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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email


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Monday, April 29, 2013

TCP1 overfunded or underfunded?

Right LLNS TCP-1 holds $600 Million more than it needs--that's over $150,000 per person for all 3500 TCP-1 participants. LLNS just released the annual funding Notice TCP-1 to beneficiaries. Funding Levels (PVassets/PVliabilities) 2010 154.64% 2011 127.58% 2012 151.59% How the heck can LLNL insist employees contribute 7% to TCP-1, (while LLNS/DOE does not contribute) when it is so overfunded already? The 600M differnce between assets, $1.8B, and liabilities, $1.2B, is over $150,000 per person, growing at a rate of $60,000 per person per year during 2011-2012) This needs to be clearly and transparently explained to employees, with sufficient justification numbers provided so employee number crunchers can verify the arithmetic. At 170% overfunding about 20 years ago, the IRS warned UC that UCRS appeared to be a tax shelter, which is the reason UC suspended employee contributions then. This seems needlessly conservative, even irresponsible to be taking 7% from employee pockets to pad a well stuffed feather bed.

More on VSP, VSIP

If you take the VSP, you will still be able to collect unemployment. When you file for unemployement, they will check with Lab HR and ask if you were terminate or quit, and HR will say you were terminated. That's it, no other checks. Yes its a loop hole, but it makes some sense. You could quit right now and not get the VSP severence pay. Take the VSP you are really agreeing to being fired - in exchange for the payout. To the government you are still being fired, and entitled to unemployment benefits. If it was a VSIP it might be different. But a VSP is the same as a forced RIF (from unemployment standpoint), difference is employees self select instead of management. Can we some confirmation of this from any of the "barracks lawyers" in the audience? A real lawyer would work too I suppose. April 28, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Discrimination at LLNS?

Discrimination at LLNS: 1. They tell you not to come into work 2. Once you have a certain number of days off work, they send you to medical 3. Medical says you need accommodations, asks you for them, then turns those accommodations into unreasonable restrictions. 4. Your boss says they can't meet the unreasonable restrictions 5. They no longer accept your new accommodations 6. They say they need to get restrictions from your treating doctor 7. They reject accommodations from your doctor 8. They say you need a note from your to return to work. And they need a medical release to "talk" to your doctor. 9. After they talk to your doctor, your doctor won't provide a note to return you to work 10. You go on disability, and you are still employed, so you can't "complain" to EEOC. 11. After a year on disability, they medically separate you from your employer 12. After 3 years on disability, they stop your benefits.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

why is Bruce Goodwin leaving WCI?

Wow, why is Bruce Goodwin leaving WCI?

How is UCRS and/or TCP-1 pension cpi adjustment calculated?

A question about the UCRS and/or TCP-1 pension cpi adjustment calculation. How is it done? I vaguely remember that it averages the BLS all-urban CPI data for LA and SF from Feb to Feb and that it is applied to pensions adjusted the following July. But I can't get the 2012 numbers to work. After recent Rogoff's Excel fiasco, I figured I should verify simple matters for myself. My 2012 adjustment was 1.8% in July 2012. The BLS all-urban seasonally-adjusted all-item deflators for the period are listed as; for LA Feb 2011 229.729 Feb 2012 234.537 Feb 2013 239.753 LA(2012/2011) = 234.5/229.7 = 1.0209 For Sf Feb 2011 229.981 Feb 2012 236.88 Feb 2013 242.677 SF(2012/2011)= 236.88/229.98 = 1.03 Therefore the average of the CPI increase in LA and SF from 2011 t0 2012 is (.03+.0209/2 = 2.54% not 1.8%. Do you know what the difference is from? By the way using current data the new CPI adjustment in July should be 2.3% Thanks in advance. Parney if you are reading, help out here.

Friday, April 26, 2013


LLNL will announce by May first a VSP targeting dead wood and EBAS. If your on the list look for a email strongly suggesting you apply for the VSP. All applicants will be released by June. Anonymous Anonymous said... April 25, 2013 at 8:21 PM So you're telling all of us if we were a good employee who does a good job we can't get the he-ll out of here and have to stay to be tortured by unreasonable managers from the top down, but if were a *** no-load who hasn't done their part for years, we get a good deal, free and laugh all the way to the bank. Good move.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another Chu scandal

Another Chu scandal He was such a disappointment as Secretary. In addition to all the bad investments he made in businesses, he managed to leave NNSA in a worse position than where he inherited it. What a downward slide for the Labs!

Moniz clears first hurdle in Senate

Moniz clears first hurdle in Senate Senate energy committee gives Ernest Moniz thumbs-up By: Andrew Restuccia, POLITICO April 19, 2013 05:19 AM EDT Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics professor Ernest Moniz has emerged as the anti-Chuck Hagel, easily passing his first Senate test and even winning support from conservative Republicans. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 21-1 Thursday morning to approve Moniz’s nomination for energy secretary. Only one Republican, Sen. Tim Scott, voted against him. And his vote reflected broader frustration with President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request, not Moniz’s record. Obama’s decision to choose Moniz reflects a broader effort to find a political middle ground on energy policy after Republicans spent years battering outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu. While Moniz has an academic background similar to Chu’s, his résumé differs in several important ways. Moniz is a seasoned veteran of Washington, having served as an undersecretary at the Energy Department during the Clinton administration, and he has testified before Congress more than nine times in the past decade. Wyden has said Moniz could get a vote on the Senate floor this month, but his confirmation isn’t a slam-dunk yet. Scott has threatened to place a hold on Moniz’s nomination over cuts proposed in Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget to a mixed oxide nuclear fuel facility in the Republican senator’s state of South Carolina. The MOX project is part of a U.S.-Russia nuclear nonproliferation agreement to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium by mixing it into uranium fuel pellets for commercial reactors. The project has been plagued by cost overruns. Scott said after the vote Thursday that he has “no idea” whether he’ll put a hold on Moniz’s nomination in the full Senate.

Chu on PF-4 safety

Chu on PF-4 safety In what may have been a parting action to LANL, Chu replies to the DNFSB. "I have concluded that PF-4 can continue to operate safely while longer-term structural modifications are completed." This just might work if someone would cough up the money sometime soon to pay for those 'longer-term structural modifications'.

LLNL gets good report

LLNL gets good report After hearing about all the negative IG reports on LANL for years, this is a welcome break. It also should put to rest any questions about how LLNL allocated direct and indirect costs.

McMillan receives honor

McMillan receives honor Even if it is from a place that no one has ever heard of, it is still an honor. TAKOMA PARK, Md. (Apr. 17) – Charles McMillan, Ph.D., director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and president of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that operates the lab for the National Nuclear Security Administration, was named alumnus of the year by his alma mater, Washington Adventist University during alumni homecoming weekend, April 12-14.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

President's budget

The presidents budget cuts NIF significantly. That budget will never pass but portions of it will. It doesn't look promising.

NIF is a success, but so was the TITANIC.

Just imagine where we would be today if the 3.5 billion in construction, and the brain power that was used to construct NIF had been used to advance the nuclear energy industry. Just imagine the implications in terms of national economic security, reduced dependence on foreign energy sources, and the trending to a significant reduction in green house gases. There were two ways NIF could sink LLNL, one was to succeed, the other was to fail. Yep, NIF is a success, but so was the TITANIC.

Friday, April 19, 2013

How America’s latest attempt at fusion power fizzled

How America’s latest attempt at fusion power fizzled By Andrew Grant Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory If all goes according to Mike Dunne’s plan, the United States will build its first nuclear fusion power plant by the end of the next decade. Sixteen times a second, as the National Ignition Facility's program director for laser fusion energy envisions it, a two-millimeter-wide capsule of cryogenic hydrogen will drop into a steel chamber and get zapped by a 384-beam laser. Matter will transform into energy, driving a turbine that injects up to a gigawatt of clean power into the electrical grid. But all is not going according to plan. To be viable, a fusion power plant would need to generate more energy than it consumed. Yet except in nuclear weapons, scientists have never produced a fusion reaction that does that. For a half-century they have strived for controlled fusion and been disappointed, only to adjust their theories, retry and be disappointed again.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Furlough like event in June?

What's the word on the June furlough-like event?

Live From D.C., It's High-Skill Immigration Reform!

The recently introduced I-Squared Act of 2013 (comprehensive immigration reform) includes a provision to "staple" a green card to every person who receives a masters degree or higher in a STEM field. This may even include an online degree obtained by a foreigner over the internet. Presumably the State Department would subsequently FedEx their green card to China or Saudi Arabia, no questions asked. Seeing as how the Googles, Pfizers and the Microsofts wrote this bill to depress wages, it got me to thinking: will stapling impact the labs by fast tracking citizenship? Following the quest of big business (Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, etc) to the logical conclusion, why not just staple a US passport to every foreigner earning a MS or higher? Would the labs not rejoice in their new found talent pool? Do the labs really care about US national security, or just hiring the best people at the lowest wage to meet NNSA/DOE/DOD objectives? Anybody with elementary economics knowledge understands the supply and demand curve. By increasing supply, prices (wages) must drop. Despite all of the problems at the labs recently, I would be terrified to work in Silicon Valley if this bill gets through as is expected. The labs will be impacted (wages indexed to external market), but at least citizenship is required for many jobs. AAAS: Live From D.C., It's High-Skill Immigration Reform! On 29 January, another bipartisan group of senators released a framework for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a proposal to "staple a green card" to every STEM graduate degree earned at an American university. In a statement, they explained that "[i]t makes no sense to educate the world's future innovators and entrepreneurs only to ultimately force them to leave our country at the moment they are most able to contribute to our economy."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fiscal Austerity Will Force Restraint On LEPS

Former NNSA Chief: Fiscal Austerity Will Force Restraint On LEPS Weapons Complex Monitor April 16, 2013 Future approaches to extending the lives of the nation’s nuclear warheads are likely to be restrained in their scope in the wake of the challenges faced by the National Nuclear Security Administration to contain costs on the B61 refurbishment, the former head of the agency said yesterday. Estimates to refurbish the B61 bomb have reached as high as $10 billion, even as some safety and security features have been dialed back, and former NNSA chief Linton Brooks said yesterday during a speech at the American Security Project that the future would likely bring more of the same. With the B61, “there were those who said this is our last chance to see these weapons for a very long time … and things to make it safer and more reliable, we should put those in,” Brooks said. “That proved in some cases to be unaffordable. I think we’ve learned, the nuclear community, has learned the lesson.” Brooks suggested that in the future, financial pressure would force restraint when it comes to life extension work. “These are extraordinarily safe weapons now and you look at the entire system, they’re extraordinarily secure so I think that the community is unlikely to spend lots of money to add some more decimal points to safety and security,” Brooks said. “There is this bias for let’s make it as good as we can. I think money is in the process of trumping that big time over the next couple years.” Brooks also addressed the Obama Administration’s $7.9 billion Fiscal Year 2014 budget request for the NNSA’s weapons program, suggesting that it should be more than enough to satisfy Congressional Republicans that have been critical of the Administration for backing off of modernization commitments it made during debate on the New START Treaty. “I will say that the conservatives who are not convinced by this budget that the president is serious about the half of the Prague speech that said ‘maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent as long as we have nuclear weapons’ simply aren’t going to be convinced,” he told NW&M Monitor on the sidelines of the event. “If you look back and compare it to the administration I was in, this Administration has paid a lot more attention to the weapons complex.”

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Savin money at DOE labs: any suggestions?

Suggestions on Saving Money at DOE Labs Might be a good thread before summer budget difficulties arise.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

NM Labs fare well under president' s budget!

N.M. nuke spending would grow

N.M. nuke spending would grow By John Fleck and Michael Coleman Albuquerque Journal Thu, Apr 11, 2013 The Obama administration Wednesday proposed a 23 percent increase in the budget for U.S. nuclear weapons research, manufacturing and maintenance over the next five years. The increase, which in part would fund work at Los Alamos and Sandia labs in New Mexico, is an effort to refurbish aging nuclear weapons and the labs and plants needed to maintain them, even as the nation reduces the size of its nuclear stockpile, federal officials said during a series of budget briefings. The budget request asks Congress to provide $7.89 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons activities in fiscal year 2014, up from $7.56 billion this year. By 2018, the proposed weapons activities budget would rise to $9.29 billion in 2018, according to the budget request. At Los Alamos, overall spending by the NNSA and other programs within the Department of Energy would rise from $1.83 billion this year to $1.96 billion in 2014, a 7 percent increase. Included in that is a nearly $32 million increase in environmental cleanup money. The budget proposal also includes money to study alternatives at Los Alamos to the construction of a new plutonium research center, an over-budget multibillion-dollar project the Obama administration put on hold a year ago. The idea is to find a way to build a “smaller and cheaper” project that will still meet the needs for plutonium research and bomb part manufacturing, acting NNSA chief Neile Miller told reporters in a telephone briefing. At Sandia National Laboratories, total spending by the NNSA and other Department of Energy programs in 2014 would be $1.81 billion, essentially unchanged from the current year. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, a nuclear waste disposal site, would get $203 million under the proposed budget, down from $215 million this year. Overall, New Mexico spending by the Department of Energy, primarily nuclear weapons work but also other research at the labs and elsewhere, would rise from $4.48 billion to $4.65 billion next year, a 4 percent increase. New Mexico’s fiscal gain is South Carolina’s loss. NNSA officials slashed money for an over-budget South Carolina plutonium disposal program as a way of making ends meet, officials said Wednesday.

