Friday, January 21, 2005

Return to Normalcy

LANL Director Nanos would clearly like to see a return to normalcy at Los Alamos. Who can blame him? The problem is, the damage that his imposed shutdown of the lab has caused is so far-reaching that normalcy at LANL will not be something we will have the luxury of experiencing for some time now. The first few things that need to occur before we can even begin to consider such a thing as a return to normalcy include coming to closure on several important facts:

1. Whether the shutdown was justified, or not. Safety first. Articles have been written that used the published, accepted statistics on safety for the DOE complex and comparable industry sectors which belie the Directors contentions of poor safety trends at LANL. Yes, I refer to the December, 2004 issue of Physics Today which the Director choose to malign in his all-hand's presentation of 1-19-2004. In spite of the Director's contention to the contrary, Physics Today is a well respected journal that carefully checks submissions for accuracy prior to publication. LANL management's attempts to "reinvent" safety statistics that "prove" the Directors contentions after the fact are, well, just plain lame.

2. Security next. What really happened with the now-famous "missing" CREM? The FBI knows. We suspect that we know. We also suspect that we have not been officially told because the facts will be inconvenient to the "official" LANL management contention of "egregious" security lapses regarding the discs.

3. The demeaning treatment leveled against LANL staff by LANL management during the course of the shutdown. There was never, is never, justification for a manager to berate his employees.

When we come to closure on these important issues, we can then consider what it will take to regain some measure of normalcy at LANL, but not until.

--Doug Roberts

Good post. It is not just the shut down, but how the restart was done. It is almost 7 months now and most of DX is still shut down!
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