From the morning paper (sub/ad req) a look at the rising costs (four to seven-fold) and long delays (being generous, nine years) facing a proposed plutonium lab at Los Alamos:
Among the most vocal critics of the agency’s nuclear project management are a cadre of retired nuclear weapons experts.
“This is mismanagement,” said Bob Peurifoy, who retired as a vice president at Sandia National Laboratories in 1991 after 39 years helping in the nuclear weapons complex. Peurifoy had a hand in the development of five of the eight nuclear weapons in the current U.S. arsenal.
“They’ve fallen down the rabbit hole,” Peurifoy said in an interview. “It’s madness. They don’t understand accountability to the taxpayer.”
The story includes a history of other nuclear weapon program projects with a similar history. Here are two:
• National Ignition Facility, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Original estimate: $1.1 billion
Final cost: $3.5 billion
Original estimated completion: 2002
• Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrotest Facility, Los Alamos
Original estimate: $30 million
Final cost: more than $300 million
Original estimated completion: 1990