Sunday, March 29, 2009

Exploration is defunct at NSF and NRC

Recently a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society got it right when he quoted a complaint from a fellow member: "Observation in the real world and small-scale experiments on the Earth now take second place to expensive and ever-expanding theoretical models of questionalbe reliability."

In the case of our NRC the TRACE game is a concrete example of an expensive and ever-expanding theoretical model that is demonstrably unreliable.

And NSF will dump a proposal for exploratory work unless the package includes a preponderance of theoretical nonsense.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chu at Energy Featherbeds in Subservience to his Emperor

This is recent. Chu encouraged revelry as he revealed this at Brookhaven, one of several of his favorite spending spots. This dough goes largely for construction projects in support of existing games. It is a way to blow our money fast, as the great Emperor Obama dictates.

$1.2B Allocated to Science

UPTON, N.Y., March 24, 2009 – $1.2 billion in new science funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was announced Monday by Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Steven Chu. The amount includes support for research in particle and plasma physics, solar energy, solid-state lighting and superconductivity.

Chu said the money will be used for major construction, laboratory infrastructure and research efforts sponsored by the DoE Office of Science. He made the announcement during a visit to Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of 10 national laboratories overseen by the Office of Science.

Many of the projects funded under the Recovery Act are located at national labs (21 national laboratories and technology centers operate under the DoE). “Leadership in science remains vital to America’s economic prosperity, energy security and global competitiveness,” said Chu. “These projects not only provide critically needed short-term economic relief but also represent a strategic investment in our nation’s future. They will create thousands of jobs and breathe new life into many local economies, while helping to accelerate new technology development, renew our scientific and engineering workforce, and modernize our nation’s scientific infrastructure.”

The package also provides substantial support for both university- and national laboratory-based researchers, working on problems in fields ranging from particle and plasma physics to biofuels, solar energy, superconductivity, solid-state lighting, and electricity storage and materials science, among others, Chu said. Included among the approved projects:
$150 million to accelerate ongoing construction on the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven. This new, state-of-the-art high-intensity light source is expected to facilitate major breakthroughs in next-generation energy technologies, materials science and biotechnology that could lead to advances in battery technology and photovoltaics.

$123 million for major construction, modernization and needed decommissioning of laboratory facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), in Berkeley, Calif.; and Brookhaven.

$65 million to accelerate construction of the 12-Billion-Electron-Volt Upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF) in Newport News, Va. The CEBAF upgrade will provide an international community of physicists with a cutting-edge facility for studying the basic building blocks of the visible universe. The advanced particle accelerator technology being developed for this project also has had important medical applications.

$277 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers, to be awarded on a competitive basis to universities and national laboratories across the country. These centers will accelerate the basic science needed to develop plentiful and cost-effective alternative energy sources and will pursue advanced fundamental research in fields ranging from solar energy to nuclear energy systems, biofuels, geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, clean and efficient combustion, solid-state lighting, superconductivity, hydrogen research, electrical energy storage, catalysis for energy and materials under extreme conditions.

$90 million to create and save jobs for other core research, providing support for graduate students, postdocs and PhD scientists.

$69 million to create a national-scale prototype 100-Gb/s data network linking research centers nationwide.

$330 million for operations and equipment at Office of Science major scientific user facilities, used annually by more than 20,000 researchers.

Facilities supported by Recovery Act funding include, among others, the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL, the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source, used in advanced materials science, chemistry and biology research; the Nanoscale Science Research Centers located at five national labs nationwide, which provide nanotechnology instrumentation; the ARM Climate Research Facility, a collection of climate measurement facilities located around the globe that gather atmospheric data needed to reduce uncertainty about climate change; the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which provides unique instrumentation and computational capabilities for environmental science; and the Linac Coherent Light Source, currently under construction at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) in Menlo Park, Calif., which will enable scientists for the first time to observe chemical reactions at the molecular level in real time.

In addition, the Recovery Act funding provides $125 million for needed infrastructure improvements across nine DoE national laboratories: Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa; Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.; LBNL; ORNL; PNNL in Richland, Wash.; SLAC; and TJNAF.

The $1.2 billion is the first installment of a total of $1.6 billion allocated by Congress to the DoE Office of Science under the Recovery Act legislation. Officials are still working to facilitate approval and release of the remaining $371 million. For more information, visit:

And here is more:
Obama and Energy Chief Push Innovation
By Andrew C. Revkin
Andrew C. Revkin/ The New York Times Energy Secretary Steven Chu described the need for an energy revolution, driven by basic research, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.
[UPDATE, 9:15 p.m. See below.] Three months ago Dot Earth asked, “Are Chemists, Engineers on Green Jobs List?” The answer appears to be yes.

