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Vol. 55, Special Issue        February 2003
[Sandia National Laboratories]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0165    ||   Livermore, California 94550-0969
Tonopah, Nevada; Nevada Test Site; Amarillo, Texas

Back to Lab News Sandia Labs Accomplishments 2003 index

Energy and critical infrastructures

Sandia is working with industry, academia, and government to establish a national research initiative in solid-state lighting ‹ the Next-Generation Lighting Initiative (NGLI). Solid-state lighting refers to the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) for illumination. LED lighting is as much as 10 times as efficient as incandescent and twice as efficient as fluorescent lamp technologies, while offering greater versatility and longer lifetime. Meeting the goals of the NGLI could reduce the nationšs electricity consumption by 10 percent with significant environmental and economic benefits. James M. Gee, jmgee@sandia.gov

Community-based management of water resources is key to using every drop wisely. We have developed a dynamic simulation model of the hydrology, demography, and economy in the Middle Rio Grande Basin to help stakeholders understand the ramifications of trade-off decisions, from installing low-flow toilets to providing water for endangered species. Our cooperative modeling process bridges the technical demands and capabilities of a rigorous, quantitative model and the collaborative social processes required for community-based management. This process is already contributing to water sustainability in New Mexico and beyond. (6100, 6500, 5300) Erik Webb, ekwebb@sandia.gov

The Telemetry Technology Team demonstrated a wireless instrumentation system, which couples power and data, allowing instrumentation of sealed containment vessels. The power and data are coupled through the container walls via magnetic coupling between concentric coils inside and outside the canister. This technology supports the goal of ensuring safe transportation of nuclear materials and elimination of the costly individual container inspections. Bench testing has demonstrated the feasibility of transferring energy and data through multiple walls of stainless steel and lead. Future development will require high temperature electronics to measure hydrogen content, pressure and temperature, and add electronic identification to each containment vessel. (2600, 6100) Ron Franco, rjfranc@sandia.gov

Sandia scientists have developed hydroxylated polystyrene film dielectrics that have five times the energy density of commercial polymer film dielectrics at fuel cell vehicle operating temperatures. Sandiašs breakthrough, funded by DOEšs Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies, promises to substantially increase the fuel efficiency of fuel cell and electric hybrid vehicles. Enhanced fuel efficiency is a result of improved high-temperature performance and reduced size of DC Bus capacitors, the largest power inverter components. Capacitors have been fabricated in collaboration with TPL, Inc. and Brady Corporation. (1800, 1700) Bruce Tuttle, batuttl@sandia.gov

DOEšs Office of Science has approved construction of a $75 million Nanoscale Science Research Center jointly operated by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. The project will construct a 90,000 sq. ft. core facility on Eubank Blvd. and a 30,000 sq. ft. gateway facility in Los Alamos. State-of-the-art tools and expertise for integrating the world of nanoscale materials and devices with micro and macro technologies will be available to university, industry, and government laboratory researchers. (1040) Terry Michalske, tamicha@sandia.gov

With less budget than most Sandia projects have for travel, a small but dedicated group led by Sandia accomplished what at least three other large companies with tens of millions of dollars could not: demonstrate a commercially viable dish/Stirling system. This first-ever Sandia integrated solar thermal system is the first to ever demonstrate remote, unattended operation, high availability, low operation-and-maintenance cost, and high efficiency. A number of potential customers, including the Navajo Nation, are interested in the system for remote water pumping and village electrification. (6200) Richard Diver, rbdiver@sandia.gov

Russiašs Kurchatov Institute President Evgeny Velikhov spent two days at Sandia, where he was briefed on a variety of nuclear-related technologies. As a result of the visit, scientists at Sandia and the Kurchatov Institute prepared a paper on the global future of nuclear energy. The paper served as a point of departure for policy makers in Russia and the US and resulted in a Summit press release during the Bush-Putin Summit Conference in Moscow in 2002. During the summit, Presidents Bush and Putin established a group to identify areas of potential collaboration on advanced nuclear fuel cycle research and development. The group presented its recommendations within 60 days. Implementation of the recommendations will be in keeping with US nonproliferation goals. Thomas Sanders, tlsande@sandia.gov

To create the nationšs first high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel geologic repository, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act requires a site recommendation from the Energy Secretary, with congressional concurrence and presidential approval. The Secretaryšs site recommendation of Yucca Mountain this past summer could not have gone forward without Sandiašs technical contribution to the site characterization and performance assessment. Sandia directly contributed to a monumental body of work with defensible analyses of site performance, for a decision of national importance affecting America's national and energy security. (6800, 6100) Andrew Orrell, Sorrell@sandia.gov

