Mar 3, 2008

City Leaders, Groups Oppose Proposal to Expand LANL's Role in Producing Pits

By John Arnold
For the Journal

Santa Fe city leaders are teaming up with anti-nuclear watchdogs and other community groups in hopes of thwarting a federal plan that would expand Los Alamos National Laboratory's role in manufacturing plutonium pits— the highly radioactive cores of modern nuclear weapons.

At a daylong workshop on Saturday, Mayor David Coss and City Councilor Matthew Ortiz laid out their opposition to the National Nuclear Security Administration's proposal to transform the nation's nuclear weapons complex.

"Santa Fe stands for peace," Ortiz said to a sympathetic crowd gathered at Santa Fe's Genoveva Chavez Community Center. "We cannot have bomb-making and have peace at the same time."

The city was listed as a sponsor— along with several watchdog and religious organizations— for Saturday's community event, "Turning Swords Into Ploughshares."

The Santa Fe City Council last month unanimously approved a resolution opposing the NNSA proposal and expanded pit production.

Coss defended local government's stance on the federal plan, saying the city has a right to be involved in what goes on in its backyard, especially on issues of national security.

"I think it's valid for us to take a position on that. We just reject this know-your-place mentality coming from the federal government," Coss said.

The city is lending its voice to a growing chorus of local opposition to the NNSA's plan, which envisions a smaller, more responsive nuclear weapons complex that can produce weapons on an as-needed basis.

"Because our nuclear weapons stockpile is decreasing, the United States' future deterrent cannot be based on the old Cold War model of number of weapons," NNSA chief Thomas D'Agostino said in December when he unveiled the transformation plan. "Rather, it must be based on the capability to respond to any national security situation, and make weapons only if necessary."

That means LANL would have to maintain the capability to produce 50-80 pits per year, according to NNSA. That's far fewer than the hundreds produced annually at the nation's last pit factory, the long-defunct Rocky Flats Plant near Denver. But even at the more modest production rate, anti-nuclear watchdogs and community leaders worry about increased pollution associated with plutonium work.

The lab should focus on cleaning up the decades worth of industrial waste created by its past weapons work, said Picuris Pueblo Governor Craig Quanchello on Saturday. Others called for the lab to move beyond Cold War thinking.

"I fully support a mission change for LANL," Española Mayor Joseph Maestas said in a written statement, which was read aloud at Saturday's gathering.

Maestas, who opposes the NNSA's transformation plan but remains sensitive to the jobs that LANL provides his constituents, said he was moving forward with economic development initiatives focused on renewable energy.

New energy research and development facilities in the Española Valley could be "a potential catalyst for change of the LANL mission" while creating new "green-collar" jobs, Maestas said.

Saturday's event took place just ten days before a series of NNSA-sponsored hearings on the complex transformation are to be held across the state. Activists said they are stepping up efforts to organize opposition in hopes of getting more individuals and groups to submit on-the-record comments to NNSA.

Sponsors for Saturday's workshop include the City of Santa Fe, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, the New Mexico Conference of Churches and Faithful Security: National Religious Partnership on Nuclear Weapons Danger.

Nuclear Plan Hearings
The proposal to designate Los Alamos National Laboratory as the nation's plutonium pit manufacturing center is part of a sweeping plan to shrink the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

The National Nuclear Security Administration plans hearings across New Mexico this month:
  • Socorro: Macey Center at New Mexico Tech, Monday, March 10, 6-10 p.m.
  • Albuquerque: Convention Center, Tuesday, March 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.
  • Los Alamos: Hilltop House, Wednesday, March 12, 6-10 p.m.
  • Los Alamos: Hilltop House, Thursday, March 13, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Santa Fe: Genoveva Chavez Community Center, Thursday, March 13, 6-10 p.m.
  • Española Mayor Joseph Maestas said Saturday that NNSA has agreed to schedule an additional meeting in Española on March 27, from 6-10 p.m., at the plaza's Mision y Convento.
[See also the New Mexican's story on this.]

121 comments:

Anonymous said...

Remind me again why I care what Santa Fe thinks...?

Anonymous said...

Mayors endorse NNSA study recommendations

Oh wait, that's Y-12.

Anonymous said...

Let's see here, the Mayors of Santa Fe and Espanola, two of the worst-run cities in the nature, now want to have input on national security policy. Why don't these idiots concentrate on things such as collection of trash, snow removal, and reducting the 50% drop out rates in their high schools?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the mayors think about being called idiots by someone who can't spell.

Anonymous said...

1:47 Great comment, you made me laugh out loud....Great!

Anonymous said...

that would expand Los Alamos National Laboratory's role in manufacturing plutonium pits— the highly radioactive cores of modern nuclear weapons.
===========

Writer John Arnold is ignorant of the
physics. Plutonium pits are "highly
radioactive.." according to Mr Arnold.

Evidently Mr Arnold doesn't recall his
high school science. The radioactivity
is INVERSELY proportional to the half-
life. The half-life of Plutonium-239 is
24,000 years.

Plutonium is NOT "highly radioactive"

Perhaps the Journal should hire writers
that have at least a high school level
of education in science if they are
going to write articles about Los Alamos.

Anonymous said...

Highly radioactive would be a half-life of 23,999 years or less. 24,000 or more is perfectly safe.

Anonymous said...

