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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. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is NIF an asset or a liability?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's see. Assets bring in revenue to support the organization. Liabilities cost the organization money beyond what they bring in.

Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

This is a question? How much more underwriting do you need to see to get the answer? Perhaps the nice amphitheater for the dedication?

Anonymous said...

It did bring in a lot of money - just not enough. Let's give credit to a lot of colleagues that have worked tremendous hours to design and build NIF. I'd just like to see ULM thank the rest of the lab for everything foregone to help out, too.

Anonymous said...

NIF is all LLNL has so you better hope it is sucessful or you'll all be unemployed. You can just close the damn gates if NIF fails.

Anonymous said...

I agree that NIF will be all the Lab has left in a few years. The question is whether NIF can survive on its own without the tradional cash cows at the Lab supporting it.

Anonymous said...

NIF is the cancer that is killing the rest of the lab, it has been going on for years now. What a huge waste. We don't need NIF nearly as much as it needs the to tax other programs to subsidise NIF. And for what? Will any new experimental data from NIF affect how we do stockpile stewardship? Hard to imagine. Would fusion energy based on an expensive laser ever be feasible? Hard to imagine. The American people may prefer to sponsor engineering projects that deliver a useful product, in this era. Perhaps it is time to shut down NIF and bring back the Energy Program and the Environmental Programs that have been all but eliminated. I absolutely do not believe we need NIF to survive.

Anonymous said...

With SNM and Superblock going away soon, and Site 300 teetering on complete closure, NIF is all LLNL has as a major focus/program.

NNSA has driven LLNL into the ground and turned it from a science lab into a production facility without anything to produce. NNSA is not about science its about nuclear weapons, and the nuclear weapons stockpile is only going to continue to get smaller. The new White House/State Dept team is looking to sign a new treaty with Russia cutting both country's stockpiles by 50%. Can the country really justify two weapons design labs with only 750 to 1,000 nukes.

Btw, the lab's biggest customer besides NNSA is DHS, unfortunately last year's layoffs have put a lot of this work at risk.

Anonymous said...

NIF cannot fail.
The goals will be redefined to fit whatever it is capable of performing.

And then, there will be "Son of NIF"; another, bigger scheme that requires even more money.

Or, it might go the way of SSC. Then we won't need any techs or engineers, just those with a rank of Division Leader and above. Will save a lot of money, think of the effeciency!!

Anonymous said...

And it will fail.

Anonymous said...

And it will fail

Anonymous said...

NIF: Not intended to function

Anonymous said...

Well it looks like NIF is going to make some improvements to LLNL once more. Has anyone noticed the land fenced off around the caferteria and asked what's going in that location You should. May is going to be a wonderful month at LLNL for many reasons. Ask the contractors and you'll find out more than asking anyone in ULM or by reading the newsline.

Anonymous said...

Soon it will be nothing but NIF.
-

Nuclear stockpile at LLNL further reduced
Feb. 10, 2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The high-security nuclear material at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has been reduced to less than half of its original supply.

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration said Monday that a recent successful shipment of high-security nuclear material from LLNL has left the facility with less than 45 percent of its original inventory, the NNSA reported.

The reduction of nuclear material at LLNL is part of an ongoing NNSA Complex Transformation and modernization plan to meet the demands of the 21st century security environment. Officials say the recent shipment transferred the high-security nuclear material to NNSA facilities in South Carolina and Tennessee.

"This latest shipment reduces the inventory of special nuclear material at Livermore Laboratory by an additional 20 percent for a total reduction of 55 percent since 2006," NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino said in a statement.

"We continue to do these shipments safely and securely and have accelerated this project by two years. We are well on our way to keeping our commitment to the Livermore community and the nation as a whole."

-----

Anonymous said...

Ask the contractors and you'll find out more than asking anyone in ULM or by reading the newsline.

Obviously! If that were not true this blog would not have to exist.

Anonymous said...

Lets take a guess as to what's up at NIF:

NIF moves outside the lab fence and becomes it own LLC and drops its working overhead to less than the UC system. They will tell LLNS they're to costly with their 150-250% overhead and hire cheaper contractors. The best part is they will have their pick of talent from all those who lost jobs at LLNS.

anyone want to deny or add to that scenario?

Anonymous said...

"Can the country really justify two weapons design labs with only 750 to 1,000 nukes."

No, it cannot. You can leave now with your head held high and dignity intact, or be forced out later in a layoff and be marched out like a common criminal by LLNL security.

