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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


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LANS @ LANL Where is the money?

LANS @ LANL Where is the money?

Found out today that their will be hardly any monies for M&S spending in FY11. The overhead tax rate on programs went up another 9% to cover the Pension shortfall and higher medical premiums.

Will not hurt Mikey and others in power as they get a nice salary from the Lab payroll and then another few hundred thousand from their parent companies such as LLNL and Bechtel. Plus a nice PBI Bonus. Oh and don't forget the Executive Pension and Medical Plans and other perks.

Its all smoke and mirrors folks. The outsourcing of the Labs has been a dismal failure. Management is covering it up with skewed metrics and falsifying audit reports. I am surprised that any science gets done at all.

Whats up at LLNL?

Any advice on knowing when to quit LLNL?

Anonymously contributed:
Any advice on knowing when to quit LLNL? Particularly for postdocs/flexterms, how do you decide it's time to move on to someplace where it might be easier to do science with less restrictions? Will my boss even care? How much notice do I have to give? Any horror stories?

Monday, August 16, 2010

How is the lack of space charges working out for you?

Anonymously contributed:
How is the lack of space charges working out for you?

Space hoarding?

Forced moves of technical staff from Q areas in nice buildings to open area offices in ratty buildings? Moves of non-technical staff into nice Q buildings that they have no need to occupy?

Zero available lab space for new projects?

LANL Sidesteps Safety Rules

Anonymously contributed:
Friday, August 13, 2010

By John Fleck
Journal Staff Writer
Los Alamos National Laboratory, with the approval of its federal managers, has repeatedly sidestepped federal nuclear safety rules at its plutonium laboratories, according to an internal Energy Department investigation.
The rules require detailed analysis of nuclear safety risks, so accidents can be avoided by fixing problems. But because of delays in conducting the studies and completing the required repairs, the lab has repeatedly been granted permission for temporary fixes so operations can continue, according to a report from the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General.
Such permissions are allowed, but "are intended to be temporary measures" until problems can be fixed permanently, according to a report from the Inspector General, made public Thursday.
No nuclear accidents have resulted from this and other related problems identified by the Inspector General's report.
Los Alamos referred comment on the report to the National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees its work. NNSA spokespeople did not return calls for comment.

Read more: ABQJOURNAL NORTH: LANL Sidesteps Safety Rules

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Los Alamos: We have a problem!

Anonymously contributed:

Explosives at the LANL TA-55 Plutonium Facility

Let's see how LANS skirts this issue. Houston, we have another problem.

July 9, 2010
MEMORANDUM FOR: T. J. Dwyer, Technical Director
FROM: B.P. Broderick and R.T. Davis
SUBJECT: Los Alamos Report for Week Ending July 9, 2010

Plutonium Facility: On Thursday, Plutonium Facility management declared a potential inadequacy of the safety analysis (PISA) and initiated a hazardous material response based on the discovery of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate powder inside the facility.

For years, facility personnel had observed a white powdery substance being generated and accumulating between the first and second stages of high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
in the standby glovebox exhaust filter plenum that services the 200 Area of the facility. White
powder has never been observed in any other Plutonium Facility HEPA filter plenum, including the
primary 200 Area glovebox exhaust plenum. The powder was thought to be an inert oxalate salt
and was considered benign. Two weeks ago, more thorough chemical analysis performed to
support dispositioning several bags of this powder as waste concluded that the substance was
actually 95% ammonium nitrate. Upon receipt of the analysis results, facility and safety basis
personnel believed the ammonium nitrate to be a strong oxidizer and entered the New Information
process to determine whether the unexpected presence of a strong oxidizer in a credited HEPA
filter plenum was an unanalyzed hazard that represented a PISA. On Thursday, as part of
processing this New Information, safety basis personnel consulted LANL explosives experts who
judged that the ammonium nitrate should be considered a UN Class 1.1 explosive based on
qualitative description of the powder. This prompted a PISA and a number of immediate actions.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lawrence Livermore Backs off Plans to Subcontract for Pro Forces

Anonymously contributed:

From: Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor
July 12, 2010
Lawrence Livermore Backs off Plans to Subcontract for Pro Forces
Todd Jacobson

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has scrapped plans to open up security work at the lab to subcontractors for the first time, saying that the fixed price contract approach favored by the National Nuclear Security Administration wouldn’t give the lab the flexibility and cost savings it was seeking. The lab said in May of 2009 that it was considering subcontracting for security work, moving away from years of protective force management by the M&O contractor.

