BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Suggest new topics here

SUGGEST NEW TOPICS HERE

Submit candidates for new topics here only. Stay on topic with National Labs' related issues. All submissions are screened first for ...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Let the Debate begin.

Anonymously contributed:

Let the Debate begin.

From the New York Times Editorials, 10/30/11...

"...In his push to win votes for the New Start treaty, Mr. Obama gave away far too much to balking Republican senators. He promised to invest an extra $85 billion over 10 years for the nuclear labs to maintain and modernize the arsenal, including overhauling thousands of older bombs that should be retired. He proposed spending $125 billion over the next decade for a new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, 100 new bombers, a new land-based intercontinental ballistic missile and two other missiles.

Senior military officials acknowledge that hard decisions must be made — including possibly eliminating one leg of the nuclear triad. In July, Gen. James Cartwright, then vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for a reassessment of where nuclear weapons fit in today’s world.

All Americans need to be part of that discussion, as does the Congressional “supercommittee,” charged with coming up with a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Here are sound cuts for the nuclear budget:

*Senator Tom Coburn, one of the few Republicans to support nuclear reductions, has called for cutting the number of deployed strategic warheads to 1,220, the ballistic missile submarine fleet to 11 from 14, and intercontinental ballistic missiles to 300 from 500. He also favors delaying the purchase of new bombers until the mid 2020s. Total savings, according to Mr. Coburn, would be at least $79 billion over the next decade. It is a smart beginning.

*Don’t modernize the B61 tactical nuclear bombs in Europe. No one can imagine that the United States would ever use a nuclear weapon on a European battlefield, and Washington is in discussions with NATO to bring them home to be dismantled. If the Europeans want to keep them for political reasons, let them pick up the tab. Savings: $1.6 billion.

*Halt construction of the new plutonium storage facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Costs have increased tenfold, and there are serious safety questions about the location — along a fault line and near an active volcano. Savings: $2.9 billion.

*Halt construction of the Energy Department’s Savannah River facility that is supposed to recycle plutonium from dismantled weapons into mox, a fuel for nuclear power plants. The sole customer for the fuel dropped the contract. Savings: $4 billion.

*Cancel the uranium processing facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight says that with $100 million in upgrades, another facility there can do the work. Savings: $6 billion.

*Down-blend more of the 400 metric tons of highly enriched uranium in United States weapons stocks for sale to nuclear power plants. The administration has neglected this, while investing in programs that increase the life of nuclear warheads. Revenue: $23 billion.

The country will need some number of nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future. And it must ensure that they are safe and reliable. But spending on the arsenal must be rational and consistent with national security goals — not driven by inertia or politics."

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get rid of US nuclear weapons.

short term savings perhaps $10B per year.

Long term doesn't matter because the US will decline and someone else will take the chips and call the shots; and many with scores to settle will settle them.

The US Baby boom generation is a craven, greedy, selfish lot. It is appropriate that they; lead by women and weak men should surrender world leadership.

Anonymous said...

"October 30, 2011 7:12 PM"

It sounds a bit crazy and
simply getting rid of NW is a bad idea as it could create an impression that the US is weak and could be attacked with weapons of mass destruction without full retaliation.

If you have to go down that route
perhaps a smarter plan would be to essentially get rid of DOE and keep only a relative small number of weapons. We do not have to maintain them at all, just let the enemy take the gamble and see if they are feeling lucky.

Of course you still have to some some facilities to clean up the environment, shutting down all the DOE labs will cost money as well, and like it our not DOE does many things that are used by the military, industry, EPA, NASA, and has a fair amount of corporate sponsors. These groups will not be happy when they do not the things they have paid for or want. However we could also get rid of NASA, and the EPA, but the military is harder. In the end I think we should let the free market decide.

"The US Baby boom generation is a craven, greedy, selfish lot. It is appropriate that they; lead by women and weak men should surrender world leadership."

