Monday, August 08, 2005

Contaminated package express mailed to Pennsylvania

Associated Press

A package sent from Los Alamos National Laboratory contaminated a Pennsylvania lab with a tiny amount of radioactive material, according to a report.

A Los Alamos lab worker sent the package July 20, before realizing that he had been contaminated with americium 241, according to a Los Alamos lab incident report made public Monday by the Project on Government Oversight, a lab watchdog based in Washington, D.C.

[...]

Full Story


Comments:
POGO -- your tax dollars helping you. Notice that
the pogo report left out the amount -- less than 500 dpm, which is below allowable limits.

I only hope that the lab recovers -- this was a terrible mistake, and the consequences will be felt for a long time.
 
I was wondering when this shipping incident involving the contamination was going to hit the news.
 
Wait until chemical exposure of 2 Postdocs in C Division hits the news. One was hospitalized for 6 days and it took over a month before it was reported. What is going on at this place??
 
In the end, this is senior management's fault. If ADs can't get their people to be accountable, then they are the problem. The first post-Nanos manager, Wallace, was suppose to reconnect with the scientists....yeah, right. Everyone may have complained with Micheline Devaurs, but at least there were no accidents when she ran the place. We need to get rid of scientists that think they are managers!

I hated Nanos, but at least the people he appointed figured out the importance of safety, security and compliance. Teflon Terry -- it is time for you to go.
 
In the end, this is senior management's fault. If ADs can't get their people to be accountable, then they are the problem. The first post-Nanos manager, Wallace, was suppose to reconnect with the scientists....yeah, right. Everyone may have complained with Micheline Devaurs, but at least there were no accidents when she ran the place. We need to get rid of scientists that think they are managers!

I hated Nanos, but at least the people he appointed figured out the importance of safety, security and compliance. Teflon Terry -- it is time for you to go.
 
8/09/2005 07:25:32 AM: Are you NUTS?!

Terry Wallace has been a blessing and a very welcome change! For a change, we how have someone how truly cares about the Lab and the people that work here, not just obsequiously pushing paper around.

You realize that if a single individual in a large organization screws up, or even quietly decides not to follow safety rules, there isn’t much any manager can do, until the said individual is caught. What is the manager to do, babysit each and every worker? Ah, wait, I know one sure way: stopping all work and shutting the place down. That’s precisely why Micheline Devaurs didn’t have any accidents: there was the shutdown and simply no work was allowed.

Did you really prefer Micheline? Did you think that someone whose credentials were in waste management was suitable to direct the entire Strategic Research at LANL? Strategic Research <-> Waste Management?! Are you NUTS?!
 
10:48, if you think Micheline Devaurs was questionable as Acting ADSR, then you can hardly wait to see if she takes over for John Immele when he retires in September. Assuming she does for a moment become the Deputy Lab Director for National Security (or even some sort of AD), it will be most entertaining to see her get involved in speaking for the Lab and making statements related to stockpile reliability as Immele did in the following NY Times article. I have to admit I'm rooting for her though.

"John D. Immele, a senior Los Alamos weapons official, said in a recent interview that Dr. Morse's initial criticism had been deemed potentially credible and had been carefully weighed before being rebutted. The W-76, Dr. Immele said, "had an extreme test record that showed this was not a concern."
 
The best description I've heard given of Micheline Devaurs was that of "a deer in the headlights" when asked a technical question on a topic with which she should have been familiar. I've been in a number of meetings with here where that was exactly the impression she usually gave when asked to address some technical issue or other. She really had no clue even back when she was D Divsion director.
 
No Clue? Do you think that Cobb, Nanos and then Immele would have chosen someone with no apparent technical or managerial qualifications to be (1) the DL for D-Division, (2) the Acting AD for Strategic Research, and (3) now the Acting Associate Deputy Director for National Security?

Hey dude, this is Los Alamos National Lab and its most senior managers making those decisions to move her up we're talking about here. This is LANL - The World's Greatest Science Protecting America - not some rinky-dink, hole-in-the-wall operation.
 
You're right, of course. Whatever could I have been thinking.
 
Does anyone, who remembers what this thread is about, wonder how POGO got a copy of the occurrence report?
 
Easy. Copy of the occurrence reports float all over LANL.
 
Ask S-Division who sent it to POGO. I'm sure the employee followed procedure and had it reviewed by S-Division before sending it out.
 
8/09/2005 06:31:43 PM said,
"Ask S-Division who sent it to POGO. I'm sure the employee followed procedure and had it reviewed by S-Division before sending it out."

Maybe it was not a LANL employee. Maybe it was DOE.
 
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