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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

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No Technical Reason to Avoid a Test Ban, NRC Panel Says

Anonymously contributed:

Note the last paragraph from this excerpt!!

From Science Magazine:

No Technical Reason to Avoid a Test Ban, NRC Panel Says
by Daniel Clery on 30 March 2012

The United States' nuclear deterrent will remain safe and reliable without nuclear testing as long as the government keeps its weapons up to date with the so-called Stockpile Stewardship Program and fosters a scientific workforce capable of running the SSP, says a report from the U.S. National Academies released today. The report investigated technical issues surrounding the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and also concluded that the treaty's monitoring system, along with America's own intelligence resources, have made huge strides in recent years in their ability to detect clandestine tests that could pose a military threat to the United States. The CTBT Organization's International Monitoring System (IMS) "has created a capability so that any potential tester would have to be concerned about being detected," says Ellen D. Williams, committee chair and chief scientist of the oil company BP. ...

...The White House commissioned the National Academies in 2009 to review a 2002 study on this topic and investigate whether technical capabilities have changed over the past decade in a way that might influence the debate over ratification. Williams said at a briefing at the National Academies today that the SSP was still quite young in 2002, and since then there has been enormous progress. "They've overhauled and refurbished two complete weapon classes," she says. Part of the program involves understanding the physics and chemistry of the materials that make up the weapons and understanding how they decay and degrade. In some cases, replacement parts can be manufactured. "We understand these weapons today even better than we did while testing," committee member Marvin Adams, a nuclear engineer at Texas A&M University in College Station, said at the briefing. "We've done it. We've reset the clock on these weapons."

A large part of the program also involves developing computer simulations of the action of nuclear explosives. To test the validity of the simulations, national laboratories have built facilities that can reproduce parts of a nuclear explosion without creating an actual blast. These facilities include the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications facility (MESA) at Sandia National Laboratories, and Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility (DARHT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. "It's very crucial for researchers to establish a close coupling between [these facilities] and scientific computing so that they can test and stress the computer codes essential to the health of the program," Williams says.

The committee's main concern was about the government's future commitment to this program and its workforce. "The technical ability to maintain the stockpile exists; our concern is about the political will to maintain those capabilities," Williams says. Committee member Lynn Sykes of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University says, "There's one golden bullet: a high quality workforce. I can't stress that too strongly."

Full article:
http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/03/no-technical-reason-to-avoid-a-t.html

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The "high quality workforce" has taken McMillan's advice and is in the process of "following the money" right out the door. Too late to close the barn door now. The quality horses left years ago.

Anonymous said...

Marv Adams a former LLNL and LANL "weaponeer" who could not "hack it" at the Labs now being paid to say the "right thing" on this committee. Good job Marv, the check will be deposited in your bank tomorrow. Follow the money.... Sad!

Anonymous said...

GROUPTHINK!

Talk is cheap, and has no measurable consequences.

A test will verify or disprove current practices like nothing else.

Trust but verify.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with keeping scientific expertise from fleeing LANL. This lab just lost a lot of super-computer expertise in the High Performance Computing (HPC) division with the loss of highly educated staff fleeing during the latest downsizing effort.

LANL is in a serious 'death spiral' and is rapidly losing expertise under NNSA and the LANS' for-profit regime. Almost 600 professional staff are set to walk out the front door this Thursday with the VSP offer.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, our modeling and simulation is so good now, we can model SFIs before we actually find them.

And if you really want to give yourself pause, just ask when was the last STS test of a weapon.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with keeping scientific expertise from fleeing LANL. This lab just lost a lot of super-computer expertise in the High Performance Computing (HPC) division with the loss of highly educated staff fleeing during the latest downsizing effort.

April 3, 2012 9:47 AM

Who cares? We kept our most precious asset, our Facility Engineers. And not only that, they are a lot cheaper than you worthless computer geeks. Follow the money baby, follow the money $$$$$$...

Uhhhhh, Ummmm, Char, Char, Charlie...

Anonymous said...

The committee's main concern was about the government's future commitment to this program and its workforce. "The technical ability to maintain the stockpile exists; our concern is about the political will to maintain those capabilities," Williams says. Committee member Lynn Sykes of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University says, "There's one golden bullet: a high quality workforce. I can't stress that too strongly."

Bingo! But I got bad news for Lynn. Wake up, there is no "political will" any longer in D.C. The only prevailing will is for LLNS/LANS Managers to escalate their salaries. Lynn is clearly disconnected from any reality.

Anonymous said...

“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”

- Journalist Matt Taibbi, profiling the bank for Rolling Stone magazine in 2009
________________________

The same could be said of Bechtel. Once they get their hooks into you, they suck you dry of dollars and never leave. They are the "Goldman Sachs" of the engineering world. They will NEVER leave their honey pots at the newly privatized "for-profit" managed NNSA labs. Never.

Don't wait for Washington DC to suddenly wake up and realize the destruction that is happening to their formerly "crown jewel" national labs. Follow the money, like our latest Director suggested last week. It's all about the money and nothing more. He should know!

Anonymous said...

Marv Adams a former LLNL and LANL "weaponeer" who could not "hack it" at the Labs now being paid to say the "right thing" on this committee. Good job Marv, the check will be deposited in your bank tomorrow. Follow the money.... Sad!

April 2, 2012 5:09 PM

Ah yes Marv Adams. One of the most stanch Lab critics while employed at LLNL and LANL has become one of the great Lab advocates. It's amazing when that LLNS/LANS check arrived how it changes folks.

Anonymous said...

No one is paid to contribute to National Research Council Reports.

Prof. Adams leads a major research group at Texas A&M and he seems to have done exactly what the complainers on this site are always suggesting, leave the labs and move on to bigger and better things. Further he is arguing what the complainers are arguing: something needs to be done to keep a high quality workforce at the labs. So why the hate and lies?

Anonymous said...

The technical reason to avoid a test ban is that the the current US government proponents have an agenda, not strictly performance based.

When you don't trust, you verify.

Rumble the Strip!

Anonymous said...

Well intentioned scientists failed (again) in North Korea, showing (again) that this technology ain't that easy.

Watch the LLNL and LANL obituaries, the people that proved that they know how to do this are dead or in rest homes.

What makes the inexperienced current US team better than the inexperinced North Korean team? OK many things.... but how do you know the tech transfer worked unless you test?

$1.2T invested in an aging nuclear stockpile.

Anonymous said...

The best reason for not testing now is to avoid the embaressment of failure.

Anonymous said...

Well intentioned scientists failed (again) in North Korea, showing (again) that this technology ain't that easy.

April 14, 2012 10:15 AM

That was a failed launch of a long-range (or orbit capable) missile, not a failed nuclear test. Rocket science ain't nukes.

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