Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All About the Pits

BY NICHOLAS COLLIAS
All About the Pits

Groups say the real story about PU-238 is just coming out

In a pair of landslide votes, both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives--including all four of Idaho's delegates--recently approved the 2006 Water and Energy Development Appropriations Bill. The $30.5 billion package provides funds for projects nationwide, including $40 million for an experimental nuclear reactor to produce electricity and hydrogen at the Idaho National Laboratory. But watchdog groups in Idaho and New Mexico say the bill--which received broad support from Republicans and Democrats alike--quietly betrays a different priority: supporting nuclear weapons production.

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Full Story

Comments:
Read this and weep.
Jesus wept.
 
You have a problem with turning LANL into a pit factory, Holian? We Pit Whores will do anything for money, you know. You should give it a try, it feels good after a while.
 
Get ready, here it comes. A couple of key paragraphs from the article:

"Currently, Los Alamos is the only site in the U.S. producing nuclear pits, usually at a rate of around a dozen per year, according to the laboratory's Web site. In recent years, nuclear proponents have pushed for the creation of a modern pit facility (MPF), which could increase production up to 450 pits per year. Congress denied funding for the MPF in the appropriations bill, as well as for research into the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, a controversial "bunker busting" bomb that has long been pushed by the Bush administration. But according to Jeremy Maxand of the Snake River Alliance, the conference report shows a back-door approach to the same goal.

"They don't get their big bomb factory, so they say, well, let's pump all we can out of Los Alamos," Maxand said. "Bottom line is, this [PU-238] is coming to Idaho not to reduce transportation risks, not to save money on consolidation." Maxand's group has criticized the DOE's consolidation plan since its draft environmental impact statement was released earlier this year. They say the department hadn't justified the need for the project, which is planned to produce at least 330 pounds of plutonium over 30 years, beginning in 2012. In October, the Snake River Alliance and 32 other local and national organizations co-signed a letter to Western governors, senators and state representatives saying the DOE should be required to produce a new impact statement with a better explanation. Now, Maxand says, the reasoning is clear: "They're moving this stuff here so that another facility can expand its ability to make nuclear weapons."

 
Yes, I read it.

I am weeping because some folks can not accept that somebody has to maintain at least a skeleton capability to produce pits. No new pits means a limited lifetime for the current stockpile. I think that means that other nations will become increasingly bold in their actions as we will lack any overshadowing deterant.

Remember, NNSA, LLNL, LANL, etc all exist to serve the national adgenda not ours.
 
WFOaddict has it right. We do exist to serve the national agenda. Making pits may become our part of serving that agenda. After all, we are first and foremost a nuclear weapons laboratory. Those who find making pits unacceptable have other options.

Making pits and doing non-weapons work are not necesarily mutually exclusive.

Frankly, pit manufacture could be a fly wheel to support other activities.
 
Looks to me like "Pit Whore," "WFOaddict," and "DAHRTman" don't do science, don't care much about science, and live in a paranoid fantasy world.

Los Alamos National Pit Factory.

What a comedown from the days when I first arrived here at

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.
 
Brad,

Bad form. Even for a scientist living in my paranoid fantasy world.
 
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