Highly radioactive would be a half-life of 23,999 years or less. 24,000 or more is perfectly safe.
=============

NO - "highly radioactive" would be
something like Cesium-137 with a half-life
of 30 years or Iodine-131 with a half-life
of 8 days.

THOSE are highly radioactive!!!

It would be nice of this forum had
posters with at least a high school
level of understanding of science.

Anonymous said...

These idiot mayors should stick to the business of running their cities instead of pandering to the likes of Chris Mechels.

Sure, all of us would like to do "green" work, but it is not up to us or LANL. It is up to the Congress.

Anonymous said...

You mean Greg Mello, not Chris Mechels.

Keep your bogey-men straight.

Anonymous said...

We are going to hear more of this from SF and Espanola. And NMED will get involved too.

It sounds to me like folks who were opposed to our becoming a pit production facility a year ago are now for it because SF is against it. That's pretty juvenvile.

How about continuing to oppose it because it's the wrong direction to go no matter what SF and Espanola have to say about it? Even people you don't like can be right sometimes.

Anonymous said...

"Even people you don't like can be right sometimes."

What a concept!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the concept is too mature for this blog.

Anonymous said...

Santa Fe city leaders are teaming up with anti-nuclear watchdogs and other community groups in hopes of thwarting a federal plan that would expand Los Alamos National Laboratory's role in manufacturing plutonium pits— the highly radioactive cores of modern nuclear weapons.


Who really cares what they think? I think national security trumps some moron from Santa Fe.

Anonymous said...

How is national security improved by manufacturing pits that don't meet the specifications in our tested designs?

It is dangerous to assume that anything LANL wants to do will improve our national security. Very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I hope Santa Fe leaders and NMED can bring this hair-brained scheme to a screeching halt. Building something that does not match the specs is a big waste of money.

Folks on this blog make nasty comments about Espanola, but at least some folks in Espanola realize that they need to develop clean industry so they are trying to coordinate with NNMC to develop solar energy manufacturing. Where is LANL in all this? They are busy building pits.

From what I've read on this blog, in Los Alamos people fuss about LANL's poor leadership and plans but when someone outside LANL argues against them, everyone bands together to protect against outside criticism.

It's too bad those same folks don't stand up to the County Council and the School Board to get them to accomplish something positive for the community rather than putting us millions and millions of dollars into debt to build fancy buildings and increase retail simply by moving Smiths from one side of Trinity to the other.

Boyerville continues to gain momentum because Los Alamos citizens are apathetic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Let's see here, the Mayors of Santa Fe and Espanola, two of the worst-run cities in the nature, now want to have input on national security policy. Why don't these idiots concentrate on things such as collection of trash, snow removal, and reducting the 50% drop out rates in their high schools?

3/3/08 1:40 PM


What's much more dangerous is the assumption that intelligent though comes from Santa Fe and Espanola.

With all of the watchgroups, employee's, and the nation watching I am confident LANL is serving a national mission.

Anonymous said...

"What's much more dangerous is the assumption that intelligent though comes from Santa Fe and Espanola."

Do you mean thought? This kind of attitude is what makes people in Northern NM think we are a bunch of rich snobs.

It's dangerous to assume that intelligent thought comes from this blog, I guess.

Anonymous said...

People, take a deep breath...we are in a state where the elected officials believe agriculture is the answer to our economy. Just look at some of the bills that have passed in the last few sessions. Like it or not, this state has one of the worst drop out rates in the country, maybe not the worst, but it is right up there with the worst. We have counties with a BIG drug problem and we are right near the bottom in per capita income, when you factor out Los Alamos. These are truths, like it or not.

The problem comes from our elected officials being more concerned about staying in the round house than doing anything. It is alot like complaining about the weather, you can not be expected to do anything about it, so it is easy to complain. The leaders of Santa Fe and Espanola can go on and on about LANL and DOE knowing full well that they have no action they can take that will actually require them to get to work. Makes for a great headline for our papers and the local news, but nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Espanola and Santa Fe need to realize that significant portions of their populations depend on LANL for their livelihood, both in direct salaries for workers, and in goods and services purchased. For the former, probably more for Espanola than Santa Fe, although the demographics might even out on a total salary versus number of employees basis. In any case, opposing what is demonstrably the way DOE/NNSA is going (when has public input meant anything for these agencies?) could be harmful for the political future of these politicians. The inevitable job losses to come at LANL, no matter what the mission, could be blamed on them.

Anonymous said...

The only exception I would take with 7:05 are the characterizations of "busy" and "building pits."

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to seeing these elected officials in these cities weigh in on the Iraq war and the national economy. Actually, not just me. The world awaits their sage advice.

Anonymous said...

Got news for you, sparky. Even factoring in Los Alamos, per capita incomes are near the bottom. LA county is one of the richest in the country, and the rest are ranked pretty low. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/New_Mexico_locations
_by_per_capita_income

There is a belief that LANL contributes to the economy, but it does not seem to be true. I am basing this on the similar income per capita income levels for counties near LA and far from LA.

So if LANL does not help their local economies, why should local officials want the pollution and hassle without the benefits.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I am looking forward to seeing these elected officials in these cities weigh in on the Iraq war and the national economy. Actually, not just me. The world awaits their sage advicE

Yeah, who cares about rampang drug use, or an epidemic of teen pregnancy, let's focus on something at the national level - it feels good. Remember love heals everything. Just reason with those bad men and they will be nice. We do not need the infusion of cash into NNM in the form of salary and support of small business - we can just sing kum-bay-ya and smoke a little blunt, everything will be ok

Anonymous said...

