Monday, January 31, 2005

Wants to help restart group operations

On July 14, 2004, Director Nanos' had an All-Hands meeting to discuss "Our Shared LANL Culture". Although my DX-Division group was not involved in the missing CREM investigation that was the subject of the meeting, I took seriously his threat to fire me particularly when dire rumors began to fly about immediate cancellation of the UC contract.

While I was trying to deal with the CREM incident, I found out that there was a serious accident involving a student intern who suffered an eye injury from a laser beam. It is interesting to note that the accident happened an hour or so after the All-Hands meeting which the student and her mentor attended.

Now I find out that the CREM incident was really a clerical error. The disks never existed, and the incident moved into the category of the Wen Ho Lee disaster and the missing disks found after the Cerro Grande fire as another example of overreaction to preliminary data.

But the safety issue still exists. So many terrible things have happened in the last six months I do not remember why, in the fall of 2003, we reacted to a safety problem by writing Integrated Work Documents. Our effort was not entirely successful because the accident of 2004 was very similar to one that happened many years before.

Recently, there was a report from the Lab that about 3000 operations had been reviewed during the past six months, and around 2000 safety issues needing corrective actions had been discovered. I asked my former (I retired at the end of July 2004) ES&H officer if any of the issues applied to me since I was an employee at the time. I was told that the information I requested was not available to the public. I reminded the ES&H officer that nothing had happened since I retired and I was entitled to the same information as a member of the group. I have received no response after more than two weeks.

Over the last six months I have had e-mail contact with former co-workers, but over the last two months those contacts have ceased. I have had one phone conversation with my closest co-worker and an accidental face-to-face conversation with another, but neither person seemed comfortable with discussing issues with me. I am very concerned that I have formally offered to help my group restart operations after six months of inactivity, but I have received no response.

Larry Creamer, DX-1 (Ret.)
78 Granada Dr.
Los Alamos NM 87544

The Director has decided that those who have retired are of no use to the Lab. In fact, he would prefer that all retirees sell their homes and leave town. Your former Group/Division has to move heaven and earth to permit you to assist them, even if you are willing to do it without pay. Furthermore the rules change by the hour so probably members of your former group haven't a clue as to what they may or may not tell you. However, it is too bad that your co-workers are not open and honest with you. However, they are just taking their cues from the Director.
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