In a two-pronged push, President Obama and Steven Chu, the secretary of energy and Nobel laureate in physics, spent the middle of the day Monday laying out the administration’s plans to link economic renewal with an energy revolution.Mr. Obama met with energy-technology entrepreneurs and researchers near the White House at an event called “Investing in Our Clean Energy Future.” One highlight is $400 million set aside under the economic-recovery bill for an advanced research agency for energy, Arpa-E, modeled along the lines of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

On eastern Long Island, Dr. Chu had a somewhat wistful air as he toured projects at Brookhaven National Laboratory. (It was his first stop at a national laboratory since taking his cabinet job.) He peppered staff scientists and engineers with questions about physics projects related to the origins of the universe and possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease before being nudged forward by hurried aides. He was there to announce how $1.2 billion in the stimulus bill would be spent on science projects at Brookhaven and elsewhere around the country’s network of 10 national laboratories.

[UPDATE] After visiting various research buildings, he gave a pep talk on the energy revolution he said was vital if the United States and the world are to avoid conflicts over limited supplies of oil and eventual disruptive impacts from human-caused global warming.

Over and over, in examples from the first transcontinental telephone call to the transistor to methods for synthesizing ammonia (and thus nitrogen fertilizer), Dr. Chu pointed out how great technological advances benefiting society grew out of fundamental breakthroughs in basic science.

And he pointed out how many such breakthroughs grew from teamwork pushing boundaries of understanding in ways where chances of failure were far higher than chances of success.
Then he noted how rare it was — even at intellectually adventurous places like Bell Labs, where he worked for nine years — to take real chances. The great thing about Bell Labs, he said, was its reliance on nurturing young talent. “Bell Labs did not hire established scientists,” Dr. Chu said. “They grew their own.”

Now, he said, the country’s challenge is to grow a generation of energy innovators, a challenge made harder because innovation has never been much of a priority within the energy industry.
But he ended on an enthusiastic note, describing rising numbers of students who appear to be turning toward careers in science and technology — not just because Wall Street suddenly doesn’t look so cozy.

So, today I mailed the following:

March 27, 2008
1000 Independence Avenue, S. W.
Washington, D. C. 20585

While you paraded around Brookhaven recently you said something like this according to the New York Times or whatever:

Now, he said, the country’s challenge is to grow a generation of energy innovators, a challenge made harder because innovation has never been much of a priority within the energy industry.

Of course, the energy industry was not built by a bunch of PhDs from the cartel that is run by university administrators.

Innovation within the energy industry has been a big deal since its basic start with the Edison General Electric Company and a whole set of Edison companies from coast to coast. It continures.

If you ever want to see innovation in action, get out in the field and observe American artisans at work as they untangle the aftermaths of a whole range of natural phenomena.

Edison started a game of innovation that has never ended in the energy industry. His right hand man, Samuel Insull, migrated to the United States from England as a young man in 1881, linking up with Thomas Edison and eventually co-founding the company that would become General Electric. In 1892 Insull moved to Chicago where he began to assemble his empire of utility and transportation companies.

Our nuke plants are in trouble because of interference from feds. Innovation has not been lacking. Carter killed reprocessing, Obama is killing more. And as Obama’s minion it is unlikely that you will get anything useful completed other than running up the cost of juice.

Robert H. Leyse, 222 Elkhorn Road, Sun Valley, ID 83353

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Update From: National Science Foundation: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Note: Obama has poured $3 billion into NSF with instructions to spend it fast. Our great cartel of university admiinistrators has a firm hand on these dollars as I will point out. For starters, NSF issued a "Dear Colleague" letter to the cartel on 12 March 2009. And very soon it removed that letter from its web site, so I have never seen it. I've requested it under FOIA, but that will take some time. So right below is NSF's announcement, followed by the web site statement that the "... document has been temporarily removed from our web site."

From: National Science Foundation Update Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 13:00:59 -0500 (CDT)Subject: Dear Colleague Letter for Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) to Study the Impact of the Economic Stimulus Package and to Advance the Scientific Understanding of Science Policy
Dear Colleague Letter for Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) to Study the Impact of the Economic Stimulus Package and to Advance the Scientific Understanding of Science Policy

NSF 09-034 This document has been temporarily removed from our web site. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Next, on 18 March 2009, NSF released the following Important Notice 131, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

From: National Science Foundation Update
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 16:59:11 -0500 (CDT)Subject: Important Notice 131, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Important Notice 131, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Indeed, this imprtant notice is on NSF's web site and I have copied it below (in red). Clearly, it is addressed to the cartel of university administrators.

