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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, December 28, 2013
"A legislative compromise should make it "less painful" for Washington to study the cost of modernizing its nuclear arsenal, one congressional source says. At issue is an Energy Department plan to create interoperable nuclear warheads capable of multiple tasks. The first such weapon that Energy contractors would develop would be called the IW-1, envisioned as having the ability to replace both the Air Force W-78 warhead -- currently fitted on ground-based ballistic missiles -- and the Navy W-88 warhead, used on submarine-based missiles. In Congress, the plan has prompted concerns from both sides of the aisle, with lawmakers suggesting that the Obama administration should first compare its cost to that of an alternative plan under which it would simply refurbish the existing two warheads." http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/compromise-bill-could-make-nuclear-warhead-cost-study-less-painful/
Posted by scooby at 11:11 AM
LLNL Wins Age Discrimination Lawsuit!! Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has won the age discrimination phase of a lawsuit alleging that 130 Laboratory employees were laid off improperly in 2008. In a verdict rendered last week in Alameda County Superior Court, a jury found that Laboratory managers had acted in good faith and followed their own policies and the law with regard to the ages of the laid off employees
Posted by scooby at 11:09 AM
Thursday, December 26, 2013
A journal article co-authored by a current employee at Sandia National Laboratories has been retracted: http://retractionwatch.com/2012/06/08/jacs-science-retracting-three-papers-from-leading-emory-chemist-craig-hill/
Posted by scooby at 5:56 PM
I’ve been offered a job at the lab and am going through the rigorous clearance screening process. I am not sure whether I should tell the HR department that my credit is not perfect. We lost our home during the recession and what followed was some pretty damaging stuff on our credit. The position that they are considering me for has access to proprietary information. Can you please ask other bloggers if they have any thoughts regarding this dilemma? Thank you in advanced. Signed, Midscore640
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
When is Monya Lane leaving? It was published she was leaving last June, but no date given and she is still here. I understand not having interim director Brett Knapp having to decide this but couldn't someone in Engineering who will probably remain with LLNL do a better job than Monya as a lame duck? Plus LLNL would save an AD salary!
Posted by scooby at 9:59 AM
Saturday, December 21, 2013
AF General re-assigned because of behavior during Russia trip And he was in charge of the nuclear forces. When will these guys learn to behave? * * *http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/report-us-air-force-general-drank-too-much-fraternized-with-foreign-women-in-moscow/2013/12/19/7f3cdba0-68ed-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html?hpid=z4
Posted by scooby at 6:08 AM
LANL contract not extended by NNSA http://www.lamonitor.com/content/lab-scores-89-percent-nnsa-performance-evaluation
Posted by scooby at 6:04 AM
Marylia Kelley said... http://nnsa.energy.gov/aboutus/ouroperations/apm/perfevals This link will lead you to the NNSA Memorandum of December 16, 2013 RE: LLNL, LLC's FY 2013 Performance Fee. As you will see, LLNS did not earn the "award term." However, the Performance Evaluation Report - upon which this memo is based - is not yet up on the web. Some of you will recall that last year, the Fee Determining Official (at that time, Neile Miller) gave LLNL management a "bump up" to allow them the "award term." She also gave LANL management an anomaly to give them the "award term." Congress was not amused - and so it may be particularly interesting to see the actual Performance Evaluation Reports this year. Tri-Valley CAREs will be watching for the FY 2013 Performance Evaluation Report, and will use the Freedom of Information Act to ensure its public availability if it is not posted by NNSA on the web in a timely manner.
Posted by scooby at 6:02 AM
How you rate the managers in the various directorates?
Posted by scooby at 5:57 AM
LLNL receives annual performance scores 12/20/13 The Laboratory has received the scores determined by the NNSA Fee Determination Official for fiscal year 2013, earning an overall 87 percent of the total fee, or $41.3 million. We are pleased NNSA recognizes the Lab's continued strong performance in programs, operations and infrastructure, but we are disappointed an award term was not given. For the three program-related performance objectives (mission and science), the Laboratory earned two ratings of "very good" and one rating of "excellent." The Operations and Infrastructure Performance Objective received a rating of "very good." For the Contractor Leadership Performance Objective, the Laboratory earned a rating of "satisfactory." Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, holds a seven-year contract to manage the Laboratory, with four consecutive one-year award terms already earned, taking the contract to 2018. Additional award terms could extend the contract through 2026. We understand NNSA will issue a detailed report on the PER at a later date. We will address the findings of the report at that time. -- Bret Knapp (Acting LLNL Director)
Posted by scooby at 5:55 AM
Our latest column from the Fissile Materials Working Group explores lessons from Australia, because no country should be complacent about nuclear and radiological terrorism. I hope you find it of interest! Best, Janice Nuclear security lessons from Australia: http://thebulletin.org/nuclear-security-lessons-australia -- Janice Sinclaire Internet Outreach Coordinator
Posted by scooby at 5:54 AM
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Ken Moody AAAS Fellow Award Congratulations to Ken for this acknowledgement of his contributions to science and actinide research. It begs me to wonder how and why he is still there at the lab so long. I would have expected management and the sniper culture adopted by the mediocrity to have done him in or chased him out. The hollow acknowledgment by the lab are more than compensated by his recognition in the broader community. He serves as an exemplar and beacon for scientific excellence despite to strive for institutional and technical failure and mediocrity around him. Congratulations to Ken Moody.
Posted by scooby at 6:02 PM
Robert Peurifoy, a retired Sandia vice president who worked on the B-61, disagrees with current Sandia President Paul Hommert and questions the need for the LEP. From the recent December 2013 Issue of "Physics Today": Costing up to $10 billion over a dozen years, the refurbishment of what is planned to be the last class of US nuclear bombs is the lowest-cost option for extending its life for several decades, officials from the Departments of Defense and Energy insist. But some critics of the B-61 life extension program (LEP) question whether the program is necessary. At least one of the modifications planned for it—a new guided tail kit supplied by the US Air Force—would increase its military capabilities, not just ensure its reliability and safety. Sandia National Laboratories director Paul Hommert warned lawmakers during the hearing that without the LEP, the B-61 will reach a point where it will no longer be reliable “in the next decade.” Robert Peurifoy, a retired Sandia vice president who worked on the B-61, questions the need for the LEP; he says there has been little discussion of whether observations of the aging weapons components warrant their replacement. “I want to know what the surveillance findings are for each component. If they are dying, you’ve got to replace them. But I’m not willing to replace them just so NNSA and the labs can extract money from the taxpayer,” he says in an interview. Peurifoy says the B-61’s ground proximity radar has been “stigmatized” by the NNSA and the weapons labs because it contains vacuum tubes. Indeed, Hommert held up a B-61 vacuum tube and a newly developed replacement solid-state radar during his October testimony. Peurifoy says he has seen no evidence that the tubes are failing or about to fail. “Until I do, I’d leave the radars alone,” he says. But Peurifoy downplays the benefits of reducing the amount of highly enriched uranium contained in the bombs. “There are lower-yield versions of the B-61 in the stockpile right now. If you want lower yields, use them.” He dismisses the argument that less highly enriched uranium contained in the warheads reduces the danger if a B-61 were to fall into the wrong hands. “NNSA and the labs are quite good at obfuscation. They use rubber words [like] security,” he says. “Security means you maintain possession. You don’t lose a weapon. If you lose a weapon, you should not be too concerned about the distinctions about what it contains. You’d better get the goddamned weapon back.”
