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, October 30, 2015

LANSCE “First Degree” performance failure?

Did performance failures associated with the near fatal electrical incident at LANSCE this year constitute a significant or “First Degree” performance failure with respect to the contract’s Environmental, Safety and Health terms and conditions? 

Compliments but....

A complimentary article on the CBT and Stockpile Stewardship:

http://thebulletin.org/new-push-comprehensive-nuclear-test-ban-treaty8830

But with this comment on NIF:

One would never have known that the cornerstone of stockpile stewardship, Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility, came in more than 300 percent over budget, five years behind schedule, and has still failed to achieve its promised goal of “ignition” (the point where more energy comes out of a fusion reaction than goes in).

The NNSA to contractor door keeps revolving

The NNSA to contractor door keeps revolving


http://www.nv.doe.gov/library/newsreleases/NSTec%20Names%20New%20President.pdf

LANL still having trouble with financial records

LANL still having trouble with financial records

RECOMMENDATIONS
We recommend that the Manager, Los Alamos Field Office, direct the Contracting Officer to:

1. Make a determination regarding the allowability of questioned costs identified in this report and recover those costs determined to be unallowable; and 

2. Ensure that LANS can determine the accurate and complete universe of insurance expenses. 

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/10/f27/OAS-V-15-06.pdf

NM drivers licenses invalid for domestic air flights

Driver's licenses issued by New Mexico are about to become a lot less useful, and residents can blame the state's insistence on issuing the IDs to illegal immigrants. 

The federal Department of Homeland Security informed state officials last week that a two-year effort to reconcile tough federal ID requirements with the granting of licenses to illegal immigrants based on dubious documents failed. Beginning on Jan. 10, state driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted at federal facilities, and eventually, state IDs won’t be enough to get bearers on board commercial flights.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/29/grounded-new-mexico-driver-licenses-fail-feds-test-thanks-to-illegal-immigrant/?intcmp=hpbt3

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TCP1 pensions with a lump sum

What do folks think about LLNS buying out ex-employee TCP1 pensions with a lump sum? I'm on the fence about what to do.
October 28, 2015 at 8:41 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
"What do folks think about LLNS buying out ex-employee TCP1 pensions with a lump sum? I'm on the fence about what to do."

Please provide a link to the reference document on this TCP1 option.
October 28, 2015 at 8:54 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I have searched and there is no online information about this. It applies only to terminated vested plan participants, which according to the annual funding notice would be 384 people.

In the mail I received a 23 page packet:

It reads:

"Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC (LLNS) recently announced a limited-time program that allows you to receive the value of your vested pension benefit right away - either as a lump sum payment or a monthly annuity payment - if you act before October 29, 2015.

During this limited opportunity your options are:

1. Elect to receive a single lump sum payment of $XXX,XXX in December 2015

2. Elect to start monthly benefit payments as early as December 2015 (the amount depends on the form of payment you elect)

3. Wait until later to begin receiving your pension (available upon request at any time after your early or normal retirement date)



LLNS has set up a phone hotline which provides some limited information, but they are not fully transparent about how they compute the lump sum. Based on my own calculations, with a single annuity, I would need a return on investment of 5.6% to break even, assuming COLA of 1.76% and I die at age 90.
October 28, 2015 at 9:54 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Would your retirement medical benefit go away like the old lump sum UC/LLNL option?
October 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I thought you are only eligible for retirement medical benefit if you retire within 30 days of last employment date. I thought when you take a job somewhere else, you walk away from that.
October 28, 2015 at 10:44 AM
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Students learn what teachers teach

I'm beginning to think that Liberalism is really brain damage,
that men actually believe this left wing garbage is amazing.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426129/poll-says-students-support-censoring-politically-incorrect-speech

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Management contract chat

 
Interesting reminder on the internal LLNL news website today... Based on the very last paragraph I wonder if the LANS team is about to splinter for the next LANL bid.

-----

Employee reminder about commenting on management contracts

With the possibility of competition for the management and operation of other facilities within the NNSA complex, employees should be aware of the Laboratory's guidelines on avoiding conflict of interest -- especially if they are asked to provide information regarding the facility up for bid or receive a request to participate on a team seeking an award.