8:40pm, are you kidding? Take a remedial course in economics. Without the lab, your "poor" counties in New Mexico might look more like Central America than a US state. Innumerable studies from state agencies and universities show the major (second only to state government) impact of LANL on the NNM economy time and again.

You can argue a number of points, but saying LANL has no economic impact outside of Los Alamos county isn't one of them. You just come across as looking like some fool trying out any argument to bash LANL.

Anonymous said...

8:40 here. I cited data. You cited stuff pulled out of your ass.

Anonymous said...

"infusion of cash into NNM in the form of...support of small business"

Examples, please. Have you been in Metzgers recently?

Anonymous said...

So we can write about how crappy everything is in SF and Espanola, how their kids do terrible in school, what awful people they are, how bad their leadership is, but...

They can't say no, we don't want programs at Los Alamos that generate waste products that contaminate the water and the air. And we know these programs are poorly designed so they waste money.

But it's okay for us to have the attitude we have because we are so much BETTER than folks off the "Hill."

Anonymous said...

It is not safe to walk the streets of Espanola or Santa Fe at night. No problem in Los Alamos. End of story. Anyone want to justify that?

Anonymous said...

It's not safe to walk the streets at night in many locales. So your argument proves nothing. But it's another indication of the attitude that people on the "Hill" are better than those off the hill.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Los Alamos is that your kids look just like you...but they're safe.

Good for you!!!

Live life buddy. It's OK to not be safe once in a while.

Anonymous said...

9:51 pm: "It's not safe to walk the streets at night in many locales"

So why would you want to live there??

Anonymous said...

10:05
IT IS NEVER ALRIGHT for children not to be safe - mine or yours you twit! Any attitude that says otherwise reflects the very differences being discussed here.

Ego's and attitude won't change the fact that the nearly $2 billion dollars that flows through the lab DOES have a significant impact on the state.

Anonymous said...

10:05 pm: "It's OK to not be safe once in a while."

Yeah - spoken like one who has no kids, or who has never not been "safe", or who is a vigilante wannabe. So, you think it is "ok" to not be safe in your own neighborhood?

Is that you I see, with the nose ring, tattoos, draggy-ass pants, and sideways baseball cap?? Since you respect the uniform, perhaps you should join the military. It's sad to be a cliche, isn't it? (Oh - wait, you don't know what that means..)

Anonymous said...

"People, take a deep breath...we are in a state where the elected officials believe agriculture is the answer to our economy." - 8:17 PM


Have you bothered to take a look at the current skyrocketing prices of commodities like corn and wheat? Agri-business is THE place to be in the world economy.

LANL would be seen as a more useful place and would be more richly rewarded if it was developing innovative new fertilizers rather than worthless nuclear bombs.

The world has passed LANL by, yet many of the old folks up on the Hill still don't grasp the changes taking place around them.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the majority of the posts in this thread come from one or more rabid anti-nuclear, hate Los Alamos types does not give your sorry opinion greater weight. Your anti-nuclear "facts" are all wrong.

Dangers of plutonium and radioactivity? Way overblown. Radioactivity is small and contained. Extensive training, procedures, and safeguards are involved. The lab employs lots of environmentalists to make sure waste is handled responsibly.

Inability to make pits to specifications? Rubbish. They meet requirements. With any complicated system having rigorous QA, you will find non-conformance reports. If you are as concerned about the lab's QA documentation as you pretend to be, you would never drive or fly again.

No positive effect on economy? Complete nonsense. Most money spent in Los Alamos eventually flows outside of Los Alamos, and a lot of it finds its way to other New Mexico communities, where it continues to be churned. Many employees live outside Los Alamos and start their spending where they live.

If all you have to say are fabrications like these, then your opinions will carry zero weight. As someone else said, a little knowledge of basic science, engineering, and economics would go a long way.

Anonymous said...

"It sounds to me like folks who were opposed to our becoming a pit production facility a year ago are now for it because SF is against it."

Of course. LANS has driven away everyone but us pit whores, haven't you heard?

Anonymous said...

It's a shame the Lab haters who won't come out of the closet on this blog can't see anything the Lab does beyond nuclear weapons.

And they never will because they have a tunnel-visioned viewpoint of the way things are and the way they ought to be.

Bear baiting went out with the middle ages you idiot clowns.

Anonymous said...

8:40 here. I cited data. You cited stuff pulled out of your ass.
==========
8:40;

You may have cited data - but NOT data
from which your conclusion logically
follows.

8:55 is correct. As your data shows;
the area is poor. But it would be even
POORER if not for the influx of money
into northern New Mexico due to LANL.

Anonymous said...

If all you have to say are fabrications like these, then your opinions will carry zero weight. As someone else said, a little knowledge of basic science, engineering, and economics would go a long way.
============

EXACTLY - the iditots from SF and Espanola
are so scared because of their own ignorance.

If they had any intellect and schooling
they would know better than to hew and
cry about "highly radioactive" plutonium.

Sorry - but the Congress of the USA,
representing the nation at large; has
mandated the national security mission
of Los Alamos. SF and Espanola have
been OUT VOTED by the rest of the
nation.

