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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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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nuclear Plant Decommissioning

Dave Lochbaum posts our latest Explain This column by explaining the three options for decommissioning a nuclear power plant. I hope you enjoy it!

Janice Sinclaire
Internet Outreach Coordinator

Monday, July 29, 2013

Who is NIF?

Anonymous said...
New article on fusion on BBC - no mention of NIF

Is this a sign that NIF's credibility in fusion science has waned?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

LANL not keeping track of nuclear materials

LANL not keeping track of nuclear materials

This Department of Energy IG report applies to areas outside of TA-55. This is on top of the recent halt work order for TA-55 caused by lax following of radiation controls.


Weapons Complex Morning Briefing
July 23, 2013

Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter waded into a long-running debate about how much the U.S. spends on its nuclear arsenal, suggesting late last week that the reductions proposed by the Obama Administration won’t generate big savings. Carter said at the Aspen Security Forum that the Pentagon spends about $16 billion a year to maintain the U.S. nuclear deterrent—totals that don’t include the NNSA’s nearly $8 billion annual weapons account. “It is not a big swinger of the budget,” Carter said. “You don’t save a lot of money by having arms control and so forth. But the reason you do it is because these things—though they don’t cost that much—are the most awesome and terrible inventions of humankind. … They are things always to remember are part of our arsenal that deserves our most careful thought and treatment and responsibility. But they’re not the answer to our budget problem. They’re just not that expensive.”

Carter’s comments drew the ire of arms control advocates, who accused him of “low-balling” the cost of the U.S. nuclear deterrent which some reports have pegged as much higher. The high end of the estimates came in a report authored by the Ploughshares Fund that lumps in nuclear cleanup, nonproliferation and missile defense costs, and which suggests the costs are more than $60 billion a year. “Sharp reductions in nuclear weapons will make us safer while saving tens of billions of dollars in the next decade and beyond,” Bill Hartung, the Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy wrote in the Huffington Post yesterday. “That should be a no-brainer, particularly for someone with his intellectual credentials.”

While President Obama has outlined his plans for reductions, Russia has been hesitant to go along with the reductions, but Carter emphasized the importance of pursuing reductions through negotiations with Moscow, which he suggested could aid efforts to curb proliferation around the globe. “That’s what we want, because those weapons and those materials might actually be used against us,” he said. “So if our own reductions and being prepared for our own reductions can be a catalyst for nuclear security more broadly, that’s a good thing, and that’s what the president wants. And you miss that opportunity if you just do it yourself, because we’re not going to attack ourselves.”


Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor
July 19, 2013

The Obama Administration is believed to be set to pick retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz as the next administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, NW&M Monitor has learned. The exact timeline for Klotz’s nomination remains unclear, but officials with knowledge of the search said the former Global Strike Command chief was picked over former Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Mike Anastasio, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon, and former Naval Reactors chief Kirkland Donald. Klotz will replace Tom D’Agostino, who retired in December, as well as a pair of acting administrators: Neile Miller and Bruce Held.

Klotz retired from the Air Force in 2011 after standing up Global Strike Command, and has worked since then as a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. During his Air Force career, he commanded a strategic missile squadron and operations group at Grand Forks Air Force Base and a missile wing at Minot Air Force Base. He also headed up Air Force Space Command’s 20th Air Force and Strategic Command’s Task Force 214, and worked as Director for Nuclear Policy and Arms Control with the National Security Council at the White House and as a defense attaché at the American embassy in Moscow.

According to published writing during his post-Air Force career, Klotz’s positions on arms control and nuclear weapons align nicely with those of the Obama Administration. Last month, he came out in support of the President’s Berlin speech that outlined a goal to reduce the size of the nation’s strategic deployed stockpile to around 1,000 warheads, calling it a “pragmatic and workable basis for forging a sustainable, bipartisan consensus on nuclear weapons and arms control policy” in an op-ed for The National Interest. “The approach taken by President Obama and his administration actually represents a relatively moderate and measured effort to reconcile two dominant, but different themes in current American thinking about nuclear weapons,” he wrote. “The first is the belief that the United States should continue to lead international efforts to limit and reduce nuclear arsenals, prevent nuclear proliferation, and secure nuclear materials. The second is the belief that appropriately sized nuclear forces still play an essential role in protecting U.S. and allied security interests.”

On the topic of the weapons complex and arsenal, he wrote that “the United States still needs to maintain modern, survivable and effective nuclear forces to deter the use or threatened use of nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies, however improbable that may now appear.” The President’s plan outlined in Berlin provides “the basic elements of a broad consensus on what needs to be done to sustain our nuclear forces in an uncertain world populated by other nuclear powers,” he wrote. “They can and should be used to advance an agenda that combines necessary modernization and reductions tailored to serve American and allied security interests.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sandia's fee penalties

Documents obtained by KRQE from the Freedom of Information Act on Sandia's fee penalties:


Weapons Complex Morning Briefing
July 18, 2013

The Obama Administration’s support of a “3+2” vision for the future of the nation’s nuclear stockpile, which includes the production of three interoperable warheads, has received in recent months some pushback from Congress and arms control experts, both because of technical concerns and the potential price tag of the warheads. But Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller said yesterday that the Administration isn’t wavering in its support for the strategy, which is key to the potential stockpile reductions laid out by President Obama last month in a speech in Berlin. “We continue to think it’s very sensible,” Miller said during a speech at the Capitol Hill Club. “We’ve been talking to people on the Hill in this regard and it comes down … to the resources required to implement the strategy. I’ve seen nothing in either our analysis or in comments that have come from the Hill or elsewhere to make me think we should shift from that strategy, and it does undergird the approach that we’re taking in the hedging for technical and geopolitical change.”

Key Congressional committees have raised concerns about the approach, especially in light of the potential price tag, which last month was revealed to be approximately $14 billion for the first interoperable warhead, a combination of the W78/W88-1 warheads. Two subsequent interoperable warheads could cost $13 billion and $12 billion, respectively. At the same time, the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee has put the brakes on the Navy portion of a study on the W78/W88-1 interoperable warhead, rejecting a $3 million request to reprogram Fiscal Year 2013 funds. Miller, however, was undeterred. “We’ll continue to make the case,” he said. “We think the case makes sense and we’ll continue to answer any and all questions about why it makes sense, how to implement it, that Congress and others may have.”
Anonymous said...

One more reason....

One more reason why funding for NIF should be cut and give to companies that'll build devices that actually serve a purpose. If there is anyone out there with a brain would you please start putting our tax dollars in area that can be built with todays technology and in return we get the power we need instead of pussy footing around with $6B + and get nothing

Note from Scooby:
I dont see that "one more reason".

unemployment for ssvsp ers

It's been over a month since the majority of SSVSP folks departed. Has anyone been able to draw unemployment? Any other issues arise?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sandia chastised

Sandia chastised by an internal review board, condemned by the federal government and cost taxpayers millions of dollars:

The Photo Behind the Blog Title:

The Photo Behind the Blog Title:

I just realized this. The photo used behind the title for this blog looks like a tombstone, since the date says "1952-2007". Was this photo doctored and made to look like a "tombstone"? I only realized the irony just now (yes maybe I'm slow). The anger against Bechtel and the state of the lab (versus many decades ago) seem to reflect this idea.

highly paid managers

After a work force reduction, why is llnl hiring new high paid managers that are on support dollars?

It is what they do when they need to get a big pay raise just prior to retirement. Please who needs any blue collar workers. Didn't you know that it's management who's the backbone of the lab and totally responsible for its success. I mean, come on, look around you.

Explosive news!

Alex Wellerstein has another compelling slideshow at the Bulletin, this time commemorating this week's 68th anniversary of the Trinity nuclear test. Wellerstein points out that at this point in the project, the bomb was not a forgone conclusion, and it's abilities were largely guesses (including the most basic question of how explosive the blast would be). Please check it out and let us know what you think!
Best regards,

Janice Sinclaire
Internet Outreach Coordinator

Monday, July 15, 2013

GEDs versus PHDs

We still have the PHD's at the UPTE board of directors (sorry I meant GED's) always wanting to help Director Parney (PHD) run the Laboratory.

