BLOG purpose

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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Opinions on BLOG


OK folks, assuming Scooby lets this post stand, here's the issue:

Scooby says his rules are:
Stay on topic!
No foul or Inflammatory language!
No name calling!

That's it. After long experience reading (and occasionally posting on) this blog, I'd say that 90% of the posts that violate Scooby's rules stay posted, and 90% of the posts he deletes do not violate his rules.

This arbitrary behavior suggests a couple of issues: 1) Scooby doesn't really give a rat's ass about this blog and is just muddling through for whatever reason; or 2) Scooby gets motivated by complaints about egregious posts, or gets pissed about complaints that he doesn't moderate the blog; or 3) he is unable to focus application of his "rules" and just deletes, when he gets pissed or just feels like it, whatever posts he doesn't like the tone or subject of, regardless of the rules.

I would submit that a clear, and clearly applied, set of blog rules that tightens up the slop in the existing rules, if they were applied consistently and daily, would go a long way towards "moderation" of he blog, which in its classic sense would shut the blog down. Thoughts?
March 30, 2013 at 9:30 PM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
“Scooby doesn't really give a rat's ass about this blog and is just muddling through for whatever reason;…”

Well, whatever his reasons, imo the large majority of comments on this blog are either extraneous to the subject, absolute b.s. or redundant from earlier post/comments.

Despite my continued hope for a relevant/interesting blog, Scooby might just as well shut it down & let the whiners create their own – I think he’s made that suggestion a few times over the years.

Rather than a national laboratory, most comments on this blog make LLNL sound more like a public sector union – steeped in mediocrity.
March 31, 2013 at 6:53 AM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
March 31, 2013 at 6:53 AM

I wonder when you fool who idolize the national labs are going to realize the people who work at these facilities are nothing special. They are just a number on a computer printout which can be illuminated at any time dictated by the budget. So if you think this blog is going to be a place where you’re going converse about great accomplishments, new avenues to pursue or boast about how great thou are you’re visiting the wrong URL. There is no such place. I'd much rather have this blog where people can vent than to have them come to work doing unthinkable things. This blog is also a good place for ULM to come visit once and a while to find out what the masses think of them.

Scooby doing a great job. I have no doubt this post will be erased as well as all those before me but intil, facts are facts, have a great dad.
March 31, 2013 at 8:30 AM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
March 31, 2013 at 6:53 AM

I wonder when you fool who idolize the national labs are going to realize the people who work at these facilities are nothing special. They are just a number on a computer printout which can be illuminated at any time dictated by the budget. So if you think this blog is going to be a place where you’re going converse about great accomplishments, new avenues to pursue or boast about how great thou are you’re visiting the wrong URL. There is no such place. I'd much rather have this blog where people can vent than to have them come to work doing unthinkable things. This blog is also a good place for ULM to come visit once and a while to find out what the masses think of them.

Scooby doing a great job. I have no doubt this post will be erased as well as all those before me but intil, facts are facts, have a great dad.
March 31, 2013 at 8:30 AM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Scooby is not only doing a great job, but also a community service to the lab population. Do you see any word getting out that's not heavily massaged?

The purpose of any meaningful "exchange blog" isn't to be a mutual admiration society, but speak the words that would otherwise go unsaid. This is what starts the discussion.

Sometimes discussions will include saying the "Emperor has no clothes". If a certain group or person really screws up, its not baiting or hating to say so.
March 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM
 Delete

Friday, March 29, 2013

Proposed salary reduction/closure day implementation postponed

LLNL Public Affairs
Thursday, March 28, 2013

Proposed salary reduction/closure day implementation postponed

The Laboratory will delay implementation of the proposed salary reduction/closure day program until mid-June at the earliest. The impacts of the Continuing Resolution that was recently approved by Congress and signed by the President for the rest of the fiscal year are being assessed. It also is essential to fully understand the information that will come when the President submits his FY14 budget, tentatively set for the week of April 8, before making a decision on LLNL's path forward.

The Laboratory's senior management team has been instructed to look at their remaining FY13 indirect budgets to seek additional savings to lessen the impact of any needed closure on employees.

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Director Parney Albright understands that the uncertainty is difficult and he is committed to communicating information as it becomes available.

Why You Should Quit Your Job Now

Worth reading:

* Why You Should Quit Your Job Now *

Yahoo Finance, Mar 28, 2013

More than 12 million Americans are jobless and 40% of these individuals have been out of work for more than six months. The U.S. economy overall may be improving but many Americans still cannot find a job. This trend will only continue in the foreseeable future says James Altucher, managing director of Formula Capital, an asset management firm. The author and venture capitalist tells The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task that the U.S. is moving toward an “employee-less society.”

“If you’re just sitting still, shuffling paper, they’re going to fire you,” he argues. “Cubicles have become commodities. You’re like the walking dead if you have a job.”

.... “If you’re stuck in a cubicle you have a target on your back…the CEO is looking to cut you out,” he declares. “Temp staffing is sweeping the nation.”

The changing employment climate has made Altucher an advocate of employees quitting their jobs. He lists 10 reasons why workers should give their two-week notice:

1, The Middle Class Is Dead

2. You've Been Replaced

3 Corporations Don't Like You

4. Money Is Not Happiness

5. Count Right Now How Many People Can Make A Major Decision That Can Ruin Your Life

6. Is Your Job Satisfying Your Needs?

7. Your Retirement Plan Is For Sh-t

8. Excuses

9. It's OK To Take Baby Steps

10. Abundance Will Never Come From Your Job


finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/
why-quit-job-now-151346969.html

Thursday, March 28, 2013

NIF

Your Favorite Blog Topic: NIF

Hey the reprieve you non-NIF programs got from discriminatory overhead rates (even 2 years after the build was complete), well you can do your duty and give it right back to NIF. Oh wait, you don't have a choice. You non-NIF people should just go to Silicon Valley. Google hires good people all the time. The bad ones can stay as government contractors at a national lab as part of the white collar welfare program.
 Weapons Complex Monitor
March 27, 2013

NNSA Seeking To Shift $138 Million In Funds For National Ignition Facility

With Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility set to run out of funding next month, the Department of Energy says it will need to reprogram $138 million to compensate for higher overhead rates that are being charged to the facility. In a reprogramming request sent to House and Senate authorizers and appropriators last week, DOE Deputy Chief Financial Officer Alison Doone said the Department was seeking to reprogram $88.1 million, and would soon ask for authority to transfer another $40 million to keep the facility running through the end of the Fiscal Year. NIF enjoyed lower overhead rates than the rest of the laboratory during construction, but as it has entered full operations, it has shifted to a higher overhead rate, forcing lab officials to free up additional funds in what largely amounts to a complex accounting exercise.

