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

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bechtel employees and TCP1

Most people don't know that Bechtel employees who work at LANL for a short while are able to join TCP1. New employees can't get into TCP1 and it isn't clear what requirements they have before being able to get a pension. Looks like a big perk at the expense of the employees who have been paying in to the system for many years. How many more special considerations will be set up before the contract is finally taken away from these incompetent money grubbers?
February 28, 2016 at 1:09 PM
TCP-1 vesting is 5 years

Monday, February 22, 2016

NNSA to build new facility in NM for 1,100 employees

ALBUQUERQUE -- On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Administrator of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz (Ret.), Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.), and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) will visit the NNSA’s Albuquerque Complex and discuss the status of the current NNSA administrative workspace in Albuquerque and the proposal to construct a new facility for the 1,100 employees who work there. 

BACKGROUND: The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) proposes to construct a new facility for the 1,100 employees who work at the agency’s Albuquerque Complex at Kirtland Air Force Base. The existing site does not meet the same facility standards maintained at other NNSA facilities. Portions of the current facility, a former military barracks, are more than 60 years old with a number of safety, health, and quality of life issues.

NNSA leadership is committed to the safety and well-being of its employees. New construction would allow for a modern and efficient facility suited for NNSA’s needs in Albuquerque. The NNSA Albuquerque Complex Project is a top priority for the NNSA Administrator, and NNSA is requesting funding authority from Congress for this construction.

LANL 2017 RFPs

Will employees at LANL attempt to identify and communicate principle RFP criteria for the 2017 LANL contract, or sit on the sidelines and hope for the best? Guess what the self-proclaimed "lions" and "winners" want to happen?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

LANL gets hit with PNOV for WIPP accident

PNOV=Prelimary Notice Of Violation

The lack of a fine in this case must be comforting to all the residents around Carlsbad.
Did you actually read the article? The PNOV is the END of the process regarding the 2014 release and fire at WIPP, which have been endlessly debated on this blog and elsewhere. The fines were levied last year, as were the low ratings. Try to keep up.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

LANL/LLNL financial risk

How is it that a set of (non-profit) universities would not bid on future contracts to operate LANL or LLNL for fear of some "grand financial risk" given LANS simply faced a reduction in their award fee by 90% for one year related to their WIPP failures?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What was that explosion last night?

Last night around 7:30pm'ish I heard and felt a big boom at my house. At first, I thought it was a dresser falling over or a car wreck out front. I search around and found nothing.
A couple hours later I saw a post on the Livermore Rants and Raves FB Group about the boom too. Many people throughout Livermore and Tracy heard and felt it.
Wow, that most have been a large explosion considering we have the Altamont Pass between these two cities.
Tracy Press claimed it was LLNL. LLNL denied it was them. Livermore Police Department knew nothing about it when I called them around 10pm. Tracy Police Department said it was SRI Laboratories which I am assuming is near LNLL's site 300 way out Tesla Road on Corral Hollow Road in Tracy - which is over 20 miles from my house and on the other side of the Altamont Pass from me.
Again, that was a large explosion to be felt that far away. LLNL claims they do not do test explosions at night time. I would imagine other Labs would follow suit.
Considering that we have two National Defense Laboratories that are known for their Nuclear Weapons and the worlds largest laser, my concern is starting to grow.
If one of these labs was conducting a test at this magnitude, wouldn't they notify the Livermore and Tracy police?
My guess, is something went wrong. So what was it? Do the Livemore and Tracy residence need to be concerned?
Think about it.

Elected officials want for-profit Labs!

The truth is that at both LANL and LLNL your elected officials are fighting to keep the labs for-profit. We all know what a disaster for-profit management is for science, good management, the workforce, and even the nuclear weapons work, but there is money to be had in taxing a for-profit and for local and state government that is much more important than even the hundreds of jobs that were lost when the labs went to for-profit management. Try talking to one of your elected representatives about it. They don't care hundreds of jobs were lost; they claim they want good paying jobs but those jobs didn't and don't matter. They will do anything and everything in their power to keep the for-profit management. Until we get them under control, we aren't going to get a better management model and even if by some miracle we get non-profit contractors to run the labs, how are you going to get rid of the absolute disaster managers who are now everywhere at the labs?

For profit or not?

This is one example of why LANL will remain a for profit operation that pays tax into the local accounts. A ten fold increase in salary for the four positions in the story will be hard to come by if the county lost 65M$ or thereabouts in tax revenue.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Charlie's wife

Charlie's wife getting paid for a made up position at Occ Med?

And then there's Charlie's wife whose performances and absences go untold in her job at Occupational Medicine.


Will this turn out to be yet another Beth Sellers scandal?

