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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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pentagon Could Be Best Place For NNSA Autonomy

Weapons Complex Monitor
June 12, 2013
Kyl Suggests Pentagon Could Be Best Place For NNSA Autonomy

Former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, who retired from the Senate earlier this year, suggested yesterday that the National Nuclear Security Administration needs more autonomy to better do its job, and he argued that freedom could come by shifting NNSA under the Pentagon. Before he left the Senate, Kyl helped author legislation that created a 12-member NNSA governance panel that will make recommendations about the future of the agency, and after a speech at the Capitol Hill Club yesterday, Kyl said he believed it would be better if the NNSA could regain the autonomy that lawmakers initially intended for the agency when it was created more than a decade ago, but he said he doubted that could happen. “If you could get the leadership of DOE or the Administration straightened out as to the original intent, which was to have a truly independent entity, theoretically it could still work in DOE, but absent that I think it would be better probably as a part of DoD,” Kyl told NW&M Monitor.

During a question-and-answer session after his speech, Kyl also emphasized that the panel would have to wrestle with the appropriate place in Congress for oversight of the agency as well. “Over the last dozen or so years the problems with this setup as well as the problems within both the House and Senate appropriations committees have just decimated the program,” Kyl said. “When one chairman of the appropriations committee, who has some conflicts of interest because they’ve got some water projects to fund, can make the difference here, something is clearly wrong,” Kyl said.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

It cannot stay in DOE. DOE has now failed twice in the last two decades to show that it could manage the stockpile.

Furthermore, it's not just moving the boxes. They need to get rid of the incompetent people who make up 90% of NNSA. Changing office symbols and letterhead won't fix anything.

Anonymous said...

Yes. But you know full well that most of them will be moved into whatever agency NNSA gets moved to just because of their familiarity with operations.

Anonymous said...

On what basis is it a DOE problem as opposed to NNSA itself? Does NNSA need more autonomy, or more effective oversight/accountability?

DoD is not going to provide some magic on cost containment--at least little in their major system procurement history suggests that. More people will get reassigned/demoted/fired after some major screw-up, so perhaps accountability goes up.

Anonymous said...

The problems with NNSA are that they are ineffective at managing out of control contractors (e.g., LANL and LLNL and Y12)

Anonymous said...

So under DOD wouldn't the model for management oversight of the NNSA labs be DOD's Lincoln Lab?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln is too small for comparison. Maybe NRL?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln Lab does great stuff!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the lab, the big item is with regards to certification, LEP, etc., which doesn't fit in a Lincoln Lab model. Maybe some of the other researchy stuff, maybe even NIF, however.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the lab, the big item is with regards to certification, LEP, etc., which doesn't fit in a Lincoln Lab model. Maybe some of the other researchy stuff, maybe even NIF, however.

June 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

This is BS. Apparently, the W76 LEP did fit LANL either, it was a disaster. Maybe Lincoln can teach LLNL/LANL a few things in managing projects because that is all the LEPs are, projects.

Anonymous said...

that is all the LEPs are, projects.

June 16, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Difficult to "manage" a "project" when all of the people knowledgeable about the system in question are either retired, banished to environmental cleanup jobs, or so beaten down by the system they don't care anymore. And then there's the new group who know only modeling, and have never seen an actual nuclear weapon. Oh, and let's not forget the ones who claim to be experts and have only fluff and smoke as credentials. This is the state of the US nuclear weapons program today.

Anonymous said...

So is this anything other than the standard republican hatred of DOE? An attempt to move the one thing that DOE does that they approve of to the DOD to prepare DOE for elimination?

"DOE has now failed twice in the last two decades to show that it could manage the stockpile."

Last I checked the stockpile was still there, waiting to go boom. Could you be more specific on these supposed failures?

"The problems with NNSA are that they are ineffective at managing out of control contractors (e.g., LANL and LLNL and Y12)"

And the DOD is the poster child for keeping projects on schedule and on budget?

And moving a box on an org chart is going to fix what? how?

Anonymous said...

Large governmental bureaucracies can not be reformed - the internal pressures to keep the status quo are too great - they have to be broken up if you want real change.

That said, here's my suggestion for NNSA, and I'd like to know what people think.

Congress should;

Move the NNSA sites primarily focused on testing & production to DOD. That would be KCP, Pantex, Y-12, NTS, SRS, and Albuquerque Complex. Also to DOD the pit production activities at LANL (under a new contract separate from LANS).

DOD already oversees "production and testing" of every other weapons system that it uses, why should nuclear weapons be different.

Congress could even make this slimmed down NNSA a standalone agency in DOD, similar to the NSA (even with all the recent news on cyber investigations, most don't even know NSA is part of DOD).

The science and research sites; LANL (minus production activities), LLNL, and SNL would remain in DOE under the Office of Science.

The DOE Office of Defense Programs would be brought back to oversee the interface between DOE-DOD on nuclear weapons work and do program management for the nuclear weapons work done at the Office of Science national labs.

NNSA feds would either go to DOD or DOE - but no more duel hats. NNSA micromanagement evaporates.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Where do you put the designers? The big lab science facilities need those designers who are tied to the systems. Do they take on science work as WFO type funding? Or stay at the lab and do program work as WFO?

Anonymous said...

Where do you put the designers? The big lab science facilities need those designers who are tied to the systems.

June 19, 2013 at 11:22 PM

There aren't any designers left. They are either retired or dead, There are only those posers who call themselves "designers" without having designed anything that ever worked except in simulations which they themselves built from their designs. Way too interbred and way too conflicted in interest. THERE ARE NO DESIGNERS LEFT!

Anonymous said...

Brutal. Yet you are so right!

Anonymous said...

Their graphics designers are pretty productive and useful still. And they make very pretty pictures.

Anonymous said...

Equating current designers to graphics designers... ouch

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