Get used to it!!

Anonymous said...

"IT IS NEVER ALRIGHT for children not to be safe - mine or yours you twit!"

Really?? Don't your kids snowboard or play football? outside? Or goOr live near a lab with a 0.0000000001% chance of a criticality accident? Safety is a continuum, you twit.

Anonymous said...

1:16 "money spent...finds its way to other New Mexico communities"

I cited the per capita incomes by county. LA is rich. Neighboring counties are not much better off than distant counties from which I contended that the effect of LA money on other counties is small. Your response was blather that suggests that you don't even have a little knowledge of economics.

Anonymous said...

"NO - "highly radioactive" would be
something like Cesium-137 with a half-life
of 30 years or Iodine-131 with a half-life
of 8 days."

Aw, cut these guys some slack. LANL's finest PhD's have been known to make the same mistake. One of ADCLES' unfunded mandates has published three or four papers in a row with the same idiotic introduction about the "high specific activity" of plutonium.

Sigh.

I guess that's what we deserve after letting them shut down Omega West.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of the NNM economy, LANL's impact is diminishing, and not just because of the funding cuts, SSP, and other staff departures. LANS is circumventing the intent of the NNM contracting requirement by using its 'proteges' to conduct much of the work that would otherwise be openly competed (some proteges are direct relationships with LANS; others are carryovers from Bechtel). While the protege businesses have established a physical address in NNM, in reality, these are practically a front. The money passed through to them by LANS is farmed to staff in their out-of-state offices. It's interesting that none of New Mexico's newspapers have taken a closer look at how LANS' procurement actually functions.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the phrase "highly
radioactive". The problem is the stupid reporter who should have checked with the best and the brightest for a LANL approved scientific definition of "highly". We are the source of all such knowledge, after all.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the stupid reporter who should have checked with the best and the brightest for a LANL approved scientific definition of "highly".
=======================

Yes - or the stupid reporter could have
paid attention in high school!!!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

1:16 "money spent...finds its way to other New Mexico communities"

I cited the per capita incomes by county. LA is rich. Neighboring counties are not much better off than distant counties from which I contended that the effect of LA money on other counties is small. Your response was blather that suggests that you don't even have a little knowledge of economics."

Why would we trust any sort "analysis" from you?
In any case you simply have no understanding whatsoever of basic economics. It is simply econ 101 on this. Rich communities always
contribute money to local economies, it is that simple. Go read some basic economics books. If those are too hard for you there is some popular books for non-experts like Tim Harford's book "The Undercover Economist".
I really wish people would think before they say stupid things or pretend to know
how to do "economic analysis". For example in a real analysis
per-capita is not a major indicator you would look at.

Anonymous said...

My high school defined "highly radioactive" as a half-life of 23,999 years or less. How was it defined in your high school? Or are you just being highly dense?

Anonymous said...

"... should have checked with the best and the brightest ..."

You mean, "the highly intelligentest."

Anonymous said...

"infusion of cash into NNM in the form of...support of small business"

Examples, please. Have you been in Metzgers recently?

3/3/08 9:18 PM


ok dumbass...are you oblivious to the fact that LANL procurement is legally bound to purchase a certain percentage from qualified small businesses? Qualified small businesses mean minority (as if there is such a thing anymore) and female owned. Many of these businesses are in Espanola and the valley.

....but even fifth grades know that.

Anonymous said...

Is that you I see, with the nose ring, tattoos, draggy-ass pants, and sideways baseball cap?? Since you respect the uniform, perhaps you should join the military. It's sad to be a cliche, isn't it? (Oh - wait, you don't know what that means..)

3/3/08 10:37 PM

Nah, that uniform is for the slacker who subscribes to the entitlement doctrine.

Anonymous said...

I cited the per capita incomes by county. LA is rich. Neighboring counties are not much better off than distant counties from which I contended that the effect of LA money on other counties is small. Your response was blather that suggests that you don't even have a little knowledge of economics.

3/4/08 8:04 AM


yeah, after dealing with the stores in the surrounding area's with the unfriendly and unknowledgable staff (with an unhidden disgust of people from LA) I chose to make all of my purchases over the net. I can pay for shipping and have my money go to a business that deserves it

Anonymous said...

To all the arrogant/ignorant LANL people. (btw, not all are...) Northern New Mexico natives were fine before LANL existed and will be fine when it gets shut down someday. Stop bashing locals and get a life. If you don't like it here get the hell out.

Anonymous said...

And do let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Anonymous said...

My high school defined "highly radioactive" as a half-life of 23,999 years or less. How was it defined in your high school? Or are you just being highly dense?
===========================

NO - you are being STUPID!! The reason
Plutonium-239 lasts so long as defined
by its long half life is because it
decays so SLOOOOWLY!!!!

Isotopes that are "highly radioactive" -
in other words - have a high decay
rates - don't last very long BECAUSE
they decay at such a high rate.

Look at the spectrum of decay rates and
you will see that Plutonium-239 is
amongst the slowest decaying isotopes;
hence its relatively LOW specific
activity. No reputable scientsit would
characterize Pu-239 as "highly"
radioactive.

The only high schools that would teach
that Pu-239 is "highly radioactive"
would be in Santa Fe and probably
Berkeley, CA.

Anonymous said...

Stop bashing locals and get a life. If you don't like it here get the hell out.
===============

"If the shoe fits...."