Posted by scooby at 5:55 PM
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Statistical Impact of Disproportionate Age Discrimination at Lawrence Livermore Lab *************************************************************************************************************************************** The plaintiffs in Phase II of our trial Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) have suffered emotional distress, humiliation, and feelings of inadequacy as a result of their illegal layoffs from Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLNL) in 2008. The disproportionate layoff of workers age 40+, leading to disparate age discrimination at LLNL, can be illustrated through statistical analysis. To that end, plaintiff’s expert witness, statistics Professor William Lepowsky, came to the conclusion that the odds of so many older employees, over age 40, being laid off were “1 in 1,091,000.” The emotional and statistical significance of this layoff are at the heart of our case. Andrews vs. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC is a unique case that began with Judge Robert Freedman separating the trial into two Phases. Phase I focused on breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing at LLNL. Our plaintiffs prevailed in Phase I with an award of $2.7 million for plaintiffs Elaine Andrews, Marian Barraza, Mario Jimenez, Greg Olsen, and James “Rocky” Torrice. Statistician: Professor William Lepowsky Professor Lepowsky has taught statistics and mathematics for 45 years at Laney College in Oakland, California. He is not a professional expert witness, like the statistician hired by LLNS defense team, but rather a professional educator with an esteemed background. Professor William Lepowsky’s qualifications include: B.A., Harvard College 1967; Major Mathematics M.A., U.C. Berkeley 1968; Department Mathematics (graduated summa cum laude) M.A., U.C. Berkeley 1976; Department Statistics Qualified as expert witness to testify in the California court system and the Federal courts “Statistical Significance” Key to Disproportionate Age Discrimination One of the most important aspects of Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC is the utilization of statistical analysis brought forth by Professor Lepowsky. Professor Lepowsky’s statistical analysis illustrates that LLNS discriminated against older workers, 40+, during the layoff in 2008. To this end Professor Lepowsky utilizes “statistical significance” the probability that an effect is not likely due to just chance alone. Lawrence Livermore Lab’s Faulty Layoff Unit Statistical Analysis The basis for LLNL’s statistical argument was their creation called the Layoff Unit. 273 Layoff Units were created by LLNS line managers, the decision makers in the layoff process, as a means of grouping employees. Layoff Units were not recognized within the rules for layoffs or within the plaintiff’s contracts. According to Professor Lepowsky, the Layoff Units do not accurately represent the layoff in 2008. A few of the characteristics of LLNS Layoff Units: Nearly 20% of the 273 Layoff Units (48) had only one employee More than 25% of the 273 Layoff Units (72) had only one or two employees Nearly 50% of the 273 Layoff Units (125) had five or less employees 30% of the employees that were classified in Layoff Units were assigned to 1% of the Layoff Units Statistical Analysis Process In Professor Lepowsky’s statistical analysis, Layoff Units were not used. Instead, Professor Lepowsky utilized the following process in his statistical analysis: Workforce: 40% of the workforce was not eligible for layoff. These “excluded” workers were chosen solely by LLNS line managers. Professor Lepowsky identified who could be laid off Comparison: compare “like” employee positions such as physicists with physicists and engineers with engineers Where Workforce Worked: identify where the workers work and which line managers they worked for at the lab Job Code: group workers by the same job code Classifications: group and classify workers by directorate, division, or department Vital to the analysis is the fact that every employee analyzed by Professor Lepowsky is tied to a decision maker, line manager at the lab. The disparity of sizes of the Layoff Units, used by LLNS in their analysis, was a major reason why Professor Lepowsky did not accept the Layoff Unit analysis. The importance being the fact that Layoff Units did not compare employees with like characteristics. Statistical Significance Points to Age Discrimination The following are key statistics and information that support the assertion that disproportionate age discrimination was prevalent during the 2008 Lab layoff. According to Professor Lepowsky, the exclusion process favored employees under the age of 40 to a statistically significant degree and it hurt employees over the age of 40 to a statistically significant degree. The statistical impact is evident within the numbers. Excluded Employees: line managers chose who would be excluded or safe from the layoff. Of those excluded as of May 22, 2008: 54.1% were 39 years old or younger and 40.6% were 40 years old or older Excluded Employees Standard Deviation: of all employees analyzed by directorate, division, or department at all levels the layoff had a statistically significant impact on employees over the age of 40. Ranging from 3.34 to 4.09 well above the agreed upon 2.0 Standard Deviation Layoff Policy: the “different employees, different policies” assertion by LLNS is not correct. There was one layoff with specific rules that were broken by LLNS 1 in 645,000: the probability (chance) that older workers in Directorate and Job Code were “over selected” for layoff if the process of layoff equally impacted young and older workers. Equal to 4.66 Standard Deviations 1 in 1,091,000: the probability that older workers in Division and Job Code were “over selected” for layoff. Equal to 4.77 Standard Deviations 1 in 76,000: the probability that older workers in Department and Job Code were “over selected” for layoff. Equal to 4.20 Standard Deviations Termination Percentages: 6.6% of employees 39 and younger were terminated vs employees 40 and older who were terminated at a rate of 11.5% In the final analysis according to Professor Lepowsky, “The disparity between old and young in selection rates (for layoff) is statistically significant.” ********************************************************************************************************************************************** Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer If you are interested in information regarding this case or If you suspect that you, have been the victim of workplace age discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, or retaliation please contact attorney J. Gary Gwilliam or attorney Randall E. Strauss of the law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer at (510) 832-5411 ext. 233 or GGwilliam@giccb.com
Posted by scooby at 4:53 PM
Monday, December 16, 2013
This news article below deserves top billing, if nothing else than to better inform DOE contractor employees about a major hack at DOE HQ that the DOE still hasn't properly informed people about! It was a serous breach of security involving lots of personal information .... *** Free Beacon - Dec 13, 2012 *** IG: Personal Information Stolen from 104,179 after Energy Department Cyber Attack -- Hackers breached system with ‘relative ease’ .... The Energy Department also underreported the significance of the breach, saying only 53,000 employees were affected prior to the IG’s investigation. As a result, many employees were not informed that their personal information was stolen. The department is still in the process of notifying all of its employees. “We also found that the extent of PII stolen was much more extensive than that originally reported by the Department,” the IG said. “Breached information exceeded just names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers as initially reported by the Department,” they said. “In particular, we noted through investigation or discussions with officials that select bank account numbers, places of birth, education, security questions and answers, and disabilities were also included in the loss of information.” .... freebeacon.com/ig-personal-information-stolen-from-104179-after-energy-department-cyber-attack/
Hi there, I’ve been offered a job at the lab and am going through the rigorous clearance screening process. I am not sure whether I should tell the HR department that my credit is not perfect. We lost our home during the recession and what followed was some pretty damaging stuff on our credit. The position that they are considering me for has access to proprietary information. Can you please ask other bloggers if they have any thoughts regarding this dilemma? Thank you in advanced. Signed, Midscore640
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor Todd Jacobson Dec 6, 2013 The University of California has formed a committee to search for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s next director,, and the group will solicit input from employees at its first meeting in January, Norm Pattiz, the chairman of the UC Board of Regents Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories, said in a message to employees this week. Pattiz will chair the 17-member search committee, which will take nominations through the end of January. Parney Albright abruptly resigned last month as the lab’s director effective Nov. 1. “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,” Pattiz said in his message to employees. “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.” Joining Pattiz on the search committee is former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks; Bechtel Systems and Infrastructure President Craig Albert; Livermore Global Security Manager Kim Budil; Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC Board of Governors Executive Committee member William Frazer; UC Provost and Executive Vice President Aimee Dorr; UC Vice President of Laboratory Management Glenn Mara; University of California-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi; former Strategic Command chief Adm. Rich Mies; UC-Davis professor Bob Powell; UC Board of Regents Chairman Bruce Varner; former Argonne National Laboratory Director Bob Rosner; UC President Janet Napolitano; UC-Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Karl Van Bibber; Texas A&M nuclear engineering professor Marvin Adams; LLNS Assistant Secretary to the Director for Laboratory Governance Ann Willoughby; and former Los Alamos and Livermore Director Mike Anastasio. A screening task force chaired by Adams has also been formed, and Pattiz said the task force “will ensure that we are looking at a broad and diverse spectrum of potential candidates and will recommend a pool of candidates for consideration by the Search Committee.” Bret Knapp, who has headed up Los Alamos’ weapons program since 2011, is currently serving as the lab’s acting director, but industry officials say he is not likely to be a candidate for the permanent position. Several interesting candidates from the lab’s last search could emerge as candidates once again, including Bruce Goodwin, who after heading up the lab’s weapons program for years was named the head of the lab’s Center for Global Security Research and the lab’s National Security Office May 1. UC could also make another push for Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, one of the most widely respected lab directors in the DOE complex. Industry officials have suggested other possible candidates could include former Oak Ridge National Laboratory Thomas Zacharia, now the head of the Qatar Science and Technology Park, as well as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Deputy Director for Science and
Posted by scooby at 5:49 PM
A budget deal has been reached! Is this bad news for the labs? Is the NNSA going to get the sequester cuts? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/11/us/politics/party-leaders-indicate-deal-is-reached-on-budget.html?_r=0
Posted by scooby at 5:48 PM
LLNS has found a way to transfer moneys already earned by the worker to their coffers. Gee, if they were half way competent, they could also charge an administrative and record keeping fee on time card submissions, sick leave, vacation, etc. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9eIrcyRIQxya0x0Z042dEU1REE/edit?usp=sharing
Kennette Benedict has posted a terrific piece on how nuclear disarmament will make us (and our economy) stronger. I hope you find it of interest! Best regards, Janice Why vote for disarmament? http://thebulletin.org/why-vote-nuclear-disarmament -- Janice Sinclaire Internet Outreach Coordinator
Posted by scooby at 5:40 PM
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The central matter facing UC as they search for the next Director is should LLNL be uniquely focused on weapons work, or expanding its sponsor suite. This question has been danced around since the transition, but still remains an open subject. In the last six years, between the two facilities, six leaders have been tasked with program funding diversification in an effort to migrate towards a multi-sponsor lab (LLNL: Doesburg, Albright, Warner; LANL: Beason, Reese, Wallace). Internally some have regarded this as a fool’s errand, while others have watched SNL benefit from non-weapons programmatic projects. In its typical schizophrenic fashion, NNSA has sent mixed signals on how these efforts are viewed – derisively calling them work for “others” and simultaneously making a big deal out of the cooperation agreement that was signed with DOD, DHS, and IC. The multiple attempts by multiple lab leaders to move the needle on WFO funding have led to very limited success, and in most cases have actually decreased external support. As the next Director is selected, it is worth a critical examination of why WFO only increased under one of the above six leaders. Perhaps the enterprise is not ready for diversification, and should uniquely focus on weapons work. From all accounts, this is clearly the path that LANL has taken most recently, and maybe LLNL should follow that lead as well.
