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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sandia contract extended for two years

Sandia contract extended for two years


http://www.abqjournal.com/370441/news/contract-for-sandia-labs-extended-2-years.html

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Running a competition for the contract takes a lot of time, and NNSA has a shaky track record of handling the process. SNL has not given many reasons to force a change from the present situation, so the extension saves NNSA a lot of effort and should have low risk of major screw up by the incumbent.

Anonymous said...

The profit fee paid to SNL is only around $24 million per year at most. Nothing like the almost $60 million paid out to the Bechtelians down the road at LANL. NNSA can afford to extend the contract at SNL for another 2 years.

However, the fact that LANS got an abysmal management rating of only 49% for the last fiscal year and did not get what is usually a regular contract extension added on for another year tells you that LANS may not be long for this world.

It doesn't help that McMillan seems OK with keeping the prime function at his lab, TA-55 pit production and plutonium work, in mothballs for over 10 months now. The TA-55 work, along with the jobs, will soon be moving out to another more productive lab, most likely Savannah River.

Los Alamos has become by far the most expensive lab in the NNSA complex. Costs are out of control. That may soon be rectified.

Anonymous said...

...the fact that LANS got an abysmal management rating of only 49% for the last fiscal year...

March 21, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Incorrect, and (apparently intentionally) misleading. Here are the real scores:

"The lab received scores of 95 percent in Science, Technology and Engineering, 91 percent in broader national security mission, 90 percent in contract leadership, 87 percent in nuclear weapons mission and 49 percent in operations and management" - Los Alamos Monitor, 2/15/14.

You don't help your argument when you misstate facts that are so easily checked.

Anonymous said...

March 21, 2014 at 11:05 PM is technically correct since he said "abysmal management rating of only 49%." However, the other areas where LANS received 87% - 95% ratings are obviously also "managed" by LANS. I would argue that a "Operations and Management" category rating is not the same as a "management rating." So yes, misleading.

Anonymous said...

March 22, 2014 at 9:19 AM

"This message brought to you from your friends in the LANS corporate communications office."

"Your overhead dollars hard at work, blogging for a positive image of LANS."

Anonymous said...

"This message brought to you from your friends in the LANS corporate communications office."

March 23, 2014 at 10:44 AM

You know this blog is doomed when people start complaining about factual material being posted. Sorry to upset your fantasy world of victimism.

Anonymous said...

You can spin it all you want, the fact is that McMillan failed to earn the coveted award term extension for the contract. Sure, there were some scores in the annual report that were better than others. However, the fact is that the score of 49% in one category outweighed the better scores in the overall assessment. While the earlier poster may have been incomplete in word selection by using 'management' in place of 'operations and management,' the fact is that for the first time since UC was replaced an eligible contract year extension was denied by NNSA.

Anonymous said...

Los Alamos has become by far the most expensive lab in the NNSA complex. Costs are out of control.

March 21, 2014 at 11:05 PM


This is what we hear from WFO sponsors every day and LANL management keeps making it more expensive to to the work. The projects are going to SNL and other labs and not to LANL. WFO has heavily declined at LANL over the last few years and does not show any sign of picking back up.

Anonymous said...

LANS/LLNS (which in all meaningful ways are the same entity) has absolutely no interest in WFO. They see it as piddling amounts of outside money keeping otherwise unnecessary scientists employed while getting a "freebee" on laboratory infrastructure, capabilities, and resources the sponsors nothing to establish or maintain, and all outside the core mission. Kinda hard to argue.

Anonymous said...

DOE/NNSA views WFO in the same way. A detraction from the mission.

Anonymous said...

Detraction from the mission? And what would that be? McMillan can't even keep the Pit Factory going at Los Alamos, much less keep the fast declining WFO projects from being snuffed out. And parts of LANSCE ("MaRIE!") are due to be killed off in the just announced FY2015 budget.

The mission seems to be: Keeping management fat and happy while the scientific capabilities slowly erode away. Really, in all truth, that's the current (unspoken) LANS mission for LANL.

Anonymous said...

McMillan can't even keep the Pit Factory going at Los Alamos, much less keep the fast declining WFO projects from being snuffed out.

The mission seems to be: Keeping management fat and happy while the scientific capabilities slowly erode away.

March 23, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Mcmillan has no interest in keeping WFO at LANL - he has his orders from the LANS board.

Since the "scientific capabilities" are all that got LANS better than a 50% grade overall in the fy2013 NNSA ratings, I assume that LANS will try to keep them up rather than lose the contract next year.

Anonymous said...

McMillan is the "sorriest" LANL Lab Director to date. What do you expect from "Livermore".