Anonymous said...

The income in the counties that neighbor LA would be a whole lot better if half of the kids did not drop out of high school.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I admit it. You were wrong and I was right. I accept your definition of "highly radioactive" as a half-life of 23,999 years or less.

You must have gone to a better high school.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I admit it. You were wrong and I was right.
========

That sounds like the trite, childish
remarks one would hear on a playground.

Are you sure you even went to high school?

Anonymous said...

You called Arnold's use of "highly radioactive" ignorant, yet have repeatedly declined to specify what range you think the phrase should cover.

Who do you think is being laughed at here :)

Anonymous said...

"It sounds to me like folks who were opposed to our becoming a pit production facility a year ago are now for it because SF is against it."

*****
Of course. LANS has driven away everyone but us pit whores, haven't you heard? (7:05 AM)

*****

BINGO! We have a winner! Come up and take your prize, 7:05 AM. You hit a bulls-eye.

Anonymous said...

You called Arnold's use of "highly radioactive" ignorant, yet have repeatedly declined to specify what range you think the phrase should cover.
============================

Because Arnold is ORDERS of MAGNITUDE
in error here.

What's the definition of a "skyscraper"?

How many stories does a building have to
be to be a "skyscraper".

I don't know if there is a hard and
fast number of stories.

However, if someone called a 3 story
building a "skyscraper" - I would call
them IGNORANT too!!!

Anonymous said...

Who do you think is being laughed at here
=======
10:42,

As an interloper; I'd interject that any
intelligent person would be laughing at
YOU!!!

You evidently fail to understand that
Arnold is off by a factor of at least
a thousand over anything that one would
reasonably call "highly radioactive".

Your adversary doesn't need to draw
a bright line of demarcation in order
to show Arnold as wrong. Arnold is
no where near any reasonable line.

The fact that you can't comprehend
that; reflects on YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

No economic impact?

OK, I'll bite. and I don't need your statistics, which anyone who has ever taken statistics can tell you, be twisted six ways from Sunday to meet the need of those quoting the statistics. Anti nukes are particularly good at it by using sources friendly to their cause.

Let's take away the income the people up in LA get: they spend it on housing which goes directly into the local economies, they spend it on groceries, they spend it on entertainment like movies and restaurants all over central NM,the pay taxes which go you know where for who the hell knows what, they buy cars and all those other little things you don't seem to pay attention to.

We sure as hell don't spend it all up here, which is in the state of NM, because as anyone who lives up here can tell you, there's not enough up here to get everything you need. No impact?

You don't like that it's a monied community? Maybe those of you who complain should have stayed in school instead of dropping out and opening another auto body shop. The people who make the big bucks up here have earned the right and the stature to do so. So don't crybaby your crap, we've heard it before.

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste," and "to get a good job...get a good education."

That or you can do it the good old fashioned New Mexican way, hire a family member. That's really reliable; ask Jessica Quintana.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you can't comprehend
that; reflects on YOU!!!
==============
10:42,

I'd have to agree. It's like saying
in football, "How can you give the
offensive team a first down when you
didn't call for the chain and have them
measure the downed position of the
ball?"

Oh - the ball was downed 40 yards beyond
the line of scrimmage.

You don't need the chain when it's so
obvious [ to most ].

Anonymous said...

You can pick a number for a skyscraper (3 stories), or for a first down (10 yards). Yet when it comes to plutonium you refuse. You are the world's best and brightest plutonium scientists, why is this so hard?

Anonymous said...

Arrogant butt-head cowboys!!

Anonymous said...

You all are legends in your own minds. Sorry to break the news, but New Mexico and the rest of the world would do just. fine without so many self absorbed fools in our midst. Best and brightest? Yea right!

Anonymous said...

4:00 PM

Some history for you. The core of
the Trinity device was conveyed
from Los Alamos to Alamagordo by
Philip Morrison [later MIT Prof.];
with the core in a wooden box
sitting on his lap in the back
seat of a car.

Kurchatov brought the core of the
"Joe 1" device to Stalin's Kremlin
office for Stalin to hold in his
hands before it was used in the
USSR's first nuclear test.

Something that qualifies as
"highly radioactive" could not be
handled so casually. To do so
would be fatal.

If you want to transport "highly
radioactive" material like spent
nuclear fuel; this is type of
container you need:

http://www.sandia.gov/recordsmgmt/
ctb1.html

The red shielded container is
shown here undergoing a test
by Sandia National Labs.

NO WAY can you characterize a
Pu-239 pit that you can hold in
your hands as "highly radioactive".

It makes no sense to do so.

To press this further only makes
you look even more foolish.

Anonymous said...

How foolish do you feel claiming something is not "highly radioactive" when you can't define what that means.

Anonymous said...

You can pick a number for a skyscraper (3 stories), or for a first down (10 yards). Yet when it comes to plutonium you refuse.
=========

Do you remember what US Supreme
Court Justice Potter Stewart had
to say about pornography?

He said, "I can't define it; but
I know it when I see it."

The good Justice didn't see the
need to pick definitive criteria
for the definition of pornography.
He knew when a pornographer had
crossed the line.

Likewise, one can't give a value
that is universally accepted as
the boundary value - it's a spectrum.

I can't give you a definitive
frequency for when blue turns
into violet in the rainbow. I
don't have a value for the lowest
frequency that can be called
violet.

