Jul 9, 2007

What do the locals think?

Recent posts have spawned discussion about the likelihood of production-scale pit production coming to LANL. What do the locals think? I was surprised to discover that more than just a few of my Los Alamos colleagues seem to share the views of this commenter from the Pit Production at LANL post:

I have been told that a couple of years ago Curry wanted to post signs at all entrances to Los Alamos County saying "Entering Los Alamos County is hazardous to your health". My sense of Curry is that he would like to be the next governor.

And I am so glad to see others who might be alive today only because of Los Alamos' development of the bomb (maybe their fathers or grandfathers would have died invading Japan) chiming in on how nobody outside Los Alamos County is our friend. I imagine those same folks have no clue what sorts of environmental poisons they have been exposed to, and that exposure might explain their ridiculous statements. The amount of pesticides and fertilizers that find their way to various aquifers, for example, are very hazardous, yet no one seems to rant and rave about the farmers who use those chemicals and pollute drinking water.

I thought the idea of posting was to discuss the viability of pit production at LANL. Believe it or not, many of us who live in Los Alamos County are not too keen on a pit production facility because of the waste products and we would like to see courts kill the whole project because of the EIS (which no one believes will be at all comprehensive, at least the first pass through it).

We know way more about the problems because of the cleanup of Rocky Flats, and the EIS will have to address those problems as well as the ones caused by our geography.

And this one:

We have no factual way of determining if two bombs was one too many. Maybe in our grandchildrens' lifetime, Washington will release enough information to make that determination. Right now it's just emotional.

I have every hope that the EIS process will determine if a pit production facility is built at Los Alamos because I believe our "friends" in Santa Fe will be very active in the process. Maybe they don't think of themselves as friends, but if they can kill it, then they are my friends. After all, they forced the construction of the Santa Fe bypass.

And I believe Curry will be a real pain in the neck about it. Quite frankly, I hope the whole idea is killed because reusing pits is doable, and I hope that because Udall and Bingaman did not attend the great ceremony that they are serious about supporting program diversity at LANL. Now if they can just figure out that the gross management structure at LANL is driving costs sky high, and if they can figure out how to get DOE/NNSA to clamp down on LANS, diversity might be doable.



Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that you found two people in Los Alamos with a conscience; there can't be that many. In any event they will be marginalized by

1. the strong presence of corporate "lab whores" at LANL who are in it for the money rather than the mission, and
2. the demonstrated lack of courage by the fine citizens of Los Alamos.

Yes, I'm bitter. This town is populated by cowards. Our new corporate masters will get whatever they want because nobody here has the courage to stand up to them.

Let the whimpering of "But I'm an at-will employee now" begin.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, the decision of whether or not to pump money into LANL for pit production won't come from the fine citizens of Los Alamos. It will come from Washington, through the usual process of Bechtel buying Congressmen, Senators, and Sam Bodman.

Anonymous said...

It's good that the only "scientists" during the revolution were Jefferson and Ben Franklin. The scientists at LANL have no loyalty to those contractors who supported them and are now gone. They were cowards a year ago, and they are cowards now. They sit quietly in their offices hoping that out-of-sight is out-of mind. Those same contractors are going to be pouring over the RIF list to see if their favorite cowards are on it.

Anonymous said...

Gussie, Old Bean:

No offense, but why is it that you seem interested in the opinions of that very same citizenry who "wanted "UC to win the contract so that their benefits would be preserved"?

By definition, etc. etc.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Good question, 8:14. I guess it doesn't matter much, as the citizenry does not seem very interesting in responding.


Anonymous said...

Local businessmen in Los Alamos are seeing a significant dropoff in revenues and are running scared. My guess is the business community would love to see a new pit factory come into town if it will help generate more business activity. They won't asked too many questions. LANS corporate will be very much for it, of course, as it will mean more managerial jobs at top pay and lots of extra profits for both Bechtel and BWXT. Most of the scientist at LANL are probably leaning against this idea, but who listens to scientists these days? The all-mighty buck rules over this town. In fact, scientists at LANL who become too vocal against the idea of ramped up pit production on the Hill may soon find LANS management on their backs.

Anonymous said...

LANL has beefed up security around TA-55, but doesn't the idea of having lots of nuclear bomb pits so close to downtown Los Alamos creep out the local folks just a little bit? I mean, think about it. A scaled up pit factory make Los Alamos a prime target of terrorists and TA-55 is only about a half mile from the center of downtown.

