Saturday, December 31, 2016


Place new topics here.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

LLNL un-diversity

Actual post from Dec. 15 from one of the streams. This is a real topic.

As far as promoting women and minorities even if their qualifications are not as good as the white male scientists, I am all for it. We need diversity at the lab and if that is what it takes, so be it. 

Quit your whining. Look around the lab, what do you see? White male geezers. How many African Americans do you see at the lab? Virtually none. LLNL is one of the MOST undiverse places you will see. Face it folks, LLNL is an institution of white male privilege and they don't want to give up their privileged positions. California, a state of majority Hispanics has the "crown jewel" LLNL nestled in the middle of it with very FEW Hispanics at all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tool Thefts from Lab

Tool Thefts from Lab ‘Hot Zones’ Raise Concerns About Security, Health Risks

Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 11:00 pm | Updated: 12:15 am, Wed Dec 17, 2014.

By Patrick Malone, The New Mexican

Tools that may have been exposed to radioactive contamination vanished from a secure area of Los Alamos National Laboratory earlier this year in a series of thefts that raise questions about lab security.

Between May and August, the lab reported tools stolen on at least three occasions from Technical Area 54, the largest waste disposal zone on the lab’s sprawling hilltop campus. LANL holds more than 100 contaminated sites from years of storing waste generated during development of nuclear weapons.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thanks Scooby?

Thanks Sccoby!

For being gone so long and for giving so many garbage posts top status, you drove many interesting and popular threads below the horizon. Do you even know what you are doing when you screw around with this blog? Absentee moderator is better than stupid moderator.
December 15, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Give Scooby (not Sccoby or Snoopy) a break. He's been the "flagship" of the National Laboratories and provided the ONLY forum or mechanism for Lab employees to communicate issues across boundaries. The current and former Lab Management (e.g. LLNS, LANS, Sandia, etc.) despise this forum, which means its working. This Blog deserves an award.
December 16, 2014 at 4:07 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
There are some very good topics right now.
December 16, 2014 at 6:03 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
"...Give Scooby (not Sccoby or Snoopy) a break. He's been the "flagship" of the National Laboratories and provided the ONLY forum or mechanism for Lab employees to communicate issues across boundaries. The current and former Lab Management (e.g. LLNS, LANS, Sandia, etc.) despise this forum, which means its working. This Blog deserves an award..."

I agree completely!
December 16, 2014 at 6:59 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Me too. Tons of Thanks Scooby.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Employee Safety and Environmental Stewardship at LANS and LLNS

Employee Safety and Environmental Stewardship at LANS and LLNS? 

Are employee safety and environmental concerns of LANS and LLNS employees well received by LANS and LLNS management (aka LANSLLNS)? Do employees feel intimidated to raise safety or environmental issues despite the "encouragements" by management to do so? What happens when these matters are raised to management? Does commitment to employee safety and protection of the environment pass the "load test"? 

"...Environmental Stewardship (LANL)

Our environmental stewardship commitment: we will clean up contamination from the past, minimize current operational impacts, and create a sustainable future..."

"...Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is committed to environmental stewardship and the protection of the health and safety of its employees, visitors, and surrounding community..."



as you contemplate punishing LANL management and staff for their perceived performance please remember that there are TWO national labs.

they both do bombs but...

they are over 1000 miles apart. they have different management. even different employees. different cultures. different accomplishments. different weaknesses.

please try to keep this clear, and make sure you pin the tail on the right donkey this time.

your predecessors unwillingness to keep the two straight lead to the destruction of one very fine, high functioning institution and culture, so you could have the appearance of micromanagement control and toughness over the other.

please keep em straight. one is in california. that's a state on the pacific ocean. the other is in a state called new mexico. it's near mexico, but isn't actually mexico.
both are west of the hudson river.

s/A llnl employee tired of being punished for others screwups.

DOE science FY 2014 performance grades posted

DOE science FY 2014 performance grades posted

We should expect that the NNSA will post theirs soon as well.

I remember when LANS first arrived.

 I found this old post. 

"Most people know how Halliburton/KBR (The 'K' in KSL) uses their political connections to rip-off US taxpayers. Now, Bechtel (partner in LANS) and Shaw Group Inc (the 'S' in KSL) have come under intense investigations in connected with the Katrina cleanup.

Think about it for a moment. Bechtel, KBR, and Shaw - all companies with ethical problems. And now, all three are involved in the day-to-day operations at LANL.

It appears that privatization has opened LANL's doors to the wolves."

And that is exactly what happened. A complete rip-off the of the US taxpayers, tremendous damage to the complex, moral at an all time low. Way to go. However a number of managers have made out very very well. How do they feel now that it is clear that it was just a giant con game all along? 

New gang at the helm for LANL at the start of FY17.

Current RUMOR at LANL is that for the second year in a row LANL was not awarded a contract extension. This would mean LANS has a termination date in FY18. However, the RUMOR also is that LANS will be punished with the removal of an additional year of the contract. If thesis true, there will be a new gang at the helm for LANL at the start of FY17.