Posted by scooby at 4:33 AM
Monday, December 9, 2013
Weapon Complex Monitor December 5, 2013 The University of California has begun the search for a new Vice President for Laboratory Management after Glenn Mara recently announced his retirement. Mara took over as the head of UC’s lab management efforts last year, replacing Bruce Darling. Mara has served at both Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, last serving at Los Alamos as the head of its weapons program until 2008. He left Livermore in 2004 after serving as the lab’s deputy director of operations. He is expected to remain in the position until a successor is chosen. In a job posting released yesterday seeking nominations and applications for Mara’s job, UC officials gave no timeline for the search, but outlined the job’s requirements. “The Vice President should have an outstanding record of accomplishment in a scientific program, engineering, and/or the operations and administration disciplines that underwrite the mission of the three laboratories [LBNL, LLNL, LANL],” UC said in the posting. “He/she should also have knowledge and experience in the operations of, and relationships with, the DOE, NNSA, and Office of Science, and those organizations’ senior leadership and approach to their laboratory system.”
Posted by scooby at 12:02 PM
Friday, December 6, 2013
Moral of the story, KEEP VOTING DEMOCRATIC! Detroit is all Democratic (Spendocratic) and Union even in the State Constitution to leave Union pensions alone. "Even for those who think this common sense has been a long time coming, it’s a tough hit for Detroit city workers at or near retirement age. Not only does it mean they’ll get less than they were promised, the news comes late in their lives, at a time when they have little way to make up for it. And they won’t be the last, given the unfunded pensions across this country". Good luck with your pension with Democrats running (into a grave) California. Second moral: You voted for Spendocrats and soon you will get what you deserve. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- http://nypost.com/2013/12/06/detroit-and-the-impact-on-pension-reform/
Posted by scooby at 3:39 PM
By J. Gary Gwilliam “The odds of this many older employees, over 40, being laid off were 1 in 1,091,000.” – Randall Strauss attorney Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer In order to understand the injustice of the Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) layoffs of 430 employees in 2008, it is essential to weigh some of the initial facts surrounding this case. Phase II of our trial Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and Lawrence Livermore Lab, the second trial for the five plaintiffs, focuses on disproportionate age discrimination claims. Facts Surrounding Lawrence Livermore Lab Layoffs The following facts begin to paint a picture how LLNS disproportionately laid off workers 40+ in an age discriminatory manner. Layoff History: prior to the LLNS layoffs in 2008, Lawrence Livermore Lab had not had a layoff in over 30 years How Many Laid Off: LLNS laid off 430 employees Lawrence Livermore National Security: LLNS a private company, that includes investors University of California and Bechtel, is tasked with managing Lawrence Livermore Lab. LLNS is not the government Department of Energy: DOE did not order the layoff of workers at Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLNL) 3161 Planning: this is a plan required by law to be developed whenever there is a possibility of a layoff. The DOE informed all the national security labs in the U.S. to begin preparing 3161 plans. October 2007 the DOE informed LLNS to prepare their plan Goal of 3161: the goal of the 3161 plan was to do everything possible to avoid a layoff Layoff Decisions: the DOE allowed LLNS to decide how many employees would be laid off if anyone at all Plaintiff’s Job Performance: the plaintiff’s job performance was not an issue in this case Performance Ratings: all plaintiffs were rated good to excellent in their job performance reviews by management before the layoffs. Workers made life long contributions, stayed current in their job skills, and accrued seniority which was considered an asset at the lab Job Functions: all job functions performed by laid off plaintiffs continued after they were let go The plaintiffs’ work was above standards and relevant to the Lab’s success. They were not slackers, they maintained their skills through continuous training, and these plaintiffs cared about the quality of their work and were proud of their contributions to the success of Lawrence Livermore Lab. Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer If you are interested in information regarding this case or if you have questions about legal issues with your employment, please contact attorney J. Gary Gwilliam or attorney Randall E. Strauss of the law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer 510-832-5411 ext. 233 or GGwilliam@giccb.com
Thursday, December 5, 2013
As agreed among the Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) partners, the University of California (UC) is responsible for leading the search for the next LLNL Director. Today, UC Regent and Chairman of the LLNS Board of Governors Norman Pattiz announced the commencement of the LLNL Director search process. In a letter to employees requesting nominations for and asking for comments on the position, Pattiz indicated: "The University's search process will be similar in scope and breadth to those of prior Director searches for all three UC-affiliated labs -- Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos (LANL) and Lawrence Berkeley (LBNL) national laboratories. The process includes use of a Search Committee and a Screening Task Force, both of which include LLNL colleagues." In addition, an executive search firm has been hired. A number of actions have been accomplished or are in the planning stages: - Chairman Pattiz and UC President Janet Napolitano have approved the Search Committee as directed by UC Regents policy. - The position has been posted on LLNL and UC jobs websites and will be listed on LANL, LBNL, other national lab, and LLC partner jobs websites. The job posting is also being advertised nationally on respected science, higher education, social media, and diversity outreach websites. - The Search Committee will be at LLNL in January for "Lab Day" to hear from employees, management and the Livermore Field Office manager. The Committee will use input from Lab Day to further develop selection criteria to be used to assess the candidates during the search process to determine the best individual for the position. - Letters requesting nominations are being sent to senior leaders in Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Department of Defense, national laboratory directors; past LLNL, LANL and LBNL directors; the LLNS Board of Governors; UC leadership; appropriate federal, state and local elected officials, and selected research university presidents. - The Screening Task Force has been formed to assist the Search Committee. It is chaired by Professor Marvin Adams, Texas A&M University, and will consist of a cross-section of LLNL employees, representatives from LANL and LBNL, and noted scientists and administrators who are knowledgeable about LLNL, its scientific work and its role as a DOE/NNSA national laboratory, and who are informed about the relevant LLNL scientific areas. - A moderated questions and answers forum has been posted. In his letter to employees, Pattiz stated: "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." To be given full consideration, nominations and applications for the LLNL Director should be submitted no later than January 31, 2014 in accordance with the nominations & applications instructions provided. https://www.llnl.gov/director-search/
Double standard for lab upper management? LANL Employees File Complaint Against Former Supervisor - Los Alamos Daily Post, Dec 4th 2013 ..."This was a horrifying situation, Erika was assaulted by her high ranking employer who demanded sex ... she complained to high level Laboratory officials who did nothing to help her, instead they rewarded the perpetrator by allowing him to retire with full benefits," Day told the Los Alamos Daily Post today. "Mr. Stanford supervised both Erika and her husband William and he knew William was aware of what he was doing and he didn't care. His behavior was that of a pig and the Lab took no action to step in and stop it."... http://www.ladailypost.com/content/lanl-employees-file-complaint-against-former-supervisor Why did the executive management at LANS continue to protect this "pig" (sexual harasser?) Why do the regular staff get bombarded with online training, etc. regarding sexual harassment but when it actually happens, it is usually the managers who are found to be the culprits? And does the name of Rick Marquez ring a bell for anyone? The stories about his "hot pursuits" at LANL are legendary and long running!
Posted by scooby at 6:00 PM
Marvin Adams Screening Task Force Chairman HTRI Professor of Nuclear Engineering Director, Institute of National Security Education and Research Texas A&M University William Jeffrey President & CEO, HRL Labs, LLC Former Director National Institute of Standards and Technology Steven Beckwith LLNS Board of Governors Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies University of California Office of the President Michael Nacht Thomas and Alison Schneider Professor of Public Policy University of California, Berkeley Frances Alston Director Environment, Safety & Health Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Natalie Roe Physics Division Director Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory John Browne Director Emeritus Los Alamos National Laboratory John Sarrao Associate Director Theory, Simulation & Computation Los Alamos National Laboratory Robert Byer Co-Director Stanford Photonics Research Center Department of Applied Physics Stanford University Cliff Shang Director of Laboratory Strategic Infrastructure Weapons & Complex Integration Directorate Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory John Edwards Associate NIF Director for ICF & HED NIF & Photon Science Directorate Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Bruce Tarter Director Emeritus Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Mary Gilly Vice Chair Universitywide Academic Senate University of California Office of the President Larry Welch Trustee Emeritus and Senior Fellow Institute for Defense Analyses Omar Hurricane Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Weapons & Complex Integration Directorate Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Crystal Jaing Scientist Group Leader, Applied Genomics Physical & Life Sciences Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Ann Willoughby (Staff to Task Force) LLNS Assistant Secretary Director Laboratory Governance UC Laboratory Management Office November 30, 2013 at 8:22 AM
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Watchdog organization sues for Sandia nuke safety records: http://www.krqe.com/news/new-mexico/watchdog-sues-for-sandia-nuke-safety-records_16447506
Monday, November 25, 2013
All managers I have dealt with in PLS are abusive....However, remember they are guided by Employee Relations. They are unprofessional and have lost millions for the laboratory. If we actually had competent people in Employee Relations this would not happen. My advice is fire everyone in Employee Relations and find people who will hold abusive manager and this will save the laboratory millions of dollars in lawsuits. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM You must realize that ER does absolutely nothing that they are not told to do by LLNS upper management. Management abuse of employees comes from the top. Is is their corporate culture. Live with it or leave. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 24, 2013 at 7:14 PM Frankly ER has no reason to exist at LLNS.
Posted by scooby at 8:10 PM
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Hugh Gusterson believes the US government now faces the same dilemma over drones as it did over nuclear weapons in the late 1940s, and Filippa Lentzos examines the claim that Syria may have a weapon, perhaps a bioweapon, that can "blind in an instant," as Assad claims. These are great reads, and I hope you find them of interest. Which Drone Future Will Americans Choose? http://thebulletin.org/which-drone-future-will-americans-choose Syria and Bioweapons Transparency: http://www.thebulletin.org/syria-and-bioweapons-need-transparency -- Janice Sinclaire Internet Outreach Coordinator
Posted by scooby at 11:19 AM
Friday, November 22, 2013
Weapons Complex Monitor November 20, 2013 Hagel, Moniz Seek to Assure Feinstein Over B61 Refurbishment The Obama Administration will pursue retirement of the B83 nuclear gravity bomb once the current B61 life extension program is completed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) earlier this month. Feinstein has been an outspoken skeptic of the Administration’s plans to refurbish the B61, a plan that it says will allow for future stockpile reductions by combining four B61 variants into one new refurbished bomb. In their Nov. 6 letter, which was obtained by NW&M Monitor, Hagel and Moniz noted that Feinstein suggested during a meeting with Liz Sherwood-Randall of the National Security Staff that she would support the B61 LEP if it led to stockpile cuts and the retirement of the B83 and sought to assure Feinstein that would take place. “Having a single B61 variant will enable a reduction in the number of deployed and non-deployed air-delivered nuclear gravity weapons in the stockpile, while increasing the safety and security of this aging system,” Hagel and Moniz wrote. “Additionally, by balancing reduced yield with improved accuracy, this LEP would allow us to pursue retirement of the B61-11, and the B83 gravity bomb, once confidence in the B61-12 stockpile is gained, as provided in the FY 2014 National Nuclear Security Administration Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan.” Led by Feinstein, the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee cut $168 million from the Administration’s $551 million request for work on the B61 in FY 2014, but the Administration has continued to advocate for the full amount. “Even in these times of reduced budgets, we believe the investments required to achieve these plans are needed to fulfill the President’s nuclear vision,” Hagel and Moniz wrote. “Both Departments are committed to the program and through studies of alternative options, believe the B61-12 LEP is the most cost effective option that meets military requirements and policy objectives. Maintaining the commitment to the necessary investments in this program and its capability is critical to the Administration’s nuclear security objectives, and we look forward to the full support of Congress.” When asked by NW&M Monitor last week whether a commitment to retire the B83 would allow her to support the B61 LEP, Feinstein said she was concerned about the size of the weapons and the scope of the LEP, which she said was “more like a Cadillac than a Ford.” November 21, 2013 at 8:17 AM Anonymous said... The Obama Administration will pursue retirement of the B83 nuclear gravity bomb once the current B61 life extension program is completed, November 21, 2013 at 8:17 AM It's curtains for the LLNL weapons program when this happens. Unless of course they steal another LANL design.
Posted by scooby at 9:10 AM
Any of this below in the AP story sound familiar? Headline: Nuke troubles run deep; key officers "burned out" - Nov 20, 2013 - WASHINGTON (AP) — Trouble inside the Air Force's nuclear missile force runs deeper and wider than officials have let on. An unpublished study for the Air Force, obtained by The Associated Press, cites "burnout" among launch officers with their fingers on the triggers of 450 weapons of mass destruction. Also, evidence of broader behavioral issues across the intercontinental ballistic missile force, including sexual assaults and domestic violence. The study, provided to the AP in draft form, says that court-martial rates in the nuclear missile force in 2011 and 2012 were more than twice as high as in the overall Air Force. Administrative punishments, such as written reprimands for rules violations and other misbehavior, also were higher in those years. These indicators add a new dimension to an emerging picture of malaise and worse inside the ICBM force, an arm of the Air Force with a proud heritage but an uncertain future... ...Based on confidential small-group discussions last winter with about 100 launch officers, security forces, missile maintenance workers and others who work in the missile fields — plus responses to confidential questionnaires — RAND found low job satisfaction and workers distressed by staff shortages, equipment flaws and what they felt were stifling management tactics. It also found what it termed "burnout." Burnout in this context means feeling exhausted, cynical and ineffective on the job, according to Chaitra Hardison, RAND's senior behavioral scientist and lead author of the study. She used a system of measure that asks people to rate on a scale of 1 to 7 — from "never" to "always" — how often in their work they experience certain feelings, including tiredness, hopelessness and a sense of being trapped. An average score of 4 or above is judged to put the person in the "burnout" range. One service member said, "We don't care if things go properly. We just don't want to get in trouble." That person and all others who participated in the study were granted confidentiality by RAND in order to speak freely... news.yahoo.com/nuke-troubles-run-deep -key-officers-burned-184232764.html
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Jan 1st and this next round of cuts will be far more painful than the first dose of last spring. The poisoned political atmosphere in Congress makes it highly unlikely that sequestration cuts will be throttled back anytime soon. Further cutbacks in lab staffing will be necessary soon after these next cuts hit. Get prepared as best you can: ******** Automatic spending cuts would bite more in 2014 ********* AP News, Nov 11, 2013 WASHINGTON (AP) — The first year of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts didn't live up to the dire predictions from the Obama administration and others who warned of sweeping furloughs and big disruptions of government services. The second round just might. Several federal agencies found lots of loose change that helped them through the automatic cuts in the 2013 budget year that ended Sept. 30, allowing them to minimize furloughs and maintain many services. Most of that money, however, has been spent. The Pentagon used more than $5 billion in unspent money from previous years to ease its $39 billion budget cut. Furloughs originally scheduled for 11 days were cut back to six days. The Justice Department found more than $500 million in similar money that allowed agencies like the FBI to avoid furloughs altogether. Finding replacement cuts is the priority of budget talks scheduled to resume this week, but many observers think the talks won't bear fruit. Agencies that have thus far withstood the harshest effects of the across-the-board cuts in 2013 are bracing for a second round of cuts that'll ... http://finance.yahoo.com/news/automatic-spending-cuts-bite-more-081524860.html
Posted by scooby at 5:04 PM
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Creedon nominated to be #2 at NNSA http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/06/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts Madelyn Creedon, Nominee for Principal Deputy Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy Madelyn Creedon is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, a position she has held since 2011. From 2001 to 2011, Ms. Creedon was counsel for the Democratic staff on the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and was responsible for the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces as well as threat reduction and nuclear nonproliferation issues. From 2000 to 2001, she served as the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration, and from 1997 to 2000 she was counsel on the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Ms. Creedon was the Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy from 1995 to 1997 and served as the General Counsel for the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission from 1994 to 1995. From 1990 to 1994, Ms. Creedon was counsel for the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Prior to this, from 1980 to 1990, she was a trial attorney and Acting Assistant General Counsel for Special Litigation in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Energy. Ms. Creedon received a B.A. from the University of Evansville and a J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law.
Posted by scooby at 5:15 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
An example of just another gift that just keeps on giving, and giving, and gives some more. http://www.pogo.org/blog/2013/11/20131106-new-documents-show-former-rep-ran-through-revolving-door.html
Ex-Congresswoman Heather Wilson inappropriately paid by Sandia Labs: http://www.nukewatch.org/watchblog/?p=1617 "The DOE IG report said that the facts indicate that federal funds were used for prohibited lobbying activities"
Posted by scooby at 5:08 PM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Lockheed Martin joins others to run NNSA sites .. The contract that consolidates the NNSA facilities could portend the fate of the Sandia National Laboratories’ contract. The NNSA, in a cost-cutting move, consolidated Y-12 and Pantex. .. “NNSA is moving toward a smaller and less expensive enterprise,” the agency said in the RFI. .. http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2013/11/04/lockheed-joins-others-to-run-NNSA-sites.html ------------------------- Guess who will be combined next? LLNL & LANL. Knapp is the vanguard for this move. November 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM
Posted by scooby at 3:35 PM
Los Alamos security lost gun http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/albuquerque/gun-missing-from-lanl-security/-/9153728/22804010/-/u7vwmgz/-/index.html
Posted by scooby at 3:34 PM
Congressman Swalwell Introduces the Bipartisan National Laboratories Mean National Security Act - November 4, 2013 The following information is from the office of U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell: U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) introduced H.R. 3438, the National Laboratories Mean National Security Act, to ensure the full resources of Department of Energy (DOE) labs like Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories are clearly available to help states and localities secure our country. The government-owned, contractor-operated structure of the national labs has caused some state and local recipients of federal homeland security grants to decline to utilize DOE labs because of a mistaken belief that these funds would be paid impermissibly to the federal government as opposed to contract operators. “Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and our other DOE national laboratories are world-class scientific research and development institutions with expertise relevant to addressing our homeland security challenges,” said Swalwell. “States and localities should feel free to utilize these capabilities, but the unique structure of these labs means they aren’t always being used fully. "It’s in our homeland security interest to remove this existing barrier and clearly establish in statute that national labs can work with recipients of key federal homeland security initiatives and grants.” The research, expertise and knowledge of DOE labs are all directly relevant to addressing how to prevent and respond to attacks involving the worst threats, such as chemical, biological, and radiological weapons. Swalwell was joined on the bipartisan bill by U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Bill Foster (D-IL). A similar bill passed the House of Representatives by voice vote in the 112th Congress but was not taken up by the Senate. “We can’t let a lack of clarity prevent states and localities from consulting with the best and brightest at our national labs on issues as critical as our homeland security. This is commonsense legislation that would provide a boost to the safety of our communities,” Swalwell added.
http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/04/apple-to-open-us-manufacturing-facility-in-mesa-arizona So Apple is opening it's new manufacturing plant in ....oh not California but a RIGHT TO WORK STATE.....Arizona. They are smart enough that they do not want to deal with Union infants. The moral of the story is DO NOT LISTEN TO people with a UNION MENTALITY (like we sometimes have here in on this Blog). Because this is what you get. NUMI was Toyota's only union plant and guess what... they closed it. So LEARN from this and when infantile union people try to plead their case just think of all those Apple jobs in a Right to Work state (not California) or think of, Steel Mills (closed) Detroit (Bankrupt) Hostess (closed) Boeing in S. Carolina NUMI (closed) I think I'll stop there. Or should we talk about the many Corporations opening their factories in Right to Work states.........
Posted by scooby at 3:31 PM
As a former employee, here are a few observations/comments: - NNSA needs to go. - Get rid of NIF, too expensive and it's going nowhere - DOE should restructure LLNL to be more like LBNL. Too expensive to maintain Sandia and LLNL. LLNL and LANL can't continue to do duplicate work. - Sandia should close all operations in Livermore. - LLNL can't compete with Bay Area's tech companies in terms of employee retention. How many software engineers leave LLNL every year? Yes, LLNL employees are highly qualified and competent, but not feasible to maintain current number of employees/salaries/cost of living in CA/pensions/etc...
Posted by scooby at 3:30 PM
Another interesting article that hits on the big questions people have been asking about the situation: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/26/the-war-on-hackers This particular paragraph is interesting: "There is so much so wrong here that I scarcely know where to begin. Should we be more outraged by Battelle’s decision to license, rather than open-source, code developed with taxpayer money? By their breathtakingly broad patent application? By the idea that their belatedly-registered copyright should apply to similar code written independently in different languages? By the amazing contention that an open-source version of a network visualization tool would have “national security implications”? Or by the notion that those who call themselves “hackers” are advertising to the world their intent to break the law?"
Posted by scooby at 2:00 PM
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
"3+2" is in trouble with both the customers and Congress (House and Senate). There's been a now public proclamation by the USAF that they plan to retire the B-83. This will leave only the W87 as a LLNL system - So is this enough to justify keeping LLNL primarily as a nuclear weapons lab? http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/cost-concerns-could-prompt-new-look-warhead-modernization-plan/
Posted by scooby at 11:42 AM
Thursday, October 31, 2013
DOD doesn't need LLNL's B-83... House Democrat Eyes More Powerful Alternative to B-61 Nuclear Bomb Oct. 30, 2013 By Douglas P. Guarino Global Security Newswire WASHINGTON -- A key House Democrat on Tuesday pressed the Obama administration over whether it could use another, more powerful nuclear weapon to defend U.S. allies in Europe rather than making controversial and costly upgrades to the B-61 atomic warhead. The B-61 is a U.S. nuclear gravity bomb stationed in five NATO member nations in Europe. The National Nuclear Security Administration and its contractors are currently in the early phases of a life-extension program for variants of the aging weapon, which administration officials say is urgently needed to ensure they remain safe and reliable. Some Democrats question the administration's position, however. During a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) referenced prior remarks by retired Gen. James Cartwright indicating that there are other weapons in the U.S. arsenal that could deter attacks on NATO allies. She called the continued use of the B-61 "political." Given fiscal constraints facing the United States, Representative John Garamendi (D-Calif.) asked specifically whether another U.S. gravity bomb, the B-83, could be used instead. Administration officials indicated that the B-83 would not require a major overhaul for approximately 10 to 15 years, whereas the B-61 is in need of more urgent refurbishment if its use is to be continued. But the B-83, which is capable of destroying entire cities, is a much more powerful weapon than those the United States currently deploys in Europe. "It truly is a megaton-class weapon -- it is the relic of the Cold War," Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs, said at the Tuesday hearing. "The B-83 is not compatible with European aircraft and the idea of introducing a megaton warhead into Europe is almost inconceivable to me, so we need the B-61." Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, who heads the U.S. Strategic Command, said the B-61 life-extension program would enable the nation to reduce the number of B-83 warheads and eventually eliminate the more powerful weapon entirely. "That's what we will do … so we're not spending money twice," Kehler said. If, however, the administration does not refurbish the B-61 as currently planned, it would then become necessary to conduct a separate life-extension program for the B-83, according to Donald Cook, NNSA deputy administrator for defense programs. "We'd have to do compatibility with aircraft which don't currently fly it and we will not have the basis to do that at anywhere near the cost" of the planned B-61 refurbishment, Cook told the House lawmakers. "All I can say right now is it would be considerably more expensive in my opinion." The B-61 plan is "absolutely consistent with the president's goals," according to Creedon. "It's very important to remember that there are sort of two points to all of this," she said. President Obama "has been very strong that the stockpile be safe, secure and reliable, and that it remain that way as long as there are any nuclear weapons. "That said," Creedon continued, "he has clearly indicated that he would like to entertain reductions … along with Russia. But until such time as that happens, the [planned B-61 refurbishment] is absolutely consistent with the president's goals, as well as our commitment to our allies."
Interesting..... Moscow Conducts Large-Scale Nuclear Attack Drill - Oct 30th ( Freebeacon ) Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said. ...The strategic missile exercises highlight Moscow’s large-scale nuclear forces build up under Putin. Russia is developing several new missiles, including a weapon U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed as a covert intermediate-range nuclear missile called the RS-26 that is being developed and tested in apparent violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. freebeacon.com/ moscow-conducts-large-scale-nuclear-attack-drill/
What happened to the old PAD? Principal Associate Director for NIF & Photon Science Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, United States Job Description Principal Associate Director for NIF & Photon Science, #11724 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has an opening for a Principal Associate Director (PAD) for the National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (NIF&PS) principal directorate. The PAD for NIF&PS is responsible for developing and maintaining the broad range of NIF&PS technical capabilities and infrastructure that supports the current and long-range missions of the Laboratory and for the successful execution of multiple programs for a diverse set of customers. This individual will develop and articulate the mission and strategic plan for the Principal Directorate and develop and maintain close partnerships and collaborations internationally and with government agencies including DOE/NNSA and DoD. The position requires a broad knowledge of NIF&PS core capabilities and infrastructure. The person in this role serves as the leader of the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program (ICF). The PAD for NIF&PS has the prime responsibility for operating the NIF safely and securely for its multiple mission customers...
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
o this is a bit premature but Detroit is talking about lowering union pensions to 16% of original amounts http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/30/detroit-bankruptcy-proposal-would-leave-pensioners-with-16-cents-on-dollar/ I also see in Virgina a Democrat might win for Governor. I am guessing people there and here just do not get it. I believe Pres. Obama innately understands how stupid the voters are and feeds into that with his absurd promises that (never happen)and of course is covered by the media which helps control the stupid people. So my liberal and union friends, this spending will not last (no question about it). I would say to my progressive friends that if at the end of the day if the worst that happens is your pension is cut to 16% of the original value then you should count yourself lucky because I personally have no doubt(at all) that the ramifications of the debt of our country will be 100x worse than just having a pension cut. I'm just saying...........