However, when someone calls a
red ball "violet" - I don't need
to know that value to contend
that he is just flat out WRONG!!

Anonymous said...

Santa Fe and Spana' want us to invent the solar powered flashlight made out of recycled cardboard, let get to work right away.

Anonymous said...

9:44 - "ok dumbass...are you oblivious to the fact that LANL procurement is legally bound to purchase a certain percentage from qualified small businesses?...but even fifth grades know that."

I guess I am not smarter than a fifth grader, but I do know that LANL regularly misses its procurement mandates.

Anonymous said...

"Why would we trust any sort "analysis" from you?"

Because I showed my data. If you think I am wrong, then explain why the per capita income numbers do not correlate with distance from LANL.

"It is simply econ 101 on this. Rich communities always
contribute money to local economies, it is that simple."

No, rich communities do their best to not pay. How do you think you stay rich?

Anonymous said...

Who cares who drove what where? Drive this!

Anonymous said...

Why is there no Wal-Mart in Los Alamos???

Hmmmm

Figure that out and all the rest of the questions will be answered.

Anonymous said...

3:48: What's with the strangely formatted posts? It is nice though - one can always tell who you are out of the anonymous crowd.

Anonymous said...

5:57pm: Don't forget the bulbs fabricated from recycled little liquor bottles - there's no shortage of those 'round here.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I am fed up to the teeth with the "entitlement mentality" from the surrounding area's. Most people (not including NM locals) worked hard to get where they are. They took out large student loans, worked multiple jobs, and sacrificed alot. What has the local population done besides cry?

Anonymous said...

I think this post needs to be "dumbed down" for the local population, especially the leaders of Santa Fe. The definition of radioactivity is quite important, and as most of the "intelligence inhibited" there is more radiation from the sun than there is from any lab facility. - - - Maybe we should smoke some blunts and have a love in to protest the sun!! It would be more intelligent than the current guise of the political leaders.

And for the one not smarter than a fifth grader, standards can be lowered, and lowered again, but even with a bullshit ho hum bullshit meter businesses do not meet the requirement. (Fake business to scam) That is why procurement does not meet requirements

Anonymous said...

"The core of the Trinity device was conveyed from Los Alamos to Alamagordo by Philip Morrison [later MIT Prof.]; with the core in a wooden box sitting on his lap in the back
seat of a car."

Re-read the wooden box part. There's a reason he didn't ride to Alamorgodo with the pit hidden inside his underwear. You wouldn't have done that either. You're being deceptive here.

But thank you for making my point.

Anonymous said...

Trinity Site, not ALAMOGORDO!

Anonymous said...

6:01 pm: "No, rich communities do their best to not pay. How do you think you stay rich?"

Why don't poor people just "not pay"? How do you think "rich people" get products and services? By "not paying"??

Anonymous said...

9:11 pm: "Re-read the wooden box part. There's a reason he didn't ride to Alamorgodo with the pit hidden inside his underwear. You wouldn't have done that either. You're being deceptive here."

WTF are you inplying?? That wood is some magical shielding?? Or that exposue to an uncoated Pu core would have meant high Pu alpha exposure by contact to surface? Simply state your idea and then stand to criticism, rather than being so cryptic, and therefore so juvenile.

Anonymous said...

3/4/08 8:04 AM wrote:
I cited the per capita incomes by county. LA is rich. Neighboring counties are not much better off than distant counties from which I contended that the effect of LA money on other counties is small. Your response was blather that suggests that you don't even have a little knowledge of economics.

======================

What an ignorant and pitiful statement. Economics is not a question of rich vs. poor communities. Here is the way it works.

First of all, every bit of money paid by the government for LANL comes into the state of New Mexico. That is 2 Billion dollars per year more than would be coming in if the lab were not here. If spread evenly among the population of New Mexico, that would mean 1000 per capita. Not much, but something.

People near the lab get a much greater share. Some of the money leaves the state. Some goes into capital improvement. Its fairly complicated in detail.

Now consider the personal income. Even benefits are personal income to someone in the sense that doctors, among others, are paid from benefits. From the personal income source, then it is a question of distribution, not rich vs. poor communities.

A good fraction of the lab income drives down the hill every evening. That money is removed immediately from Los Alamos, and very little comes back (lunch money).

Those who live in Los Alamos spend a large fraction of what they earn. The money mostly does not stay in Los Alamos. Part of it pays salaries of service people who live outside Los Alamos. The rich people buy clothes and Indian jewelry. Where do they get it? Santa Fe. They build houses. Where does the material come from? No lumber mills in Los Alamos. It is imported. Where does the labor come from? Espanola. Where does their food come from? Perhaps an Albuquerque warehouse, and that stock is collected from all over the state and country. When these folks buy gas and electricity, where does that come from? Not the Department of Public Utilities. There are no generating plants in Los Alamos. They import it from elsewhere in New Mexico. In that fashion, only a small fraction of the money generated in the so-called rich community actually stays in the rich community, perhaps in a bank or a mattress.

If you were well educated, which obviously you are not, you could take direct advantage of the lab's payroll. Otherwise, you get part of the trickle down, which is considerable. In any case, you are better off, and your community is better off, than if the lab were not here.

