By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER
Inside Bay Area
For the first time, executives from private industry are taking places in the upper ranks of Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons lab, in some cases pushing aside career managers for the University of California.
Lab director George Miller on Wednesday named Bechtel vice president Steve Liedle as his second in command and six other executives from the San Francisco-based engineering giant and other private firms to key lab positions over business operations, safety, nuclear operations, facilities and more.
To make way, high-ranking executives of the lab - among them, nonproliferation and homeland security chief Ray Juzaitis, safety and environmental director William Bookless, associate director at large Bruce Warner, even human resources director and former lab counsel Jan Tulk - no longer would be listed as top managers when the new UC/Bechtel-led team takes charge in October. They along with all other lab staff in good standing will be offered jobs within the next six weeks, Miller said.
The lab's small yet respected Energy and Environmental Directorate disappeared altogether, subsumed under a new program called "global security" that includes everything from homeland security to nonproliferation policy and intelligence analysis on foreign weapons of mass destruction, all gathered under a former Army general and Battelle vice president John Doesburg.
Those areas and other unclassified research are expected to grow rapidly and become as much a part of the lab's bottom line as its bread-and-butter mission of designing and maintaining nuclear weapons, according to Miller.
"I think our belief is that the laboratory over the next decade or so is going to become much more balanced than it currently is. It's probably two-thirds or so nuclear stuff right now," he said, predicting "much more balance, a 50-50 kind of a deal" with more work devoted to homeland security, climate science and developing sources of clean energy and water.
"The sense of the laboratory was that many of these energy and environmental issues were going to become important to the future of the country and to the future of the globe," Miller said. "We believe all of these fall under the rubric of global security not just defense."
The management shakeup makes clear, however, that nuclear weapons remain front and center at Livermore. Under Miller and Liedle are five principal associate directors, and two of them - Bruce Goodwin over weapons and complex integration, and Ed Moses over the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science - are funded chiefly by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the nuclear weapons arm of the U.S. Energy Department. The other principal associates include former Bell Labs physicist Cherry Murray remaining over science and technology; Bechtel vice president Frank Russo over operations and business; and Battelle's Doesburg over global security.
Contact Ian Hoffman at ihoffman@angnewspapers.