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. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Friday, May 29, 2015

Yet more investigations at LANL


How many more high profile screw-ups can Charlie and crew survive before they are replaced? The track record is not trending good for the top brass, and this may have blown their last chance to pull it out.


http://krqe.com/2015/05/29/energy-department-to-investigate-los-alamos-lab-consortium/

LANL has a long history of electrical accidents

LANL has a long history of electrical accidents

The safety record has not changed much over the years, despite numerous investigations. 

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/energy-department-increases-scrutiny-of-lanl-operator-after-electrical-accidents/article_6e5625eb-4663-5b4a-8407-e02201baf963.html

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hiring bias--LLNL even more so?

Hiring bias--LLNL even more so?

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/17/5360.full.pdf

Women preferred 2:1 over men for STEM faculty positions
By
Ted Boscia

For decades, sexism in higher education has been blamed for blocking women from landing academic positions in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

But a new study by Cornell psychologists suggests that era has ended, finding in experiments with professors from 371 colleges and universities across the United States that science and engineering faculty preferred women two-to-one over identically qualified male candidates for assistant professor positions.

Published online April 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the paper, “National Hiring Experiments Reveal 2:1 Faculty Preference For Women on STEM Tenure Track,” by Wendy M. Williams, professor of human development, and Stephen J. Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology, both in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, argues that the academic job market has never been better for women Ph.D.s in math-intensive fields.

DOE Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz asked to intervene in LLNS "Whistleblower Case"

http://www.independentnews.com/news/valley_roundup/whistleblower-case/article_ed967b04-048e-11e5-aceb-67aa021bc8dc.html?mode=jqm

Age discrimination

I an experiencing age discrimination from my Group Leader. He's doing this in front of my co-workers, at meetings and privately. It's becoming more blatant every time we meet and it's affecting my self esteem and ability to focus on work.
Should I take this to HR or the attorneys?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NNSA: Pantex 'Code Blue' like a safety review

NNSA: Pantex 'Code Blue' like a safety review
May 25, 2015 
By Jim McBride - Amarillo Global News


Top National Nuclear Security Administration officials have declared a “Code Blue” review of two nuclear weapons programs at the Pantex Plant, an NNSA spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

According to a statement from the NNSA, a “Code Blue” is declared when an issue or condition “could have a significant impact” on meeting nuclear weapons program requirements.

Pantex, located about 17 miles northeast of Amarillo, assembles, dismantles and modifies nuclear weapons for the U.S. atomic stockpile.

The plant, which employs about 3,000 workers, also stores tons of weapons-grade plutonium recovered from dismantled warheads.

“It’s not delaying any of our production or impacting operations,” Shelley Laver, deputy director of NNSA public affairs, said in a Friday interview in response to Amarillo Globe-News inquiries to the NNSA about the declaration.

“The Code Blue is essentially like a safety review. Basically by titling it a Code Blue, it’s going to ensure senior NNSA and (Pantex contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security) CNS management and other experts in our field are involved in it.”

The review focuses on the B61 weapon and the W80 weapon, Laver said. The B61 is an air-dropped nuclear weapon type that can be carried on a wide range of U.S. aircraft. The W80 weapon is a type of weapon designed to be deployed on Air Force cruise missiles and Navy Tomahawk missiles.

“Declaring a Code Blue ensures engagement of not only senior NNSA and Pantex management, but also other experts across the NNSA enterprise who can assist in resolving the issue. NNSA remains on track to ensure that this issue at Pantex is resolved and scheduled (weapon ) deliverables to the Department of Defense are met.”

The “Code Blue” designation is mostly to raise attention or the level of awareness to a particular issue, Laver said.

“It’s not even a condition of the weapons themselves. It’s more like a code that impacts management and everybody to kind of take a pause, step back and look at the issue than it is that is stopping operations or anything along that line,” she said.

Laver said she did not know how long the Code Blue declaration, which went into effect on May 4, would remain. Consolidated Nuclear Security on Friday referred the Globe-News to NNSA officials for comment on the issue.

Also on May 4, Consolidated Nuclear Security halted work at Pantex after workers questioned some of the plant’s nonnuclear assembly processes, plant officials said then. During the two-hour work halt, managers, supervisors and workers discussed quality and workmanship expectations ,and opportunities for improved worker training, CNS said.

“There were no worker, public or environmental safety concerns involved,” the company said.

