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


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Saturday, December 31, 2011

BLOG entering 5th year!

It started December 10th 2007 and has been going since.

It was inspired by the defunct "LANL the real story" blog.

Best wishes to all the visitors (including those from DOE).
It is you who kept it alive!

After 4 full years, we all learned that privatization of the National Labs has been a fiasco and hope congress fixes the problem as eagerly as they voted for privatization.

May 2012 be a prosperous and healthy year for all of us!


Sandia retirees

Anonymously contributed:

Has anyone heard the numbers of employees who retired by the end of December at Sandia? As their retirement program was changing effective Jan 1 2012, I heard they expected about 1,000 employees to retire in 2011 before the new formula took effect. I'm wondering if any of the Sandia employees will be applying at LLNL.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Let us make the BLOG more interesting to everyone

In the past year, there has been so much commentary on Knapp and McMillan. Nothing but negative, sometimes hateful comments.

I feel the Blog has been taken over by LANL Knapp and McMillan haters.

This is repelling LLNL readers and probably a good percentage of LANLs readers as well.

To those who rejoice in hating those 2 dudes, I have a message:
I don't know Knapp and McMillan,I don't know you and I dont know how bad the situation is but it seems to me that using the BLOG in such an nonconstructive manner is a poor use of the BLOG.

I am posting a poll asking whether this is true. If the poll says so, I will no longer post anything having to do with Knapp and McMillan and will delete anything
mentioning them.


Lab earns excellent marks for FY11 performance

Anonymously contributed:

I am sorry for the delay, contributor; your suggestion somehow went to the BLOG's SPAM box and I noticed just today.

Lab earns excellent marks for FY11 performance

LLNL Newsline

On Dec. 6, the Livermore Site Office (LSO) released its Performance Evaluation Report with its assessment of our Laboratory's performance for fiscal year 2011.

I am pleased to report that the Laboratory earned ratings of "outstanding" in Mission and "very good" in both Operations and Institutional Management. In addition, for the third consecutive year, the Laboratory earned the award term incentive for contract extension.

The "excellent" rating for Mission reflected LLNL's numerous achievements in applying science and technology to meet critical national security needs. LSO noted that the Laboratory "met or exceeded nearly all of the performance targets, evaluation criteria, and milestones" associated with program objectives and "nearly all of the performance measures were also rated excellent." Among the accomplishments cited by LSO in support of this top rating were stockpile assessment, surveillance and life-extension activities for multiple warheads; increased rigorous peer reviews and data exchanges with Los Alamos weapons scientists; successful execution of a series of NIF shots that resolved a key issue about nuclear weapon performance and other shots for the ignition campaign, high-energy-density science and other national security missions; preparations for the delivery of Sequoia; leadership in the development of the first national strategic plan for nuclear forensics and attribution; and the development of numerous new technologies as evidenced by increased patent and licensing activity.

The rating of "very good" for Operations recognized the success of Laboratory efforts to strengthen its operational and infrastructure functions. LSO observed that LLNL "maintained safe, environmentally sound, and secure operations in an efficient manner." Accomplishments cited in support of this rating included nearly 100 percent availability of mission-critical facilities; on-schedule progress in transferring category 1 and 2 special nuclear material to other sites; development of a post-deinventory security plan; achievement of all environmental restoration regulatory milestones at the main LLNL site and Site 300; major focus on and improvements in employee health and safety programs; and the conduct of comprehensive self-assessments of operational functions to self-identify and correct issues.

The "very good" rating for Institutional Management reflected LLNL's performance in business operations and governance and the fact that it "met or exceeded many of the performance targets and evaluation criteria." In support of this rating, LSO cited the establishment of the Office of Strategic Outcomes, Interagency Business Office, and Interagency Mission Opportunities Office; the Laboratory's 99.97 accountability rate for its annual property inventory; improvements to the employee recruitment process and training systems; and successful completion of 17 business system projects.

