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					                SRNL’s George

                Page 2
                                 Number 206                                                               April 3, 2006

                                 Z creates temperatures hotter
Research                         than the interiors of stars
                                                                              N.C. base tests SensorNet
Highlights . . .                 The Z machine at DOE's Sandia National
                                 Laboratories has produced plasmas
                                                                              Fort Bragg, a military base in North
                                                                              Carolina, could be the model for the
                                 that exceed temperatures of 2 billion        nation when it comes to protecting the
                                 degrees Kelvin—hotter than the               public through a network that integrates
                                 interiors of stars. "At first, we were       a 911 dispatch system. SensorNet, a
                                 disbelieving," says project lead             collection of systems for the detection,
                                 Chris Deeney. "We repeated the               identification and assessment of
                                 experiment many times to make sure we        chemical, biological, radiological and
                                 had a true result and not an 'Ooops'!"       nuclear threats developed at DOE's Oak
                                 The unexpectedly hot output, if its          Ridge National Laboratory, has been
                                 cause were understood and harnessed,         installed as part of a project with the
                                 could eventually mean that smaller,          Fort Bragg Directorate of Emergency
                                 less costly nuclear fusion plants would      Services. One of the main objectives at
                                 produce the same amount of energy as         Fort Bragg will be to assess and evaluate
                                 larger plants. The very high radiation       chemical, biological, radiological and
                                 output also creates new experimental         nuclear sensors along with
                                 environments to help validate computer       meteorological sensors, intrusion
                                 codes responsible for maintaining a          detectors and access control
                                 reliable nuclear weapons stockpile safely    technologies.
                                 and securely—Z's principal mission.                         [Ron Walli, 965/576-0226,
                                       [Howard Kercheval, 505/844-7842,                      ]
                                              ]   New coating protects steel and
                                 SLAC, Stanford dedicate new                  Researchers at DOE's Pacific Northwest
                                 particle astrophysics building               National Laboratory have developed an
                                 The Fred Kavli Building, in which            economical ceramic-based coating that
                                 scientists will explore unanswered           protects steel and superalloys from
                                 questions in astrophysics and                damage, such as corrosion and
                                 cosmology, was officially dedicated          oxidation, that commonly occurs in gas,
                                 Friday, March 17 at DOE's Stanford           liquid, steam and other hostile
DOE Pulse highlights work
                                 Linear Accelerator Center. The state-of-     environments.The coating consists of a
being done at the Department
                                 the-art building, made possible through      liquid pre-ceramic polymer mixed with
of Energy’s national laborato-
                                 contributions from physicist Fred Kavli      aluminum metal-flake powders to form a
ries. DOE’s laboratories house
                                 and the Kavli Foundation, is the             slurry that can be applied to a metal
world-class facilities where
                                 centerpiece of the Kavli Institute for       object by dipping, painting or air-
more than 30,000 scientists
                                 Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.         spraying. A low-temperature curing
and engineers perform cutting-
                                 Activities in the building will champion     process that uses a commercial
edge research spanning DOE’s
                                 the increasing convergence of particle       Ruthenium-based catalyst enables
science, energy, national
                                 physics-the science of the extremely         polymer cross-linking and dries the
security and environmental
                                 small-and astrophysics-the science of the    slurry to a green state. Heating in air,
quality missions. DOE Pulse
                                 very large. The 25,000-square-foot           nitrogen or argon at 700 to 900 degrees
( is
                                 building includes a high-tech                Celsius creates an aluminum diffusion/
distributed every two weeks.
                                 auditorium, conference rooms, work           reaction layer that becomes an integral
For more information, please
                                 space for 90 people and stunning views       part of the steel. The resulting surface
contact Jeff Sherwood
                                 of Stanford University and the bay.          won't scratch or chip.
                                                [Neil Calder, 650/926-8707,             [Judith Graybeal, 509-375-4351,
                                   ]                 ]
Stardust arrives for X-ray                                      SRNL RESEARCHER LAUDED FOR
analysis                                                              MULTIPLE ACHIEVEMENTS

            hey came from outer space. And now,
            particles of comet dust that traveled from          The Citizens for Nuclear
            the far reaches of the solar system are        Technology Awareness, a South
traveling the U.S., including a stop at the Advanced       Carolina-Georgia based group
Photon Source at Argonne.                                  that provides information about
     The particles—so tiny that several fit across the     the benefits and risks of nuclear
width of a human hair—are the first pieces of a            technologies, has honored Dr.
comet to have ever been plucked from outer space           George Wicks, of DOE's Savannah
and returned to Earth. The collection was part of          River National Laboratory, for his
NASA's Stardust mission, which collected dust and          30 years of contributions in
carbon-based samples during its closest encounter          multiple fields related to materials
                                                                                                     George Wicks
with Comet Wild 2.                                         science, spanning areas that
     Four of                                               include waste management, environmental
those samples                                              remediation, sensor development, material corrosion,
recently spent                                             hydrogen storage, weapons dismantlement, reactor
a few days at                                              operations, and hybrid microwave technology. CNTA
Argonne, and                                               presented Dr. Wicks their Fred C. Davison
almost that                                                Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award.
entire time                                                     He is best known for his research and leadership
they were                                                  in developing and understanding processes, systems,
bombarded by                                               and procedures for immobilizing and disposing of
the high-                                                  potentially hazardous nuclear waste. Among his early
precision APS                                              contributions was the development of the first slurry
                   George Flynn of SUNY Plattsburgh        feeding system for vitrification of the Savannah River
X-ray beams
                   displays a sample from the Stardust     Site's high-level radioactive waste, an innovation that
to help
                   mission, analyzed at the Advanced       saved many millions of dollars.
                   Photon Source at Argonne.                    Internationally, he serves on advisory panels for
their chemical
makeup.                                                    the CEA of France and the European Commission, and
     "Comets form far out in the solar system,"            is well-known for his work in programs involving the
explained researcher George Flynn of State University      burial of glass samples for testing and analysis to
of New York Plattsburgh who is working on the              increase understanding of the performance and
project with researchers from the University of            durability of the glasses used for disposal of nuclear
Chicago. "They have trapped original parts of the          waste. Most recently, he developed and coordinated
solar system in ice for four and a half billion years.     the first major international in-situ testing program
We have material that we think is the original dust        conducted in the U.S. involving burial of simulated
that the solar system formed from. And if we want to       nuclear waste systems and participation of seven
understand the Earth, we need to understand what           countries.
it's made of.”                                                  In recent years, he has concentrated much of his
     Prior to landing at Argonne, the samples were         effort on “dual-use” technologies, which take SRNL's
analyzed at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence          areas of expertise, initially developed over decades of
Berkeley National Laboratory and the National              support for the Savannah River Site, and apply them
Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National            in a variety of new fields. Of particular interest to him
Laboratory. Using the APS, the samples can be              is his work to foster collaborations between SRNL and
studied at much higher energies allowing researchers       the medical field to apply SRNL technologies to
to detect heavier elements and map the samples at          medical uses.
smaller scales.                                                 Dr. Wicks has authored or co-authored more than
     After the particles are extracted from the aerogel,   150 publications, including four books and eight
some will return to Argonne, where researchers will        chapters in text or reference books including two
examine individual minerals in the particles at the        encyclopedias, chaired or co-chaired eight
submicron scale.                                           international symposia or workshops, and earned 14
     Once all research is finished, the samples will be    patents.
housed at the Johnson Space Center and will remain
available for researchers.                                                    Submitted by DOE’s Savannah River
                                                                                            National Laboratory
   Submitted by DOE's Argonne National Laboratory