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


  • Stay on topic.
  • No foul, vulgar, or inflammatory language.
  • No name calling.
  • No personal attacks or put-downs of other blog users.
  • Be patient. Moderator checks and approves new posts several times a day.

Suggest new topics here


Submit candidates for new topics here only. Stay on topic with National Labs' related issues. All submissions are screened first for ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another open letter to Dr Chu

Another anonymous letter to Dr Chu:

Dear DR.Chu,

Ask George about the glove box explosion at 695.

Ask him about th 60 lbs of explosive that where dropped at site 300

Aske him about the gas leak at 241 wich would have resulted of the building blowing up

Ask him about the Be contamination at 298 and 321:which resulted in personell who are now dying of chronic Be disease

Ask him how LLNS spent 10 million on trees and grass after Bechtel ran the place into the ground.

But most of all ask George what bechtel is doing to keep the lab safe and secure for the 70million a year they are getting in pay.

An open letter to Dr. Chu

Anonymously contributed:

Dear Dr. Chu,

Welcome to LLNL. Look closely. Too bad it isn't what you expected.

Ask George why he thinks costs are going up only 4%,when his pricing tools show 10%.

Ask him if Russo and Liedle serve him as well as Kuckuck and Mara served Anastasio.

Ask his why he degraded engineering from two strong independent departments to a single weak job-shop.

Ask him why his people are so demoralized.

Ask him why he put a 150% tax on travel costs.

Ask him what DoE get from Bechtel for $40M per year? Where is the new accounting system, where is the promised project management system?

Ask him why he lies to his employees so regularly.

Ask him why the Bechtel business operations folks make declarations without bothering to leave their offices to see how things work.

Ask him how he can retroactively bill sponsors for rate increases for work that was contracted for at a lower rate?

Ask him why he hasn't aplogized publically for the "substantially equivalent in the aggregate" lie.

Ask him why employees who know him think that he is a self-absorbed blow hard.

Ask him to resign.

Thank you,

Technical staff

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dr Chu's Visit

I expected B123 to be overflowing! I expected dozens of questions!
I expected the contributors of the "open letter to Dr Chu"s to be there to ask the
questions, didn't you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What happened to callbacks?

I was laid off due to the ISP. Unable to find work I have taken another job at LLNL at half my old pay. To my shock my old departments org chart is as big as it was before the ISP. LLNS has filled all the laid off workers positions with matrixed engineering people. I have the proof! How can they do that? What happened to callbacks? Is anyone looking into this? Does DOE provide any oversight for LLNS and if so who can be contacted?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eroding benefits!

Anonymously contributed:

Hey, how about those new medical plan premiums? I'm a UC retiree forced to have my medical benefits provided by LLNS, and my premium is going up almost 50% next year (and benefits are being reduced). Add to this the fact that UC retirees from "other campuses" continue to enjoy the same benefits that they always received from UC (way, way better than ours), while we Lab types bite the big one again. I know some retirees are organizing and perhaps planning to sue, but I'm afraid that won't pan out, or at least it won't be resolved any time soon. It's a travesty, I tell you. We, who put in all those years in support of the Lab, the University, and the COUNTRY, we who were instrumental in the country's defense and helped win the Cold War, are being sold down the river by DOE, NNSA, UC, and the Bechtelians. Legal or not, it just isn't right, and it smacks of discrimination to me. George (and the rest of you ULM Bechtelian suck-ups who used to be our colleagues), you ought to be ashamed of yourself (I would expect this kind of treatment from the Bechtelians carpet-baggers, but not from you). Don't you have any shred of self respect anymore? Or do you just continue to rationalize that you are "doing the best you can," or that you "are just making the best of a bad situation", or "well, somebody has to do it and I'm going to make sure that I make out OK." As a long-time Lab employee who gave the best years of my life to the place, I'm embarrassed for you and for the institution of which I was once proud to be a part.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Firings in NIF

Anonymously contributed:

No pun intended! There were some people fired at NIF for mismanagement. Finally,
someone had the courage to clean house. If this is done on a larger scale, in other directorates, some managers will have an incentive to rise above mediocrity!
The good old boys culture (scratch my back and I will scratch yours) is beginning to crumble!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

About George's talk today

Anonymous contribution (edited):

Two things came out of G.M.'s all hands today that were pretty significant. One is that UC will be asking LLNL employees to contribute to the UC retirement fund to help cover lab retiree annuities. The other is that DOE/NNSA is thinking about raiding the LLNS defined benefit fund to help solve underfunded defined benefit plans of other national labs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Budget shortfall

Anonymously contributed:

Last week GM revealed that the Lab's operating budget for FY10 is expected to be $100M or so less than FY09. Not only is this bad for the real programs, but it means the indirect (overhead) budget will be less also, since there is less money to tax.

