Sunday, June 16, 2013

A heavy weight

This past week started slow.  It was a repeat of the ICS 400 class I took at Camp Ripley.  Wednesday we learned all about the Public Assistance (PA) program and how they process their projects.  The afternoon concluded with a showing of the movie K19.  We are going to be discussing the various management styles and decisions they made in a future leadership class.  I have seen this movie once before, but I am not sure where.  It must have been somewhere in college.

The week ended with a bang.  Er, thankfully, without one.  Friday was the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives) workshop.  They went all out on this bringing in the head Nuclear guy from FEMA, the head guy from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and the Department of Energy's team leader that went to Japan for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant incident.  PhD's around the room!

This day was eye opening with regards to different biological and nuclear weapons that we could run into.  The entire afternoon was spent exercising what would happen if a 10kT nuclear device was set off in Washington DC.  Our team leader is thinking that for our Level I validation test at the very end it will be this scenario.  It would fit as a level I event.  The end result of the training:  if a nuclear device goes off, get inside, go deep, and stay there at least 1 hour.  The natural urge to flee will actually hurt you more than if you shelter right away and wait.  The half life for fallout is surprisingly short.  That little time inside a building will save you a ton of exposure!!!

The NNSA/LLNL/IBM collaboration has produced six HPC systems that have been ranked among the world’s most powerful computers including: The Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) Blue Pacific; ASCI White; the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Purple; Blue Gene/L; Blue Gene/P, Dawn; and Blue Gene/Q, Sequoia. ASCI White, Blue Gene/L and now Sequoia all attained a no. 1 ranking on the TOP500 list. The Blue Gene line of supercomputers received a Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2009.  At least three of those systems passed through IBM Rochester while I was there.

The week ahead includes a personal leadership course and two days training on one of our portable satellite systems.  That should be a good time (assuming the weather is decent!)

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