In addition, the influx of people needed to support the lab directly and indirectly is large. These people generate their own economic activity independent of the government. That raises the tax base of New Mexico and builds much of the infrastructure you see like roads and shopping centers. You can argue whether this is progress, but you cannot refute that it is economic activity.

If the lab were somewhere else, then you still might be a subsistence farmer, as has already been pointed out. Then all the money would be in Albuquerque, and you could complain about the rich people in Albuquerque.

Anonymous said...

Trinity Site is easier to spell too, although I understand "Alamorgodo" is an accepted spelling if you're from Carlsbad.

Anonymous said...

Why don't poor people just "not pay"? How do you think "rich people" get products and services? By "not paying"??

3/4/08 10:39 PM


No, they are just a bunch of lazy SOB's waiting for it to e handed to them - hence the term "entitlement factor"

Anonymous said...

Re-read the wooden box part. There's a reason he didn't ride to Alamorgodo with the pit hidden inside his underwear. You wouldn't have done that either. You're being deceptive here.

But thank you for making my point.

3/4/08 9:11 PM


Yeah, I have what looks like a dick, but only smaller, also. Maybe he did it so his wedding tackle would increase to a usable size. Maybe we should try it?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I wonder what the mayors think about being called idiots by someone who can't spell.

3/3/08 1:47 PM


That they are the mayor of Espanola and their constituents are speaking to them....

Anonymous said...

3/4/08 10:45 PM

Kudos on taking the time to spell it out in simple language again. I still think the message is not received, and will not be received.

A wise old man once said - never agrue with an idiot, no one can tell the difference. Maybe it is time to give up - there is too much racism, bigotry, and extreme stupidity going into the LANL bashing. Cut your losses.

Anonymous said...

What's the name of that river in Egypt again?

Anonymous said...

A wise old man once said - never agrue with an idiot, no one can tell the difference. Maybe it is time to give up - there is too much racism, bigotry, and extreme stupidity going into the LANL bashing. Cut your losses.

==============

I agree, and I would not bother if this were not a public forum. There is so much ignorance being displayed in this thread that I thought a few ounces of rational thinking might help to balance the tons of crap being dished out. My concern is that a casual reader unfamiliar with this blog might otherwise conclude that Northern New Mexico is an intellectual wasteland.

Anonymous said...

"... only a small fraction of the money generated in the so-called rich community actually stays in the rich community ..."

Speak for yourself, Bucko! I take my inordinately large LANL salary and stuff it my matress. None of my neighbors gets to benefit from me spending it! Bwahahaha!

I survive by living in an old Indian cave in Pueblo Canyon and panhandling for Chicken McNuggets when I get hungry.

Anonymous said...

"Kurchatov brought the core of the
"Joe 1" device to Stalin's Kremlin
office for Stalin to hold in his
hands before it was used in the
USSR's first nuclear test."

You LANL types are the worlds biggest
liars. Sure Stalin held the core in
his hands.

Everyone knows that contact with even
a speck of plutonium is fatal.

Dr. Helen Caldicott states that a
single kilo of plutonium distributed
evenly over the Earth will kill every
living thing on the planet.

Anonymous said...

"Re-read the wooden box part. There's a reason he didn't ride to Alamorgodo with the pit hidden inside his underwear. You wouldn't have done that either. You're being deceptive here."

I can think of a couple of reasons. One, the pit was extremely precious. I imagine it was packed very very very well to protect it from damage. That would have been REAL hard to explain to the prez.

Two, the Trinity pit was HUGE, not like today's svelte little things. He might have been able to fit it in the passenger front seat, but definitely not in his drawers.

Three, even in 1945, it was classified.

Personally, I'd be comfortable driving to Alamogordo with a LANL-built W88 pit in the passenger seat (or to the Trinity Site, but then I'd miss those nice fruit stands in Tularosa). However, I'd definitely need to borrow one of Joe Martz' fast cars because there'd be some pissed off law enforcement right behind me all the way.

Anonymous said...

"Why is there no Wal-Mart in Los Alamos???"

No place to put it.

Whining of strong small business community.

WalMart is eeeeeee-vil.

Uppity Los Alamos residents think we are too good to shop there (but Target is okay, and we don't mind shopping at Espanola's WalMart in a pinch).

Anonymous said...

You might rethink what highly radioactive means if you were to get a snoot full of Pu as opposed to a snoot full of Iodine 131.

Anonymous said...

You can pick a number for a skyscraper (3 stories), or for a first down (10 yards). Yet when it comes to plutonium you refuse. You are the world's best and brightest plutonium scientists, why is this so hard?
==============

As would be readily apparent to even the
most casual intelligent reader, I did NOT
pick the value of 3 as a definition of
"skyscraper". The 3 story building is my
example of a building that is NOT a
skyscraper.

Additionally, in my post of 10:57; I
stated specifically that I was NOT
choosing a definition of the term
"skyscraper":


>>What's the definition of a
>>"skyscraper"?

>>How many stories does a building have
>> to be to be a "skyscraper".

>>I don't know if there is a hard and
>>fast number of stories.

In English, terms like "highly" and
"skyscraper" do not have precise
definitions. However, they are still
useful for discerning the differences
between quantities that differ by
large factors - hundreds or thousands.

You do NOT need a precise definition of
the term "skyscraper" to know that a
building of 3 stories is NOT a skyscraper
and a building of 110 stories IS.

Anonymous said...

Bump bump bump.

100 or bust!

