Los Alamos National Laboratory: You know The Real Story. You know The Corporate Story. Now you'll know The Rest of the Story.
Sooo....Are we gonna stand down the lab until the risk is mistigated?
Yes, stand the place down! I recommend that you first try to find some non-missing CREM, though. Works like a charm!
Pete - just a minor correction: it was non-EXISTENT CREM - that was non-missing, of course...
It´s L.A. Times, NOT NYT.
Oopsie. Thanks, 11:59.
Oh Pete, don't forget you need to blind a student with a laser before you try to find the non-existent CREM that's not missing.
Damn smart-ass bloggers. I never did like blogs. And I'm not too fond of the New York Times, either.BTW, someone needs to remind that short, fat, hairy excuse for a Director that is now running the place to have all you buttheads and cowboys recite an Oath of Allegiance after your next shutdown.
I've been following this blog for a while and, although I believe that the lab employees are a group of highly educated, well paid individuals, I rarely see what I would call thoughtful discussions, perhaps related to the laboratory goals. It brings to mind some of the reports by Shockley, famous for his discovery of the transistor and infamous for his writings on heredity and race. There was a period between fame and infamy where he wrote about the degeneration of the civil service labs and how to revive those labs. While LANL is not a civil service laboratory, his comments ere relevant. My understanding is that LANL scientists are not, in general, funded through open competition, leaving the place nearly identical to the civil service but with, I understand, much higher salaries. From most of the comments on the blog, a student might describe the place as dormant or, at the worst, degenerated. Do any of the contributors have a suggestion that could at least point to the direction of regeneration?
Anonymous 2:05 you forget something: We're all D students here. All the Best and Brightest jumped ship and went elsewhere already.
Yes indeed, 2:05. I've given the subject a great deal of thought, based in part on my 22 years of employment in that non-competitive, overly compensated environment you describe. Based also in part from my experiences working outside of LANL in truly competitive environments.I believe that LANL is so damaged by 65 years of ingrained, incestuous relationships with DOE and a few other government funding agencies that it cannot be repaired, or "regenerated". LANL management after Harold Agnew has been generally atrocious, and shows every sign of remaining that way.The new for-profit LANL contract so neatly prepared for us by DOE and the NNSA has, to no one's great surprise, accelerated the rate of decline in management and staff quality at Los Alamos.The only solution that I believe has any chance of producing a respected DOE science laboratory in place of the current LANL is to shut Los Alamos down. Completely. And then start new somewhere else, paying careful attention to avoid all of the mistakes that current and past managers have made and continue to make. I won't point out what those mistakes are -- you can read all about them here on this blog and its predecessor blogs.
From most of the comments on the blog, a student might describe the place as dormant or, at the worst, degenerated. Do any of the contributors have a suggestion that could at least point to the direction of regeneration?10/28/09 2:05 PMRead my lips. Eliminate the Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) LANS/LLNS for-profit businesses currently destroying these National Laboratories.
Anon 2:25, you make an astute observation about how a student might accurately characterize the Lab.At this time there isn't much that can be done to "regenerate" the Lab's greatness. There's nobody left here except us D students. All the smart people got out while the gettin' was good.
Here is a suggestion that has been stated many times.Here it is again.At least 20 people have to talk to each other in real life and work diligently and effectively toward regeneration.Regeneration seems possible but much less possible than it was 5 years ago.All the buzzwords like diversifying the Lab have to become real and successful things.But it takes actual people doing actual work and being willing to be derided for trying to do it.A simpler approach is just to pack, leave, and hope that the next place is better.
"A simpler approach is just to pack, leave, and hope that the next place is better." ; EricThat's an easy choice to make. Almost any other institution will be a better choice if you're a good scientist. It might even have working restrooms and not be filled with large signs imploring staff to "Wear shoes that GRIP!" And constant piss-testing? Not a problem as long as you avoid both LANL and LLNL. Buh-bye, LANL! This lab is too far gone to ever be "regenerated". Leave the poor management, high labor costs and inane policies to the Bechtel scavengers and move on. Life is too short to waste at a sad, pathetic place like LANL. In fact, Mikey and his upper management pals will thank you for leaving... imagine that!
The report forgot to add in the risk of a large meteorite strike directly on TA-55. How could they miss something like that?
2:05 PM, you wouldn't by any chance be thinking of the big laser projects of the 80's, would you? Yawn.
The report forgot to add in the risk of a large meteorite strike directly on TA-55. How could they miss something like that?10/28/09 7:15 PMRisk is probability multiplied by consequence. Risk of a meteorite (or an earthquake) = about zero. Risk of a hijacked 767 crashed into PF-4 = 1 (a deliberate act). Same consequence. Do the math. In this scenario, safety measures don't matter. Worry about things that are worth worrying about.
