Sunday, April 03, 2005
I have heard lots of people wonder why the NNSA has so many Admirals, and why UC and other bidders are hiring Admirals as their go-betweens with NNSA. I think one of the reasons can be seen in the article:
At war over aging warheads
The New York Times
For more than two decades, a compact, powerful warhead called the W-76 has been the centerpiece of the nation's nuclear arsenal, carried aboard the fleet of nuclear submarines that prowl the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. But it has become the subject of a fierce debate among experts inside and outside the government over its reliability and its place in the nuclear arsenal. [...]
This accusation casts serious doubt about the ability of a major weapon to work properly. If the allegation has merit, it should have been dealt with before the story was released to the public.
There is a real problem with this administration that it allows dirty laundry to be aired before it is washed.
The Navy have become a big nuclear weapons holder, and so NNSA has become Navy land. Los Alamos is still seen as an Applied nuclear research facility.. attempts to diversify from that in the 1990's did not take hold in the minds of Congress and DOE.. and so the places primary mission is seen as one of being a weapons plant. There are many scientists here who do not feel that this is not the case.. and I think this is the reason of a lot of the headaches we have had over the last 4 years.
If the lab wishes to change its basic mission in the eyes of Congress, DOE, and the American people it needs to do more than just post to a blog and write letters to its congressman. It will need someone who is articulate that they can rally around. It will need multiple someones who the average American citizen can feel that they trust their money too. And they will need a mission with a goal that can be accomplished.
1. There were problems discovered during the W76 development program and these problems have been kept hidden for thirty years until revealed by Dick Morse.
2. The W76 development program failed to discover a fatal flaw in the warhead, but this flaw was discovered by Dick Morse.
3. There is no problem with the W76 but Dick Morse has some motive for claiming that there is a problem.
Next, let's explore who stands to benefit from the New York Times article.
1. Dick Morse, if he gains recognition or financial reward from revealing a problem with the nation's nuclear deterrent.
2. Livermore, if it can reduce the number of W76 warheads that are refurbished during the W76 Life Extension Program. Livermore likes to control the activities of the plants for its own work. It also benefits if some of the W76 warheads are replaced by a Reliability Replacement Warhead, the design competition for which Livermore hopes to win.
I can see plenty of motivation for Livermore, but the motivation for Dick Morse seems weak. Can anyone suggest a better explanation?
Where have we seen that behavior exhibited just recently by those very same powers that be?
Some people in our government are probably getting pretty worried at this point. The nation's most prominent newspaper has reported that the most important element of this nation's nuclear deterrent might not be reliable. Los Alamos is in turmoil, so it can't be trusted to handle the situation.
The obvious solution is to give the warhead to Livermore to make sure the W76 questions are handled properly.
(Can we discover a connnection between Livermore and Dick Morse?)
We branched to an alternate reality and I didn't even notice.
To the orignal poster, Nanos and Foley are not representative of most of the admirals I know.
As to who benefits from such dust ups, other than Morse; the labs do. The have been wanting to test ever since they stopped, and this is one more driver for testing.
Look for testing before 2010.