Thursday, May 26, 2005

UT & Lockheed Woo Los Alamos

UT & Lockheed Woo Los Alamos


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Somebody order a missile-shaped box of chocolates: The University of Texas' on-again, off-again romance with Los Alamos National Laboratory is officially on. After nearly a year of waffling, UT has decided to partner with Lockheed Martin, the nation's largest defense contractor, to bid on the Department of Energy contract to run the trouble-prone lab, one of three where U.S. nuclear weapons activities take place. Peace activists are urging UT to take a moral stand against weapons of mass destruction by refusing to bid, while supporters see an opportunity for UT to increase its recognition and prestige, and protect national security to boot.

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Comments:
So after 62 years, our crowning achievement and reputation is "the trouble-prone lab". The statistics and FACTS, time and again, do not support MOST of the allegations. This reputation, unfortunately, is the direct result of weak leadership at all levels (all the way to DC) that passively stood by and watched the incessant attacks motivated by politics rather that confront the accusers, demand evidence, or, more importantly if warranted, demand an investigation and get to the bottom of the allegation AND make all the facts available to the public. Think about the string of incidents and what REALLY resulted in each incident. Safety incidents and the injured victims can not be minimized, however, as tragic as they are, the numbers are statistically going to happen when humans engage in dangerous work. If we truly are going to count victims then lets add Todd Kauppila to the list. The UNCONTESTED sensationalism of most of the allegations against LANL is what I am contending has brought us down to our knees. By ignoring Todd completely and counting Mustangs and non-existent CREM, DOE/NNSA has shown their propensity toward skewing statistics, press releases, and misinformation to achieve their agenda and justify their non-value-added existence.
 
How true. But it is hard to expect any other result when you are dealing with politicians whose primary job skill is the ability to lie with impunity. They don't want to acknowledge Todd because that fact would force them to deal with the truth.
 
If the UC and lab management can't suck it up and get positive spin on LANL after 20 years I don't think they ever will. Under the current management if things keep going as they are, we won't be able to do any experimental science here anyway in 5 years. In fact if my recent experiences are any guide, I can barely keep up with the training of the day, keeping the lab clean as clean and safe as management would like, responding to property inventory requests and proposal writing, forget about real work. As far as science goes, all LM needs to do is keep T division open, by that trick this lab will still be known as the Mecca of science since we will be the only chumps in the US to still have such a conspicuous concentration of coneheads in such a presumptuously named division.
 
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