Congratulations Livermore

Congratulations Livermore. You just got 1% of Lindl's predicted yield!
You'll never ignite with the high-foot and you know it!

Plutonium on NIF

Plutonium on NIF

Funny, I thought the Laser EOS program had been completely discredited with the D2 shock data and phony Ta phase transition.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Los Alamos cleanup funding reduced $40M in budget bill

Los Alamos cleanup funding reduced $40M in budget bill

The cut comes after a radioactive waste drum packaged by the lab ruptured in February while stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation’s only deep geologic repository for nuclear waste, near Carlsbad.

The leak, the result of a hot chemical reaction in the drum, has shut down WIPP, and costs for reopening the facility have been estimated at as much as a half-billion dollars. Critics of the nation’s weapons complex argue that the total cost will actually be much more.

Last week, the state Environment Department fined LANL and WIPP, both federal Department of Energy facilities, $54 million for hazardous waste violations.

No specific cause for the WIPP leak has been confirmed, but a prominent theory focuses on wheat-based kitty litter that was mixed with nitrates in the transuranic waste drum as it was processed at Los Alamos, potentially causing the reaction that breached the container.

Meanwhile, the congressional budget bill would give WIPP a huge funding increase. Its budget would jump from $220 million to $320 million, to help with the post-leak remediation work.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Should the LANL contract be broke up into two?

Should the LANL contract be broke up into two?

LANL is such a huge site, would it make sense for DOE/NNSA to break the prime contract into separate contracts - one for basic research/science/technology work and one for pit production work - and put both out to bid for different M&O contractors to run. You could then have a purely industrial LLC (BWXT, URS, Bechtel, etc) run the few production facilities at Los Alamos, while a more academic LLC (UC and industrial partners) runs LANL. In the future might even consolidate the Los Alamos production facilities contract with the Y-12/Pantex contract. Idea imagine that the production facilities at LANL account for 1/3 or 1/4 of the current LANS contract.

This would allow a contractor to bring in a strict industrial management culture appropriate for the rigor of nuclear production activities, without having to also use this approach to manage science activities where creativity and risk taking innovation are necessary.

Panel Calls for NNSA Move Back Under DOE

Governance Panel Calls for NNSA Move Back Under DOE

Weapons Complex Monitor
Dec 10, 2014

The Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise is recommending not only a major overhaul for the National Nuclear Security Administration, but a recasting of how weapons complex contractors are compensated. The panel delivered its report, “A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise,” to Congress yesterday, revealing broad recommendations aimed at fixing what it called a “dysfunctional system” spoiled by “decades of neglect.” The report isn’t expected to be released publicly until later this week, but NS&D Monitor obtained a copy of the 186-page document. While it is often scathing in its critique of the failings of the agency’s current governance structure, the panel recommended that the Department of Energy reabsorb the semi-autonomous agency rather than call for a shift toward more autonomy or a move to the Department of Defense. “The nuclear enterprise would be most effective in performing its missions if it were led by a knowledgeable, engaged Cabinet Secretary and if ownership of the mission were Departmentwide,” the panel said.

More autonomy for the agency would “only further isolate” the agency from senior level leadership. As part of its recommendations, the panel called for a change to DOE’s name, to the Department of Energy and Nuclear Security, and at least a six-year tenure for the director of the Office of Nuclear Security, which is what the panel proposes calling the agency in its new spot in DOE. “It is recommended that Congress place the responsibility and accountability for the mission squarely on the shoulders of a qualified Secretary, supported by a strong enterprise Director with unquestioned authority to execute nuclear enterprise missions consistent with the Secretary’s policy direction,” the panel said.

The panel also said that award fees paid to management and operating contractors across the weapons complex have “diverted substantial energy and resources from mission execution” and it recommended award fees be replaced by “market-based” fixed fees that “fairly compensate” M&O contractors as well as award-term extensions to motivate strong performance. “The panel found that an unintended consequence of the award fee structure is that it contributes significantly to detailed, transactional oversight. It has contributed to the growth of a government bureaucracy responsible to track fee. This, in turn, has induced the M&O organizations to grow a corresponding bureaucracy to provide the assessments that justify their award fees,” the panel said.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

LANL fine is largest in history of DOE

LANL fine is largest in history of DOE

Way to go Charlie and Terry! If you must be fined, make it the largest in history. After all, everything at LANL is top of the list.

"The NMED, in announcing the penalties, found a combined 37 violations committed by LANL and WIPP. For those violations, the NMED levied a $54 million penalty — approximately $36.6 million based on the violations found at LANL.

It was the largest-ever penalty imposed on the DOE.

“DOE now has an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and implement meaningful corrective actions that will ensure the long term viability” of LANL, a letter from the NMED to LANL and the Los Alamos Field office read in part.

On Feb. 14, a canister of waste ruptured in a storage room at WIPP. More than 20 workers were contaminated due to the rupture and the facility was forced to shut down."

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