NNSS News (October - December 2020)
2020 marks major milestones for EM Nevada Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM)
published its 2020 Year in Review, summarizing the cleanup work completed across the DOE complex over the course of the year. The DOE EM Nevada Program was counted among the sites that made significant progress, after marking several major milestones in furtherance of its cleanup mission during 2020.
These accomplishments include:
- Completed the transfer of 70 closed cleanup sites on and around the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) to the
DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM) – the first EM-to-LM transfer in more than a decade – a 2020 EM
- Closed the Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain (RM/SM) and Yucca Flat/Climax Mine (YF/CM) groundwater
areas, bringing 75 percent of all Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) groundwater areas to end-state
- Safely and securely disposed ~500,000 cubic feet of classified low-level and mixed low-level
radioactive waste in support of DOE sites involved with ongoing national security and science
“This was a year of great challenges and great successes for EM Nevada. Not only did
our program mark a major accomplishment by transferring our Tonopah Test Range sites to Legacy
Management in less than half the time initially expected, we also drew significantly closer to
completing our overall groundwater mission – an effort that promises to come in well ahead of schedule
and well under budget. Through it all, the dedicated men and women of our program adapted to changing
conditions and continued to execute our cleanup and waste acceptance missions safely, securely, and
successfully. They have my thanks.”
– Rob Boehlecke, Program Manager, EM Nevada Program
TRANSFERRING SITES TO LEGACY MANAGEMENT
In 2020, the EM Nevada Program successfully transferred 70 remediated sites on and
around Nevada’s historic TTR, a strategic location chosen by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1957
to test ballistics and nonnuclear features of atomic weapons, to LM for long-term stewardship. This
accomplishment, completed in less than half the time initially estimated, was among EM’s ambitious
priority items for 2020. Prior to transfer, EM Nevada completed cleanup activities at sites on and
around TTR where contamination had resulted from historic nuclear weapons testing and support
activities. The process to transition sites from EM to LM involved more than 100 unique actions across
10 key focus areas, including coordinating stakeholder commitments, transmitting more than 7,200
documents and records, and identifying and transferring existing infrastructure, such as fences and
monuments. The transfer was officially complete on Sept. 30, 2020.
ACCELERATING GROUNDWATER CLOSURE
In 2020, the EM Nevada Program reached the final stage of groundwater activities –
regulatory closure – at two of the three remaining underground test area corrective action regions at
the NNSS. In April, EM Nevada earned regulatory approval for closure at the RM/SM groundwater area, a
milestone reached three years ahead of schedule, saving $5 million.
In October, EM Nevada further
achieved regulatory approval at the YF/CM groundwater area, bringing 75 percent of all NNSS groundwater
regions to completion. Combined, these dual accomplishments cap off more than 35 years of testing,
analysis, and modeling work in the Rainier Mesa and Yucca Flat groundwater areas, which have led the EM
Nevada Program to an even better understanding of the nature and movement of groundwater beneath the
To accelerate its groundwater mission safely and successfully, EM Nevada has broadly
use of risk informed decision-making in the development of cleanup strategies, which prioritizes the
protection of human health and the environment, while considering future land use. This approach is
anticipated to accelerate the closure of all groundwater areas at the NNSS by two full years, and is
estimated to save taxpayers around $80 million.
For more information on EM Nevada Program activities, please visit https://www.nnss.gov/pages/programs/EM/Environmental.html.
In the spirit of the holidays
With community care more important than ever following an unprecedented year, the
Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is proud to support several outreach partners throughout November
NNSS employees with management and operating contractor Mission Support and Test
Services (MSTS) answered the call for Operation Warm Heart, the U.S. Air Force’s local adopt-a-family
program supporting Nellis and Creech Air Force Base families in need. The NNSS’ Counterterrorism
Division helped 50 children with more than 135 presents. The NNSS’ Remote Sensing Laboratory collected
for nine families, with multiple gifts for 31 children.
Giving back continued with donations to support The Salvation Army of Southern
Nevada's Angel Tree Program, which provides holiday gifts for children in need throughout our community.
More than 30 donors collected $1,400 worth of gifts to make the holidays special for local youth. MSTS
is also sponsoring the Las Vegas Great Santa Run, which benefits Opportunity Village.
“Community support is a foundational piece of who NNSS employees are,” said MSTS
President Mark Martinez. “This year has been difficult in terms of our ability to connect with others in
person. This makes our outreach efforts all the more important, and we proudly extend our hands to
families and organizations in need in the spirit of the season.”
NNSS Fire & Rescue resumed its annual effort to make spirits bright for thousands of
children through the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation's Fill the Fire Truck Toy Drive.
Joining forces with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, North Las Vegas Fire Department, Henderson Fire Department,
Clark County Fire Department, Boulder City Fire Department and Nellis Air Force Base Fire Department,
the team volunteered at collection sites throughout the Las Vegas Valley to fill fire trucks with new
toys. Donations were also accepted throughout NNSS work locations. Deliveries will be made the week of
Christmas with the goal to provide for more than 28,000 children, ages 0 to 18.
Volunteers with SOC, which leads the Site’s protective force unit, continued its
annual support of Jacob E. Manch Elementary school students through Nevada’s Clark County School
District Focus School Project, an effort to support the needs of both the students and teachers
throughout the year. Thanksgiving meals were provided to students and their families. SOC was also able
to provide 108 gifts for 54 students through the Jacob E. Manch Elementary Angel Tree Toy Drive.
“In spite of its luster, Las Vegas faces many challenges including poverty and
childhood hunger,” said SOC General Manager Allan Swanson. “Prior to the pandemic that has left many
unemployed or underemployed, statistics indicate nearly one in four children don’t get enough to eat.
That’s a staggering number and it has almost certainly gotten worse in the last year. Our SOC families
are generous, and we’re working to address the greatest challenges in our communities through their
favorite churches, charities and site initiatives. I’m proud of our generosity and what we’re doing to
help those at risk in our community.”
The NNSS wishes you and your family a happy holiday season.
