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Thursday, January 7, 2016

SNL contract must be competed before the LANL one

One story making the rounds is that NNSA had determined that the SNL contract must be competed before the LANL one, and the total contract failure at LANL has created problems for both Labs. Some SNL managers are starting to drop hints that the SNL rebid schedule will be revised in order to get LANL under a new operator more quickly.

Maybe Charlie will discuss the rebid calendar in today's all hands meeting.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...


The McMillan talk was content free. Kind of amazing that there was no real information. He says LANS has been great and made huge progress it is just they did not have enough time to carry through with the vision. No one believes that as there is no evidence for any progress only decline since LANS came, but hey LANS is out, so there is always hope. What is so odd that no one seemed to care about his talk, there was literally no questions, only one very bizarre fawning comment about how great McMillion is, the eyes where rolling on that one. Other than that nothing, no one cares, there seems to be no point and oh not a peep about the purpose. Way to go LANS.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the land of the "pod people", Los Alamos National Lab.

LANS and Charlie McMillan have been extremely successful in incorporating an alien invasion of the body snatchers in this place. It's wonderful once you give in to the force. No more excitement, no more cares, no more struggling. Ahhhhhh! Come join us!


Anonymous said...

What did you expect McMillan to say? Came across as honest and open to me. Clearly "The Board" is calling the shots on the contact decisions. Not sure what you were looking for.

Must be hard to go through life as negative as you are.

Anonymous said...


"What did you expect McMillan to say? Came across as honest and open to me. "

Odd, most people think it came across as deceptive and even confused. There must be whole lot of negative people out there.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing to say. What is left? LANL is all risk and no reward for the operator. As much as people worry about it, no one in the rest of the world does.

Anonymous said...

"There was nothing to say. What is left? LANL is all risk and no reward for the operator. As much as people worry about it, no one in the rest of the world does.

January 7, 2016 at 9:43 PM"

UC was happy to operate the labs without reward for 60 years. In the end LANS got 12 years of money which is close to a billion dollars, so there is plenty of award for very little effort on their part and Charlie personally had huge reward. It is now clear the for-profit model for LANL and LLNL has been a colossal failure.

Anonymous said...

How do you figure a billion dollars? $331M through 2014. You can get the data right off the website. And hate to burst your bubble but that is not a lot of money over the period of time we are talking about. The old model is gone. It has been gone for decades. Look at the production facilities, the test grounds, and the reactor research facilities. The labs were the last to go.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you were expecting a different Charlie to show up at the meeting? You have to give him credit for telling the same story every time, just like a stuck record. "LANS has done so much good for LANL in such a short time, for such a small reward. And those big, bad DoE pinheads are just too dense to appreciate it all."


Or, maybe you were expectig him to be honest with you for a change? "Mike led us to earn a contract extension year each and every time we were eligible - the maximum possible was extended under his leadership. I led us to no additional contract extensions in my four years as Director. But don't worry about it, since I 'followed the money' and have pocketed several million per year."

Anonymous said...

"How do you figure a billion dollars? $331M through 2014"

You have to understand that LANS also leverages the money, they get contracts for their spinoff companies, they move hundreds of employees on to LANL, park employees at LANL for a fixed time at huge salaries until they need to be moved to the next assignments, use every loop possible to leverage every dollar every which way. It is cheap easy money. God knows how they came up with 331M on the web site. They can get up to 80M a year at it has been 10 years, judging from the scores over the years they should have gotten at least 500-600M just on the profit margin so they are using some funny math to make themselves look better. Maybe they subtract the United Way giving campaign money which of course is some tax right, but they will not mention than part. Hundreds of millions is still nice for doing absoutly nothing, Ca-Ching

"The old model is gone. It has been gone for decades. Look at the production facilities, the test grounds, and the reactor research facilities. The labs were the last to go."

You are absolutely correct on this point. There is a big difference between the test sites, production and reactor facilities in they are not scientific research organizations and they are much smaller than the labs with much more narrow missions. It does not work for science labs. Why not make Fermilab, ANL, ORNL, PNNL, and NIST for profit corporations? I get that the old model is wrong but can you give one reason how the new model has made LLNL or LANL better and more effective. Where has been the added value of making the labs for profit?

Anonymous said...

It was appropriate they played "Over the Rainbow" over the iTV prior to McMillan's (Wizard of Oz) standup. And there were all the players (Dorothy - Zerkel, Leasure -Wicked Witch, Yarbrough - Scarcrow, Cabill - Tin Man, Benner -The Lion) sitting up front holding hands. Pay no attention to man behind the curtain (Wizard of Oz - McMillan). Follow the Yellow Brick Road. There's no place like home, there's no place like home,.....you can't make this stuff up!

