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 jlscoob5@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another radiation leak at LANL

Anonymously contributed: -------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.lamonitor.com/content/workers-exposed-radiation

NIF, the Spruce Goose

Anonymously contributed: ------------------------ The debate about whether or not NIF is an engineering wonder or a physics failure is interesting, but unimportant. No matter how elegant the engineering, if the physics can't be done, the end result is failure and the engineering but a sterile accomplishment. There is a stunningly accurate historical precedent for NIF, the Spruce Goose. Conceived as an essential wartime tool, built by an exceptional engineer, wildly over cost, delivered late, and wholly irrelevant to the mission by the time it was completed. Moreover, technology passed it by and it was a complete dead end, despite its true elegance. Interestingly, the characteristics of their leaders are quite similar as well. The Wikipedia summary on the Spruce Goose is recommended as a management case history.

Monday, August 27, 2012

ELLEN O. TAUSCHER NAMED TO LAWRENCE LIVERMORE, LOS ALAMOS BOARDS OF GOVERNORS

Anonymously contributed: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ELLEN O. TAUSCHER NAMED TO LAWRENCE LIVERMORE, LOS ALAMOS BOARDS OF GOVERNORS ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- August 27, 2012 – Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), today announced that the Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher has been named as an independent governor on the LLNS and LANS Boards of Governors. The LLCs manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM, respectively, for the U.S. Department of Energy. The appointments take effect September 17. Tauscher also has been appointed as a member of the LANS/LLNS Boards’ Mission Committee. The Mission Committee serves in an advisory role to review current and future national security issues and Laboratory initiatives, capabilities and strategic plans to address these issues. “We are very pleased to welcome Ellen Tauscher to the Boards of Governors of LANS and LLNS,” Pattiz said. “Ms. Tauscher has a distinguished record as a seven-term member of Congress with expertise in national security matters, a former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and as an investment banker. She is respected by the national and international arms control communities, by members of Congress, and by the business community. She will add greatly to our Boards and the national laboratories.” “I am honored to serve on the LLNS and LANS Boards of Governors and use the expertise gained over 35 years serving in the Congress, the State Department and the private sector to support the national security mission and critical science initiatives at both laboratories,” said Tauscher.

Ed Moses is resigning as of Oct 1st!

Anonymously contributed: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ed Moses will tender his resignation Oct 1. He has been caught funneling contracts to family members.

Officers at Y-12 responded correctly

Anonymously contributed: -------------------------------------------------------------------- Seems like the ProForce officers at Y-12 in fact responded correctly. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Fired Y-12 guard claims he's a scapegoat for embarrassing security breach; says there was no need to rough up peace protesters -- A security police officer said he was fired because he apparently wasn't rough enough with protesters during the July 28 predawn break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. Fifty-two-year-old Kirk Garland, who has decades of experience at high-security U.S. Department of Energy installations, said he's being used as a scapegoat for an embarrassing breach that was not of his doing...He said he did not pull his gun or take other physical actions immediately because that wasn't necessary. He said he quickly established they were pacifist protesters, in part because of the messages spray-painted on the walls, and they obeyed everything he said. http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2012/08/fired-y-12-guard-claims-hes-a.html

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DOD Agreement Sheds Light on NNSA Problems

Anonymously contributed: ================================================================= Stephen Young, Washington representative and senior analyst Union of Concerned Scientists August 20, 2012 ================================================================= http://allthingsnuclear.org/dod-doe-agreement/