Any employee asked to help prepare a bid/proposal in response to competitive solicitation must be sure not to disclose non-public information about Lab operations, such as material marked "confidential/proprietary," "business sensitive," "OUO," or similar information.

In addition, bid and proposal costs incurred as a result of competitive solicitation are not allowable under the LLNS contract. Any employee who spends time or incurs expenses, such as travel, in connection with bid/proposal activities as part of a solicitation may not bill the Lab using a reimbursable account. Lab resources, including computers, phones and vehicles, may not be used in bid/proposal efforts.

Employees will be required to complete and submit the LLNS Form LL2481, "Request Permission to Engage in Outside Business Activity."

If contacted by a LLNS member company, (the University of California, Bechtel National Inc., BWXT Company, AECom (formerly URS Corporation) and Battelle Memorial), contact...director of the Lab's Prime Contract Management Office.
October 21, 2015 at 7:56 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Same wording that was used at LANL in 2005 - 2006 in regards to the contract bid process. It ultimately caused existing (UC) LANL managers, both high and mid-level, to choose which bidding team they would support, with inevitable loss of employment if they chose the wrong side. Those who chose a side to support (to provide technical expertise in preparing the bid of that side) were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement before being allowed to "contribute" to the contract bid for their side. All in all, a very divisive and morale-killing process. Not a few mid-level managers chose to suck up to the bidding team their bosses decided to support.
October 26, 2015 at 7:17 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Those who picked the "correct" LLC partner back in 2005 were extremely well rewarded with a continuous move upward in the LANS management chain. Names of current PADs like Wallace and Bishop come to mind.

LANS makes the pretense of looking for the best possible candidates for executive positions but in almost all cases it's a case of "Gee, we had the best candidate right here working for LANS." The lack of a functioning meritocracy has rotted out the quality of executives at Los Alamos and hurt science. It's also bad for employee morale when people know that the winner for executive positions has already been picked before the open competition even begins. The selection process is nothing but window dressing, a lame attempt to meet the standards and regulations of the LLC contract with NNSA.
October 26, 2015 at 8:06 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

October 26, 2015 at 8:06 PM.

This is very well put, it was absoutly disgraceful that they did it that way. They
wrote in a bunch of new management positions and then gave it too themselves. Were was the value added to the labs? They have to do it different next time and make sure no one can play these kinds of games of corruption.
October 26, 2015 at 8:24 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
As a mid-level (Group Leader) manager who chose the winning team in the 2006 LANL contract competition (i.e., chose to whom I would provide my expertise for the contract bid), I can say that after the contract was won by LANS, I got a really sincere "thank you" from LANS upper management, and then was expected to continue to do my existing job competently, which I did. One year later I decided that the changes I saw were not helping LANL (now LANS) employees, and quit. One cannot always know the ultimate outcomes of one's decisions. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
October 26, 2015 at 9:20 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
8:06 nailed it. I'll add that many good managers were pushed right out the door for having picked the "wrong" team. It was a classic case of C-students picking D-students as peers and subordinates. The country suffers from such poor leadership.
October 27, 2015 at 6:07 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
8:06 is spot on.

McMillan gave big promotions and bonus money to Wallace and Bishop, and he forced out everyone else that was not part of the contract bid

Monday, October 26, 2015

LANL worker charged with DWI

 LANL worker charged with DWI - Albuquerque Journal, Oct 23rd

A Los Alamos National Laboratory subcontractor employee was charged with driving while intoxicated for colliding with a bus early in the morning.

According to a report from the Los Alamos Police Department, 51-year-old Richard Atencio, of EspaƱola, went into the northbound lane of N.M. 4 in his black Dodge pickup and struck a Los Alamos County Transit bus just after 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 1 near White Rock. Atencio was found in his truck at the bottom of a hill, breathing but not conscious or responding to medics.

He was flown to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center after initially being treated at the Los Alamos Medical Center. All three people on the bus, including the driver, were unharmed.

Atencio was identified by a LANL badge found in his truck. The badge was immediately returned to lab officials per their request.

Radioactive materials stolen from LANL

Radioactive materials stolen from LANL ( Albuquerque Journal, Oct 22nd )

Federal officials are investigating the theft of radioactive materials from an area at Los Alamos National Laboratory set aside for contaminated waste – among them a bandsaw that registered 500 times the allowable limit of contamination.

