Troubled by complaints of poor management at the superconducting super-col-lider, the Energy Department has begun a review that could lead to a shakeup of contractors overseeing construction of the giant atom smasher.
"The attitudes of the leadership of the (super collider) laboratory are simply unacceptable," Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary told a congressional hearing Wednesday.The $10 billion project near Waxahachie, Texas, is in jeopardy of being shut down after the House deleted funding for it last week. The Senate must now decide whether it is worth keeping. The particle accelerator is intended to help scientists study the basic nature of matter.
The House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee focused on recent reports, including a study by the Energy Department's own inspector general, of lax controls over spending and poor documentation of millions of dollars in contract awards at the project.
O'Leary said she had ordered a 30-day review of how the project's overall manager, Universities Research Association, a consortium of universities, has performed.