Saturday, August 18, 2012

NIF's woes

Excerpt from Article in SF Chronicle Anonymously contributed: ================================================================= Livermore Lab Ignition Facility's woes David Perlman Updated 11:02 p.m., Friday, August 17, 2012 ============================================================ Panel sees progress The technical review committee for the National Ignition Facility, headed by physicist Alvin Trivelpiece, retired director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, said the Livermore scientists had indeed made progress since the panel's most recent review in February 2011. "The NIF is operating in a stable, reliable, predictable and controllable manner," the committee said, and has made "extraordinary progress toward challenging goals." But the Livermore scientists won't reach the "milestone" of achieving ignition this fiscal year, the experts said, and added: "The committee is concerned that this milestone ... may not be the best way to manage this program. "A deadline imposed on an experimental discovery science program to achieve a particular result by a particular time at a particular cost is often unrealistic," the report said. And the National Ignition Facility is indeed costly: When the project began in 1995, its estimated cost was $1.1 billion, with completion set for 2002 . The price tag later rose to $2.8 billion and then to $3.5 billion by the time the facility's building was completed in 2009. Since then, Congress has appropriated more than $450 million a year for the effort's experiments, and some estimates predict that the costs could eventually reach more than $8 billion. 'Grand challenge' Ed Moses, longtime director of the Livermore project, has been enthusiastic about the project from the start. "It's a grand challenge, and I'm confident of getting ignition," he said five years ago, "and whether it's 2010 or 2011, I'm sure we'll achieve it." A Livermore lab spokesman said Moses and other facility leaders were unavailable this week to respond to the latest reports. But the spokesman e-mailed The Chronicle an unsigned statement that could be "attributed" to Moses, which said the facility "continues to make extraordinary progress toward its goal. ... The capabilities needed to achieve ignition are in place." It added, "In the last year of precision experiments, NIF has successfully resolved most of the major physics concerns necessary to achieve ignition. The current campaign is working to resolve the remaining few and integrate all the pieces together." David Perlman is The San Francisco Chronicle's science editor. E-mail: dperlman@sfchronicle.com Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Livermore-Lab-Ignition-Facility-s-woes-3797461.php#ixzz23sLkUyYj So...what's gpoing on there guys? Is EM on his way out the door or is LLNS management sweeping stuff under the carpet?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Can the leaders help?

Can the leaders help? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Anonymously contributed: Can the LLNS and LANS LLCs with majority partner UC modify their practices to be more efficient for employees? Right now, LANS and LLNS employees suffer from higher insurance rates and less choices because they are part of small, older employee pools. Can UC leaders tweek the relationships with the LLCs so that the employees can join the larger pools without risk to other pool members to gain better economies of scale? Signficant savings might result to employees as the economies of scale are distributed. Is this possible? Is there a leader out there who can make this happen? Drell? Garamendi? Mara? Chu? Schultz? Blum?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is UC dropping out?

Anonymously contributed: ================================================================================== Is there any truth to the rumor that UC is in the process of dropping its membership in either or both LLCs as its financial hardships worsen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kaiser is a hero!

Scooby's note: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This was comment elsewhere in the BLOG that deserves to be seen as a new post. Awful what LLNS is doing! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anonymously contributed: Kaiser is a hero in this mess. Hewitt/BofA/LLNS etc. failed to process my application for several months after my Kaiser coverage expired, despite my requests months in advance, and REPEATED requests to all parties for help. Hewitt's (aka AON Hewitt) favorite response is that they will "Research" the issue, which is their code for GAK: "Go Away, Kid." They almost never get back to you, much less "within 10 business days." Kaiser, after several calls over months, said that they had seen this many times from LLNS, and had faith that LLNL would eventually make this right, even months late, so they provided me temporary coverage while the LLNS keystone cops continued to stall. (LLNS Benefits was sympathetic, but not empowered. They did provide help to show that they HAD paid Hewitt, despite Hewitt's denials) Turned out I needed it, and the temporary coverage was actually far better than the LLNS Group Kaiser Senior Advantage that I eventually got. Note that LLNS no longer pays for your Medical, instead they offer an B of A HRAccount good for up to $2400/year, that if you go thru their maze might be funded and then used to help pay for coverage or meds. This is related to Medicare when you get to be 65. IF you have less than 20 years service they "prorate" this, but down to the lowest whole year. Example: 15 years 11 months plus is called 15 years. So you'd only get $1800 in the HRA. But then they prorate again the first year you become 65. So you get a percentage that year, based on how many months are remaining in the calendar year. There is a group suing to get UC to cover the Medical for retirees who worked for UC (like all other UC employees). UC Retirees do get their pension from the UCRP.

B&W Y-12 slapped with 'show cause notice'

Anonymously contributed: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Another stunner: B&W Y-12 slapped with 'show cause notice' that could bring down Oak Ridge contractor" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In the wake of last month's stunning security breach at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, the federal government issued a "show cause notice" to managing contractor B&W Y-12. The stern order, which was issued Aug. 10, requires the plant's contractor to explain why its contract should not be terminated. It underscores why drastic personnel changes -- including the removal of three top executives at B&W -- have taken place in recent days to address the security concerns. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2012/08/another-stunner-bw-y-12-slappe.html

Monday, August 13, 2012

POGO versus Chu

POGO wants Chu on the chopping block over NNSA security lapses ---------------------------------------------------------------- http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2012/08/by-peter-stockon-and-lydia-dennett-as-the-saying-goes-the-fish-rots-from-the-head-down-this-is-certainly-the-case-at.html

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Donald J. Kintzer named to the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos Boards of Governors

Anonymously contributed: ================================================================================ Donald J. Kintzer named to the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos Boards of Governors LOS ALAMOS, NM, August 9, 2012—Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and Los AlamosNational Security, LLC (LANS), has named Donald J. Kintzer as an Independent Governor on the LLNS and LANS Boards of Governors. The LLCs manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM, respectively, for the U.S. Department of Energy. The appointments take effect September 1. Mr. Kintzer assumes the positions previously held by Nicholas G. Moore who is stepping down effective August 31, 2012. Mr. Kintzer also has been appointed chair of the LANS/LLNS Boards of Governors’ Ethics and Audit Committee effective September 1. The Ethics and Audit Committee serves in an advisoryrole to the boards on the integrity of financial reporting, policy compliance, and ethical business practices. "Don Kintzer is a seasoned business professional with exceptional leadership skills, business expertise, and experience involving large complex organizations," said Pattiz. "When the University of California was the sole manager of the laboratories, Don was a senior advisory partner for the University and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has an excellent understanding of the management and operations of the national labs and of business compliance activities." "I am honored to be appointed to these prestigious boards and to be associated with such premier research and development organizations as Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, which play a critical role in pursuing breakthroughs in science and technology to meet important and vital national needs," said Kintzer. Mr. Kintzer currently is associated with Korora Partners, a Silicon Valley-based consulting company focused on general business advisory and executive coaching/mentoring services. He retired as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the global accounting/consulting organization, in 2008 after an association of more than 31 years. Prior to his retirement, he was the leader of PwC's West Region Advisory practice, including the San Francisco/Silicon Valley markets and was a member of PwC's national leadership team. Mr. Kintzer is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and the California Society of CPAs. He serves as a member of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Contract Assurance Council, the West Coast Advisory Council for Lafayette College, and the Forensic Advisory Board for Golden Gate University’s School of Accounting. LLNS manages the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. LLNS is comprised of: Bechtel National, the University of California, BWX Technologies, URS and Battelle. The team also includes Texas A&M University. LANS operates Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANS is composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWX Technologies and URS for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

They hate EVERYONE equally, (except maybe for their mgmt.)

Rectel does not discriminate and hate the Retirees Group. They hate EVERYONE equally, (except maybe for their mgmt.) For years LLNL provided information about medical and other benefits to the LLNL Retirees, then Rectel established the most complicated system imaginable: You had to get Hewitt to tell B of A to request the funds from LLNS, then to be sent to Kaiser or whatever medical program you had. They changed companies often and for no reason. Each company had different and conflicting rules, deadlines, bureaucracy, with employees who did not know the systems, and no incentive to perform. It appears the idea is that some people will get lost in the paperwork, and LLNS will pocket their medical costs. When the LLNL Retirees requested a speaker or several speakers, Rectel just stonewalled. Then they told the LLNL Retirees that they could not help retirees.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lab Retirees Form New Group!

Lab Retirees Form New Group Independent Newspaper August 10, 2012 12:00 am | By Janet Armantrout +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Concerns over the ability to speak out on issues, particularly health care, has led the Lab Retirees Association to separate from Livermore Laboratory Employees Service Association (LLESA). Livermore Laboratory Retirees Association (LLRA) declared its independence on July 24. In a letter sent to the Lab , the new association wrote that they believe the Lab had redefined the group’s role. A letter from Goodman sent last October stated that the primary purpose of the retirees association as “social in nature.” He continued, “Members of the Retiree Group should not give advice on health benefit coverage or any other benefits to other retirees.” Carole Hilton, chairman of LLRA, pointed out that the by-laws ratified in 2001 have been on file with LLESA. She said that the purpose of the retirees association, as stated in the by-laws, “. . . . is to keep members fully aware of their retirement benefits; to provide a means for bettering the lot of members by working with other retiree organization; and to offer LLNL management the accumulated knowledge, experience, and judgement of the members.” Hilton stated, “Goodman’s letter effectively neutered the by-laws.” She added, “We believe that separating from LLESA and reorganizing as an independent non-profit group will allow us to more effectively serve our membership by sharing information and advocating for improved benefits.” The decision to separate was made after polling the membership. She used as an example of restrictions on advocacy the recent lawsuit filed by Joe Requa aimed at restoring UC coverage for medical benefits. Association members were prohibited from commenting on the lawsuit. Goodman’s letter stated that LLESA recognized that there may be a need for a separate advocacy group made up of retirees for retirees. . . . the current retirees group is not that group. Linda Seaver, a spokesperson for the Lab, stated, “It is my understanding that the retirees are separating because they wanted a more active role in advocacy. We are sorry to see them go. However, we understand why they want to leave.” Recently, the UC Regents extended insurance coverage to all retiree groups within the system. Hilton explained that since retirees were UC employees while at the Lab, the new group qualifies for coverage. The new retiree group will continue as active members of the Council of University of California Retiree Associations (CUCRA). Jeff Garberson is the Information Officer for CUCRA, a consortium of the Retiree Associations of nine University of California campuses. Garberson is also vice-chair of LLRA. Hilton stated, “LLNL’s attempt to squelch our freedom of speech is inconsistent with the policies of the UC campuses, where the various campus retiree associations take an active part in advocating for their membership with both campus and University management.” Seaver said she isn’t aware of the rules regarding UC retiree groups. She pointed out that the Lab is no longer a member of the UC system. Hilton said that the letter from Goodman indicated that all property, including monies would be returned to LLESA. Seaver explained that Any money received by a group from LLESA must be returned. Hilton said the bank account is empty. The decision was made in January not to collect dues until a determination was made on whether or not to separate from the Lab. Hilton raised another issue, which she says is troubling to retirees. That is lack of access to the Lab. She explained that many employees believe that they have expertise that would be valuable to the Lab. Shortened: to see whole article: =============================================================================== http://www.independentnews.com/news/article_c9146ed2-e252-11e1-9605-001a4bcf887a.html

Sandia National Laboratories and Kansas City Plant Competitive Alternatives

Anonymoulsy contributed: ================================================================================= http://nnsa.energy.gov/aboutus/ouroperations/apm/majcontrsolicitation/snlkcpcomp

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Save NIF !

Anonymously contributed: -------------------------------------------------------------------------- House Lawmakers Appeal To Chu To Protect National Ignition Facility ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- A bipartisan group of 100 House lawmakers is appealing to Energy Secretary Steven Chu to preserve funding for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility. The facility has been beset by complications in its quest to achieve fusion ignition and after the facility missed a key milestone at the end of June, the National Nuclear Security Administration acknowledged that it was unlikely that the lab would achieve fusion ignition by the promised target of the end of the fiscal year. A potential $30 million funding cut in Fiscal Year 2013 and a change in the way overhead rates are charged for the facility that would further cut into its budget has the lawmakers—led by California Democrats Pete Stark and Zoe Lofgren and Ohio Republican Michael Turner—worried about the future of the facility. In the Aug. 3 letter, the lawmakers noted that the facility recently conducted the first 500 terawatt laser shot. “Given the tremendous progress to date, we are concerned that—rather than technical and scientific challenges—administrative, managerial and budgetary hurdles threaten to impede this promising research,” the lawmakers wrote, suggesting that management problems at DOE and NNSA could impact the facility. “We are concerned that the scientific advances at NIF and around the DOE/NNSA complex are being stifled by micromanagement and burdensome administrative processes.” The lawmakers encouraged Chu to “personally engage” on the management issues facing the NNSA and visit NIF. “It would be severely disappointing to get so close to a tremendous scientific breakthrough—fusion ignition at NIF—only to see it prevented by bureaucracy,” the lawmakers wrote.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Huge security shake-up at Y-12

Huge security shake-up at Y-12; Secretary Chu announces suspension of guards, relocation of key security managers. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Energy Secretary Steven Chu released a statement this evening outlining a series of stiff personnel actions -- including suspension of guards and reassignment of key federal and contractor managers -- taken by the federal agency to deal with the unprecedented security breach by antiwar activists and other problems at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. The statement also says that Glenn Podonsky, the department's chief of Health, Safety and Security, will conduct a separate investigation. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2012/08/huge-security-shake-up-at-y-12.html

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Setting the record straight...

By Jay Davis, ========================================================================================== I noticed an August 2nd entry that needs correction on the record. I did many things for the Lab in my 31 years there: RTNS-II, CAMS, heading the Woodruff Grievance Panel, and service in Iraq and at DTRA. However, I had nothing to do with the departure of Moses and his coterie fifteen years go. If that was done by a Davis, it must have been Jim Davis, who had been their supervisor for over a decade and who presumably had the information and leverage to make that possible. I did work with that group for 17 months on AVLIS in the 82'-84' period and found it a searing and shattering experience, both personally and professionally -- and I am not a delicate flower. I fortunately have never experienced such personalities or behaviors since. Unlike many, I was able to rehabilitate myself within the Laboratory, for which I am eternally grateful to John Nuckolls. As CAMS was the result, I suppose it came out all right in the end. CAMS is today and may well remain the Lab's most productive and valuable user facility. There are eerie parallels between NIF and AVLIS. Both demonstrate superb engineering design and execution, negligible cost control or strategic management of resources, and inadequate physics to accomplish the intended mission. If it turns out that the fiscal and intellectual resources squandered on the laughable pursuit of LIFE could have provided the diagnostic set required for a mature and informed ignition campaign, the Laboratory and its overseers will have to answer some very hard questions in the difficult months ahead.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

First and last comment!

Anonymouly contributed: ================================================================================== One comment I’ll make and my money’s on the fact that everyone whoever worked or works for LANL and LLNL will agree. Bechtel, I mean Rechtel, has lived up to their motto and now reputation of _search and destroy_. Never in my now finished career at LLNL have I ever seen a blog or complaints with so many facts of corruption and mismanagement of this magnitude advertised about these facilities, all of which sooner or later is printed in newspapers, journals and magazines as being facts. There was a time when very few people knew of the national labs existence but now they’re well known throughout society but not for their major accomplishments . If LLNS and LANS have done nothing else in the past four to five years they’re proven themselves of being worthy of the National Anal award. It seems that Diane Feinstein was correct during the transition when she said, _show me where this is a cost savings_ and again Diane Feinstein is correct when she said _I think it’s time to stop dumping money in this black hole and use it where it’ll be most beneficial_.

Making up LLNL shortfalls on the employees backs. LLNS-SOP

Anonymously contributed: ============================================================================ Making up LLNL shortfalls on the employees backs. LLNS-SOP Ed's Moses making up his operational shortfalls on the backs of the workers once again as he views each slave worth $300K. The shortage of $162M in taxes, $82M - $100M LLNS slush fund fees, $80M to be contributed to TCP-1 pension plan to assure it's funded at 100% as those who make the big bucks retire early to assure they get "theirs". There's also the possibility of another $30M cut in operational funding of which has to come from somewhere and guess who’s going to suffer the brunt. It won’t be managers I’ll assure you. They're God’s gift to creation aka The Untouchables. Sum of problem = $225M +#30M / $300K, 750 + bodies in the streets before Dec 31st 2012, quietly please, say sheeee .

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pentagon Official Casts Doubt On Possible Move Of Major NNSA Projects To DOD