Doone said an internal NNSA reprogramming of $5 million during FY 2012 and another $5 million this month have allowed the most critical research at NIF to continue, and because the increase to NIF overhead rates has lowered overhead rates for other programs at the lab, the current $88.1 million reprogramming request will be paid for by the “windfall” from the other programs. “These funds can be redirected to LLNL’s RTBF activity with no adverse effects to the programs involved,” Doone said in a letter to top House and Senate authorizers and appropriators last week. However, the additional $40 million that will be needed for NIF is likely to have an impact on the program, Doone said. “We will aim to minimize potential adverse impacts to other programs as we select these sources to fund this high-priority effort,” she wrote.

Last year, NIF Director Ed Moses told Congress that a $140 million shortfall driven by higher overhead rates could force the lab to lay off 450 NIF employees.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Question about TCP1

A posting from another thread that is worthy of some discussion:

Anonymous said...
I just have one question for folks who decided to take TCP1: If your pension is to be paid by LANS/LLNS, and they lose the DOE/NNSA contract at some point after you retire, what happens? The LLCs were created for the sole purpose of running the labs, and and will dissolve as corporate entities after that purpose ends. Do you trust that DOE/NNSA will effectively transfer the pension responsibilities to the new contractor with no detrimental changes?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

HAPC assumption

HAPC assumption

At the end of an older thread was this comment. Possibly interesting to many.

Anonymous said...

The HAPC is "frozen" at the start of a furlough claim has the faulty assumption that month 1 (most recent) of pay, X, is lower than month 36, Y. Even with a 10% reduction that is not true for many staff members.

At the point in time when month 1 pay X*0.9<=Y, the highest HAPC is in the past.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Does CR approval mean no sequestration?

The Continuing Resolution for FY13 has been approved and sent to the President. NNSA gets its full funding for FY13, no sequester cuts. Is this good news for the Lab? Does it mean furlough won't be necessary is year?

-----------------------
House Approves Full Funding for NNSA Nuke Work
March 21, 2013

By Chris Schneidmiller
Global Security Newswire

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives on Thursday approved full funding for nuclear weapons operations at a branch of the Energy Department in a budget that will keep the federal government operating through the rest of this fiscal year.

The Senate voted for the continuing resolution legislation on Wednesday, leaving only President Obama's signature necessary for it to become law.

National Nuclear Security Administration operations to maintain a safe, secure and reliable nuclear arsenal are to receive $7.6 billion in fiscal 2013, which ends on Sept. 30. That is the amount sought by the Obama administration.

Another $110 million would be used for "domestic uranium enrichment research, development and demonstration" at the agency that oversees research laboratories and other components of the nuclear arms complex, according to the spending plan. That is $40 million less than requested by the White House.

The current continuing resolution provides federal funding through March 27. The new legislation would provide full-year appropriations levels for a handful of departments, including Defense, Homeland Security and Commerce. Most other agencies would be restricted to funding at fiscal 2012 levels,

House lawmakers also approved $519 million though Sept. 30, 2015, for the Pentagon's Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which aims to secure or eliminate unconventional weapons and materials in the former Soviet Union and beyond.

Another $1.3 billion would be directed toward Defense Department chemical weapons disposal operations.

“I’m proud that we were able to reach across the aisle -- and across Capitol Hill -- to produce a meaningful, bipartisan bill that funds the government responsibly," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in provided comments. “With the approval of this measure, we have laid the foundation for thoughtful and responsible consideration of appropriations bills, and can now focus our attention on next year’s work. I encourage the President to sign this bill into law without delay.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

CHINESE NATIONALS CAN ACCESS SENSITIVE NASA FACILITY

The foreign national scientist issue at the NNSA labs is likely to become a significant flash-point once again.

Anyone still remember Rep. Christopher Cox and the Wen Ho Lee fiasco from the mid-1990s?

---
GOP REP: OBAMA ADMIN ALLOWS HUNDREDS OF CHINESE NATIONALS TO ACCESS SENSITIVE NASA FACILITY

... Hosts Brian Wilson and Larry O'Connor pressed the congressman on the details of the program that allows hundreds of Chinese nationals who work directly with the Chinese Liberation Army to access the Hampton, Va. facility for the National Institute of Aerospace. Wolf revealed that the program is not meant to be a cultural exchange as Americans are not invited to work in Beijing's counterpart facilities. Furthermore, when asked who was responsible for allowing the questionable access to Chinese nationals, Wolf responded simply, "The Obama Administration."

www.breitbart.com/
Big-Government/2013/03/19/
GOP-Rep-Obama-Administration
-Responsible-For-Chinese-National-NASA

Science and sequestration

An interesting piece concerning science and sequestration



http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/the-sequester-is-going-to-devastate-us-science-research-for-decades/273925/

Contractors Pause Sequester Plans

 With FY13 Funding Still Uncertain, Contractors Pause Sequester Plans
Todd Jacobson – Weapons & Complex Monitor
March 15, 2013

Massive across-the-board cuts still loom for the weapons complex, but contractors have appeared to pause any implementation plans until early next month. While weapons complex contractors have made various plans to deal with the cuts, with the potential impacts ranging from furloughs and layoffs to nothing, the added uncertainty of a Continuing Resolution that expires March 27 has driven contractors to take a wait-and-see attitude on implementing any plans. Nowhere is that more evident than at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which could be among the hardest hit of any NNSA site by the sequestration cuts. The lab has said it is facing a $120 million shortfall because of sequestration, and has said it will use a salary reduction and closure day plan to address the shortfall. Livermore Director Parney Albright could have pulled the trigger on the plan this week, but chose to wait until April when full-year funding will be more clear.

