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, June 29, 2011

Enough is enough.

The purpose of this BLOG, as you know, is to allow people to express how they feel on topics that affect all of us. Over of the almost 4 years of its existence and especially since the LANL blog closure, I will be first one to admit that the comments have turned into bitterness and negative dwelling. It is one thing to express disagreement and give your opinion, it is another to chew the same thoughts over and over; for example, what good does it do me and others to know that Charlie (is that his first name?) Mc Millan lives in Livermore or Los Alamos? or that someone in ULM drives a Bentley?
Learn how to make real contributions to the BLOG or don't make any.
BY the same token, I would like to thanks all contributors who have kept contributing despite the "trolling".

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stolen patent/invention

Anonymously contributed:


"I'm researching patent/IP theft, and I'm curious if you know -- or could put me in touch with someone who does know -- about patent/IP looting at national labs. I have a friend who works at a national lab in California who has been working on a design for some time. It's almost ready for technology transfer/licensing, and some claim-jumpers have started calling it "Our unique patented technology" and are out winning business plan competitions with it, and are shopping the gadget around for venture money and manufacture. My friend has had this happen to three of his inventions now, and the previous two times, the Lab folded its cards and granted licenses for token fees. Once again, the Lab looks to be issuing not-very-strongly-worded letters expressing concern about apparent improprieties, while eyeing the exits nervously. My suspicion is that various business types have discovered that if you just straight rip off a National Lab, the government is so full of people who are either A) afraid of controversy or B) convinced that "government bad, business good," that you can walk up, steal their lunch money, and they won't do anything about it.

If you can put me in touch with anyone whose useful invention has been stolen by the private sector while a National Lab sat by, wetting itself, I would very much like to know about it."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Does DOE wants its contractor's pension plan to fail

Anonymously contributed:

I didn't see George Miller's quarterly all-hands meeting yesterday, but thought this recap item today from Lab Public Affairs of note:

...Regarding the status of the LLNS defined benefit pension plan, Miller explained that although the plan is currently overfunded at 130 percent, future liabilities are such that employee and employer contributions will be needed within the next five years. "We believe the most prudent approach would be to start payments early, but DOE denied our request to begin contributions. I expect that we'll request approval again early next fiscal year."

Seems DOE wants its contractor's pension plan to fail.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reducing Costs to Programs

Anonymously contributed:

According to planned overhead taxes in FY13, my program costs go down significantly. The CFO people tell me that the rate change is caused by the fact that NIF will finally have to pay its fair share in taxes. Has anyone else noticed this change and received the same answer? Do you think it will really happen?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Committee in charge of selecting next LLNL director!

Anonymously contributed:

Note from Scooby: So many people, so much energy, so much money we dont have!
That is the NNSA way!

Here are the names of the Committee appointed by UC President Mark Yudof to select the new LLNL Director:

Norman J. Pattiz, Chairman
Chairman, LLNS Board of Governors
Chairman, UC Regents Committee on
Oversight of the DOE Labs
Chairman, Westwood One

J. Scott Ogilvie
Director
Bechtel Group, Inc.

Bruce B. Darling
LLNS Board of Governors Executive Committee
Vice President Laboratory Management
UC Office of the President

Sidney D. Drell
LLNS Board of Governors
Chair, Mission Committee
Professor & Deputy Director Emeritus
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

William R. Frazer
LLNS Board of Governors Executive Committee
Chair, S&T Committee
Senior Vice President Emeritus
UC Office of the President

Richard W. Mies
LLNS Board of Governors
Chair, Nuclear Weapons Complex Integration
Committee

Bruce D. Varner
LLNS Board of Governors
UC Regent
Partner, Varner & Brandt

Jeffrey Wadsworth
LLNS Board of Governors
President and CEO
Battelle Memorial Institute

-------
This is the Screening Task Force that will review all nominations and applications received for the LLNL Director position, and will make recommendations to the search committee for its consideration.

Marvin L. Adams
HTRI Professor of Nuclear Engineering; Director,
Institute of National Security Education & Research
Texas A&M University
Chairman, Screening Task Force

Miriam E. John
Former Director, Sandia California
Vice President Emeritus, Sandia National Laboratories

John D. Lindl
Chief Scientist, National Ignition Facility
LLNL

Warren F. “Pete” Miller
Former DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy

Cherry A. Murray
(Former LLNL Deputy Director for Science)
Dean, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Harvard University

Per F. Peterson
Professor and Chair of Nuclear Engineering
UC Berkeley

Lawrence H. Pitts
Provost and Executive Vice President
UC Office of the President

John M. Poate
Vice President for Research & Technology Transfer
Colorado School of Mines

Daniel Simmons
UC Academic Senate Representative

C. Bruce Tarter
Former LLNL Director

Elaine Stamman
Staff to the Committee
UC Office of the President

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chu, white House Expected to Play Larger Role in LLNL Director Search

Contributed by John:

This is also long but a very interesting read if true...


Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor
June 10, 2011
Chu, white House Expected to Play Larger Role in LLNL Director Search
-- Todd Jacobson

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and officials at the White House are expected to assert themselves in the search for a new director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, strongly pushing for candidates with more of a basic science and energy background after similar concerns raised during the recently completed Los Alamos National Laboratory director search came too late to influence the selection. Chu was lukewarm about the selection of Charlie McMillan as Los Alamos National Laboratory’s next director, NW&M Monitor has learned, initially favoring a candidate with more of a basic science and energy background before signing off on the choice.

Several officials with knowledge of the search have confirmed that White House Science and Technology Policy advisor John Holdren also contacted Chu to make the case that Los Alamos would be best served by a lab director without a weapons program pedigree. One official said that Holdren did not suggest a particular candidate, but wanted “somebody who was safe and reliable and not of the weapons program,” though that input came near the end of the search process. “They’re not going to make that mistake again,” the official said, referring to the fact that the White House became involved in the LANL search late in the process. DOE and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy did not respond to a request for comment. Potential intervention by the White House has stoked speculation that the University of California, which has the responsibility to conduct the search for lab contractor Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, could veer from the weaponeer profile embodied by retiring director George Miller, former LANL Director Mike Anastasio and McMillan in favor of a director with a more basic science-based resume. More than at Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore’s mission is evolving toward energy and threat reduction, though it will still play a significant role in weapons design and maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Chu and Holdren are believed to favor a lab director that better represents the evolving mission.

UC Turning Attention to LLNL Search
With the Los Alamos search out of the way, UC in recent weeks has turned its focus to the Livermore search. In a June 3 message to Livermore employees, Norman Pattiz, the chairman of the Board of Governors for Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC and the director of the Livermore lab director search committee, said the search will be very similar to the hunt for Los Alamos’ director that officials said drew approximately 150 applicants.

Pattiz said membership of the search committee hasn’t been finalized, but he said the panel will meet at the laboratory “within the next two months … to hear from various constituencies and to determine the criteria that we will use to evaluate candidates for the next director.” A screening task force will also be formed to recommend a pool of candidates to the search committee, though the committee could add additional names before bringing in candidates for interviews. He encouraged lab employees to submit potential candidates to the search committee

Different Approach, Different Candidates
If the search committee goes in the direction of a weaponeer, then Bruce Goodwin, the head of Livermore’s weapons program, is the front-runner, according to weapons complex observers. But if the committee were to seek a candidate with more of a science background, Under Secretary of Energy for Science Steve Koonin and Livermore Deputy Director for Science and Technology Tomas Diaz de la Rubia would be natural candidates, though there are likely many others in the scientific community that could draw interest. “Holdren really wants the Livermore director to be a nationally recognized scientist, as does Chu, and not someone from the nuclear weapons community,” another official told NW&M Monitor, adding: “There’s no doubt that if Holdren and Chu were picking, it would be someone that people in the [weapons] community had never heard of.” That potential approach has generated concern from some in the weapons community, given the central role of the weapons laboratory directors in annually certifying the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Though Livermore’s showpiece project, the National Ignition Facility, is up and running and eventually could lead to advances in clean energy, its primary mission involves maintenance of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Livermore will also have its hands full over the next decade as the lead laboratory for the W78 warhead refurbishment, which is expected to be the first refurbishment that will create a common warhead that can be used on intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Stockpile a Priority in Procurement Docs
Procurement documents from the competition for the lab’s management in 2007 also place a premium on certifying the stockpile in the discussion of requirements for key personnel, listing it first among the experience demanded for potential lab directors in a list that also includes leading “a broad-based and world-class scientific organization” and leading “an organization that includes multiple operations and business functions.” Certifying the stockpile “is the main mission,” another industry official said. “That’s where all the money goes, and they can try to change that all they want, but that remains the most important thing.”

At Los Alamos, McMillan suggested in a recent interview with NW&M Monitor that his background within the weapons program would help the laboratory meet the large list of weapons-related challenges it is facing over the next decade, which includes work on several life extension programs, a busy experimental schedule, and construction work on a new Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility. “The labs have different needs at different times in their histories,” McMillan said.

“My view is today many of the deliverables that we face are in the weapons area and so someone who brings not only knowledge of that area, but also the sets of relationships with DoD and DOE/NNSA is the right kind of person today to be able to help ensure that we deliver on the kinds of commitments we have particularly in that area.”

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Do an evaluation of judge Frank Roesch

In solidarity with the group of UC retirees who experienced a setback in their benefits lawsuit, please give your feedback on judge Frank Roescher at:


http://courthouseforum.com/forums/evaluationtrial.php

Judge dismisses Livermore lab retirees' lawsuit

Anonymously contributed:

Judge dismisses Livermore lab retirees' lawsuit

Transfer of retiree health plan deemed legal
By Suzanne Bohan
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 06/07/2011 03:17:40 PM PDT
Updated: 06/08/2011 06:18:40 AM PDT

A three-year legal battle by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory retirees over medical benefits has sustained a major setback, according to a spokesman for the plaintiffs.
In a lawsuit against the regents of the University of California, four lab retirees argued that UC illegally transferred them into the health care plan of the entity that took over lab management from the university in 2007.
But on May 27, an Oakland judge dismissed the lawsuit.
The four plaintiffs, including a former associate lab director, are deciding whether they'll appeal.
"This is, of course, very disappointing news for the retiree group," said Carl Whitaker, the group's spokesman.
The group asserted that UC promised them lifetime health benefits comparable to other university retirees.
The plaintiffs, along with other lab retirees, pooled $150,000 for legal fees. They'll need another $75,000 to appeal, according to Joe Requa, a former lab computer scientist who has led the legal challenge.
Lawrence Livermore National Security -- a for-profit corporation that includes Bechtel Corp., Babcock & Wilcox Co. and others -- assumed lab management in 2007. Before that, UC had run the lab since its inception in 1952.
About 5,000 Livermore lab retirees and 2,500 spouses and dependents were transferred to the new lab management's retiree health plan. The retirees argue that LLNS's plan is inferior to that of other UC retirees, and that they should be reinstated into UC's plan.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch disagreed.
The plaintiffs didn't deliver evidence of "a binding contract" guaranteeing them health benefits "equal to those provided to other UC retirees," the judge wrote. Nor was their assertion of major financial injury upheld. Roesch wrote that the switch from one retiree health plan to another isn't "an injury so severe" as to require court intervention.
Charles Robinson, UC's vice president and general counsel for legal affairs, stated in an email that UC "is pleased that the judge acknowledged that the university's transfer of responsibility" for retiree medical benefits "was legal and appropriate."