Anonymously contributed: ============================================================================= Pentagon Official Casts Doubt On Possible Move Of Major NNSA Projects To DOD Weapons Complex Monitor August 2, 2012 ============================================================================ House authorizers went too far in drafting language that would move the National Nuclear Security Administration’s two biggest projects, the Uranium Processing Facility and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility, to the Pentagon, according to a senior Department of Defense official. Speaking at a Capitol Hill Club breakfast event yesterday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters Steve Henry said the Pentagon sees the value in treating the facilities as military construction projects, but did not favor completely absorbing the projects. Language in the House-passed version of the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act would move management of the project to the Pentagon while authorizing forward-funding for the projects starting in FY2014. “We thought it would be good for the Department of Energy, NNSA to also have those authorities,” Henry, who is leaving the Pentagon this week to head up global security work for Nevada National Security Site contractor National Security Technologies, LLC, told NW&M Monitor after his speech. “We did not mean we would do that.” The Pentagon has taken a keen interest in efforts to modernize the nation’s weapons complex, and Henry said DoD had become concerned with massive cost and schedule overruns for UPF and CMRR-NF, the linchpins of the modernization effort. “Huge projects always have their own problems, and we said, based upon the funding, we didn’t see that they were funded quite properly the way DoD does it,” Henry said during a question and answer session after his speech. “And we would have liked to have seen it reduced in time to build, which helps reduce cost, but that means your funding has to go up. And we could not see how DOE/NNSA could fund both projects within their budget that had been appropriated.” Because of the funding problems, Henry said DoD suggested it couldn’t build both facilities at the same time, and it prioritized UPF because of the deteriorating condition of existing uranium facilities at Y-12. But he noted that treating the projects as military construction projects would have significant benefits. The approach “allows you to up-front fund. It allows you to understand how much money you’re going to have in the out years,” Henry said. He later added, though, that DoD was not well-suited to take over management of the projects. “From my gut feeling I’d have to say that it’s one thing for NNSA to have a contractor to say what they want for their specifications, and to monitor how it’s built. But it’s completely different to have DoD do it and saying here it is, and handing them the key to that,” Henry said. “How do we make sure it still meets all the safety bases and the operational issues? Although we work closely with them, we haven’t worked that closely on building kinds of facilities and developing the integration to be able to support something like that.”

B61-12 bomb the most expensive ever?

Anonymously contributed: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Escalating cost estimates for the B61 Life- Extension Program threaten to make the new B61-12 bomb the most expensive ever. . By Hans M. Kristensen The disclosure during yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that the cost of the B61 Life Extension Program (LEP) is significantly greater that even the most recent cost overruns calls into question the ability of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to manage the program and should call into question the B61 LEP itself. If these cost overruns were in the private sector, heads would roll and the program would probably be canceled. At the hearing yesterday, Senator Dianne Feinstein revealed that NNSA recently told her that the $4 billion cost estimate they provided in the FY2011 Stockpile Stewardship Management Plan was too low and that they would need $4 billion more to complete the program. Two months ago I reported that the cost had increased to $6 billion. NNSA’s new cost estimate is already being challenged, this time by the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office, which only a few days ago increased the estimate by another $2 billion to a whopping $10 billion. http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2012/07/b61-12gold.php

Oak Ridge uranium plant shut after protesters breach 4 fences

Anonymously contributed: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oak Ridge uranium plant shut after protesters breach 4 fences and reach building he said the three, identified as Megan Rice, 82, Michael Walli, 63 and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, were being held in custody and appeared for a hearing before a U.S. magistrate judge in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday. Barfield forwarded a statement from the group in which it said the activists had passed through four fences and walked for "over two hours" before reaching the uranium storage building, on which they hung banners and strung crime-scene tape. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/02/13092159-oak-ridge-uranium-plant-shut-after-protesters-breach-4-fences-reach-building?lite

LLNL loses 2 key leaders

Anonymously contributed: From The Mercury News: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21222452/livermore-lab-loses-two-key-leaders

Thursday, August 2, 2012

de la Rubia gone!

ANonymously contributed: from LLNL Newsline... Diaz de la Rubia stepping down as S&T deputy director 08/02/2012 Following a successful 23-year career as a scientist, senior manager and leader at the Laboratory, Dr. Tomas Diaz de la Rubia is stepping down from his post as Deputy Director for Science and Technology to pursue other opportunities. He has agreed to remain with the Laboratory for a period of time to assist in the transfer of his duties and responsibilities. "We wish to thank him for his years of dedicated service in the national interest," Lab Director Parney Albright said.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

NNSA budget not credible

Anonymously contributed: NNSA budget not credible A sample of the findings from the opening page: "NNSA does not thoroughly review budget estimates before it incorporates them into its proposed annual budget. Instead, NNSA relies on informal, undocumented reviews of such estimates" "Additionally, according to NNSA officials, the agency’s trust in its contractors minimizes the need for formal review of its budget estimates." "this process is not sufficiently thorough to ensure the credibility and reliability of NNSA’s budget" Full report for your reading (or burning) pleasure: ---------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------- http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/593152.pdf

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