Local tribes use history, experience to help solve
revegetation challenges in Nevada
The Consolidated Group of Tribes and Organizations (CGTO) — a collection of 16 Native
American tribes with cultural and historical ties to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) — is
helping solve a unique challenge at the NNSS, using traditional ecological knowledge and thousands of
years of history in a collaborative effort to revegetate portions of the site’s complex terrain.
At the request of the Environmental Management (EM) Nevada Program, the CGTO is
working to develop recommendations to help revegetate 92 acres of land at the NNSS Area 5 Radioactive
Waste Management Complex (RWMC). That complex is dedicated to the permanent disposal of low-level and
mixed low-level radioactive waste generated at DOE sites involved with historical nuclear research,
development, and testing activities, as well as ongoing national security and science missions.
“Thanks and appreciation for the support, wisdom, and knowledge offered by the CGTO
and its members,” EM Nevada Program Manager Rob Boehlecke said. “The historical and present-day
contributions of these tribes have done so much to enhance EM's mission at the NNSS for the benefit of
the people, communities, and environment across the state of Nevada.”
Starting in the fall of 2011, NNSS crews began attempting to revegetate portions of
the RWMC acreage. Despite frequent irrigation, varying seeding methods, and use of mulch, numerous
efforts to reestablish vegetation were unsuccessful. No issues were found with seed quality when tested,
and there are no contaminants present in the topsoil.
To assist with the revegetation mission, the CGTO agreed to provide guidance using
traditional ecological knowledge formed from thousands of years of experience with the lands on and
around the NNSS. A Tribal Revegetation Committee (TRC) comprised of six members of the CGTO was formed
to provide guidance and cultural insights.
After several meetings and visits to the NNSS, the TRC provided several approaches for
incorporating tribal perspectives in revegetating the site. Their proposals included four different
revegetation treatments during two planting seasons, along with four transplant treatments during two
planting seasons. In December 2017 and April 2018, seeds and transplants were planted at the site using
these approaches. Tribal personnel have monitored progress once a month by counting, measuring, and
So far, the revegetation test plots have shown promise. The metrics set at the
beginning of the project by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), TRC, and Desert
Research Institute were determined to not be consistent with the natural environment of the NNSS. New
success metrics will be negotiated with NDEP and a report detailing the results will be available in
March 2021. The EM Nevada Program will use this report to help determine the path forward for the RWMC,
as well as broader future revegetation applications at the NNSS.
NNSS executes key experimental tests ahead of new test
The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) successfully completed the Multi-Domain
Experiment (MDE) series, a collection of six chemical explosions that culminated in a capstone 1,800-kg
high explosive experiment Nov. 7 at the Site’s Big Explosives Experimental
In partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National
Laboratories (SNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory (PNNL), each of the explosions – ranging in size from 45 to 1,800 kg – exercised a new
GPS-triggered timing and firing system and was recorded on a multi-physics sensor suite, including the
NNSS’ Large-N Array seismic nodes, all of which is planned for a test bed currently in development
within the NNSS’ tunnel complex. The work highlights the National Nuclear Security Administration
(NNSA)’s ability to engineer complex field experiments. The test bed will generate high-fidelity,
multi-physics data to validate explosion signatures and propagation models, which is foundational to
Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation’s (DNN) efforts to reduce nuclear threats by providing tools that the
United States can use to verify international compliance with treaties and commitments.
“MDE was a really impressive experimental cadence for us,” said NNSS DNN Program
Director Alex Plionis. “It was critically important and underpins several very large experimental,
multi-lab venture projects for our DNN customer. The opportunity to create new test beds creates whole
new opportunities for an enduring capability at the site and for our lab partners. We’re very proud to
be able to host the new test bed and to provide a place where our lab and university partners can come
and do work that they can’t do anywhere else.”
Data from these experiments will be fed into existing models by the NNSA National
Laboratories to evaluate underground nuclear explosion signatures. These data are validated against the
models, allowing for necessary adjustments. The MDE provided preliminary results needed to inform
certain planning aspects for the new test bed, which will host a series of chemical explosion
The MDE series provided a great learning experience for four members of the NNSA
Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP), who attended the experiment at BEEF to get a look at how high-hazard
work is executed at the NNSS. NGFP Fellows gain graduate-level, first-hand Nuclear Security Enterprise
experience at the NNSA’s field offices across the country, and more than 550 fellows have completed the
program since it began in 1995, with 90 percent going on to accept positions in the national security
“It’s a unique opportunity to be involved with national security projects,” said Nick
Williams, who holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho. “It’s a feeling
of accomplishment to work on projects important to our country.”
Achieving the project execution required choreography between multiple groups in order
to plan and coordinate amid COVID-19 protocols. These include the program team, led by Ken Laintz,
Catherine Snelson (LANL) and Cleat Zeiler (NNSS); the project team, led by Lisa Garner (NNSS); the
facility team, led by Joe Sears (NNSS); as well as multiple support organizations and National
“I think that the team here should be incredibly proud of the work that they’re
doing,” said Plionis. “Both here in Nevada and elsewhere with our lab and university partners, it’s
really been a significant collaboration that’s come together to make this work.”
Among the successes of the MDE series’ completion is its exemplification of “One
NNSA,” the enterprise’s team approach across the labs, plants and sites to integrate missions and
“The opportunity to do this work at a place like the NNSS is the opportunity of a
lifetime,” said NNSS Global Security Senior Director Bart Jones. “Because of our unique capabilities,
but more importantly our people, we have the ability to do experiments that cannot be done anywhere else
and these experiments are critical for national security. I’m extremely proud of the entire team—it’s
been a seamless operation with multiple organizations that delivered for the nation and has positioned
us for success in future endeavors as well.”
NNSS responds to seismic monitoring opportunity
The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is improving the nation’s capability to
detect nuclear testing by ongoing monitoring of a recent Nevada earthquake.
Following a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck central Nevada May 15, the NNSS
deployed 48 seismic stations. The event, which struck the Monte Cristo Range, was the largest earthquake
Nevada has experienced in 66 years.
In 2018, the NNSS received a new capability for the Dry Alluvium Geology experiment:
500 portable seismic stations. These stations can be deployed in a short amount of time and can collect
data up to 30 days.
