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


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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy new year labbies!

Happy 2017!
May the new DOE chief remember the name of his department! 
Best wishes for health and prosperity! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

All eyes will be on the new manager of Sandia Labs

Thought you might find this editorial bungle of interest. 

Or, maybe it’s buried in the fine print along with language re taking over NNSS and nobody’s found it yet?

The editorial was in the print edition, but apparently has been pulled from the on-line edition.

All eyes will be on the new manager of Sandia Labs
·         Albuquerque Journal – Editorial Page
·         24 Dec 2016
As of June 1, Sandia National Laboratories — a huge driver of the local and state economies — comes under new management.
National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, a subsidiary of Honeywell International, won a $2.6 billion contract to take over management of Sandia, one of the nation’s three nuclear weapons labs.
For the past 23 years, Sandia has been operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Sandia Corp. has been an important community partner, working closely with the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University and others, as well as Technology Ventures Corp., a nonprofit foundation set up by Lockheed Martin to accelerate efforts to take new lab technologies to market.
The vision is that NTESS, which includes major defense contractor Northrop Grumman and the Universities Research Association, will continue and expand these important relationships.
Joe Cecchi, dean of UNM’s School of Engineering and associate provost for national laboratory relations, said the university has partnered with Honeywell and Northrop Grumman in the past and expects that cooperation to continue.
Both UNM and NMSU are members of the Universities Research Association, a group of 89 universities in the United States and other countries that collaborate on efforts to build and operate laboratory facilities to promote research and education.
Sandia’s importance to the economy and national security is hard to overstate.
Though Sandia’s main campus is here in Albuquerque, it also operates Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. It primarily designs and maintains nuclear weapons, but it also works on defense systems, energy efficiency, security technology, atomic physics, computational sciences, biological sciences, nanoscience and other areas of national interest.
Sandia has an annual budget of $2.9 billion and employs more than 10,500 employees working in 700 buildings across 13,740 acres on Kirtland Air Force Base. Sandia also employs about 1,160 other employees and contractors.
New Mexico businesses received $382 million from SNL contracts in 2015 — 39 percent of the labs’ contract payments.
It’s likely NTESS will replace Sandia’s leadership team — including lab President and Director Jill Hruby, Deputy Director and Executive Vice President Kim Sawyer and a dozen other vice presidents who head different lab programs and divisions. Albuquerque will wait with great anticipation to see who will succeed these capable leaders.
Frank G. Klotz, undersecretary for nuclear security and NNSA administrator, praised the tough competition that led to the contract award. “The Sandia bid generated unprecedented interest from across industry, demonstrating that our improved acquisitions process is attracting high-quality competition and the best talent to serve NNSA’s mission.”
Congratulations to NTESS on winning the five-year (renewable for another five years) contract and welcome to the new team
J. F

WIPP to open

WIPP looks to open

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been closed since February 2014 when a radiation release contaminated a significant portion of the repository, where disposal rooms are carved out of a thick salt formation deep underground.

The shutdown put shipments from around the country on indefinite hold as the federal government poured hundreds of millions of dollars into recovery efforts and policy overhauls.

New Mexico regulators cited the government and the contractor for numerous permit violations related to the radiation release and an unrelated fire involving a mining truck weeks earlier. That resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement with the state.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, in northern New Mexico, also was cited because the breached container of waste from 2014 had been inappropriately packed there before being shipped to the repository.

Investigators said the incident could have been avoided had managers not ignored existing policies and procedures for handling and treating the waste, which includes gloves, tools, clothing and other materials from decades of bomb-making and research.

Read more at:

Starting to look like Leidos has won

Starting to look like Leidos has won against NNSA for pulling back the NNSS contract. Onto the next phase of hiring employees to run the place as soon as NesTEC gets out of there.

New nuclear arms race

New nuclear arms race in the cards

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday morning escalated his calls for a stronger U.S. nuclear arsenal, saying he was fine with an “arms race” if it puts the U.S. in a stronger position against foreign adversaries.

“Let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all,” Trump told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” during an off-air conversation on Friday.

The attempt at a clarification came after Trump alarmed some with a vague tweet on Thursday that said, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ex-Lawrence Livermore Lab scientist sentenced to prison

Ex-Lawrence Livermore Lab scientist sentenced to prison over faking research to get U.S. grants

I'm curious how is it that no managers are involved in this? It is not possible to bring in work-for-others projects without many layers of management approval, once once projects come in they are frequently (e.g. quarterly) reviewed by management.

Nuclear pledge

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday pledged his commitment to the U.S. nuclear arsenal, saying the country must “greatly strengthen” its capabilities, at least for now.

“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday

Word "Limited " removed

How much does removing the word "limited" affect LLNL mission and projected funding. See article in LA times.

