Dec 18, 2007

I hate to do it


I hate to say I told you so, but I did. NNSA's plans for LANL are to turn the place into Rocky Flats. A new Rocky Flats that has a computer which can simulate plutonium in the act of triggering fusion by-products, in addition to a LANL that can chunk out plenty of little round hollow spheres of the stuff.

Today's announcement by D'Agostino, in which he described his plans for the new, improved, more efficient USA NNSA Weapons Complex made all of this pretty clear.

Anybody who thinks that any other kind of science can coexist at a LANL with this officially-stated narrow mission will have to prove to me how it can be done, because I don't see how any other kind of science can exist at LANL now.

I told you so.



Anonymous said...

But our director says this selection "confirms that Los Alamos is first and foremost a science R&D laboratory." He wouldn't lie would he? (No RIF and no plans for a RIF...)

Anonymous said...

But... my bees are trained to sniff plutonium. Where else could I go?

Anonymous said...

"NNSA's Plan is to turn LANL into Rocky Flats"

The President issued this today:

Forgive me, Gus, for being naive and not employed at LANL, but how can the mission for LANL be for producing pits, when the US is suppose to reduce warheads?

Anonymous said...

12/18/07 8:08 PM

That does not make sense if it is to be an R&D and production facility.

12/18/07 8:29 PM

Easy answer. Those that are not reduced still require maintenance, or "Stockpile Stewardship"

Anonymous said...

Gosh, you're right. No science in MaRIE or in being one of two supercomputer centers. Certainly no one cares about material science or computing other than NNSA, so as the weapons program goes, so goes these capabilities.

You predicted nothing, Gus. You are just trying to extract your view of where things are headed from the NNSA documents. There are elements of it there, but there are plenty of other elements as well.

I'll give you credit for being predictable, though.

Anonymous said...

9:11 PM, please don't be such an idiot. MaRIE is not planned to be built tomorrow and the super computers won't be so "super" in a couple of years. Science will be done, just not as limited as you think. Not everything at LANL has to do with the virtual MaRIE.

Anonymous said...

The NNSA handout for Complex Transition at LANL has 4 distinct items about our future missions. Two of these listed items are for *production* missions. One of the items is for MaRIE, which is nothing but a poorly disguised cover for doing additional weapons flavored work. There is absolutely nothing about expanding the mission into other, non-weapon types of activities. Furthermore, the NNSA's vision puts us directly on a course that we all know is headed for declining funds.

All I can offer as advice on seeing this NNSA handout is to GET OUT. Get out now if at all possible. If you have good scientific skills and can land another position somewhere else, now is the time to seriously consider doing it.

The vision that NNSA is set on executing for LANL leads to a dead end. The budget for weapons work is headed downward from this point forward. Even NNSA is telling us to expect nothing better than flat budgets, with funds for Complex Transformation (i.e., the expensive buildings and hardware) coming straight out of the existing weapons budget. Given this bleak outlook, LANL is no place to be building a long term career.

Sorry to have to say this, but I think most of the brighter staff who are honest about the situation probably know where we are headed.

Anonymous said...

If there was no plutonium at Los Alamos, there would be no Los Alamos! There would also be no science! Where do you think most of the LDRD funds are generated? Have you ever looked into where PADSTE gets its money? Those of us who work with plutonium are actually smart enough that if we want to do science, it has to be a "part time" activity because the opportunities to do either basic or applied science here are limited. Who is going to award monies to execute a science program when the exact same work can be performed at any university for 1/4 of the cost?

What, you think we have great facilities?

Anonymous said...

Despite this blog's continuous attempt to make everyone think that the sky is falling, LANL has received some good news. Think how the Sandia people out in Nevada feel today??

Now I really do believe that this blog is being run out of Santa Fe. I'm done with you Rest of the Story. You are done...

I bet you won't post this one.

Anonymous said...

9:43pm, don't be such an idiot. This represents NNSA's view of its laboratories. Naturally this is a narrower view and focused on the weapons program. However, they are funding enough other things (like supercomputers and MaRIE) to allow us to grow our mission in other areas. It is up to us to run with that ball.

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 3:57 AM

Bye and please do not let your door hit on a ass on your way out.

Some idiot had to say it first.

Pinky and The Brain said...

1:52 and 3:57 AM? Insomnia?

Eric said...

I am having active discussions about how science can exist in Northern New Mexico, partly in Los Alamos County and partly through interaction with LANL.

There is a plan that seems viable. For the plan to work, it needs more people willing to do the next tasks.

For details, contact me.

The details do not fit well into blog sound bites.


Anonymous said...

So, are you tring to say the science used in the weapons program has no other uses? Seems like a narrow view.

Anonymous said...

I see that the 'dinosaurs' (1:52 AM, 3:57 AM, 6:37 AM) are alive and well at LANL. Unfortunately, a big asteroid is heading our way.

Anonymous said...

Everything at LANL is going to be just fine. Go back to your designated glove box and keep working hard for LANS. And if you don't yet have a designated glove box, don't worry. LANS is working hard to procure one for you.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it is human nature to try to be positive and hopeful...but you all amaze me. You want so much to believe what this NNSA/t.d'agostino said yesterday and assume the truth is coming out of that mouth of his, yet have you forgotten he brought you LANS??? I wouldn't trust a word of any of it and yes, I'm leaving via the voluntary with a very small service credit....this is sick!

Anonymous said...

Anyone have an abqjournal subscription?

Pinky and The Brain said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry Gus,

Anyone in the weapons program with an IQ greater than their body temperature saw this coming a dozen years ago, and accepted it as a fact of life at LANL. What I find amazing is that it seems to come as new news to so many. Live with it!