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In this issue:
From the Director: The Oak Ridge Boys Are Here!
Secretary Bodman Addresses Energy Challenges
DOE Golf Challenge Registration Deadline
Word of the Week: Spectroscopy
LCLS Construction Update

SLAC Today

Friday - August 8, 2008

From the Director: The Oak Ridge Boys Are Here!

(Photo - Persis Drell)

No, this is not a country western singing group. Yes, sometimes translations are required as a strong east Tennessee dialect turns the Far Experimental Hall into the "Fire Experimental Hall." I will leave it to your imaginations how a conversation with experts in safety evolves after that.

In fact, this is a visit by a team of Department of Energy safety experts, primarily from the Oak Ridge Field Office. They are are doing an effectiveness review of our Integrated Safety Management Systems, our formal approach to creating a safe work environment. (See "SLAC Safety Review," SLAC Today, July 25).

Their visit began Monday morning with a kick-off meeting. Paul Golan and I spoke. I presented my assessment of the issues facing the lab and the challenges for the future. I reminded the visiting team that we are a laboratory in transition facing many challenges, especially in the last year, and that we are very focused on our future. My strongest message was that we are working to make many changes in the way that we do business at the laboratory and that the foundational steps that are essential to the modernization of the laboratory are also essential to ensure optimally effective ISMS. This includes clarifying roles, responsibilities and associated authorities, and then insisting on accountable behaviors throughout the laboratory, raising the quality of our work planning and control lab wide, ensuring that requirements flow effectively from the contract to the individual worker, and improving our self assessment and assurance process. Effective, strong and accountable line management at the laboratory is key to ensuring a safe work environment and it is key to our future success.   Read more...

Secretary Bodman Addresses Energy Challenges

Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman described his vision for U.S. energy and security in yesterday's Department of Energy all-hands meeting.

"The way I see it, I've had one agenda since I started serving three years ago," Bodman said, "to provide leadership for people in this incredible department," with the mission to discover solutions for energy demand and secure America's future.

"In the history of our department," he said, "this mission has never been so vital as it is right now."

The world is seeing a surge in energy demand, Bodman noted, that will only increase with time. He stressed the need to develop means to meet demand that do not harm the environment or U.S. security. He cited three priorities: to meet our energy needs using diverse, clean and sustainable means; to support and maintain our nuclear stockpile; and finally, to "continually push back the frontiers of science."

Scientific research, Bodman said, provides the building blocks to secure America's future and economic competitiveness. Historically, a core U.S. strength has been the country's ingenuity, the ability to innovate, discover and create change. But with scientific advance, he noted, comes responsibility.

Our lifestyle in the U.S. consumes an enormous amount of energy. "As a nation, we have only just begun to recognize this key truth," Bodman said.

He called for continued investment in alternative fuels, including cellulose-based biofuels, with cleaner fossil fuel technologies to carry needs until biofuels can take more of the burden. Finally, he said, the U.S. will need to build new nuclear power plants, and improve methods to handle the spent nuclear fuel.

DOE Golf Challenge Registration Deadline

(Photo - SLAC team at the 2007 DOE Golf Challenge)
The SLAC team at the 2007 DOE Golf Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Mike Hogaboom. Click for larger image.)

Today is the final day to register for the 2008 Department of Energy Golf Challenge! Registration and fees are due no later than 3:00 p.m. today. Contact Phil Cutino (x4822) for more information.

Word of the Week:

In the 17th century the word "spectrum" was introduced into optics, to refer to the range of colors observed when white light was dispersed through a prism. The most famous example is, of course, the rainbow. Spectroscopy is the study of a spectrum, but in a wider sense. It could be a spectrum of photons, electrons, molecules or jelly beans.

X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, for instance, is a technique in which X-rays are emitted by a sample at different wavelengths depending on its composition. The resulting x-ray spectrum reveals information about the different elements in the sample.

Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

Construction highlights for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) this week include:

• Continued testing of the pressurized water systems throughout the facility

• Applying the epoxy finish to the subbasement floor in the Near Experimental Hall

• Mechanical, electrical and plumbing layout for the Far Experimental Hall and Access Tunnel

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