Nuclear weapons settlements

According to this story almost all of the companies that operate one of the nuclear weapons sites have paid large sums to settle federal cases.

Still NOT prepared to win.

Still NOT prepared to win.

Per the last two sentences of Sec J Amd 1, the new SNL manager needs to claim it is ready to assume full responsibility for NNSS before it can also take over SNL.

Seems a little strange to have such a requirement.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Job opening

  1. Now this is interesting that NNSA just posted a job opening today for the contract administrator in Albuquerque to be in charge of the Sandia M&O effort.
  2. Why does a contract administrator make as much as an SMTS with a PhD working at SNL?? Drain the swamp.

Opinion on Obama

I love how Obama has this morally self-righteous high-ground, holier than thou persona, and criticizes Trump for wanting to suppress climate change science, but then he secretly manipulates scientists in just the same slime ball manner. What a joke. So glad to see him out of the WH.

When is the announcement?

10:30 AM on December 21 has come.
Where is the announcement of the new SNL leadership team that was supposed to happen??

Top scientist fired

DOE fires scientist for talking to Congress about research

"A top DoE scientist who liaised with Congress on the matter was fired by the Obama administration for being too forthright with lawmakers, according to the report, which provides an in-depth look at the White House’s efforts to ensure senior staffers toe the administration’s line."

Sunday, December 18, 2016

New SNL leaders names

  1. So when do they disclose the new SNL leadership names?
  2. Dec. 21 at 10:30 am.

Climate change

  1. During this new Administration.

    In retrospect,
    a majority believes in some type of Climate Change.

    I am not sure a majority believe it is man made or if it then is mankind has a small, small part in Climate Change. Yes the media and Academia would say they have a majority and also that Hillary was up 10 points! So don't believe them.

    So again in retrospect Climate Change has been rammed down America's throat (very similar to Obamacare being rammed through) and at the cost of midwest JOBS.

    So the point is (in retrospect) if there was a softer and more moderate approach to Climate Change and trying to get some agreement then now during another Administration there might be more agreement and more would get done.

    But no, not only was Climate Change rammed down our throat (America) if anyone disagreed (like on this Blog) "Oh THEY ARE CLIMATE DENIERS"

    So now people like me are saying it is unproductive to continue a large effort toward this (like Paris Accord).
    I would not being saying that if Progressives were not forcing me to believe this.

    Please stop telling me what to think!

    In all honesty
    what really didn't help your cause was Democrats making it into a money making machine like Al Gore. I agree President Obama was more sincere.

    This also all applies to renewable energy. The huge failures of Solyndra and others and standing by and watch President Obama just throwing money in this area and it looked like he was just wasting Billions of dollars (although sincere).

    A more Moderate effort and a slower Progressive agenda may have brought people like me into the cause but I do not see Progressives and Progressive leaders taking ANY responsibility for failure of any kind.

    I would add one last point to the above about taking responsibility.
    Ash Carter sent Classified emails on his phone. The next day he apologized, said he was wrong and would not do it again.
    It never became an issue. You never heard about it again.

    So in the future consider not calling me a Climate Denier and I will respect your different belief and try to work with you.

    I just am not bought into the man made part after seeing how big this Earth is.
    Am I allowed to think that or does that mean I am a bad person?
  2. Democrats miss the point. A majority doesn't give two shakes about climate change, they just want to stop their jobs leaving for Mexico and China. That's why climate change worry is a rich, inner city liberal concern. You have to be able to put food on the table before you worry about 1.0 deg C in 35 years.
  3. If the climate change issue is about facts and evidence (from both sides of the argument) then it is science, and like any important scientific question should be pursued vigorously. If it is about belief, it is religion, and like any annoying proselytizing, should be ignored. And someone please inform the politicians and the press that there is no such thing as "settled science."

NOT prepared to win!

  1. It is mind boggling that KCP gets the top scores every year considering their level of incompetence.

    They have downsized themselves so much that it would be impossible to make the schedule for one program, yet we are trying to do four at once.

    They have no control over the quality of their outsourced vendors, and have forgotten how to make anything on their own.

    They are beholden to an ERP system which no one at the plant understands or can control. It tells people that it should take >1 year to do a group build, when someone can buy and build the parts in 2 months.
  2. Guess they weren't prepared to win, wasn't registered until 12/16/16 and are still available. is available for $3495 and are available


  1. Why do some lab employees seem to find the SNL decision hard to understand? NNSA brags about how well run the KC plant is, and Honeywell has that contract. So it is no surprise to award more contracts to a company that does a good job with what they already have.

    For the same reason, NNSA is doubtful to consider any team in the near future that has UC on it.
  3. Getting rid of UC was the whole reason for privatizing in the first place. Maybe the DC hacks will finally giterdon.

