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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here is the truth: no more nuc stuff at LLNL

Anonymously contributed:

From the LANL BLOG:


U.S. Releases Nuclear Complex Modernization Details - Global Security Newswire
Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

The United States has released new details on decade-long plans to alter the budgets, goals, facilities and staffs of key facilities in an effort to modernize and streamline the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, Nuclear Watch New Mexico announced yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 1, 2007).

The watchdog group said it successfully pursued a Freedom of Information Act request that led the National Nuclear Security Administration to post the information online.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is set to expand its mission far beyond work involving the nuclear weapons stockpile, increasing research aimed at addressing threat reduction, homeland security, defense and environmental issues, according to the 10-year site plans released by the semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department.

The Nevada Test Site would focus on evaluating nuclear-weapon reliability without conducting test detonations. The DOE agency expects to build a new hydrodynamic test facility at the site for studying nuclear weapons with high-speed imaging technology. The imaging site would assume the responsibilities of an existing facility at Los Alamos (see GSN, May 20, 2008).

The Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico is expected to eliminate one-fifth of its nuclear weapons personnel while pursuing research on energy and infrastructure issues. The laboratory would continue its nuclear weapons work, though, and is expected to establish a new nuclear-weapon development and maintenance site.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California would phase out much of its nuclear-weapon activities although it would remain the primary site for high-explosives tests relevant to nuclear weapons development.

The Kansas City Plant in Missouri is slated to receive a new, privately funded nuclear-weapon component manufacturing site despite questions about continued legislative support for the project (see GSN, Oct. 20, 2008).

The Savannah River Site in South Carolina is expected to produce more tritium than required to maintain the U.S. nuclear stockpile if President Barack Obama opts to shrink the arsenal further, according to Nuclear Watch New Mexico (see GSN, Nov. 10, 2008).

Nuclear-weapon assembly and dismantling work at the Pantex Plant in Texas is expected decrease through fiscal 2010 and then gradually increase until it peaks in fiscal 2015, resulting in changing staffing and resource needs for the site (Nuclear Watch New Mexico release, Jan. 22).


Anonymous said...

Maybe a RIF of 3,500 is more true than you can imagine. We surely don't need 7,000+ to do these menial task. April of 2009 may be the first of the 3,500 to go, as I have read both on the LLNL and LANL blog. God Speed to all.

Anonymous said...

When the nuclear work goes there will be no strong reason to keep LLNL open. Facilities will be closed or moved elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Well, now we know, don't we?

Anonymous said...

"Now we know" what exactly? This on-line article is just someone's paraphrase of the NNSA plan for complex transformation. That plan has plenty of holes, but as stated it leaves far from 'menial tasks' at LLNL. If you actually follow the link back to the NNSA site, there are the actual site plans downloadable as PDFs. From the introduction to the LLNL plan:

"In NNSA’s preferred alternative for Complex Transformation, LLNL serves as a Center of Excellence for nuclear design and engineering. Further, the plan identifies LLNL as a Center of Excellence for supercomputing, high-explosive research and development, and high-energy-density physics."

Everyone is entitled to whatever skepticism this evokes. But it is not like the quoted Global Security Newswire is dealing from some great font of inside knowledge.

Anonymous said...

So when April 2009 comes around and there are no hints of any layoffs, will you come on here and admit you were misled? I've been hearing these rumors for a while now, and the date keeps changing, but I have yet to see someone come on here and admit they were misinformed.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I'm wrong when it happens. But so far I'm batting 1,000.

Warned people multiple times about disaster only to be told, "Don't worry, things are fine. You should trust ULM, they are looking out for you."

Well, they weren't looking out for us and things did not come out fine.

Given the budget, the new administration's attitude, the plans published by DoE for the weapon's complex I see no reason to disbelieve rumors of further cuts.

Anonymous said...

Must keep thinking happy thoughts, must keep thinking happy thoughts...

Anonymous said...

The mission assigned to LLNL should keep no more than 100 people employed. 20 scientists, 30 safety folks, and 50 ULM.

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