Re: Braidwood letter to P5, etc.

From: Josh R Klein (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2006 - 12:23:05 CDT

Mike and Ed,
  I like these changes. I also have a few comments/suggestions below:
> We are sincerely disappoint(ment)ed by the recent decision to deny
> both the Braidwood and Double-Chooz experiments research and
> development funds to evaluate a future react(ion)[or] neutrino
> experiment.

> Our discomfort in the decision imposed on the two
> collaborations stems not from the decision of whether one experiment is
> funded over the other: each collaboration presents a strong case for
> making the measurement. Our discomfort lies in the pre-emptive decision
> made by choosing one experiment without a proper technical and
> cost-analysis review of any of the experiments.

        I would re-write these sentences:

*"Our discomfort stems not from the decision itself---each of the collaborations
*presents a strong case for making the measurement. Rather, we are concerned that a
*decision was made without a serious review of the technical merits or costs of any
*of the proposed experiments."

> It is the mandate of the community that decisions of funding be based on both
> merit and cost. This indeed was the recommendation of the NUSAG report.

        I don't think the above sentences add much, and could be removed. In any
case, I'm not sure the NuSAG report actually said this---it said that a "full
technical review is a necessary precursor to approval for either experiment", not
that it was a necessary for a decision to be made, though I suppose we are free to
interpret it that way. What it did say, however, is that "In the absence of more
detailed technical proposals and simulation studies, it is difficult to predict
which experiment will ultimately do a better job". So I guess I would replace the
two sentences with:

*"As stated in the recent NuSAG report, determining which of the experiments would be
*best requires review of detailed technical designs and simulation studies,
*which none of the collaborations have been given the opportunity to produce."

> The recent decision,
> however, completely disregards this approach, as the decision was made
> before any proper technical/cost review was carried out.

        Change to:

"The recent decision, unfortunately, has bypassed this approach."

> It is imperative that the scientific community ensure that we do the
> best science based on the physic(al)[s] and technical merits of a given
> experiment. (Society additionally requires) [The broader community
> expects] that such projects be carried out in a cost-effective manner.
> The importance of improved US-China relations should not overide these two
> principles [and the sacrifice of good science should not be overlooked in
> these negotiations].

        I'm not certain we can get away with the last sentence---we may believe
that this was a (global) political decision, but I suspect if asked DOE would say it
was due to the cost for Braidwood and the sensitivity of Double-CHOOZ that made them
choose the way they did. If I'm wrong, then we should keep this in.

> We believe the recent decision by the DOE to bypass
> this process is a bad precedent for our community.

        Change "bypass" here to "obviate" or something like that, to not repeate
"bypass" again.


> We request that the
> decision regarding reactor experiments be reconsidered, and that the
> original cost/technical assessment be used as the judge of which
> experiment should be carried forward. [Many man-years of hard work have
> been put in by committee and panel members, the APS, and certainly by the
> researchers themselves, all working to get the best science for the
> Taxpayers' money].
> Sincerely,
> The Braidwood Collaboration

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