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2015-05-25/nnsa-pantex-code-blue-safety-review

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sandia contract

http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/bizventures/2015/05/doe-posts-new-sandia-operations-contract-online.html

Sandia contract up for bid. Let's hope that this is done legally this time:

http://archive.federaltimes.com/article/20141112/ACQ/311120012/Report-Sandia-violated-rules-lobbying-contract-extensions

DOE Supports Bringing NNSA Back Under Department

Weapons Complex Monitor
May 18, 2015

DOE 'Emphatically' Supports Bringing NNSA Back Under Department

The Department of Energy supports bringing the semi-autonomous National Nuclear Administration back under the Energy Department in line with recommendations of the Congressional Advisory Panel, according to a DOE response to the panel's findings obtained by Weapons Complex Morning Briefing.

DOE largely agreed to the panel's recommendations from late last year, including the most extreme, which found that after evaluating several governance models, "the solution is not to seek a higher degree of autonomy for NNSA, because that approach would only further isolate the enterprise from needed Cabinet Secretary leadership. Instead it is recommended that Congress place the responsibility and accountability for the mission squarely on the shoulders of a qualified Secretary, supported by a strong enterprise Director with unquestioned authority to execute nuclear enterprise missions consistent with the Secretary’s policy direction,’”

DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz wrote in the response. “We emphatically concur and would add to this that rebuilding national leadership focus on nuclear security will also require strengthening regular communications between the Secretary and the relevant Congressional leaders on the various policy elements hat make up the nuclear security mission.”
May 21, 2015 at 7:17 AM
Delete

Monday, May 18, 2015

From SPSE (A little late)

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9eIrcyRIQxyeXlfYlc4blI3MG8&usp=sharing

LANL whistle-blower publishes book on lab

LANL whistle blower publishes book on lab

This should make for some interesting reading over the summer, as the contract re-compete gets into full swing.


http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-10356-leaks-at-the-lab.html

Friday, May 15, 2015

Always good to be optimistic

Always good to be optimistic. 
And with the definition of stupid being: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result", they might even get it again.

The Laboratory recently submitted to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) contracting officer the annual update to the Lab's Multiyear Strategy for Performance Improvement, FY2016-2020. In accordance with the NNSA contract, LANL is obligated to develop a multiyear strategy that details its planned efforts and expected accomplishments by year. It's also obligated to continuously improve its management and performance at the Lab. In the latest Strategy for Performance Improvement, FY2016-2020, the Lab has created a fused suite of strategic goals and objectives that provide a framework for scientific success and operational excellence for now and in the future. Link here to review the document.
Poster did not provide a link  (Doobydew)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pros and cons for working at Sandia

Pros

1 I could not get a job at Sandia s I thought cavemen lived alongside as the dinosaurs and that dinosaurs never existed. 

2 People make fun of me for wearing a bow-tie and top hat.

3. I keep getting fired for not showing up to time since I keep forgetting the location of where I work. 

4 My boss hated my idea that I could make the company by having me blog all day long about how dinosaurs never existed.

5 I got fired for using company money to by a blowup doll in the shape of devil dinosaur. 

6 They not only said no overtime for me but please never show up to work again.

7 I have never been invited to a single conference or event to explain my theory about dinosaurs never existed. 

8 I could not get into college. 

9 My uncle went to jail but he was an important person!

10 I go to a methadone clinic for healthcare. 

Cons

Since I do not have a job I can spend every hour and every day on blogs. Sandia is a name of a dinosaur! 

Society has to spend money on me. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Best ever glassdoor review for Sandia Labs!

Best ever glassdoor review for Sandia Labs:

“You will not find a better company to work for! There’s nothing like it. ”
Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM
I have been working at Sandia full-time (More than 5 years)
Pros
This is my top ten list:
1. Easy to get a job. Lack of candidates with US citizenship and advanced degrees resulted in hiring those who couldn't get or keep jobs in private sector. Interviews consist of behavioral questions, and no technical questions are asked.
2. Non-existent dress code. I have seen more cleavage and butt cheeks here than at Hooters. There are many college coeds and office admins who dress provocatively. A+
3. Work-life balance would make French jealous. Many employees take 2 hour lunch breaks and/or always come in late and leave early. Working over weekends is so uncommon, you will not see another living soul around. Telecommuting is encouraged, and some employees never show up for work.
4. Encouraged to come up with the most ridiculous ideas that get funded. Never mind if there is no market for your product/idea because you will get more money to go around and market this product to other groups and customers. It is a great place to reinvent the wheel.
5. At the end of each financial year, you get to splurge on new equipment, computers, and etc to spend down unused funds.
6. Get time off for working overtime.
7. Traveling to conferences and training is encouraged.
8. Outstanding educational benefits – You get to go full time to an Ivy League university while getting paid 75% of your salary.
9. Opportunity to shake hands with state officials and senators who like to come over and brag how much they did for SNL and NM.
10. Free healthcare at the onsite clinic.
Cons
No downsides at all to working here. This place will ruin you for other jobs.
Advice to Management
Keep doing the same thing. There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

LANL Electrical Systems Were being Probed Before Burning Accident

LANL Electrical Systems Were being Probed Before Burning Accident

By Journal North Staff
PUBLISHED: Friday, May 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm

The Department of Energy had already launched an investigation into the electrical systems at Los Alamos National Laboratory before a May 3 accident at an electrical substation that left one worker burned and seriously injured, according to a report.