March 18, 2009
Notice No. 131

Subject: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) into law. One of the principal purposes of the law is to "provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health" During the signing ceremony President Obama stated,

"Even beyond energy, from the National Institutes of Health to the National Science Foundation, this recovery act represents the biggest increase in basic research funding in the long history of America’s noble endeavor to better understand our world. Just as President Kennedy sparked an explosion of innovation when he set America’s sights on the moon, I hope this investment will ignite our imagination once more, spurring new discoveries and breakthroughs that will make our economy stronger, our nation more secure, and our planet safer for our children."

In response to this landmark legislation, NSF has developed policies, procedures, and Frequently Asked Questions for use by the awardee community. These documents provide up-to-date information regarding NSF’s implementation of the Recovery Act, and are available at The key elements of NSF’s implementation of the Recovery Act are highlighted below.

NSF Programs Receiving Recovery Act Funding

The Recovery Act supplements NSF fiscal year 2009 funding by $3.0 billion. NSF currently has many highly rated proposals that it has not been able to fund. For this reason, NSF is planning to use the majority of the $2 billion available in Research and Related Activities for proposals that are already in house and will be reviewed and/or awarded prior to September 30, 2009.

1 P.L. 111-5, Section 3 (a) (3). The full text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is available electronically at:

2 The full text of President Obama’s remarks at the signing ceremony is available at:

The Foundation also expects to expeditiously award funds as specified in the Recovery Act for: the Math and Science Partnership program (funded at $25 million); the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (funded at $60 million); the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Account (funded at $400 million); the Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program (funded at $200 million); and the Science Masters program, (funded at $15 million). Solicitations for these latter two programs will be posted this spring.

NSF will post a solicitation this spring for the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) in order to make a sufficient number of awards to utilize the $300 million provided in the legislation. The Foundation currently anticipates that no other solicitations will be posted that are solely in response to the Recovery Act.

Funding Prioritization

NSF will ensure that Recovery Act funds are awarded in a timely manner while maintaining its commitment to its established merit review processes.

In keeping with this, NSF’s overall framework for Recovery Act investments emphasizes the following:

• All grants issued with Recovery Act funds will be standard grants with durations of up to 5 years. This approach will allow NSF to structure a sustainable portfolio.

• Funding of new Principal Investigators and high-risk, high-return research will be top priorities.

With the exception of the MRI, ARI and Science Masters programs, the majority of proposals eligible for Recovery Act funding include those that are already in house and will be reviewed and/or awarded prior to September 30, 2009.

NSF also will consider proposals declined on or after October 1, 2008. The reversal of the decision to decline must be based on both the high quality of the reviews received on the initial submission and the lack of available funding at the time the original decision was made. The cognizant program officer will contact the institution when a reversal is being considered by NSF. Specific procedural information regarding this new process is available on the NSF Recovery website.

Special Award Conditions

The Recovery Act mandates a significant level of transparency and accountability. The law and implementing guidance identify specific award conditions for awards made with Recovery Act funding. Therefore, award notices will include special award conditions identifying the funding as coming from the Recovery Act, and indicate the specific awardee reporting responsibilities mandated by Section 1512 of the Recovery Act.

Given the goals of the Recovery Act, awardees will be informed that they are expected to expend funds in a timely manner on allowable award costs and that NSF will be monitoring awards for expenditures. If, after 12 months, no allowable expenditures have taken place, NSF may consider reducing or terminating the award and reallocating the funds.

Working in Partnership

NSF is honored by the recognition of the Foundation's role in stimulating the American economy with its inclusion in the Recovery Act. The law and implementing guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) set clear expectations for accountability and transparency from both Federal agencies and from recipients of Recovery Act funding.

The high expectations embodied in the Recovery Act acknowledge the contributions that NSF and its partners in the research and education community have made to the economy and welfare of the nation over the past six decades. This partnership is one of the nation’s greatest strengths, and we look forward to working with you as we continue to pursue the promise of science and engineering and meet the goals of the Recovery Act for securing the nation’s future.

Arden L. Bement, Jr.

