Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stephen Chu Lays Out Labs' Mission

Dept. of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu talked about the role of the so-called "weapons labs" within the DOE's mission. These labs are Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore.

And when it comes to nuclear science, he thinks it's best to keep the nation's weapons labs under the supervision of the Department of Energy, rather than the Department of Defense as some have suggested.

"What is really vital for the health of the labs and the health of the country is that the national security needs of the country have to be tied to a very strong science foundation," Chu told reporters after the speech.

Leaders of the national labs should be "some of our best scientists -- ideally active scientists," Chu said, adding that he thinks the best directors are ones that are involved in the physics or other scientific work of those they supervise.

Of course, there have been rumors that Los Alamos might be split into two, where the civilian and non-military/classified research would be in one, while the military/weapons/classified research would be the other. Whether this might actually happen is anyone's guess.


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