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Critic of 'Star Wars' Optimism Gets Lead in Treaty Verification

December 09, 1987|United Press International

LIVERMORE — Physicist Roy D. Woodruff, who was embroiled in a 1985 dispute over the Strategic Defense Initiative program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has a new job.

Woodruff was appointed Monday to head the laboratory's treaty verification program, a position that has taken on increased significance in light of the U.S-Soviet summit and the potential development of a treaty to halve the superpowers' arsenals of long-range, or strategic, missiles.

Woodruff said he was happy about his new post.

"It's a plain, neat job," he said Monday. "I know the people there, and they're first-rate."

Two years ago, Woodruff said that the lab, where nuclear weapons and systems are designed, had failed to counter "over-optimistic and technically inaccurate" information given Reagan Administration officials about progress on development of a space-based laser weapon that could intercept enemy missiles.

Woodruff, who was in charge of the nuclear weapons program at the time, said he had no ethical choice but to step down. He stayed at the lab in a subordinate position and complained that he subsequently was treated as an "unperson."

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