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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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So how does it go down from here?



1 The LANL director steps down in mid 2015 as more WIPP revelations com out.

2 Bechtel is no longer interested in running the labs and lets it be known that they will not rebid and that it is cannot change a persistent troubled culture at the labs.

3 Congress investigates and concludes that the labs are out of control, and demand a downsizing along with increased federal oversight in the form of TYGER teams.

4 RIFs across the complex as the Congress and the public demand blood.

5 A new agency is formed that will run the NW program. No private contractor will get near the labs unless they get paid 300 million or more, due to the cultural problem at the labs. 

6 the complex is reduced to 1/3 its size and what is left is mostly oversight. A consortium comprised of various companies now runs the operation. Cost skyrocket. The new CC (Culture Crusher) program goes into effect.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

A lot has gone wrong at LANL in the past three years, and some of the stink has gotten on Bechtel as a minority partner; however, the bulk of the problems reside with the majority partner. However you want to parse it, UC gets the brunt of the blame.

Anonymous said...


Why is there such a cultural problem at the labs? Maybe by first asking why we can understand how to change it.

Anonymous said...

Because anything resembling merit based is completely gone.

Anonymous said...

Bechtel as a minority partner; ....
January 22, 2015 at 12:15 PM


Blah blah blah. Must be one of the Bechtel troups. Remember, Bechtel was brought in as an engineering company, which will bring good business practices to the Labs, since UC apparently was not able to do this. Result:

1. Could not build a fence in time and on budget (engineering)
2. Close WIPP (engineering and oversight) Carl Beard got fired for this or in business speak: reassigned.
3. Beth Sellers ("good" business practices); will most likely be barred for the next 3 years from govt work.
4. Can't get the PF4 complex up

And you have the guts talking about UC should get the brunt. As I said, you must come either from the Bechtel side or be totally ignorant (sorry this is redundant)

Anonymous said...

Scooby. Its time to separate LLL
NL and LANL posts. The negatism of this post, may be applicable to LANL, I don't know, but it is not appli able to LLNL where things for employees are fine. They are not perfect, but rather, "same as they ever were". Kinda like the mid-90s.

Anonymous said...

It must be clear to all sponsors, stakeholders and JQ Public that the changes that are about to come might be needed at LANL, but will only degrade LLNL where they will be mission counter-productive. They will dishearten employees and discourage top candidates further.

Anonymous said...

LLNL Is there a cultural or performance problem at LLNL?

Nothing significant. Nothing worth destroying it for. Address the two places distinctly, please.

Anonymous said...

LANL-dude. Take that Lithium and calm down. The sky isn't falling. Winter depression is fouling you point of view.

LANL recent history shows it is worth being wary and watchful, however, as NNSA has severely penalized LANL employees as it attempted to improve its control over practices.

Anonymous said...

Scooby, keep the LANL and LLNL posts. We at LLNL are a boring folk while the LANL population gives spice to the blog. Sometimes in a diatribe laced with venom and bile but it is always good to see what the population at LANL have to say for two reasons.

First, it's like having a dysfunctional family living next door, both amusing and horrific to view. Second, we get an idea of the failures so we can prepare ourselves for the reactive paintbrush that DOE/NNSA/Congress will use to swipe the entire complex in an effort to correct real or imagined failures.

Finally it gives us folks at LLNL the chance to say "It could be worse, we could be at LANL".

Anonymous said...


Keep LANL posts...

They give us a continuously refreshed over-the-horizon look at what tactics/strategies will be applied at LLNL over the coming years.

Very useful to understand the playbook before they start running the plays on us.

Anonymous said...

January 23, 2015 at 5:34 AM

Sorry to burst your bubble, but 3 of the 4 items that are cited were not Bechtel.
Better luck next time in Bechtel bashing.

Anonymous said...

January 23, 2015 at 2:39 PM
Care to point out which?

I always like to hear from informed people.

Anonymous said...

Pretty silly stuff.

Nothing as dramatic as all that will happen. The complex will continue to muddle along in the aimless way it does these days. The most dramatic outcome possible is a rebid on the LANS contract down the road. Even that isn't guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

5:08 PM
I don't work for Bechtel, and am no fan of some of their actions, but if you are too lazy to do your own homework, then you contribute little to the discussion. The fact is that Charlie is the grand poo-baa-bah of the Lab, and all that goes wrong ultimately rests with him. So no matter which part of the organization failed, the blame is his. This is accepted in all organizations, and can be shared by underlings that also failed to some degree.

Anonymous said...

January 23, 2015 at 6:19 PM
Still waiting to hear anything else from you than platitudes.

I've done my homework, I listed it, it's your job to show me where I am wrong.
That is the way science is done.

In a real organization, the boss has the freedom to choose who he or she wants; not so in our LANL/LLNS world. The deputy director position at LANL is Bechtel's to fill. Same with the business and engineering jobs.

That makes a big difference. If you believe that McMillan has any influence on these day to day operations, you are greatly mistaken.

In my opinion, Charlie McMillan has made mistakes and I blame him for these like the institution of the LISC, but to blame him for everything which goes wrong is just ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

...but it is not applicable to LLNL where things for employees are fine. They are not perfect, but rather, "same as they ever were". Kinda like the mid-90s.

January 23, 2015 at 6:57 AM

Wow. You are either in a very sheltered place, or you were not at the lab in the mid 90's.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Charlie McMillan has made mistakes and I blame him for these like the institution of the LISC, but to blame him for everything which goes wrong is just ridiculous.

January 24, 2015 at 5:59 AM

Why not? He claimed he was going to fix everything when he came. I'm still waiting. Let him earn his "keep".

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that Becthel Corporate has been absolutely "mum" about their problems at LANS. Come on Riley, speak up, or are you a coward!

Anonymous said...

In McMillan's arrogant manner, in his Director's brief, he just "blew off" losing most of the award bonus. He called the $6M "change" and claimed it wouldn't affect anyone at LANL. Basically he waved the "flying finger" at DOE/NNSA and said come on boys try to get me. He's an arrogant little bastard. Don't worry McMillan, there's always a bigger fish in the water, and maybe it's a shark!

Anonymous said...

The Bohemian Grove will be interesting this year, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Come on Riley, speak up, or are you a coward!

January 24, 2015 at 8:54 AM

Riley Bechtel is too ill to "speak up" and he hasn't been CEO of Bechtel for many months now. Try to keep up.

Anonymous said...

5:59 AM

This post has so many factual errors in it that it is laughable. Either it is misleading by design or ignorance. Either way, it is wrong. Neither Beard nor Sellers was a Bechtel person.

Anonymous said...

January 24, 2015 at 2:04 PM

In addition to providing evidence to support the facts of 11:55 AM, there is nothing new here. Not sure what agenda is being attempted, but Sellers was recruited to LANL by Mcmillan and was not from Bechtel. Beard was from B&W, and if you know anything at all about this field, you would not confuse them with Bechtel.

Anonymous said...

Please keep the LLNL and LANL posts separate. The issues, problems, punishments, site oversight, competence, organizational structure, histories, cultures, successes, failures, performance evaluations and lunch-time hardbodies are ALL DIFFERENT.

By painting with a broad brush, you condemn the innocent or the uninvolved with the stricken.

LLNL IS NOT LANL. THE HAVE DIFFERENT LETTERS IN THEIR NAMES....this is not that hard cretins..

Anonymous said...

LLNL IS NOT LANL. THE HAVE DIFFERENT LETTERS IN THEIR NAMES....this is not that hard cretins..

January 24, 2015 at 10:17 PM

Don't forget Mara, Knapp, Anastasio, and McMillan were/are from Livermore. We were created to be competitive, however, LANS/LLNS brought us together at the hip. Its an incestuous culture, like it or not. You in denial!

Anonymous said...

"LANS/LLNS brought us together at the hip."

Actually its at the "head."

LANL and LLNL as sites have almost nothing in common. I'm not surprised that most don't realize this given how few employees of one Lab have physically been to the other Lab.

I get to LANL a couple of times a year. Its like night and day comparing it to LLNL.

LANL is spread of 40 square miles with facilities scattered in both the town and county of Los Alamos. LLNL is one square mile, plus Site 300 (only a hundred or so employees are there).

LANL was established directly by the US Govt during WWII under direct US Army control and then later after WWII ended transferred to UC. LLNL was directly established by UC as a division of LBNL.

LANL's budget is twice that of LLNL's.

LANL is isolated in a rural area, LLNL is on the edge of one of the most densely populated areas in the country. Within a short drive of LLNL are numerous high-tech and academic research institution.

LANL has several large high hazard research and small scale production facilities. LLNL has no production activities and just small lab scale research.

Los Alamos is known around the world as the birth place of the weapon that ended a World War, most people in California (let alone the county or world) couldn't find Livermore on a map or tell you much about it's national lab.

