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Monday, September 15, 2014

ICF program is now officially owned by WCI

ICF program is now officially owned by WCI. A step forward, or an attempt to bury it out of sight?


Anonymous said...

"...ICF program is now officially owned by WCI. A step forward, or an attempt to bury it out of sight? ..."

It is an attempt to keep funding flowing by switching milestones from energy independence to weapons research. "Contingency Plan B".

Anonymous said...

[Goldstein] Over the past year, we have seen extraordinary progress in the transition of NIF from its construction and commissioning phase, to operation as a uniquely capable user facility. Results from NIF have clearly demonstrated vital experimental capabilities for the NNSA, and extraordinary scientific reach for the high energy density research community. Significant progress has been made in understanding ignition and increasing the neutron yield of fusion experiments on NIF. Simultaneously, we are well into the execution of a shot-rate enhancement plan that is already providing users with more opportunities to collect experimental data.

With NIF’s transition to a user facility well underway, it is time to align responsibilities within the Laboratory to most efficiently support this critical LLNL capability, while effectively carrying out NNSA's mission goals. To that end, I am realigning responsibility for the Laboratory's ICF Program to enhance its impact on the Stockpile Stewardship Program, and allow the NIF&PS PAD to focus on the operation and strategic development of the NIF, and the application of laser science and technology to the full range of Lab missions.

Effective October 1, 2014, the responsibility for the Laboratory’s ICF Program will transition from NIF&PS to WCI, reporting to Charlie Verdon, Principal Associate Director for WCI. Further organizational details regarding this realignment are described in two separate companion Administrative Memos from Charlie Verdon and Jeff Wisoff, Principal Associate Director for NIF&PS.
[Wisoff] I am pleased to announce the appointment of Warren Hsing as the leader of the High Energy Density Science and Technology (HED S&T) line organization within NIF&PS. The mission of HED S&T is to provide the experimental, diagnostic, and target fabrication capabilities and personnel for high energy density experiments on NIF and other laser facilities. These support the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP), Discovery Science, and National Security Applications efforts.
[Verdon] I am pleased to announce the appointment of John Edwards as the Program Director for the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program. The mission of the ICF Program is to provide scientific understanding and experimental capabilities in high energy density physics (HEDP) necessary to ensure a safe, secure, and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without underground testing. The demonstration of laboratory ignition and its use to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) is a major goal for this program. John will be responsible for the direction of the scientific effort that is the core of the ICF Program and the scientific grand challenge effort of ignition.

Anonymous said...

What's this user facility bullshit about? Only Livermore uses the facility. Cost recovery demands that a university would have to pay $1 million for a shot. How can it be a user facility if it run by the weapons program. This isnt exactly SLAC we're talking about.

By the way, let's assume NIF wants to be a "user facility" for stockpile stewardship. Since ignition is impossible, the EOS work is garbage, and the temperatures are not relevant to anything that goes bang, what use is this machine?

Anonymous said...

I love this quote

The demonstration of laboratory ignition and its use to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) is a major goal for this program

Hey guys, this has already failed. Why are we still spending money on this? A lot of other laboratories could use the $$. You're done.

Anonymous said...

And now we hear that Atherton is moving back to be a NIF PDAD under Wisoff, and a Sandia designer (!) is taking over as NIF Director. It's amazing Goldstein summoned the courage to make big changes like this. But why is he making them?

Anonymous said...

Mark Herrmann from Sandia National Laboratories has been selected as the new director of the Laboratory's National Ignition Facility.

"Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position and has played a recognized leadership role in national efforts to help shape the future of high energy density science," said Jeff Wisoff, principal associate director of the NIF & Photon Science (NIF&PS) Directorate. "He has worked closely with all three laboratories, as well as our NNSA stakeholders."

As the NIF director, Herrmann will work closely with the leadership of the Stockpile Stewardship Program across the weapons complex, including the national Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program, as well as the national security applications and fundamental science communities in the United States and globally, to ensure optimal use of the facility and delivery on program goals. He will oversee the operations, facility use plan and activities of NIF and develop a strategic plan for the long-term future of the facility. Reporting to the NIF&PS PAD, Herrmann will be a key member of the NIF&PS senior leadership team supporting the strategic goals of the PAD and the Laboratory. See the admin memo.

Herrmann has held several key leadership and management roles in the Pulsed Power Sciences Center at Sandia National Laboratories including director of the center, senior manager of the High Energy Density Science and Radiation and Fusion Physics Groups and manager of the ICF Target Design Department. Under his leadership, the Z facility has delivered key results for the SSP program that have been widely recognized throughout the NNSA complex and by external stakeholders.

After obtaining a Ph.D. in plasma physics from Princeton University, Herrmann began his career at LLNL as postdoc in 1998 and then became a staff physicist in AX division. He is an APS fellow and has been recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Fusion Power Associates Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award.

"I would also like to thank Jeff Atherton for his service as NIF director. He has been instrumental in bringing the HED community together and establishing governance processes that have set the course for NIF as a national user facility," Wisoff said. "Over the past few months, he has held both the NIF director as well as the NIF&PS principal deputy role. I look forward to continuing working with him in his capacity as the principal deputy for NIF&PS."
Herrmann will assume the role of

NIF director effective Oct. 6. 

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines it is clear that the new energy source mission of NIF is over and now it's time to justify the unjustifiable costs by claiming it's a great tool for weapons research.

Anonymous said...

When I first heard of stockpile stewardship it was presented as a marriage of computer simulation and experimentation. The experiment for fusion was NIF.

Attempting to get funding for NIF and Computation's big machines was made easier by claiming dual purposes but I always felt that the real down and dirty main purpose was weapons research.

If you want to get support from the anti-weapon Feinstein/Boxer/Pelosi contingent you need to put the "energy" lipstick on the pig.

Or we could go back to testing. Our cessation of testing doesn't seem to have deterred North Korea and Iran that much.

Anonymous said...

So the NIF director is supposed to report to Charlie Verdon?

Anonymous said...

Seems he reports to Wisoff. Atherton also reports to Wisoff, and Hsing is one rung down [good, he is a toad]. Edwards now reports to Verdon, not Wisoff. We need baseball cards to keep track.

Anonymous said...

"We need baseball cards to keep track."

What a concept ! Baseball cards for ICF. From Kip Seigel, John Nuckolls, through Mike Campbell, to Ed Moses. What am I bid for a Keith Brueckner?

Anonymous said...

I want a Lowell Wood (Father of Brilliant Pebbles) and a Peter Hagelstein (Father of Excaliber) baseball cards.

By the way, wasn't Excaliber (X-ray laser) another LLNL fiasco of falsifying experimental data to get "more money"? LLNL has been wrought with technical con artists, and still is. I wouldn't trust LLNL if my life depended on it.

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