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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bureaucracy, Labor Woes Doom Super-Weapons Lab

Anonymously contributed:

The story below about the death of Boeing's Super-Weapons Lab will sound *very* familiar to anyone who has been working at LLNL or LANL over the last few years. It probably should get its own top level posing on this blog:

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Bureaucracy, Labor Woes Doom Super-Weapons Lab

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/mega-weapons-lab/

The cuts begin at Los Alamos

Anonymously contributed:


November 28, 2011 - LANL Memo

Director Charlie McMillan has established a Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council (LISC) to make financial decisions and provide approvals (staffing and spending) in order to keep Laboratory spending in line with current budget expectations.

McMillan notes that LANL's key challenge for FY12 will be “to manage our staffing and spending to levels that will accommodate the ~$200M budget reduction that we expect to see in FY12.” He set up the LISC to ensure that resources are managed in a consistent and appropriate fashion throughout the Laboratory.

Rich Marquez of the Director’s Office (DIR) will lead the LISC, which includes Terry Wallace of Global Security (PADGS), Bret Knapp of Weapons Programs (PADWP), Carl Beard of Operations and Business (PADOPS), Alan Bishop of Science, Technology, and Engineering (PADSTE), and Paul Henry of Capital Projects (PADCAP).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

America is not broke

Interesting report on how to solve our problems. Makes sense.
Some politicians and their corporate allies dont want the changes.
We do. We can let them know in October 2012.

http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/america_is_not_broke

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who is Battelle?

Anonymously contributed:


Great story about LLNL manager, Battelle:

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/21/142583959/youre-probably-using-battelle-technology-and-dont-even-know-it

Impact of the Supercommittee failure

ANonymous contribution:

So the super committee failed. It should mean big cuts for defense. Now the question is whether this includes NNSA and DOE. Anyone know anything?

Monday, November 21, 2011

How commited are you to the LAB under LLNS/LANS poll results

Respondens: 56
More: 1
less: 41
the same: 14

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chu testifies.

Chu testifies on Solyndra loan.

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Energy-Secretary-Chu-Testifies-on-Solyndra-Loan/10737425577-1/

Nuclear war risks

Anonymously contributed:

Russian military chief warns of nuclear war risks
By Vladimir Isachenkov - Associated Press
November 17, 2011

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is facing a heightened risk of being drawn into conflicts at its borders that have the potential of turning nuclear, the nation's top military officer said Thursday.

Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, cautioned over NATO's expansion eastward and warned that the risks of Russia being pulled into local conflicts have "risen sharply." Makarov added, according to Russian news agencies, that "under certain conditions local and regional conflicts may develop into a full-scale war involving nuclear weapons."

A steady decline in Russia's conventional forces has prompted the Kremlin to rely increasingly on its nuclear deterrent. The nation's military doctrine says it may use nuclear weapons to counter a nuclear attack on Russia or an ally, or a large-scale conventional attack that threatens Russia's existence.

Russia sees NATO's expansion to include former Soviet republics and ex-members of the Soviet bloc in eastern and central Europe as a key threat to Russia's security. Makarov specifically referred to NATO's plans to offer membership to Georgia and Ukraine as potentially threatening Russia's security. Russia routed Georgian forces in a brief August 2008 war over a separatist province of South Ossetia. Moscow later recognized South Ossettia and another breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia as independent states and increased its military presence there.

Makarov warned that the planned pullout of NATO forces from Afghanistan could trigger conflicts in neighboring ex-Soviet Central Asian nations that could "grow into a large-scale war."

In its military doctrine, Russia has also described U.S. missile defense plans as another major security challenge, saying it could threaten its nuclear forces and undermine their deterrence potential. Moscow has agreed to consider NATO's proposal last fall to cooperate on the missile shield, but the talks have been deadlocked over how the system should operate. Russia has insisted that the system should be run jointly, which NATO has rejected.

Makarov also said Russia is struggling to get enough recruits for the 1-million military, as the number of draftees has shrunk dramatically because of demographical changes. He said that the military is aiming to gradually increase the number of contract soldiers and eventually form an all-volunteer army. He didn't mention a specific time frame. The statement marked a sharp change of course for the top military brass who previously insisted that Russia needs to maintain the highly unpopular draft because an all-volunteer military would be too costly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NIF is in trouble.