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the LANL "Tritium" facility has been shutdown for over two years as well. LANL is a disgrace to the the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC).

Anonymous said...

McMillan is the "sorriest" LANL Lab Director to date. What do you expect from "Livermore".

March 23, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Oppenheimer
Bradbury
Agnew
Kerr (an anomaly)
Hecker
Browne
Nanos (the beginning of the end)
Kuckuck (a caretaker)
Anastasio
McMillan

The trend is downward, and severely, embarrassingly so. I arrived at LANL under Agnew, whom employees treated like a god. I left under Anastasio. I knew and worked closely with Hecker and Browne. I avoided Nanos and dealt with Cobb. I was acquainted with Anastasio and met McMillan in the course of my work. After John Browne, I was never proud of working for a LANL director. Just my 30 years at lANL.

Anonymous said...

"The trend is downward, and severely, embarrassingly so. I arrived at LANL under Agnew, whom employees treated like a god. I left under Anastasio. I knew and worked closely with Hecker and Browne. I avoided Nanos and dealt with Cobb. I was acquainted with Anastasio and met McMillan in the course of my work. After John Browne, I was never proud of working for a LANL director. Just my 30 years at lANL.

March 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM"

I am not disagreeing with you but Anastasio and McMillan at least have some scientific credibility. Nanos had none, absolutely none. I have dealt with all three myself and Nanos was something else. He just came across as a treacherous slimy character from a bad true crime TV show that gets canceled after the first few episodes. Nanos literally radiated insecurity, fear, and confusion. He is extremely uncomfortable around scientists and engineers. Strangely after a meeting he had with a number of younger scientists a few of us almost felt sorry for him. The sense was that a series of extraordinary circumstances must came together to allow someone like him to rise to the post of a LANL Director. It was clear even to him that he should never have gotten that far. It was sad seeing him during that meeting with his nervous darting eyes, beads of sweat rolling down his brow as he rattled off totally bizarre and utterly unbelievable excuses. After the meeting an older gentlemen suggested that we should watch the Cain Mutiny staring Humphrey Bogart. A few of us did and although it is a bit dated it is a great film. Of course we figured out the scene that the person was talking about. The main character in movie, Commander Queeg had more dignity and honesty than Pete Nanos. Queeg believed his own lies, while it was obvious that Nanos knew what the real truth was.

It was latter explained to me that Nanos was never allowed to have a command of vessel during his tenure as a naval officer. This was very telling and gave us some comfort that that military has an idea of what leadership is about. Of course at the same time it also told us what the outside world thought of LANL.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Sandia for its success. They accepted reduced benefits and a leaner contract and that is what the NNSA wants. Tyler Przybylek has been deeply critical of LLNL and LANL for not doing what he asked.

Anonymous said...

March 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM

March 23, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Despite some attempts, the absolute ordering of Lab Directors is not a quantitative exercise and, like historical sports teams comparisons and annual college rankings, is heavily influenced by the relative strength of the competition. With comparable experience to 10:12 PM, I would not strongly disagree, but would offer that Directors could be grouped into those that were among the best and those that were among the worst from Agnew to McMillan.

Agnew and Hecker are often mentioned as having stood above the rest, and rightly so. Anastasio came to LANL at a time when many in Congress were prepared to close the Lab, and had to deal with the Quintana issue early on. History will determine the outcome, but his leadership kept the doors open.

While few will argue that McMillan and Nanos belong at the bottom, Browne permitted the situation to get to the point for Nanos to be appointed. Had he been more diligent in his role, especially in the later years, much of what followed could have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

If you don't think Browne was diligent you don't know about his many late night and weekend meetings with a large cadre of technical, legal, congressional liaison, and security staff during and subsequent to the Wen Ho Lee mess. There is little a lab Director can do directly when the primary pressures are from politically-driven sources outside of the institution.

Anonymous said...

"I am not disagreeing with you but Anastasio and McMillan at least have some scientific credibility."

You are correct about Anastasio, he has a fair bit of scientific credibility. Sadly, that is not the case for McMillan.

Anonymous said...

Charlie McMillan knows how to dress in a fine Italian made suit and wear expensive leather belt & shoes. What more could you ask for in a lab director?

The man obviously has taste and the wallet to afford his well tailored choice in clothes. He stays focused on the important things in life.

Anonymous said...

Hey give the man a break! One of McMillan's high priced weekend leadership coaches must have told him that he should change his image. Judging from comments last week, the recent beard styling alone probably set him back a few hundred dollars. Goodness knows he must look and dress right, even if the place is falling down around him.

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