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Thursday, March 1, 2018

NIF Reductions?

 Cuts to Weapons Physics Research Both Puzzle and Worry Scientists 
Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2018 12:00 am 
By Jeff Garberson 
A proposal to slash the budget for a branch of physics research that is vital to understanding nuclear weapons performance is alarming weapons scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)and elsewhere.
The cuts, proposed by the Trump Administration, have the potential for dramatically shrinking operations at the nation’s key facilities for carrying out the research, the most important of which is arguably LLNL’s giant laser, the National Ignition Facility, or NIF.
As the Independent was going to press, NIF leadership was making precautionary plans to operate with resources reduced by some 30 percent, including suspending target experiments for at least six months.
Thousands of miles away, at the University of Rochester in New York, executives were dealing with an even more severe threat, the Trump Administration’s plan to close down their Omega laser over the next three years.
Omega is a national facility whose research complements and in many cases supports the science done at NIF.
In Southern California, the proposed budget reductions would close a long-standing program at General Atomic Corp. for fabricating targets used by both LLNL and Rochester laser programs.
If carried out, the closure would put further pressure on the budgets of the two big laser laboratories as they are forced to divert resources to develop their own target fabrication programs internally.
The cuts grow out of the President’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts October 1. They were communicated in documents from the National Nuclear Security Administration, the branch of the U.S. Department of Energy that oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.
To local scientists whose work would be slashed, the budget reductions are puzzling as well as dismaying because the Administration has also signaled its intention of strengthening the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
Although the proposal is subject to amendment, its negative message can have immediate consequences, such as lowering morale, forcing staff to look for new jobs, causing NIF to scale back operations and halting outreach efforts, like recruiting campaigns...

http://www.independentnews.com/news/nif-reductions-cuts-to-weapons-physics-research-both-puzzle-and/article_bee96fae-1cfb-11e8-aca4-639852a0ea67.html

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is easy. Shut down the Z machine. Why?

1. Their fusion program MagLIF is a failure
2. Their management, and many of their senior scientists, are past 60.
3. Their upgrade ZR was a partial failure because of still unexplained power flow losses. This precludes future machines.
4. Their underground radiography program was effectively abandoned. Not a vote of confidence for their technology and approach.
5. Their effort is isolated and unrelated to Sandia’s main mission
6. They are generally annoying and arrogant, telling everyone how they’re going to reach Gigajoules of yield with a new machine that’s just around the corner






Anonymous said...

About time...

Anonymous said...

Someone truly hates Sandia, but he doesn't seem to have a clue why Z exists, which is ironic. Must be a LANL guy, LLNL guys are smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

Solution ? Mandate that all those over 65 retire by end of June. Some colleagues are way, way past retirement age and are just milking it ! Save money now.

Also, funny that NIF, LLE and Z are finely getting a ranking - and it's below the percentile that's required for maintaining national security !

Too much personnel and hardware have been burned up in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria over last 18 yrs. We can't recover that cost to the nation and national debt.

Anonymous said...

Another NIF post. And here I've been led to believe all NIF adherents had retired or died.

Anonymous said...

"As the Independent was going to press, NIF leadership was making precautionary plans to operate with resources reduced by some 30 percent, including suspending target experiments for at least six months."

Was the actual 2012/2013 NIF budget reduction this bad or worse than this 30% proposed budget reduction?

Anonymous said...


"In Southern California, the proposed budget reductions would close a long-standing program at General Atomic Corp. for fabricating targets used by both LLNL and Rochester laser programs. If carried out, the closure would put further pressure on the budgets of the two big laser laboratories as they are forced to divert resources to develop their own target fabrication programs internally."

This is a huge deal all by itself.

Anonymous said...

"If carried out, the closure would put further pressure on the budgets of the two big laser laboratories as they are forced to divert resources to develop their own target fabrication programs internally."

Divert Resources = Disproportionately tax other lab programs to subsidize NIF

Anonymous said...

In Southern California, the proposed budget reductions would close a long-standing program at General Atomic Corp. for fabricating targets used by both LLNL and Rochester laser programs. If carried out, the closure would put further pressure on the budgets of the two big laser laboratories as they are forced to divert resources to develop their own target fabrication programs internally.

I am not sure that labs have the talent or could ever get to the talent to fabricate targets. They would have to be outsourced.

Anonymous said...

LLNL and LLE could fabricate their own targets if they needed to, it's just engineering and some chemistry and materials science, but it would be an extremely expensive re-invention of a nice round durable wheel, and it would cost far more than outsourcing the work to GA costs now.

Anonymous said...

Well, since Trump was probably never breast fed he wants to get everyone else off the Federal titty, and that will soon include everyone receiving their rightfully earned Social Security and Medicare benefits. You will get your chance to respond in November, don't waste it.

Anonymous said...

Are there any insiders from LLNL that can comment on plans to deal with the budget shortfall? If the 20-30% reduction came to pass would it result in a Separation Incentive like the one in 2013?

Anonymous said...

They can't possibly cope with a 30% reduction by offering a VSP, it would be 2008 all over again with Bill Goldstein handing out gift baskets at the outprocessing trailer in the chain of shame.

Anonymous said...

Lay offs at LLNL in 2018? Check out the November 16, 2007 Newsline page 2. I wonder if 2018 layoffs at LLNL will have any resemblance to the November 2007 "flex-term" and "supplemental labor" layoff first, and "career indefinite" lay off last practice? Substantially equivalent?

https://www.llnl.gov/file/26361/download?token=V6WS1GKz

Anonymous said...

There will never again be a VSIP. Layoffs will suffice.

Enjoy your California Unemployment payments.

Anonymous said...

NIF is going to build a fantastic walkway over Greenville road. On the other side of the road they have purchased 5,000 Acres. On the new acreage they plan to expand NIF.

There will be another VSIP to support this walkway and extra acreage effort. The VSIP provide a base for long term financial support.

Mr curt and snippy is wrong, again.

Tired of the hot air and blah blah blah, then just ignore him. Yeah, him. We all know who he is.

Anonymous said...

Tired of the hot air and blah blah blah, then just ignore him. Yeah, him. We all know who he is.

March 11, 2018 at 1:24 PM

I don't. Please enlighten me. What, too afraid?

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