Thursday, March 10, 2005
LOS ALAMOS: HELP WANTED
It ain't easy, running the world's most important nuclear lab. There are billions of dollars to worry about. Tons of lethally radioactive material. And thousands of scientist employees who think they're smarter than you -- and are probably right. Worst of all, if recent history is any guide, you'll be kicked to the curb before your contract is up, the victim of the latest in a series of seemingly-endless scandals.
So maybe that's why Los Alamos is advertising for top jobs in the Washington Post's classified section. Here's one of the ads, for the Principal Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons Programs.
Responsible for the technical and administrative supervision of approximately 2,500 scientific and administrative personnel, and a budget of about $1 Billion.
Manages the Laboratory nuclear weapons technology program, which includes nuclear weapons design... ensure[s] confidence in the safety, security and reliability of the nations nuclear weapons stockpile.
Serves as the Laboratory focal point for all nuclear weapons activities, including the assessment and certification of the performance of the LANL [Los Alamos National Laboratory] designed enduring nuclear stockpile. Activities include surveillance, maintenance, and stockpile life extension and limited-scale fabrication of a variety of nuclear and non-nuclear components.
Responsible for the pit manufacturing function, which includes the development and implementation of the capability to fabricate plutonium pits [the hearts of thermonuclear weapons] on all types of pits in the enduring nuclear stockpile...
Must have exceptional management skills on large scale programs approaching a 1Billion/year or more.
Desire a nationally recognized expert in the field of nuclear weapons technology, with a strong background in nuclear physics and nuclear weapons design and evaluation.
If that position doesn't quite match up with your expertise, don't worry. There are others available, including the lab's #2 slot, Deputy Director, and associate directorships for science and technology, international security, and engineering and evaluations.
(via LANL: The Real Story)
But how will they explain away these facts?:
* Los Alamos has a good-to-average safety record, as documented by public data.
* Los Alamos has a good-to-average security record, as documented by public data.
* Director Pete Nanos slandered the Lab workforce and needlessly damaged LANL's reputation when he called us "cowboys" and "buttheads" and denounced a "culture of arrogance" refuted by Secretary Bodman.
* The Director cost the United States an estimated billion dollars and damaged national security by an unnecessary shutdown, which will eventually total one year in length in some divisions.
* The Lab, under Nanos' orders, fired people without proper justification, and will probably lose several expensive lawsuits as a result.
* The Director is still pursuing angry grudges against several staffers, according to his statements in front of groups of people.
* The Director continues to waste taxpayer dollars and critical time on fad programs and discredited safety schemes.
"I like reading it to see how stupid some people are."
I see. They won't.