Since GM has promised to avoid a layoff this year, does this mean (1) IAP and flex term employees need to update their resumes, (2) buyouts look possible, (3) NIF will have to pull its own weight, or (4) CFO can follow the Obama example and spend more than it collects?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hi, My Name is Ben Dover

I'm a typical LLNL employee. I came to the lab about a decade ago as I was convinced by a friend (maybe not such a friend) to come work here. I went through the interview process, then the "seemed to take forever" hiring process. Nine months after I was hired, I finally received my security clearance - It seemed like a long time to take considering I had a DoD TS at my old company. I was quite happy with the benefits provided by UC even though they did not provide "stock options" as did my old company. I did the math and figured that I could retire a 60 quite comfortably without having to stick about 8% of my pay in the old 401K. Not having to contribute to the 401K meant I had more spending money - something my family really needed for the move to California.

I found over the next few years that LLNL had way too many rules and doing any kind of work was VERY expensive and took way to long to get anything done. I worked on one project that the paperwork just to get started took all the money allocated for the entire project. Needless to say, the sponsor was less than happy and took their business elsewhere.

Flash forward 7 years. There is talk that UC is no longer going to run LLNL. The DoD company I used to work for got things done for a whole lot less money; in a shorter time; and just as safe. I'm thinking that as long as the benefits are the same, that this is a good thing. We are finally going to be competitive! Then the bad news hit. Bechtel won the contract, not Lockheed Martin. From that moment forward, I knew we were screwed. I know that Lockheed, even though they are "for profit" understands that people are important. Bechtel, on the other hand builds houses (ok, a little more than houses, but this is my story). Having family that worked in the construction business, I saw how they were treated. For every job, there were several people standing in line. So, if the foreman did not like you or you made a mistake, you were fired and the next guy in line took your place. If the cost of the house went up (change order), that cost was simply passed on to the customer. There were huge bonuses for ULM for coming in under cost of the bid price of the contract. And those bonuses were always received . . . no matter what the cost was to those doing the work.

The date is now October 2009. LLNS has be running LLNL into the ground for the past 2-years at a pace I never thought possible. Go to the DOE web site and read the RFP. Two of the REQUIREMENTS are to close Superblock and Site 300. The quicker it's done, the more LLNS makes. But, don't believe me, go read the RFP yourself. One of the other requirements, is to reduce the LLNL foot print. If you go to the LLNS web page, you can view the LLNS Annual Report . They actually brag about how well they are meeting their goal and the number of people they've "reduced" in the "workforce restructuring" portion. Face it, Bechtel was brought in to close us down.

So, read the facts and listen to the rumors and decide for yourself.

See you in the unemployment line.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How is Business Ops doing?

Contributed anonymously and moved here, as its own post from the "look in your mail box" post:

What is it about Business Operations that makes it the enemy of those of us trying to get work done?

1. Higher medical costs,and higher deductibles and copays so they can give more fee to LLNS?
2. Cheating employees out of benefits, such as dumping medicare age retirees?
3. Being unforgiving of mistakes?
4. Retroactively raising mnapower burden rates after long after contracts with sponsors have been signed because they can't do arithmetic. Then forcing that engineering employees families to pay the bill as the employees have to work harder, with less support and much longer OT hours and longer to get contracted work done: again so that Business Operations metrics are made so Frank and senior management can make their bonus?
5. Increasing the burden rates on personnel by 15% in one year.
6. The fact that none of the Business Operations Division Leaders and above have even worked at the the lab, and they don't care what impact that they are having on people or programs as long as they make their bonus.
6. The fact that they make bonus whether or not LLNL functions.

LLNL Business Operations (aka the useless gunslinger Russo and his band of Becthel aliens) are failing to support Programs adequately.

They were to bring in a ready made project management system. They failed.

They were to keep manpower burden rates to FY07 levels, they failed.

LLNL technical personnel are stressed,harried and failing to meet technical and performance milestones as they continue to compensate the results for the Business Operations shortfalls of planning and execution.

Business Operations is plotting to minimize employee salary increases and cap salaries through the new 200 compensation category scheme that Frank needed to roll out on 1 Oct to make his bonus.

Management is only in place to help programs get work done, yet they failed to keep support adequate and we are failing together.

Senior management of Business Operations sits isolated in their offices, with no knowledge or contact with those implementing programs and tasks, and they don't care that they fail to support the successful operations of the Lab.

Those of us who still want the lab to succeed should carefully examine whether cooperating with any of the Business Operations robbers efforts will actually undermine laboratory success, if so perhaps helping them fail to meet their bonuses will insure laboratory success.

It will be better for all if we make sure Frank hits the road real soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Look in your mailbox.

