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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BLOG change - effective 11/1/2010 -

It has been a pleasure moderating this BLOG for almost 3 years now. I made every effort to keep it "clean". However, (No! No! I am not bailing out), reading every comment became very time consuming and like everyone else who has a job, a family and other social obligations, I cannot keep doing that.
I trust the contributors to this blog and challenge them to make "clean" comments. Therefore, this BLOG is becoming un-moderated as of end of day today.
I will accept posts but any comments against them will be un-moderated.

Let us see how this works!

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chinese Computer Trumps US One as World's Fastest

Chinese Computer Trumps US One as World's Fastest (CNBC, Oct 28, 2010)


http://www.cnbc.com/id/39886462


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Oh, well. At least the once crown jewel NNSA weapon labs have the Chinese totally beat when it comes to expensive, bloated upper management and inane bureaucracies. They'll never overtake us in those two critical areas of US national security!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Medical coverage costs are up!

Anonymously contributed:

Found out today that my LLNL/LLNS Anthem Blue Cross EPO coverage for LLNL/UC retirees premium is going up 25% to over $500 per month. "Official" UC retirees have a host of plans to choose from, none with a cost over $400, and several at much lower cost. Thanks, LLNS. Thanks, DOE. Thanks for abandoning us, UC. Hope the lawsuit succeeds.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ORNL outsmarted other Labs!

This is a long piece on the Knoxville News Blog, but very insightful on why Oak Ridge National Lab is doing so much better than LLNL...

------
Frank Munger's Atomic City Underground

Has ORNL outsmarted other national labs?

In a recent interview with Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, I asked him about the Spallation Neutron Source and suggestions that the big-ticket project wasn't living up to expectations. I also asked him about other questions/allegations that are floating around about ORNL and the lab's more successful programs.

Mason made some intriguing comments about ORNL's success, basically embracing suggestions that the Oak Ridge lab may have had an "unfair advantage" in dramatically growing its research programs over the past decade.

''If you look at the budget growth over the last several years, since 2000 . . . we've gone from being about $650 million a year in 2000 to this year (FY 2010) we'll be close to $1.6 billion. That's money we spent. So, almost a billion dollars in growth over 10 years. That is not typical within the DOE complex. That's unusual. I mean, some labs have been going up and some have been going down and so forth, but I don't think there have been too many that have gone up from $650 million to $1.6 billion...


http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2010/10/has_ornl_outsmarted_other_nati.html

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bogus HSPD-12 thing at NASA

This HSPD-12 thing at NASA is really bogus.

see:

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2010/10/justice-departm.html#comments


Note that the solicitor general made an, err, "mistatement" which he
does not intend to retract.

The student's story at the top would be funny were it not so sad.
These things are not just happening in DOE. It's good to see the NASA
employees are taking NASA to court.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cancer rates at LLNL

Anonymously contributed:

I question whether the information contained in the Cancer Incidence Among Employees of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 1969-1980
Peggy Reynolds, PhD and Donald F. Austin, MD, MPH study accurately reflects cancer-related deaths of LLNL employees who have retired since the study was published. I have personally known many previous LLNL employees who have died from cancer-related deaths. Perhaps an online database/list should be compiled listing the following information: employee names, years they worked at LLNL, what their job classification was, what program they worked on, when they passed away, what caused their deaths and whether or not the U.S. Department of Labor's Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA)has recognized their deaths as related to their work at LLNL.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newsline announcement of TCP1 changes

LLNL NewsLine
Changes to Defined Benefits contributions
October 7, 2010


Employees who selected the Defined Benefits retirement plan (TCP1) could begin making contributions to that plan some time during calendar year 2011.

Director George Miller made the announcement during his quarterly all hands meeting Wednesday. Miller announced the Defined Benefits (DB) Plan remains healthy, with a funding ratio of 122 percent assets to liabilities – the result of prudent stewardship under both UC and LLNS management.

However, since 2008 the plan’s asset performance has been almost flat, due to a weak economy, a volatile stock market and declining interest rates. At the same time, liabilities, as expected, continue to increase, due to an aging workforce with increasing years of service.

“As a result, liabilities will likely exceed assets,” Miller said.

In order to maintain the funded status of the DB plan, for the long term, the Lab is requesting DOE approval to begin TCP1 contributions in 2011.

While details still need to be worked out, Miller said the contribution strategy will be based on both Laboratory and employee contributions. Contributions will start in a way that avoids the challenges now being faced by UC, sister laboratories and others across government, Miller added.

Only those employees who selected TCP1 at contract transition will be affected; all other employees are enrolled in TCP2, the Defined Contributions Plan.

Contributions to the DB Plan will not affect participants in TCP2 plans.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LLNL TCP1 contributions start in 2011

Anonymous said:

Miller said that to keep TCP1 well funded, contributions will be needed in 2014. He cites interest rates as the cause for liabilities growth. What interest rate is he referring to? Interest rates have been at an all time low!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lawmakers Back Nuclear Weapons Budget Boost

From Global Security Newswire

Lawmakers Back Nuclear Weapons Budget Boost
Monday, Oct. 4, 2010

A continuing budget resolution to keep the U.S. government operating through early December provides a $624 million boost in nuclear weapons funding for the new budget year beyond the amount appropriated in fiscal 2010, the Associated Press reported Friday (see GSN, July 22; Tim Korte, Associated Press/Alamogordo Daily News, Oct. 1).

President Obama last week signed the resolution to fund federal activities for the first two months of fiscal 2011, which began Friday, Federal News Radio reported. The resolution continues only through Dec. 3 (Jolie Lee, Federal News Radio, Oct. 3).

The funding boost for the National Nuclear Security Administration represented a victory for the Obama administration, which sought the money as part of a planned elevation in nuclear weapons spending over five years, according to AP (see GSN, Feb. 19; Korte, Associated Press).

The resolution enables a significant boost in spending for work on the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement building at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday (see GSN, Aug. 17). The facility was projected to cost $4 billion, but its final expense was still uncertain (John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 1).

"This bill is very good for Sandia and Los Alamos national labs because it strongly supports the key stockpile stewardship work they do," Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said in a press release. "It is a sign of how important the labs are and will remain to our national security," AP quoted him as saying.

Most other branches of the federal government received the same level of funding under the short-term bill as they had in the previous budget cycle, Bingaman said. He added that the NNSA spending increase would "lend strong support" to maintenance of the U.S. nuclear arsenal as lawmakers prepare to consider ratification of a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia (see GSN, Sept. 29; Korte, Associated Press).

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton linked the spending increase to an administration bid to win ratification of the pact, the Journal reported. "I look forward to the vote in the lame duck session that will once again demonstrate the Senate joining all of its predecessors in years past to continue to support arms control [treaties]," she said (Fleck, Albuquerque Journal).

One independent watchdog said the funds could be better spent elsewhere, AP reported.

"These are not the priorities that would put people to work, provide health care or education, protect the environment, or halt what most ordinary people understand to be a continuing economic decline, with no end in sight," Los Alamos Study Group Director Greg Mello said (Korte, Associated Press).

Friday, October 1, 2010

LLNL ES&H reorganizes

From LLNL News OnLine
LLNL ES&H reorganizes
September 28, 2010

The Laboratory’s Environment, Safety & Health directorate has been restructured, effective Oct. 1. The ES&H directorate is part of the Director’s Office, and provides many of the trained ES&H personnel to Lab programs, as well as service, programs and facilities necessary for the Laboratory to successfully meet its objectives in environmental protection, occupational health and employee safety.

The restructuring is the result of discussions between ES&H and Lab programs regarding optimization of ES&H support to the programs. Most of the changes instituted by the restructuring will be transparent to the general Lab population, but will increase efficiency and cost effectiveness within ES&H.

Changes include a transition of the Hazards Control Department and the Environmental Protection Department into the following distinct organizations: the Worker Safety and Health Functional Area, the Radiation Protection Functional Area, the Environmental Functional Area, Team 1 and Team 2. These organizations report directly to ES&H Director Steve Wuthrich. ES&H’s Health Services Department and Safety Education Section remain basically unchanged and continue to report to the ES&H director.

Three new offices also were established within the ES&H director’s office. These include the Process and Document Management Office, the Injury and Illness Analysis Office and the Assurance Management Office. Establishment of these offices centralizes some of the responsibilities that had been spread throughout ES&H, thereby freeing ES&H personnel at the work place to concentrate on the services they provide the programs and the institution.

The reorganization is intended to increase integration and teamwork, while flattening management structure and centralizing some responsibilities.

“ES&H’s new structure better aligns responsibility, authority and resources, and allows us to better serve the needs of the programs and the institution, in a more cost effective manner,” said Wuthrich.

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