The House has passed a full-year CR for Fiscal Year 2013 that includes an anomaly that would boost funding for the NNSA’s weapons program, and the Senate is expected to clear its version of a CR early next week. Despite the possible good news for NNSA in the CR, the agency’s weapons program is facing approximately $600 million in cuts under sequestration, while its nonproliferation account is facing a $250 million cut, officials have said. In a message to lab employees late last week, Albright cited “uncertainties surrounding the details of the continuing resolution deadline of March 27” as well as sequestration impacts and other factors as a reason to “wait until more clarity was provided from Washington, D.C. on the fiscal impact to the Laboratory.”

Livermore’s plan to address the budget shortfall would include temporary 10 percent salary reductions and bi-weekly closure days for full-time employees. Those closure days would come every other Friday, when the lab would operate similar to how it runs on a weekend. The impact to other sites has been varied. While the Y-12 National Security Complex and Savannah River Site have said that furloughs are a certainty, contractors at other sites like Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the Nevada National Security Site, the Pantex Plant, and the Kansas City Plant have not made any decisions about furloughs or layoffs…

DOE, however, sent letters last week to the governors of key states that house DOE sites, suggesting there could be impacts at variety of DOE sites… At Pantex, Deputy Energy Sec Dan Poneman said 2,500 furloughs or layoffs could be needed to absorb a $22 million cut to DOE contractors across Texas, while he suggested DOE contractors in Nevada were facing cuts of approximately $32 million, which could result in furloughs or layoffs for approximately 370 workers. Poneman said that a cut of approximately $61 million for Los Alamos National Laboratory would result in layoffs or furloughs for approximately 8,200 lab employees…

While the implementation schedule remains uncertain, acting NNSA Administrator Neile Miller reemphasized this week that the impact of the cuts would be dramatic at the agency. “I think people have a tendency to look at sequestration in terms of numbers of people that might be furloughed or dollar numbers that might be missing…What is of deeper concern, at this point, is the ongoing disruption to activities that will take projects and programs and make them difficult, if not impossible, to actually execute anywhere near to the plan and to the price and to the need that has already been described. It’s that ongoing uncertainty, disruptions and then lack of ability to plan.”

Interesting links!

Courtesy: Janice Sinclaire 
Internet Outreach Coordinator

We have several items that may interest you: The Fissile Materials Working Group has an interesting post about potential effects of budget cuts on nonproliferation programs; our Nuclear Suppliers Group roundtable is completed, and our roundtable on highly enriched uranium conversion is close to completion, with 7 articles posted. . These are great resources and I hope you find them of interest!
Best,
Janice

Nonproliferation in a time of austerity: http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/columnists/fissile-materials-working-group/nonproliferation-time-of-austerity

Paths forward for the Nuclear Suppliers Group: http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/roundtables/paths-forward-the-nuclear-suppliers-group

Highly enriched uranium: Less is more: http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/roundtables/highly-enriched-uranium-less-more

--

Janice Sinclaire
Internet Outreach Coordinator

Saturday, March 16, 2013

LLNS - It Learns and Adapts

  
Something new has been added to the requirements for severance pay in a RIF:

"Severance Program payments will not be made if the employee does not sign a
mutual waiver and release of claims in a form provided by LLNS."

Given the lawsuits that are now in court, it would seem that LLNS has learned a
lesson.  Give those that are let go a severance package in exchange for the
promise not to make claims.  It would be interesting to see what the wording of
the release form contains, but that is probably company proprietary information.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Not enough chat about major concerns of the NNSA Labs

It is really amazing that the top posts here that involve the major concerns of the NNSA labs (i.e., nuclear weapons, proliferation, test ban treaties, nuclear strategy, nuclear material inventories, etc., get few if any comments, but let a comment appear that involves unions, the lab upper management, LLC contractors, benefits, salary, furloughs, etc appear, and all of a sudden, the blogosphere explodes! So much for the national laboratory employees being proud of or wanting to preserve their time-honored history of serving this country's national security, or concern for the direction our national security is taking. It's all about their personal gripes and desires for retribution, just a microcosm of US society of today. Sad.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eyes On, Hands Off

Eyes On, Hands Off

This policy of NNSA is getting a lot of press recently, as the momentum is shifting from less oversight of lab contractors to more oversight by federal groups. Somewhere it was mentioned that this policy came from Don Cook when the local sites reported to him, before this function was shifted to some other box in NNSA. As the policy is now history, when will Cook also be history?

US nuclear forces, 2013

Our new Nuclear Notebook focuses on US Forces. Hans Christensen and Stan Norris discuss New START, the Obama administrations long-awaited nuclear weapons targeting review, and much more in this free article from our March/April digital Journal. I hope you find it of interest!
Best,
Janice

Nuclear Notebook: US nuclear forces, 2013: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/77.full

--
Janice Sinclaire
Internet Outreach Coordinator

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March Memo & Our Letter to Parney

This month the SPSE-UPTE board sent a letter to Director Parney Albright voicing our concerns regarding recent changes in LLNS personnel policies and the direction of the Laboratory in general. You can read it at our Website:

    http://www.upte.org/spse/Parney20130301finalns.pdf

Also, in our March Memo, we discuss how LLNS has reached a settlement with the nine SPSE-UPTE-represented skilled trades employees wrongly laid off in 2008:

    http://www.upte.org/spse/201303MonthlyMemoFinal.pdf

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Thanks,

Riki Gay, President,
SPSE-UPTE Local 11
spse@spse.org
925-449-4846
~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, March 11, 2013

Career workshops???

SHRM send out an email stating they are offering 3 Career Strategy workshops.
The attachment says "As part of the Laboratory’s continued commitment to support employee development, there will be a series of informal workshops offered that center around career management."
The courses are resume development, interview prep, & networking for career growth.
Hmmmm....in these times of wage reductions, furloughs that are not furloughs, and all other budget uncertainty, this is a perfect way to further degrade our morale. Unless management is just thinking about our needs..