Anonymous said...

Notice how Charlie always referred to DOE/NNSA as the "government". Never said "DOE/NNSA". Take that DOE/NNSA! His ONLY way to express being "PISSED OFF" and responsible for losing the contract!

Anonymous said...

Cabill as the Tin Man was "right on". No heart and no leadership!

Anonymous said...

"Notice how Charlie always referred to DOE/NNSA as the "government"."

That was weird.

Anonymous said...

"Notice how Charlie always referred to DOE/NNSA as the "government"."

That was weird.

January 8, 2016 at 8:03 AM


Some lawyer must have told him what to say?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Rich Marquez. Dorothy's dog toto!

Anonymous said...

Why does Marquez park his huge Infiniti 4x4 Q-60 in the Number #1 parking spot next to the NSSB? Uh, cause he's in-charge! Now that is SCARY!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Rich Marquez. Dorothy's dog toto!

January 8, 2016 at 8:07 AM

Ha..you guys are so bad! Funny stuff on the blog today.

Anonymous said...

Leasure is certainly the wicked witch.

Anonymous said...

Yarbrough - Scarcrow

Right on! No brain.

Anonymous said...

$331M is from the NNSA letters on their website. There are no leveraged spin offs. Everyone makes the same salaries too. Except the executives of course.... There aren't that many outside people coming in. A hundred or two at most out of 10k.

The production facilities were MUCH larger than the labs before downsizing. Hanford and Savannah river were 40k people each back in the 80s. More than 10k in the 90s. The complex is in atrophy.

I did not say the for profit model was better. I just said the non for profit model was dead and it is....

PNNL and ORNL are for profit. I don't know about ANL and NIST.

My concern at this point is simple. With the the end of LANS, Pandora's box is open again and NNSA get to cut benefits and freeze the pension program. It happened at the other facility and it is coming. Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

Correction ORNL is not for profit but PNNL is for profit. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

"Correction ORNL is not for profit but PNNL is for profit."

PNNL is operated by Battelle, which is a private nonprofit company.

Anonymous said...

ORNL is operated by a nonprofit LLC that is owned 50/50 by University of Tennessee and Battelle.

Anonymous said...

ANL is operated by a LLC that is 100% owned by the University of Chicago. That LLC has teamed with Bechtel to operate a couple of ANL's more hazardous facilities.

I actually would like to see a hybrid of the ORNL and ANL model for LLNL.

A solely UC-Battelle owned LLC to run LLNL. This LLC could then as needed "team" (subcontract) with industrial partners (Bechtel) for specific activities at a set price, which would definitely not 50% of the annual management awards fee to the LLC.

Anonymous said...

PNNL is a fee based contract. They may reinvest within their organization but they make money off of the government based on their performance.

I like your idea but understand that the profit margin for the operator is 1.5% currently while an arrangement like you are talking about would drive a 10-25% margin on those specific scope which would mean more profit for Bechtel. On a lot less management scope.

Example Marie. Billion dollar job equals 100m in profit, minimum. That is more than three years of profit under the current performance.

It is striking how low the fee structure really is. 1.5-2.5%

Anonymous said...

@9:58 AM

Marie? Really??

That pipe dream will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Inconsequential , the point was how companies make money.....

Anonymous said...

"Follow the Yellow Brick Road"

Charlie "GQ" McMillan

January 8, 2016 at 7:32 AM

Anonymous said...

Down size Lanl to just science and part out the operations and production programs to other facilities. Sandia sounds good :). Now that I think about it, just close it and bring it all to us.

Anonymous said...

All due respect, but Sandia has been terrible at running their nuclear facilities. Their Annual Core Research Reactor (ACRR, Haz Cat 2) has been fraught with Conduct of Maintenance, Operations, and Engineering problems.

Anonymous said...

"The complex is in atrophy.... Pandora's box is open again and NNSA get to cut benefits and freeze the pension program. It happened at the other facility and it is coming. Bet on it. " ( 12:27 AM )


Sadly, I agree on both of your points. The freezing of the TCP1 pension and the cutting of all benefits that are not iron-clad guarantees is probably in the cards within the near future. NNSA is probably plotting as we speak.

Loyalty? Promises? Pride in America? What's that? It's all about the money these days.

Anonymous said...

And revenge. C students at NNSA serving it cold.

Anonymous said...

Look at what has happened in most of corporate America.

If you don't fight strongly to protect your worker benefits then they *will* be taken away. Plan on it.

Anonymous said...

Employees paying all of thir own benefits and getting a max of 10 days of vacation per year. The employer pays the absolute lowest level of legal requirement for any health insurance and little above bottom for 401k. This is the way of the corporate world, and will be the way for LANL starting next year when LANS is gone.

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