Nuclear warriors shafted again. Asked by the leaders in DC to dedicate their lives and careers to protecting the country (sometimes at great peril to personal safety and health), and operating in relative anonymity for the entire time, UC (and DOE and LANS and LLNS), with the blessing of the courts, have decided our contribution wasn't worthy of making good on the promises they made to us. They decided that WE UC retirees weren't worth as much as other UC retirees at other campuses, like the professors who teach ridiculous and irrelevant subjects (Sanskrit?). Just imagine what the public reaction would be if the VA reneged on promises to veterans, or if cities reneged on promises to firefighters, police, or even teachers. Why, there would be an outpouring into the streets, protests, and general outrage. But the nuclear warriors? Tough shit, I guess. Maybe we SHOULD have had a union, with a giant PR machine, just like the firefighters, police, and teachers have, after all.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

LETTER FROM PATTIZ REGARDING DIRECTOR SEARCH

Contributed by John:

June 3, 2011

Dear members of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory community:

I am writing to you as a follow up to my letter of April 12, 2011, regarding George Millers decision to retire. We have begun our process to search for the next director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As part of this process, it is important that we hear directly from those who represent the real strength of the Laboratory the talented and dedicated LLNL staff.



As stipulated by the Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS)

partners, the University of California (UC) is responsible for leading the search for the new Laboratory director. The search process will be similar in scope and breadth to that which resulted in the recent successful recruitment of Charlie McMillan as the new director for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It also is consistent with that used by the University in all searches for the chancellors of our campuses, as well as in searches for previous national laboratory directors.



This process includes a University-appointed search committee supported by a screening task force. As chairman of the LLNS Board of Governors and as chairman of the UC Regents Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories, I will chair the search committee that will advise me on the final selection of the next director. UC President Mark Yudof and I will appoint committee members in accordance with regental policy. Once committee membership is finalized, we will share the membership list with you.



The position advertisement has been posted nationally and on the LLNL and UC job postings (See Newsline for more information). Nominations and applications are to be submitted to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) at the mailing or e-mail addresses noted in the job posting. All communication to these addresses will be held in confidence. The search committee also will be charged with holding all discussions and information in complete confidence.



Within the next two months, the search committee will meet at LLNL to hear from various constituencies and to determine the criteria that we will use to evaluate candidates for the next director. Since we will not be able to speak to every staff member when we visit Livermore, we encourage you to communicate your thoughts to us on the qualities and experience you consider most important for the next director. We ask that you communicate with us through the confidential UCOP addresses noted in the position advertisement, and we particularly welcome the submission of candidates you want us to consider for the position.



A screening task force will be formed to support the work of the search committee. The screening task force will ensure that we are looking at a broad and diverse spectrum of potential candidates and will evaluate the candidate pool against the selection criteria identified by the search committee. The task force will recommend a pool of candidates for consideration by the search committee, which may determine additional candidates prior to its decision on those to interview. We will share the composition of the task force, which will include some of your LLNL colleagues, when it is finalized.



Throughout the search process, non-confidential information on the search will be placed on Websites that are accessible to both internal and external audiences. At the conclusion of the process, the candidate nominated by the University of California for Laboratory director will be submitted to the chairman and vice chairman of the LLNS Board of Governors for approval and to the Secretary of Energy for his concurrence.



I want to thank you for your interest in the process and for your patience and support as we complete this important task. LLNL has a stellar record of outstanding science, engineering and technology in support of the nation, and the selection of a visionary leader is critical to the Laboratory's continued success. I can assure you that the selection of your next leader is a responsibility that all of us involved in the search process take very seriously. Collectively, we will have an impressive group of individuals providing advice and counsel, and I am confident that we will have an exceptional outcome.



I thank you for your continued dedication and service to LLNL and the nation.



Regards,



Norman J. Pattiz

Chairman, LLNL Director Search Committee

Chairman, LLNS, LLC Board of Governors

Chairman, UC Regents Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories

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