Individuals who take property from the lab typically move it to their homes, garages or outbuildings, according to a federal court filing. In 2015, there have been 76 thefts of lab property by LANL personnel, according to the document. The Los Alamos Police Department has looked into 13 reported thefts from various lab areas, including the contaminated storage yard.

The individual suspected of removing the items has not been criminally charged, according to a record check. A spokesman for LANL referred questions to the FBI, which did not respond to a request for comment.

Thief steals radioactive items from Los Alamos National Lab

Thief steals radioactive items from Los Alamos National Lab - KQRE, Oct 13th

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Not a very smart thief, stealing lab tools contaminated with radiation from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Investigators believe a LANL contractor might have done just that, and put the public at risk in what is just the latest problem with theft at the high security lab. Los Alamos Police are calling the man a “person of interest,” but not a suspect.

Richard Atencio, an employee of Compra Industries, had total access to LANL’s Technical Area-54, which is a radioactive waste storage area.

The incident started as a theft, but quickly turned into a full-on HAZMAT situation last month.

LANL contract gossip

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Did NNSA make the right decision?

Lots of whispers in the hallways that LANL was informed this week about the contract status. Stay tuned to see how the decision gets spun.
October 23, 2015 at 10:56 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
what was the decision?
October 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm guessing no-bid, because the NNSA aparatchiks are too lazy and incompetent to manage a real competition.
October 23, 2015 at 3:26 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hearing that LANS is out and will not bid again. UC is also out. Another crazy rumors is that LANS will terminated in Jan and LANL will be under some kind temporary NNSA management for a year or two. In any case it seems pretty clear that this end for LANS.
October 23, 2015 at 4:45 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh great! NNSA is going to run LANL? Revenge of the D-students!
October 23, 2015 at 5:17 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good grief! Does anyone in Washington value economic competitiveness, or national security? DOE/NNSA have turned world-class national laboratories into dumping grounds for bureaucrats and corporate raiders. It's truly pathetic to witness and tragic on so many levels.
October 23, 2015 at 5:43 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
LANS LLC is a "deadman walking" as they say in the death row prison movies.
October 24, 2015 at 9:26 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
If LANS management is on the way out for chronic poor performance, what happens to its nearly twin sister LLNS management?
The LANS LLC dream team is a dismal failure, but when these same corporate heads put on on their LLNS hats its all good?
If the for profit LLC recipe is subpar in NM, its subpar in CA too.
October 24, 2015 at 9:45 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
LANS LLC is a "deadman walking"

October 24, 2015 at 9:26 AM

IF LANS loses the contract to run LANL, it will immediately dissolve as a LLC. That has always been true. It has also always been true that the parent companies have no stake in the LLC except to make as much money as they can before "lights out," when they will go their merry way. The LLC can't be a "deadman" because it has no life to lose.
October 24, 2015 at 9:48 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
"The LLC can't be a "deadman" because it has no life to lose."

The demise of the LANS LLC reflects badly on the LANS president, his appointees, and on the parent companies. Just accept it. 
October 24, 2015 at 11:19 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
The demise of the LANS LLC reflects badly on the LANS president, his appointees, and on the parent companies. Just accept it.

October 24, 2015 at 11:19 AM

Sorry, no one in the country except the poor sods at LANL and LLNL even knows who the LLC parent companies are. The LLC "President" is just the lab Director. Most of his "appointees" will remain as managers working for the new LANL contractor. Also, the parent companies' involvement in LANS LLC is very minor compared to all the other things they do. So, no, I'm not accepting it, and not just because it is only your personal opinion.
October 24, 2015 at 11:39 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
"The LLC "President" is just the lab Director. Most of his "appointees" will remain as managers working for the new LANL contractor."

+

"Also the parent companies' involvement in LANS LLC is very minor compared to all the other things they do."


By your observations the LANS president and his appointees must also go bye bye in order to comprehensively improve LANL management per DOE/NNSA expectations. Good Point.
October 24, 2015 at 11:57 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
IF LANS loses the contract to run LANL, it will immediately dissolve as a LLC. That has always been true. It has also always been true that the parent companies have no stake in the LLC except to make as much money as they can before "lights out," when they will go their merry way. The LLC can't be a "deadman" because it has no life to lose.