A Friday article in the Weapons Complex Monitor, which covers the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities, says National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Field Office spokeswoman Toni Chiri confirmed that the week before the accident, DOE’s Office of Enterprise Assessments Office of Enforcement issued a notice of investigation to the lab’s contract operator, Los Alamos National Security LLC.

The notice targeted “potential deficiencies” in implementation of “requirements for hazardous energy assessment and control and several related electrical incidents,” the Monitor reported.

Chiri did not return phone and email messages from the Journal Friday. A LANL spokesman provided this statement:

“The Laboratory has experienced electrical safety concerns in the recent past, including one case where an electrical worker contacted an unexpected electrical energy source above a ceiling. This resulted in a minor burn to the hand, and prompted a two-day electrical safety stand-down and two all-electrical-worker safety briefings, hosted by the Laboratory Director (Charles McMillan).”

“The Laboratory takes electrical safety very seriously, and is taking steps to strengthen safety culture. We will work closely and cooperatively with the NNSA Office of Enforcement on their hazardous energy assessment investigation. It would be premature to comment on the outcome.”

In addition to the one worker who was seriously injured in the May 3 accident, eight other employees were sent to the hospital and one was reported to have minor injuries.

The Monitor quoted Chiri as saying that DOE has convened an Accident Investigation Board to look into the May 3 event. “In addition to investigating the scene of the accident, the AIB will review relevant documentation, conduct necessary interview and evaluate similar historical events,” she said.

Important Lecture:

I guess LLNL employees don't even know how to sleep.

Accessible from the intranet: (note from Scooby)

https://webcenter.llnl.gov/myllnl/faces/oracle/webcenter/portalapp/pages/top-story-wrapper.jspx?articleId=36576&_afrLoop=3302193699804306&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=blank#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dblank%26_afrLoop%3D3302193699804306%26articleId%3D36576%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Daees2q9l8_142

Bargaining with LANL security union breaks down

http://www.abqjournal.com/580463/news/security-workers-at-lanl-in-contract-stand-off.html

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

LLNL PERMIT RENEWAL & HEARING NOTICE

LLNL PERMIT RENEWAL & HEARING NOTICE 

Livermore Lab's hazardous and “mixed” radioactive waste permit is up for renewal. Once issued, it will govern LLNL’s hazardous waste activities for the next decade. 

LLNL generates toxic, reactive, corrosive, ignitable, "mixed" radioactive, and other wastes governed by RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act).

LLNL workers’ health could be endangered if the permit is vague, permissive or incomplete. 

After hearing all public comments, both verbal and written, the California State Dept. of Toxic Substances Control will make a final decision to issue, amend or deny the permit renewal. 

Written comments are due on or before August 3, 2015.

Hearing Date and Time: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 6:30 PM

Hearing Location: Arroyo Seco School, 5280 Irene Way, Livermore
.

For more information or to submit written comments by email: alejandro.galdamez@dtsc.ca.gov

McMillan: 'Sympathy and support' to family of burn victim

McMillan: 'Sympathy and support' to family of burn victim
By The Staff - Los Alamos Monitor 
Monday, May 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan said he and the rest of LANL are hoping for a full recovery for the employee severely burned in Sunday's accident at the LANSCE site.

"We are deeply concerned about the serious medical condition of the worker who was injured in an electrical accident this Sunday," McMillan said in a news release from LANL. "Nothing is more important at this time than his well-being. On behalf of the entire workforce at Los Alamos, I would like to express our hope for a full recovery and our sympathy to his family at this very difficult and trying time."

LANL announced Monday afternoon the accident at TA-53 is currently under investigation. LANL said it would likely have a joint investigation board along with the Department of Energy going within three days.

On Sunday, nine workers were injured in the electrical accident. Of those, seven were taking to Los Alamos Medical Center for treatment and released.

One with serious injuries was transported to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque and is in critical but stable condition. The other, a 57-year-old male who has not been named, is in stable condition at Los Alamos Medical Center.

Monday, May 4, 2015

(LANL) Managers

(LANL) Managers, please follow the Livermore rules in regards to  the (latest) incident:

1) Do not mention the incident or the names of the injured employees, ever.

