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. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email

Sunday, July 31, 2011

More details please?

Anonymously contributed:

A budget deal has been reached, does anyone know how NNSA did?

Slow days...

Thief asked:

Anybody else notice how slow it is on Thursdays and Fridays these days? In the past when I would deign to come in to catch up on things on a Saturday or...gasp....Sunday there was always a little activity. These days the weekend seems to start around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon.

Am I crazy or just losing my powers of observation?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Security officers on loan?

Anonymously contributed:
Any one else notice the different uniformed security officers at the LLNL gates. I think they are on loan from other sites.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LLNL and LANL: The true story.... from Linton Brooks.

Anonymously contributed:

Here's is an interesting excerpt from the July 22, 2011 Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor story on the NAS Laboratory Management Panel's last public session with former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks


In re-examining the decisions that led to the recompetition of the lab contracts nearly a decade ago, Brooks emphasized that it would be “difficult to overstate the anti- University of California bias existing at that time,” especially on Capitol Hill. However, he made it clear that the moves by DOE to consider re-bidding the Los Alamos contract—and ultimately the direction from Congress to recompete nearly all lab contracts—were fueled by concerns about business practices, not science. “There was never the slightest concern with the quality of science,” Brooks said. “The quality of science as far as we could tell then and as far as I can tell today is superb.” Przybylek [former NNSA General Counsel and Chair of the LANL contract selection board] agreed. “While we were looking for world-class on the science side, we were looking for ‘good enough’ on the back office side,” he said. “We recognized that you don’t want to pay for world-class business systems that cost a fortune that take away from the funding you have for science.”

Interestingly, Brooks suggested that NNSA would have decided not to recompete the Livermore contract, without intervention from Congress. “We explicitly and deliberately left open the question of whether there should be a competition for the management of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,” Brooks said. “At the time, the perception in DOE headquarters, including by me, was that Los Alamos was in trouble but that Livermore was doing generally well. There is absolutely no way to know what we would have really done if the Congress had not intervened. ... It is my guess, and only my guess, that we would have decided not to do a competition for Livermore.”

Notably, Brooks also considered combining Livermore and Los Alamos into a single competition. “Because I valued common management of the two laboratories, I went through a very brief phase of suggesting we would compete for the management of both labs as a package,” he said. “I ignited a firestorm primarily at the staff level, believing that the only entity who would be able to compete would be the University of California and that was unacceptable to the Hill. We therefore made the decision, accepted the reality, to compete them separately.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

So How Many Acres Did Burn on LANL Property, MacMillan?

Anonymously contributed:

So How Many Acres Did Burn on LANL Property MacMillan?

133 Acres Burned on Lab (LANL) Property

Las Conchas: The majority of the burned acreage, though, was due to backburn

By John Severance (LA Monitor)
Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm (Updated: July 24, 4:23 am)

Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory were insistent throughout that the Los Conchas Fire only came onto LANL and Department of Energy property twice.

The first came when the fire jumped over NM 4 onto TA-49, causing a one-acre fire that was quickly extinguished June 27, the second day of the fire.

The second came on July 2 when a squirrel touched contacts in an electrical substation’s transformer at TA-53, the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) Facility substation and that fire was put out within a short period.

On Friday, the Las Conchas Burned Area Emergency Response team released the acreage burned by jurisdiction. The chart said that 133 acres burned on DOE and LANL property.

So what’s the story?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brooks 'not Been Impressed' With Industrial Partners At LANL

Anonymously contributedL

From the lab's (LANL) Daily Clips page:

Weapons Complex Morning Briefing

July 19, 2011

Brooks 'not Been Impressed' With Industrial Partners At LANL

Addressing a National Academy of Sciences panel examining the management of NNSA's weapons laboratories yesterday, former NNSA Administrator Linton Brookssaid the recompetition of the Los Alamos National Laboratory contract to bring in industrial partners as part of the management team is not working out exactly as he'd hoped. Longtime LANL contractor University of California teamed with Bechtel, URS and B&W on its successful bid to keep the lab contract. "Our idea was that we would preserve the great science but improve safety, security and general management," Brooks said. "I think those areas have improved. It is unclear to me whether they have improved enough to justify the turbulence that the contract change caused. I think the jury is still out. I have not been impressed ... with the involvement of the industrial partners. I have not seen from them the same level of commitment and ownership."

As an example, Brooks cited how the key personnel on the contract differ in their commitment to the lab. "The lab director has, thus far, come out of the academic community and therefore has spent his-or someday her-life in the laboratory system," Brooks said. "The senior industrial people rotate in and out and see their long-term future with their parent corporation. I don't know whether that's a problem or just a fact. I did not internalize that as well as I wish I had when we were doing all of this. When I said I hadn't been impressed with the support of the industrial partners that was one of things I had in mind."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sandia Contract Expires September 2012

Anonymously contributed:

Time Running Out On Sandia Management Contract
Contract Expires September 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Officials said the clock is winding down for the federal government to decide whether to renew Lockheed Martin's contract to manage Sandia National Laboratories or hold a bidding competition to pick a corporate manager.
The Albuquerque Journal reported that the contract for the nuclear weapons lab expires at the end of September 2012.

Records suggested that the federal government has run out of options to easily grant the company a one-year extension.

A joint venture of Boeing and Fluor had already gone public with its desire to bid on a Sandia contract. Other possible contenders are believed to be waiting in the wings. Sandia National Laboratories is one of the nation's three nuclear weapons design and maintenance laboratories

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yet Another DOE Reorganization

Anonymously contributed:

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is reorganizing the department’s nuclear weapons complex cleanup efforts, placing the department’s Office of Environmental Management under the jurisdiction of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Since the creation of NNSA, there has been tension between separate management structures of EM and the NNSA, which at times played out in confusion at Los Alamos National Laboratory about competing cleanup and weapons missions.

From Chu’s announcement, emailed to staff this afternoon:

While we have made enormous progress, there is still much left to do, and we will only succeed through teamwork and continuous improvement. In the critical area of project management, we must always strive to raise the bar on our own performance. As a next step in the process, I am pleased to announce some organizational changes the Department intends to make to align the program’s needs more closely with the agency’s resources, while enhancing project oversight. In the coming weeks, we intend to transition the Office of Environmental Management, the Office of Legacy Management, and the Office of the Chief of Nuclear Safety so that these offices will report directly to the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, Tom D’Agostino. This reorganization will capitalize on the expertise that exists throughout the Department on project management, nuclear materials and waste, and nuclear safety and security.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

LANS $58M Time and Effort Fire Cost

Anonymously contributed:

It's is too early to say how much the Las Conchas Fire will cost Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to laboratory spokesman Kevin Roark.

Some 13,000 LANL employees returned to work Wednesday.

"People are just now filling out their timecards for last week," Roark said, adding that there is a cost code for fire-related activities.

On the most elementary level, assuming a $2.5 billion annual budget and dividing that by the 260 days in a normal work year, there is a daily cost of $9.6 million — or $58 million for the six missed days.

But there is not a single number on which everyone agrees for the lab's annual income. Many operations run 24/7, with at least some of them continuing or even costing more during an emergency.

"The last time the lab calculated the cost of a 'snow day,' the number was about $3 million," Roark said.

After the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire, the lab received $341 million from the U.S. Energy Department, some of which went toward replacing damaged buildings and some for other infrastructure and improvements. It is not clear yet how much of the laboratory's losses, if any, can be passed along to sponsors.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Snowball's chance in...

Anonymously contributed:

NOT Going to Happen... A Snowball's chance in...

Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor - Martin Schneider

July 1, 2011
White House Considering Merging DOE With Commerce Department

The idea of broadly restructuring the Department of Energy is set to make a return engagement for the 2012 Presidential Election, with President Obama preparing to float the possibility of a new Department of Competitiveness that would include most of DOE as part of his reelection campaign, NW&M Monitor has learned. The proposal would consolidate the Department of Commerce with non-defense portions of the Department of Energy such as the Department’s loan office, Office of Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The National Nuclear Security Administration would be split off into a separate standalone agency. It remains unclear where the offices of Environmental Management and Legacy Management would end up under the proposal.

The merger, which has been proposed in a white paper by White House Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients, would seek to better position the United States to compete against other countries with state- controlled industry, while freeing up the disparate missions within the Department of Energy. Industry officials expect the proposal to enjoy support from Democrats and opposition from Republicans. John Bryson, the Obama Administration’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Commerce, is likely to begin floating the idea if he is confirmed by the Senate.

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