Anonymous said...


What creeps me out is how acquiscent the Los Alamos community seems to be to the concept of their town turning into RFP-South. Typical of them, though. They've been complicit in crapping up their beautiful mesa since 1943, so why should we expect any better of them now?

Anonymous said...

Good point, 9:27. Ask any of the locals why *they* don't hike down Mortindad Canyon.

(Answer, for you out-of-towners: Because it's hotter than shit from all the years of dumping radioactive waste down it).

Or, take Acid Canyon. Lovely name, that. So-called because that's where the good citizens of Los Alamos allowed acidic plutonium-bearing waste to be dumped for decades, within virtual spitting distance from the Los Alamos High School, right in the center of town.

No wonder everybody in LA is so silent: they're embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

About half the LANL regular employees have come to the Lab since the beginning of '00. Why would they have a clue about any of the historical stuff you're talking about?

Anonymous said...

Oh come off it. The townsite contamination dates back to the Manhattan Project and was stopped long before most current LANL employees were born. Why am I supposed to be embarrassed about this? I'm proud of the history of my community.

Honestly, I'm more spooked by the collections of god-knows-what-they-brought-home-from-the Lab that my oldtimer neighbors have stashed in their basements, than I am of having a pit manufacturing facility three miles away.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

"Honestly, I'm more spooked by the collections of god-knows-what-they-brought-home-from-the Lab that my oldtimer neighbors have stashed in their basements, than I am of having a pit manufacturing facility three miles away."

It sounds like the next generation of Los Alamos citizens is alive and well, and ready and willing to continue the tradition of crapping up our environment for a paycheck. I'm sure LANS is very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

7/10/07 8:26 AM

Well said!!!

Anonymous said...

"About half the LANL regular employees have come to the Lab since the beginning of '00. Why would they have a clue about any of the historical stuff you're talking about?"

You're probably right about the fraction of LANL employees who are new, 6:29. I believe the correct observation about them, though, is not that they are ignorant of Los Alamos' history regarding environmental abuse, but rather that they don't seem to care, as the 6:50am comment demonstrates.

Anonymous said...

The armchair quarterbacks come out of the woodwork and accuse those who have lived or currently live in Los Alamos of willingly contaminating the canyons and polluting the Rio Grande.

It's so easy to accuse others of causing problems rather than understanding the real problem which is learning what the cleanup entails and budgeting for it.

We can't undo what was done with the paltry funding that DOE/NNSA is providing for cleanup. All we can do is not make the same mistakes folks made many years ago when the science was not as well understood as it is today.

So all of you who bitch and moan and complain should address your bitching, moaning, and complaing to Washington where budgets are set. When the money gets to LANL, the way it's spent is already decided. IT'S THE LAW!

Of course, it's easier to bitch and moan and complain on a blog because that takes no effort and makes you feel important to see your bitches, moans, and complaints posted.

You are all so incredibly lazy.

Anonymous said...

12:00pm suggests that the managers of the Acid Canyon dumping operation had do idea of knowing that disposing of acidic Pu-bearing waste into a canyon in the center of town for decades was a bad thing.

To which I suggest: bullshit.

Anonymous said...

It seems that all the blogger live at least 100m away from Los Alamos and never put any foot on Los Alamos County. Because, these harsh critiques would for sure have voiced their concern and outrage publicly during their time when they still lived in Los Alamos or were employed by LANL.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like how they bravely stood up and voiced their concern and outrage over Nanos, when was running LANL into the ground a few years ago, right, 1:33?

Yep, that's the people of Los Alamos, all right -- willing to take a stand when they see LANL doing something wrong.


Eric said...

Cognitive dissonance.

In 20 comments, including the orignal post, on lack of courage in Los Alamos; there are 19 anonymous comments and a pseudonym.

Where is the courage in that?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

What's the matter, Eric? Things getting too quiet over on "workingatlanl" ? You must be used to that by now. You've had 17 whole visitors today, maybe you're doing something wrong. I wonder what it could be?

Anonymous said...

7/10/07 5:54 PM - shut up and leave Eric alone. He, like you, is entitled to his opinion. However, you only want to hear your opinion .... ANONYMOUS ... at least Eric signed his name. YOu would never had gone after another anonymous. So post your name or leave Eric alone.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Eric. We'll leave you alone.