National Nuclear Security Administration

Department of Energy's chief risk officer visits Nevada National Security Site

March 10, 2016

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Earlier this month, Associate Deputy Secretary John MacWilliams visited the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) in his role as Chief Risk Officer for the Department of Energy. He reviewed the various ways the NNSS contributes to the department's and NNSA's missions, including radiological detection, emergency management, and stockpile stewardship,

MacWilliams learned about the stockpile stewardship program work at NNSS and other mission work that supports national security. MacWilliams is shown here prior to his visit to one of the facilities that supports that work. From left are Melissa Hunt, NSTec Director Global Security; Raffi Papazian, NSTec Vice President; Kelly Cummins, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary; MacWilliams; Katharine Sartorius, Special Advisor to MacWilliams; Rick Higgs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Ray Phifer, Assistant Manager Safety & Security, Nevada Field Office; and John Mallin, Deputy Assistant Manager Site Operations, NNSA Nevada Field Office.

 Piotr Wasiolek, Aerial Measuring System Section Manager at the NNSS Remote Sensing Laboratory explains how sophisticated pods attached to B-412 helicopter are used to measure radiation during surveys or an actual radiological event. From left, Wasiolek; Melissa Hunt, NSTec Director of Global Security; MacWilliams; Kelly Cummins, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary.

NNSS Fire Chief Charles Fauerbach explains NNSS's fire and rescue capabilities to MacWillams. The NNSS fire department personnel maintain certifications in structural firefighting, wild-land firefighting, and hazardous and radiological responses. In addition, through an agreement with Nye County, Nevada, the fire and rescue team provides support for highway accidents and transfer of patients from rural communities to Las Vegas hospitals. Pictured looking at several pieces of rescue equipment are, from left, Katharine Sartorius, Special Advisor to MacWilliams; Melissa Hunt, NSTec Director of Global Security; MacWilliams and Fauerbach.

Wildland fire response is one of the main certifications firefighters at the NNSS are trained to. From June to September wildland fires are a major concern over NNSS's 1,360 square miles. Here, MacWilliams, left, talks with NNSS fire chief Charles Fauerbach about specialized equipment his team uses. In the background are “pumpkin” (for their color) baskets. These are taken to parts of the site and filled with water. Helicopters will dip large buckets into the baskets and fly to the remote areas to drop water on fires.