The choice is yours to make.

Anonymous said...

NIF-Not In the Future

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that LSO bureaucrates in safety and security keep killing this Lab. They are even too dumb to realize that soon their jobs will go away also. That is good news.

Anonymous said...

Once NIF has to stand on its own, it is dead.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
"May is going to be a wonderful month at LLNL for many reasons."

Response:
Only those with the (old school mentality) blinders on will be oblivious to the 'next' phase out coming to the FTE's...the writing is on the wall folks...those remaining at LLNS are going to see another round of FTE layoffs in May!!! If you think you're safe, better think again. If you believe ULM lies about being 'safe' you are obviously not part of the 'best and the brightest' GM said they were retaining! You'll be just like one of the 'best and brightest' that was ISP'D last May.

Anonymous wrote:
"Lets take a guess as to what's up at NIF:

NIF moves outside the lab fence and becomes it own LLC and drops its working overhead to less than the UC system. They will tell LLNS they're to costly with their 150-250% overhead and hire cheaper contractors. The best part is they will have their pick of talent from all those who lost jobs at LLNS.

anyone want to deny or add to that scenario?"

Response:
Bingo...you earn the 'brownie button' of the day :-)

Anonymous said...

111 is quietly rolling out the future direction of work at LLNL to replace weapons design... from the October 2008 newline story. Interesting that of the seven only two fall under NNSA. This continues to make the case in my mind that LLNL is a "national" lab and not an "NNSA" lab, and needs to be moved out of NNSA and back to DOE.

-----------------
"[the Laboratory] Director together with the senior Laboratory management team, has identified seven strategic mission thrusts:

Weapons and defense science

While the Lab’s main role over the last decade has been to certify the safety, security and reliability of the country’s nuclear deterrent, many urgent predictive science challenges must be met to continue fulfilling the Lab’s role. The stockpile is slated to shrink to small numbers of very safe, secure and reliable warheads. To meet this challenge, and to do it in the absence of nuclear testing, requires an improved understanding of the fundamental underlying physics that can only be gained from the kinds of experiments that will be carried out with the National Ignition Facility and other facilities. This improved understanding, together with access to the peta- and exa-scale computers of the future, will lead to new predictive models that utilize evolving methods of uncertainty quantification.

Nuclear counterterrorism and forensics

It is clear that the nuclear threat is evolving, and the specter of a nuclear device in the hands of a terrorist group is one of the defining national security grand challenges of the age. How does the premier national security laboratory provide the country with the ability to ensure that this never happens? The Lab has the nuclear design expertise, the high-performance computing capability, the sensing and detection engineering, the world-class radiochemistry and nuclear science expertise, and many other assets that place it in a position as the nation’s premier provider of nuclear nonproliferation, counterterrorism and forensics capability

Cyber and space security and intelligence

The growth of the Internet and the ease of worldwide communication are two of the fundamental pillars of progress, and the Laboratory must be able to ensure the security of cyber and space systems. LLNL already has world-class capabilities in high-performance computing and data analysis and is ideally placed to emerge as one of the nation’s premier providers of science and technology innovation and ideas in this area.

Biosecurity

How does the Laboratory ensure that its advances in understanding biological function at the most fundamental level cannot be used against the nation by terrorists. Livermore can play a central role, using its science capabilities, intelligence networks and engineering innovation in helping the nation prevent, prepare and protect against such an attack. The Lab needs to create new technologies to be able to develop therapeutic countermeasures that will provide potentially exposed individuals protection and immunity against biological weapons of mass destruction.

Regional climate modeling and impacts

As a world leader in climate assessment research, atmospheric, geological and hydrological research and supercomputing, the Laboratory must play a key leading national role to provide detailed, predictive understanding of climate change on a global and regional level. How will climate change affect the timing and magnitude of the snow pack in California? How will these changes affect the water table and future farming practices? If society is going to adapt to these changes over the next few decades, the Laboratory must be able to predict with confidence their timing and magnitude and sort through potential mitigations for efficacy and cost effectiveness.

LIFE

Projections by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration and most other international studies show that worldwide electric power demand will increase from the current level of about 2 terawatts (TW) to 5 TW by 2050 and likely to as much as 10 TW by 2100.