October 24, 2015 at 9:48 AM

I guess you are not familiar with the phrase.

LANS LLC has zero chance of winning the upcoming bidding competition for the contract to run LANL. However it will continue as the LANL M&O until the new contractor takes over. The LANS LLC parent companies (Bechtel, UC, B&W, and URS) know this now, and according to reports at LLNL they are activity looking for different partners to form competing LLCs for the LANL contract. Keep in mind that a parent company cannot be in two different LLCs bidding on the same contract. LLNL employees were officially warned this week of this conflict potential and what to do if one of the LLNS/LANS parent companies approaches them to work on a LANL bid - this is a clear indication that LANS LLC is dead.

The LANS LLC is "dead" no mater what happens on the upcoming contract - It either doesn't bid on the contract because the parent companies are teaming with other partners or it loses to a new LLC created by companies not involved in LANS to bid on the LANL contract. Nonetheless, LANS LLC will continue to run LANL until transition to the replacement M&O contractor. This is the definition of a "deadman walking."
October 24, 2015 at 12:33 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
October 24, 2015 at 12:33 PM

I am hearing that they are trying move away from a "for profit" model.
October 24, 2015 at 12:43 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am hearing that they are trying move away from a "for profit" model.

October 24, 2015 at 12:43 PM


If you are "hearing" it, someone must be saying it. Who is that?? And what is meant by "trying"?
October 24, 2015 at 1:15 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
It is disgusting to see what privatization has done to the National Laboratories.
October 24, 2015 at 3:19 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I work at LANL and am hearing, through chatter amongst the staff supported by the very happy directors and their staff on the 6th and 7th floors in the NSSB, that LANS will be getting a contract extension! After the CNS mess NNSA does not want to do anything with new contracts.
October 24, 2015 at 3:20 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
LANS executive team is awesome and I'm awesome! You sour-puss people are all wrong, you'll see.

Executive bonuses are planned for all my top managers. LANS will be keeping the LANL contract for decades to come!

- Charlie "Awesome" McMillan
October 24, 2015 at 6:49 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Charlie: "Whoops! This news won't have any negative consequences to my annual salary and bonus, will it? "

**************************************************
Radioactive materials stolen from LANL ( Albuquerque Journal, Oct 22nd )

Federal officials are investigating the theft of radioactive materials from an area at Los Alamos National Laboratory set aside for contaminated waste – among them a bandsaw that registered 500 times the allowable limit of contamination.

Individuals who take property from the lab typically move it to their homes, garages or outbuildings, according to a federal court filing. In 2015, there have been 76 thefts of lab property by LANL personnel, according to the document. The Los Alamos Police Department has looked into 13 reported thefts from various lab areas, including the contaminated storage yard.

The individual suspected of removing the items has not been criminally charged, according to a record check. A spokesman for LANL referred questions to the FBI, which did not respond to a request for comment.
October 24, 2015 at 7:01 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
How can DOE/NNSA expect to lead and operate LANL when they can't even lead or operate themselves?
October 25, 2015 at 7:43 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
DOE/NNSA cretins are going to extend LANS contract because they are too lazy to manage a competition.
October 25, 2015 at 3:47 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I work at LANL and am hearing, through chatter amongst the staff supported by the very happy directors and their staff on the 6th and 7th floors in the NSSB, that LANS will be getting a contract extension! After the CNS mess NNSA does not want to do anything with new contracts.

October 24, 2015 at 3:20 PM"

This is the exact opposite of what I have been hearing.
October 25, 2015 at 7:03 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Everybody on this blog is "hearing" things, but nobody is willing to say who is saying them. Just hallway gossip I guess, no validity whatsoever. What a bunch of crap. If all you know is gossip, what is your point in posting it??
October 25, 2015 at 7:09 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
How does a small company like Compra Industries keep getting lucrative LANS contracts? And where did Compra find a loser like Richard Atencio? Compra Industries is the same company that employed Jessica Quintana, the lady at the center of the USB thumb drive fiasco back in 2006!

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