May 24, 2000


Earlier this month, the Secretary of Energy made a decision to move forward with the construction and operation of the National Ignition Facility. We strongly support this decision. It was based on the input and review of a number of external experts and entities. Their reviews considered all issues and concluded that the basis of NIF's technical performance is sound. These reviews also emphasized the importance of NIF to the nation's stockpile stewardship program and concluded that the project should proceed in a timely fashion.

These external endorsements are also consistent with a Department of Energy "white paper" on NIF's important role to stockpile stewardship, which was recently signed by John Browne, director of Los Alamos National Lab, Paul Robinson, director of Sandia and myself.

The NIF project team at LLNL remains confident in its ability to move NIF forward in a manner consistent with the Secretary's decision. NIF is crucial to stockpile stewardship and I am dedicated to ensuring that it becomes a reality.

C. Bruce Tarter
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory