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

Monday, February 28, 2011

UTPE/SPSE meeting

Today, 2/28, Jeff Colvin, on behalf of UTPE and SPSE presented the same presentation he did in January in front of the National Academy of Science. He provided guidelines the commissions, newly formed to audit LLNL and LANL management by the LLCs, should be looking for. More on this later.
I asked SPSE/UTPE to make the presentation available to this BLOG.
As of 3/2/2011 8:12PM: no reply.
Scooby

Livermore moves forward in bid to annex national labs

Anonymously contributed:


At least someone wants LLNL...

Livermore moves forward in bid to annex national labs
By Jeanine Benca
Contra Costa Times
02/26/2011

LIVERMORE -- Livermore hopes to annex the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia California/National laboratories -- one of many steps in a long-range mission to transform the city into a booming technology hub and create thousands of jobs.

The planning commission on Tuesday will consider a proposal to annex 1,022 acres east of Vasco Road, south of Patterson Pass Road and west of Greenville Road. Included is the 1,017-acre area occupied by the two labs; two privately-owned parcels totaling five acres plus a stretch of Greenville Road adjacent to the labs.

The labs lie east of Livermore in unincorporated Alameda County. Annexation would not give the city any more power over the facilities, which are on federal land and therefore not subject to property taxes or local development regulations.

But having the labs within city limits would better align the city limit line with the urban growth boundary. It would also give Livermore more say over impacts on streets and neighborhoods if and when the area around the labs is developed with high-tech companies and other facilities, said Steve Riley, principal planner for the city.

"The primary (goal) is to sort of more formally acknowledge the relationship between the city and labs as we move forward in the future," he said.

Last year, the Livermore Valley was selected by the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency as one of six future iHubs or Innovation Hubs for Technology Development.

The goal of the program is to foster partnerships among private industry, academia and the labs that will help create jobs and spur the development of green transportation technology.

It also ties into ongoing efforts to create an "open campus" area around the high-security federal labs where private, high-tech business and/or academic development can occur.

If the commission supports the annexation recommendation, it will be sent to the city council for approval. Should the council endorse the project, it will be sent to the Local Agency Formation Commission, which has the final say in all matters involving boundary changes.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Did I hear bonuses?

E-LINE: A message from the (LLNL) director on implementation of the Variable Compensation Program

I am pleased to announce the Department of Energy has authorized implementation of the Laboratory's proposed Variable Compensation Program (VCP) in recognition of the Lab's calendar year 2010 performance. The VCP provides a one-time, lump-sum, non-base payment to eligible employees (see eligibility chart at https://pao-int.llnl.gov/news/2011/vcp.pdf
). The VCP includes two award components:

1) Strategic Performance Bonus (SPB), which pays up to 1.5 percent of annual base pay to all eligible employees. The actual amount paid is based on overall Laboratory performance, as determined by the Director.
2) Individual Performance Bonus (IPB), which may be awarded based on individual performance.

I have determined that employees' contributions to overall Lab performance in calendar year 2010 warrants an award of the full 1.5 percent SPB to all eligible Lab employees. While some details are still being worked out, pay-out is expected in April 2011 paychecks.

VCP awards are considered supplemental compensation and are not included in TCP1 or TCP2 plan eligible earnings. Additionally, VCP awards are taxable at the supplemental tax rate.

I also have established a working group, led by Art Wong, associate director of Strategic Human Resources Management, to work with Laboratory organizations to finalize the criteria and implementation process for the Individual Performance Bonus component.

The Strategic Performance Bonus offers the opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishments of LLNL employees. I truly appreciate the work you do at the Laboratory and the contributions you make every day. I will communicate additional information through NewsLine and other appropriate channels as it becomes available.

George Miller
Director

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Address conflict?

Anonymously asked:

can anybody explain why Mcgraw rd off of southfront has been changed halfway down the road and changed to los positas rd. and why the 2 houses that used to be there which is 5165 mcgraw rd. and now is 4647 los positas the building directly across los positas has same address is it possible to have same address on opposite sides of the road?

Groundwater contamination

Anonymously contributed:

I would like to see site maps of confirmed groundwater contamination pathways that exceed arroyo los positas and patterson pass in between los positas rd., first st. bennet dr. and southfront. I would like to see maps that are legible and clear that the everyday human can read and explain it in laymens terms.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NNSA chief: Obama committed to nuclear security

Anonymously contributed:

NNSA chief: Obama committed to nuclear security

Special to the Oak Ridger
Posted Feb 21, 2011 @ 07:57 PM

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. —

In his first public remarks since the release of the fiscal year 2012 budget request, National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Thomas D'Agostino on Wednesday highlighted the Obama administration's commitment to nuclear security in a keynote address to the third annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit.

Calling it an "unprecedented investment in ensuring the nuclear security of our country and our allies," D'Agostino said the FY 2012 budget request provides the resources to invest in NNSA's future, implement the president's nuclear security agenda and improve the way NNSA does business and manages its resources.

The budget request includes $11.78 billion for NNSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from the $11.2 billion requested for FY 2011. It includes $7.6 billion for the Weapons Activities appropriation, $2.5 billion for NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation program, and $1.1 billion for NNSA's Naval Reactors Program.

The following are excerpts of D'Agostino's remarks as prepared for delivery, courtesy of an NNSA release:

• On the President's commitment to NNSA: "Despite the economic challenges facing our nation and the budget pressures being felt throughout the federal government, the president demonstrated his commitment to our mission by proposing an unprecedented investment in ensuring the nuclear security of our country and our allies."

• On investing in the future: "These resources will help us invest in a modern, 21st century national security enterprise that can sustain the stockpile and support our full range of nuclear security missions. With these investments, we will be able to continue to move toward an enterprise that is safer, smaller, more secure, more efficient, more sustainable and more adaptable."

• On implementing the President's nuclear security agenda: "Taken together, this request includes significant investments in all of our core mission areas, and will allow NNSA to play a central role in implementing the president's nuclear security agenda."

• On improving the way we do business: "It is important for us all to recognize that these investments come at a time of severe economic challenges for our country and a renewed commitment to reducing the deficit. To maintain the consensus we have seen for supporting our programs, we have a responsibility to work together as one NNSA to improve the way we do business and manage our resources."

• On building one NNSA: "All of this is part of our effort to create "One NNSA," a true partnership between all of our programs and all of our partners to fulfill our common mission. We must break down stovepipes; work collaboratively across our programs and organizations; make sure our headquarters, site office and M&O partners are coordinated; and leverage all of our resources to meet our common objective -- making the world a safer place.”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GOP Bill Eliminates $1B in Nuclear Agency Funds

Anonymously contributed:

From Global Security Newswire

GOP Bill Eliminates $1B in Nuclear Agency Funds
Friday, Feb. 18, 2011


The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration stands to lose $1.1 billion under a Republican-led budget proposal slated for passage this week in the House of Representatives, potentially affecting the agency's efforts to maintain the U.S. nuclear arsenal and prevent acquisition of nuclear weapons by extremists, Foreign Policy magazine reported yesterday (see GSN, Feb. 17).

The fiscal 2011 budget has not been passed, and federal spending has been largely frozen at fiscal 2010 levels under a continuing resolution approved by Congress in December. Another GOP-backed continuing resolution, intended to cover the remainder of this budget year once the current measure expires on March 4, would strike 10 percent from the $11.2 billion NNSA budget sought by President Obama.

The cuts would eliminate $647 million in funding for NNSA nuclear nonproliferation operations, a 24 percent decrease from the planned $2.7 billion appropriation. The proposed reduction would slow a multinational bid launched by Obama 10 months ago to safeguard all vulnerable atomic materials within four years, a high-level administration insider said.

The measure would also eliminate $312 million, or 4.5 percent, from the agency's $7 billion proposed budget for maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. The Obama administration last year agreed to spend $85 billion over the next decade to update the complex, in a bid to win Senate GOP backing for a new strategic nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

Another $103 million would be stripped from the NNSA request for its naval nuclear reactor effort, Foreign Policy reported.

Senate Republicans would seek to reinstate the NNSA dollars, according to a number of congressional staffers.

"The House GOP wasn't a part of any of the [New START]-modernization discussions and there hasn't been time to get them up to speed," a high-level Republican Senate staffer said. The staffer faulted congressional Democrats for not securing approval of a fiscal 2011 budget before last November's midterm elections.

"House Republicans are being penny wise and pound foolish," added John Isaacs, who heads the Washington-based Council for a Livable World.

Nuclear agency funds are not considered "security" spending because the organization is overseen by the Energy Department (see GSN, Jan. 26).

"Part of the problem is the indiscriminate budget cutting by House Republicans that reduces all programs except those strictly labeled defense, even though they are hacking away at the most useful federal program to prevent the gravest threat to the United States, nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists," Isaacs said (Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy, Feb. 17).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is 3 and 3 coming soon?

Anonymously contributed:

Everyone read and tell me how this is going to affect all the other DOE labs. Does anyone think there may be a 3 and 3 coming soon?


http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/feb/15/ornl-does-well-in-obama-budget/



http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/feb/12/ornl-facility-may-be-slashed/

US energy lab missing cocaine, amphetamine samples

Anonymously contributed:

US energy lab missing cocaine, amphetamine samples
Associated Press, 02.17.11

WASHINGTON -- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California failed to keep track of samples of dangerous drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, opium and black tar heroin, the Energy Department's inspector general said in a report Thursday.

Some drugs were missing. But in one case the lab found more opium and black tar heroin than records showed had been purchased legally.

The report said the accounting lapses created "an opportunity for improper or illegal use."

Employees at Livermore, one of the federal government's top science labs, handle as many as 42 different kinds of dangerous drugs, including black tar heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine and steroids. The drugs are used for bio-medical research and forensic science, and in the lab's health clinic for the treatment of workers there. Workers are required under federal law to track their use closely with penalties that can include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.

The report said employees failed to adequately monitor at least six of the 42 varieties of drugs on site.

Officials with the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration, which operates the labs, told the inspector general they agreed that a more rigorous tracking system was needed. Associate NNSA Administrator Gerald Talbot Jr. wrote in a letter that Livermore managers "immediately" changed their inventory procedures after the inspector general reported problems to them last month and are making further improvements through June. Talbot also noted that Livermore's analytical lab has not purchased any drugs for forensic science in at least two years, but inspectors said missing records meant there was no evidence this was true.

The inspector general said there were missing quantities of an amphetamine known as MDA that disappeared between 2004 and 2009. But the report found five times more opium and 20 times more black tar heroin at the lab than records could account for. "Livermore was in possession of additional quantities of high risk controlled substances without any documentation showing that they existed," the report said, adding that sloppy record-keeping meant that "responsible personnel were not in a position to determine if controlled substances were purchased and then misused or misappropriated."

Inspectors found records at the lab for "one bottle" of cocaine hydrochloride but no references to the amount inside; it also found references to two additional shipments of cocaine hydrochloride in 2006 but it was unclear whether those shipments ever arrived.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SPSE-UPTE Invites You

SPSE-UPTE Invites You to a reprise of UPTE’s presentation to the
National Academy of Sciences Committee to review the quality of the Management and
of the Science and Engineering Research at the Department of Energy’s National
Security Laboratories:

“Effects of Privatization on the DOE/NNSA
Labs’ Science and National Security Missions”

Date: Monday, February 28
Place: Building 123 - Auditorium
Time: Noon to 1pm

For additional information contact the SPSE-UPTE office at 449-4846

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fluor and Boeing Team to Pursue Sandia National Laboratories

Fluor and Boeing Team to Pursue Sandia National Laboratories

Two Renowned Companies Bring Significant Engineering and Project Management Expertise to the DOE Marketplace

IRVING, Texas, Feb 15, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) announced today that the company has reached a teaming agreement with Boeing (NYSE: BA) to pursue work from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) at its Sandia National Laboratories.

Sandia is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility that is managed on behalf of the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Sandia has major facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., and an annual operating budget of approximately $2.5 billion. The current contract expires in September 2012.

"We believe that the complimentary resources and skill sets of two world-class companies like Fluor and Boeing offer the NNSA an extremely compelling value proposition," said Greg Meyer, senior vice president of Fluor Government Group. "Fluor's work as a preeminent DOE contractor positions our company well to understand the needs of Sandia and the Nuclear Security Enterprise. We look forward to bringing our experience from across the DOE complex along with our unmatched operations expertise to support the team."

"The Boeing Company currently manages more than $8 billion in annual research and development programs," said Greg Deiter, vice president of Boeing Defense & Government Services. "We will draw on that experience to offer innovative approaches to meet the NNSA's objectives of strengthening performance on national security missions; reducing costs; and supporting operations as an integrated Nuclear Security Enterprise."

"We also offer a unique capability to evolve our support to broader national security tasks in a way that will be complementary to the nuclear security mission," Deiter added.

Fluor, a longtime DOE contractor, applies its program management expertise to provide safe, dependable, and value-added operations services across the DOE complex at Savannah River in South Carolina, Hanford in Washington State and Portsmouth in Piketon, Ohio. For more than six decades, Fluor has assisted the DOE along with other international government agencies in addressing their urgent national nuclear priorities. Boeing has supported national nuclear programs at Sandia and elsewhere for more than five decades.

UC pension fund for LLNL and LANL in budget

Anonymously contributed:

The President's budget for 2012 includes a request for at least $71.4M for the UC pension fund for LLNL and LANL retirees, before the LLC's. It is in the Nonproliferation part of the NNSA budget request - a strange place to put it, but I have not found any more elsewhere yet. Has anyone heard about this request from the UC side?

Some budget news that you may have missed….

Anonymously contributed:

U.S. to Replace Nuke Delivery Platforms
Monday, Feb. 14, 2011
- Global Security Newswire

The Obama administration's fiscal 2012 budget request calls for the United States to replace the land-, air-, and sea-based components of its nuclear deterrent, potentially setting the nation on a course that could cost hundreds of billions of dollars over five decades, Time magazine reported (see GSN, Jan. 7).

The administration today is rolling out its budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The move toward replacing all three components of the nation's nuclear "triad" stems from the conclusions of the administration's Nuclear Posture Review, which asserts that "retaining all three triad legs will best maintain strategic stability at reasonable cost, while hedging against potential technical problems or vulnerabilities."

"Strategic nuclear submarines ... represent the most survivable leg of the U.S. nuclear triad," says the document, a Defense Department-led analysis of strategy and forces focusing largely on the next five to 10 years. "Today, there appears to be no viable near or midterm threats to the survivability of U.S. (submarines), but such threats -- or other technical problems -- cannot be ruled out over the long term."

The Navy earlier this month indicated preparations were under way for building a new generation of submarines capable of firing nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles (see GSN, Feb. 4).

"The Navy is committed to ensuring that an affordable replacement ballistic-missile submarine is designed, built, and delivered on time with the right capabilities to sustain the most survivable leg of our triad for many decades to come," said Rear Adm. David Johnson, the Navy's head of submarine acquisitions.

In January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates instructed the Air Force to move toward development of a next-generation strategic bomber (see GSN, Nov. 5, 2010).

"A major area of new investment for the Air Force will be a new long-range, nuclear-capable penetrating bomber," Gates said on Jan. 6.

The Defense Department has also begun considering blueprints for a potential successor to the nation's Minuteman 3 ICBMs, according to Time.

"Land-based ICBMs are an integral and enduring part of the nuclear triad," Gen. Robert Kehler told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation to lead the U.S. Strategic Command. Studies now in progress "will shape the plan and resource strategy to recapitalize our ICBM force beyond 2030," he said.

Washington should consider trimming the nation's nuclear deterrent down to a "dyad" through the elimination of its land-locked nuclear force, Jeffrey Richardson, a senior scientist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, wrote in late 2009 (see GSN, Dec. 16, 2009).

The prospect "will provoke debate from certain camps, most notably, the pro-nuclear camp that feels unconstrained by fiscal resources and strives for a risk-free world," Richardson wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

U.S. leaders should acknowledge that the nation's strategic nuclear deterrent "should mitigate possible risk and provide a hedge against potential scenarios, but also acknowledge that the elimination of all risk is unachievable," he wrote (Mark Thompson, Time, Feb. 13).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Impact of continued resolution

Anonymous asked:

Has anyone found out anything specific on how the proposed continuing resolution language will affect LANL or LLNL?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is it too late to unionize?

Anonymously contributed:

I remember SPSE pleading with everyone with the slogan "The next job you save may be your own". They tried to get the minimum number of signatures required to acquire union status back in 2007.Remember that?
Even if they became our Union, you were under no obligation to join it. So, what were people afraid of?
Many of us, white collars, thought we were too good to have union representation.
We thought we were smug and sacred.
NNSA/LLNS have been feeding us a steady line of bull. All we have been good at is whine.
Someone, somewhere else in this BLOG, said LLNS respects unions, not whiners!
For those who shunned SPSE: enjoy the salary freeze, soon the tcp1 required contributions and rising cost of benefits! unless we can unionize. Is it too late to unionize?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Questions from a potential hire

CK asked:

I've been reading the LLNL blog, and despite the many comments about working at the company being negative in nature I still have a few a questions that I'm hoping you can answer.
I am about to graduate with a BS in physics, and I have wanted to work for a national lab for some time. ORNL, LLNL, and LANL are the ones that I most want to work for. Is it possible to work at these places with just a BS?
And also, would you happen to know of a number in HR I can call for potential hires? I found various other lines, but none for someone who is hoping to get a job at LLNL.
If these are not questions I should be asking you, then I'm really sorry...
Thanks for blogging! It's been very informative.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And Sometimes, There is Good News!

Anonymously contributed:

And Sometimes, There is Good News!

While most of the time we moan and groan about the decline of the lab, every once in a while, something really good happens:

"Combatting antibiotic resistant bacteria: it's all in the genes

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have discovered a new way to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria by using the bacteria's own genes."

Somehow in spite of Bechtel's oversight and NNSA's oppressive rules, someone (a fellow named Paul Jackson & his co-workers) makes what might be a significant discovery that may make a huge positive change to the landscape. I can only hope that this would be the rule rather than the exception.

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