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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. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Friday, September 6, 2013

Bomb work delayed

By John Fleck September 3, 2013 Albuquerque Journal Energy boss says B61 nuclear bomb work could be delayed further New Mexico’s national labs face significant questions about funding for the coming year, newly appointed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters during a visit to Sandia National Laboratories on Tuesday. “We’re all suffering under a lot of uncertainty on the budgets,” Moniz said at the end of a day of visits to Sandia and Los Alamos labs. Among the biggest unsettled questions are a proposed budget increase for the labs’ work refurbishing the nation’s B61 nuclear bombs and funding for upgrading the buildings at Los Alamos used to do the research and manufacturing work with plutonium, a radioactive metal used in nuclear bombs. With less than a month left in the current fiscal year, Congress has yet to act on its budget for the coming year, creating uncertainty about how much money will be available for critical programs beginning Oct. 1. It is a common problem. The last time Congress completed an appropriations bill for the labs on time was 1999, according to Library of Congress records. The typical approach, which appears likely this year, is a “continuing resolution” that allows spending at current year levels into the new fiscal year while Congress sorts out its disagreements over the budget. The open question is whether the administration, as it has in the past, will push to have any continuing resolution approved by Congress make an exception for the nuclear weapons program, allowing the nuclear weapons budget to rise to cover the new work the Department of Energy and Department of Defense have laid out. Moniz in an interview with the Journal acknowledged that such a move, known in Washington budget parlance as “an anomaly,” was “a potential approach,” but said he could not discuss internal deliberations about whether the administration was committed to pursuing one. With congressional consideration of the spending measures now stalled, Moniz acknowledged in the interview that there is a risk that the project’s schedule, already delayed by budget problems, could slip further. Another major uncertainty, according to Moniz, involves funding for plutonium work at Los Alamos. Much to the consternation of some on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration last year indefinitely delayed work on a new multibillion dollar plutonium laboratory at Los Alamos, a project that had been one of the administration’s commitments when the December 2010 Russian arms deal was signed. In the year since that decision was made, Los Alamos and its federal managers have been working to come up with an alternative approach involving use of existing buildings, along with construction of some smaller new facilities, to support current and future manufacturing of a limited number of plutonium cores for U.S. nuclear weapons. Moniz said he is “full supportive of pursuing the so-called ‘modular strategy,’ ” but acknowledged that his agency still has failed to persuade key members of Congress to support spending shifts in the Department of Energy’s budget that are needed for the work to proceed. “We’re still working that,” he said.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The real story is that sequestration will likely continue throughout FY2014. The cuts are going to continue, year after year. Exceptions to the cuts are going to be harder to come by, too. The funding pain is just getting started for the slowly shrinking discretionary side of the federal budget.

Anonymous said...

Lots of rumors abound about funding problems as this fiscal year ends with apparently little funding to support many researchers going into FY2014.

It looks like further cutting of the workforce size is likely going into FY2014. Hopefully, it will be done humanely with another VSP (voluntary separation process).



Anonymous said...


....researchers????

Didn't know we still had any of those. Kudos for staying alive this long.

Anonymous said...

"Slow Death" @ LANL, these new budget numbers do not look good Bucky!!!

Anonymous said...

"Slow Death" @ LANL, these new budget numbers do not look good Bucky!!! - 5:46pm


Funny, but Director McMillan said at the last All-Hands that LANL looked good going into FY2014. Guess he was BS'ing to pull the wool over the employees' eyes.

Anonymous said...

LANL management is planning for sequestration and still hiring aggressively in some organizations. It is a matter of demographics.

Anonymous said...

September 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM

What, not enough foreign nationals or minorities. Same BS at LLNL. You'd think you were in a foreign country with all the none English conversations taking place. Oh and then there's the fruit cakes with colored hairs who I was told had a nickname of The Smurf

Anonymous said...

The work force is old and will have to be replaced soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh and then there's the fruit cakes with colored hairs who I was told had a nickname of The Smurf

September 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM

The work force is old and will have to be replaced soon.

September 10, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Oh, man, this country is so screwed...

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