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Los Alamos scientists face future

Director of national lab's resignation welcomed, but many may take early retirement

Adam Rankin(adam_rankin@earthlink.net)

When retired Vice Admiral George "Pete" Nanos resigned from his post as director of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on Friday (May 6) after two years working to "drain the swamp" of financial and management problems, many scientists who bristled under his tough management style set about rejoicing. But the elation has quickly been tempered by the realization that the lab is left with many problems.

As the seventh director of the laboratory, which is managed by the University of California and also features a biosafety level (BSL)–3 laboratory, Nanos raised the ire of a portion of the lab's workforce and scientists when he ordered all work to come to a halt in July over safety and security concerns prompted by the loss of two classified disks and a laser accident that injured an intern's eye. Early in the shutdown's nearly 7-month course, Nanos blamed a few "cowboy" scientists...

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