Our researchers within National Security at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) focus on delivering high-impact, science-based, practical solutions to our clients to prevent and counter acts of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Our world-leading capabilities cross-cut market needs and one of our major strengths is our ability to integrate our research and projects across PNNL and take them to market. We are committed to providing excellent service to our clients to help make our world safe and more secure.
Congratulations to Mark Dillner and Patricia Godoy-Kain, PNNL Sustainability Managers for the Second Line of Defense Program. They received special recognition from DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration for exemplary work in Bulgaria and Argentina. Mark oversaw computer hardware upgrades in seven port and border crossing locations in Bulgaria. At the same time, he coordinated the acceptance test campaign of a new radiation detection system at the Sofia airport. Patricia coordinated and briefed a 10-member Congressional delegation that toured the nuclear detection installation in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
PNNL economic analysis supports U.S. policy change
A PNNL economic analysis on export control was instrumental to a change in U.S. policy that is slated to become law this year. Tom Wood and Chris Toomey analyzed the economic impact of a proposed policy change related to nuclear technology exports. Their customer: DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for reviewing U.S. nuclear technology exports for potential proliferation concerns. Export trade for these kinds of items represents from $2 to $3 billion annually for U.S. industry. Using several nuclear industry forecasts as benchmarks, Tom and Chris showed that a proposed change in country categorization would have an overall positive economic impact for U.S. industry. Economists at the Department of Commerce and the National Security Council agreed with the PNNL analysis and approved the policy change for adoption. In follow-on research, PNNL has begun exploring ways to streamline the NNSA export control review process.
PNNL signs contract for MOX fuel tests
PNNL and Global Nuclear Fuels – America, a subsidiary of General Electric, signed a contract in January 2013 to develop and qualify mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for licensing. Planned MOX fuel tests will generate operating data that Global Nuclear Fuels – America needs to license the MOX fuel design with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for use in boiling water reactors. Obtaining test results on MOX fuel performance is an important step in building a commercial market for MOX fuel in the United States. PNNL manages this work for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
PNNL assists in Sandy recovery
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, flooding and high winds at the Port of New York/New Jersey shut down the terminals and brought trade and transportation to a standstill. Customs and Border Protection and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) reached out to PNNL Radiation Portal Monitor Project staff to assist with the damage assessment and recovery efforts. PNNL’s team worked long hours to identify interim solutions to bring port scanning operations back online and to develop longer-term plans to permanently restore, replace or rebuild the radiation portal monitor systems and supporting infrastructure.
Canopy: Making sense of data
PNNL has developed Canopy, a visual analytic software tool, to help decision makers make sense of massive amounts of data to identify threats and take action. Canopy incorporates cutting-edge extraction techniques, computer vision algorithms, text analysis and interactive visualizations allowing intelligence analysts to quickly explore and comprehend connections within large amounts of data in multiple formats including video, image and text.