In addition, the Laboratory achieved all but two of the 21 "stretch" incentive targets (11 in Mission, four in Operations, and four in Institutional Management), and all three of the multi-site targets (which focused on stockpile stewardship, complex transformation and stockpile science).

All in all, I think this assessment accurately reflects our performance for FY11. Not only does it highlight our key successes and achievements, but it identifies various issues and concerns that we need to, and will, address going forward. So, please accept my thanks for an exceptional year, and join me in our continuing effort to achieve simultaneous excellence in mission, operations and management.

-- Parney Albright

Decades later, a Cold War secret is revealed

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets...
Read more

Friday, December 23, 2011

Message from "The administrator"

With the holiday season upon us, I hope you will be able to spend time with the people that make your life happier and more meaningful. Whether it's an office get-together or family gathering, this is a special time for being with loved ones, family and friends.

This is also a time of year that inspires us to look back on what we have accomplished together. Each day I'm impressed and humbled by the work you do for our country. The dedication you show to implementing the President's nuclear security agenda and keeping the American people safe is unmatched, and you have my deepest gratitude for the professionalism and thoughtfulness with which you do it.

This year brought some of the most complex issues we have ever faced. From our response in Japan to the dismantlement of the last B53, you rose to the challenges that came our way and proved once again that NNSA has one of the most talented and diligent workforces in the Federal government. I know that 2012 will bring more even more opportunities for us to achieve great things together. Neile and I wish each of you a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and look forward to the work we will do together in 2012.

Tom D'Agostino

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Charlie "MIT" McMillan Holiday Message

Anonymously contributed:

Charlie "MIT" McMillan Holiday Message

Not to be outdone by "Livermore" the following is our Holiday message from our "fearless" leader none other than Charlie "MIT" McMillan, a REAL leader (which he constantly reminds us), MIT PhD physics graduate (which he constantly reminds us), former LLNL employee and manager (which he constantly reminds us), weapon designer extraordinaire (which he constantly reminds us), the man responsible for bringing us Bret Knapp, our next LANS Director (which he ALWAYS reminds us) and our Savior from the recent Los Conchas Fire (which he constantly reminds us). He's the MAN!

The first thing I’d like to say in this holiday message is "Thank you."

What we have accomplished this year as a Laboratory—thanks to your creativity, innovation, and unwavering dedication to delivering on our commitments—is nothing short of amazing.

We will gather with our families this holiday season knowing that our daily work continues to ensure the peace and prosperity of this nation as it has for the past 70 years.

Our breakthroughs span the entire periodic table and hold promise in fields from medicine, energy security, and nanotechnology to the next generation of supercomputers…and so much more.

I appreciate your commitment to excellence. I know many of you put in long hours. Please send a special thank you to your families for me; we couldn’t do it without their love and support.

I know we are entering uncertain times for the Lab. Chances are, things will still be uncertain when we return from the holiday break. I hope you’ll put those thoughts aside for the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy the spirit of giving as we remember our neighbors who are less fortunate. Take an extra minute or two and relish your time away with family and friends. Remember to do it safely—the holidays can be hectic. Come back refreshed and ready to pick up where we left off.

On behalf of the entire management team, I wish you and your family all the best for this holiday season.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Y-12 squeezes benefits to save money

Anonymously contributed:

From Frank Munger's Column at the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Y-12:

Y-12 squeezes benefits to save money

B&W Y-12 so far as been able to avoid layoffs at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant or having to reduce payrolls through voluntary plans, but the federal contractor has taken a number of measures to trim costs and, like its counterpart (UT-Battelle) did recently at ORNL, B&W has changed some employee benefits to ease budget pressures.

Y-12 employees were notified of the changes last week.

