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. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Love Bechtel (NOT!)

Contributed Anonymously:


New Bechtel Happy Video

The race is over, go home.

Anonymous said...

The race is over, go home.

Russia plans to continue modernizing its deterrent

Our enemies are making new and better weapons while we are in unilateral disarmament mode.

Let's not start blaming politics again, enough threads on that. This was a national decision, done over many years through fair elections. The people wanted this, now they have it. No new nukes, tear down the labs, dismantle our deterrent.

God help us all.

February 26, 2009 8:37 AM

65% subsidy for COBRA does not apply to me

Submitted Anonymously:

I spoke to Rep. Ellen Tauscher's field office today and mentioned that
the 65% subsidy for COBRA does not apply to me because I was laid off
from LLNL before the Sept. 1, 2008 window. (The subsidy of up to 9
months is part of the stimulus package.)

I learned that there are no guarantees, but letters are being
collected and packaged together from constituents, setting forth there
stories and what a subsidy would mean for them (such as, how to pay
for insurance after the 18 months of COBRA expires? Being over 50, my
rates for individual insurance are higher than as part of a group).

PLEASE help see if something can be shaken loose for those of us who
were part of a mass layoff to save a federal agency $$, and send along
your personal account to:

Rep. Ellen Tauscher
2121 N. California Blvd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Monday, February 23, 2009

So, Obama's coming to visit, we are all taking a 5% pay cut, and lay-offs are nigh.

Since Dr. Miller has proven Newton's 3rd law in his previous "all-hands". Let's see what pans out this time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

If in doubt about privatization, read this...

Another example of a high profile organization that was killed by privatization.
It is the story of the wolf who promised to guard the sheep...

An Article from Corpwatch.org

Friday, February 20, 2009

So, Are you happy about paying your neighbors mortgage to keep the value of your house up?

Yet another question posed . . .

What happened in HR?

Someone emailed me the question - so I posted it. So, did something unusual happen in HR recently?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Miller to host quarterly all-hands meeting

Director George Miller will hold his quarterly all-hands meeting at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23, in the Bldg. 123 auditorium.

A Message from George Miller to LLNL Employees

Employees may have recently read news articles that discuss U.S government plans to study the possible transfer of the DOE/NNSA laboratories and weapons complex from the Department of Energy to the Department of Defense. These articles refer to an internal government memo outlining plans for a study of the costs and benefits of such a transfer.

Keep in mind that the news articles refer to a request for a study. Similar studies have been conducted in previous administrations and the laboratories have been and will be asked to support these studies. When asked, LLNL will provide objective advice and counsel in support of the U.S. government study and potential policy decisions. We will continue to highlight the world-class capabilities of our people and facilities and our continued critical scientific and technological contributions to our nation’s security

NNSA awards IBM contract to build next generation supercomputer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today a contract with IBM to bring world-leading supercomputing systems to its Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to help continue to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation’s aging nuclear deterrent.

“The longstanding partnership of NNSA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and IBM is ushering in an era of multi-petaflops computing,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “These powerful machines will provide NNSA with the capabilities needed to resolve time-urgent and complex scientific problems, ensuring the viability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent into the future. This endeavor will also help maintain U.S. leadership in high performance computing and promote scientific discovery.”

The Rest of the Story

The National Ignition Facility: Ushering in a New Age for Science

Scientists have been working to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion and energy gain in the laboratory for more than half a century. When the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is completed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2009, that long-sought goal will be much closer to realization.

NIF's 192 giant lasers, housed in a ten-story building the size of three football fields, will deliver at least 60 times more energy than any previous laser system. When all of its beams are operational, NIF will focus about two million joules of ultraviolet laser energy on a tiny target in the center of its target chamber – creating conditions similar to those that exist only in the cores of stars and giant planets and inside a nuclear weapon. The resulting fusion reaction will release many times more energy than the laser energy required to initiate the reaction. Experiments conducted on NIF will make significant contributions to national and global security, could lead to practical fusion energy, and will help the nation maintain its leadership in basic science and technology. The project is a national collaboration among government, industry and academia and many industrial partners throughout the nation.

Programs in the NIF & Photon Science Directorate draw extensively on expertise from across LLNL, including the Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computation and Chemistry, Materials, Earth, and Life Sciences directorates. This goal is a scientific Grand Challenge that only a national laboratory such as Lawrence Livermore can accomplish.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nuclear work in danger

Anonymously contributed:

You might want to look at the LANL blog....


Nuclear Work in Danger
By John Fleck, The Albuquerque Journal

The Obama administration wants to kill major nuclear weapons design and manufacturing programs left by its Republican predecessors and ratchet down the amount of non-weapons science done at Los Alamos and other nuclear weapons labs, according to a document obtained by the Journal.

The memo calls for canceling the Reliable Replacement Warhead, a proposal to design a new U.S. nuclear weapon.

Other proposed changes:

• Cancel plans to expand Los Alamos National Laboratory's capability to make plutonium warhead parts.

• Cancel spending to upgrade the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, a major non-weapons science project that federal officials have argued is critical to supporting non-weapons science at Los Alamos.