NNSS Senior Principal Scientist Cleat Zeiler, Ph.D., safely responded to the event
after coordinating with the United States Geologic Survey and University of Nevada, Reno to optimally
place sensors along the fault. With the help of facility personnel, Zeiler programmed and prepared 48
systems, weighing a total of 1,000 pounds, to deploy across the fault in central Nevada. As Zeiler was
preparing a site for deployment, he felt a 3.0 magnitude aftershock and heard the sound of breaking
“That experience alone made my tired and aching body rejuvenate,” commented Zeiler.
“It put the whole collection in perspective. I would be collecting a one-of-a-kind data set.” Within 24
hours of the main shock, he had all 48 stations operational. Normally, this level of effort would take
several teams a couple of weeks to deploy, but the new capability provides a unique opportunity to
respond quickly and effectively.
While most earthquake sequences wrap up in a month, this sequence was active for three
months. Since the seismic stations only last 25 to 30 days, student interns Michelle Dunn and Ryan
Jensen assisted Zeiler in swapping instrumentation and conducting seismic hazard assessments during the
active period. Dunn is also using the data to determine the seismic hazard associated with the region.
The primary reason for the data collection from this earthquake is the shallow nature
of the aftershocks. Most events are 8 to 10 kilometers deep; however, this sequence has events ranging
from 1 to 20 kilometers deep. This information will allow the NNSS to understand how to determine if
shallow aftershocks are explosions or earthquakes, as the depth of an aftershock is typically the best
indicator. With this set of data, the NNSS will be able to show the range of earthquake signatures and
further the nation’s capability to detect nuclear testing.
NNSA and NNSS conduct first virtual International Technical
Exchange with Aerial Radiation Measuring community
Leaders and representatives from 13 nations and one economy with national aerial
radiation measuring teams met virtually Oct. 5 to 12 for the 8th annual Aerial Measuring System (AMS)
International Technical Exchange, hosted by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)’s Office
of Nuclear Incident Policy and Cooperation (NA-81) and the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). The
event allowed participants to share their countries’ aerial radiological surveying procedures,
technologies and capabilities for responding to radiation emergencies with their international peers.
This year focused on analysis software and activities of aerial radiological assets during
non-emergency, or peacetime, environments.
The event was the first virtual iteration of the exchange due to the COVID-19
pandemic. While an in-person forum allows for a more detailed look at each nation’s aerial measuring
operational systems, this year’s meeting featured a record number of attendees, with more than 50
“With the increase in access to virtual platforms around the world, this year’s
exchange offered the ability to have more participants provide their expertise than when organizations
have to worry about budget constraints and travel funding,” said Kirk Czap, deputy director of NNSA’s
Office of Nuclear Incident Policy and Cooperation (NA-81). “Even with the varied global time zones, the
resulting exchange was a testament to the professionals from around the globe that provide this valuable
service to their countries and their desire to share and learn from each other.”
Aerial measuring teams – comprised of scientists, pilots, and other technical
specialists – are responsible for creating mapping products that are critical to the decision-making
process following a radiological event. Teams maintain detection equipment and personnel readiness to
respond to a radiological emergency within a defined period of time. Scientists from Canada, Czechia,
France and the United States demonstrated how they use software systems to collect and analyze data from
a designated area. In addition to varying terrain, each country has different aircraft and software
systems to conduct this work.
When they are not activated for emergency response, aerial measuring teams have a
diverse range of responsibilities. For the U.S. AMS, based at the NNSS’s Remote Sensing Laboratory at
Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, non-emergency activities include
conducting baseline city surveys ahead of major national events, environmental surveys of industrial
sites, training with other federal and state agencies, and continuous work with evolving radiation
During the event, Norway shared its efforts to continue mapping radiological activity
from the 1986 Chernobyl incident. Norway’s AMS program, which includes pilots and air assets from the
Royal Norwegian Air Force, shared how its Sea King helicopter can be adapted to configurations for
aerial measuring, in addition to search and rescue missions.
“The original AMS International Exchange was scheduled for May 2020; however, travel
restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic required changes to our plans,” said NNSS AMS Manager Piotr
Wasiolek. “After polling potential participants and exploring technical options, we came to the
conclusion that, considering the topics for discussion, a virtual meeting makes a lot of sense.
Considering the very positive response, we are glad that we did it. However, we hope that next year we
can do the Technical Exchange in person.”
Next year’s International Technical Exchange plans to examine AMS operations in
complex terrain, incorporating environmental and urban factors.
Air Force veterans find new ways to serve the U.S. at NNSS’
Remote Sensing Laboratory
More than 400 veterans work at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), and several
U.S. Air Force servicemen and women have recently found the next step of their careers in joining the
Site’s Remote Sensing Laboratory, based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and Joint Base Andrews in
The NNSS is a proud partner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our
Heroes initiative, a nationwide effort to connect veterans, service members and military spouses with
meaningful employment opportunities through fellowships. The NNSS also supports DoD SkillBridge, a
program for service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry
training, apprenticeships or internships during their last 180 days of service.
“Veterans have a great deal to offer the NNSS, including valuable nontechnical skills,
such as leadership, decision-making, being dependable and attention to detail,” said NNSS Talent
Acquisition Senior Manager Brent Baker, a U.S. Army veteran. “However, understanding the technical and
nontechnical skills veterans have developed through military training, education and on-the-job
experience can be challenging because military and civilian workplace cultures and languages can seem
radically different from one another.”
Hiring Our Heroes Fellow Hilary Tarvin came to RSL-Nellis following a career in
aircraft maintenance with the U.S. Air Force, where she supported F-15, F-22 and F-35 airmen,
maintenance and engineering teams in the U.S. and England. She is now with the NNSS’ Applied
Technologies division, working continuous process improvements for laboratory management. Her career
coincidentally intercepted with the Department of Energy (DOE)’s National Nuclear Security
Administration once before as a U.S. Air Force Academy instructor teaching nuclear weapons chemistry,
which involved NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia
“I loved it and thought wow, I want to keep serving our nation, and I have enjoyed the
work I’ve done before with the DOE,” said Tarvin. “I’m not serving the nation in the Air Force anymore,
but I’m serving the nation with the DOE. In a lot of ways, it’s really similar with meeting with
customers and figuring out resources to meet requirements, facilities, security and field management.
You’re figuring out those resources and bringing them all together. The safety aspect, working around
high hazards and adhering to OSHA and risk management is very similar to the Air Force, it’s just a
different set of hazards.”
Sean Hutchison, who holds a U.S. Air Force career spanning more than 20 years in
Information Technology program management across the globe, also had an instance of happenstance that
introduced him to working at the NNSS; last year, he coordinated a trip to the National Atomic Testing
Museum – featuring much of the Site’s extensive history – with his squadron. Now, he is working with the
NNSS’ Emergency Communications Network team at RSL-Nellis through Hiring Our Heroes.
“I think some may dismiss these kinds of opportunities for not being that in depth,
but they are,” said Hutchison. “For people who are exploring the NNSS as an as option, I would do a lot
of research into the background and history of the organization because it gives perspective into the
scope of what the NNSS is responsible for.”
Veteran Kevin James joined the NNSS’ Nuclear Response division as a business
specialist this summer following a 28-year career in the U.S. Air Force that included eight deployments
to the middle east and 11 moves worldwide. Most recently, James was a support squadron chief master
sergeant who oversaw more than 900 Air Force members in 11 directorates at Nellis Air Force Base.
Process improvement, Lean Six Sigma and team management are among the skills that James has seen
translate from Department of Defense (DoD) to Department of Energy agencies.
“Coming from DoD to DOE missions feel the same,” said James. “I think it is service to
our nation. There’s purpose and a sense of community. Some struggle to walk into another position.
Veterans or retirees, we all tend to miss the community we came from and sense of belonging. It
translates perfectly over to the NNSS.”
Similarly, Tarvin says she’s found a surprising number of ways the NNSS enables her to
stay connected to her U.S. Air Force roots.
“I absolutely encourage veterans to look into the DOE and NNSS,” she said. “We’ve got
a lot of the technical and leadership skills that translate well and have security clearances that
enable us to jump straight in to work. All of those things have made this a fantastic lateral
transfer—it’s nice to be connected still. We’re not disconnected from national defense world, it’s the
flipped side of the coin.”
Are you a veteran looking for your next career opportunity? Begin your search today at
EM Nevada reaches 75 percent completion of groundwater
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) Nevada Program recently reached
the final stage of groundwater activities — regulatory closure — at the third of four underground test
area corrective action regions at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).
With the closure of the Yucca Flat and Climax Mine groundwater area, EM Nevada’s
overall groundwater mission at the NNSS is now 75 percent complete.
“The successful closure of our second groundwater corrective action area in 2020 alone
is a testament to the hard work of dedicated professionals with the EM Nevada Program, as well as our
lead contractor, Navarro Research and Engineering, over the course of many years,” EM Nevada Program
Manager Rob Boehlecke said. “With this accomplishment, we are now three-quarters of the way toward
completing our overall groundwater mission in Nevada, an effort that promises to come in both ahead of
schedule and well under budget.”
The Yucca Flat and Climax Mine corrective action region is located in the northeast
portion of the NNSS, about 85 miles from Las Vegas, and contains groundwater impacted by historic
nuclear weapons and device testing at the site. The area was host to 750 underground nuclear detonations
from 1951 to 1992, three of which occurred at Climax Mine, with the remaining 747 occurring at Yucca
The closure of the Yucca Flat and Climax Mine groundwater area represents the second
such accomplishment for EM Nevada this year alone. In April, the program earned regulatory approval for
closure at the Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain groundwater area, a milestone reached three years
ahead of schedule, saving $5 million in federal funding.
Combined, these dual successes cap off more than 35 years of testing, analysis, and
modeling work in the Rainier Mesa, Shoshone Mountain, Yucca Flat, and Climax Mine groundwater areas,
which has led EM Nevada to an even better understanding of the nature and movement of groundwater under
the NNSS. Based on these extensive, expert observations, it is understood that radiologically
contaminated groundwater at the NNSS will likely never pose a threat to the public.
To safely and successfully accelerate its groundwater mission, EM Nevada has broadly
adopted the use of risk-informed decision-making, which prioritizes the protection of human health and
the environment, while considering future land use, in the development of cleanup strategies. As a
result of this approach, the accelerated closure of all groundwater areas at the NNSS is anticipated to
result in $80 million in savings under initial baseline estimates, with the timeline expedited by two
In addition to Navarro Research and Engineering, EM Nevada also thanks and recognizes
the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the United States Geological
Survey, the Desert Research Institute, and Mission Support and Test Services, LLC, the management and
operations contractor to the NNSS, for their contributions.
Click here for more information EM Nevada’s groundwater mission at the NNSS.
DOE, NNSA celebrate transfer of Nevada sites for long-term
Environmental Management (EM) has fulfilled a key part of its mission in Nevada,
completing remediation activities on and around the historic Tonopah Test Range (TTR) and conveying 70
sites into long-term stewardship.
Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar joined other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National
Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) representatives on Oct. 20 to celebrate the transfer of the
sites from EM to
the Department’s Office of
Legacy Management (LM).
The accomplishment, completed in less than half the time initially estimated, was
among EM’s 2020 priorities.
Representatives from the EM Nevada Program, LM, and the NNSA
Nevada Field Office (NFO) took part in marking the occasion.
“The successful transfer of these TTR sites, well ahead of schedule, represents the
fulfillment of a key strategic vision priority for the Department,” Dabbar said. “Not only does this
accomplishment advance one of our missions to reduce the EM complex footprint, it also demonstrates our
continued commitment to bringing projects to end states quickly and efficiently, while maintaining
safety and security.”
The transfer of the 70 sites to LM was completed 10 years ahead of schedule. As a
result of the expedited timeline, EM avoided $2 million in costs associated with post-closure
monitoring. The TTR sites were also among the dozens of surface locations remediated by the EM Nevada
Program as part of its overall soils sites cleanup mission, which was successfully completed six years
earlier than planned in late 2019, saving nearly $67 million in federal funding.