In a statement, Y-12 General Manager Darrel Kohlhorst said, "In these uncertain budget times, we're continuously examining how we manage our business. We will continue to offer excellent benefits to employees, but managing benefits and absences differently will allow us to save money and save jobs."
According to B&W Y-12 spokesman David Keim, salaried employees hired after the first of the year will now be eligible for "an enhanced defined contribution plan" -- apparently a 401(k) plan -- rather than the existing defined pension plan.

Keim said company would make contributions to the new employees' plan based on years of service: 2 percent of pay for 0-5 years, 4 percent of pay for 5-10 years, and 6 percent of pay after 10 years. Also, he said, new employees will receive company contributions even if they do not contribute to the plan themselves.

Current employees at Y-12 are not affected by the pension changes.

Meanwhile, there's are changes to "absence policies" for all salaried employees. Here are the changes as described by B&W:

-- Beginning in 2012, absences due to an employee's personal illness now will be paid out of the 40 hours of personal leave that each employee receives, rather than through short-term disability.

-- Employees will only be able to bank up to 160 hours of vacation (down from up to 240 hours), and they'll no longer have the option of deferring vacation from one year to the next.

-- After 13 weeks of short-term disability absences, the salary continuation rate will drop from 100 percent to 80 percent, instead of the current 26 weeks.

Keim, via email, described another change taking place. "Under our current short-term disability plan, periods of disability are treated as separate periods if they are: (1) due to unrelated causes and are separated by a return to active work of at least eight consecutive hours of work; or (2) due to related causes and are separated by a return to active work of at least 520 hours of work or three calendar months, whichever is longer. Under the new guidelines, an employee will have six months of short-term disability for all disabilities combined. In order to reestablish six months of short-term disability, an employee must return to work for at least 2,080 hours."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Budget Deal Whacks LANL Nuke Lab

Anonymously contributed:

Budget Deal Whacks LANL Nuke Lab

Updated: Friday, 16 Dec 2011, 3:43 PM MST
Published : Friday, 16 Dec 2011, 3:43 PM MST

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - The compromise budget bill approved by the U.S. House Friday slashes funding for and prohibits any site preparation work on a controversial new $6 billion nuclear facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The spending bill appropriates $200 million for the project this fiscal year, $100 million less than the administration had requested. It also notes that "no construction activities are funded for the project this year," and calls for a new report on the country's capability for manufacturing so-called pits, or the cores that power nuclear weapons.

Watchdogs hailed the budget action as a sign Congress was backing it's calls for the National Nuclear Security Administration to slow down on plans to build the facility.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Final Version of Defense Auth. Bill Emerges From Conference

Anonymously contributed:

Weapons Complex Monitor
December 13, 2011

Final Version of Defense Auth. Bill Emerges From Conference

The funding picture for the National Nuclear Security Administration became a lot clearer yesterday as House and Senate lawmakers unveiled the conference version of the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes $7.27 billion for the agency’s weapons program and allows the Department of Defense to transfer an additional $125 million. The bill also authorizes $2.33 billion for the NNSA’s nonproliferation account, $216.8 million less than the Obama administration’s $2.55 billion budget request. In setting the $7.27 billion funding level for the NNSA’s weapons program—$355 million less than the $7.6 billion that the House and Senate Armed Services Committee provided for the program, matching President Obama’s $7.6 billion request—lawmakers said they reflected the funding levels in the conference agreement on the FY2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which is set to be unveiled today as part of a nine-bill omnibus appropriations act. Under the provisions of the conference agreement, the Pentagon could boost funding for the agency’s weapons program by $125 million—mirroring legislation drafted by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jon Kyl (RAriz.) that enjoyed the support of the Department of Defense but was excluded from the Senate version of the Defense Authorization Act due to a procedural issue.