Please be aware Sen. Ron Paul (who has "some" good ideas) is proposing a National Right to Work law.


It simply means I would not be fired if I leave a union. But if my coworker could be in a union if they choose.
Why would I be fired if I choose not to pay union dues? Seems kind of dumb actually. Even if I opt out i still have to pay the union.

However you feel about Ron Paul he is right on this and please keep an eye out (in our complicated, busy life) for this National Right to Work law.

Please educate yourself on this because the are the main contributers to Jerry Brown, etc...not to mention Bart, Numi, Hostess, etc.

Cover-up and collusion at Sandia:

Check this out!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What are the opinions of the community?

What are the opinions of the community, of an NNSA lab piloting a federalization effort? This would be similar to how NETL is run, where the lab is staffed and managed by US Government Employees. While most the National Labs are Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCOs), only NETL is a Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOGO), where lab staff and management are DOE employees.
NASA is an agency to look at, most of their sites (for the expectation of JPL) are federally staffed.

Some pros:
-Prestige of being a National Lab AND Federal Employee
OPM benefits:
-All federal holidays off, and usually the Secretary grants a few hour early dismissal the day before a holiday
-FERS retirement, which includes a pension/TSP(401k) hybrid
Military credit toward retirement
-Federal health plan
-Vacation days:
1-3 years of service: 4 hours every 2 weeks
3-15 years of service: 6 hours every 2 weeks
+15 years of service: 8 hours every 2 weeks
-Veterans preference (only a pro for vets)
-Job stability

-Limited by GS-Scale: most employees will be capped at $155k
-Veterans preference: a veterans that meets the minimum qualifications may be hired above a better candidate
For example a 2.7 GPA MS from a Cal State School who is a veteran, will likely be hired over a 3.8 PhD from Stanford or MIT
-Subject to government RIFs, furloughs, pay freeze
-Government will not buy employees coffee, bottled water, food, or other business expenses (perks) that a contractor can get away with justifying.
-Government employees are held rigidly to OPM per diem rates
-Less of a buffer of political BS coming from NNSA HQ on technical work

The 2013 R&D 100 Awards

The 2013 R&D 100 Awards are out.

Looks like LBNL is tops as primary developer both overall and among the DOE sponsored labs, with LLNL second for DOE sites.

LBNL - 7
SNL- 3
ANL - 3
ORNL - 3
LANL - 2
NREL - 2
Y-12 - 1
PNNL - 1
INL - 1

The non-DOE national lab, Lincoln Laboratory - 2

Sunday, July 7, 2013

tcp contributions pre-tax possible: true or false?

Why can't llnl take out our pension contribution pre tax?

I've been told by a CPA that they could do so, if they wanted to

401k payment method

Did LLNL do something weird with the 401K payment methods?

I heard a letter was sent out.

Why would contracts be extended if people are not performing?

Last year, the lab received a one-time waiver from the NNSA fee determining official — principal deputy administrator 
Congress eyes lab waiver

Neile Miller, who left the post at the end of June.

In a letter from former Los Alamos Site Office head Kevin Smith to Miller, the award term (one-year contract extension) originally was not granted. But at the bottom of the letter, the no was scratched out with a notation, “Yes. Contingent on LANS letter attached.”

Miller also granted a one-year waiver to Lawrence Livermore lab.

Miller adjusted Livermore’s fee in December, giving the lab contractor an extra $541,527 to help it meet the 80 percent mark. 

The trade publication report said, House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said the agency did itself a “tremendous disservice” by granting the award term extensions when he briefly raised the issue at a subcommittee hearing on DOE project management in March.

And Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, called the decision “unbelievable” during a panel hearing in April. 

“Why would contracts be extended if people are not performing?” Feinstein asked.

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