The challenge of meeting the nation’s and the world’s future energy needs while simultaneously decreasing dependence on fossil fuels is at the core of national security. LIFE represents a game-changing technology that would lead to sustainable, carbon-free energy that is safe, drastically shrinks the nation’s and the world’s inventories of nuclear waste and minimizes national and international concerns over nuclear proliferation.

Advanced laser optical systems and applications

The Laboratory has been a world-recognized leader in development of high-energy and high-power lasers and optical systems and advanced laser-related missions and applications for more than four decades. In 2009, LLNL will complete the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s largest laser. NIF, a fifth-generation laser system, has been built on the foundation of highly successful science and technology investments to enable the “big audacious goal” of demonstrating ignition and burn in the laboratory. New, world-leading laser light sources with megawatt-class average power and 100-petawatt-class peak power lasers have applicability across a wide range of areas of importance to the Laboratory’s future. Advanced laser optical systems may help address grand challenges including detecting the presence of well-shielded special nuclear materials with laser-based gamma-ray sources; airborne ballistic-missile defense; and frontier teravolt-scale accelerators for particle physics. Science and technology thrusts in next generation photon-based systems over the next decade will leverage Livermore’s cutting-edge, advanced laser capabilities to enable novel solutions for emerging defense, homeland security and global clean energy needs, as well as major new science thrusts for the Laboratory.

-----------------

Anonymous said...

"Cyber and space security and intelligence

The growth of the Internet and the ease of worldwide communication are two of the fundamental pillars of progress, and the Laboratory must be able to ensure the security of cyber and space systems. LLNL already has world-class capabilities in high-performance computing and data analysis and is ideally placed to emerge as one of the nation’s premier providers of science and technology innovation and ideas in this area."

What a load of bull. While we do have some incredible high performance computing assets, our cyber analysis capability is laughable. CIAC is dead. IOAC and it's related groups are dysfunctional at best. They manage by ego and retribution rather than truly leading. They couldn't develop real software if they tried. And for every project they are doing, there are at least 3 companies in the commercial world doing the same thing, better, cheaper and faster. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

"And for every project they are doing, there are at least 3 companies in the commercial world doing the same thing, better, cheaper and faster. What a joke." - 3:34 PM

Yes, but it sounds nice on paper and upper management doesn't know any better. That's all that matters at LLNL. Drink more of the Kool-Aid. It's tasty stuff!

Anonymous said...

While budgets are again cut, including safety related budgets, LLNL will spend millions to spruce-up the front yard of NIF - justified with the delusion of WATER CONSERVATION. Hummm, plant grass, hundred of trees, and nice sculpted shrubs and call it a WATER CONSERVATION TEST-BED...BRILLIANT!! And oh yes the amphitheater. Well, at least the subcontractors have work.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the new landscape will force LLNS to hire back some of the gardners it wacked.

Anonymous said...

February 16, 2009 10:47 AM

That's only because the Obamanator is going to be there in May and he must see LLNL is worthwhile to fund. The contractor says he'll be lucky if he can make the aggressive schedule and the architect says EM is out of his mind with his short order demands with no support in sight. Again the SOP of NIF. What they should tell EM is this. Poor planing on your behalf doesn't constitute an emergency on mine. Have a good day and by the way don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Anonymous said...

"Obamanator is going to be there in May"

That is good news and exciting. When was the last time a president visited LLNL?

Anonymous said...

"That is good news and exciting. When was the last time a president visited LLNL?"

President Bush visited in 1990.
It was interesting in that you get to see the lab come to a halt for a day. Notable things that occured before and during the visit:

The "parade route" was cleaned up. The East and South side of building 121 was painted, but not the North or East. New grass and flowers in front of B111. I heard they put in new bathroom fixtures on the 5th floor of 111, I can't speak to that, can for the B111 & B121 exterior sprucing. As the president arrived, the gates were closed and locked until he was in B111. If you were coming to work at that point, you cooled your heels outside. For the selected 400 people who (by invitation only) were at the main auditorium they were treated to:
1. You had to be in place before Bush came in. And he was a little late, so they cooled their heels.
2. There was the protocol of when to stand, clap and sit.
3. You stayed in the auditorium after the president left until released.

It was also interesting to see the firepower that came with the president in the form of snipers, military folks in full battle gear etc.

Highlight for me (watching on TV) was Lowell Wood presenting the president with a mock up of a Brilliant Pebble (son of star wars) and the look on Bush's face which kind of said "What the heck is this?".

All in all, it's a good day to take a day of vacation unless you are use to the higher security you would encounter as say a resident of the super block.

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