  4. "Why do some lab employees seem to find the SNL decision hard to understand? NNSA brags about how well run the KC plant is, and Honeywell has that contract. So it is no surprise to award more contracts to a company that does a good job with what they already have."

    This is exactly the point but the KC plant is just that a plant, no science and no cutting edge engineering, I would add that KC plant indeed do a good job and have great people", however it is a totally different beast than Sandia and I just cannot see how how managing the KC plant well gives you any credibility at managing Sandia it just makes no sense.


    1. My local McDonalds franchisee does an excellent job managing thousands of employees and many locations. Probably far better than Honeywell. Maybe they should get the contract?
  5. NNSA may not have been happy with UC at LANL, but they are very happy with UC at LLNL. Also the office at UCOP responsible for Lab management is headed by a former LLNL employee. While UC may loose involvement in LANL there is no plan for UC to walk away from the LLNL. In fact over the past year UC has been working on stronger ties at LLN, much to the consternation of Bechtel. As anyone that has attended the LANS/LLNS Board of Governor meetings to make presentations of lab business and operations.

  6. My local McDonalds franchisee does an excellent job managing thousands of employees and many locations.

    December 17, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    It is obvious that you do not understand the concept of a "franchise."


    1. It is obvious you dont understand the meaning of a "sarcasm".

  7. NNSA may not have been happy with UC at LANL, but they are very happy with UC at LLNL. Also the office at UCOP responsible for Lab management is headed by a former LLNL employee. While UC may loose involvement in LANL there is no plan for UC to walk away from the LLNL. In fact over the past year UC has been working on stronger ties at LLN, much to the consternation of Bechtel. As anyone that has attended the LANS/LLNS Board of Governor meetings to make presentations of lab business and operations.

    December 17, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Agreed, UC and Bechtel are running LLNL well in terms of of no nothing happening and
    keeping under the radar so all is good, no science, no engineering, nothing all is good.

LANL needs university

The LANL bid team will have to have a university partner in it. This was not necessary for SNL, as it is seen historically as an engineering first lab. Remember this was the whole reason it was spun off (Z Division) from LANL after WWII. 

Btw, I keep hearing rumors that Bechtel and UC are not playing well together on the LLNL operations. I can see a divorce coming in the future, especially if LANS breaks up.

SNL leadership team

If the NNSA decision on SNL holds up, and there are lots of reasons why it may not, what does this say about the current SNL leadership team? The first sitting Lab Director to lead a losing M&O contract bid. Wow! Maybe Jill wasn't qualified to be in that chair after all?

Universities out

The Sandia contract going to Honeywell/Northrup indicates that the incumbent at LANL is unavoidably on a path to losing. UC, Bechtel, AECOM, B&W all will be certain losers at LANL. Who is left? Batelle? Honeywell? Northrop? Universities are only going to be minor league partners in the LLC teams. 

Lockheed Out at Sandia

  1. Lockheed Out at Sandia

    After the Lockheed scandal on lobbying to extend the contract, it was not likely going to be a Lockheed contract win.

    Until the winning team members and organization are revealed we can only speculate, but Honeywell winning rather than Batelle likely means that cost, programs, manufacturing and management were more highly valued than discovery science by NNSA. Not very surprising.

    Lockheed is now only a minor player in the complex and may soon exit. They apparently already sold off the bid for Nevada National Security Site to Leidos and are a smaller player in CNS Pantex and Y12.

    Batelle is not much of a presence in the complex with only a minor role in LLNL.

    What all this means for LLNL and LANL is not clear.


  2. What all this means for LLNL and LANL is not clear.

    December 16, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    LLNL will stay with Bechtel and UC, LANL goes to Lockheed, Batelle is completely out as NNSA hates them. 

  3. I am hearing that the Sandia people are completely stunned by the results of the bid and this is the worse case scenario, some though that Lockheed would be out but that nothing so dumb as Honeywell/Northrup would go through. Crazy stuff.

  4. One of the clear messages of the bid announcement is that NNSA does not want to have any University taking part in any kind of management of the NNSA labs. Another rumors is that Bechtel will be putting in a bid for LANL but will dump UC.
  5. If the Bechtel-UC team looses the LANL contract, which is virtually a certainty, then I strongly suspect that UC will drop Bechtel as an LLC partner in running LLNL. No one has every shown that Bechtel (or any of the other industrial partners) have added real value to LLNL operations - only optical type changes that dazzle the NNSA non nothings rating Lab performance.

    Keeping in mind that NNSA has publically stated that it is going to substantially reduce the annual award fee for its M&O contracts, 50%. UC would be better served by creating a wholly UC owned LLC to run LLNL, possible with Battelle as a partner. This would make if 100% non-profit LLC, cutting some cost too. Bechtel could still be involved in LLNL but as a supporting partner with a UC LLC or UC-Battelle LLC that is managing LLNL.