Posted by scooby at 1:26 PM
This breaking story puts a whole new light on last year's press coverage about the cost overrun, performance failure, and schedule delay issues of the TA-55 perimeter security system. This time last year, Neile Miller reversed the local NNSA decision and awarded LANS a contract extension. She was reportedly inclined to do this, despite the safety and security lapses that had happened during the year, after the operator committed to fix the TA-55 perimeter security system. Now that it has come out that this issue has not yet been resolved by the committed deadline, this might impact contract extension decisions. http://www.abqjournal.com/291044/news/lanl-security-fixes-behind-schedule.html
Posted by scooby at 1:25 PM
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
LANL: 6,866 employees, 1,115 vehicles According to the IG report, the odds are pretty good for a job perk to be a government car. http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/10/f4/IG-0896.pdf
Posted by scooby at 5:47 PM
Defense Department Successfully Conducts Warhead Sled Test LLNL served as technical lead and integrator on an important test to assess a new conventional warhead designed by the Lab. Dave Hare, Livermore's program manager of the test, called it an "unequivocal success." www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=121006
Monday, October 28, 2013
With stories like this coming every few weeks, it becomes harder and harder to defend keeping NNSA under the Department of Energy. While it still may not be the ideal situation to move over to Defense, something drastic is required to alter the present course. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24379351/first-auction-solar-rights-public-lands-colorado-draws-no-one?IADID=Search-www.denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com
Posted by scooby at 6:45 PM
"Should this BLOG do away with anonymous comments? (to reduce virulence)?" Question to moderator: Does this mean that you would require a "Blog Name" that would be attached to an email address so that you could ban blog offenders? In other words, your post would still be "anonymous" but you could be tracked and banned if you break the blog rules? I believe this needs to be explained before people can vote properly.
Posted by scooby at 6:41 PM
Friday, October 25, 2013
DIR-13-253 SUBJECT: ANNOUNCEMENT OF BRET KNAPP AS LLNL ACTING DIRECTOR Parney Albright announced he is stepping down as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Director at the end of the month in order to pursue broader interests in the national security arena. Board of Governors Chair Norm Pattiz announced today the appointment of Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs Bret Knapp to the position of Acting Director of LLNL, effective November 1, 2013. The Los Alamos and Livermore Boards have advised Secretary Moniz and the Acting NNSA Administrator Held of Parney’s departure and have coordinated with them on the designation of Bret as Acting Director while the search for a permanent replacement is completed. A national search for a permanent Director will commence shortly under the leadership of University of California. It is in the nation’s interest to have two strong nuclear security science laboratories, and I have committed to the Boards my support to Bret as he assumes this important role. Bret is no stranger to Livermore having worked there for 26 years before coming to Los Alamos in 2006. He has built strong and effective relationships across the laboratory community, the DOE/NNSA, the Department of Defense, and with other stakeholders. In Bret’s absence, I have asked Craig Leasure to serve as the Acting Principal Associate Director for the Weapons Program. I ask for your full support of Craig during this transition period.
Posted by scooby at 8:36 AM
AAAS leadership is to be applauded for putting this workshop together, and one wonders why it took almost a year for the summary to be published. http://www.aaas.org/cstsp/files/Nuclear-Weapons-Workshop_AAAS_2012.pdf
Posted by scooby at 8:34 AM
A congressional hearing is scheduled to be held on the escalating B-61 budget next week. POGO has a summary of issues that relate to the hearing, including the suggestion that NATO countries be asked to defray the costs. http://www.pogo.org/blog/2013/10/congressional-panel-to-review-b61-nuclear-weapons-spiraling-costs.html
Posted by scooby at 8:33 AM
More good news. But Obama said we could keep our existing policy and doctors if we like them. Another lie brought to you by your socialist democratic party. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/October/21/cancellation-notices-health-insurance.aspx
Posted by scooby at 8:25 AM
Posted by scooby at 8:18 AM
First come the IG reports, then come the press coverage, then come the LANL House hearings. History repeats itself? http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/23/energy-department-spends-56-million-on-waste-facil/?page=all#pagebreak
Posted by scooby at 8:08 AM
It has been a bad few months for the nuclear forces. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/23/us/air-force-nuclear-silo-doors-opened/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
Posted by scooby at 8:06 AM
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Will the threat of a continued sequester yield rational changes to the U.S. nuclear weapons program? It won’t save much money in the short run, but it’s an opportunity to apply some logic to the Cold War thinking that hangs over these most destructive weapons. The fiscal 2014 continuing resolution, thanks to sequestration, cuts almost $1 billion from President Obama’s requested $7.9 billion for the weapons program of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Energy Department outfit that runs the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. If the $6.9 billion projected by the Congressional Budget Office for the NNSA weapons program is maintained for fiscal 2014, it “could soon accomplish what arms control activists have repeatedly failed to do, curbing the rapid growth of the U.S. nuclear weapons budget,” according to an analysis in the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico newspaper that closely follows the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-sequester-a-new-lever-for-cutting-nukes/2013/10/21/8a50e948-382b-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html
Posted by scooby at 4:21 PM
Fact or Fiction: It looks like the next dose of sequestration will be going through on Jan 1st, so prepare for even more cut-backs and head count reductions at all the labs for FY2014 and probably every year thereafter. You might want to "spend you day" polishing up your resumes and search the job ads.
Posted by scooby at 4:20 PM
Friday, October 18, 2013
Tom D moves to Fluor Should be exciting to watch the impact of this move on contracts, both short and long term. http://article.wn.com/view/2013/10/17/Former_Head_of_NNSA_Thomas_D_Agostino_Joins_Fluor_s_Governme/#/related_news
Posted by scooby at 12:52 PM
DoE wins the Golden Hammer Award For contractor expenses that were not in accord with policy, including large food and beverage bills, the award was given to DoE. It is shocking that such abuses can go on, and more shocking that they are reported to be wide spread. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/17/energy-department-pays-out-millions-for-contractor/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS
Posted by scooby at 12:51 PM
That's not the only lawsuit against Sandia. Here's a more recent one: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/01/11/electric-car-designers-suing-department-energy-over-loan-denials-disclosing/
Posted by scooby at 12:50 PM
This is old news, but it's still funny: "Sandia National Laboratories says it's worthless" http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2002/05/20/story3.html?page=all
Posted by scooby at 12:48 PM
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Union of concerned scientists analysis of the NWC This long analysis just came out from several authors that worked in the current administration at one time. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nwgs/nuclear-weapons-complex-report.pdf
Posted by scooby at 10:24 AM
Sad news for the nation http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/15/2977143/senators-seek-budget-deal-house.html
Posted by scooby at 10:23 AM
With a $17T deficit you should expect your budget to be cut drastically since it's the logical thing to do to any none mission critical project, NIF being the biggest of them all. The nation cannot afford toys for the boys anymore. With that said I'm very disappointed the Republicans allowed the debt ceiling to be raised for any reason. All this is doing is postponing the inevitable. I guess the socialist democratic party will go down in history for being the party of the people who caused the greatest depression this world has ever seen. The good news is, they SDP “socialist democratic party” will get what they deserve. Global recognition.
Posted by scooby at 10:21 AM
Here is what looks like is going on with the budgets and programs, gathered from several reports. 1. Labs spent this week safely shutting down - did no program work. 2. Labs spent prior two weeks planning for the safe shut down - did no program work. 3. Labs will spend next week doing a safe re-start - will do no program work. 4. A budget is in place until January 15, 2014 - at the 2013 sequestration cut levels. 5. A new budget is scheduled to be in place by January 15, 2014 - but if it is not, then the next round of sequestration cuts (about twice as large for national security programs as the first round) take place. Overall, no program work for four weeks, a three month budget that is too small to support the existing workforce, and a very high chance that the next budget is even smaller. That about covers it, until February 2014, when the debt limit is hit once more and the next round of negotiations happen. Since it has already been done once, maybe next time we can skip step 2, and only have two weeks of no program work.