Anonymously contributed:

The 192 lasers of the National Ignition Facility have so far failed to focus enough energy on a tiny fuel pellet to initiate nuclear fusion.

Click below to continue reading:


http://www.physicstoday.org/daily_edition/politics_and_policy/1.2657141

Employee benefit cuts at ORNL!

ANOYMOUSLY CONTRIBUTED:

Employee benefit cuts at ORNL; no word yet on voluntary departures

As part of the announcement back in September that the lab was looking to cut up to 350 jobs to prepare for budget shortfalls and perceived tight budgets in the future, ORNL Director Thom Mason said management would also be evaluating changes in employee benefits as a way to reduce costs. At the time, he said the lab didn't want to proceed too quickly because there could be ramifications on recruiting, etc.

On Monday, however, Mason announced to staff that the Dept. of Energy had approved UT-Battelle's decision to suspend matching contributions to employee 401(k) savings plans for non-bargaining unit employees and also make changes in the paid leave policy to better position the lab for the future. The timing of the announcement apparently was to let that info be known for employees considering a voluntary departure program (deadline for applications is tomorrow, Nov. 16). The number of volunteers will determine, in part, the number of layoffs to come later.

"We continue to seek effective ways of streamlining the Laboratory's operations, reducing our overhead costs, and controlling the cost of benefits," Mason said in the memo to staff. "Additional changes to the benefits package are under consideration, and details will be announced as soon as possible. As always, your support and continued commitment to ORNL and its mission will be vital to our future success."

The amount of money saved on the 401(k) matches -- about $1M a month -- will be applied to the contractor's pension liability, Mason said.

"We regret having to take this action, but our analysis indicates that it is necessary to meet our funding obligations without further negative impacts on staff or programs. We will restore competitive matching contributions to the 401(k) savings plan when business conditions improve, although the percentage of employee contributions that we elect to match may change," he said. "We will assess the Laboratory's financial situation before December 31, 2012, and make a decision on reinstatement and structure of our matching contributions going forward."

Mason also said at the beginning of 2012 there would be a new work shift for exempt staff to give more flexibility in workload demands and personal responsibilities.

"Also beginning Jan. 2, 2012, we will replace our current policies on sick leave and personal leave with a paid leave policy, providing exempt (monthly) employees with 3 days per year and non-exempt (weekly) employees, who are not eligible for the Business Quarter shift, with 6 days per year for occasional absences associated with illness, injury, or personal business," the lab director wrote.

He said these changes, which won't affect vacation, jury duty, funeral leave, or short-term disability policies, are expected to bring savings of about $3.4 million annually

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DOE restructuring

Anonymously contributed:

DOE restructuring? At least, someone is thinking about it.


NY Times article

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dr Chu in trouble!

This breaking news below just in from ABC News. Dr. Chu is in serious trouble. I wonder when the media will start to investigate "Bechtel-gate" and Tom D'Agostino over at the NNSA?:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/white-house-email-energy-secretary-chu/story?id=14934698#.Tr7ZV_KwVX7

LANS Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program?

Anonymously contributed:

LANS Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program?

Does anyone have any information of a VRIP at LANS slated for April 2012 at LANS and LLNS? It looks like LANS is lining their ducks (e.g. creating RIF lists) for major a VRIP and/or RIF based on a significant budget reduction for FY 2012. This is also based on the possibility of automatic "across the board" super-committee budget cuts. MacMillan will be speaking to this on November 15.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Layoffs at NIF

Anonymously contributed (unconfirmed):

layoffs at NIF! couple of nif employees told me that 40 people went out the door on 11/01/11.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The assault on LANL, part two

Anonymously contributed by a different contributor:


http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-scientists-blame-los-alamos.html

The assault on LANL

Anonymously contributed:

Take a look at Hugh Gusterson's article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "The Assault on Los Alamos National Laboratory". I think it does a pretty good job of briefly describing the mismanagement and decline of LANL (and LLNL) over the last several years.

http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/6/9.full.pdf+html

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