Sandia gets NTESS


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) announced today it has awarded National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (NTESS) with the management and operating contract for Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).

    NTESS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International. Northrup Grumman and Universities Research Association will support NTESS in the performance of this contract. The award is valued at $2.6 billion annually over 10 years, if all options are exercised.
  2. I encourage everybody to look up some basic information regarding employee benefits, satisfaction and management quality for Honeywell.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What it’s like to work at the US Department of Energy as Donald Trump takes over?

What it’s like to work at the US Department of Energy as Donald Trump takes over?

The Department of Energy is in turmoil as US president-elect Donald Trump’s team moves in to take over.
“Our career staff is made up of scientists and engineers who follow the science as part of their daily jobs,” says a senior DoE employee who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the transition. “And what they see on the horizon here is doing that exact thing, following the science, could lead to repercussions on their livelihood.”

Beyond the personal concerns of scientists who don’t want to be punished for doing their jobs, the transition process so far has made clear that major cuts are coming for clean energy programs. The questions asked which programs, jobs, and standards are mandated by law rather than implemented by political appointees. The transition team is also seeking to separate applied research programs, which are intended to lead to clean energy technology, from broader basic science programs.

In past budget proposals, Republicans aimed to cut funding for renewable energy programs, but were deterred by the Obama administration. DoE staffers say if such cuts were enacted under the Trump administration, it would mean significant layoffs in agency’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which researches alternative energy sources like tidal and geothermal power, and saves consumers money by pushing for more energy-efficient vehicles and appliances.


President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team on Wednesday disavowed a survey sent to the U.S. Department of Energy that requested the names of people working on climate change in the agency.

“The questionnaire was not authorized or part of our standard protocol,” Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said. “The person who sent it has been properly counseled.”

Trump and Lab contract change

What is the impact of the incoming Administration on the contract change dates for the nuclear weapons labs?

Is the current administration setting DOE up for failure in the next administration?

Is the current administration setting DOE up for failure in the next administration?

WH press secretary cracks joke about Perry's qualifications

White House press secretary Josh Earnest expressed concern that the move by Mr. Trump “could have been an attempt to target civil servants, career federal government employees.”

“If we had to replace the entire Department of Energy every time a new president was elected, that is certainly going to undermine the ability of those at the most senior levels to implement a coherent and effective energy policy,” he said.

The president-elect’s transition officials have not explained the inquiry and did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Mr. Earnest seemingly poked fun at the choice of Mr. Perry for Energy secretary, saying the administration’s refusal to turn over a list of agency employees’ names involves defense of the principle that “career civil servants are evaluated based on merit and not on politics.”

“And I’m sure that the president-elect used the same kind of criteria when choosing his new Department of Energy secretary as well. Don’t you think?” he asked to laughter from reporters.


Why do employees bother to embrace integrity when our elected leaders don't?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

DOE refuses Presidential transition request

DOE refuses Presidential transition request

The Department of Energy will not provide the names of staffers who worked on climate issues to President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, a spokesman for the department told POLITICO Tuesday.

The Trump transition team submitted 74 questions to DOE last week, including two which asked for identities of staffers who worked on Obama administration climate policy efforts.

"We will be forthcoming with all publicly available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team," DOE spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said in an email.

Burnham-Snyder said questions from Trump's team had "left many in our workforce unsettled."

American Physical Society decides it is appropriate to enter the partisan politics arena.

Dear APS Member,

In the wake of our recent U.S. election, we believe that it is timely for us to reiterate that the American Physical Society remains unwavering in its commitment to full participation by everyone — regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, or political affiliation — to ensure that our discipline as well as our Society thrives.

We believe that the values that advance the physical sciences necessarily include open scientific discourse, free from discrimination and harassment, and a willingness to consider diverse points of view. We also maintain that our meetings, laboratories, and classrooms must be safe, collaborative environments that promote a collegial and inclusive atmosphere. The diversity of backgrounds that exists throughout the APS membership and the open dialogue fostered by APS journals and meetings are among our greatest strengths.

The Society has spent decades developing and advancing programs that support these values. APS values are embodied in our Statements and our Code of Conduct. They are evident in our advocacy for robust, diverse research programs within the U.S. and abroad. They are supported by our commitment to STEM education and broad science literacy.

APS will work with its members and the international scientific community to ensure that the core values of our Society and our discipline are maintained and advanced, and we will work to transmit to the incoming administration and Congress an understanding of the critical importance these values have for our members and the physics community worldwide.

With best regards,
Homer A. Neal
Homer A. Neal
2016 APS President
Kate P. Kirby
Kate P. Kirby
APS Chief Executive Officer

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