Friday, 28 November 97 Washington, DC
1. **BROOKHAVEN: BATELLE-STONY BROOK TEAM WILL OPERATE LAB.**
On Tuesday, DOE announced that Brookhaven Science Associates, a team
led by the Batelle Memorial Research Institute of Columbus, Ohio,
and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, will operate
the laboratory. Core universities associated with BSA include
Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Princeton and Yale. The new team
will take over operations in 60 days, with a five year contract.
It was clear that BSA was favored by most of the laboratory
scientists. The presidents of both Stony Brook and Batelle had
previously stated that restarting the fast-flux beam reactor
would be a high priority if BSA were chosen
(WN 1 Aug 97). BSA
picked John Marburger, a former President of Stony Brook, to be
Director. He is highly experienced. During construction of the
SSC, Marburger was chair of the Board of Trustees of Universities
Research Association, which managed the ill-fated project.
2. GRAMM-LIEBERMAN: APS OFFICIALLY ENDORSES DOUBLING BILL.
The joint statement agreed to by 106 scientific, engineering and math
organizations (WN 24 Oct 97)
endorsed the goals of the bipartisan
National Research Investment Act (S.1305), but stopped short of
actually endorsing the bill itself. Saturday, the APS Executive
Board endorsed the Gramm-Lieberman bill unanimously, erasing any
doubt about where the APS stood. Gramm and Lieberman believe
they can round up the 51 co-sponsors needed to ensure passage in
the Senate. The bill calls for doubling science funding in ten
years. So far, however, there is no equivalent bill in the House.
3. RADIOACTIVE LEAKS: HANFORD WASTE SHOWS UP IN GROUND WATER.
The minuscule tritium leak from the reactor at Brookhaven, which
led to a change in management, is nothing compared to leaks at
the Hanford reservation on the other side of the continent, where
67 of 177 storage tanks are leaking really bad stuff. Traces are
now reported to be showing up in groundwater. The concern is
that it could eventually reach the Columbia River. Batelle, which
now worries about leaks at Brookhaven, is a Hanford contractor.
4. OOPS: NIF IS NOT THAT EXPENSIVE.
Last week WN referred to the "$4.7B National Ignition Facility
at LLNL" (WN 21 Nov 97). That
was taken from the press release issued by Rep. Woolsey. It's a
few billion higher than the official figure.
5. ACUPUNCTURE: CRITICS CHARGE NIH CONSENSUS PANEL WAS STACKED.
An article in U.S. News and World Report points out that not only
was the 12-member panel packed with people who make a living from
sticking needles in others, the chair heads the University of
Maryland-Baltimore, which got more than $1M from the Office of
Alternative Medicine to study acupuncture. The panel was chosen
by a committee headed by the former director of an acupuncture
research foundation. All 25 speakers were believers
(WN 7 Nov 97).