Prior to the transfer to LM, EM Nevada completed cleanup activities at sites on and
around TTR where contamination had resulted from historic nuclear weapons testing and support
The Atomic Energy Commission, predecessor to DOE, began testing weapons systems,
research rockets, and artillery on the TTR in 1956. These tests included transportation experiments to
determine if nuclear weapons could be accidentally set off and produce a nuclear yield.
As part of the remediation process, contaminated soil and debris from these sites were
transported to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS)
for permanent disposal. Upon completion of the cleanup, the remediated sites were identified to be
transferred to LM for long-term maintenance in perpetuity.
“In partnership with the Oﬃce of Legacy Management and our lead environmental program
services contractor, Navarro Research and Engineering, the EM Nevada Program is proud to have completed
the transfer of these sites for safe and secure long-term stewardship,” EM Nevada Program Manager Rob
Boehlecke said. “Completed in a matter of months instead of years, this major milestone supports our
federal cleanup mission and shows ﬁrsthand what can be accomplished when a dedicated team works together
to accomplish a goal.”
Transitioning the sites from EM to LM involved more than 100 unique actions across 10
key focus areas, including the coordination of stakeholder commitments, the transmission of more than
7,200 documents and records, and the identification and transfer of existing infrastructure, such as
fences and monuments.
“We commend the EM Nevada Program for their outstanding work, and we are excited to
add TTR to our portfolio of legacy sites that played a critical role in America’s nuclear history. LM is
committed to the protection of human health and the environment and to transparent communication with
our communities,” LM Site Manager Ken Kreie said. “We look forward to carrying on the great work at this
site to ensure public and environmental safety for generations to come.”
The transfer was officially executed on Sept. 30. Navarro Research and Engineering
supported EM Nevada and LM in administering the transfer process, with additional coordination from
NNSA/NFO and Mission Support and Test Services, the management and operations contractor at NNSS.
Click here for more information on EM and LM work at TTR.
NNSS moves to enhance training capabilities with federal
As the nation’s premier organization for radiological prevention and response, the
Nevada National Security Site has trained more than 250,000 emergency responders. The NNSS
Counterterrorism Operations Support team has worked with emergency management, emergency medical and
fire services, public works, hazardous material and public health personnel from public state, local,
and tribal governments. Now, the NNSS is expanding its training program capabilities with other federal
Following a 2018 fiscal year agreement with the National Guard Bureau, which
administers the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, the NNSS delivered a radiological response
course that incorporates Virtual Radiological Training through Ubiety Systems (VIRTUS), a mobile
application platform that simulates radiological measurements. The NNSS’ foundation in radiological
training will now be used for expansion into the biological and chemical fields.
“VIRTUS drives the chain of command for real decision making in line with a response,”
said NNSS Global Security Principal Project Manager Xavier Miller. “What we foresee with VIRTUS is
merging with the Department of Defense chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear group. That will
give our current virtual training tool other capabilities beyond radiation. We see the tool being used
to support realistic radiological and biological exercises in the near future.”
Deployment of the pilot Biological Response Operations course has begun and will
continue into next year. The NNSS is looking at training capabilities for other U.S. agencies that
“In the past year or so, there’s been interest from U.S. Northern Command, FBI, CIA,
and Health and Human Services just in VIRTUS and Biological Response Operations,” said Miller. “This
opens people’s eyes that the NNSS has more to offer than traditional radiological-nuclear response.”
NNSS biologist team one of three Presidential Award
Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds presents national federal
stewardship award annually
A submission by NNSS Biologists Derek Hall and Jeanette Perry—titled “Burrowing Owl
and Winter Raptor Monitoring on the Nevada National Security Site”—has been named one of just three
finalists for the Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds’ Presidential Awards.
“I was aware of these awards and thought, ‘Let’s give it a shot,’” said Hall, who’s
“studied everything from mosquitos to mountain lions” since joining the NNSS in 1994.
As the NNSS moves forward on vitally important mission work in the areas of stockpile
stewardship and nuclear nonproliferation, among others, it’s the NNSS’ biologists who—with an eye toward
environmental impact—help lay the groundwork. Before any new project begins at the Site, NNSS biologists
do a survey to determine what could be impacted and how to mitigate the loss of important plant and
“We’ve been doing some great work for many years,” Hall said. “It’s nice to receive
some national recognition for our findings.”
Recognizing federal stewardship and migratory bird conservation projects from
throughout the United States, the awards will take place virtually, during the next annual council
meeting in 2021. Each nominee will present their project at the meeting, and a winner will be selected
by the Council—made up of several federal agencies—and announced then and there.
The NNSS’ submission includes two studies: burrowing owls and winter raptors.
BURROWING OWL STUDY
This portion of the NNSS’ submission builds upon research that began on the NNSS as
early as 1995. At that time, burrowing owls were listed as a candidate species for the Endangered
Species Act. Essentially, their populations were declining in many parts of their range, but not enough
information was available to explain why.
While burrowing owls were known to occur at the Site, little information was known
about their status or ecology, so the NNSS—proactive on learning about species not yet listed—decided to
find out more. Hall launched an exhaustive study, visiting known burrows and searching for new ones. The
team installed motion-activated cameras and temperature probes at burrow sites and studied regurgitated
pellets to learn more about what they were eating. The resulting published report detailed the owls’
food habits, burrow use, reproduction and activity patterns—all information that allows the NNSS to
identify the disturbance impact of proposed work.
In 2005, Dr. Courtney Conway of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a grant to
study burrowing animals throughout Department of Defense and Department of Energy lands. He was
particularly interested in looking at migratory linkages—how burrowing animals are linked throughout
North America. Suitably, Hall partnered with him. This study continued through 2008.
In 2018, Conway shared with Hall a new industry technology he’d begun working with:
tracking owls with satellites. Intrigued, Hall brought the technology to the NNSS.
Wanting to know where the Site’s burrowing owls wintered, in June 2019 Hall equipped
seven owls with satellite-trackable transmitter, each powered by a tiny solar panel.
“When putting on a transmitter, you have to be careful. You don’t want to impact the
bird’s ability to fly and hunt,” Hall said, adding that trackers can weigh no more than 5 percent of a
bird’s body weight.
