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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LANL - still isolated after all these years

LANL - still isolated after all these years

Why is it not surprising that DoE and WIPP both reach out to NMED on the first day, while LANL follows another pattern of self-destructive behavior.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Energy and one of its contractors have reached out to New Mexico, asking for an opportunity to discuss $54 million in penalties stemming from mishaps that forced the closure of the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste repository.

A senior DOE official and the contractor that manages the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico contacted state officials on Monday.

New Mexico Environment Secretary Flynn says it marks a positive first step in what’s sure to be a long process.

On Saturday, the state hand-delivered two compliance orders to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that outlined numerous violations at the repository and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The DOE is reviewing the orders. The agency said Monday it is committed to complying with its responsibilities at both facilities.


Anonymous said...

You can assume that Charlie McMillan will be removed from his position as LANL Director some time soon. Given the seriousness of the many screw-ups during his term, this final one with the mishandling of nuclear waste is the last straw.

DOE and NNSA in tandem with the LANS Board may have already made this decision on termination. Watch closely during the last few workdays before the holiday vacation break when Charlie will be required to release his resignation memo.

That's the way I expect they'll roll this thing out. They'll want to start the new year with a temporary replacement for McMillan to show that there is some sense of executive managerial responsibility in force at their labs. Charlie McMillan continuing on as Director from this point forward is simply not tenable. Even NNSA is not that tone-deaf.

And for all those in upper management who hooked the fate of their careers to Charlie's rising star at LANL.... watch out. Defending McMillan at this point in time is a dangerous path to take.

Anonymous said...

3:42 PM may have the inside track, but it is not just Charlie that will have to go. He will need to take the whole sordid lot of PADs and ADs out with him at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Anastasio love McMillan and Pattiz loved s Anastasio. That's what has saved Charlie all these years through serial screwups. But the rumor is Charlie is gone February time frame. Problem is LANS has no successor.

Anonymous said...

Rumor for some time in NNSA is Charlie is gone in February. The problem LANS has is no credible internal successor.

Anonymous said...

How messed up of a job did PAD Terry Wallace do at obfuscating the whole exploding nuclear drum fiasco by chasing down every crazy path in his sight?

Is his head on the chopping block, too, or does he get a pass? From what little I've heard, his competence as scientific head of the investigative committee was in question. How bad were his investigative reports?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

That explains why McMillan assigned Terry to resolve his "backyard" on the WIPP debacle. Fear not though, Terry and Company (Chavez) are up to 1.5 million experiments (and counting) completed to determine the cause of the explosion. Still no cause determined, but we are on the verge of a Nobel Prize in Nuclear Waste Physics and that's the bottom-line now. Take that Livermore!

Anonymous said...

Terry was considered before and rejected and, unlike a fine French wine, he has not improved upon storage. The board would be better served by bringing Kuckuck back for the terminal year of the contract.

Anonymous said...

too have heard the Charlie will be leaving soon....

Welcome back to the good old Nanos days:
a)He is leaving in 2 weeks
b) His lawn has not been cut so he is leaving....

etc. All these I have heard are meaningless without a source. I have heard lot of things in my career, among them even voices in my head. That did not mean I followed them.

Anonymous said...

Terry was considered before and rejected and, unlike a fine French wine, he has not improved upon storage. The board would be better served by bringing Kuckuck back for the terminal year of the contract.

December 10, 2014 at 4:11 AM

Wallace never had a snowballs chance last go around; nevertheless, he blew any future consideration by loosing his cool during the interview process. Younger could be a better option than Kuckuck, but it seems unlikely that would be the path.

Anonymous said...

Steve Younger would be an excellent choice but I doubt he is stupid enough to take the job.

Being Director of LANL is like working on a bomb deactivation team. It's only a matter of time until your "number comes up" if you stay more than a couple of years. Then again, perhaps if they raised the salary of LANL Director to 10 million per year he might be tempted.

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