The free market has spoken and women and what you call weak men have come out on top. I know it
is hard to imagine they could win over small minded lazy bigots like you but hey live by the sword and die by the sword. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Defeatism and Decline" seem to be the marching orders of the day in America.

You now have Congressmen who are calling for the US to unilaterally disarm!

Anonymous said...

We can no longer afford to be America anymore. We simply do not have the money. We cannot have this huge military, huge entitlements, huge pork, and huge programs like NASA, NSF and NIH.

Anonymous said...

We can no longer afford to be America anymore. We simply do not have the money. We cannot have this huge military, huge entitlements, huge pork, and huge programs like NASA, NSF and NIH.

October 31, 2011 8:13 AM

Who's "we"?? If you find it just too hard to try to understand the way the world works, and would rather just give up, please go sit in the corner and be quiet while those of us who actually understand something about economics and who don't revile America get on with our lives. Pessimism and cowardice are not needed. Your view of the world disgusts me.

Anonymous said...

"— not driven by inertia or politics."

Nuclear weapons ARE political weapons. They are the big stick, the trump card. The term nuclear nation does not apply to those using nuclear reactors but to those who have nuclear weapons.

The nuclear weapon complex survives due to inertia and it is dying by entropy. The worst decision the president would ever need to make would be to use a nuclear weapon. But if that terrible decision is ever made, it has to work the 1st time. Imagine the screams in the White House and Pentagon of "What do you mean it didn't work?"

If we allow the complex to slip into total disrepair (and it might be there in short order) you will be faced with the following issues. First, recruiting and keeping the people to keep things going will be more difficult than what we are suffering now. Second, the lead time in getting physical structures built will undoubtedly lead to a period of time when we can't truthfully fulfill the mission that is still needed by this country.

Anonymous said...

Bret Knapp has already decided to downsize the nuclear weapon program at LANS when he arrived 5-years ago. Why can't the U.S. follow his lead?

Anonymous said...

The US nuclear weapon labs have already declined by a serious amount. Privatization of the management contract for profits is the final coup de grace. It's all about "business operations" at the LLCs, not science.

We were told that funding would increase by large amounts early in the year to stem the labs' decline. Now we are back to hearing that our budgets will be heavily cut and talks of layoffs are in the air.

There is no stability left in working at an American nuclear research lab. The last person out the door needs to please remember to turn off the lights and to lock the front gates. I'm sure those ancient atomic weapons will work... maybe... kinda sorta.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that no one posting comments so far has made any counter arguments against a single cut proposed in the NYT editorial.

Will no one defend CMRR or UPF? Or are these really just unnecessary pork barrel projects.

Anonymous said...

Bret Knapp has already decided to downsize the nuclear weapon program at LANS when he arrived 5-years ago. Why can't the U.S. follow his lead?

October 31, 2011 4:03 PM

it's ironical how you have someone inside (Knapp, Director of Nuclear Weapons at LANS) tearing down nuclear weapon capability (personnel and facilities) while Obama is trying (from the outside) to bolster it. What's wrong with this picture? You can blame NNSA for their lack of leadership on this issue.

Anonymous said...

NNSA and leadership is an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

Eliminate the NNSA AND the DOE. Start over by wiping the Orders off the books go back to AEC / ERDA type org.

We almost got rid of the DOE when they instaed formed the NNSA.

CMRR is ridiculously expensive and a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

CMRR is ridiculously expensive and a waste of money.

November 1, 2011 8:56 PM

So you want the capability to just vanish? You think the nation can just do without it? Anti-nuke or just anti-thought? The existing 50+ year-old CMR is ok with you? How about a thoughtful alternative?

Anonymous said...

So you want the capability to just vanish? You think the nation can just do without it? Anti-nuke or just anti-thought? The existing 50+ year-old CMR is ok with you? How about a thoughtful alternative?

November 1, 2011 10:47 PM

Yes. Yes. Yes. Your problem.

Anonymous said...

If we allow the complex to slip into total disrepair (and it might be there in short order) you will be faced with the following issues.

