Concluding Remarks

Lab-to-Lab: US-Russian Lab-to-Lab Collaboration Story [Archived]

Early Lab-to-Lab | Export Control | Nielsen Jr. | Symposia | WSSX
Physics | Reminiscences of Russia | Caroline (Cas) Mason

As I complete these writings, there is perhaps a feeling of emptiness. These words simply do not convey the impact that our Russian interactions have had on me and my colleagues. How does anyone capture events that change one’s life and give one’s life a new meaning? As I have tried to convey, the Russian interactions have been a fantastic adventure for me. For sure, they were the most rewarding aspect of my career.

Everyone who has been involved in the interactions described here had the hope and prayer that the work we were involved in would lead to a more peaceful world, and, in fact, for maybe two decades, the world was more peaceful. Unfortunately, now the relationship between the United States and Russia has deteriorated to a point not unlike the interlaboratory relationship depicted by Boris Vodolaga and me as pictured. For me, my American colleagues, and my Russian colleagues, this is a disappointment whose magnitude cannot be overstated.

Two men smiling each are making a gesture with their hands to show they fit together.

Boris Vodolaga (left) and the author once again describe the relationship between LANL and LLNL and between VNIIEF and VNIITF (Moscow, June 2013).

I had a unique opportunity in 1992 to play a formative role in a collaboration unprecedented in the nuclear age. Unfortunately, in spite of past accomplishments, I felt compelled to end my November 2016 seminar at Stanford University with the questions:

Will we have Cold War II? Will Russia return to nuclear weapons testing? Will scientists once again be called upon to solve issues that threaten the security of the US, Russia, and the world?

As I have told my close colleague, Bob Reinovsky, it is important to document our experiences because someday in the future there may be two scientists who will find themselves in a position not unlike we were in over two-and-one-half decades ago and can hopefully learn from our experiences. That is the purpose of this article and the articles that it supplements.

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