BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator.

Saturday, December 31, 2016


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Unconfirmed story but from reliable sources:

LANL Team Leader observed throwing stuff/tools out of truck into canyon (near TA54?) by local police officer . Police officer takes license plate number and wait for truck to leave. Police officer collects tools and takes to LANL management. Tools are contaminated. Officer is contaminated. Suspect individual was stealing tools and has done so repeatedly........ can't make this s***t up! Did he take tools from the waste stream processed at TA54? Did he take tools home? Give them to friends and family? Did he sell them? Who and what is contaminated? Hopefully this is a false story. Hopefully it was the first time. Hopefully the cop is fine.

Laid-Off Livermore Lab Workers Reach $37M Settlement

Laid-Off Livermore Lab Workers Reach $37M Settlement
The former employees filed suit after the lab laid off more than 1,000 employees in a workforce restructuring in 2008.

By AUTUMN JOHNSON (Livermore Patch Staff)
September 30, 2015

The claims of 129 former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory workers who were laid off in 2008 have been resolved in a $37.25 million settlement in Alameda County Superior Court, the lab said today.

The former employees filed suit after the lab laid off more than 1,000 employees in a workforce restructuring in 2008. In 2013, the claims of five so-called “test plaintiffs,” out of 130 former employees who filed suit, were litigated in two separate jury trials. According to the lab, the first trial, which alleged breach of the plaintiffs’ employment contracts, resulted in a victory for the five test plaintiffs and an award of $2.73 million in damages. But the lab prevailed in the second trial, which alleged that the Laboratory had discriminated against older employees in making layoff decisions.

Both jury verdicts were on appeal but with the encouragement of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman the parties engaged in a months-long mediation process that resulted in the settlement that was announced today. One plaintiff didn’t settle her case. The lab said it continues to deny any wrongdoing in connection with the circumstances underlying the work force reduction. The workers are represented by Oakland attorney J. Gary Gwilliam but he said the settlement precludes him from commenting on the case at this time. Lab spokeswoman Lynda Seaver said she also cannot yet comment on the case.

Elaine Andrews, who worked at the lab for 30 years and was one of the lead plaintiffs in the case, said the settlement “is not what we wanted and we haven’t been made whole for our losses but it’s been seven years and people need to move on.”

Andrews said all of the workers who were laid off were older than 50 and they believe the lab let them go so they could get rid of older employees and hire younger people at lower wages. Andrews said the layoffs came at a difficult time because most of the affected employees were too young to retire but too old to find another job since the U.S. had just gone into an economic downturn at the time.

“Many have lost their homes and suffered physical and mental issues from the stress of losing their livelihood,” Andrews said. The former employees also were unhappy about the manner in which they were fired, she said.

“Supervisors walked into our offices, told us we were being laid off but didn’t give us a reason and said we had 30 minutes to pack up our personal belongings,” she said. The laid-off employees were then escorted by armed guards to the exit center, where their security badges were confiscated, Andrews said.

“These weren’t loser employees, these were outstanding employees,” Andrews said. She said, “I had a great career there,” beginning as an employee in accounts payable then becoming a group leader in procurement, a manager in the contract labor office and working in a position in the human resources department.
Anonymous said...

37 million, loss of expertise, lowered moral, loss of trust in the lab... very well worth it for millions and millions of profits that have been made.
Anonymous said...
Just have NNSA pay for the fine, that's all they are good for is paying LLNS/LANS fines. While this all looks like LLNS fault, you know that NNSA approved this "restructuring". LLNS and LANS has been an absolute disaster.
Anonymous said...
"LLNS and LANS has been an absolute disaster. "

This is true for the workforce and America, however for the high level managers
and Bechtel, it has been very lucrative.
Anonymous said...
"...however for the high level managers and Bechtel, it has been very lucrative..."

Paved on a road with arc flash burns, WIPP, a Deputy Director scandal, and a wall of lab violations. Unlike executive management at Volkswagen, LANSLLNS management with responsibility of a "true-blue" for profit company thrive no matter what they do wrong. 
Anonymous said...
Break down the numbers ~

37,000,000 / 130 employees = 284,000



Here is the LLNL press release that went out to characterize the settlement to the media. Interestingly, as of 4:30 PM today, this is not posted on the LLNL website with the other press releases - even though it was sent out to select media hours ago. Here it is.
September 30, 2015


The claims of 129 of the plaintiffs in the long-running lawsuit brought by 130 former workers against the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been resolved through a settlement under which the Laboratory has agreed to pay the former employees a total of $37.25 million in contract damages.