First, recruiting and keeping the people to keep things going will be more difficult than what we are suffering now.

Second, the lead time in getting physical structures built will undoubtedly lead to a period of time when we can't truthfully fulfill the mission that is still needed by this country.

October 31, 2011 10:08 AM

If we allow? Wake up. LANS/LLNS has single-handedly accomplished these goals already.

Anonymous said...

"...."Who's "we"?? If you find it just too hard to try to understand the way the world works, ...blah, blah, blah...while those of us who actually understand something about economics..."

OK. Some simple macro..

Current US revenues (2011) $2.7T
Current US expenditures (2011) 4.0T
Yearly US deficit $1.3T, 33% of all expenditures
Current US national debt $14.7T
At 3% interest the national debt is $50,000 per person, with $5,000 added each year. For you, and for your kids....

This is foolish and unsustainable. Large budget cuts and large tax increases are needed now.

We simply cannot afford American ambition any more. Not blind "decline and defeatism", rather rational fiscal responsibilty.

Time for the baby boomers to grow up and scale back their foolish ambition to match their modest means.

Anonymous said...

Time for the baby boomers to grow up and scale back their foolish ambition to match their modest means.

November 4, 2011 12:21 PM

Nope, time for everyone to wake up and realize that the government will NOT bail you out. Your life is yours to live. Get to it. Get an education, since unemployment has stayed around 5% for the college-educated. Avoid excessive debt. No college loans - plenty of people have worked their way through college. The "prestigious" colleges mean nothing on your resume if you get C's. The "lesser" colleges mean nothing if you get A's. Failure is not an option. Never buy more anything than you can afford. Never have kids you can't afford. It's all pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

The "lesser" colleges mean nothing if you get A's. Failure is not an option. Never buy more anything than you can afford. Never have kids you can't afford. It's all pretty simple.

November 4, 2011 7:31 PM

That's quite a change from the past. Ask Knapp, he got C's at a lesser college and is now running the entire nuclear weapon theoretical division. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

That's quite a change from the past. Ask Knapp, he got C's at a lesser college and is now running the entire nuclear weapon theoretical division. What a joke!

November 4, 2011 7:57 PM

And don't forget the D-students at DOE/NNSA. You remember, revenge of the D-students.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty amazing to think that the theoretical nuke design divisions at Los Alamos are now being run by a "punk" kid with a bad attitude whose science credentials consists of a measly Masters in mechanical engineering from a two-bit state college.

The times have sure changed, haven't they?

Anonymous said...

The times have sure changed, haven't they?

November 6, 2011 12:20 PM

There is something sinister about this "punk" kid running the theoretical nuke division. I can't quite figure what is problem is, but he's got one hell of an inferiority complex. He has an issue with anyone more intelligent than him, which comprises of all the technical staff at Los Alamos.

Anonymous said...

He has an issue with anyone more intelligent than him, which comprises of all the technical staff at Los Alamos.

November 6, 2011 1:43 PM

That's his first problem. His second problem is that he (Knapp) came to LANL to "get even" with LANL for designing better nuclear weapons (i.e. bigger, better, faster) than LLNL. Also, the military (particularly the Navy) doesn't like doing business with "Livermore". It's pathetic that Anastasio and now MacMillan are letting him (Knapp) carry out this mission, however, unfortunately they have/had the same agenda.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty amazing to think that the theoretical nuke design divisions at Los Alamos are now being run by a "punk" kid with a bad attitude whose science credentials consists of a measly Masters in mechanical engineering from a two-bit state college.

The times have sure changed, haven't they?

November 6, 2011 12:20 PM

That's almost accurate. Knapp has a BS degree from ME Cal Poly (two bit state college). Anastasio bought Knapp his ME MS from Cal Davis (aka Teller Tech) while he working at "Livermore". Knapp's MS Thesis was entitled "Demolition of Los Alamos Nuclear Weapon Capability in 2-years or Less".

Posts you viewed tbe most last 30 days