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The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today applauded its nuclear security sites for receiving 16 of this year's R&D 100 Awards.
Awarded each year by the R&D Magazine to the best technological advances at universities, private corporations, and government labs around the world, the R&D 100 Awards are occasionally referred to as "the Nobel Prizes of technology." They were first awarded in 1963 as the I-R 100s, in keeping with the original name of the magazine, Industrial Research.
This year, NNSA nuclear security sites were recognized for a wide range of advances including an ultrasonic biofuel harvester, a statistical radiation detection system, and a simple, safe, and a handheld instrument that performs rapid, point-of-care medical diagnostic analyses.
"I want to congratulate all of this year's winners on their awards and to thank them for their work," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The large number of winners from the Department of Energy's national labs every year is a clear sign that our labs are doing some of the most innovative research in the world. This work benefits us all by enhancing America's competitiveness, ensuring our security, providing new energy solutions, and expanding the frontiers of our knowledge. Our national labs are truly national treasures, and it is wonderful to see their work recognized once again."
The awards will be presented in November in Orlando, Fla. The following is a list and summaries of the R&D 100 award recipients at NNSA sites this year:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
* Statistical Radiation Detection System: The statistical radiation detection system is a novel software solution that nonexperts can use to rapidly and reliably detect radionuclides in applications that require accurate identification of radioactive material.
* High-Performance Strontium Iodide Scintillator for Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy: The europium-doped strontium iodide scintillator allows the fastest, highest-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy for detectors to identify radionuclides for homeland security and other applications.
* Energy Monitor for Ultrahigh-brightness X-ray Pulses: The X-ray free electron laser energy monitor non-intrusively measures the energy of ultrahigh intensity X-ray pulses produced by revolutionary X-ray free electron lasers.
* Grating Actuated Transient Optical Recorder (GATOR): This technology is a diagnostic system that can acquire sequential images of X-rays or optical light with the time resolution of a trillionth of a second or better.
* Ultrapermeable Carbon Nanotube Membranes: Extremely permeable and extremely stable carbon nanotube membranes provide ultrafast water flow that could revolutionize the water purification industry.
* Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)-based Adaptive-Optics Optical Coherence Tomography: This system is a clinical instrument that provides non-invasive, ultrahigh resolution, three-dimensional volumetric retinal images for ophthalmologists and optometrists to view retinal structures at the cellular level.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
* Ultrasonic Algal Biofuel Harvester: The harvester uses extremely high frequency sound waves to harvest and extract oils and proteins from algae, separating out and recycling the water, all in one integrated system. No other technology uses a single method to capture all three valuable components of algae.
* DAAFox Environmentally-friendly Secondary Explosive: A new way to make a type of explosive with the chemical name DiAminoAzoxyFurazan, or DAAFox, for short. The new synthesis method results in an explosive material with an ideal combination of physical characteristics. It's insensitive — it resists ignition, reducing the possibility of accidental detonation.
* MOXIE: Movies of eXtreme Imaging Experiments: The uses for MOXIE include nuclear weapon certification without nuclear testing through X-ray movies of mock detonations, used to verify computer models. The camera enables scientists to study the physical properties of materials, including equations of state, fusion plasmas, discharge formation, shock physics, and fracture mechanics.
* Ultraconductus: This nanotechnology was developed for the manufacture of high-tech wires and cables that conduct electricity more easily than any other metal alloy. The wires possess a greater tensile strength than steel and operate at room temperatures and higher. The technology involves growing long-length metallic nanotubes while simultaneously cladding them within a metal matrix.
* Solution Deposition Planarization (SDP) Superconductor Substrate Preparation Process: This process seeks to reduce production costs of making superconducting materials, while supporting significantly higher power densities. The SDP process is simpler, and environmentally green, with virtually no toxic manufacturing waste.
Sandia National Laboratories
* Acoustic Wave Biosensor for Rapid-Point-of-Care Medical Diagnosis: This technology is a handheld instrument that performs rapid, point-of-care medical diagnostic analyses of viruses, proteins, bacteria, and DNA with little or no sample preparation.
* CANARY: Event Detection Software: CANARY provides continuous monitoring of water quality from networked sensors for automated event detection, which enables improved security and operations within water distribution systems worldwide.
* Micro Power Source: This Micro Power Source is a rechargeable ultra-small form factor that integrates a lithium-ion-based solid electrolyte battery with an ultra-thin photovoltaic collector as an energy harvester.
* Multifunctional Optical Coatings by Rapid Self-Assembly: This simple, safe, and economical coating process enables the development of paradigm-shifting multifunctional nanomaterials and optical coatings with architectures and properties not attainable by current processing methods.
Y‑12 National Security Complex
* Modulated Tool-Path (MTP) Chip Breaking System: The MTP chip breaking system provides an unmatched chip breaking solution for machining operations that create continuous chips that can damage the workpiece or machine tool and pose hazards to the machine operator. The MTP chip breaking system produces user-selectable chip lengths and workpiece finishes and is compatible with any material, workpiece shape and depth of cut.
Additional NNSA Supported Awards
GammaTracker: The GammaTracker is a rugged, portable device that identifies radioactive elements and where the radiation is coming from. The GammaTracker was developed by PNNL, the NNSA's Kansas City Plant, and the University of Michigan.
About National Nuclear Security Administration
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
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