Career Strategy workshops?

Email from SHRM stating:
SHRM is offering 3 Career Strategy workshops sponsored by the T&DD in March and April. Please post and distribute the attached information to your organizations.
The attachment says "As part of the Laboratory’s continued commitment to support employee development, there will be a series of informal workshops offered that center around career management." Then lists courses in resume development, interview preparation & networking. Hmmm.... looks suspiciously like they are helping us plan for when we are layed off? Or are they just that stupid to think we don't connect the dots? Way to boost morale even more.

N. Korea Declares War Truce Deal Dead

So is an actually shooting War with North Korea on the horizon?...

N. Korea Declares War Truce Deal Dead
March 11, 2013
Global Security Newswire

North Korea on Monday declared it would no longer be bound by the truce agreement that ended fighting in the Korean War, Kyodo News reported.

The 1953 armistice is "completely nullified from today" and North Korea's weapons are primed for use at any moment, the state-controlled Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.

Pyongyang is upset with new U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed on last week that take aim at the North's currency smuggling and other criminal enterprises as well as its ability to acquire materials for its WMD programs. The economic penalties were punishment for the country's February nuclear test -- its third in less than a decade.

North Korea since 1991 has threatened on more than six occasions to void the truce or questioned its validity, Peterson Institute for International Economics North Korea expert Stephan Haggard wrote in a recent web post. The Stalinist state in that time period, however, has only mounted small-scale conventional attacks against the South. Still, some observers are concerned the young Kim Jong Un regime might be confident enough in its nuclear deterrent to view the Korean War truce as no longer necessary, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The North on Monday also severed a military communication line with Seoul against a backdrop of ongoing large-scale U.S.-South Korean military maneuvers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pyongyang's armed forces are carrying out their own maneuvers but they do not appear to represent a looming danger, according to Seoul. "There has been no unusual movement spotted in North Korea. It has been quiet so far," an unidentified South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman said.

"They’re giving all the motions to make us believe that some sort of provocation is coming,” Center for Naval Analyses North Korea specialist Ken Gause told the Washington Post. "Provocations are not necessarily imminent, but the probability is higher . . . and the ability to manage a provocation is much more difficult if they have withdrawn from the communication channels that existed under the armistice."

China on Saturday said its vote in favor of the latest Security Council sanctions did not mean it was turning its back on its longtime ally, the Times separately reported. "We always believe that sanctions are not the end of the Security Council actions, or are sanctions the fundamental way to resolve the relevant issues," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said to journalists.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in released comments on Saturday condemned the North for its recent warnings of nuclear and other attacks on South Korea and the United States, according to Reuters. He also called on the leaders of two Koreas to "discuss seriously how to encourage national reconciliation and to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula."

South Korea's new unification minister, Ryoo Kihl-jae, said his government is still prepared to engage with Pyongyang despite its bellicose rhetoric, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.

TCP2 401ks and the sequester

I have heard from HR that in response to the sequester, LANS/LLNS may end (suspend) employer matching contributions to TCP2 401k plans. So I'm curious what folks generally have saved in their 401k accounts and how close they're to retirement from the Labs.

Last month Fidelity reported - "The average account balances for participants in 401(k) plans for which Fidelity Investments is record keeper reached a record high of $77,300 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, confirmed Michael Shamrell, a Fidelity spokesman."

This doesn't seem like much to retire on.
March 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
March 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Most people on TCP-2 will NOT be retiring until the are 65 due to piss poor performace inthe stock market and chump change for contributions. So if you are young and hoping for a slot to fill think again. Most people close to retirment have about 7 years to go if the lab last that long.
March 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yet one more "substantially equilivant" Tylering.
March 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This doesn't seem like much to retire on.

March 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM

I suspect the reason for the low number is quite simple. Folks who took TCP2 either retired from UC at the transition and started TCP2, or were hired since then and chose TCP2. Either way, they haven't been contributing very long.
March 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I suspect that the lab 401Ks are a drop in the Fidelity bucket. Cosidering the national demographics of all the busineses that Fidelity is doing this for, $77K seems about right.
March 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I suspect that the lab 401Ks are a drop in the Fidelity bucket. Cosidering the national demographics of all the busineses that Fidelity is doing this for, $77K seems about right.

March 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM

What? Your comment makes no sense and seems to imply that Fidelity is somehow screwing the LANS/LLNS 401k participants?? WTF?? If that is what you mean, you are seriously sick in your paranoia. Fidelity treats LANS/LLNS 401ks as it treats all other 401ks, according to the law and according to the wishes of the investors - which is where your paranoia should be focused.
March 10, 2013 at 9:16 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Holy reading comprehension batman!

He's saying that the $77K figure is the average for the nation, not necessarily the average for LLNL employees.

Who still gets all pumped up ?

thief said:
.
Other than the financial aspects...will anyone shed a tear at being let go from either of the labs (I'm not slighting the others it's just that this has been primarily a LLNL/LANL discussion)?

Who still gets all pumped up making the drive in in the morning?

F-35’s ability to evade budget cuts illustrates challenge of paring defense spendin

Here an interesting article for all of you who think DoD can do such a better job.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/f-35s-ability-to-evade-budget-cuts-illustrates-challenge-of-paring-defense-spending/2013/03/09/42a6085a-8776-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html?hpid=z1

“Andrews vs. LLNS: Five Plaintiffs Go to Trial Against Lawrence Livermore Lab March 11, 2013”

By Gary Gwilliam of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli, & Brewer

“Andrews vs. LLNS: Five Plaintiffs Go to Trial Against Lawrence Livermore Lab March 11, 2013”:   http://gwilliamlawfirm.com/2013/03/andrews-v-llns-five-plaintiffs-go-to-trial-against-lawrence-livermore-lab-march-11-2013/
 

Friday, March 8, 2013

N. Korea threatens

North Korea amplified its threatening rhetoric as the U.N. Security Council approved new sweeping sanctions, vowing to launch a first-strike nuclear attack against the United States and threatening to engulf Washington in a “sea of fire.”
An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right for “a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors” because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.

