Thursday, November 17, 2005
By Andy Lenderman The New Mexican |
November 17, 2005
A citizen advisory board is demanding more information about unlined radioactive-waste pits at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where officials have agreed to further study the matter.
At issue is whether a low-level waste dump, known as Area G, could potentially contaminate groundwater.
The Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board — a 21-member body sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy — has recommended the lab not expand Area G, stop burying radioactive waste underground and find ways to not produce it in the first place.
This new uncertainty of mine about the quality of life provided by LANL and Los Alamos is in addition to those caused by the pending contract change over. I came to LANL for the science. I do not feel that these latest two initiatives are in LANL's best interest, at least not from a science perspective.
Didn't you know that LANL was a nuclear weapons laboratory when you joined up? Making pits is part of that.
The difference between a "research" level of pit production (12 - 20 pits per year) and production level pit manufacturing (300 - 400 pits per year) is enormous.
The differences are enormous in the amount of money involved, in the number of people involved, the amount of nuke waste produced. An investment in production-level pit manufacturing would by definition change the nature of Los Alamos National Laboratory. It would shift the focus away from science here. Perhaps that would be a good thing from the perspective of people like you and "Pit Whore", but not from mine.
There, is that more clear to you?
There is ZERO political will in the US to build pits at a rate of 300-400 per year, in Los Alamos or anywhere else. Witness the Congressional opposition to MPF, from both sides of the aisle. Even if there was a need, TA-55 simply does not have the square footage for that scale of production, even theoretically. A new production facility would be required, and that would take AT LEAST 15 years to complete.
You're invoking a slippery slope for LANL that does not exist.
LANL serves at the will of the NNSA. They set the mission and control the NW budget. LANL and LLNL exist because US policy says that they are needed.
If you are bothered by being involved in nuclear weapons work, even peripheraly, then maybe leaving is a good choice.