It is going to get very interesting in the next few years now that the LANS/LANL contract has lost a year while LLNS/LLNL contract got extended. This puts two years plus between the bidding process. I can't see how LANS, given the WIPP half billion dollar mess laid a LANL's door, has any chance of winning the next LANL contract.

So is UC going to stay in bed with Bechtel as a direct partner for the next LLNL bid? Not sure why they would if the LANL contract is lost.

UC would probably be better served forming a solely UC owned LLC, and have Bechtel (or another industrial company) as a sub-partner that gets compensated for its contribution to the LLC, as opposed to a parent partner raking in a direct share of the management fee.

Anonymous said...

UC would probably be better served forming a solely UC owned LLC, and have Bechtel (or another industrial company) as a sub-partner that gets compensated for its contribution to the LLC, as opposed to a parent partner raking in a direct share of the management fee.

January 25, 2015 at 10:16 AM

Very good idea. But I'll bet that any industrial company focused on profits will clearly see the risks, as recently demonstrated to Bechtel, and will shy away from any arrangement that doesn't allow them to assert some control over the M&O decision-making process.

Anonymous said...

A lazy outside observer may think try to link LLNL and LANL behavior to damn all for the sins of one, but this is irrational nonsense, possible only due to the isolaion from the facts. Very few people have worked at both places long enough to have valid experience in both cultures. A visit, perhaps. A friend, sure.

These two places are 2000 miles apart and do not mix. There are few exchanges and only visits. They are organized different, have different histories, successes and failures. Different stakeholders. Talent and leaders at one place have sometimes failed at the other. Pariahs at one place have thrived at the other.

To know one by knowing the other us to know nothing.

STOP TYING LLNL TO RECENT LANL MISSTEPS. IT IS IRRATIONAL, UNFAIR, AND DEMONSTRATES, PRIMA FACIA, AN UNFITNESS WITNESS TO USEFUL DISCOURSE.

Anonymous said...

You can't diss LLNL. They have the Run HOME campaign... where if you don't give and make the directorate look good, then promotions may be at risk.

Anonymous said...

"STOP TYING LLNL TO RECENT LANL MISSTEPS.

January 26, 2015 at 4:46 AM"

No one is tying LLNL to LANL, except to remind you that LANL senior management has been by LLNL graduates since 2006. A bit paranoid are we?

Anonymous said...

Here's how it will go down: nothing will change.

By the end of next year, the NNSA announces that LANS previously failed management has drastically improved their performance, things are looking up and LANS will be allowed to keep the contract for several additional years. In appreciation of all this, the Director positions will be well rewarded with a doubling in the executive compensation package for "fixing" things.

Face it, no one in a position of important political power really cares what is happening at the NNSA weapon labs. It will be easy for the LLC partners and NNSA to pull this scheme off.

Anonymous said...

January 26, 2015 at 8:55 PM

You nailed it brother.

Anonymous said...

In McMillan's arrogant manner, in his Director's brief, he just "blew off" losing most of the award bonus. He called the $6M "change" and claimed it wouldn't affect anyone at LANL. Basically he waved the "flying finger" at DOE/NNSA and said come on boys try to get me. He's an arrogant little bastard. Don't worry McMillan, there's always a bigger fish in the water, and maybe it's a shark!

January 24, 2015 at 9:02 AM

LAFO could care less if McMillan "flipped them off" I mean, have you seen the LAFO Field Manager Kim Davis-Lebak? How do you spell "weak". Another DOE/NNSA diversity move.

Anonymous said...

January 26, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Sadly I fear that you will be correct.

NNSA (and Congress) have too much invested in the idea that the weapons science labs should be run like industrial facilities instead of true FFRDCs. They like LANS and LLNS, and will some how come up with justification to keep LANS running LANL.

Change is needed, this is recognized by everyone working at that labs except senior managers (ie, those directly benefiting from the LLC's performance fee).

Sad days ahead...

Anonymous said...

Arrogant.

From Congress' point of view:
Will the bombs go boom when we want? Probably not "too" concerned with yield.

Yes, then weapons lab doing their job and just need to not mess up or cause problems.

Anonymous said...

The less the NNSA and the US weapon labs are seen and heard in the news, the happier Congress and those making money off the LLC for-profit schemes will be.

No one cares about the weapon labs' competence or cutting-edge science or keeping the nuclear arsenal in tip-top shape. All that matter is that these organizations stay out of the news and that a few of those multi-decade old bombs held in storage work, or more importantly, that our enemies think they might work. Beyond that, it's all a game of smoke and mirrors. Sit back, relax and try to enjoy the show.



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