An optimist's point of view on LANL, from the All-employee meeting at 10:30 this morning post.
Thanks for posting the two paragraphs from Jeff Johnson's interview with Mr. Crandall. The important point is that there seems to be two diverging views of what these words mean. I understood the paragraphs to mean that NNSA was moving from merely tolerating WFO that didn't interfere with mission towards actually encouraging more WFO that is synergistic with the mission. Others here read the same words to mean that NNSA is moving from tolerating some WFO towards tolerating only pit production-related work. That might be a bit of an oversimplification but you get the idea.
Not having enough data to tell for sure which interpretation was closer to reality, I e-mailed Jeff Johnson at Chemical & Engineering News and asked him what he thought Mr. Crandall meant. I then talked with a Program Office guy that I know at LANL that has some responsibility for the WFO portfolio at LANL and got his input as well. Both of their responses lead me to believe that NNSA is, at least momentarily, interested in me bringing in WFO dollars.
I don't have permission from Mr. Johnson to disseminate his e-mail response and I won't shop around the opinion of other staff and management so don't ask me to post names. But th elittle bit of homework that I have done makes me feel that I have a chance to not only keep my job but to actually grow my programs a bit if I am careful.
The main reason that I respond to some of the postings here is that some of what is posted here is not representative of my experience at the lab. There are enough other blogs, like John Fleck's, that have links to this site that I am concerned that the continual doom and gloom that is posted here may actually be perceived by the outside world as the only reality at LANL. We do have more than our fair share of serious trouble right now. But there are some good things going on, as well.