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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Which Davis?

Jay Davis said:

I noticed an August 2nd entry that needs correction on the record.  I did many things for the Lab in my 31 years there, RTNS-II, CAMS, heading the Woodruff Grievance Panel, and service in Iraq and at DTRA. However, I had nothing to do with the departure of Moses and his coterie fifteen years go.  If that was done by a Davis, it must have been Jim Davis, who had been their supervisor for over a decade and who presumably had the information and leverage to make that possible.  I did work with that group for 17 months on AVLIS in the 82'-84' period and found it a searing and shattering experience, both personally and professionally -- and I am not a delicate flower.  I fortunately have never experienced such personalities or behaviors since.  Unlike many, I was able to rehabilitate myself within the Laboratory, for which I am eternally grateful to John Nuckolls.  As CAMS was the result, I suppose it came out all right in the end.  CAMS is today and may well remain the Lab's most productive and valuable user facility.

There are erie parallels between NIF and AVLIS.  Both demonstrate supberb engineering design and execution, negligible cost control or strategic management of resources, and inadequate physics to accomplish the intended mission.  If it turns out that the fiscal and intellectual resources squandered on the laughable pursuit of LIFE could have provided the diagnostic set required for a mature and informed ignition campaign, the Laboratory and its overseers will have to answer some very hard questions in the difficult months ahead.


Anonymous said...

So why is this reposted now? It is a copy of a posting from last summer.

Anonymous said...

"However, I had nothing to do with the departure of Moses and his coterie fifteen years go. "

Jay, even if you did, you should be congratulated.

Anonymous said...

Apart from a respectable scientific record by national standards, no-one could argue with CAMS' success in playing the internal politics of survival with such skill for so long.

Anonymous said...

CAMS will get the hatchet before LIFE

Anonymous said...

I've been at the Lab for over 25 years and have seen a lot of crazy ideas and things, but LIFE takes the cake. Absolutely unbelievable the resources that have been piled into this effort when a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation and some common sense reveal that the idea makes no economic sense at all.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but I'm just thankful that OFES unceremoniously shut down the lab's attempts at pushing LIFFE, an even more absurd idea that certain individuals pushed with a straight face in DC. A real insult to the intelligence of tried and tested nuclear engineers being peddled bad ideas by people who have no clue about that industry.

On top of that, funding LIFE now is putting the cart before the horse. All chips need to be on the ignition studies. If the ignition pursuit fails, LIFE will have been a contributor to that failure simply by using up funding that could have been spent on the primary objective.


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