DOE opens computing center in Russian nuclear-complex city

DOE opens computing center in Russian nuclear-complex city

Former Ambassador Ronald Lehman, director of the Center for Global Security Research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and senior Energy officials recently commissioned the Strela Open Computing Center in Snezhinsk, one of 10 closed and formerly secret nuclear cities in Russia.

The center will provide commercial research opportunities to former nuclear weapons specialists in computer software programming, and modeling and computer-assisted engineering and design. Projects will begin immediately, including development of genome sequence analysis tools with research partners from the pharmaceutical industry at the Lawrence Livermore lab.

The center was established under Energy's Nuclear Cities Initiative, a U.S.-Russian cooperative program designed to accelerate Russia's planned consolidation of its vast nuclear weapons complex.

Energy will provide $9.7 million for new and ongoing projects at the center, officials said.

• The Association for Federal Information Resources Management recently presented leadership awards to Ethan Weiner and Kathleen McShea for their work on Energy's Web site at

The pair helped overhaul the site, which includes a new home page, through a horizontal management structure called the Web Council.

• The Bonneville Power Administration recently increased its bandwidth by migrating from a Fiber Distributed Data Interface to a 100Base-T Ethernet using switch routers that prioritize traffic, officials said.

The move let the administration increase its capability from 100 Mbps to a full gigabit, said Kelly Nickell, an engineer with Alcatel USA of Plano, Texas.

Officials realized they needed the upgrade after implementing procurement management and inventory control software from PeopleSoft Financials of Pleasanton, Calif., and project management software from Indus Software Consulting Inc. of Apopka, Fla.

Users access the network on more than 4,300 workstations dispersed over the seven-state area serviced by the administration.

'What we concluded was the limitation we had at 100 Mbps was constraining the capability of the nearly $40 million investment,' said David Rubin, manager of operations services.

So the administration, which sells power from the Columbia-Snake River Basin in the Pacific Northwest, plus the region's only nuclear power plant, coupled the software implementation with a WAN upgrade at 32 sites, increasing the bandwidth.

For reliability, the high-speed network is built in a mesh design to offer fast routing and fast recovery in case of failure in one component of the network, company officials said.

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