The lawsuit arose out of a 2008 workforce restructuring at the Laboratory, which impacted more than 1,000 employees. In 2013, the claims of five “test plaintiffs,” out of the 130, were litigated in two separate jury trials. The first trial, alleging breach of the plaintiffs’ employment contracts, resulted in a victory for the five test plaintiffs and a damages award of $2.73 million. The Laboratory prevailed in the second trial, which alleged that the Laboratory had discriminated against older employees in making layoff decisions.

While both jury verdicts were on appeal, and with the encouragement of Judge Robert Freedman of the Alameda County Superior Court, the parties engaged in a months-long mediation that resulted in the settlement announced today. One plaintiff did not settle her case. The Laboratory continues to deny any wrongdoing in connection with the circumstances underlying the work force reduction.

J. Gary Gwilliam of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli and Brewer of Oakland, California, represented the workers.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, which was the named defendant in the lawsuit.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ( provides solutions to our nation’s most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

- END -

Laboratory news releases and photos are also available at

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

More examples of recent LANL security violations

Maybe the next group of managers can get ahead of the problems, but until then bad stories seem to just keep making the press.

What to Do About America's Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

What to Do About America's Nuclear Weapons Stockpile (aka Sandia's Pat Sena Carries a Shotgun)
U.S. News & World Report, Alan Neuhauser

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – Pat Sena has a routine: He prays with his wife, he reads, he drives his '97 Chevy pickup through Albuquerque's low-slung outskirts to work. Then, at the office until he heads home, he and his team make sure the U.S. can still – at any moment – blow up the world.

“The way I think of it, I think of myself at my home, my family in my home. It's a rough neighborhood, there are gang members driving by and drive-by shooters, and I'm sitting out on the porch with a big shotgun, saying, 'Don't attack my family because you'll have to deal with me,’” he says.

Sena is deputy chief engineer of the nuclear Stockpile Systems Center at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, part of a gargantuan desert air base dotted with scrub brush, fuel tanks, tall unmarked buildings and a wooden test track that could have been a prototype for the Coney Island Cyclone.

In the seven decades since Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists blasted the New Mexico desert with the world’s first atomic explosion the morning of July 16, 1945, three labs have maintained, studied and – to the extent they can – tested the nation’s nuclear stockpile: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Los Alamos outside Santa Fe, and Sandia.

“We do this because we believe in it,” says Michael Bernardin, acting associate director for weapons physics at Los Alamos.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nuc safety board report

Monthly (July) Site Summary for LLNL by the DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD contains some newsworthy items. Here it is...

TO: Steven A. Stokes, Technical Director
FROM: Matthew P. Duncan, Cognizant Engineer
SUBJECT: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Report for July 2015
August 7, 2015
DNFSB Staff Activity: E. Gibson, M. Duncan, and outside expert R. Green participated in two teleconferences with LLNL, LFO, and subcontractor personnel to discuss the draft Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis update for LLNL.

Safety Basis: Earlier this year, LLNL had discovered that some safety basis calculations used embedded computer code that had not been verified in accordance with LLNL’s software quality assurance requirements or identified on its list of approved safety software. These results triggered a declaration of a potential inadequacy in the safety analysis and a positive unreviewed safety question. As one of the corrective actions, LLNL performed an extent of condition review to comprehensively evaluate all calculations cited in each nuclear facility’s documented safety analysis. This effort uncovered ten additional calculations without the appropriate software quality assurance. Every nuclear facility was affected, with the exception of the Radiography Facility. In general, most were related to structural or seismic analyses. LLNL declared a potential inadequacy in the safety analysis, but does not believe any compensatory measures are required as the calculations were performed using widely distributed software commonly used for engineering applications.

Plutonium Facility: LLNL requested and LFO approved a proposal to modify the fire suppression system and how it is credited in the documented safety analysis. The fire suppression system supplies backup water to the exhaust duct sprays that protect the final HEPA filters from high temperatures during postulated fire scenarios. To increase the amount of firewater available, the 7500 gallon firewater tank will now be used instead of the 2500 gallon tank. The safety class nitrogen skid is no longer considered necessary and will be taken out of service. As a condition of approval, LFO required that the designation of alarms related to pressure in the firewater tank be upgraded to “defense-in-depth equipment important to safety.”
While preforming a weekly surveillance for the room ventilation system, LLNL determined that the differential pressure between a laboratory room and the corridor was outside of the allowable range per the Technical Safety Requirements. The room is currently being used for waste container storage. LLNL entered the appropriate limiting condition for operation and rebalanced the system.

Hardened Engineering Test Building: LLNL completed installation of a new electron beam welder. The current scope of operations prohibits welding items containing radioactive material. LLNL sent a request to LFO to allow welding items containing depleted uranium. LFO is evaluating the proposal.

Waste Storage Facilities: Late last month, LLNL declared a potential inadequacy in the safety analysis for pipe overpack containers. This month, LLNL determined that it is a positive unreviewed safety question.


