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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rumblings about a possible RIF at LANL due to having to pay for WHIP

There are some rumblings about a possible RIF at LANL due to having to pay for WHIP.
February 4, 2015 at 7:15 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yes? And so what? Aren't there always "rumblings" about everything? The questions are whether NNSA will pay, or require LANS to take it out of operating funds (i.e., cause a RIF), or whether the parent companies will pony up to bail out the LLC. Everyone knows these are the choices. What kind of response were you hoping for?
February 4, 2015 at 8:35 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Will pony up to bail out the LLC. Everyone knows these are the choices. What kind of response were you hoping for?

February 4, 2015 at 8:35 PM

Great idea! Why doesn't the NM State just put a $56M bail on McMillian? Let's see if Norm Pattiz ponies that kind of money up. I mean why should we get RIFed over McMillan's "negligence" of the LANL Transuranic Program (LTP)? I worked down there, and the only oversight we had from LANS management was "just get that trash of the Hill, as fast as you can"!
February 5, 2015 at 4:13 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
February 4, 2015 at 8:35 PM

From what I hear LANS will be paying. There is also the steep fines from NM however they are still fighting how much and when they will pay these. In any case LANS will be losing lots of money so a RIF may be their only choice.
February 5, 2015 at 6:43 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
In any case LANS will be losing lots of money so a RIF may be their only choice.

February 5, 2015 at 6:43 AM

DOE/NNSA will never allow LANS to take that kind of money out of operating funds, which would be the only reason for a RIF. It is against the law to spend congressionally-allocated money on something other than the intended purpose. Plus, NNSA fully intends to see the work it has funded at LANL get done, which cannot happen if there is a large RIF. I'm betting NNSA deducts the funds from current and future award fees, which is the only legal place to get it, other than straight from the parent companies. Either way, I can't see the parent companies remaining associated with LANS. I.e., no LANS, as soon as NMED announces the final decision on the amount of the fines.
February 5, 2015 at 9:31 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Meanwhile, at an undisclosed NM elementary school, Gov. Martinez is busy reading to the third grade kids and telling them if they can't read the book they will go to hell. The book is titled "My Pet Goat." Martinez will also threaten ship their parents back to Mexico.

Do you guys really think that Martinez has any freakin idea what is going on between NMED and DOE?

Come on, use your PhD's for once. Rome is burning and she is reading to kids, just like Bozo-Bush. It's every man for himself in NM. There is no leadership here.

NMED said straight out that the $200 million is a threat in order to get DOE to pay-up on the first $58 million fine instead of challenging it. This strategy is the only way to get DOE to fork over the funds, and it will work.

Future prediction: LANS will lose it's contract. The deck chairs will swap and Lockheed will take over from Bechtel. The only noticeable change to employees will be that McMillian is swapped out for another guy with a PhD who looks good in a suit and knows how to turn on a microphone.

WIPP will never take another barrel of LANL waste EVER.

Employment at Los Alamos will hold steady for the foreseeable future and then rise dramatically when it finally figures out it's new mission is testing certifying small nuclear energy production stations.

More millionaires will retire to very average looking Los Alamos homes but will continue to gripe about the lack of a good restaurant in town. They will outlive their LLNL peers.

New Mexico will continue to trail Mississippi in national rankings on just about every measure. Puerto Rican's will begin to say "thank god for New Mexico."

Congress will suddenly recognize that NIF is the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time and will redirect it's money to solar panel and small nuclear power station research at LANL.
February 5, 2015 at 9:50 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thank you Karnak the Magnificent. Unfortunately, your planet called and said we have to keep you.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm betting NNSA deducts the funds from current and future award fees, which is the only legal place to get it, other than straight from the parent companies.


February 5, 2015 at 9:31 AM


Please explain how this could work. Would NNSA place a mortgage against the next 4 years of fee to get at 200M? How could this have any hope of getting the place to operate in a sane manner? If the contractor has zero chance of getting fee for 4 years, why should they care if the place falls apart?