At a mass rally in Pyongyang on Thursday, Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong told the crowd that North Korea is ready to fire long-range nuclear-armed missiles at Washington.
“Intercontinental ballistic missiles and various other missiles, which have already set their striking targets, are now armed with lighter, smaller and diversified nuclear warheads and are placed on a standby status,” Kang said. “When we shell (the missiles), Washington, which is the stronghold of evils, …. will be engulfed in a sea of fire.”
March 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
March 8, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Normally I would get all upset if someone were to threaten to blow up Washington, DC but having seen the results of voting in an anti-American socialist democratic regime not only once but twice that represents the worst this nation has to offer I think NK would be doing the nation a favor. It would not only take out the cartel members we have running this country but it also would take out 90% of the parasitic populace voters that live within a 100 mile radius of the blast. I would view this as a WIN-WIN situation. I'm looking at this as "Problem Resolved"
March 8, 2013 at 4:27 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
March 8, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Washington DC would not be a target for anyone wanting to do the US real harm. Many more serious and devastating targets exist. Centers of capital (NYC, Chicago), commerce (NYC, Los Angeles), culture and history (Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, San Francisco). Whether you agree with those designations or not, the west coast cities have the most to fear, not from missiles, but from small, innocuous "fishing vessels" that carry a multi-kiloton, primitive warhead right into the middle of the harbor. With a little rudimentary radiation shielding, no one will ever suspect them.

Sociopath bosses

http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/19/sociopath-boss-work-forbes-woman-leadership-office-evil_3.html

Great article
March 8, 2013 at 6:59 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
March 8, 2013 at 6:59 AM


Ya we have a few of these at the labs for sure. The problem is that there is no way to get rid of them.

Can a well unionized workforce effectively prevent employer wage reductions and furloughs

Can a well unionized workforce effectively prevent employer wage reductions and furloughs because the working conditions have been bargained and put into a binding contract?

Also, when this contract expires and new biddders are sought, shouldnder the workforce be completely unionized under a written contract to prevent new bidders from taking away wages and benefits?

Not a union member now. But not afraid either.
March 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
just join the union. They are good people who will help.

NORTH Korea led by tyrant Kim Jong-un has sensationally vowed to launch a NUCLEAR attack on the USA

* NORTH Korea led by tyrant Kim Jong-un has sensationally vowed to launch a NUCLEAR attack on the USA - The UK Sun, Mar 7th *


The provocative statement comes weeks after the country conducted underground nuclear tests which caused a massive earthquake.

America’s west coast cities on Los Angeles and San Francisco are feared to be in Kim’s sights.

A foreign ministry spokesman said: "Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to pre-emptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest."

www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4829035 /north-korea-says-it-will-launch-nuclear-attack -on-america.html
March 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
America’s west coast cities on Los Angeles and San Francisco are feared to be in Kim’s sights.

March 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Yep, and not from missiles. Think boats.
March 7, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Delete

Horse of a Different Color

Horse of a Different Color

The management company should tread gently with this “pseudo furlough” concept. This may come back to haunt them.

Employees are not being furloughed, drop the language.

Employees are to be subjected to a de facto “administrative leave without pay” action (LWOP). Specifically, one day LWOP each pay period (on that payday). That is their legal status. Legal parameters of LWOP and other types of "time off" are very different.

It would be prudent for management to expressly forbid affected employees from working in any way shape or form on LWOP days.

Facilities and employees are different things. The facility may revert to “weekend like” operational status during LWOP days, but not the employees.

It is inappropriate to plan work or call in any engineers, scientists, technicians, trade crafts, or any affected employees during LWOP days. If certain people are needed during this time, than don’t place them on LWOP.

Federal Official “Cooks the Numbers” in Livermore Lab Management Review;



For immediate release, March 7, 2013
Federal Official “Cooks the Numbers” in Livermore Lab Management Review;
$44 Million Bonus and Contract Extension Unwarranted, Charge Watchdogs

As the nation faces sequestration and across the board budget cuts, one federal official has made “an adjustment to the recommended incentive fee” for the Limited Liability Company (LLC) that manages and operates the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the U.S. Dept. of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The contractor, Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS), LLC, is a consortium made up of Bechtel National, the University of California, Babcock and Wilcox, the Washington Division of URS Corp. and Battelle.

The just-released NNSA Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Evaluation Report (PER) shows that the numbers were cooked to benefit the management contractor after the evaluation had been completed, allowing for an increased fee award and an extra year, non-competitive extension of the contract for the LLC.  Nuclear watchdogs, including the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs, are crying foul and calling for “greater oversight of taxpayers’ money and a more open and transparent contract process.”

According to Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director, “The Performance Evaluation Report clearly states that Livermore Lab management failed to reach the percentage necessary to reap the awards that were bestowed.” Kelley further characterized the contract extension and extra money as “inappropriate, if not technically illegal.”

The report states that the “Gateway to Award Term” requires a minimum score of “80% earned incentive fee.” The Livermore Lab management’s score is listed as “Fail (78%).” Therefore, the “contractor failed to qualify for an additional year of term [i.e., contract extension],” according to the PER.

The report contains an addendum that states in full: “It is noted that subsequent to the [internal] issuance of the PER that the NNSA FDO [Fee Determining Official] exercised her authority on December 5, 2012, making an adjustment to the recommended incentive fee, which resulted in the Contractor earning the award term.”

The one-paragraph addendum does not provide a rationale for the “adjustment,” nor does it disclose in which management performance category the bump up was bestowed. The Fee Determining Official in question is Ms. Neile Miller, the then-NNSA Deputy Administrator who has since been named as the agency’s acting Administrator.

The monetary award to the Livermore Lab management LLC is listed in a PER Summary document as $44 million out of a total possible fee of $50 million. This financial award is based on the LLNS, LLC achieving a score of 88% (a full ten percent higher than the actual score the contractor earned as documented in the PER).