Lawmakers backed off a House-crafted provision that would have tied stockpile reductions under the New START Treaty and in the future to progress on the Obama Administration’s $88 billion plan to maintain and modernize the nation’s weapons complex and nuclear arsenal over the next decade. The provisions, which were drafted by Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, drew a veto threat from the Obama Administration, and were replaced in the conference agreement by a “sense of Congress that sustained investments in the nuclear weapons stockpile and the nuclear security complex are needed to ensure a safe, secure, reliable, and credible nuclear deterrent and that such investments could enable additional reductions in the hedge stockpile in the future.” The agreement, however, includes a provision requiring the President to report to Congress each year it is determined that the modernization plan isn’t adequately funded as well as a provision requiring the President to provide a net assessment of the nation’s nuclear forces if the Administration proposes reductions to the nation’s active or reserve stockpiles.

Holiday wishes

Holiday wishes

"Even as we prepare for the holidays, the New Year is just around the corner and directs our thoughts to the future.

Daunting challenges are facing the nation, and our Laboratory's ability to anticipate, innovate, and deliver is more important than ever.

LLNL's work really does make a difference to the nation's security and the well-being of its citizens. Our efforts are critical to maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent and reducing the threats of proliferation and terrorism. Experiments at NIF are blazing new territory in fundamental physics and leading the way toward a clean, carbon-free, virtually unlimited energy resource.

Advances in high-performance computing are making it possible to tackle the "too hard" problems, like designing a smart energy grid or deciphering the myriad factors that affect global climate. Our unique capabilities are called upon not only to respond to urgent crises, such as the Fukushima reactor disaster, but also to anticipate future threats and to envision and create the capabilities that will be needed decades hence.

Thanks to nearly 60 years of investment in this Laboratory -- and your exceptional talents and dedication -- LLNL is singularly capable to tackle many of the most difficult challenges confronting the country -- nuclear security, energy and climate, public health, economic competitiveness.

And so, I would like to extend to all of you my best wishes for a wonderful and safe holiday season and an exciting and productive New Year."

- Parney Albright, LLNL Director, December 13, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

George Miller, delusional

Anonymously contributed:

Here's a man that's delusional self center to the max and obviously living in the world of OZ

George Miller

It has been a great privilege to have been a part of this extraordinary institution for nearly 40 years and to have had the opportunity to witness and be associated with the tremendous scientific and technical accomplishments that have helped to secure the future of our nation. These accomplishments are the direct result of your passion and creativity, your dedication and perseverance, your commitment to excellence and integrity, and your unwavering service to our nation.

This Laboratory has always embraced big ideas and big challenges, and I believe that, right now, the country needs big ideas. The challenges facing our nation are significant, and I am convinced that the talents you bring to solving these challenges will result in the same kind of remarkable success that has marked the history of this Laboratory. I believe this is so because Livermore embodies the spirit of some of my heroes:

"Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not."

-John Adams, letter to his son, Thomas (September 2, 1789)

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt, speech at the Sorbonne, Paris (April 23, 1910)
"We need men [and women] who can dream of things that never were."

-John F. Kennedy, speech to the Dail √Čireann, Ireland (June 28, 1963)

"No endeavor that is worthwhile is simple in prospect; if it is right, it will be simple in retrospect."

-Edward Teller

"Impossible is missing from the Livermore vocabulary."

Bob Dynes, UC Celebration Day (September 25, 2007)

I want to thank each one of you personally for all that you have contributed and all that you will contribute in the service of our nation. I wish each and every one of you a wonderful (and safe) holiday season and all the best in the years ahead.

--George Miller

DOE Looks To Reduce Workforce By 1/3 Through Attrition, Buyouts

anonymously contributed:

Weapons Complex Monitor
December 8, 2011

DOE Looks To Reduce Workforce By 1/3 Through Attrition, Buyouts

The Department of Energy is looking to reduce its number of full time federal employees by up to a third from the current level of around 15,000, DOE Chief Human Capital Officer Mike Kane said at the Energy Facility Contractors Group semi-annual meeting yesterday. He said that the Department will have to tighten its belt as it anticipates major budget cuts. “Are you at a point where you can tell me that federal [Full Time Employees] are going to be preserved? The answer to that is no. There are going to be changes in employment in a number of programs,” Kane said, adding that at this point he does not anticipate involuntary layoffs, and that the reduction is instead taking place through buyouts, attrition and early retirement. Kane expects the Department to go down to about 12,000 employees by the end of the Fiscal Year, and to further reduce its workforce to between 9,000 and 11,000 employees by the start of FY2014.