Anonymous said...

I dont get the logic. The LLC corp. Form limits liability.

The US taxpayer authorizes the work and accepts the risk, because it is too risky to contact out.. Therefore the US taxpayers eats the failures. And benefits from the successes.

Congress know this. It authorized the work.

Anonymous said...

"...Please explain how this could work. Would NNSA place a mortgage against the next 4 years of fee to get at 200M? How could this have any hope of getting the place to operate in a sane manner? If the contractor has zero chance of getting fee for 4 years, why should they care if the place falls apart?..."

I think you are correct. Why would the LLC stay together knowing there would be a significant slashed future award or fee? The "parent companies" (elements of the LLC) are not individually liable for anything. The LLC would simply dissolve.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, these fines will be paid in the same way that all unexpected costs at LANL are paid, with a new burden (tax) on all incoming project funds. And, yes, this will mean that projects that are already having funding problems will probably induce a RIF as they throw people off projects.

Before any RIF takes place, however, there will be a voluntary separation plan (VSP). This VSP will be unlike any of the previous VSPs which rewarded people who left by giving them severance, adding years to their pension service credit, etc.

Soon ( perhaps by this summer? ) it will be announced that anyone who doesn't retire from LANL before a specific date will no longer receive any medical coverage in their retirement. LANS will feel they can do this because Obamacare means older people can now pick up the cost of medical coverage on their own. The removal of medical coverage for future retirees will cause a flood of people in their mid-to-late 50s at LANL to retire, some who are still years away from their planned retirement date but who wish to capture medical retirement benefits through the LANS BCBS contract.

Added benefits to LANS and NNSA will come from the fact that VSP early retirees will reduce future pension liabilities due to lowered payouts these retiring middle aged people receive. NNSA will see this as a huge win. NNSA will reward LANS for implementing this benefit reduction plan by giving them additional years to their contract by FY 2017.

By the way, getting rid of older employees before they max out their pension payouts is something that NNSA has probably been considering for some time. The huge WIPP fines gives them the green light to proceed. Finally, those who work at LLNL need to pay close attention when all this happens because, as you might expect... your next.



Anonymous said...

Like it or not, these fines will be paid in the same way that all unexpected costs at LANL are paid, with a new burden (tax) on all incoming project funds.

February 5, 2015 at 9:27 PM

No No No. As much as you would like this apocalyptic view to come true, it cannot. As stated before, these fines cannot come from operating funds. It would be blatently illegal. NNSA will not allow it. Educate yourself on the law.

Anonymous said...

No No No. As much as you would like this apocalyptic view to come true, it cannot. As stated before, these fines cannot come from operating funds. It would be blatently illegal. NNSA will not allow it. Educate yourself on the law.

February 5, 2015 at 9:47 PM

Hello, didn't LANS fundamentally "break the law" and is the reason the NM state is fining? LANS motto: Two wrongs do make a right, hell take the funds out of operating budget, screw the taxpayers. Seems to be LANS modus operandi.

Anonymous said...

From my friends in LANS Lab Legal they say McMillan's plan is to delay paying this fine as long as he can, through whatever means necessary, including taking NM State to court over it. He believes that he has abundant legal resources and NNSAs support to "wear down" the NM State in the courts. McMillan feeling is that if he waits it out long enough, the NM state will "forgive or forget" the fine. McMillan believes the NM State will forgive or forget the fine, once McMillan holds the threat of RIFing employees over NM State heads. This is about political strategy folks, not money.

Anonymous said...

Love the twisted and wrong analysis on this.

LANS is an LLC, correct, but it is an LLC in a GOCO M&O role. The State is fining NNSA, the owner of the facility. NNSA can cut fee returns for the money -- as they did this year, which basically telegraphs that the contract will be rebid, but the fiscal responsibility lies with NNSA.

And if necessary, NNSA will take it out of programmatic funds. This is the probable course, through an onerous increase in overhead as the likely path. That spreads the pain through all the NNSA programs that LANL supports, and has the added bonus of shafting the WFO sponsors as well (which leads to sponsors walking away).

Go back and look at previous events. It's happened before. The State has no interest in fining LANS -- that would be like fining the janitorial contractor at Enron.

If -- and it's a big if -- the State pursues criminal sanctions for negligence, then individuals can get prosecuted. Whatever genius decided to switch to an organic absorbent without a SQR or USQ process is likely to need a good lawyer.

As for the LLC? I suspect it has very close to zero book value assets at the end of each year, as the fee return is divvied up among the parent companies -- who are shielded by the very LLC structure NNSA and Congress forced them to adopt.

Anonymous said...

"From my friends in LANS Lab Legal they say McMillan's plan is to delay paying this fine as long as he can, through whatever means necessary, including taking NM State to court over it."

February 6, 2015 at 3:51 AM

Does anyone know what happens after LANS LLC looses the LANL contract at the next rebid. The LANS LLC will dissolve, is the new incoming LLC now responsible for the fine?

Anonymous said...


I am hearing that there are multiple reasons for a RIF and some of it has to do with getting rid of TCP1 people before the contract change.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"From my friends in LANS Lab Legal they say McMillan's plan is to delay paying this fine as long as he can, through whatever means necessary, including taking NM State to court over it."

February 6, 2015 at 3:51 AM

Does anyone know what happens after LANS LLC looses the LANL contract at the next rebid. The LANS LLC will dissolve, is the new incoming LLC now responsible for the fine?

February 6, 2015 at 5:43 AM



It would appear that indeed McMillan has adopted a transparent stalling tactic with respect to NMED. Unless something changes soon, get ready for a hefty new tax on all incoming LANL money. It will be to support the enlargement of the legal department, will be paid by general overhead, will be fully approved as allowable by NNSA, and will have the singular mission of delaying the inevitable fine payment.

As to the enduring liability of LANS LLC once the new contract is in place next year, that may be the next assignment for the incoming mass of lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like McMillan's plan is to run from the law and maybe to Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Why would LANS pay for Goldstein's whip?

Anonymous said...


Does anyone know what happens after LANS LLC looses the LANL contract at the next rebid...

Yes, like the last contract rebid. You will get f**ked.

and because it is sooo much fun, so will the employees at LLNL who can't even spell wiip.

Anonymous said...

Tyler Pryzbylek, Lynn Soderstron, Russo and Pete Nanos are forming a management consulting firm to write the new LANS contract terms.

The firm is named " We hate you"

It is a very popular firm along the beltway and in Forrestal.

Anonymous said...

It is a very popular firm along the beltway and in Forrestal.

February 7, 2015 at 5:04 PM

Really? All along the Beltway? What, roadside stands? Food kiosks in the Forrestal lobby? Please quit the asinine partisan garbage and just be a real person, hopefully with real opinions and meaningful comments.

Anonymous said...

"McMillan believes the NM State will forgive or forget the fine, once McMillan holds the threat of RIFing employees over NM State heads." - 3:51 AM


Harry "NMED" Callahan:

Uh uh. I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow you head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?

Anonymous said...

Nearly perfect post. Proofread, proofread.

Anonymous said...

February 9, 2015 at 9:26 AM

So RIFs it is, so RIFs shall it be.

Anonymous said...

So you'll enjoy that outcome? Or is it Schadenfreude??

Anonymous said...

"McMillan believes the NM State will forgive or forget the fine, once McMillan holds the threat of RIFing employees over NM State heads." - 3:51 AM

Harry "NMED" Callahan:

Uh uh. I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow you head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?

February 9, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Ironically, I see it the other way:

Harry "McMillan" Callahan:

Anonymous said...

Now I understand why Goldstein carried the whip. He was deliberately jousting LANS on their drum that exploded at "WIPP". You guys at "Livermore" have "crazed" sense of humor. Get it, Whip, WIPP!

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