Surviving at LLNL in an Era of Shrinking Take Home Pay

Hello, SPSE-UPTE would like to invite you to our second Noontime Talk on "Surviving at LLNL in an Era of Shrinking Take Home Pay." Details can be found here: Thanks, Riki Gay President, SPSE-UPTE Local 11 925-449-4846

Bike helmets

Are you glad that Lab management is looking out for your future and requiring the use of bicycle helmets?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Energy nominee supports nuclear complex

Energy nominee supports nuclear complex By Michael Coleman Albuquerque Journal Washington Bureau Wed, Apr 10, 2013 WASHINGTON – Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s nominee for energy secretary, offered strong support for the nation’s nuclear weapons complex, as well as enhanced domestic natural gas production, during his confirmation hearing Tuesday. Obama has tapped Moniz, director of MIT’s Energy Initiative, to lead the Department of Energy, which oversees New Mexico’s two nuclear laboratories. In his testimony to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Moniz pointed out that he has significant experience in the nuclear weapons realm. In the late 1990s, Moniz led a review of DOE’s stockpile stewardship program, and he has helped negotiate for heightened security of Russian nuclear weapons materials. Moniz told the committee Tuesday that nuclear stockpile stewardship will remain a critical part of the Department of Energy’s mission. “DOE expertise, to a large extent drawing on the knowledge, skills and commitment of our national laboratory scientists and a technically versed intelligence group, is critical to our national defense,” he said. “If confirmed, I intend to make sure these DOE assets continue to sustain the nation’s nuclear security.” Moniz’s remarks, delivered during his opening statement, could reassure those concerned about deep cuts in nuclear weapons spending during Obama’s second term. A greatly constricted federal budget climate, coupled with Obama’s stated goals of reducing the nation’s nuclear stockpile, have some advocates of Los Alamos and Sandia National laboratories in New Mexico worried about budget cuts. The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a consortium of groups critical of U.S. nuclear policy, is gathering in Washington this week to protest what it calls bloated spending on nuclear weapons at the expense of nuclear cleanup. “The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is concerned that out-of-control spending on nuclear weapons will divert resources from legally required environmental cleanup, dismantlement, and critical nonproliferation efforts,” the groups said in a statement. Moniz also lauded increased natural gas production but stopped short of endorsing U.S. exports of the fuel. He said that if confirmed, he would support renewable energy such as wind and solar, along with coal and nuclear power. “The president is an all-of-the above person, and I am an all-of-the above person,” Moniz said. Moniz had a familiar advocate in his corner at this morning’s hearing. Former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat and former chairman of the Senate energy committee, formally introduced him to the committee. Bingaman offered a glowing review of Moniz’s qualifications, lauding his scientific expertise, management capabilities and “unquestionable” ability to oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.


Well, the posting for the new CIO is out. I wonder if the "third time is the charm". Let's hope they get it right this time! I'm not sure if we have a good pool of internal candidates. Most have applied before and have been rejected.

Suggested poll... Look for it in this page.

Money is tight and NIF is EBAing people, assigning them new jobs and working those that are left twice as hard. I think it’s time for NNSA to step in and do what is right. I think it’s time to run a poll with multiple choices. The question would be something like. What incentive if offered by NNSA would most likely guarantee your departure before Oct 1st, 2013? If possible allow them to identify themselves by age. 1) One weeks pay for every year of service 2) Two weeks pay for every year of servive 3) Seperation check equal to two years wages 4) One years wages tax free into your 401k or 403b