Posted by scooby at 10:19 AM
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Security manager sues LANL Lawsuit cites retaliation, discrimination after complaint October 15, 2013 By T.S. Last Journal Northern Bureau SANTA FE — A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee is suing the lab in federal court, alleging that he was subject to retaliation and discrimination after he complained to superiors about breaches in security protocols during VIP visits. Michael Irving, described in the lawsuit as a security program leader/manager for LANL’s director’s office, says he was removed from his security oversight role with regard to VIP visits and placed in a position two levels lower in authority than his previous job. According to the lawsuit, Irving became aware during the spring and summer of 2011 that security protocols at LANL were not being followed during VIP visits to the lab and made several complaints to his superiors about it. The suit alleges that he was labeled as a “malcontent” and “troublemaker” by his superior, who told him he would not be considered for promotion. Irving, who began working at LANL in 1997, was later reassigned to a position with less authority and a change in duties “under the guise of a reorganization of security personnel at LANL.” He has since been “isolated and prevented from managing his former projects and personnel,” and “denied participating in some of his prior duties.” The suit says Irving was made subordinate to someone younger and with less experience, and that his opportunities for advancement are now limited. The lawsuit states that Irving had a legal right to complain about violations in security protocols with regard to the safety of nuclear weapon materials and report discriminatory conduct in the workplace. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that he has suffered lost wages and benefits, significantly decreased his chances to be promoted and has undergone treatment for emotional distress as a result of retaliatory actions. It also alleges that Irving has been subjected to a hostile work environment and was discriminated against on the basis of his age in violation of the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The lawsuit was filed in Albuquerque federal court Wednesday by attorney Donald Gilpin, who did not return a phone message from the Journal on Monday. Comment was also unavailable from LANL’s public information office. http://www.abqjournal.com/282007/north/lanl-security-manager-claims-retaliation.html
Posted by scooby at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
US NUCLEAR FORCE FACES A CASCADE OF MISSTEPS BY ROBERT BURNS AP NATIONAL SECURITY WRITER WASHINGTON (AP) -- First it was bad attitudes among young officers in nuclear missile launch centers. Now it's alleged bad behavior by two of the nuclear arsenal's top commanders. Together the missteps spell trouble for a nuclear force doubted by some for its relevance, defended by others as vital to national security and now compelled to explain how the firing of key commanders this week should not shake public confidence. The Air Force on Friday fired Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, who was in charge of its nuclear missiles. Two days earlier the Navy sacked Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the second-in-command at U.S. Strategic Command, which writes the military's nuclear war plans and would transmit launch orders should the nation ever go to nuclear war. In an Associated Press interview Friday, the nation's most senior nuclear commander, Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, said he told his bosses, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Joint Chiefs chairman, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, that despite the two "unfortunate behavioral incidents," the nuclear force is stable. "I still have 100 percent confidence that the nation's nuclear deterrent force is safe, secure and effective," Kehler said from his Strategic Command headquarters in Nebraska. Together, the Carey and Giardina dismissals add a new dimension to a set of serious problems facing the military's nuclear force. The decision to sack Carey was made by Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, which is in charge of all Air Force nuclear weapons, including bombers. The case appears to be unrelated to that of Giardina, but the two men are associated in the chain of responsibility for U.S. nuclear weapons. Carey did not report directly to Giardina, but the ICBMs under Carey's command would, in the event of war, receive their launch commands through Strategic Command, where Giardina had been the deputy commander since December 2011. By coincidence, Kowalski, who fired Carey, has been nominated to succeed Giardina at Strategic Command. The Senate has not yet confirmed Kowalski. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NUCLEAR_MISSTEPS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
Posted by scooby at 9:48 AM
Assuming there is a shutdown tomorrow, I'd like to get some current lab employees' contact info so I can talk to them about how they're being affected. I figured this site was just as good a place as any to start. They can be anonymous if they choose, but it's best if they will allow us to freely use their names. Can you help me out with this? Jeremy Thomas Staff Reporter Bay Area News Group (925) 847-2184 Jethomas@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted by scooby at 9:46 AM
There are some very creative people in the world. I suspect the lyrics of 1week, two, weeks, three weeks, month, 5,6,7, take the summer off may in fact come true with a $17T national debt and $126T unfunded liabilities over our heads. I’m actually surprised we haven’t had another 1929 already and I believe the only thing that preventing it is the treasury is pumping billion of fake money into the economy monthly is has all caught up with us. I don’t know how this US is going to make it thru this without cutting a lot of funds in many places. http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/10/doe-furlough-song.html
Posted by scooby at 9:42 AM
Monday, October 14, 2013
Please Wake up! There are today at LLNL islands of stability, projects and tasks which are populated by scientists, engineers and techs, that are satisfied and happy with the interesting work that they are doing, the good colleagues that they are working with, and the knowledge that they are contributing to the security of the nation. At the same time these islands are surrounded by an ever deepening sea of despair populated by scientists, engineers and techs who are being marginalized thru no fault of their own. For those of you who are still on the islands of productivity, look into the abyss and ask yourself, "why is LLNL become unsustainable?" You knoe the reasons so speak up, act up, for you too can become another statistic as LLNL slides deeper into the sea of despair.
Posted by scooby at 6:48 AM
Lawrence Livermore lab faces closure under shutdown San Francisco Chronicle October 11, 2013 Washington -- Two national laboratories in the Bay Area will close Oct. 21 if the partial government shutdown continues, resulting in the furloughs of more than 7,000 employees, members of Congress said Friday. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore is the largest, with 6,500 workers. Roughly 1,000 more work at the Livermore campus of the Sandia National Laboratories. Both sites test nuclear arms and maintain the nation's weapon stockpiles. They also conduct research in alternative energy. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, whose district includes Lawrence Livermore and Sandia, said the labs have been operating on funds from existing contracts that will run out in a week if the partial shutdown drags on. The two nuclear labs "were told Oct. 21 is the last day they can use what they received from their government contract service agreements," Swalwell said. A spokesman for the Lawrence Livermore lab directed questions to the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, which seeks preparations for an "orderly" shutdown. Officials at the agency could not be reached. The Bay Area is also home to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which employs 4,200 scientists, engineers and support staff, conducting scientific research across many disciplines. A spokesman there said the lab has no plans to shut down Oct. 21. In Menlo Park, the Slac National Accelerator Laboratory employs more than 1,500 scientists and engineers conducting advanced scientific research. The lab intends to stay open beyond Oct. 21, a spokesman said. All four Bay Area labs are owned by the government but operated by contractors, usually a consortium of universities and private companies. As a result, they've been able so far to avoid laying off employees, unlike government agencies that have furloughed 800,000 workers. The federal government largely closed Oct. 1 when House Republicans refused to pass funding legislation unless it included provisions to dismantle or delay the Affordable Care Act. Negotiations continued Friday between the White House and House and Senate Republicans on a possible path forward. The House has unanimously passed legislation to pay furloughed government workers. Although the Senate has not taken up the bill, the approval by House Republicans all but guarantees federal workers will eventually be paid for the two weeks and counting that they have been furloughed. As contractors, however, workers at national laboratories would have no such guarantee. No legislation has been approved that covers contractors. Swalwell said the Department of Energy, which runs the contracts for the labs, has authority to pay the workers once the labs reopen without requiring a separate act of Congress. Swalwell drafted a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking that the department work with the labs to provide back pay to anyone furloughed. He has signatures from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock (Stanislaus County), and several Bay Area Democrats including Reps. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, Barbara Lee of Oakland and Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto. All have labs in their districts. The four Bay Area labs are among seven nationwide that together employ about 30,000 workers, many of them research scientists and engineers. The others are the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Swalwell scheduled a town hall meeting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Martinelli Event Center in Livermore to address questions about the possible furloughs.
Posted by scooby at 6:47 AM
Another US nuclear commander sacked, making two in one week. The general in charge of the US Air Force's long-range nuclear missiles has been sacked due to "loss of trust and confidence", officials have said. The Air Force said Maj Gen Michael Carey's removal was for "behaviour during a temporary duty assignment". The sacking was not linked to the operation of the nuclear arsenal, which was safe, the officials insisted. On Wednesday the US Navy announced an admiral overseeing nuclear weapons forces had been sacked from the role. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24499310
Posted by scooby at 6:45 AM
Ash Carter resigning at Defense. Carter knew nuclear issues far better than anyone else high up in the Pentgon. As a former chair of the NWC and a PhD physicist, his views were unusually well informed. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/ashton-carter-deputy-defense-secretary-to-step-down/2013/10/10/204ab64a-31e2-11e3-8686-68fca83a474f_story.html
Posted by scooby at 6:43 AM
The House on Friday could debate legislation to temporarily restore funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration as the federal government remains partially shut down amid partisan gridlock over a U.S. budget. House Republicans have prepared multiple bills to fund until Dec. 15 politically popular portions of the federal budget, including the National Nuclear Security Administration, national intelligence activities and border security. It was not clear on Thursday precisely if and when the GOP-controlled House could vote on these measures. However, the office of Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said the vote on the NNSA measure could hit the House floor on Friday. Thornberry's Texas district includes the Pantex nuclear weapons plant, which receives NNSA funding. Pantex has been instructed by the Energy Department's nuclear-weapons branch to begin preparing for a temporary shutdown of plant operations, while maintaining security, the congressman said Thursday in a statement. "There is no reason whatsoever to instruct people who are essential to the security of our country, like workers at Pantex, not to show up to work," Thornberry said. In addition to the Pantex facility, the NNSA-funded Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Y-12 National Security Complex are facing partial shutdowns. House Republicans have tried to advance multiple additional budget measures that call for continue funding at fiscal 2013 levels through Dec. 15 for politically sensitive and popular federal programs, including the National Institutes of Health. The Democrat-led Senate has not approved them, and the White has threatened to veto such piecemeal spending proposals. Obama, though, did on Sept. 30 sign in to law the Pay Our Military Act, which keeps uniformed military on the job. http://www.nationaljournal.com/global-security-newswire/nnsa-funding-bill-floated-in-house-20131010