• Cut in half money allotted to Los Alamos and the other nuclear weapons labs, including Sandia National Laboratories, for "laboratory-directed research and development" — money the labs use to pursue promising research of their own choosing.

• Consider delaying new supercomputer purchases.

Details of the memo were first reported by the Washington, D.C., trade publications Inside the Pentagon and Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor.

Money saved by the cuts would be shifted to U.S. efforts to halt the international spread of nuclear weapons, according to the document.

Overall, the proposal calls for a 1.5 percent increase in 2010 funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the U.S. nuclear weapons program. More than 20,000 people in New Mexico, primarily at Sandia and Los Alamos national labs, work for NNSA.

Officials at the agency and the labs declined to comment Friday, citing the internal nature of the current deliberations.

The document, part of the administration's internal deliberations over the 2010 budget, is the clearest indication made public to date of the course the new Obama team plans to set on U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, spoke out last fall in favor of the Reliable Replacement Warhead. During the campaign, Barack Obama had raised objections to the project, but in a way that left the door open to some modest research efforts.

The memo suggests an effort under way now to close that door, going out of its way to ensure that both direct funding for the RRW program, as well as indirect funding in other research programs that would support RRW work, is zeroed out in the soon-to-be delivered Fiscal Year 2010 budget now being prepared.

"The RRW program, both explicitly and implicitly, is canceled," the memo says.

The memo appears to freeze Los Alamos National Laboratory's plutonium manufacturing capability at a maximum of 20 nuclear weapon cores, known as "pits," per year. Recent policy discussions have considered expanding beyond that level.

The memo is silent on one of the most expensive nuclear weapons projects at Los Alamos, the multibillion Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement complex. The big new plutonium laboratory would replace a building that is half a century old and that has been branded a hazard by federal nuclear safety auditors.

A Congressional funding committee in 2007 concluded that, if RRW was not going to be built, there was no need for the new nuclear lab. Lab and NNSA officials disagree, saying other important work, including nuclear safety and non-proliferation work, will also be done in the new laboratory, and the unsafe old building must be replaced.

The merits of privatization!

or how long will KBR keep screwing taxpayers?

KBR Article

Friday, February 13, 2009

Listen GM and SL!!!

Anonymously contributed:

You want to cut cost, improve morale and gain employees respect?
You'd better listen:


1. Layoff bloated management. Please stop shifting these ineffective managers to other positions. If they have not done a good job they should go, not be rewarded with other positions. I hate to see layoffs as much as the next person, but I have no issues with laying off bad employees. And by any metric I can think of, management has failed terribly. Accountability means getting rid of those that have created this situation.

2. Change the compensation "ranking" system. Who in the world came up with this system? This system was custom built to dis-incentivize the employees. I complained about this system to the lab and they told me that certain jobs are valued, others less so. As such the person doing a great job at a "less valued" job will never get a high ranking. So this system is set up to encourage low productivity. Why work your butt off if there is no chance of reward? This is insane and a moronic system beyond words. I am unaware of any place else where this is done. In the private sector, if a secretary does a great job, he/she gets rewarded with a better raise. At LLNL, why bother to work hard? It rarely factors into your raise. I can see why there is so much deadwood. Pay is the same either way, work hard or not at all, little difference in compensation.

3. Reduce the pay of managers. In my division, many managers are paid salaries similar to corporate presidents and vice presidents. But these managers positions are not equivalent to presidents and vice presidents. So gross overcompensation is occurring. And for anyone who has examined the ranking system can see, basically to get rank group 1 or 2 essentially requires you to be a manager. Then once a manager, the money comes, because you are ranked 1 or 2. See the cycle? A compensation structure that rewards managers. Since you are a manager you are ranked high, since you are ranked high your raise is big..next year same as the last.

4. Once in a while do something that indicates you give a damn about your employees. LLNL beats on its employees and does little to reward them (and I am not talking just about compensation). Name one thing that was done for employees in the past year and a half that said "we value you, you do great things". I can't think of one.

5. Fire abusive managers. I have been astounded by what managers get away with that should have resulted in firing. I have seen some of it firsthand. I tried to work the system to get my problems resolved of an abusive manager. You know the result? The manager was promoted. No joke, I am not making this up.

6. Empower the employees to push scientific advancement. Look at any high tech company, the ideas come from below, not from above. Yes, managers make the final go/no go decisions on what projects move forward, but the ideas should come from below. But WOW, management squelches or impedes new ideas. There is quite simply no innovation at LLNL, and this is the reason why. This gets back to comment #1, if you simply wholesale removed most of the managers, innovation would begin to flourish because it is the managers that are crushing it. I am not saying a manager cannot come up with a good idea, they do too, but it is well known, true innovation percolates up, not down, from the creativity of the scientists and employees. At LLNL I have seen TOO many times the pure agony people go through to try to get an idea or proposal heard. Don't form a committee to help move ideas forward, get rid of the management layers that are killing the innovation. As proof, please look for your self at scientific publications of the national labs per number of total employees. You will see other national labs with far fewer workers produce far more papers, and thus more innovation than LLNL.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who heard from a friend that there's a retro-active tax coming around.