USA Today -- September 10, 2015
by Steve Reilly

Cyber attackers successfully compromised the security of U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014, according to a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY.

Incident reports submitted by federal officials and contractors since late 2010 to the Energy Department's Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center shows a near-consistent barrage of attempts to breach the security of critical information systems that contain sensitive data about the nation's power grid, nuclear weapons stockpile and energy labs.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY through the Freedom of Information Act, show DOE components reported a total of 1,131 cyberattacks over a 48-month period ending in October 2014. Of those attempted cyber intrusions, 159 were successful.

"The potential for an adversary to disrupt, shut down (power systems), or worse … is real here," said Scott White, Professor of Homeland Security and Security Management and Director of the Computing Security and Technology program at Drexel University. "It's absolutely real."

Energy Department officials would not say whether any sensitive data related to the operation and security of the nation's power grid or nuclear weapons stockpile was accessed or stolen in any of the attacks, or whether foreign governments are believed to have been involved.

"DOE does not comment on ongoing investigations or possible attributions of malicious activity," Energy Department spokesman Andrew Gumbiner said in a statement.

In all cases of malicious cybersecurity activity, Gumbiner said the Energy Department "seeks to identify indicators of compromise and other cybersecurity relevant information, which it then shares broadly amongst all DOE labs, plants, and sites as well as within the entire federal government."

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous agency within the Energy Department responsible for managing and securing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, experienced 19 successful attacks during the four-year period, records show.

While information on the specific nature of the attacks was redacted from the records prior to being released, numerous Energy Department cybersecurity vulnerabilities have been identified in recent years by the department's Office of Inspector General, an independent watchdog agency.

After a cyber attack in 2013 resulted in unauthorized access to personally identifying information for more than 104,000 Energy Department employees and contractors, auditors noted "unclear lines of responsibility" and "lack of awareness by responsible officials." In an audit report released in October of last year, the Inspector General found 41 Energy Department servers and 14 workstations "were configured with default or easily guessed passwords."

Was there any more news about the Ed Moses Giant Magellan Telescope fiasco?

This is all I have heard.

Ed Moses, former principal associate director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has stepped down as president of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization “to deal with family matters.”

The organization announced Moses’s departure after rumors had been circulating in the Livermore area for several days, including emails and a short article in the blog, “LLNL the true story,” and national media were starting to inquire.

From LLNL BLog
"Ed did real and lasting damage to GMT in his short time there."

Within the first three months of Eds arrival three of the original GMT staff had left. Two other staff members that had been with GMT for four years also left. Some retired but all left due to changes Ed instituted that showed little respect for the GMT staff or any understanding of telescope design or observatory operations.

The experience lost will be hard to replace as these people each had perhaps 20 years of experience in telescope design and construction and had a deep understating of the design and proposed operations of GMT.

The changes to the telescope and operations plan that Ed produced will need extensive review if they are kept. The original design had already been through a number of reviews.

IG finds problems

IG finds problems in nanoscale materials safety

Although several issues were found at various DoE sites, LANL stands out for having the most problems. Looks like there is no end for all the bad press these days.

LANL's effectiveness

Another Excellent report on LANL's Effectivness that is Essential reading for all staff

See, some employees are capable of following Charlie's wise leadership.

Legacy cleanup contract

So much for getting rid of EM work at LANL.

Same crew in charge

Same crew in charge, just a new way to pay them. 

Close WIPP with a waste drum explosion = new contract for environmental cleanup at LANL.

Near fatality at LANCE = new contract science at LANL?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Devastating assessment of NIF in MIT Technology review:

Exhibit A in this counterargument could be the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. With close to $10 billion spent and no tangible results in sight, the Ignition Facility, as Bill Sweet wrote in IEEE Spectrum magazine in 2012, is “the mother of all boondoggles.” Yet it trundles along, consuming hundreds of millions of dollars and countless scientist-hours each year, bringing delight to its congressional supporters but not much to anyone else.

Perhaps "high-floor break even" was a mistake?

All your cleared employee fingerprints belong to us!

OPM Now Admits 5.6m Feds’ Fingerprints Were Stolen By Hackers (Wired, Sept 23, 2015)

On Wednesday, the Office of Personnel Management admitted that the number of federal employees’ fingerprints compromised in the massive breach of its servers revealed over the summer has grown from 1.1 million to 5.6 million. OPM, which serves as a sort of human resources department for the federal government, didn’t respond to WIRED’s request for comment on who exactly those fingerprints belong to within the federal government. But OPM had previously confirmed that the data of 21.5 million federal employees was potentially compromised by the hack—which likely originated in China—and that those victims included intelligence and military employees with security clearances.


Why has the federal government done almost NOTHING to help protect those who had their personal data stolen because of the lax cyber-security standards of the OPM? This is a major failure on the part of our federal government.

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