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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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Friday, August 30, 2013


Didn't LLNS know when they bid on the contract they were taking on pensioners?

We're not DOE employees, we're LLNS employees. UC puts in their money. LLNS, not DOE, needs to put in theirs.

Sorry you miscalculated your profits. When you take post tax contributions from your employees, you have no place to hide.

By the way, you don't need permission to do the right thing.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Record energy at NIF

Laser fusion experiment yields record energy at NIF

LANL plutonium mission

From the Los Alamos Monitor

By The Staff
Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm (Updated: August 24, 7:26 pm)

Los Alamos National Laboratory director Charlie McMillan reportedly sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in July warning of dire consequences for the plutonium mission if sufficient funding is not secured.

According to a letter obtained by the Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor, McMillan cited the lack of action on a $120 million reprogramming request from the NNSA to begin work on an alternative plutonium strategy and the funding cuts included in both versions of the FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bills.

Congress has not signed off on the reprogramming request, which came about when the decision was made to defer the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility.

There have been reports the lab is considering an alternative strategy based on a modular approach to maintain the nation’s plutonium capabilities.

“Los Alamos will continue to do everything possible to keep our people and programs intact should these funding reductions come to pass, but I am very worried that these FY 14 Pu program reductions will place the mission is on an unrecoverable trajectory,” McMillan reportedly wrote in the July 1 letter. “With the 2019 closure of CMR and significant underfunding of Pu infrastructure, we will simply not have the capability to produce much more than the current pit output.”

The trade publication reports that parts of the reprogramming request would go to studying that approach while other money would allow the lab to begin purchasing materials and equipment for existing facilities that will play a larger role in the plutonium strategy, which is expected to enable the lab to produce up to 30 pits by 2021.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


A typical potpourri of NIF hype about improving neutron yields by a factor of 1.5x and tales of visits to the Czech Republic with a Bechtelian to get a $50M contract for LLNL to build a laser for the Czechs. Does anyone know how LLNL could even be considered for that? Why wouldn't they just hire a private laser engineering firm? Does LLNL have a QA/QC department or a pricelist?

What did Parney say?

Did Parney have an all hands meeting last Wed. to discuss FY14 and if so, what was said?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Great story on the founding of LLNL.

Great story on the founding of LLNL.

"Study Recounts Early, Difficult Years Of Lawrence Livermore National Lab" - The Independent. Friday, August 23, 2013. By Jeff Garberson

I am struck by this, and how its compares today to life at the Lab....

"Guided by Lawrence’s legacy from the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, Livermore staff were young experimentalists who shifted fluidly between groups as jobs required. They lacked job titles for the most part – even York, who led the Livermore site, did not receive the title of Director until Lawrence suggested it offhandedly in 1954.

Most important, perhaps, Lawrence was always upbeat and looking to the future. He would not allow gloom or despondency. Even after the third failed nuclear test, he showed up at the Livermore site and told the young scientists not to despair but to ask what they could learn from the failures."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dysfunctional LLNL

My name is Kevin Moore and I recently left the Lab after 10.5 years. My new job has shown  me just how dysfunctional LLNL is, and revealed the lab's greatest problem: it's inability to fire those who should be.
Repeatedly, I watched failed scientists/engineers not be terminated, but"coaxed" into  management. These folks, typically with no managementexperience beyond some two-day LLNL coarse, made horrible managers. Theymoved their way through middle management, arriving to a place where theywere seen as a person who guides science/engineering at the lab. We then had a failed science/engineering with poor management skills trying to
build programs and direct the lab. The result is what we have today: a rudderless monolith with ghastly overhead.LLNL was a truly sad place to be, and the day I got out was one of the most happy periods I had in years.
If I can suggest anything to our government, come into the weapons labs with a team of competent strategists and start slashing useless managers and failed scientist. Use metrics like peer-reviewed publications to gauge a persons quality, not spot awards or other worthless internalrecognitions.

Kevin Moore
Manager, Materials & Corrosion Engineering
Exponent Failure Analysis Associates
149 Commonwealth Drive
Menlo Park, Ca 94025

Loyalty and layoffs

Questions from tri-valley

Two questions for LLNL-the-true-story readers and bloggers: One, what do you know about any imminent plutonium experiments at the NIF? And, two, do you think the plutonium experiments already being carried out at Z and other facilities is sufficient to accomplish the task at hand? Here is the latest news article on plutonium experiments at Z...
U.S. Tests Plutonium to Gauge Nuclear Arms Readiness
Global Security Newswire (GSN) on Aug. 20, 2013
Sandia National Laboratories carried out a plutonium experiment this past spring to assess the working order of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday.
Such a test previously occurred at the New Mexico facility late last year.
The United States periodically undertakes these experiments using a "Z machine" that produces X-rays powerful enough to mimic the fusion reactions of nuclear weapons, allowing for the study of plutonium behavior without the detonation of an atomic device.

Marylia Kelley
Executive Director,
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)

Into thin air

This is a terrific article; it's an interview with Siegfried Hecker about the former Soviet test site at Semipalatinsk and the secret cleanup that went on for decades. I hope you enjoy it!

Into thin air: the story of Plutonium Mountain:

Janice Sinclaire
Internet Outreach Coordinator

Saturday, August 17, 2013

If the rumors of a FY14 RIF are true...

If the rumors of a FY14 RIF are true,

What about a no excuse - no exclusion (from bottom to AD level) "last hired first fired" policy?

Might be tough but if we didn't need you last month, you can't be that critical this month.

Not being a hater, but what's the fair way. Current criteria are too vague and open to manipulation.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Is Klotz at fault for the failed inspections?

Is Klotz at fault for the failed inspections?

Root causes of failed inspections do not happen overnight. The new commander has now shown that something is not working for these forces. If it emerges that the culture under Klotz was a contributor to the failures, it could get interesting for NNSA.

U.S. nuclear missile unit fails key security inspection

By Robert Burns-Associated Press Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An Air Force unit that operates one-third of the nation’s land-based nuclear missile force has failed a safety and security inspection, marking the second major setback this year for a force charged with the military’s most sensitive mission, the general in charge of the Air Force’s nuclear force told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The failure was recorded by the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., which is responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles that stand on 24/7 alert for potential launch against targets around the globe.

Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, which is responsible for the Minuteman 3 force as well as nuclear bombers, said the 341st wing failed a “small team exercise” as part of a broader inspection. The exercise failure meant the whole inspection was a failure, he said.

Kowalski said this did not call into question the unit’s safe operation of nuclear missiles but was its second failure of a safety and security inspection in just over three years.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a pattern,” he said, since a large number of those involved in the latest inspection were not there for the previous failure in February 2010.

Kowalski would not discuss details of the failure or explain the exercise, citing security, except to say that it did not involve the crews who monitor the missiles from inside underground launch control capsules. That left open the possibility that it involved airmen responsible for security, weapons maintenance or other aspects of the highly sensitive mission.

“This unit fumbled on this exercise,” Kowalski told the AP by telephone from his headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

In a written statement posted to its website, Kowalski’s command said there had been “tactical-level errors” during the exercise, revealing “discrepancies.”

Without more details it is difficult to make a reliable judgment about the extent and severity of the problem uncovered at Malmstrom. Asked whether the Air Force intends to take disciplinary action against anyone as a result of the inspection failure, Kowalski said the Air Force is “looking into it.”

He said those who failed the exercise would be retested within three months.

This is the second major setback this year for the Air Force’s nuclear weapons force. Last spring the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., received weak grades on an inspection but did not fail it outright; that performance was so poor, however, that 17 officers temporarily lost their authority to operate missiles.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Let us talk ratios!

What ratio of managers and or support worker to programmatic workers would be appropriate?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Should NNSA federalize the guard force?

In light of the news about behavior of contract guards at Y-12 and Los Alamos, the time could be right for a change.