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New era expected for DOE

New Era for Energy Department Expected Under a Secretary Moniz April 8, 2013 National Journal With stimulus funding for clean energy at an end, climate-change policy dead in Congress, and harsh budget cuts looming over all agencies thanks to the sequestration, the days of President Obama’s vision of the Energy Department as a green juggernaut have probably come to an end... The MIT professor and former Energy undersecretary in the Clinton administration is also likely to renew the agency’s traditional focus on nuclear energy, nuclear waste, and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons... Like the man he would succeed, Nobel laureate Steven Chu, Moniz is a renowned physicist with serious research chops: He is director of the Energy Initiative at MIT, where he has been on the faculty since 1973. Unlike Chu, however, Moniz has a long record of supporting a broad portfolio of energy sources, including natural gas. He also has a strong background in nuclear issues, making him a better fit considering the agency’s historic nuclear portfolio. Also unlike Chu, Moniz is viewed as a pragmatic and politically savvy operator who knows his way around Washington. “I think it will be a very different agency than it was in the first term,” said Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution... “Ernie knows climate change, but also unconventional oil and gas and coal and nuclear. He will push the president towards a more balanced policy. I think you’ll see a focus on unconventional oil and gas and not as much on renewables.” Frank Verrastro, director of the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “He’ll be a more complete secretary of Energy. He brings different skills. He’s focused on climate and clean energy, but he’s aware of what’s going on in the oil and gas space. It’s an opportunity for the administration to gain back some energy-policy stake.” The nation’s energy picture has changed profoundly since 2008... Obama has been particularly bullish on natural gas as a one-two punch for his climate-change and economic goals: The fuel has half the carbon emissions of coal, and the new glut of it has lowered U.S. manufacturing costs. The fossil-fuel industry, which regularly railed against Chu, has already indicated its openness to Moniz. “Moniz seems to be a pragmatist on the important energy issues facing our nation including natural-gas development,” said John Krohn, a spokesman for Energy In Depth, which represents the gas-fracking industry... “When he arrives at DOE, he will join many senior-level Obama officials who have publicly stated that natural gas is an important fuel for our nation’s environment and economic future.” Among the biggest policy decisions facing the Energy Department ...will be the question of whether or not to grant permits for U.S. companies to begin exporting natural gas. Manufacturers fear that exporting the fuel will increase their prices, but foreign policy thinkers believe it could help increase U.S. muscle in Asia. Moniz is expected to be a key player in these decisions. Nuclear-energy issues are also likely to get more attention under Moniz. While some environmentalists remain wary of nuclear energy, Moniz is among a group of thinkers who see nuclear power... as a key piece of a future clim ate policy. While nuclear-waste issues were not a forte of Chu’s, Moniz was part of the blue-ribbon commission on nuclear waste that last year recommended building medium-term nuclear-waste storage facilities that could hold waste for up to a century. “There will be more attention paid to nuclear waste and the nuclear stockpile,” said John Deutch, a professor at MIT and former head of the CIA ... and who has worked with Moniz on energy issues for more than 30 years. “He will have a much broader agenda, and he will be asked to have a broader agenda by President Obama,” Deutch said. U

Friday, April 5, 2013


This is like whack-a-mole. If it's not one thing, it's another. We are getting a reprieve from the painful reminders of NIF EoS threads, and I'm sure those people involved are breathing a sigh of relief. This time, it's about NIF ignition!

Source: Science News
Date: April 4, 2013 (web)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ORNL gets new S&T head

ORNL gets new S&T head

Mason's announcement is striking compared to when LANL recently filled a comparable position. Oak Ridge gets a nationally recognized leader that has lots of personal research accomplishments as well as good experience in DC. Los Alamos promotes another of their insiders and tells everyone it is the best that they can find.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ramamoorthy Ramesh of the University of California, Berkeley as my Deputy for Science and Technology effective June 1, 2013. Ramesh will also hold an appointment as a Governor’s Chair Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Ramesh has an exceptional record of accomplishment in fields that are well aligned with ORNL’s current scientific thrusts. In particular, he is internationally recognized for his work on complex multifunctional oxide thin films, nanostructures, and heterostructures. He has published more than 400 papers in areas spanning magnetic materials, recording materials, magnetic and magnetoresistive metal oxides, high-temperature superconductors, ferroelectrics, dielectrics, piezoelectrics and relaxors, semiconductor heterostructures, and advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques applied to materials characterization. These papers have been cited more than 35,000 times, making him one of the world's most highly cited researchers. Ramesh was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 in recognition of his contributions to the science and technology of functional complex oxide materials.

