This is a long piece on the Knoxville News Blog, but very insightful on why Oak Ridge National Lab is doing so much better than LLNL...
Frank Munger's Atomic City Underground
Has ORNL outsmarted other national labs?
In a recent interview with Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, I asked him about the Spallation Neutron Source and suggestions that the big-ticket project wasn't living up to expectations. I also asked him about other questions/allegations that are floating around about ORNL and the lab's more successful programs.
Mason made some intriguing comments about ORNL's success, basically embracing suggestions that the Oak Ridge lab may have had an "unfair advantage" in dramatically growing its research programs over the past decade.
''If you look at the budget growth over the last several years, since 2000 . . . we've gone from being about $650 million a year in 2000 to this year (FY 2010) we'll be close to $1.6 billion. That's money we spent. So, almost a billion dollars in growth over 10 years. That is not typical within the DOE complex. That's unusual. I mean, some labs have been going up and some have been going down and so forth, but I don't think there have been too many that have gone up from $650 million to $1.6 billion...
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