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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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The NAS Report and UPTE’S Response Rally

From the JULY 2012 SPSE-UPTE Monthly Memo The NAS Report and UPTE’S Response Rally By Jeff Colvin On February 15, 2012 the National Academies (NAS) National Research Council released a congressionally mandated Report on their year-long study of the management of the nation’s national security laboratories: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a hearing on the NAS Report less than 24 hours after it was released. Motivating the study was the 2006-2007 transition of LANL and LLNL to private, for-profit monopoly management by Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. The NAS was charged with studying the effects of the management transitions on the Labs’ scientific and national security missions. The basic conclusions of the NAS Report were that scientific productivity, operational efficiency, and employee morale have all declined since the management transitions; and that the new for-profit, monopoly management structure costs more --- the NAS Report gives a range of numbers between ~$210 Million and more than $300 Million as the added yearly cost. The NAS found that excessive formalities, checklists, and oversight by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have put science at the Labs, and experimental science in particular, in jeopardy. The NAS Report attributes the decline of science at the Labs almost solely to excessive NNSA oversight, and completely misses the connection between excessive oversight and the milestone-driven Performance Bonus Incentive private company management structure. UPTE leaders and members have elaborated our arguments for why the for-profit monopoly management structure is at the root of the Labs’ problems in our written testimony to the HASC Hearing on 16 February. Our testimony can be seen in its entirety here. In our later Response to the NAS Report, which we also submitted to Congress, we argue for de-privatization as the preferred solution to the problems identified in the Report, and even float a suggestion for how to get the de-privatization process started. Our Response can be seen in its entirety here.


Anonymous said...

I'm convinced the takeover by LLNS and LANS had absolutely nothing to do with saving any money in LLNL or LANL operation cost. The savings came from getting thousands of people off the UC pension plan and onto a worthless 401k especially in times of a recession. As these two private entities continue to keep your waged down the less they’ll have to pay you in the end. This dilemma had led many to now have to work until they’re 62-65 or older. The actuary tables tell a story of these employees dying shortly after retirement or better yet dying on the job. Again, LANS and LLNS win. Combine this with the fact DOE is someday is going to stop funding the TCP-1 pension program and PBGC is to be the scape goat for the LLC’s. In hindsight I have to give credit to those who planned this abortion. It was well thought out. It truly is all about money isn’t it.

Anonymous said...

Imagine people having to work to 62-65.

Anonymous said...

LLNS/Bechtel == LANS/Bechtel.

There is very little difference between the two for-profit companies.

They even have the very same members on their Board of Governors! It's all a big charade.

Anonymous said...

There was no doubt an interest to end the pension benefit. Even previous Secretaries would visit and claim that our benefit package was out of wack. However, this is much more serious. In order to cover the 401K, benefits, and new taxes, just to break even LLNL had to layoff 500 people or more immediately. Two years later, however LANL had gone from 8000 to 10000 employees, and LLNL went from 8000 to 6000, all round numbers. Now we face hard times, and LANL decries how bad they have it. Try starting from 6000 and reduce. In the mean time, the RFP and proposals both claimed huge cost savings from the business acumen of the newly provided Bechtel and other implants that would ensue in coming years. Need I finish this train of thought?

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