I'll have a lot to say regarding the above letter. For today, March 22, 2009, I'll confine my analysis to the NSF response to Frequently Asked Questions. It is: The Frequently Asked Questions regarding NSF’s implementation of the Recovery Act will be posted soon. That is what NSF says 4 days after NSF claims that it "... has developed policies, procedures, and Frequently Asked Questions for use by the awardee community."

Here is more on March 25, 2009. I have sent the following to A. Bement:

A Bement:

It's too bad, with trillions floating all over the fed rackets, NSF gets no attention to its waste of a mere 9 billion.

Robert H. Leyse
222 Elkhorn Road
Sun Valley, ID 83353

March 19, 2009

Congressman Mike Simpson
U. S. House of Representatives
1339 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mike:

Games at the National Science Foundation
On March 12, 009, NSF called upon the cartel of university administrators to apply for Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) to Study the Impact of the Economic Stimulus Package and to Advance the Scientific Understanding of Science Policy.

However, NSF quickly changed its mind and announced that, “This document has been temporarily removed from our web site.”
NSF has changed its approach and on March 18, 2009, the cartel of university administrators is told about Important Notice 131, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In this important notice the cartel is told:

" NSF is planning to use the majority of the $2 billion ... for programs that are already in house ..."

Clearly, the NSF is keeping all of the money within the grasp of the cartel of university administrators and others are excluded. It is time for wrest control of NSF from the insiders who have exclusive access to its funds.

Get after Obama's intelligentsia, the cartel of university administrators at NSF, as they set up a lot of great programs to corner the next election.
Thank you for your attention to this.

Robert H. Leyse

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More about the Myth of TRACE and my FOIA

To begin with, here is what NRC staff told ACRS on September 4, 2008:
In order to do this, we organized a group of experts to review the code. These are individuals who have international reputations in thermohydraulics, models and methods and the applications. One of the peer review members was Dominique Bestion. He is the research director of CEA Grenoble and one of the primary developers of the CATHARE computer code. Another member was Peter Griffith. He is a retired professor at MIT, has a lot of experience in the nuclear area. Marv Thurgood was brought in because of his expertise in numerical applications and he is one of the principal developers of the COBRA code and George Yadiagaroglu, he was a professor emeritus of nuclear engineering in the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich.

So, I went after those consultant reports via FOIA as follows:
State: ID
Zip: 83353
Country: United_States
Phone: 208 622 7740
Desc: For your reference, the Accession Number is ML083220028 for the document that contains the information you are looking for. This document is dated December 8, 2008. Here are four ML's ML081640540 ML081640551 ML081640564 ML081640560 Of course, I need these docs, but when I go to ADAMS all I get is the ACRS letter, ML082540133, that lists the above ML's as references.
FeeCategory: Personal_Noncommercial
Waiver_Purpose: Private use
Waiver_ExtentToExtractAnalyze: Substantial. NRC has been in the TRACE game forever and wastes tons of $$$$$
Waiver_SpecificActivityQuals: I know heat transfer and fouling and I have a lot of PRM's in the system.
Waiver_NatureOfPublic: I'll put all this on my blog,
Waiver_MeansOfDissemination: see item 5
Waiver_FreeToPublicOrFee: Free
Waiver_PrivateCommericalInterest: None

So on March 4, 2009, I received documents in response to my FOIA and the responses are grossly incomplete with omissions under Exemption 5, "Deliberative process: Disclosure would tend to inhibit the open and free exchange of ideas ..."

Bestion on 2/5/2008 produced 53 pages of which I am allowed to see 5.
Yadigaroglu on 5/10/2008 produced 19 pages of which I have been allowed to see 4.
Griffith on 4/30/2008 produced 18 pages of which I have been allowed to see most of page 1.
Thurgood on 6/18/2008 produced 10 pages of which I have been allowed to see 2.

Today, March 6, 2009, I sent the following to Chairman, NRC:


Following are portions of slides that NRC staff presented to ACRS on September 4, 2008. The following has slides 16, 1, 2 and 11 in that order.

Now I am focusing on the third line from the bottom of slide 11 which is:

Model for nucleate boiling is overly complex and ad hoc

So, I want:
1. The model for nucleate boiling
2. The identification of the consultant who observed that the model is overly complex, etc.
3. The related remarks of that consultant.

Via FOIA/PA 2009-0068 I have received the report of each of the four consultants. However, under Exemption 5, one of your Directors (Sheron)deleted just about everything.

Robert H. Leyse

I'll report what I find out.