Anonymous said...

Re-read the wooden box part. There's a reason he didn't ride to Alamorgodo with the pit hidden inside his underwear. You wouldn't have done that either. You're being deceptive here.
=====================

Actually, the wooden box was for the
protection of the pit. That was a
precision machined part.

As far as a wooden box as radiation
shielding; the alpha radiation from
the Pu-239 can be stopped with a piece
of paper.

However, you don't use a thin wooden
box to shield something that is "highly
radioactive".

"Highly radioactive" materials are
shielded with several inches of lead or
several feet of concrete.

Anonymous said...

3/5/08 8:05 AM

Duh...ok That was so funny duh huh huh

Anonymous said...

Ok 3/5/08 8:58 AM

I'll see your bumb, bump, bump and raise you a bump ... go 100:)

Anonymous said...

Actually we stick pits in our underwear all the time. If you've never done it you wouldn't understand.

Anonymous said...

6:44 am: "the Trinity pit was HUGE, not like today's svelte little things"

You're joking, right? Fatman was a solid core "Christy device". Todays pits are hollow. Do the math.

Anonymous said...

The Pu pits for the Trinity test, and the Fat Man [Nagasaki bomb] was manufactured at the Hanford Site in Washington, and then transported to Los Alamos, and then to the Trinity Site, and Nagasaki respectively.

Anonymous said...

Consequence:

World history at work.

Anonymous said...

"everyone knows that coming into contact with a speck of Pu is fatal"

WTF?! Glenn Seaborg didn't die of Pu poisoning. Many LANL old timers with Pu body burdens certainly haven't dropped dead immediately from Pu ingestion or inhalation. Glovebox workers who get skin contamination don't fall on the floor and explode.

Nevermind that some Joe Schmo recently died from ricin exposure.

Anonymous said...

4:15 pm: "Glenn Seaborg didn't die of Pu poisoning. Many LANL old timers with Pu body burdens certainly haven't dropped dead immediately from Pu ingestion or inhalation"

In fact, there is significant evidence that the historical Pu workers at LANL with low-to-moderate exposures were and are much longer-lived than their unexposed cohorts. Epidemiologists are aware of this effect and have no explanation.

Anonymous said...

How about the man who set of alarms with his Pu contaminated hands, and the woman who set of alarms with her Pu contaminated breasts? Pu in the underwear is fun!

The people cited above did not suffer any ill effects from their escapades.

Anonymous said...

Just for arguments sake, this link, http://inl.gov/featurestories/docs/economic_impact.pdf shows the economic impact of the INL to the state of ID and the surrounding communities.

Anonymous said...

How about the man who set of alarms with his Pu contaminated hands, and the woman who set of alarms with her Pu contaminated breasts? Pu in the underwear is fun!

Glow in the dark boobies!!!! Mix that with a glow in the dark condom, and a fun time to be had by all

Anonymous said...

I hear PF-4 is a great place for sex.

Anonymous said...

Is that you Senator Craig?

Anonymous said...

I hear PF-4 is a great place for sex.

3/6/08 7:12 AM


Where else can you cheat on your spouse (in NNM - -brother, sister, mother.....)

Anonymous said...

Remind me again why I care what Santa Fe thinks...?

3/3/08 1:25 PM


It is kind of like "olean" and anal leakage - there is a morbid sense of curiosity.

Anonymous said...

This was almost a thoughtful thread on how dangerous plutonium really is, with a bit of history thrown in for good measure. I can't bear the thought of these last few posts being the final word.

Anonymous said...

From wikipedia's entry on plutonium:

"The U.S. Department of Energy estimates the increase in lifetime cancer risk for inhaled plutonium as 3×10−8 pCi−1.[17] (this means that inhaling 1 μCi, or about 2.5 μg of reactor-grade plutonium is estimated to increase one's lifetime risk of developing cancer as a result of the exposure to 3%)."

So a 1kg "not highly radioactive" pit is enough to give 400,000 people a 3% risk of developing cancer. Or 12,121 people a 99% risk...

Does that 24,000 year half-life seem all that comforting now?

Anonymous said...

3:37 pm: "So a 1kg "not highly radioactive" pit is enough to give 400,000 people a 3% risk of developing cancer. Or 12,121 people a 99% risk..."

What? The entire pit is going to be vaporized and inhaled?? And BTW, pits are not made out of reactor grade Pu. Pu-239 is much less of a problem. Sure, weapon grade has some 241, but less than a few percent. Please do your homework.

Anonymous said...

Again from wikipedia:

"Plutonium consisting of more than about 90% Pu-239 is called weapons-grade plutonium; plutonium obtained from commercial reactors generally contains at least 20% Pu-240 and is called reactor-grade plutonium."

The half-life of Pu-240 is 6564 years.

So, we've moved the "highly radioactive" threshold of half-life well into thousands of years. Are you journalists out there taking notes?

Anonymous said...

I guess some people don't know that Wikipedia, being capable of modification and addition by absolutely anyone, is not generally viewed as a reliable source of information. In fact, it is generally not allowed as a citable resource by most college professors. A recent study of how long "wrong" information posted to Wikipedia was allowed to remain showed that the time varied according to the currency of the subject, but could be up to months.

Anonymous said...

3/9/08 9:53 PM is correct about wikipedia. If anyone thinks the information I posted is wrong you can correct it here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu