Friday, January 20, 2006

Article on Linton Brooks

"He said the new generation of warheads would avoid such uncertainties by being heavier, with perhaps more than the minimum amount of plutonium."

does this infer Brooks, et al, have ruled out Bob Peurifoy's preference for creating uranium pits?
What this article says to be is that down sizing is exactly what they want at both LANL and LLNL so why not give them their wish. Can you say, "leave just before the contractor takes over". However you must continue to address the retirement issue with gusto even after your departure. They are banking on your non-participation on this issue and fear tactics. Now it's time to focus on that fixed lifetime annunity.
Anyone who works at a NNSA lab should read this article carefully.

Brooks seems to have a Grand Plan that will: (1) cut back the head count
at the labs, and (2) emphasize production as the prime reason for the
defense lab's existence.

"He added that, even as the production complex gears up for a program likely
to last two to three decades or more, there would inevitably be large
cutbacks at the weapons design labs."

"Large cutbacks" ==> Head count reductions for LANL/LLNL/SNL

The "integration of lab work" which Anastascio frequently talks about
could also point in this same direction.

"I think that most of us believe that spending several billion dollars
above what is planned is unlikely to be forthcoming," Brooks said. "We're
trying to figure out how to strike the right balance."

Brooks is not talking in "code-words" here. He's being very upfront
with us. Forget what Domenici says about new scientific thrusts
with even larger funding for science in the future. Those are just
the words of a politician. The reality is that the labs may shrink,
and what money is available will be directed in a way that emphasizes
nuclear PRODUCTION work. That's why DOE picked the UC/Bechtel team.
Look at our new ADs. They're mostly folks from Pantex, Y-12, BWXT, SRL
(ie, the production side of the nuclear weapons complex). This is
no accident.

Any shifts in funding emphasis from science towards production work
will probably happen at a slow pace. If you're a scientist in the 50+
age category, you might be able to still make it at the labs until
retirement. However, if you are a young, eager "thirty-something" TSM,
then you need to be forewarned that the career you are launching
at LANL may not exist in another 10 to 15 years. Keep your eyes
open and your options handy.

Twenty years from today, it could well become more appropriate to call
LANL the Los Alamos Pit Production Facility, and completely remove the
"National Lab" designator.
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