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Friday, January 16, 2015

LANL leadership merits harsh evaluation


LANL leadership merits harsh evaluation in the LANS 2014 performance evaluation report.


"During the performance period the Loratory was operationally, reputationally, and financially impacted by several issues. Deficiencies in regulatory compliance and in the physical management of transuranic waste streams contributed to or resulted in the closure of the only waste repository serving the Department of Energy. The impacts include the diversion of key staff from mission work, huge financial costs to the Department of Energy that are still accumulating, failure to meet environmental commitments made to the State of New Mexico, damage to an important relationship with a key state regulatory body, broad adverse economic impacts associated with the suspension of normal operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, and a degredation of public confidence in the conduct of nuclear and high hazard operations at the Laboratory.

Throughout the performance period, nuclear operations were suspended at most plutonium-related production and research facilities at the Laboratory. NNSA appreciates the Laboratory’s 2013 decision to cease operations to address longstanding, documented concerns with Criticality Safety and Formality of Operations, but the Laboratory’s application of resources for re-starting resulted in a performance year in which the workforce and facilities did not significantly contribute to productive programmatic use.

During the performance year, there were instances of ethical lapses involving senior Laboratory staff, as was the case in the previous performance year. The Laboratory continued to experience challenges in CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT and in deploying and exercising best industry practices to promote construction management success, including the Earned Value Management System. While there were significant accomplishments during the reporting period, the impact and gravity of documented shortcomings overwhelm those accomplishments and reflect a negative trend in leadership performance; constituting performance that is below expectations."

http://nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/nnsa/inlinefiles/FY%202014%20LANS%20LLC%20PER%20releasable.pdf

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"During the performance year, there were instances of ethical lapses involving senior Laboratory staff, as was the case in the previous performance year."


Instances = more than one
Lapses = more than one
'...as was the case the previous year.' = this is not a new failing, and was also brought to attention last year

Anonymous said...

After all, there is only one real job that the country counts on LANL to do, and they did not do any of that last year.


"Throughout the performance period, nuclear operations were suspended at most plutonium-related production and research facilities at the Laboratory. NNSA appreciates the Laboratory’s 2013 decision to cease operations to address longstanding, documented concerns with Criticality Safety and Formality of Operations, but the Laboratory’s application of resources for re-starting resulted in a performance year in which the workforce and facilities did not significantly contribute to productive programmatic use."

Anonymous said...

McMillan brought Lab employees together when he stated that regardless of his screwed-up nuclear facilities, his weapon "pals" are still doing a excellent job at the Labs core mission. So making plutonium pits for the DoD, shipping an accumulating amount of transuranic waste to WIPP, and performing Gas Transfer System (GTS) functional tests are no longer an important lab mission? It appears McMillan is taking "shelter" with his weapon designers and "screw" the rest of the Lab. What kind of leadership is that; what happened to "one Lab, one mission"!

Anonymous said...

Later in the report is this statement: "The Laboratory experienced several ethical lapses involving senior management staff."

Anonymous said...

"The Laboratory continued to experience challenges in CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT"

Really! World Class Bechtel International is "experiencing" challenges in construction management at LANL. As Bill Walton would say, "unbelievable" this is a "disgrace".

Anonymous said...

LANL has an all employee meeting on Tuesday (1/20/15) where Charlie will speak with employees. No mention of Klotz (NNSA Administrator) or Kim Lebak, the NNSA official who gave LANS the very poor performace appraisal, was made. So it is not clear what guidance will come from this meeting. Given the very negative performance evaluation and loss of fee from NNSA it seems likely that they would have a leadership response for the lab employees, but nothing like that has been indicated yet. Internally there has been notable disappointment, especially with the grade for Science and Engineering (30%, an 'F') so a substantive response is anticipated by employees.

Anonymous said...

Internally there has been notable disappointment, especially with the grade for Science and Engineering (30%, an 'F') so a substantive response is anticipated by employees.

January 17, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Don't forget the zero (i.e. nul, leng, nol, noa, cero, nulita, etc.) that LANS received in Operations and Infrastructure. I mean, this is a "take home" exam guys! All you had to do was "show up" to work and get 10%.

Anonymous said...

What kind of leadership is that; what happened to "one Lab, one mission"!

January 16, 2015 at 11:29 AM

Oh, McMillan's one mission is still in place: Follow the money!

Anonymous said...

LANL was built where it was so large quantities of weapons materials could be handled in relative isolation and secrecy. It is still fairly isolated, but not nearly as isolated as it was 70 years ago. That same isolation bred a cowboy culture of "We do what we want, our way" arrogance that has damaged the whole weapons complex. And meanwhile, they are no longer even capable of safely handling large quantities of weapons materials, never mind waste. Why does LANL exist?

Anonymous said...

And meanwhile, they are no longer even capable of safely handling large quantities of weapons materials... Why does LANL exist?

January 18, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Probably because LLNL has no weapons materials.

Anonymous said...

Probably because LLNL has no weapons materials.

January 18, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Well now that's looking more and more like a mistake.

Anonymous said...

"That same isolation bred a cowboy culture of "We do what we want, our way" arrogance that has damaged the whole weapons complex."

This is just pure BS. Sorry not going to fly.

Anonymous said...

"the NNSA official who gave LANS the very poor performace appraisal"

January 17, 2015 at 6:27 PM

Correction: LANL earned that very poor performance appraisal. It was no 'gift' from any NNSA official.

Anonymous said...

Correction: LANL earned that very poor performance appraisal. It was no 'gift' from any NNSA official.

January 18, 2015 at 7:25 PM

You may be right. That particular issue will find its way into legal proceedings and congressional testimony.

It has become the fuel for conflict. Now unavoidable.

Anonymous said...

Internally there has been notable disappointment, especially with the grade for Science and Engineering (30%, an 'F') so a substantive response is anticipated by employees.

January 17, 2015 at 6:27 PM

It's no wonder we got an F in Engineering at Los Alamos. Engineering leadership at LANL is non-existant. Look at the leadership here: Girrens, Associate Director Engineering, Goen, ES-Division Director, Benner, Associate Director Weapons. This guys are not doing anything to promote Engineering at Los Alamos. Our only hope is that these worthless folks are "tossed out" in the next contract.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Later in the report is this statement: "The Laboratory experienced several ethical lapses involving senior management staff."

January 16, 2015 at 7:13 PM

You must conclude that the deliberate choice of "several" in this context is indicative of an unethical culture in, and close by, the Director's office. There are many losers from this culture, including LANL scientists and the US taxpayer. Likewise, there are some winners as well. Obvious ones include Charlie and the PAD/AD cohort, while more important - and less overt - ones include Russia, China, Iran, NK, and other groups opposed to the American view of democracy.

Anonymous said...

2:05 you are a troll who has no idea what you are talkng about. The out of control, "cowboy butthead" was Pete Nanos, not Los Alamos' scientific culture.

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