NQA1 Training in historic and beautiful Los Alamos

 

Diagram representation of the element uranium

NQA1 Training in historic and beautiful Los Alamos

Recently the Quality Manager for our sister company, Deltech, Inc. (Deltech Furnaces) and this blogger, President of Deltech, Inc. and co-owner/manager of DKFD, attended a three day course entitled, “Understanding and Implementing ASME NQA1″. The course was sponsored by ProcessQM, and the instructor was Norm Moreau, a guy with the kind of credentials you want when you are paying for your education. ProcessQM is headquartered in New Mexico, and the class sessions were held at the University of New Mexico Las Alamos. Los Alamos is the very famous home of the Los Alamos National Labs. More about this and the city of Los Alamos later…please keep reading…

For those of you who might not know, NQA-1 is a quality assurance program for companies doing – or working towards doing – business in the nuclear world, whether government (for example, the Department of Energy) or commercial (for example, Westinghouse Nuclear ). ISO quality programs require certification, but for NQA-1 you demonstrate compliance with the requirements through a quality audit conducted by a company or agency interested in doing business with you. So that means you don’t pay a certification body to conduct the audits of your program.

In class, we learned that if you have an ISO quality program, you can build on that to satisfy the more stringent NQA-1 requirements. Since both Deltech, Inc. and DKFD have ISO 9001:2015 certification, we are a quite significantly sized step ahead. We hope to have programs in place for both companies within the next few months. With Deltech Furnaces as our manufacturing partner, we expect to be able to take on the supply of electric laboratory furnace systems for nuclear facilities such as Y12 as a contractor or direct line subcontractor. (See here for information on our current projects.)

Now to that promised commentary on the city of Los Alamos and the lab. If you haven’t been there, you can look forward to a beautiful drive up into the Jemez Mountains from the famous Santa Fe, known for its arts and history. And Los Alamos and White Rock, the community next door, are beautiful as well. The city itself is not very large (about 12,000), and as you might imagine LANL is the primary employer.  Since we were in class all day for three days, we didn’t get to do a lot of exploring. But we did find some very good food (check out the Blue Window Bistro). We also made the short drive to Espanola for excellent Mexican food at El Paragua.  And we went to the not-to-be-missed National Laboratory museum, the Bradbury Science Museum. It is named after Norris Bradbury, the second director of the lab, not after Ray Bradbury the famous science fiction writer, as you might have been your first guess.

It’s been a long time since my original visit to the museum; so long in fact that at the time the museum was in a small facility on laboratory grounds. Now it has much more to offer, but honestly I still marvel at the original collection of memorabilia from the lab’s beginnings. One of the items you’ll find there is a letter from Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. And again, that’s just one of the remarkable historical artifacts on display along with a view of the Lab’s current work and some hands-on activities.

Trip to Los Alamos, anyone?

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