With that in mind, the transmitters used in Hall’s study weigh in at just 5 grams.
Of the seven owls, three wintered in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula and three in Southern
California. The seventh owl is thought to have wintered on-site.
The birds who traveled elsewhere all made it to their destination within two to three
weeks, and the satellite transmitters allowed Hall to document their migration routes. Of the six who
left, one male returned to the Site, within a mile of his home the previous summer. He mated with a
different female than last year, and they had five chicks. One of the other six continues to call Nevada
home as well and is currently residing just northeast of Tonopah.
Two of the seven transmitters are still functioning, and Hall hopes to purchase
another six to repeat the study—again on burrowing owls—this June.
WINTER RAPTOR STUDY
This study lays the foundation for learning about climate change through studying bird
migratory habits. Biologists currently hypothesize that as the earth continues to warm, an increasing
number of southern birds will be seen in northern areas to which they never previously would have
The NNSS partnered with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) starting in 2014 to
build upon work NDOW had already been doing throughout the state since 1994—originally begun with the
intent to study declining raptor populations.
“Nevada is a great place for raptors to winter,” Hall said. “It’s warmer, there’s
little snow cover, and there’s plenty for them to eat.”
The NNSS’ collaboration on NDOW’s work provides them with data on land that’s
otherwise inaccessible. Over a seven-year period, the NNSS’ biologists studied the Site’s winter raptor
community to determine which raptors visit on a consistent basis. (Answer: there are six—golden eagles,
red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, northern harriers, American kestrels, and burrowing owls.)
The golden eagle, which is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty and the Bald and
Golden Eagle Protection Act, is also of great interest to many federal and state agencies. The U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers sponsors winter counts of bald eagles and golden eagles throughout the United States,
so the NNSS’ data feeds into that effort as well.
The interagency collaboration has yielded good data and established two new survey
routes in an area with little known data due its inaccessibility to the public. The NNSS plans to
continue this area of study for the foreseeable future.
NNSS firefighter recognized by Clark County Commissioners
for search and rescue work after Oregon fires
The Nevada National Security Site’s national security mission often attracts employees
who are driven to serve their country—not just on the clock, but off as well.
One such employee is NNSS Firefighter Michael Porter, who led a Nevada search and
rescue team deployed to Oregon Sept. 12-21. A firefighter for 26 years, Porter served as search team
manager of the Nevada Task Force 1 (NVTF-1) team, which was honored with a proclamation last week during
a Clark County Commission meeting.
“I offer my sincere congratulations to Firefighter Porter and the Nevada Task Force-1
Team,” said NNSS Deputy Chief Jemmy Castro of the recognition. “This emergency is an example of the
value that FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue teams provide to those in need during large-scale disasters.”
The September 2020 Oregon wildfires consisted of 45 active fires spanning more than
500,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing evacuation. At 11 p.m. PDT Friday, Sept. 11, NVTF-1 received
orders from the FEMA National Response Coordination Center to deploy a Mission Ready Package-Canine
Search Human Remains Detection (MRP-CSHRD) to support ESF No. 9 (search and rescue) activities in response to the Oregon wildfires.
NVTF-1 departed Las Vegas at 6:15 a.m. PDT Sept. 12 for travel to Oregon. The
team—three human remains detection (HRD) canines and six personnel—traveled safely and arrived in
Medford, Oregon, that same day.
The next morning, they met with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department to determine
needs and search area. Upon the identification of the top priority areas, the NVTF-1 team worked in
conjunction with the Utah Task Force (80 personnel) and four single-resource HRD canine teams from
Florida (two), Colorado (one) and Arizona (one team with two personnel) for the remainder of the
The group searched for the next seven operational periods, covering the area of the
fire in the Oregon towns of Talent, Phoenix and Ashland, as identified by the Jackson County Sheriff's
Department. In total, the team surveyed and marked 6,035 waypoints; conducted 4,301 structure
evaluations; and searched 3,003 structures and 1,628 vehicles.
“It allows us to assist the country during times of need,” Porter said of his longtime
involvement with the team. “We’re also able to maintain our skills, get national-level training, and
interact with other responders in Nevada and throughout the United States.”
NVTF-1 is one of 28 teams in FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) emergency response system. Each National Incident Management
System (NIMS) Type 1 US&R task force comprises 80 members specializing in search, rescue,
medicine, hazardous materials, logistics and planning, including technical specialists such as
physicians, structural engineers and canine search teams.
On Saturday, Sept. 19, NVTF-1 received orders to demobilize. The ground team arrived
at NVTF-1 headquarters at approximately 6 p.m. PDT Sept. 21.
“In times of crisis, we see truly selfless individuals emerge, ready to help however
possible,” said NNSS Security & Emergency Services Director Anthony Mendez. “As the country watched
these devastating events unfold across the Western United States, Mr. Porter and the rest of the Nevada
Task Force 1 Team sprang into action. We are honored to call Michael a colleague and are proud to have
such dedicated individuals on the NNSS team.”
Porter joined the NNSS Fire &
Rescue team in May 2019 after retiring from the City of Henderson earlier that year. Firefighter
Charles Stankosky—who joined the NNSS at the same time as Porter—is also a member of the Nevada Task
Force team, although he was not deployed as part of the Oregon mission.
“I have been part of the NVTF-1 for 14 years and a canine handler for seven,” said
Porter, who has two trained search dogs: HRD dog, Dexter, who deployed with Porter to Oregon, and also a
live human scent search dog, Allie. “During my onboarding with NNSS F&R, I expressed my desire to
continue with the team. This has been supported by my supervisors and the company (NNSS management and
operating contractor Mission Support and Test Services).”
Indeed, NNSS F&R plans to continue to be supportive of Porter’s and Stankosky’s
involvement in NVTF-1.
“We are proud to have two of our members be a part of the team,” Castro said, “and
hope to increase those numbers in the near future.”
NNSS to present advancements in international radiation
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)’s Nevada National Security Site
(NNSS) will present advancements in radiological detection to the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) virtually Oct. 19 to 30. The event, called the International Conference on the Management of
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in Industry, is the first conference dedicated to NORM
organized by the IAEA.
