Friday, 3 Feb 95 Washington, DC
1. CLINTON EXTENDS U.S. MORATORIUM ON NUCLEAR TESTS
He also expressed support for a "comprehensive test ban
treaty." His action, taken over the weekend, apparently was anticipated
by the Galvin Task Force on the DOE Labs. Its report, released on
Wednesday, says the primary national security mission of the weapons
laboratories "is to maintain a safe, secure and reliable stockpile in the
absence of explosive tests of nuclear weapons."
2. GALVIN PANEL RECOMMENDS DOE NATIONAL LABS BE
The Task Force resorted to violence against the
English language in calling for an end to excessive oversight and
micromanagement by DOE and Congress. Its report recommends that "a
clean sheet of paper be applied to the design of a new laboratory
governance system," but Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary was quick to
rule out any "drastic restructuring." The report also calls for increased
emphasis on fundamental science, both at the laboratories and in
universities. Just a year ago, Secretary O'Leary declared that
DOE's 1994 goals would be "to create jobs, reduce emissions, move
technology into the marketplace and increase US competitiveness"
(WN 11 Feb 94) . But the panel wondered why the labs "seem to be
searching so hard for new missions when there remains an agenda of
important work to be done in traditional mission areas....The laboratories
are not now, nor will they become, cornucopias of technology for
industries." What a difference a year makes.
3. REPORT MAKES NO RECOMMENDATION ABOUT CLOSURE OF
However, the Task Force "believes the National Laboratory System is
oversized," and should be reduced by eliminating redundancies,
particularly between Livermore and Los Alamos. The Task Force called
for continued support of Hydrodynamic Testing (DARHT), the
Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Experiment (LANCE), the Los Alamos
Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF) and a National Ignition Facility.
4. WALKER COMPLAINS THAT SCIENCE WAS LEFT OUT OF CLINTON
The Chair of the House Science Committee expressed disappointment
that the President did not mention science in his State of the
Union Address. A word search confirmed that "science" did not appear
in the speech. "Such an omission," Walker stated, "could be seen as an
indication that science policy may be a diminished priority with the Clinton
Administration." Most observers seemed amazed that anything had been
left out of the President's speech.
5. BERTRAM BROCKHOUSE, 1994 NOBEL PRIZE RECIPIENT, IS A
Last week's WN was only half right when it stated that the prize was
"shared by two Americans": Clifford Shull of MIT is American.
But Bertram Brockhouse was born in Canada, studied in Canada, did his
Nobel research with neutrons at a Canadian facility and is on the faculty
of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I must have gotten confused
when Toronto joined the American League.
THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY (Note: Opinions are the author's
and are not necessarily shared by the APS, but they should be.)