Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: National Ignition Facility
Date: Oct 19, 1:55 pm
Poster: Richard Hull

On Oct 19, 1:55 pm, Richard Hull wrote:

More bad news for fusion.......

The General Accounting office just announced that they consider the estimates of the completion of the fusion goals of the NIF to be ludicrous. Originally the NIF team proposed a 2002 completion date and a 2.1 Billion dollar project.

Following the debacle of last year's shakeup, book cooking, and reshuffling of management, the whole thing got re-adjusted, by the new team, to a 2008 completion date and $3.3 Billion of our money.

The GAO got called in, by congress, and did a lot of pencil sharpening. Based on the reduced laser count, emasculated goals in the restatement by the NIF, the GAO has determined that the 2008 date is, itself, not realizable and are figuring 4 billion plus will be needed!

A congressional investigatory agency charged that the project managers had failed to consider certain key R&D costs from other programs required to support the NIF project goals.

Based on all these illuminations it is now felt that the date for completion could be well beyond 2008 and the 4 billion plus estimate by the GAO might even be a bit conservative!!!!

GAO has advised congress to thoroughly consider whether the effort is even viable, considering the zero results shown to date by this ultra bloated and mismanaged program.

Energy secretary Bill Richardson had earmarked a possible 1 billion dollar diversion of defense dept funding to the NIF to keep the effort afloat in the short term. The GAO specifically warned congress to seriously consider whether even this was a wise decision.

UCLA is under contract to build the huge NIF facility. Cost Overuns and management complicity in the money shuffles to avoid negative vibes reaching the congress have really thrown the spotlight on the entire laser fusion effort, and for negative reasons.

General Groves would have just "Levenworthed" the lot of the management eggheads and picked another group saying "its treason charges the next time anything like this even remotely happens".

As it is, no charges are pending or planned for any of the miscreants who it appeared didn't actually line their pockets with any more of the money than involved their bloated salaries. Instead, they just lied, did some creative accounting and let the money fall down a rat hole while saying real soon now.

(adapted from Photonics Spectra news note (pp 55-58) - October 2000) last two paragraphs are my own bile flowing)

The beat goes on. Lots of fiddling going on as the Roman children learn how to play with matches.

Richard Hull