Because of recent design changes to the repository for Yucca Mountain, a large portion of the underground storage area was moved into a rock unit that previously had not been explored and was found to contain numerous large voids (termed lithophysae). Mechanical data for this rock unit were urgently needed for the design to proceed, presenting a significant testing challenge. We developed a unique approach to the problem, including a field test that mechanically stressed a large tendon of rock between two slots cut in the wall of the tunnel. (6100, 6800) Laurence Costin, lscosti@sandia.gov

Two days after Sept. 11, 2001, a classified assessment of nuclear power plant vulnerability to aircraft threats was conceived and initiated. Less than four months later, a systems assessment of nuclear power plant vulnerabilities was completed. The multicenter, multilab team proactively engaged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to carry out innovative analyses to better understand the consequences of specific terrorist threats on nuclear plants. Two ongoing, plant-specific vulnerability assessments are refining insights gained in the initial study. (6400, 9100, 9200, LANL) Robert D. Waters, rdwater@sandia.gov

The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) has become a key element in the national effort to protect critical infrastructures such as electrical power grids, natural gas and oil systems, telecommunications, etc. NISAC, a Sandia-Los Alamos partnership, was congressionally chartered in the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and is being incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security. NISAC is developing models and simulations of critical infrastructures, their interdependencies, and the downstream consequences of attacks in order to identify and resolve critical vulnerabilities. (6500). Steven Rinaldi, smrinal@sandia.gov

Sandiašs College Cyber Defender Program has successfully created a group of highly qualified cyber security professionals. University students work on research projects and security technologies relevant to Sandiašs mission. For example, participants recently improved a commercial security product through the application of a novel graphical security analysis tool developed in the program. Twenty-two students from 17 universities participated in this summeršs program. This CCD is a Labs-wide program with support from 5000, 6000, and 9000. Robert Hutchinson, rlhutch@sandia.gov

The Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL) was created to assist the development and implementation of distributed energy resources (DER). Energy security is among the benefits that DER offers to the nationšs critical electric power infrastructure. DETL tests microturbine, engine-generator, photovoltaic, fuel cell, and energy-storage technologies both individually and in a collective microgrid. Collaborators include manufacturers, utilities, DOE, DOD, the California Energy Commission, universities, standards organizations, and other national and private laboratories. Sandiašs Advanced Information and Control Systems Dept. 6517 employs DETL in its information security efforts. (6200, 6500, 2500, 10800) Jerry Ginn, jwginn@sandia.gov

In collaboration with Cornell University, the University of Massachusetts, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), we have constructed and demonstrated a new instrument for studying flame chemistry. The ability to detect combustion species without modifying them during the detection is critical. The Advanced Light Source at LBNL provides tunable vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light that permits us to gently ionize large molecules without fragmentation, enabling mass spectrometric detection. Tuning the VUV light enables unique identification of chemical species by ionization energy as well as mass. (8300) Andrew McIlroy, amcilr@sandia.gov

Following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers, Sandia was asked to assess the impact of such a threat on numerous NNSA, DoD and NRC facilities. The assessment team was responsible for developing the methodology to quantify the structural response and consequence of any fires that might ensue. This endeavor brought to bear unique technical expertise, state-of-the-art computational tools, and a unique experimental infrastructure to address a problem of national importance. This clearly exemplifies the uniqueness of the national labs in their ability to respond immediately to a technically challenging problem of national significance. (9100, 9200, 5800, 6400) Jaime Moya, jlmoya@sandia.gov

A 12-year program for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation of Japan was concluded by pressurizing a 1:4-scale model of a pre-stressed concrete containment vessel for a nuclear power plant in Japan to over three times its design pressure before it burst. Sandia installed 1,500 sensors on the model to record the structural response, performed analyses, and conducted several pneumatic pressure tests prior to the final structural failure test. The insights provided will improve confidence in the analytical models used to predict the response of actual containments. (6400) Michael Hessheimer, mfhessh@sandia.gov

The Information Operations Red Team and Assessments (IORTA) program performed numerous cyber system assessments, evaluations, and vulnerability experiments for a broad range of prototype through operational systems. Customers include civilian government agencies, the DoD, industry, and critical infrastructure assets including electricity, communications, water, oil and gas. IORTAšs Red Team component, the Information Design Assurance Red Team (IDART), a 2001 Sandia Gold Presidentšs Quality Award Winner, worked with an industry partner to help protect against industrial espionage and improve the security of manufacturing processes. See www.sandia.gov/iorta/

Purification of our saline water (more than 97 percent of this planetšs water) could provide relief to a growing demand for fresh water that already outstrips supply in many parts of the world. Sandia, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, has taken a two-pronged approach: 1) A desalination R&D roadmap defining a path through the year 2020 that will support solving our water supply-related needs by advancing the state-of-the-art of water desalination; and 2) Design of a research facility in the Tularosa Basin to test and evaluate novel desalination technologies. (6100, 6200, 1000) Thomas Hinkebein, tehinke@sandia.gov

Last modified: March 14 , 2003

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