D'Agostino promised tough action: "Make no doubt about this. If the current laboratory management is unable or unwilling to change the security culture at LANL, I will use every management tool available to me" to force action, he said in testimony.
Given that, we should note again that D'Agostino and NNSA picked the identical management team (Bechtel, UC, & friends) to run our sister lab in California. Remember, D'Agostino had ample examples of LANS' management, shall we say, style, from observing their performance during their first year running LANL. Yet he picked the same corporate entities to run LLNL.
Is D'Agostino stupid? Is he incompetent?
Or, is he simply staying the course and executing a game plan that has been agreed to by DOE and Congress?
I'll take the latter explanation. Further, I believe that the game plan includes either shutting down LANL completely, or retaining only a Pu processing capability, if that initiative survives the budget process. LANS got the LANL and LLNL contracts because they were friendly to the concept; Lockheed was not.
The evidence supporting this position is compelling. First, Lockeed lost the contract in spite of having presented a superior bid and in spite of UC's atrocious past performance. Next, LLNL director Anastasio was transferred to become LANL's director. Then, we discover that Anastasio helped influence the RRW competition to favor his Alma Mater.
All of the new Bechtel and BWXT-bred LANS top management have a temporary feel to them -- most of them live in Santa Fe, as does our director.
The repeated, scripted Congressional LANL bashings (not undeserved, mind you, but conducted with perhaps a bit more hysteria than events dictated). The budget slashings directed at LANL. The decided lack of support that LANL management continues to demonstrate to staff. The lukewarm verbiage from Tom Udall suggesting that LANL diversify into energy research in spite of the facts, such as
- we already have a National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
- LANL doesn't do energy, and
- LANL costs an unbelievable, uncompetitive $450K per TSM to pay for a year's output, much of which is spent satisfying a morass of brain dead CYA bureaucratic "training" requirements.
What else can one conclude but that the real plan calls for LANL is to be shut down, and that a much-reduced role for LLNL is to be expected.