More than a dozen Idaho National Laboratory employees were recognized in January through the U.S. Department of Energy’s most prestigious awards program.
Announced annually, the Secretary’s Honor Awards recognize some of the greatest achievements for the year throughout the entire DOE complex and represent some of the highest internal recognition available to DOE employees and contractors.
Among 32 Honor Awards for 2019, six teams involved individuals from INL. Former Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette also granted 10 “COVID-19 Honor Awards,” two of which included INL representation.
“Having INL so well represented is indicative of all of the important work our staff is doing every day,” said John Wagner, laboratory director. “It’s an honor for both these individuals and for INL, and I am very proud of this outstanding achievement.”
Nominees were evaluated in a comprehensive selection process that entailed endorsements from heads of Departmental Elements, evaluation by the Executive Resources Board, and approval by the energy secretary and deputy energy secretary.
Traditionally celebrated at a Washington, D.C., ceremony, awards were given virtually in 2021 in observance of COVID-19 restrictions. INL awardees will be recognized at a laboratory ceremony later this year.
“Although we’re not able to host an award ceremony at this time, it’s important we recognize and celebrate these notable accomplishments,” said Brouillette in a DOE news release.
Congratulations to the following teams with INL representation.
Idaho Settlement Agreement Supplemental Agreement Negotiating Team
Mark Peters, John Revier, Jon Carmack, Michael Connolly
Much time and effort went into negotiating the Idaho Settlement Agreement Supplemental Agreement over the past years. The tenacity and coordination of this team enabled the lab to work with our home state on a mutually beneficial agreement that will permit our lab to continue our mission, allow nuclear research to make great strides forward, and safeguard our citizens’ safety and health.
Integrated Energy Systems Team
Richard Boardman, Shannon Bragg-Sitton, Bruce Hallbert, Cristian Rabiti, Kenneth Thomas, Tyler Westover
Members of the Integrated Energy Systems Team showed dedication and made enormous efforts that will allow the United States to move forward in demonstrating hydrogen generation technology at operating nuclear reactors. This step is important for meeting our Integrated Energy Systems goals. This team’s commitment and energy in working with a number involved parties has mitigated uncertainties that otherwise may have rendered this project impossible.
Licensing Modernization Project
Wayne Moe, Mark Holbrook
This team made contributions to a first-of-its-kind effort to engage with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which will have a positive long-term impact on regulatory concerns that had impacted the nuclear industry. Implementing these project results, which the NRC is already doing, will be a huge contributor in meeting the nuclear energy goals of our nation over the next decades.
Spent Fuel Nondestructive Assay Project Team
The completion of the Spent Fuel Nondestructive Assay project marks a huge step forward in meeting an important nuclear safeguards challenge. Thanks to the dedication, problem-solving, and technical excellence of this team, work in the nonproliferation community – and therefore in nuclear energy in the U.S. as a whole – has been greatly improved.
Science and Technology Risk Matrix Team
The Science and Technology Risk Matrix will have a large impact in protecting our lab and the DOE complex from foreign risks. The dedication and coordination of the team in this enterprise-wide effort have addressed one of the largest challenges we face in protecting our lab while continuing our world-leading science.
Seattle Response and Recovery and Cs-137 Joint Investigation Teams
Troy L. Taylor, John Zarling, Kathryn McBride
This team contributed quick and tireless efforts in responding to the emergency event at the University of Washington’s Harborview Research and Training Facility in 2020. Their work helped to minimize harm to the public, and their expertise will help prevent similar future events from occurring at all.
High Performance Computing Resource Team (COVID Honor)
The High Performance Computing Resource Team allowed INL to leverage its supercomputing capabilities in support of research institutions battling the pandemic on the front lines. The result was unprecedented in scale and speed for lending DOE assets directly for helping in the nation’s efforts against the coronavirus.
National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory Team (COVID Honor)
Robert O’Brien, Marianne Walck
The efforts of the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory Team allowed INL to lend its world-class scientific and research capabilities to the larger DOE effort to meet challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DOE complex was able to achieve unprecedented levels of coordination to lend research and facility access to those in need, prioritize projects, review for quality, and lend the weight of its scientific expertise to a crisis impacting millions.