July 8, 2020
Staff Accomplishment

PNNL Team Receives National Nuclear Security Administration Award

Work on shipping container certification leads to third award of excellence in five years

Shipping Container 9977 Package

The 9977 Shipping Package.

A strong interdisciplinary team with a high-performance track record recently received their third Award of Excellence in five years from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations recognized the PNNL team supporting the Certification of the 9977 Package with Dual 3013 Pu Metal Content project for their work in fiscal year 2019.

“We have a very strong interdisciplinary team with good professional relations and a great work ethic,” said Diana Love, project manager. “This is the foundation for creative solutions and performance excellence.”

Shipping container certification

The project involved assisting the Office of Packaging and Transportation with regulatory review of the 9977 shipping package before it could be used to move excess plutonium out of South Carolina, supporting the NNSA’s stockpile stewardship mission. The 9977 is a package that is frequently used to transport material, but its safety needs to be certified for different types and configurations of material.

The team reviewed the extensive documentation (known as the Safety Analysis Report for Packaging, or SARP), looked for concerns and inconsistencies, checked calculations, developed their own models to verify safety performance, and made recommendations to NNSA. The process to certify a NNSA package normally takes about 10 months. Because of the accelerated schedule to support the move of the material, the team met the challenge and completed their reviews of the 9977 SARP in 7 months.

An award-winning team

The team was comprised of 13 PNNL researchers, including Harold Adkins (principal investigator), Jim Fort, Laurie Hay, Brian Hom, Brian Koeppel, Diana Love, Jennifer Lyons, Pete Sakalaukus, Tony Savino, Sarah Suffield, Zach Weems, Daniel Wentz, and Travis Zipperer.  

Published: July 8, 2020