Posted by scooby at 6:42 AM
Thursday, October 10, 2013
LLNL Update: Lapse in federal appropriations Message from the Director As of today, there is no resolution regarding the lapse in federal appropriations impacting the Laboratory. As directed by NNSA, we have made, and continue to refine, plans for a safe and orderly shutdown of all but essential operations. As I stated in my previous Newsline message, our guiding principle is to minimize the impact to our workforce while delivering on our national missions as long as possible. We now can share the path forward. During the week of Oct. 13, we will be expending three of our FY14 planned holidays in order to keep employees on paid status through the week. Those holidays are the spring holiday (previously scheduled for April 21); the President’s Day holiday (previously scheduled for Feb. 17); and the New Year’s Eve holiday (previously scheduled for Dec. 31, 2013)... On Tuesday, Oct. 15 and Wednesday, Oct. 16, employees will be working to place the Laboratory in a minimum safe and secure operational status. Upon completion of this task, each employee is instructed to take the remaining time to catch up on institutional training courses and complete any outstanding performance appraisal activities. Labwide project/task numbers will be provided for these activities and time card guidance will follow shortly. Beginning Oct. 17, Laboratory operations will be extremely limited, except where consistent with protecting human life, property and the environment. Only those personnel previously notified as required to meet these objectives will be allowed on site. Programmatic organization or administrative line supervisors will notify those employees and subcontractors who will be working during the shutdown and providing their respective schedules. NNSA has asked the Laboratory to initiate an orderly shutdown in support of minimum safe and secure operations no later than Oct. 21, and to maintain that status until Nov. 1. However, due to limited financial reserves, the Laboratory will initiate safe and secure operations beginning Oct. 15. NNSA will provide additional guidance should the lapse in appropriations continue past Nov. 1. The Laboratory has developed a list of critical personnel who will continue to report to work, but all other employees will be furloughed (leave without pay – LWOP). At this time, we have not received permission from DOE/NNSA to use accrued vacation in lieu of LWOP. We will communicate NNSA’s decision as soon as it becomes available. As you may know, the decision to raise the debt ceiling is currently being debated in Washington, D.C. It is important to understand that if the President and Congress agree to raise the debt ceiling without agreeing to a FY14 federal budget, then the schedule above remains in place. If a budget is passed between now and Nov. 1, we will communicate a return-to-work schedule. It is extremely important that each employee sign-up for TxtWire and take note that they also can call (925) xxx-LLNL for updated information. I realize this uncertain situation is difficult on a personal level and may lead to hardship for many employees. I will continue to do my best to update you with the latest information as it becomes available. Human Resources and Public Affairs continue to develop FAQs to address the many valid and important questions you have. You can find the current FAQs on the internal LLNL website . Addressing this challenging situation remains our highest priority, and we are continuing to work to minimize the impacts on staff to the extent possible. I expect this lack of federal appropriations will be resolved in the days and weeks ahead. Until then, I ask that each of you be vigilant to ensure the safety of yourselves, your colleagues, and your family under these stressful circumstances. Parney Albright
Why is Livermore different? Not everyone has a lot of days of unused vacation just sitting around to burn during the impending stand down, and Parney once again demonstrates his concern for his employees by permitting vacation advances. LANL issued guidance (below) specifically forbids this. 'The memo also stipulated: • Employees with adequate vacation balances will be able to record vacation on timecards for the weeks starting Oct. 21 and Oct. 28 if they wish. Vacation advances or other paid leave (sick, jury duty, etc.) will not be allowed, with the exception of employees currently on long-term sick leave. McMillan concluded his memo by saying, “I understand the turmoil this creates for you, your families, and the region. I urge you make plans with a possible furlough in mind,” McMillan wrote.'
Posted by scooby at 9:11 AM
Update on Strategic Command deputy Reports that he has been demoted in rank and fired from his position. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/3-star-navy-admiral-fired-as-deputy-chief-of-nuclear-command-demoted-to-2-star-rank/2013/10/09/fc8899f2-3123-11e3-ad00-ec4c6b31cbed_story.html?tid=auto_complete
Posted by scooby at 9:09 AM
Sandia had an all hands meeting today where lab director Paul Holmert said SNL is shutting down Oct 21, and we will be paid until Oct 25. After Oct 25, nobody will receive pay and vacation can't be used when on furlough to continue getting paid. Benefits like medical are only paid up until early Nov, and will lapse if the shutdown drags on longer than that. In short, now is a good time to find another job in the private sector with better pay and similar or better job security.
Posted by scooby at 9:06 AM
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
NIF breakthrough! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24429621
Posted by scooby at 5:25 PM
Monday, October 7, 2013
Rumor around LLNL is that it will shut down next Friday if no agreement is reached, aside from essential security personnel. Staff will be allowed to use their vacation time to remain on full-time status. If they run out or don't have enough, they will front you up to 40 hours. After that, you go on LWOP and no one is really sure how that will impact your benefits ... yet. Parney is supposed to have an all-hands meeting Monday at 2 PM to address these issues. From what any of us have been able to tell though, even if you're on accounts that are fully funded (I have several that go through December) you will still not be allowed to work after next Friday.
Posted by scooby at 8:41 AM
Bureaucratic ineptitude entrenched at LANL By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board | 11 hours ago Unlike thousands of federal employees, the top brass at Los Alamos National Laboratory are still going to work – and getting paid. What they are not doing – and have not been doing for years – is making any measurable progress on the efficiency front. In fact, runaway regulation, excessive bureaucratic red tape and incompetence are so clogging the work pipeline that the lab and the National Nuclear Security Administration that oversees it are virtually ineffective when it comes to getting some very large and very expensive projects off the dime. Newest example is the lack of progress on a new nuclear waste treatment plant. An analysis by the U.S. Inspector General’s office says the lab is a decade behind schedule and $129 million over budget in replacing the aging plant where radioactive liquid waste is treated – after spending $56 million on just design work. The report says breakdowns at the 50-year-old plant put the lab’s mission – protecting and maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile – at risk. It lays the blame clearly at the feet of the lab managers and the NNSA. A key problem claimed by the inspector general was the lab’s failure to develop a formal risk management plan when planning began in 2004. The risk plan would have identified ways the project could go over budget and get behind schedule. However, such an analysis was not done until 2009, long after problems emerged. If this was an isolated problem, it might be excused away, but it’s just the latest in a long list of behind-schedule, over-budget projects. Last year, the NNSA indefinitely delayed construction of a new Los Alamos plutonium laboratory after estimated costs soared from $600 million to more than $4 billion. About a year ago, a new $213 million security system at the lab’s most sensitive nuclear weapons work site was found not to work and that it would require tens of millions of dollars to fix. Such a pathetic history would be enough to send most American workers to the unemployment line. But the NNSA has continuously turned a deaf ear to Congress’s calls for tightening up its game.
Posted by scooby at 8:39 AM
Saturday, October 5, 2013
The latest in a series of security problems at LLNL. This one from the Inspector General. The link to the full report is at the end. SUMMARY: The High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF) is a state-of-the-art explosives research facility located on-site at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore). The Office of Inspector General received a complaint alleging weaknesses with the controls over physical access to explosive material, as well as weaknesses with explosive inventory control and accountability in the HEAF explosive operations area. We substantiated the allegations regarding weaknesses with controls over access and inventory of explosive materials at the HEAF. We found that Secret and Top Secret cleared individuals at Livermore had the potential to access the HEAF explosive operations area even though they lacked specific authorization and/or had not received required safety training. Additionally, we found that Livermore's Safety Access Training did not adequately address the requirements for unescorted access to the facility's explosive workrooms. Further, a unified perpetual system of records capable of tracking and accounting for explosives acquired, stored and expended at HEAF did not exist. The identified issues regarding potential unauthorized access occurred, in part, because officials did not adequately consider the risks associated with access at the facility and the increased potential for theft or diversion of explosives. The weaknesses identified with the training occurred because the HEAF Safety Plan's requirement related to unescorted workroom access was not fully incorporated into the Safety Access Training module. In addition, the inventory controls for explosives within HEAF primarily focused on safety, and not tracking and accountability of high-risk personal property such as explosives from acquisition to disposition. Management generally agreed with our findings and recommendations and provided planned corrective actions that are generally responsive to our report findings and recommendations. Begin forwarded message: Subject: Report Alert Notice from DOE Inspector General Date: October 4, 2013 9:30:21 AM PDT The Office of Inspector General has issued a report titled “Accountability and Control of Explosives at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s High Explosives Applications Facility," (INS-O-13-06). This report is now available for viewing and can be accessed by clicking the link below: http://energy.gov/node/724051 If you are unable to access this report, please call (202) 586-4128 for assistance.
Posted by scooby at 9:21 AM
Thursday, October 3, 2013
In the last two years LANL has lost 1,200 employees and 580 million dollars in annual budget. Yet the per capita income of the county is still the highest in the US. Thanks, Charlie! http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d15f43d6-2a05-11e3-9bc6-00144feab7de.html#axzz2gez1FFcM
Posted by scooby at 6:09 PM
"Livermore Site Office (6 Excepted employees), Los Alamos Site Office (6 Excepted employees), Sandia Site Office (5 Excepted employees), Kansas City Site Office (3 Excepted employees), Nevada Site Office (7 Excepted employees), Savannah River Site Office (4 Excepted employees), NNSA Production Office (9 Excepted employees), Naval Reactors (158 Excepted employees)." http://energy.gov/articles/department-energy-implementation-activities-case-lapse-appropriations
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