Jul 8, 2007

Pantex facility to recertify plutonium weapon cores

Sent in by a reader on the "Pit Production at LANL" post.

Salient bit from the article:

Gallegos said the Pantex facility is "contamination-free" and doesn't generate new streams of radioactive waste. Requalifying pits, he said, is significantly cheaper than building new ones at Los Alamos, which is now producing small numbers of pits for the stockpile.

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Nuclear reuse

Pantex facility to recertify plutonium weapon cores


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um.

Tell me again why Pete "Pit Dementia" Dominici wants to scale up plutonium production operations at LANL?

Anonymous said...

Because it's good for the economy of New Mexico?

Anonymous said...

I'd have to have it proven to me that throwing money at LANL to enable them to ramp up their Pu waste generation by 3 - 5 hundred times would be good for the economy of New Mexico.

Heck, I'm not even sure that the money would benefit anybody but a few hundred LANL employees, some building contractors, and a few shopkeepers in Los Alamos proper.

Did we mention that pit reuse at Pantex makes pit production at LANL unnecessary?

Anonymous said...

Pete Dominici has built a career and a constituency based on his ability to argue for and win LANL & Sandia funding. It has almost eliminated the need for diversification or striving toward self-sufficiency for a substantial portion of the state of NM. This makes Dominici's job fairly streamlined compared to other states' elected officials who must keep track of many more irons in many more fires.

At least this is my impression after having visited some of the offices in DC.

Anonymous said...

The history of funding LANL programs without peer revue and in secrecy puts the lab in a bad position today, particularly since the very high cost of doing business is now doing harm.
After recent visits to the lab, it seems that everyone has forgotten what I think was called the Motorola review where it was "discovered" that the ratio of workers to "support" was about 1 to 7. How has that improved?

Mike Anastasio said...

We're proud to announce that our "Support" to "Worker" ratio is now 12.5 to 1.

"Support", of course, now includes my 60 new top-level managers, their Deputies, Chiefs of Staff, office managers, etc.

We've made similar improvements in our work flows, too.

Ask me about our security improvements.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

Could this be the reason that the pit facility that was being constructed at LANL came to an end? They have come to the conclusion that it was cheaper to reopen an old facility than it was to build a new one regardless of how many people at LANL will lose their jobs.

I guess that's the end of what was to be a secure job for at least ten years or more. Now what will LANL do in order to prevent a RIF? How long has upper level management known about this ploy and why didn't they tell you?

I guess watching the outcome of this event will serve as a model to LLNL as to what's going to happen in just a few short months once LLNS makes the determination that they too can do some of what is being done at LLNL in other places across the country, a hell of a lot cheaper than in California. We need to show DOE / NNSA that we are making a profit, now !

Anonymous said...

'Snicker'

LLNL make a profit!

That's *really* funny.

Y'all making a profit on NIF out there at "Little Nell"?

Anonymous said...

Out here at "Li'l Nell" (LLNL), we call our parent company "Illness" (LLNS).

Anonymous said...

7/8/07 4:44 PM

That's the goal of LLNS. So how do you think they will do that?

How about listing a few ways that will give the people of LLNL something to think about if you were a private firm coming into LLNL and you had to show DOE and NNSA that you knew how to do things cheaper or reduce overhead?

Please outline your approach and in what time frame you would do this in.

THis should be good.

Anonymous said...

LLNL just picked up 5 awards from the trade journal R&D Magazine's top 100 inventions worldwide for 2006. LANL got 2 awards. So I would say LLNL is doing something right... Since 1978 LLNL has received about 4 such awards a year (total to date 118), so lets wait and see how many LLNL gets in the next year compared to LANL...

http://www.llnl.gov/pao/news/news_releases/2007/NR-07-07-01.html

Anonymous said...

Can't we find an even cheaper means to do this stuff than using refurbs at Pantex? Perhaps NNSA should try using Ebay.

Anonymous said...

The R&D 100 is somewhat of a "fixed" game. However, LANL's dismal showing for the last round is a clear sign that the science at LANL is slipping badly. LANS will spin it otherwise, though.

Anonymous said...

4:18pm seems truly clueless on the concept.

To make a profit, you sell something for more than you paid for it. What does LLNL make, how much did it cost them to make it, and who bought it for what price?

So far as I can tell, LLNL (like LANL) is a huge money sponge, with very little being returned for the expenditure.

Anonymous said...

2:13 PM

What do these national labs produce to make a profit in your return on investment view of federal research and science facilities; Argonne, Brookhaven, Ames Lab, Princeton Physics Lab, Oak Ridge, JPL, Thomas Jefferson Lab, Fermi Lab, SLAC, LBNL, Lincoln Lab...

Anonymous said...

Don't know about them. We were discussing Li'l Nell (Please don't cut our NIF funding, that's all we have) and LANL, (Oops, we charge $450K per FTE, and all we do is plug USB ports with JB Weld).

Maybe the other national labs are more productive.

LANL is also quite good at sucking up funds from their sponsers for 7-month periods at a time, with -$0- return for the expenditure.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5:46 pm said...
"Out here at "Li'l Nell" (LLNL), we call our parent company "Illness" (LLNS)."

Now "that" is hysterical! And how right you are. LANS and its brilliance has done nothing in the past year except make things worse if that was possible. They put big losers with no spines and only personal agendas in the AD and PAD posts and Mike could care less about "illness" except making it "sicker". I guess that is why he thinks things are getting better when the rest of us are dealing with the shit each and every day and don't know how he thinks morale is improving...things have NOT gotten better, cheaper, or faster as he promised they would when LANS took over.

Anonymous said...

7:12 AM - "LLNL just picked up 5 awards from the trade journal R&D Magazine's top 100 inventions worldwide for 2006. LANL got 2 awards. So I would say LLNL is doing something right... "

Yeah, our great scientific "Leader" Terry said he was disappointed that LANL did not get more of these awards ... maybe if Terry pulled his head out of his butt and actually helped and supported science and technology at LANL we might have scored more.

Moving onto a slightly different Terry-topic, I heard he bought some designer palatial estate in Quemezon so that he would not have to live amongst the slums of LA ... so much for connecting with the rest of us. Like a King over-looking his subjects ... I guess he got paid real good for selling out LANL.

Anonymous said...

So how much did the local sell-outs (Wallass, Seestrom, Ney, Gibbs, Beason, and Bishop ...) get for joining the mafia and selling out LANL??

Anonymous said...

Terry lives down the street from me. Nice house, really nice house. Unfortunately, he is not very social, does not say hi to folks in the neighborhood, and really gives the impression that he thinks he is better than the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

If you were Terry, wouldn't you want to avoid talking to your neighbors and townspeople in general?

Anonymous said...

"Moving onto a slightly different Terry-topic, I heard he bought some designer palatial estate in Quemezon so that he would not have to live amongst the slums of LA ... so much for connecting with the rest of us. Like a King over-looking his subjects ... I guess he got paid real good for selling out LANL." - 9:20 pm

Terry bought one of the most expensive homes in Los Alamos about a year ago, probably coinciding with his big, fat salary boost from LANS. It is an ultra-modern design that had a write up in the Monitor shortly before he bought it. If memory serves me, it was going for about $850K. That's chump change for a guy like Terry these days.

What's really interesting is the sudden appearance of shiney, new high-end sports cars I've seen driving around Los Alamos these days. It seems as if some people in the area are feeling quite flush with cash. I wonder who? Names, anyone?

As for the regular grunts who work at LANL, you can expect 2% of less for next years raises and higher deductions for medical, pension, life insurance, etc. Get back to work you slackers! LANS executives need you to bring in more funds to help feed them.