Friday, July 15, 2005

Draft final report of the Nuclear Weapons Complex Infrastructure Task Force

Here's the draft final report of the Nuclear Weapons Complex Infrastructure
Task Force, titled Recommendations for the Nuclear Weapons Complex of the
Future, dated July 13, 2005.

So...LLNL becomes the Homeland Security Lab, and Sandia and Los Alamos duke it out to see who wins the nukes. If LM wins The Contract, Sandia Albuquerque will become an outlying site of LANL.

It all makes such good sense, until you see the "New Triad" in this report. What a hash they've made of it! They can't even describe it in terms that LeMay and Rickover could comprehend. Maybe even such mental giants as McNamara and Rumsfeld couldn't explain it to a college-educated layman in 25 words or less.

-Bottom line: It'll never happen. Rummy in Dreamland.
Perhaps LANL will become an outlying site of Sandia, how you like them beans. Hope it comes true.
Except...if you look into this report, it says that we need a SINGLE site, away from large population concentrations, such as Albuquerque. LM won't mind moving Sandia up to Los Alamos, safe and sound, where the terrorists can't reach.

The committee who wrote this "report" is composed of such total boobs, they probably believe the sh*t they wrote.
DOE Secy Bodman commissioned the SEAB panel led by Overskei, which included a former Sandia and Argonne director and some industry folk (like an executive from Brush-Wellman, US monopoly beryllium contractor) to analyze the most sensible, economical path for the next 25 years of the complex, especially for manufacturing components (pits, secondaries, non-nuclear components, etc.)

Instead, the panel apparently has pandered to Rep. Hobson’s desire for a “cheaper, faster, better” complex, without scientific integrity, peer review or even experiment-driven (can you say 1,000 nuclear tests) data. It concluded the mission of the three weapons labs is wasting money. Recommendations? --- Gleaming new bomb factory (Remember Complex 21 and Admiral Watkins and Polly Gault?) one science Lab, one supercomputer, LANL=pits, industry builds most non-nuclear components and, best of all, designers replaced by young Turks trained in industrial (profit-driven) processes.

Read the report, watch how it changes in the final September version, what Bodman says about it then, and what St. Pete and Hobson say and do. It’s your future, and your children’s and your grandchildren’s.

Some other media analyses:,2564,ALBQ_19858_3929601,00.html,2564,ALBQ_19858_3929601,00.html
There is a dedication to Ron Bentley in the front of the report. A finer person I have not met in this crazy business. He was kind and thoughtful, tough and pragmatic, and thoroughly skilled. His untimely passing is a true loss to the nation. He worked tirelessly to keep the system on its feet and functioning despite all the many forces arrayed against it. Only recently did he receive high honors, and those long overdue. Fair winds and following seas, Ron.
Actually, I think you will see Hobson pushing for neither Sandia or LANL. Saint Pete and him seem to have a deep rivalry.. and he wants Pete (and by proxy this state pay). I would assume that the new Nuke factory/research facility would be in Idaho or Nevada Test Site.

On another note, I transferred last month from LANL to Sandia and boy the differences are stark. Sandia seems to hold people accountable from day one and will fire someone if they flaunt the rules. Managers are held accountable for their employees actions and in-actions. The equivalent of S division actually seems to go out and look for problem areas at the lab versus waiting for an audit to tell them what to do.

Sandia's documentation on rules and regulations are much clearer than LANL's. Sandia's training was much more focused than the LANL stuff. There is a lot less wiggleroom in the regulations for people who want to fool around. Sandia's technical support people do a lot more work with less people and less salaries.

I can see why Sandia has become the poster child of how a National Lab should be run.

[It is not perfect, but it is definately better than LANL has been in the last 15 years.]
5:15- They're going to move it all to Nevada. Los Alamos will only be a computing lab on this site.
What will really make St. Pete happy is the presentation made by Anastasio in his capacity as Livermore director on activities that should be moved from Los Alamos. Yes, the same Anastasio proposed by UC as LANL director. Now there's a conflict.
Could somebody repost another link? I was not able to open the PDF file because it was corrupt.
Once again, I am amazed. Only the DOE could come up with a review that recommends "consolidation" of hydrotesting by not only keeping both existing hydrotesting facilities alive as "user facilities", but building a brand new center at the NTS for CAT I and CAT II material testing. Once again a lie is being perpetuated on the American public. Rather than address the real problem (why DARHT doesn't do its job), they recommend that we start yet another ill fated project. When will it ever end?
The report can be downloaded from a link on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board's website;
I found it really sad reading about the inefficiency of TA_55. While I tend to agree, I cannot blame LANL management nor the workers. LANL and TA_55 have in part, been driven to inefficiency due to external scrutiny by DOE and the DNFSB.

If you speak to many of the older personnel, TA_55 was a place of great productivity during the late 70's and 80's. It now takes 1-2 years to get new equipment installed in the plant because of safety and compliance requirements. Anything outside of the current authorization basis has to go through DOE approval. Implementing new technologies that would streamline processing, have been held up and stalled, never getting put into service.

Productivity has gone down the toilet and most of the workers are frustrated as hell with needless requirements being forced upon them. The committee can point fingers all they want but in the end, LANL's problems and high cost of doing business with plutonium, stems directly from the requirements that are demanded by external sources.
I think what this country needs is a BRAC process for Departments. Let's see, we can close DOE and NNSA, reestablish a lean and effective AEC and save millions and millions of dollars by eliminating the stair stepping of layered requirements, unfunded mandates, and unnecessary oversight functions.
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