Anonymously contributed:

Everyone look in your mailboxes because coming soon, in a big white envelope, is more good news pertaining to our benefits. Once everyone has some time to do the math I suggest we open up a new post pertaining to the subject. I gave it a once over after a couple glasses of my favorate beverage and decided perhaps a better frame of mind was needed before getting serious about the increases, after all is said and looking at my glass as half full, the only good thing that comes to mind is we still have some choices. We may not like them but they are choices!
FEELIN bruzed again all over!!

Test site renamed.

Please read the article and don't forget the anonymous contributor's comments below it:

Las Vegas Review Journal

October 7, 2009

Test site will get name change
Revision to reflect its 'expanded mission'
Keith Rogers

Congress set out to modernize the mission of the Nevada Test Site and eventually
change the name it's had for the past 57 years with Senate passage Tuesday of
the defense authorization bill.
The 93-7 vote sent the measure to President Barack Obama with an amendment by
Nevada's senators that charges the head of the Department of Energy's National
Nuclear Security Administration with "renaming the site to reflect the expanded
That "expanded mission," according to the amendment by Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev.,
and John Ensign, R-Nev., will focus on developing methods to verify treaties and
reduce nuclear security threats "while continuing to support the nation's
nuclear weapons program and other national security programs."
The act provides $89 million for defense-related projects in Nevada but doesn't
specify what the new name should be for the place that was first called the
Nevada Proving Grounds in 1951 and changed about a year later to the Nevada Test
Site. Last month, managers of the test site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas,
said they envision it becoming home to a new National Center for Nuclear
Security where experts on treaty verification, counterterrorism and
nonproliferation will huddle to chart the nation's course for achieving national
Among the objectives is to support threat reduction programs "of the entire
national security community" including those under the NNSA, the Defense Threat
Reduction Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, "and other agencies as
appropriate," the amendment states. Last month, Stephen M. Younger, president
of the test site's prime contractor, National Security Technologies, touted a
nuclear security center as "the biggest thing at the site in many decades."
According to Younger and NNSA Nevada Site Office Manager Stephen Mellington the
test site's modernized mission will include more work with U.S. intelligence
agencies and authorities on international nuclear security. Tasks will range
from developing countermeasures for would-be nuclear terrorists to helping the
Pentagon's effort to detect roadside bombs, and some other classified projects.
The test site's broadened scope will augment its long-standing mission to check
and certify that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is safe and reliable

My Comments:

Let's have a contest for the renaming of the test site:
NWDTAS - Nevada We Don't Test Anymore Site
NWUTS - Nevada We Use to Test Site
NSBFPS - Nevada Senators Bucking For Pork Site

So Senators Reid And Ensign need to rename the site to possibly justify 89
million bucks being spent in Nevada. They envision a "National Center for
Nuclear Security" were experts can huddle to talk shop. To be built 65 miles
from Las Vegas? Do you really need to go to the former NTS to have a secure
spot to have a yak fest?

I bet the two senators would not be so supportive of the site if we resumed
underground testing. The Las Vegas sprawl pushing closer to the site would
cause a hue and cry and you could be assured that Senator Reid would be the
first to call NIMBY, as proven by Yucca Mountain.

I'm waiting for E.O. Lawrence to climb out of the grave and ask for his name to
yanked off the Livermore Lab's name plate.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sep 30th was Dave Leary's last day

Anonymously suggested:
Dave Leary, one of the last true UC folks!

LLNL de-inventory project moves ahead

Anonymously contributed:

NNSA Press Release

LLNL de-inventory project moves ahead

Oct. 1, 2009

The National Nuclear Security Administration on Wednesday announced that the Laboratory has removed about two thirds of its special nuclear material requiring the highest level of security protection.

LLNL has completed shipments to five different receiver sites, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Nevada Test Site, the Savannah River Site, Y-12 Security Complex, and the Idaho National Laboratory, since the de-inventory project was initiated in October 2006. These shipments were completed in full compliance with existing safety and environmental laws and procedures. All federal and receiver site requirements were met for these shipments.

“The removal of two thirds of LLNL’s nuclear material demonstrates real progress and is the result of some very hard work,” NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said. “NNSA continues to make tremendous strides in transforming a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century Nuclear Security Enterprise that is smaller, safer, more efficient. Staying on schedule in meeting our commitment to remove all special nuclear material from Livermore is a major part of that effort.”

The move is part of NNSA’s efforts to consolidate special nuclear material at five sites by 2012, with significantly reduced square footage at those sites by 2017. This will further improve security and reduce security costs and is part of NNSA's overall effort to transform the Cold War era nuclear weapons enterprise into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise.

The original date to remove all high-security material from LLNL, based on equipment capability and capacity, was 2014. NNSA has developed a timeline to remove this material as early as possible, accelerating the target completion date to 2012.


So any guesses on what happens to LLNL after 2012?

Posts you viewed tbe most last 30 days