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Apr 18, 2012

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Erica Wissinger

I like POGO and its efforts, however one needs to be vigilant about the denigration of a good science institution by those who have axes to grind.

Whenever there is a breakthrough in science in the DOE complex, it has historically and predominantly emanated from Los Alamos, as opposed to Livermore. The sheer overwhelming number of LANL R&D awards is testament to this.

About LLNL people not wanting to move to the boondocks because their coffeeklatsch wives won't relocate, well, the real scientists live full time in Los Alamos, and it has been this way for 68 years.

Dr. Maureen Merritt

Want to thank Mia Stienle for the excellent article above.Perhaps in a future article POGO could discuss actual budgets, along with who the major for-profit players are that run these Labs today. The unsuspecting taxpayer might be surprised. And a thanks to Chris Mechels for the historical perspective on LANL. As a retired physician involved for the past decade with the Dept of Labor EEOICPA program for sick DOE nuclear workers, I have a slightly different perspective. That said, I agree with his comments re: LANL's weakness in science and especially the (corrupt) political connections that keep the big bucks rolling in. The multi-million annual compensation packages for the Big 3 Lab Directors is obscene. Not only should the LANSCE project be closed, but let us not forget the hugely expensive CMRR boondoggle; over deadline and over budget by billions. The current Admin. has put CMRR on hold for five years, but it too needs to be deep-sixed forever. It is 40 years past time for the US DOE nuclear weapons complex to scale back,right-size,consolidate,& refocus the mission. Congress must void the blank check!

Nina Diamante

Not 1 cent more for weapons or war, stop stealing from the American people for wars noone wants. People need work, not Wars, friend, not people hating us for killing people and destroying. Haven't people learned anything from history? Nina

Kathrine Wuthrich

At a time when we are short on money for education, taking
care of our elderly and children, it is deplorable to be
spending extra money that is unneeded in defense spending.
This is just an excuse to give contracts and favors to
friends of politicians and members of defense departments.
We are making an attempt to travel around the world to
diminish the nuclear warheads, yet we want to increase the
spending in our own back yard. God help us!

Chris Mechels

A bit of history which might prove useful, from the 90s. Then DOE Secretary O'Leary wanted to move all nuclear weapons work out of LLNL, but this failed. The problem was said to be that LLNL nuclear weapons scientists would not relocate to Los Alamos. Drell, and others, warned that LLNL had to keep weapons work, as LANL was too weak.

Historically, the LLNL nuclear scientists look down on LANL as being too conservative and stuck in the 1960s. Having worked in X-Division in the 80s, I say facts support this accusation. Many of LANL's "achievements" were repackaged LLNL work. The LANL scientific weakness, and political connections, make this a nightmare, as O'Leary discovered.

Until we cut through some of the historic lies about LANL's "great science" and start closing questionable projects such as LANSCE, they will continue to misuse taxpayer funds.

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