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The Rise and Fall of the Third ICF Review
A Case Study of Bias and Conflicts of Interest in a National Academy of Sciences Review of the National Ignition Facility

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Thomas B. Cochran
Christopher E. Paine


While they are in no way responsible for the preparation of this report, the authors gratefully acknowledge the sage advice and insights of our outside counsel, Eric R. Glitzenstein, in recent litigation involving DOE Defense Programs, the NAS, and FACA, as well as the assistance of our co-plaintiffs, Western States Legal Foundation of Oakland and Tri-Valley CAREs of Livermore, CA. Many of the documents cited in this study were obtained as a product of the discovery process pursued during the recent litigation. Dr. Matthew McKinzie of the Nuclear Program staff also helped to provide information for the study, as did a few National Academy members, reviewers, and participants in the 1996-97 ICF Review. The draft report was prepared for publication by Tanya Washington.

NRDC's work on issues related to nuclear weapons research and ICF is supported by grants from the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the HKH Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John Merck Fund, the Ploughshares Fund, the Prospect Hill Foundation, and the Spanel Foundation.

The authors wish to emphasize that the purpose of this study is not to impugn the integrity or expertise of any individual scientist or group of scientists, but rather to identify and illustrate the kinds of abuses that the self-regulating NAS/NRC Committee system is prey to when basic statutory requirements for balance and openness are either blithely ignored or weakly enforced.

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