The move drew interest from protective force companies eager to compete for security work at one of the two NNSA sites that have kept protective forces work in-house. Security at the Pantex Plant is also performed by the M&O contractor, B&W Pantex. The lab’s plans hit a snag when the NNSA balked at its push to utilize a time-and-materials contract, and it canceled the planned procurement in June—13 months after issuing a Sources Sought notice for the contract. “The fixed price contract would potentially cost the laboratory a lot more money,” lab spokesman Jim Bono said last week. While time and materials contracts can sometimes be less expensive than fixed price contracts, the fixed price approach is often favored by the government because of the certainties involved in the cost. The protective force contract up for bid at Los Alamos National Laboratory is of the fixed price variety, as is the contract envisioned at the Nevada Test Site. “It shifts the risk from the government to the contractor,” one industry official said. “But I think it results in higher bids, because you don’t know what you don’t know and you have to account for lots of contingencies.”

‘We Won’t be Able to be As Flexible’
The University of California, which was the sole manager of the lab up until 2007 and remains a part of the LLC, provided security for the laboratory for decades, leveraging assets across the entire UC system for equipment purchasing, training and staffing. When lab management shifted to a Bechtel-led team in October of 2007, officials began considering a shift in the way it handled its protective forces. “It was scalability that we wanted,” Bono said. “A time and materials contract would’ve given the laboratory the ability to scale up and scale down. We won’t be able to be as flexible.”

That flexibility might have come in handy over the next few years as the lab completes the removal of all special nuclear material requiring Category I/II security, a move that will allow for a decrease in security requirements. Lab officials have denied that the change was related to a high profile security slip-up in 2008 that led to dozens of changes in the way the lab’s protective forces guard the site. In April of 2008, the lab was the site of an embarrassing security blunder during which when a team of mock terrorists were able to steal a cache of special nuclear material during a force-on-force practice exercise, drawing criticism from Congress and government watchdog groups. The lab has since implemented dozens of corrective actions and has performed well in follow-up reviews and exercises.

Transition roadmap needed

Anonymously contributed:

I found this piece in the latest Bulletin of Atomic Scientist of interest. While I don't agree with everything in it, it does seem to capture the issues revolving around the future of LANL and LLNL.

Its rather lengthy, but its conclusion appears to be reasonable...

"In order to best define the role of the labs during the next 20
years, a roadmap guiding the transition to zero is needed. How long
is the long run? Should the laboratories recruit and train another
generation of scientists, or will the current cohort be sufficient? Is
new knowledge needed to perform verification, or is current technology
adequate? Related to these questions are the challenges of
maintaining morale in organizations that are losing their main mission
and of sustaining political support for the cost of running the
laboratories during the transition period."

Whole article at:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

de-inventory and its impact

Anonymously contributed:

I have not read any topics on de-inventory and how it will effect more layoffs. We (security) are losing at least 150+ personnel. We are being told that layoffs will be according to Lab rules. i.e. Lab seniority, etc.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

U.S. Blueprint for Iran Strike

Anonymously contributed:

From Global Security Newswire

Mullen Affirms U.S. Blueprint for Iran Strike
Monday, Aug. 2, 2010

The United States has a blueprint in place for military action aimed at preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday (see GSN, July 30).

“Military options have been on the table and remain on the table. It’s one of the options that [U.S. President Barack Obama] has,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Adm. Michael Mullen as saying. “I hope we don’t get to that, but it’s an important option, and it’s one that’s well understood" (Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 2).

Pressed on NBC's "Meet the Press" to say whether the Defense Department possessed a plan for use of force against Iran, Mullen said "we do."

Mullen's direct reference to military action was unusual for the Obama administration, which has more typically warned that "all options are on the table," the London Guardian reported (Ed Pilkington, London Guardian, Aug. 1).

Still, Mullen said he was "extremely concerned" that a strike on Iran might produce "unintended consequences that are difficult to predict in what is an incredibly unstable part of the world," Agence France-Presse reported.

He added, though, that Washington must not allow the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Are we losing science?

Anonymously contributed:

This points out that we're losing science in this area and
there is no obvious way to regain it.

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