So, I heard that there is a possible "retroactive" tax of like 6% being added to the programs. As always, it's retro active, so how many jobs it this going to cost?

New laptop computer brouhaha/scandal at LANL......their cancer is out of remission....it won't be long before LLNL gets chemotherapy.

Anonymous said...

New laptop computer brouhaha/scandal at LANL......their cancer is out of remission....it won't be long before LLNL gets chemotherapy.


Missing Laptops





February 12, 2009 6:53 AM

Thursday, February 5, 2009

COBRA STICKER SHOCK

Anonymous said...


I don't know if anyone else has had this pleasure, but my daughter just turned 23 and is no longer covered under the medical plan. I thought no big deal several plans to choose, 300 - 400 dollars max as was the case with my son. No way - one choice Blue Cross EPO at the tune of $584 a month.Thanks LLNS

February 5, 2009 9:39 AM

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Military Control of Labs Studied

By John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer

The Obama administration is considering moving Sandia and Los Alamos national labs, along with the rest of the U.S. nuclear weapons design and manufacturing complex, out of the Department of Energy and into the Defense Department, according to an internal memo obtained by the Journal.

Such a change would end more than six decades of civilian management of the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

The move, if it goes forward, would not happen until at least 2011, according to the memo from the Office of Management and Budget outlining plans for a study of the costs and benefits of the move.

Officials across the government — at the labs and the federal agencies involved — declined comment Tuesday, saying the document in question is part of internal government deliberations.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., released a statement Tuesday evening saying he spoke to OMB chief Peter Orszag on Tuesday to register his concerns about such a move.

"I think this is a very shortsighted approach, and I will fight it tooth and nail if they intend to proceed with it," Bingaman told Orszag, according to the statement. Bingaman is chairman of the Senate energy committee.

According to the statement, Bingaman said that because the labs do more than defense work, a shift to the Pentagon would damage their ability to do their jobs.

The undated OMB memo lays out a plan for a study to be done by the end of September on the costs and benefits of moving the National Nuclear Security Administration under the jurisdiction of the Pentagon.

It is too early to say what effect any such change would have on the more than 20,000 people in New Mexico who work for Sandia and Los Alamos.

The team studying the possibility of a change will include representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department "and other major NNSA stakeholders," according to the memo.

The policy of civilian management is rooted in a World War II decision by top Manhattan Project scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer to have the design of the first nuclear weapons done by civilian scientists, rather than military officers.

A shift to military management of the weapons program "would be very dramatic," nuclear weapons historian Robert S. Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said of the possibility of the weapons program being moved to the Pentagon.

In the years immediately after World War II, government officials concluded that the "ultimate weapon" should be left under the care of civilian leadership, rather than the military.

The weapons program was first entrusted to the Atomic Energy Commission. In 1975, a new agency was created, known as the Energy Research and Development Administration. That was followed in 1977 by the creation of the Department of Energy, where nuclear weapons development and manufacturing reside today.

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration tried and failed to shift the weapons program to the Pentagon, Norris said.

The latest management change came in 2000, when Congress created the National Nuclear Security Administration to oversee the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. The new agency was created as a quasi-independent body, but remained within the Department of Energy, under DOE jurisdiction.

The discussion echoes congressional testimony last year by C. Paul Robinson, former president of Sandia National Laboratories and a senior adviser to the U.S. government on nuclear weapons issues.

In written response to questions from members of the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces subcommittee, Robinson said he thought a shift to Pentagon management of the labs should be considered.

Robinson said in a phone interview Tuesday that he has long supported civilian management. But in recent years, he said, "short-term upheavals" as different administrations come and go, repeatedly changing the direction of the weapons program, have made its long-term management a problem.

"The presence of a uniformed military could provide a continuity that has been lacking," Robinson told the House Armed Service Committee's Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

Robinson complained that the 2000 decision to create the National Nuclear Security Administration has been a failure.

"It hasn't worked," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

100 Former Lawrence Livermore Lab Employees File Complaints Alleging Illegal Age Discrimination

Anonymous said...


Tuesday February 3, 1:46 pm ET

PRESS CONFERENCE: February 4, 2009

The Story

IBM Building Next Generation of BlueGene Supercomputers

By Scott Ferguson, eWeek.com

IBM and the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have signed a new contract to build the next generation of IBM’s BlueGene supercomputers at the famed DOE facility. The first IBM BlueGene supercomputer, called “Dawn,” will have a top processing speed of 500 teraflops. The second IBM system, dubbed “Sequoia,” will offer 20 petaflops of performance and surpass the records Big Blue set when it installed the massive Roadrunner system for the DOE in 2008.

[Read the full story here.]

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Did the last layoff help the lab's mission?

Contributed anonymously (also created as a 30-day poll)

For the employees left, is your job harder or easier than it was before some of your fellow employees went missing? Were they deadweight as some have stated, or are you finding it harder to get things done without them?

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