Dec 21, 2007

Disappearing Plutonium

Interesting. As noted by a comment on the Smaller Nuclear Program Proposed post this morning, LANL's home page (internal and external) had this story about NNSA's Preferred Alternative on it this morning. At some point during the day they changed the lead story to one which features a picture of a figure skater. The "Preferred Alternative" story can no longer be found on the external LANL page.

Don't worry though, LANS is not skating on thin ice. They and NNSA have all but locked in LANL's new, restricted mission.

Tom Udall's exhortations about diversification notwithstanding.



LANS isn't even attempting to hide their plans for the lab's future. There, on the front of the internal lab web page, is a model of a red pit. To the left it says:

"Plutonium research and development and manufacturing"

It couldn't be more clear, could it?

It's almost as if LANS wants to rub it in and say "We don't give a damn about diversifying this lab! You'll build pits and do plutonium science and like it or else."


Anonymous said...

DOE was either incredibly brilliant or incredibly stupid...
The 79 M yearly payment to LANS is not dependant on the size of LANL.

So, as far as LANS management is concerned, less is better. Fewer employees in a highly guarded, highly specific complex will make less of those pesky mistakes which impair bonuses. If we 'restructure' down to 20 ULM overseeing 10 pit producers, LANS is quite happy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, less is probably more as far as LANS is concerned. They'll be especially interested in getting rid of all those highly paid, pesky, hard to manage scientists. You can never completely trust a scientist. They tend too think to much and observe things a little too closely. That's not good for LANS and they'll want to correct this problem as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone in LANS management has been viewing this blog, found out about the LANL "Plutonium is Our Future" web ad and then demanded it be immediately pulled.

It's best to keep the external web pages stocked with pictures of smiling families, skaters, and happy puppies. That's the ticket to great PR!

Anonymous said...

Opps! Some one really screwed up. Glad to see they quickly nixed this embarrassing ad. We wouldn't want any politicians or the public to see what LANS (and especially Bechtel and BWXT) are happily celebrating about, would we?

Still, that pretty red ball did have a nice Christmas-y look to it, didn't it? It almost looks like a Christmas tree ornament.

I guess Mike will now have to go out and make another meaningless announcement to the press about how LANS is working hard to diversify the lab and prepare it for a more relevant future. I hope he can do it without laughing.

Anonymous said...

Ehhh...I think that "red pit" is a Pu-238 heat source. I suspect the X-Division folks would be mighty upset to hear that any of their pit designs generated this much self-heating.

Anonymous said...

Whatever that translucent red ball is, it looks like a piece of delicious candy to me.

Anonymous said...

It´s the state of mind of the LAPPP dance.

(For the novice: Site Y, LASL, LANL, LAPPP, and a future risk, Los Alamos Site, but more job for Bechtel as they now try to clean up the Hanford Site.)

Anonymous said...

This is not a pit. What a pathetic battle of wits you guys fight... Unarmed.