In addition, Ramesh has been a driving force in moving innovation to the marketplace, most recently as the director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program. In this capacity he set the science and technology agenda for SunShot, established funding priorities, and oversaw solar research and development activities at the Department’s national laboratories. His management experience in this and other roles, including director of the Berkeley Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Institute and the Singapore-Berkeley Research Institute for Sustainable Energy, will be a valuable asset in our continuing development and execution of multidisciplinary research initiatives that are focused on delivering outcomes.

Ramesh received a B.S. in chemistry in 1980 from Madras University, Madras, India, and a Ph.D. in materials science from UC Berkeley in 1987. He currently holds the Purnendu Chatterjee Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley, where he is also on the faculty of the Department of Physics. In addition, he serves as a Faculty Senior Scientist, Materials Sciences Division, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Ramesh recently returned to Berkeley after serving as the Director of the SunShot Initiative, working directly for the Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu. Earlier, Ramesh served as Associate Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UC Berkeley. He was previously a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland and a member of the technical staff at Bell Communications Research.

Ramesh has organized a number of international conferences and symposia, and he has served on the editorial boards of Applied Physics Letters, Integrated Ferroelectrics, the Journal of Applied Physics, the Journal of Materials Research, and the Journal of Electroceramics. In 2001, he was awarded the Humboldt Senior Scientist Prize, the A. James Clark School of Engineering Faculty Outstanding Research Award, and Fellowship in the American Physical Society (APS). In 2006, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was selected to present the David Turnbull Lecture to the Materials Research Society (MRS) in 2007 and was elected MRS Fellow in 2009. Ramesh was also awarded the 2010 APS James C. McGroddy New Materials Prize.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New guards at LLNL

What is the story behind the new guards at LLNL?

DOE Pushes for Cost-Saving Moves at National Labs

Energy Department IG Pushes for Cost-Saving Moves at National Labs

Global Security Newswire
March 28, 2013

The Energy Department's top auditor this month said the Obama administration should look to shrink, close or take other steps to reduce costs at the 16 DOE national laboratories, the Center for Public Integrity reported on Wednesday.

No particular facility became a target for potential shutdown in the advice issued by DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman. The national laboratories include the country's three nuclear-weapon research sites: the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The 16 facilities together cost $10 billion each year and employ 110,000 people, Friedman told the House Science Oversight Subcommittee as it mulled federal funding reductions mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act. “The operative question going forward from our perspective may well be, what can the department afford in this environment?” he asked.

Friedman initially pushed for cost-cutting steps at the national laboratories in 2011.

“Our recommendation has not been adopted, and I must say that there are a number of members of Congress who have said it was dead on arrival,” he told lawmakers. “We thought it was the right thing to do and the time has come for a re-evaluation, but it has not (been) received with a great deal of acceptance.”

Friedman also suggested cutting certain managerial positions at the National Nuclear Security Administration, the semi-independent DOE branch responsible for oversight of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

Which lab to close?

So it looks like DOE is starting to think a little bit about which Lab to close, LNLL or LANL, in case the financial problems in the complex keep get worse. The thought seems to be, "why do we need two competing weapons labs in this day and age of very tight budgets and the end of the cold war?"

Who will win this battle if it comes down to it, LNLL vs LANL?
April 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Energy Department IG Pushes for Cost-Saving Moves at National Labs

Global Security Newswire
March 28, 2013

The Energy Department's top auditor this month said the Obama administration should look to shrink, close or take other steps to reduce costs at the 16 DOE national laboratories, the Center for Public Integrity reported on Wednesday.

No particular facility became a target for potential shutdown in the advice issued by DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman. The national laboratories include the country's three nuclear-weapon research sites: the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The 16 facilities together cost $10 billion each year and employ 110,000 people, Friedman told the House Science Oversight Subcommittee as it mulled federal funding reductions mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act. “The operative question going forward from our perspective may well be, what can the department afford in this environment?” he asked.

Friedman initially pushed for cost-cutting steps at the national laboratories in 2011.

“Our recommendation has not been adopted, and I must say that there are a number of members of Congress who have said it was dead on arrival,” he told lawmakers. “We thought it was the right thing to do and the time has come for a re-evaluation, but it has not (been) received with a great deal of acceptance.”

Friedman also suggested cutting certain managerial positions at the National Nuclear Security Administration, the semi-independent DOE branch responsible for oversight of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

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