Tri-Valley CAREs’ Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt, noted that the performance evaluation process “skews toward excessively high ratings, even without the FDO in Washington, DC cooking the numbers after the fact.” First, the management contractor performs its own evaluation. Taking the contractor self-evaluation into account, the NNSA Livermore Site Office then produces its ratings in the Performance Evaluation Report, in this case giving Livermore Lab management the key “Gateway to Award Term” percentage of 78%, or “Fail”.

The 39-page Livermore Lab PER is rife with examples of management failures and potentially illegal practices. For example, the report notes “Office of Emergency Response issues” in which NNSA funding was given for one project at Livermore Lab but management chose to spend it on something else. “Funding… was used to perform work not within the project scope, which has caused delays in the projected completion date and aspects of the work to be reallocated to other laboratories,” states the PER.

The PER glosses over the failure to reach ignition at Livermore Lab’s biggest project, the National Ignition Facility. Yet, it did charge the LLNL, LLC with “a failure of institutional leadership,” and stated that scientific “discrepancies were left unresolved well after they became apparent to the Contractor.”  The report also noted “the transition to a [legally] compliant overhead rate structure” at the NIF.  However, the report touts the “execution and completion of the National Ignition Campaign and a very good job transitioning NIF to routine facility operations.” Thus, the NIF’s over budget price tag and abject failure to achieve ignition resulted in a mere $1.3 million reduction in the maximum available award fee.

Yundt said, “Tri-Valley CAREs first broke the story of the illegal shifting of overhead costs from NIF to other projects at Livermore Lab in late 2009. While we applaud that this noncompliant practice is finally coming to an end, it is outrageous to think that it has taken more than three years to accomplish this change. Nor should finally coming into minimal compliance with the law be grounds for awarding millions of dollars in management fees and a contract extension.”

Kelley concluded, “It would be more appropriate for the contractor to repay the taxpayers for some of the $7 billion squandered on NIF rather than give any bonus whatsoever to the contractor for mismanaging it so egregiously over the years.”

Tri-Valley CAREs is joined in its critique of the PER process by Nuclear Watch New Mexico, a Los Alamos Lab watchdog that sued to obtain last year’s Performance Evaluation Reports. Nuclear Watch’s press release, also issued today, highlights that Ms. Miller likewise overrode the PER score earned by the Los Alamos management team to inappropriately offer them an unearned contract extension.

Both Tri-Valley CAREs and Nuclear Watch call on Congress to investigate the process leading to the FDO overrides and institute new provisions to increase transparency and accountability. “Waivers and bump ups that result in additional fee awards and contract extensions must fully justified and documented in writing,” stated attorney Yundt. “A scant paragraph with zero rationale or analysis should not be the grounds on which management of the nation’s nuclear weapons labs is based,” he concluded.
###
For further information, Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, or Scott Yundt, Staff Attorney, Tri-Valley CAREs, 925.443.7148
 
The Livermore PER is at www.trivalleycares.org; the Los Alamos PER is at www.nuclearwatch.org

Thursday, March 7, 2013

LLNL News on Line
March 7, 2012

Possible LLNL salary reduction plan delayed until April

The Laboratory will not begin its salary reduction/closure day program until April at the earliest, Director Parney Albright has announced. With all the uncertainties surrounding the details of the continuing resolution deadline of March 27, impacts as a result of sequestration, and other factors, it was decided to wait until more clarity was provided from Washington, D.C. on the fiscal impact to the Laboratory.

Additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

The Laboratory created a 10 percent salary reduction/closure day program in response to sequestration, which began last Friday. Sequestration refers to a series of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to address the federal deficit. Sequestration is expected to result in up to $120 million in budget cuts at the Laboratory for the remainder of fiscal year 13.

Where is Sue Seestrom?

Sue Seestrom is out as an AD at LANL. Could this be due to the recent LANCE issues?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tauscher Picked For NNSA Governance Panel



Weapons & Complex Monitor
March 6, 2013

Tauscher Picked For NNSA Governance Panel

The Congressionally mandated National Nuclear Security Administration governance panel is beginning to take shape. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has named former California Democratic lawmaker and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher to the 12-person panel, following on the heels of House Speaker John Boehner’s selection of former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.).

Tauscher [now a member of the LLNS/LANS Boards of Governors] was instrumental in the creation of the NNSA during her time as the representative for California’s 10th District, and helped create the Strategic Posture Commission while she was the chair of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee. She also famously feuded with Pelosi during the early part of her career in Congress, backing Steny Hoyer instead of Pelosi for House Minority Whip in 2001, but they later mended fences.

The 12-member panel will be selected by the House and Senate Armed Services committees and leadership of the House and Senate, with each committee selecting four members and House and Senate leadership selecting two members apiece. Funded by a $3 million authorization in the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act, the committee was supposed to have its first meeting by March 1, but it has been slow to get going due to funding constraints under the current Continuing Resolution that prohibit the start of new programs. A new CR that would fund the Defense Department and other government agencies through the end of the year unveiled by House appropriators this week would allow the study to begin.

The Truth About National Laboratories



The Truth About National Laboratories
If you're really interested in the sciences, you've probably been exposed to some labs before. Whether it was during your middle school days when your class dissected a squid or as an intern at medical school, labs are an integral part of the scientific world. From time to time, you've wondered about national laboratories. What exactly is the deal with them? Read on to find out!

They Exist Everywhere
Well, "everywhere" might be a bit of an overstatement, but they do have a presence across the country. You might assume that they exist only in places in and around Washington D.C., or that they appear only in areas that have huge populations. The fact is that they can pop up in many places, and you might be able to find one near you to go visit. Of course, in order to qualify as a national laboratory, they do have to meet some certain criteria.

The Definition
So what exactly is the definition of a national laboratory? Well, according to Wikipedia, "The United States Department of Energy National Laboratories and Technology Centers are a system of facilities and laboratories overseen by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for the purpose of advancing science and technology to fulfill the DOE mission." 17 of these laboratories exist across the country, and they are all dedicated to fulfilling this particular mission and requirement.

What This Means
As you probably know, the words on a page often have deeper meaning than they appear. Essentially, each lab is going to have some of its own freedom; however, they are likely all governed by some certain specific rules that come directly from the United States Department of Energy. Note that these labs seek to "fulfill the DOE mission." Through researching on the Department of Energy's website, you can likely get a better sense of what this actually means. These labs are likely required to meet certain energy standards and, in this day and age, fulfill certain requirements that are friendly to the environment.