NW Monitor Aug 2

Senate appropriators have again dealt a significant blow to
the B61 refurbishment program, this time slashing funding
in the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Act for
Air Force work on a new tailkit for the refurbished bomb.
The Senate Appropriations Committee this week cleared
its version of the bill, providing only $6.2 million for the
Air Force portion of work on the B61, $61.7 million less
than the Obama Administration’s $67.9 million request.
The committee also zeroed out a $10 million request to
study outfitting the F-35A joint strike fighter to drop the
B61 bomb because the Pentagon’s Joint Requirements
Oversight Council hasn’t approved the capability content
of the F-35A Block 4.
The committee did not provide any rationale for its drastic
cut to the B61 program and did not respond to a request for
comment, but this is not the first time Senate appropriators
have taken a shot at the controversial refurbishment effort.
In their version of the FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations
Act, Senate appropriators provided only $369
million of the Administration’s $537 million request for
National Nuclear Security Administration work on the
bomb refurbishment over concerns about the rising cost of
the life extension program. In contrast, House appropriators
provided $560.7 million for the B61 refurbishment, an
increase of $23.7 million. The B61 refurbishment could
cost as much as $10.1 billion, according to a Pentagon
estimate of the project, but the NNSA’s own estimate is
$8.2 billion, which is nearly double the original $4.5
billion estimated price tag for the project. The $8.2 billion
cost estimate is also about $200 million more than the
NNSA said it would cost last year due to expected delays
from sequester impacts.
Language in the Energy and Water bill would give the
NNSA the ability to reprogram the $168 million funding
shortfall if the Secretary of Energy and Defense can certify
that the life extension program can be completed within the
NNSA’s current $8.2 billion cost estimate, though it’s
unclear whether the agency will be able to do provide such
a certification.
A Focus on Reducing the Scope
At least on the Energy and Water side of things, the focus
of Senate appropriators has been on reducing the scope of
the warhead. The money provided in the bill allows for
continued “design, engineering, and testing of critical
non-nuclear components, such as the radar, neutron
generator, power source, and gas transfer system, that are
reaching the end of their lives and would affect the
long-term reliability of this weapon system.” Refurbishing
nuclear components, however, remain a concern for the
committee, and Energy and Water Chairman Dianne
Feinstein (D-Calif.). “The question is do you have to take
a Cadillac model to do the work or can you take a lesser
model, a Ford model, and repair those components that are
necessary,” she said.
Feinstein has proven to be a skeptic about refurbishment
efforts, a critic of cost increases on major NNSA projects,
and an advocate of the Obama Administration’s push for
new nuclear reductions, which has fueled her position on
the B61. “I doubt very much whether a B61, candidly, in
my view, is ever going to be used, and a pox on the house
of the people that use it, because they’re big bombs,” she
said after the markup. “And I happen to agree with what
the President is doing, which is working for reductions in
nuclear arms on a bilateral basis with Russia. The [New]
START Treaty I think was a beginning.”
—Todd Jacobson

Monday, August 5, 2013

Klotz nominated for NNSA helm

Knox News
August 2, 2013

The White House today announced President Obama’s intent to nominate retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz as the Department of Energy’s under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. In that position, he will oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons complex, which also supplies fuel for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered sea vessels.

Klotz currently serves as senior fellow for strategic studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

His background information provided by the White House:

Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, USAF (Ret) is the Senior Fellow for Strategic Studies and Arms Control at the Council on Foreign Relations, a role he has held since 2011. Lieutenant General Klotz has also worked as an independent consultant since 2011. He is the former Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, a position he held from 2009 to 2011. From 2007 to 2009, Lieutenant General Klotz was the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Director of the Air Staff. He served as the Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command from 2005 to 2007 and was the Commander of the Twentieth Air Force from 2003 to 2005. Lieutenant General Klotz served at the White House from 2001 to 2003 as the Director for Nuclear Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council. He served as the Defense Attache at the U.S. Embassy Moscow from 1999 to 2001. Lieutenant General Klotz received a B.S. from the Air Force Academy and an MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University

Here's a link to an interesting op-ed he recently wrote; "Berlin and the Arms-Control Debate. June 27, 2013"

Saturday, August 3, 2013

National Lab Privatization: Illegal Layoffs Enrich Private Profits

Do you really want to know who you work for?
A little history to remind you:

Layoffs Possible For More Than 28,000 Contract Employees

Technology Combined with Creativity Driving Innovation

Lab names new head of technology transfer office

U.S. Cuts Take Increasing Toll on Job Growth

The management is so bad!

The management is so bad. Whenever I have a bad day I type into google something about bad management and LLNL managers, who are effectively EBA, fit all the criteria. I usually apply for 10-15 jobs a week and I still out perform everyone around me.
They never put their buddies on the EBA list. I just pray I get out of this place.

How to be a bad boss


Any rumors?

So, about 60 days to the end of the fiscal year, when can we expect the first RIF rumors?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rumors on next NNSA Administrator

More rumors on next NNSA Administrator

Retired USAF general seen as likely nominee to run NNSA

Jane's Defence Weekly

28 July 2013

Key Points
• Former USAF official Frank Klotz is poised to head the NNSA
• Klotz's close ties to the Pentagon may make him a strong candidate
Frank Klotz, former commander of the US Air Force's (USAF's) Global Strike Command and currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), is expected to be nominated by US President Barack Obama to be administrator of the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), sources said on 26 July.
Officials at the US Department of Energy (DoE) and NNSA, the department's semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency, declined to comment on whether Klotz was the choice to take over NNSA, which has been in a holding pattern under two interim administrators over the last six months.

Ash Carter's got it right in Aspen

More on Ash Carter's nuclear weapons comments at Aspen

A somewhat long article by Madelyn Creedon expands on Carter's comments. Rather than argue about the specific numbers in the talk, her take is that for now the DoD part of the nuclear weapons budget is protected from the on-going budget cuts.

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