Monday, May 16, 2005

Anxiously, Los Alamos Awaits a New Era

Published: May 17, 2005

Two of the world's largest military contractors are challenging the nation's largest university system for the job of running Los Alamos, the government's pre-eminent nuclear arms laboratory. The winner will preside over a program valued as high as $44 billion over two decades.

The issue is whether the University of California, the lab's longtime manager, should be awarded a new federal contract after presiding over years of safety problems, security lapses, financial irregularities and embarrassing scandals, culminating May 6 in the resignation of the director, Dr. G. Peter Nanos.


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Comments:
This NYTimes article is a must read. A couple of interesting tidbits:
............................................................................

* Dr. Gusterson, who visited Los Alamos last month, said he had never seen
morale so low. "People were just stricken," he said.

* A career civil servant at the Energy Department, as yet unnamed, is to make
the choice; the idea is to remove the risk of pressure that a political
appointee may face.
............................................................................

I wasn't aware the the final decision-maker will be a SINGLE fellow sitting
over at DOE HQ. Won't having a single person making the decision raise
suspicions? I find this very odd. It makes me wonder if the "fix" is in,
as they say.
 
Does it matter?
 
"Does it matter?"

Not really. One person can be black-mailed into a decision just as easy as a
committee of five. It just takes more sets of compromising photos when a
whole committee has to be black-mailed. (Note to DOE IG - I'm just joking,
of course. You have a sense of humor, right?).
 
I don't think that this is correct. Bodman and Brooks will decide. Maybe they'll get a recommendation from their committee.
 
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