Visiting These Labs
As implied earlier, it is quite possible for you to go on a tour of these laboratories. Of course, you will need to see when they are open to the general public, if they allow photography and so forth. If you are teaching a science course, a trip to one of these labs can really be an excellent opportunity for your students to work with professionals. Before you go on the trip, be sure to explain what this lab actually is, and a brief history lesson on the lab would really be excellent. These trips give your students opportunities to learn with the professionals and to engage in some experiments of their own. Such a trip will likely leave a lasting impression on your class.

National laboratories exist in quite a number of areas, and you likely have one that is within driving distance from your home. Take advantage opportunities provided to tour the labs and meet with the highly intelligent professionals who work there.

Richard Jimenez writes about science and education. His most well-known work is on Online MHA Degrees.

The Importance of Knowing the History of National Laboratories

The Importance of Knowing the History of National Laboratories
Recently, as you've been driving around your state, you've noticed that some of the national laboratories are offering either tours or bits of information about their history, and you're wondering what knowing the importance of such information could possibly be. Well, read on to find out!

Understanding the Experiments
When it comes to laboratories, the experiments conducted in such places are obviously at the heart of the operations. If you make the decision to go on a tour of one, you're not only going to learn about the history of the physical building, but you will also learn about the research performed and the knowledge gained in these walls. An important part of a lab's history is the great accomplishments that it has made for society and the world at large.

Individuals
You likely know of many advancements in medicine or science, but you might not know the source of them. With so much greatness in the world, it can be hard to pay attention to particular accomplishments. Learning about the history of national laboratories will give you the opportunity to do so. As you are going on a tour of the facility, you will certainly learn about the people who worked there. In fact, you may even have the opportunity to meet with some of them.

Academics
Of course, you might also want to learn about a national lab or two for a school project. Let's say that you are in an advanced biology class in high school or you are studying one of the hard sciences as your major in college. At some point, you will likely need to conduct some field work or to expand your knowledge beyond the classroom. Learning information and studying the famed scientists from a particular lab could be one pathway to success, much more informative than Wikipedia-ing.

Internships and Jobs
If you are attending college for a related degree and you have a national lab near by, you should absolutely ask the appropriate professional at your school if internship opportunities are arranged with the lab. If this is very important to you, then asking these questions would be a smart idea before you choose a school to attend. Having experienced with the revered National Laboratories would be a boon to your resume. If you think this is in your cards, then you should definitely get on this now and at the very least, go on one of those tours I mentioned before! When you are able to appreciate and explain the history to your interview committee someday, they will really see that you care about their work.

Knowing the history of such labs can really deepen your understanding of all that the establishment has accomplished in the years of its life, and it can also help to inspire you to make great accomplishments of your own.

Becka Hamilton writes about all things related to the health sciences. Her best work is about online public health degrees.

Continuing Resolution

Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor
March 5, 2013
House Appropriations Releases Continuing Resolution

In order to keep government programs running beyond the expiration of current funding legislation near the end of the month, the House Appropriations Committee yesterday unveiled a Continuing Resolution that would fund the federal government until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Under the bill, most government programs would be funded at the current levels minus the across-the-board sequestration cuts that went into effect late last week. However, the CR would keep in place an anomaly for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons programs that allows the agency to spend at the level of President Obama’s FY13 request, $7.58 billion. And like the current CR, the House bill also would allow funding to continue for the Department of Energy’s cost-share program supporting USEC’s American Centrifuge Project. That would be supported until the end of the fiscal year under the CR at a total level of $150 million for FY13.

Funding legislation will need to be in place before the expiration of the current continuing resolution on March 27, and House floor action on the bill is expected to take place this week. “It is clear that this nation is facing some very hard choices, and it’s up to Congress to pave the way for our financial future,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said in a statement. “But right now, we must act quickly and try to make the most of a difficult situation. This bill will fund essential federal programs and services, help maintain our national security, and take a potential shutdown off the table. This CR package is the right thing to do, and it’s the right time to do it,” Rogers continued.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ernest Moniz, MIT physicist, is to be nominated as energy secretary

Ernest Moniz, MIT physicist, is to be nominated as energy secretary

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ernest-moniz-mit-physicist-is-to-be-nominated-as-energy-secretary/2013/03/04/e3fe68aa-808c-11e2-a350-49866afab584_story.html

LANL neutron center ranked at the bottom

LANL neutron center ranked at the bottom of all national facilities by DoE Office of Science BESAC


Few Low Grades at DOE Science Facilities as U.S. Prepares to Set Priorities
by David Malakoff
ScienceInsider
1 March 2013, 5:53 PM

Today's ratings of more than a dozen existing and planned DOE facilities—including nanoscience centers, x-ray and ultraviolet light sources, and neutron scattering devices—carried a similar skew. The evaluations came from DOE's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC), a 25-member panel that helps steer one of the six major research programs within the department's $5 billion Office of Science. It was responding to a request from DOE science chief William Brinkman, who late last year asked BESAC and the five other advisory panels to help out with an effort to develop a 10-year plan that will set spending priorities for new and existing research facilities.


In particular, Brinkman's letter asked each advisory panel to consider how the facilities in their program "contribute to world-leading science," and to place each into one of four categories: "absolutely central," "important," "lower priority," and "don't know enough yet." He also wanted them to work fast, setting a 22 March deadline for responses.

Today, BESAC took a big step toward meeting that target by approving its facilities ratings list, which had been developed by a subcommittee. The action came near the end of a 2-day meeting held in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Overall, the group rated seven of 13 existing BES facilities "absolutely central" for cutting-edge science. Four were rated "important." And just two received the black mark of the "lower priority" ranking. However, one of the downgraded facilities, the National Synchrotron Light Source at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, is already scheduled to shut down in 2014 as its much bigger and better replacement is under construction next door. The other low priority facility, the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, is highly valued by researchers at other parts of DOE, committee members noted, but is of less importance to BES-funded scientists.

