Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Security data shows LANL not the worst offender

Publication:Santa Fe New Mexican; Date:Feb 9, 2005; Section:News; Page Number:1



Security data shows LANL not the worst offender
By DIANA HEIL The New Mexican


Add up all the security lapses reported from 2002 through 2004 at the country’s four major nuclearresearch labs, and you’ll find the highest number of serious threats happened at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

[...]


http://www.enewmexican.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=Tk14LzIwMDUvMDIvMDkjQXIwMDEwMA==&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

Comments:
Today's article on the recent record of security incidents at Los Alamos, compared with Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, underlines the New Mexican's editorial bias: Director Nanos is "Cal's man on the Hill," single-handedly protecting the University of California's contract from the Lab's "arrogant cowboy" scientists (Nanos' words). The statistics show that Nanos' first rationale for shutting LANL down for the past six months--for widespread security abuses--holds no water.

Nanos' second rationale was that LANL had a pervasive "culture" of disregard for safety. Public data on rates of injuries at the national labs and industry nationwide showed this was no cause, either, to shut science down throughout the entire laboratory.

It is not at all clear what Director Nanos' agenda is, but the overall effect of his shutdown looks like a hostile takeover by a private corporation, with UC a hapless bystander in a titanic struggle over the future of science at LANL.
 
Imagine my surprise! LANL is demonstrably better than Livermore _and_ the combined Sandias for reported high-risk security incidents, and about the same for medium risk incidents.

(At this point I really want to say, "Blow it out your ass, Nanos!", but that probably would not be professional.) Instead, I would like to point out that this completes the picture: there was _no_ justification for shutting down the entire laboratory last July.
 
Hmmm. Diana Heil says:

"The New Mexican last July asked the U.S. Department of Energy for data on Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia — the nation’s labs most involved in nuclear weapons."

It took 6 months to receive this data? Is this a case of NNSA concealing information from the taxpayers? Or is it the Public Affairs folks at LANL? Or both, perhaps?

Is this an example of how LANL senior management believes in transparency and open communication?
 
It is interesting that it has taken six months for this information to be released. Another example of Linton Brooks covering for his Navy buddy?
 
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