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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Former president disagrees with current president at Sandia

Robert Peurifoy, a retired Sandia vice president who worked on the B-61, disagrees with current Sandia President Paul Hommert and questions the need for the LEP. From the recent December 2013 Issue of "Physics Today": Costing up to $10 billion over a dozen years, the refurbishment of what is planned to be the last class of US nuclear bombs is the lowest-cost option for extending its life for several decades, officials from the Departments of Defense and Energy insist. But some critics of the B-61 life extension program (LEP) question whether the program is necessary. At least one of the modifications planned for it—a new guided tail kit supplied by the US Air Force—would increase its military capabilities, not just ensure its reliability and safety. Sandia National Laboratories director Paul Hommert warned lawmakers during the hearing that without the LEP, the B-61 will reach a point where it will no longer be reliable “in the next decade.” Robert Peurifoy, a retired Sandia vice president who worked on the B-61, questions the need for the LEP; he says there has been little discussion of whether observations of the aging weapons components warrant their replacement. “I want to know what the surveillance findings are for each component. If they are dying, you’ve got to replace them. But I’m not willing to replace them just so NNSA and the labs can extract money from the taxpayer,” he says in an interview. Peurifoy says the B-61’s ground proximity radar has been “stigmatized” by the NNSA and the weapons labs because it contains vacuum tubes. Indeed, Hommert held up a B-61 vacuum tube and a newly developed replacement solid-state radar during his October testimony. Peurifoy says he has seen no evidence that the tubes are failing or about to fail. “Until I do, I’d leave the radars alone,” he says. But Peurifoy downplays the benefits of reducing the amount of highly enriched uranium contained in the bombs. “There are lower-yield versions of the B-61 in the stockpile right now. If you want lower yields, use them.” He dismisses the argument that less highly enriched uranium contained in the warheads reduces the danger if a B-61 were to fall into the wrong hands. “NNSA and the labs are quite good at obfuscation. They use rubber words [like] security,” he says. “Security means you maintain possession. You don’t lose a weapon. If you lose a weapon, you should not be too concerned about the distinctions about what it contains. You’d better get the goddamned weapon back.”

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

He sounds far too rational to have ever been associated with the management of a National Lab.

Anonymous said...

I agree...he's definitely more rational than the current managers at Sandia for sure

Anonymous said...

Bob Peurifoy has dementia and is living in the past. He has not had access to annual surveillance results since 1991. His statements reflect the status of the B61 as it was 22 years ago.

Anonymous said...

The previous poster on 8:08 AM is a delusional Sandian and is trying to justify his job at the labs. Bob Peurifoy is right and is trying to save taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Bob - he's a traitor for sure!

Anonymous said...

They should cut this B61 LEP fiasco. Sandia is full of mediocrity anyways. Paying them salaries considered generous for their actual lack of ability, especially for a wasteful and unneeded program like this is tantamount to criminal fraud on a grand scale. Sandia engaged in fraud. How about that.

Anonymous said...

Sandia engages in fraud on a frequent and regular basis. There have been several posts on this illegal behavior ranging from questionable charges to taxpayers

http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/10/old-news-but-funny.html

to unethical contracts with politicians:

http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/11/ex-congresswoman-heather-wilson.html

to even a formal chastising from the federal government:

http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/07/sandia-chastised.html

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the chili cookoff - at taxpayer's expense!

Anonymous said...

You mean this program that was submitted by Timothy Shepodd for a award but came back with nothing?

" Timothy Shepodd (8223) liked the moniker and agreed to call it the “chili cookoff.” But there was no chili involved, and the only “cooking” had to do with the kind of chemicals not usually found on Sandia grounds. "

http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-waste.html

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Sandia needs to take a management lesson from LANL and LLNL bums because one component of the B61 may have debatable value... How about the fact that LLNL itself is entirely redundant and unnecessary given its duplicate functionality with LANL? Why does nobody on this blog acknowledge that elephant on this blog?

Anonymous said...

Here's another elephant to acknowledge in the room: Why doesn't anyone acknowledge why Sandia is the only weapons lab to not have a Nobel prize winner after all these years? Even LLNL and LANL each have one Nobel laureate.

Oh now I know! Sandia is too busy with illegal activities like the unethical contracts with politicians and formal punishments from the federal government for bad behavior from employees...all at taxpayer's expense.

Anonymous said...

Haha! Yeah, you're right! They're also too busy will silly chili cookoffs too!

Anonymous said...

There is some really dirty stuff going on at Sandia, from what I see this could blow up in their faces.

Anonymous said...

Here's another elephant to acknowledge in the room: Why doesn't anyone acknowledge why Sandia is the only weapons lab to not have a Nobel prize winner after all these years? Even LLNL and LANL each have one Nobel laureate.

December 23, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Response from LANL.

We do? Who is it?

Anonymous said...

Fred Reines, dummmy

Anonymous said...

Sandia is primarily an engineering lab. There is no Nobel Prize for engineering, surprisingly enough, though there should. It's not to say that science is absent at Sandia. But basic research has a smaller footprint there than at LLNL and LANL.

Anonymous said...

Even if terrorists were to steal a bomb, they couldn't use it due to security control features. Peurifoy was at the Lab when such features were implemented decades ago, and certainly knows this, not to mention the existance of NEST.

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