Sandia LabNews

Four individuals, seven teams receive DOE weapons awards


Four Sandia individuals and seven teams have been honored with DOE Weapons Recognition of Excellence Awards.The awards program was created in the early1980s to give special recognition to those people directly associated with the stockpile modernization program. Recipients have made significant achievements in quality, productivity, cost savings,safety, or creativity in support of the weapons pro-gram. The new awards honor work done in 1999.Individuals receiving awards are Vernon Willan (2167), Stuart Kupferman (2542), MelSalazar (2542), and Don Bohrer (2200). Team awards went to the W76/Mk4 Dual Revalidation Team; W76 Phase 6.2/6.2A Life Extension Study Team; Modular Telemetry Project Team; H-Gear Safety Project; ACRR Pulse Mode Preparation for Defense Programs Tests Team; MC3323A Thermal

Battery Team; and Pantex Process Model Team.

Here is information on the individual winners:

Vernon Willan

Vernon was recognized for“Exemplary Weapon Systems Programmatic and Technical Leadership and Dedication to Providing Exceptional Quality Work.” He is the former system project lead for the B61Radar Nose Project (ALT 350) where he was responsible for providing programmatic and technical leadership to ensure that performance, cost, and schedule requirements are met. His nomination calls him “a leader in changing the way Sandia accomplishes weapon development.”

Stuart Kupferman and Mel Salazar

Stuart and Mel were recognized for “Development of State-of-the Art Portable DC Voltage Standard for the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex.” The standard is functionally similar to a larger and earlier quantum mechanical standard, but has the advantage of being smaller, less complex, and shippable.

Don Bohrer

Don has been recognized for “40 years of Notable Dedication and Service in the Weapons Program.” He has demonstrated exceptional performance and dedication in almost all aspects of the weapons program, including component design, systems engineering, and program management. He was instrumental in the development ofW45, W58, W68, W71, W79 and W82. Prior to his retirement in March, he was program manager for stockpile engineering at Sandia for seven years.

Here is information on the team winners:

W76/Mk4 Dual Revalidation Team

The W76-0/Mk4 engineering team completed the first Dual Revalidation (DREV) Project that revalidated the W76-0/Mk4 warhead against revised military characteristics and stockpile-to-tar-get sequence requirements. It assessed the ability of the W76-0/Mk4 to continue meeting safety, reliability, and performance requirements. As part of the project, the team established a modern base-line of engineering information about the W76-0/Mk4, increasing knowledge of the system for DOE and Department of Defense engineers and scientists who provide stockpile stewardship.

W76 Phase 6.2/6.2A Life Extension Study Team

The W76-1 engineering team completed the first Phase 6.2/6.2A Life Extension Study on schedule. A unique aspect of the study was the Navy and DOE customer focus on aggressive cost reduction and management using cost as an independent variable. The study team also generated surety themes and technology options to provide nuclear safety and control enhancements.

Modular Telemetry Project Team

The Modular Telemetry Project team created a process to significantly reduce the time required to develop customized electronic printed wiring assemblies for the next generation of DOE weapon flight test telemetry systems. This process involves development of a set of virtual “circuit modules”that are designed, simulated, and prototyped to verify functionality and reliability.

H-gear Safety Project

The H-gear Safety Project was established to ensure that fielded H-gear (bomb handling equipment) is adequate, safe to use, meets modern standards, and is properly maintained. To accomplish this task, the team created a priority list of all the fielded H-gear designs. The team dis-covered in doing reviews that several H-gear designs were not properly cared for and may have allowed parts of questionable quality to be assembled infield equipment. Corrective measures were then taken to ensure that the H-gear met standards.

ACRR Pulse Mode Preparation forDefense Programs Tests

The mission of the ACRR Pulse Mode Preparation Project was to reestablish the capability to perform environment certification neutron testing for the stockpile. The project required an aggressive schedule of parallel activities in order to complete all necessary facility modifications while meeting all nuclear facility regulatory and operational requirements. The team successfully achieved the conversion of the Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR) to pulse operations and completed the first series of Defense Program systems tests, meeting the DOE commitment to the Navy.

MC3323A Thermal Battery Team

The Thermal Battery Team was tasked with solving a major design problem and producing theMC3323A thermal battery while meeting stringent requirements with an urgent delivery date. In addition, the battery vendor was moving its plant to anew location and, due to unanticipated delays,could not produce the batteries in its facility and meet the delivery schedule. The team demonstrated remarkable creativity in overcoming all these obstacles. Foremost, the team brought some of the vendor’s highly trained production technicians to Sandia’s battery labs to assist staff and technicians in the production effort. The team met all requirements and delivered batteries ahead of schedule and under budget.

Pantex Process Model

A team composed of Pantex personnel, Sandia staff, and professors from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a decision-support tool, the Pantex Process Model, to sup-port production planning and scheduling, to make firm workload commitments, and to reply rapidly and accurately to “what if” questions from its customers. It provides timely, credible planning information needed to support national strategic weapons decisions by the highest levels of the federal government.