2) In the even of serious injury or worse, have a manager call the spouse of the injured employee and tell them to talk to staff relations.

3) Await further instructions from staff relations.

DOE whistle blower and retaliation

"Do DOE Contractor workers really have at their disposal, prompt DOE "zero-tolerance" support against Contractor acts of retaliation for making a whistleblower "protected disclosure"?" 


How the DOE IG and NNSA respond to a “protected disclosure” appear to be strongly driven if not dominated, by potential liability facing the DOE Contractor, with protection of the employee bringing forward the disclosure, of little or no concern. Will this lead to more DOE Complex accidents and Contractor indiscretions? See two contrasting DOE IG protocols from past DOE IG reports:

DOE/Contractor Investigation Protocol A: 

The DOE IG receives a concern alleging Contractor Facility issues, but the employee or "hotline" caller, does NOT assert “whistleblower” status and does NOT claim Contractor retaliation for making the disclosure. 

In this case, there is a clearly defined DOE IG Investigation "objective", "scope", and "methodology" when direct Contractor to employee harm or employee retaliation is neither explicitly stated nor implied, and as such, the Contractor generally cooperates with the DOE IG. Please see web link below “DOE IG INS-O-13-06”. Report “DOE IG INS-O-13-06” clearly identifies weak areas in safety, security, potential misuse or theft of explosives, weakness in access controls, training, inventory controls, and contradictory Facility procedures. However, the set of DOE IG findings were subsequently qualified by “did not find any incidents” relating to the identified Facility weaknesses. Again, Contractor liability for an incident, accident, or employee retaliation, relating to the set of DOE IG findings, is very clearly stated to have NOT occurred in the DOE IG Report.

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/10/f3/INS-O-13-06.pdf

DOE/Contractor Investigation Protocol B: 

The DOE IG receives a concern alleging Contractor Facility issues, by an employee that DOES assert “whistleblower” status and claims DIRECT Contractor
harm or retaliation for making the disclosure. See web link below “DOE IG-0923 Donna Busche”:

“…Ms. Busche asserted “whistleblower” status based on the disclosure of what she believed to be technical and safety concerns regarding the WTP. She also asserted that her termination was in retaliation for these disclosures

“…Attorneys representing both Bechtel and URS stated that the assertion of privilege was necessary given the likelihood of litigation regarding the Busche matter…”

“…despite efforts by senior Department officials, we did not have access to the full inventory of documents which we felt were necessary to conduct our review. Thus, we were unable to complete our inquiry and accordingly disclaim any opinion regarding the circumstances of Ms. Busche’s termination…”

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/10/f18/IG-0923.pdf

Incident version B

Los Alamos National Laboratory just issued the following memo to employees regarding an incident that occurred today at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE):

To employees regarding injuries at LANSCE

This is an informational memorandum from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Communications and Public Affairs Office:

On Sunday (May 3), during preventive maintenance operations at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), a Laboratory employee was burned while working at an electrical substation. The employee was transported offsite for medical treatment and is listed in critical condition.

Eight other employees were also transported to Los Alamos Medical Center in connection with the accident; seven of those employees were later released, and one employee remains at LAMC for observation.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Due to ongoing activities to ensure the continuing safety of the workforce and facilities, numerous areas at LANSCE are without power and will remain without power until further notice.

Incident version A

According to an internal memo sent to employees and obtained by the Los Alamos Daily Post, Los Alamos National Laboratory issued a memo to employees regarding an incident that occurred Sunday at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) leaving nine employees injured, one of whom is in critical condition.

According to the memo, during preventive maintenance operations at LANSCE, an employee was burned while working at an electrical substation.The employee was transported offsite for medical treatment and is listed in critical condition.

Eight other employees were also transported to Los Alamos Medical Center in connection with the accident; seven of those employees were later released and one remains at LAMC for observation.

According to the memo, due to the ongoing activities in relation to the accident and to ensure the safety of employees, numerous areas at LANSCE are without power and will remain without power until employees are notified.

Employees who normally work at LANSCE in areas affected by this should, if possible, find ways to catch up on training or perform other beneficial work at home, at LANSCE buildings that have power, or at public locations such as the J. Robert Oppenheimer Study Center.

However, the following buildings at LANSCE do have power, and employees in these areas should report to work as usual: (from west to east) Buildings 2, 47, 46, 45, 44, 526, 365, 18, 19, 31, 14, 6, 17, 29, 1302, 1265, 400, 404, 406, 407, 882, and 27.

The cause of the accident has not been released and is currently under investigation, according to the memo.

LANL electrocuted!

LANL electrical accident in media

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3785059.shtml?cat=500#.VUbgCJMYG5L

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