Managers anticipating staffing cuts are already starting to leave DOE, some taking advantage of buyout programs, Kane said. “People are beginning to move, and they are beginning to move for several reasons. First, we still don’t have ‘12 numbers and they are watching those numbers. They are watching very closely where those numbers go programmatically, but more importantly they are watching where it goes staffing wise,” he said. “They are worried that staffing levels are going to go down and the fed’s abilities to access talent on the support service time of the house is going to be impacted by the budget cuts. That’s real.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LANL Director Forms Panel To Oversee Spending Cuts

Anonymously contributed:

Weapons Complex Monitor
December 5, 2011

LANL Director Forms Panel To Oversee Spending Cuts

With his lab facing a potential budget shortfall of $200 million, Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan has established a senior executive panel to oversee the lab’s belt tightening. McMillan said in a memo to employees last week that he was forming a Laboratory Integrated Stewardship Council that will be headed up by lab Executive Director Rich Marquez that will make staffing and spending decisions and approvals “in order to keep Laboratory spending in line with the budget realities we face.” The panel will include leaders from the lab’s five principal directorates: Alan Bishop (Science, Technology and Engineering), Bret Knapp (Weapons), Terry Wallace (Global Security), Carl Beard (Operations and Business), and Paul Henry (Capital Projects). McMillan said the panel would operate through the end of Fiscal Year 2012 and would make decisions for all hiring and procurements over $100,000. “The LISC is tasked with bringing prudent financial management to our current budget situation while at the same time ensuring that we continue to meet our national security mission and research and development assignments,” McMillan said in the memo.

The memo mentioned nothing about any layoffs at the lab, and McMillan was clear in his memo that the purpose of the panel was to mitigate the impact of the uncertain budget situation facing the National Nuclear Security Administration and the lab. “I recognize that this will require us to start making harder choices in our spending actions, but it is necessary in our current economic climate,” McMillan wrote. “We must be aggressive in our management of costs early in the fiscal year to avoid having to take more drastic actions later.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Two Elements Named: Livermorium and Flerovium

Anonymously contributed:

Two Elements Named: Livermorium and Flerovium
Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience Staff Writer

Analyst Sees Lasting Damage To Los Alamos, Livermore Labs

Analyst Sees Lasting Damage To Los Alamos, Livermore Labs

New Livermore Lab director Albright starts job

Anonymously contributed:

New Livermore Lab director Albright starts job

San Francisco Business Times by Steven E.F. Brown
Date: Friday, December 2, 2011,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory welcomed a new director, Penrose “Parney” Albright, on Thursday.

Albright started work as the 11th director of the Department of Energy laboratory, taking over from the retiring George Miller.

Besides being the lab’s director, Albright, a physicist, is president of Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, the group that manages the lab. LLNS is a team of businesses, including San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., URS Corp., and the University of California.

In the past, Albright oversaw global security at Livermore Lab, which hired him in 2009. He also was president of Civitas Group LLC, which studies the United States’ defenses against terrorism.

He was Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the past.

Albright also designed an experiment that was carried into orbit on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1991 on a Department of Defense mission.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was started in 1952 by the University of California as a Cold War atomic weapons research center, building on the work started with the Manhattan Project. Since then, it has expanded into many other areas of research, including fusion energy (many methods, including the current laser ignited system), weather studies, and biomedicine.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Voluntary separation?

Anonymously contributed:

Heard that Lab Benefits office is hinting that voluntary separations may be happening this spring.

Anyone else hear this?

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