Reading, courtesy SAGE journals

Janice Sinclaire

Internet Outreach Coordinator

Our March/April edition has just been released and is a must read for anyone interested in US energy issues. These articles, as well as our Nuclear Notebook, are free in the new issue. This is an important edition that is already generating some controversy; I hope you find it of interest!
Best,
Janice

Introduction: US Nuclear Exit? http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/9.full by John Mecklin

How to Close the US Nuclear Industry: Do Nothing: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/12.full by former NRC member Peter Bradford

The Economics of a US Civilian Nuclear Phase-out: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/44.full by Amory Lovins

The Limited National Security Implications of Civilian Nuclear Decline: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/22.full by Sharon Squassoni

Nuclear Exit, the US Energy Mix, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/34.full by Henry D. Jacoby and Sergey Paltsev

Nuclear Notebook: US Nuclear Forces, 2013: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/77.full by Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris

--




Saturday, March 2, 2013

Heather Wilson appointed to NNSA review panel

Heather Wilson appointed to NNSA review panel

By Michael Coleman 
ABQ Journal Washington Bureau 
Fri, Mar 1, 2013
POSTED: 11:59 am
LAST UPDATED: 1:29 pm


U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday appointed former Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., to a new commission that will recommend ways to improve the performance of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

The 12-member commission was established late last year through legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who retired at the end of 2012. It was unclear late Thursday who the other 11 commission members will be.

The panel will “assess the feasibility and advisability of, and make recommendations with respect to, revising the governance structure of the National Nuclear Security Administration,” according to the bill that created it.

The commission will make specific recommendations, including how to improve scientific work, safety and employee retention. The panel will also explore ways to diversify the national labs’ missions and consider whether oversight of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex should “remain with the administration or be transferred to another agency.” Some NNSA critics have suggested the nuclear weapons labs should fall under the purview of the Department of Defense, not the Department of Energy

Wilson’s appoinment comes at a time when the NNSA – now part of the DOE – is under increasing scrutiny as its budgets have expanded, and some in Congress have questioned the national laboratories’ priorities and performance. Udall and some other members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have repeatedly said the labs should adjust their mission to include more research and development of clean energy technologies.

“It (the NNSA) has had a lot of problems,” Wilson said in a Journal interview Thursday. “It cost a lot of money, it’s ineffective and it’s not working. So, in some way it has to be fixed.”

Wilson served 10 years in Congress representing the Albuquerque-based 1st District from 1998 until 2009. She ran for the U.S. Senate last November but lost in the general election to then-Rep. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat. The future of New Mexico’s nuclear weapons labs was a key issue in the Senate race.

Former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat who chaired the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told the Journal in November that simply shuttering the NNSA might not be a bad idea.

“I’ve always had problems with the NNSA as another level of bureaucracy between the secretary of energy and the labs,” Bingaman said. “It doesn’t give me any heartburn to think that we would revisit the decision to set up the NNSA. I think it would make some sense.”

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who met with NNSA Acting Administrator Neile L. Miller in Washington last month, praised Wilson’s appointment to the commission as “good news for New Mexico.”

“Heather Wilson understands the contributions of our national labs to national security, and I’m glad New Mexico will have such a great advocate at the table,” Martinez said.

In an email to the Journal today, Jay Coghlin, director of Nuke Watch New Mexico, criticized the appointment, noting that Wilson has had private contracts at Sandia in the past and said she would advocate for more bloated budgets at the labs.

“Given the long string of chronic cost overruns and security infractions, diminished federal oversight and greater autonomy for privatized corporate nuclear weapons contractors is the wrong direction,” Coghlin said. “Don’t expect Heather Wilson to help the American taxpayer correct that direction. “





Coghlin is always firing shots at the NM labs and in all the noise it is easy to ignore him one more time. He has something real this time and it could turn out to be a big headache for all involved. How much money has Wilson taken from SNL and LANL and what did the taxpayers get in return for those payments?

GAO scolds NNSA for LANL and LLNL contract extensions

GAO scolds NNSA for LANL and LLNL contract extensions

Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor
February 24, 2013

The National Nuclear Security Administration did itself a “tremendous disservice” by granting award term extensions to contractors that run Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories even though the contractors did not meet requirements to trigger the lucrative extensions, a senior Government Accountability Office official said this week at the Nuclear Deterrence Summit. In a speech at the summit, GAO Assistant Director Allison Bawden said the “inconsistent” administration of the laboratory contracts raises questions, not only for existing NNSA contracts but also for a new cost-savings based contract that was awarded for the combined management of Y-12/Pantex last month but is under protest.
Bawden suggested that the inconsistent administration of contract incentives could lead companies to “cherry-pick” certain incentives it feels are worth achieving and “counting on the fee determining official to see its wisdom” could erode the ability of field managers to make tough decisions. “What kind of message do these actions send to potential bidders on future M&O contracts? Will they take the contract structures as seriously?” Bawden said.

Neither Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), or Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), earned enough at-risk fee to meet the 80 percent award term threshold on its Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Evaluation Reviews, with Livermore earning 78 percent of the fee and Los Alamos earning 68 percent. Acting NNSA Administrator Neile Miller, then the agency’s Principal Deputy Administrator and Fee Determining Official, adjusted Livermore’s fee in December, giving the lab contractor an extra $541,527 to help it meet the 80 percent mark, and waived the requirement for LANS in recognition of the progress the lab had made in recovering from a delayed security upgrade project.

Miller previously told NW&M Monitor that the latitude provided to the Fee Determining Official allows her to take a broad view of the lab’s performance. Each of the labs met five award-term measures needed to trigger the extensions, but fell short in at-risk fee. “That is the flexibility I have as a Fee Determining Official and I believe when I do those determinations I’m taking into account not only what has gone on specifically that the site manager is referring to but sort of bigger picture and strategic objectives that NNSA has at that given site, and I have the fee that I determine reflect that,” Miller said.




You can't help but notice that Miller uses 'I' five times in one sentence. With such communications skills on display, she must be going to the same weekend self improvement seminars as Charlie.

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