2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: marylia@earthlink.net
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 10:08:47 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] NIF and New Mexico
Hi peace and enviro folks: Here is the latest in the saga of the National
Ignition Facility. In this episode, a New Mexico politician weighs in ...

NIF and New Mexico

by Marylia Kelley
from Tri-Valley CAREs February 2000 newsletter, Citizen's Watch

One of New Mexico's most powerful political leaders has added his voice to
the growing crescendo of criticism directed at the National Ignition
Facility, DOE's problem-plagued megalaser.

Speaker of the House, Raymond G. Sanchez, sent a January 20th letter to
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson stating: "NIF has experienced setback
after setback technologically, financially and managerially. Concern over
NIF has grown exponentially inside and outside the scientific community; it
seems to me as a political leader and a citizen that it is incumbent on us
to face  this issue squarely..." Sanchez also sits on the Secretary of
Advisory Board (SEAB).

Last month, the SEAB sent Richardson an interim report on NIF that, while
containing some good information, pulled its punches completely when it
came to making its recommendations, focusing mostly on NIF's poor
management and planning and failing to suggest a reconsideration or even a
slowdown of the project based on the severity of its technical problems.

Echoing his pep talk given during a short visit to Livermore Lab in
December, Richardson recently told a group at Sandia in NM that he has
confidence in NIF.

Sanchez holds a different view. "I have also had the opportunity to visit
with a number of top scientists ...both within and without the National
Laboratory system, some of whom are directly involved with NIF at top
levels, who have expressed conclusions ...that NIF in its current
incarnation has little or no chance of achieving fusion ignition," Sanchez
states in his letter.

In an interview with the Albuquerque Tribune, Sanchez said he recently met
with Los Alamos and Sandia scientists "in sort of a cloak and dagger late
night meeting" as the staffers feared for their jobs.

Further, Sanchez said he had received a negative assessment of NIF from at
least 7 "top scientists" at the New Mexico weapons labs who told him, "NIF
is in serious trouble and won't be able to do what we were promised it
would do."

Marylia Kelley
Tri-Valley CAREs
(Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
2582 Old First Street
Livermore, CA USA 94550

<http://www.igc.org/tvc/> - is our web site, please visit us there!

(925) 443-7148 - is our phone
(925) 443-0177 - is our fax

Working for peace, justice and a healthy environment since 1983, Tri-Valley
CAREs has been a member of the nation-wide Alliance for Nuclear
Accountability in the U.S. since 1989, and is a co-founding member of the
international Abolition 2000 network for the elimination of nuclear

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