNSA.
See the opening of the NBL Center video.