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Saturday, August 18, 2012
Excerpt from Article in SF Chronicle Anonymously contributed: ================================================================= Livermore Lab Ignition Facility's woes David Perlman Updated 11:02 p.m., Friday, August 17, 2012 ============================================================ Panel sees progress The technical review committee for the National Ignition Facility, headed by physicist Alvin Trivelpiece, retired director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, said the Livermore scientists had indeed made progress since the panel's most recent review in February 2011. "The NIF is operating in a stable, reliable, predictable and controllable manner," the committee said, and has made "extraordinary progress toward challenging goals." But the Livermore scientists won't reach the "milestone" of achieving ignition this fiscal year, the experts said, and added: "The committee is concerned that this milestone ... may not be the best way to manage this program. "A deadline imposed on an experimental discovery science program to achieve a particular result by a particular time at a particular cost is often unrealistic," the report said. And the National Ignition Facility is indeed costly: When the project began in 1995, its estimated cost was $1.1 billion, with completion set for 2002 . The price tag later rose to $2.8 billion and then to $3.5 billion by the time the facility's building was completed in 2009. Since then, Congress has appropriated more than $450 million a year for the effort's experiments, and some estimates predict that the costs could eventually reach more than $8 billion. 'Grand challenge' Ed Moses, longtime director of the Livermore project, has been enthusiastic about the project from the start. "It's a grand challenge, and I'm confident of getting ignition," he said five years ago, "and whether it's 2010 or 2011, I'm sure we'll achieve it." A Livermore lab spokesman said Moses and other facility leaders were unavailable this week to respond to the latest reports. But the spokesman e-mailed The Chronicle an unsigned statement that could be "attributed" to Moses, which said the facility "continues to make extraordinary progress toward its goal. ... The capabilities needed to achieve ignition are in place." It added, "In the last year of precision experiments, NIF has successfully resolved most of the major physics concerns necessary to achieve ignition. The current campaign is working to resolve the remaining few and integrate all the pieces together." David Perlman is The San Francisco Chronicle's science editor. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Livermore-Lab-Ignition-Facility-s-woes-3797461.php#ixzz23sLkUyYj So...what's gpoing on there guys? Is EM on his way out the door or is LLNS management sweeping stuff under the carpet?
By scooby at August 18, 2012
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