Other perceptions about the lab

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By The Staff

I would like to compare “LANL’s Community Leaders Study (CLS)” of October 2009, available at www.lanl.gov/cpo/ with the Community Survey Report for Northern New Mexico, (CSR) available from (joken@valornet.com).     

  The former is a DOE-LANL funded study performed by Research & Polling, Inc of Albuquerque, with 224 respondents. The latter is an unfunded study performed by myself, with 225 respondents. The former was inspired by a need of DOE-LANL administrators for feedback. The latter was driven by personal curiosity.   

  Here are a few lines from the CLS:  

  “This tracking study was commissioned by LANL. The objective of this study was to measure the Lab’s perceived progress in maintaining community relationships and listening and responding to the needs of the communities in Northern N.M.”

 “After a time earlier in the decade where LANL’s image suffered some setbacks, there has been steady progress in rebuilding the Lab’s image throughout the region. The hard work has culminated in 72 percent of the Community Leaders surveyed saying they have a favorable impression of LANL, an 11 percentage point increase when compared to last year’s study and a 20 percentage point increase compared to just two years ago.”  

Here are a few lines from the CSR:  

“A survey was conducted of the attitudes of citizens of Española and Santa Fe toward local DOE operations. Results show that worries about legacy waste, as well as wastes generated by present and possible future DOE operations, are combined with a deep appreciation for the economic benefits brought to NM by these same operations.”   

“Based on the survey results, it is plausible to say that money and jobs brought to northern NM by the DOE are of great importance to many of northern NM’s citizens. At the same time, concerns about pollution caused by the DOE’s operations are very worrisome. Often, gratification due to economic benefit and worries about pollution appear within the same individual.”  

“There is evidence of ambivalence toward the DOE’s ongoing nuclear weapons program. Although strong opinions pro and con about nuclear weapons do not appear within the same individual, uncertainty about this issue can be seen in the responses of many citizens.”    

“It seems fair to say that suspicion about the DOE’s operations in Northern New Mexico is widespread. The fact that many DOE employees live and work in northern New Mexico is not seen as a reason to be confident about the DOE’s operations here.”  

Ken LaGattuta

Española, N.M.