WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 -- A report commissioned by the University of California has proposed a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening the National Ignition Facility project and putting it on the track to successful completion. The NIF report recommends that the laboratory director take ownership and devote greater attention to the project and that a surprise-free environment be established; it also recommends the implementation of and adherence to sound project management protocols. Responding to the report, Richard C. Atkinson, UC president, said, The university fully accepts its responsibility to oversee the management of this project, and we intend to do so in a rigorous way. Atkinson continued, The National Ignition Facility is an essential element of the Department of Energy's national security mission and an undertaking that holds great potential for scientific discovery. I am confident the project will move forward with the continued cooperation of the Department of Energy, the University of California and the Livermore laboratory. Bill Richardson, US Secretary of Energy, already has ordered a series of actions to address projected cost overruns and scheduling delays that emerged early last September in the $1.2-billion project.