You think your blog is so great, don't you Frank and Doug? But do you have a Twitter site like NNSA? How about a MySpace and Facebook page? Are you on YouTube like NNSA? Nah, I didn't think so. And top this: NNSA has just launched a * SECOND * blog to highlight the fantastic successes of NNSA's meister-man, Tom D'Agostino. From the sound of the articles on all these many NNSA PR sites, this guy must rock!!! The political PR consultant that D'Agostino recently hired to hype his image is certainly earning his keep. This will help D'Agostino when he eventually retires and takes a lucrative VP job with Bechtel or BWXT. Heckavajob, D'Ag! Well... not really. But, hey, Dr. Chu really like you, so continue on with your great work of destroying what's left of the science in the labs of the NNSA weapons complex. By the way, we're all wearing those "grippy" shoes this week with the early NM snow... just so you know.----------* NNSA Launches Second Blog * To Highlight Administrator’s* Work At Next Generation* Safeguards Meeting In Japan (Nuclear Street, Oct 28th)The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has launched its second travel blog, allowing online visitors to follow NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino and receive updates from the second international meeting on Next Generation Safeguards in Tokai-mura, Ibaraki Japan.Monday morning, Administrator D’Agostino delivered opening remarks at the start of the meeting, which began Monday and will conclude on Wednesday, October 28. The meetings have brought together safeguards and nonproliferation experts from 19 countries, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Atomic Energy Agency (Euratom), and the Brazil-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) to review progress in global efforts to revitalize and expand support for international safeguards.“President Obama has emphasized the need to strengthen the international safeguards system as part of his historic nonproliferation agenda,” said D’Agostino. “I’m excited to be part of this international meeting, and I’m delighted that we are able to use modern technology to share these collaborative efforts taking place halfway around the world.”D’Agostino’s inaugural travel blog documented his trip last month to the 2009 International Atomic Energy Agency’s 53rd General Conference in Vienna, Austria. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the Next Generation Safeguards meeting at the General Conference and read a statement from President Obama calling for efforts to “strengthen a durable, global regime that prevents the spread of nuclear weapons to additional states or terrorist groups” and to “ensure that the IAEA has the resources and authority it needs to verify that nuclear programs are peaceful.” nuclearstreet.com/blogs/nuclear_power_news/archive/2009/10/28/NNSA-Launches-Second-Blog-To-Highlight-Administrator_1920_s-Work-At-Next-Generation-Safeguards-Meeting-In-Japan-10285.aspx------------
Sparkling riposte, 7:15. I'm sure the blog moderators, as well as readers everywhere are very proud of you. Good job!Shutting the place down and starting fresh somewhere else is beginning to sound like the only realistic option, assuming anybody really wants to create an improved DOE science lab. 7:15 is, unfortunately, stunningly representative of the current LANL rank and file. The place has really gone downhill since LANS took over.
"The place has really gone downhill since LANS took over."10/28/09 8:21 PMNo it hasn't. Just look at all the great PR that NNSA has been issuing about their recent work. Things are going better than ever now that NNSA and Tom D'Agostino are running the show. The massive volumes of PR issued by this agency helps proves it! I doubt even the legendary Kevin Roark could put up with writing a constant barrage of PR crap like NNSA has done without feeling an over-ridding need to puke his guts out. NNSA rocks!
Are we back to CREM? It was a simple mis-labelling accident
To whoever wrote "The only solution that I believe has any chance of producing a respected DOE science laboratory in place of the current LANL is to shut Los Alamos down. Completely. And then start new somewhere else, paying careful attention to avoid all of the mistakes that current and past managers have made and continue to make." You missed several minor points. 1) The land and buildings at LANL would cost many tens of billions to replace. Where would that money come from? No one would buy the existing LANL facilities in such a remote location (unlike Livermore).2) Decommissioning LANL would cost many billions more.3) How could it be possible for the same (mis)managers at NNSA who have made so many bad decisions (like hiring LANS) to create a new mistake-free organization, especially at a time when they would be building a new ~100 Billion dollar laboratory? That's nutty thinking.4) Who would sign up to work for NNSA at your proposed new site knowing that NNSA just might make the same (bad) decision to close this new site and destroy the lives and careers of everyone who works there? Do you think top-notch scientists, engineers, technicians, and managers are that stupid?Get a firm grip on on your head... now... pull it out. Now get a grip on the real world dude. 2:25 PM is right, the way to start fixing LANL is for NNSA to fire LANS (Bechtel).
6:27,You really don't see the picture. I'll try to help you out:1. NNSA is part of the problem. The suggestion was to replace the current LANL with a new DOE lab. NNSA would play no part.2. LANL's current budget is about $2 billion per year. With that amount of funding, a pretty spiffy new DOE lab could be built. Staffing for the new lab would in no way resemble LANL's current management top-heavy, overhead-heavy work force.3. Bulldoze what's left of the old LANL. If they can shut down RFP, they can shut down LANL.4. ORNL, PNNL, and NREL are proof that it is possible for DOE to sponsor healthy, respected (at least as compared to LANL) science laboratories.
The LANL plutonium facility being planned can be placed on large shocks and made completely quake-proof for only $50 billion more in funds. Send it to me in small bills, Congressman. You know my address.- RILEY BECHTEL
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