NORM is naturally present everywhere in the form of radioactive materials, such as
potassium, uranium, thorium and their decay products, which exist in the Earth’s crust. When NORM is
extracted or concentrated through various industrial processes – for example, mining, water treatment
and fertilizer manufacturing – it is referred to as Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring
Radioactive Materials (TENORM). TENORM may create elevated radiation exposure to people and the
environment. Some TENORM also has similar gamma energy spectral fingerprints to other nuclear material.
This presents a unique challenge in the transportation industry to ensure that other nuclear materials
are not masked as TENORM.
“It can be tricky that large amounts of this material can cause confusion or false
alarms with respect to source detection and identification,” said Senior Principal Scientist Sanjoy
Mukhopadhyay, who works with the NNSS Nuclear Response Division’s Remote Sensing Laboratory at Joint
Base Andrews in Maryland and will present to the IAEA. “TENORM needs to be strictly monitored and
controlled internationally with uniform standards. It’s critical that we distinguish this unique
fingerprint in the gamma energy spectrum.”
As part of its nuclear nonproliferation and security missions, the NNSA has supported
the development of a network of more than 4,000 Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) worldwide to monitor
checkpoints at land-, sea- and airports and along railway systems to prevent and detect trafficking of
radiological materials. In order to keep international borders safe, the NNSS and its National
Laboratory partners are working to develop screening technologies to further detect nuclear and
radiological material as well as isolate TENORM readings from illicit material and thereby avoid false
The Department of Energy (DOE) and NNSA have a response assistance network system in
place if unknown materials are encountered, the detected gamma energy fingerprint is suspicious or other
precautionary measures are needed. Once a nation requests assistance to the NNSA Emergency Operations
Center, the DOE/NNSA triage international assistance system activates with on-call scientists made
available to analyze the data and determine a course of action.
Scientists use multiple methods of gamma spectroscopy analysis to identify radioactive
isotopes and account for anomalies that would trigger RPM alarms.
“Instead of looking at all the spectral channels, you divide the spectral channels
into smaller regions of interests,” said Mukhopadhyay. “By doing that, you have reduced the
dimensionality of the problem. You only look into gamma energy channels you are suspecting to find
something. When you look into places where there is a threat, you make distinctions between the threat
object and what is naturally occurring.”
Advancements in this technology will be shared with stakeholders during this month’s
international conference, which will serve as an opportunity for the NNSS to share its role in working
to address the challenges posed by TENORM for international security. The presentation is on behalf of
the NNSA Office of Nuclear Incident Policy and Cooperation, which provides international support for
radiological emergency preparedness and response worldwide with more than 80 partner nations.
“We get to elaborate on what the NNSS does for the international community in order to
resolve some of these situations,” said Mukhopadhyay. “The NNSS works hard to train foreign countries on
how to collect and provide gamma energy spectra along with other corroborating data to the DOE/NNSA
triage system for unambiguous and timely resolution of the problem.”
EM Nevada discusses risk-informed decision making, culture
of collaboration at 2020 RadWaste Summit
Federal, contractor, and regulator representatives involved with the activities of the
DOE Environmental Management (EM) Nevada Program recently participated in a dynamic panel discussion at
the 2020 RadWaste Summit, hosted by ExchangeMonitor Publications & Forums. At the event, held virtually
for the first time, the representatives discussed how a shared commitment to cross-collaboration and
risk-informed decision making has helped to safely accelerate closure, cut costs, and best protect
people and the environment in Nevada.
Participants in the Nevada panel included Bill Wilborn, Deputy Program Manager,
Operations, for EM Nevada; Christine Andres, Chief, Bureau of Federal Facilities for the Nevada Division
of Environmental Protection; and Dave Taylor, Program Manager for Navarro Research and Engineering, the
Environmental Program Services contractor to EM Nevada.
The panel discussion centered on the Nevada partners’ shared embrace of risk-informed
decision making, which prioritizes the protection of human health and the environment, while considering
future land use, in the development of cleanup strategies. The panel also discussed their successful
efforts to develop a culture of collaboration and consistent communication, which has helped to
streamline the development, review, and approval processes surrounding cleanup and closure activities.
“The three of us have worked together for a number of years, spanning over a decade,”
said Andres. “Through those years, we have always respected each other, and, through that respect, we’ve
built a trust that we are all here to do our jobs – and that’s to protect Nevada and Nevadans.”
Working collaboratively to adopt new and innovative approaches, the entities have
achieved closure at 100 percent of atmospheric nuclear testing sites covered by the Nevada Federal
Facility Agreement and Consent Order, completing the milestone six years early, saving an estimated $66
million in federal funding. Additionally, the accelerated closure of groundwater areas impacted by
underground nuclear testing at the NNSS is anticipated to result in $100 million in savings over initial
baseline estimates, with the timeline expedited by an estimated three to six years.
The Nevada panel discussion was moderated by Jesse Sleezer, Strategic Communications
Manager for Navarro Research and Engineering. To learn more about EM Nevada Program activities, please
Nevada National Security Site honored as R&D 100 winner and
The NNSS’ X-ray Polarizing Beam Splitter (XRPBS) was named a winner of the 2020 R&D
100 Awards. The Aerial Reconnoiter Using Unmanned Systems (ICARUS) was a finalist.
The award-winning innovation recognized, the XRPBS, has the ability to separate an
x-ray beam in two in order to measure each polarized beam simultaneously, which will be used for
diagnostics within the NNSA enterprise. Developed in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories,
Argonne National Laboratory and EcoPulse, it is the first x-ray polarizing beam splitter in existence.
“I see it as a diagnostic that will be involved with many different types of
experiments and scientific research facilities,” said NNSS Distinguished Scientist Howard Bender. “There
is a continual advancement of these high-synchrotron resources.”
ICARUS equips unmanned aircraft systems with a payload of radiation, chemical,
optical, LIDAR, and photographic detectors. The technology, developed by the NNSS in partnership with
Unmanned Systems, Inc., H3D, Inc., and Virginia Tech, can be viewed in this video.
“ICARUS is an intelligent unmanned aerial autonomous system,” said Bender. “It
provides an unmanned capability to do some of the dull, dirty, dangerous, and sometimes deep work where
you don’t want to send any type of human system – for example, a serious incident involving hazardous
Both ICARUS and XRPBS were developed through the Site-Directed Research and
Development (SDRD) Program, the NNSS’ premier science and technology venue and primary source for
discovery and innovation for national security missions.
The R&D 100 Awards is recognized among the most prestigious innovation awards
programs in the science and technology fields. When considering submissions each year, the NNSS looks at
unique innovative technologies that are commercially viable.
“We always look for a hook that we can communicate for what makes us say ‘wow,’” said
SDRD Project Manager Leslie Esquibel.
The recognition serves as a way for the NNSS to raise awareness of its research and
“It’s recognition,” said Bender. “It’s prestige amongst our peers in terms of
innovation capability to drive new solutions for technical challenges. It provides name recognition,
publicizing our capabilities so other entities know who we are and what we do.”
The NNSS has won six R&D 100 awards for its 2018 Silicon Strip Cosmic Muon Detector,
2017 Geometrically Enhanced Photocathodes, 2013 KiloPower with LANL, 2012 Multiplexed Photonic Doppler
Velocimeter, 2010 Movies of eXtreme Imaging Experiments (MOXIE) with LANL, and 2009 High-Resolution
Holography Lens. The NNSS was also recognized as a finalist for its Falcon Plasma Focus in 2019 and
Argus Fisheye Probe in 2015.
For more information about the NNSS’ SDRD Program, visit https://www.nnss.gov/pages/programs/SDRD.html.
Nevada National Security Site donates more than $200,000 to
educational and social causes
Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) management and operating contractor Mission
Support and Test Services (MSTS) is proud to make a $202,000 donation across several community causes.
“During this unprecedented year, we’re grateful we’re able to provide much-needed
support to local and national pillars of our community,” said MSTS President Mark Martinez. “As
organizations continue to respond to the challenges brought forth in 2020, we’re pleased to be able to
A total of $57,000 will support the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) College of Engineering. In partnership with the university, the NNSS is a sponsor
of the Tech Trekker, a mobile science lab
that brings STEM opportunities directly to students. The platform will be adapted to provide supplies to
schools who have students attending class on premise. The NNSS also backs UNLV’s SISTEM, a program where
high school students are introduced to STEM careers through hands-on activities and guest speakers,
which is being adapted for remote presentations until students return to a normal on-campus setting. Two
$2,500 scholarships will be committed to the College of Engineering for students whose research aligns
with the NNSS’ areas of need.
An additional $22,000 will benefit the UNLV College of Sciences, with $7,000 allotted for fifth grade science camps at Title I
schools. $5,000 will go toward the 2021 GeoSymposium, a forum for graduate and undergraduate students to
present their research and receive feedback from industry professionals. Another $5,000 will be used to
support students’ capstone physics and astronomy projects that parallel NNSS mission work. The chair of
the chemistry department will be given $5,000 to further chemistry research initiatives that involve
high school students and teachers.
$10,000 will be donated to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that promotes literacy by providing
approximately 60,000 books per month to Title I schools. As corporate sponsorships and school book
drives have been impacted by COVID-19, the donation will ensure books reach the hands of children in
“We are beyond grateful for the support provided by the NNSS,” said Spread the Word
Nevada Co-Founder and Executive Director Lisa Habighorst. “This gift helps to ensure that at-risk
students have the tools to create a lifelong love of reading that will brighten their futures. Thousands
of students and their families will benefit from this generous donation.”
As students continue distance learning, oftentimes with multiple family members
working within a common area, the NNSS is providing $1,500 to the Clark County School District to cover the cost of ear bud headphones for
approximately 500 students.
The NNSS is a Diamond partner to the Nevada Test Site
Historical Foundation, which is the recipient of $25,000 for the continuation of educational and
scientific programs regarding the Site’s legacy at the National Atomic Testing Museum.
The NNSS is a continued supporter of the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum. $25,000 will go toward sponsorship of STEM
programming, which includes educational activities hosted at the facility’s NNSS science bench.
The Southern Nevada chapter of The MATHCOUNTS Foundation, which works to build middle school students’
problem-solving skills and positive attitudes about mathematics, will get $1,500 to support its
A favorite among Nevada high school students, the annual Nevada Science Bowl competition
will have a new look and feel in 2021 as the competition goes virtual. The NNSS is supplying $20,000 to
continue to make the competition possible for the hundreds of students who compete to be regional
champions and advance to the Department of Energy National Science Bowl.
Also going virtual next year is the Nevada Future City Competition. The NNSS is a longstanding sponsor of the annual
event, in which students design a city model that rises to the engineering challenges of the future.
$5,000 will support students with the tools they need to compete.
The NNSS regularly volunteers with Three Square Food Bank, Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization.
$15,000 will be used for food supply, as the organization expects a 59 percent increase in demand for
food through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 as a result of this year’s socio-economic impacts.
“The need for food in our community has been amplified,” said President and CEO of
Three Square Food Bank Brian Burton. “More than 447,000 people, including over 171,000 children, don’t
know where their next meal is coming from. Though we are facing a food-insecurity crisis unlike anything
we have seen before, we are reassured by incredible partners like the Nevada National Security Site,
whose generosity will provide 45,000 meals for families and individuals in need.”
The Las Vegas Global Economic
Alliance will receive $5,000 as the NNSS continues its Stakeholder Investor membership to promote
economic and community development throughout Southern Nevada.
Finally, in the wake of devastation caused by record wildfires and hurricanes during
the last several weeks, the NNSS is proud to make a contribution of $15,000 to the American Red Cross as the organization continues
its humanitarian response.
“We would like to extend our warmest thanks to the Nevada National Security Site for
making a $15,000 contribution to the disaster relief activities carried out by the American Red Cross
across the country,” said American Red Cross of Southern Nevada Executive Director Alan Diskin. “With so
many concurrent emergencies happening right now, every dollar means comfort and care that we can give to
people on some of the worst days of their lives.”
For more information about the NNSS’ year-round support to Nevada, see https://www.nnss.gov/docs/fact_sheets/DOENV_0491.pdf.