The advanced Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO)

Seems like Charlie is not exactly being honest on this. He is implying that LANL is part of LIGO and the last weeks experiment confirmed predictions from LANL simulations. LANL is not part of LIGO form what I know. There may have been people who where at LANL that are part of LIGO but they are long gone. I am pretty sure that "black holes models at LANL" did not lead the way to detection of gravitational waves at LIGO. Saying this kind of stuff can get LANL into real trouble. I am not sure if there is any legal implications of this but they may want to backtrack on this. LANLs ethics sure have not been looking very good lately. Does anyone else have any info on this? Below is the press release.

Gravitational waves found, black-hole models led the way

Working with experts in radiation transport and atomic physics in the Advanced Simulation and Computing program at Los Alamos, members of the theoretical astrophysics center are modeling this emission to compare theoretical models with direct observations,” said Charlie McMillan, Los Alamos National Laboratory director. “This type of crosscutting capability is a hallmark of the national laboratory system and Los Alamos is gratified to have participated in a discovery of this magnitude.”
February 14, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The grav wave detection alone could not have led to a model of the phenomenon that created them. Someone's model had to have suggested black hole collision as the source.
February 14, 2016 at 7:16 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, however such a black hole collision model simulation was not done at LANL, so why would Charlie come out and say/imply this?
February 14, 2016 at 7:43 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Is it a possibility that folks in the LIGO community simply got computing cycles on an ASC machine at LANL and that is really the sum total of the bragging rights?
February 14, 2016 at 9:58 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that is correct either. If someone at LANL really is part of LIGO or you know someone at LANL who is part of LIGO than maybe they could clear this up. I just do not see how Charlie could have claimed that LANL was a participant in this
discovery. The paper came out with the announcement on Feb 11 and is open for anyone to read is and the authors have 133 institutions and Los Alamos is not listed as an affiliation by any of the authors.

Just from reading the paper the simulation models of black hole mergers they specially compared the detection to are from the two following papers which have no association or connection with LANL that I know of.

Remnant mass, spin, and recoil from spin aligned black-hole binaries
J. Healy, C. O. Lousto, and Y. Zlochower, Phys. Rev. D 90, 104004 (2014).
Frequency-domain gravitational waves from nonprecessing black-hole binaries. I. New numerical waveforms and anatomy of the signal
S. Husa, S. Khan, M. Hannam, M. Pürrer, F. Ohme, X. Jiménez Forteza, and A. Bohé, Phys. Rev. D 93, 044006 (2016).

The other modeling work is that is cited in the again is not connected to LANL again as far as I can tell
Evolution of Binary Black-Hole Spacetimes
Frans Pretorius
Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 121101 2005
Accurate Evolutions of Orbiting Black-Hole Binaries without Excision
M. Campanelli, C. O. Lousto, P. Marronetti, and Y. Zlochower
Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 111101 2006
Gravitational-Wave Extraction from an Inspiraling Configuration of Merging Black Holes John G. Baker, Joan Centrella, Dae-Il Choi, Michael Koppitz, and James van Meter Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 111102 2006

So can someone please explain how LANL participated in the LIGO discovery or how LANL models "led the way". If not Charlie might have some splainin to do.

February 14, 2016 at 10:46 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
/PhysRevLett.116.061102 and the authors have 133

I would think you can only claim your institute participated in the work if someone from your institute was an one of author. Since no one from Los Alamos was among the up to 800 authors on this paper Los Alamos cannot make the claim it was participant in this work and it is insult to the institutions that where participating.
February 15, 2016 at 9:27 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This "theoretical astrophysics center" has been nothing but a huge sink of money. Led by a mediocre C-student with an outsized ego and employing dozens of drones, it has failed to produce anything approaching world-class science. Trying to now claim credit for the LIGO discovery without having a single name on the author list is indeed very telling. The whole setup epitomizes what LANL has come to.
February 15, 2016 at 11:01 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
So can someone please explain how LANL participated in the LIGO discovery or how LANL models "led the way". If not Charlie might have some splainin to do.

February 14, 2016 at 10:46 PM

I think LANL needs to make a retraction on this claim. Perhaps it was some honest mistake at the press office, however what I am confused about is why no one vetted this before it went out.
February 15, 2016 at 12:10 PM

Is LANL interim management possible?

Is there ANY accident, incident, or frequency of mismanagement occurrences at LANL, that would trigger the loss of the LANS contract within ~90 days and insertion of an interim management team while the contract is rebid?
February 14, 2016 at 8:39 AM

I doubt it, in principle we should have lost the contract already but as Charlie pointed out NNSA gave us an extension. Apparently they have no mechanism to suddenly change the contract.
February 14, 2016 at 9:38 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Apparently they have no mechanism to suddenly change the contract.

February 14, 2016 at 9:38 AM

Actually, it is just that they have no mechanism or capability to rebid two contracts (SNL, LANL) at one. SNL first.
February 14, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Friday, February 12, 2016

More on Rich Mqrquez

Anyone interested in the backdrop to the Marquez LANL affairs should read the entire conversation from the former LANL blog. Much of the story has come out already, and there is a lot more that has not yet emerged.

TCP1 statement

When is the next LLNS TCP-1 pension plan yearly statement of financial condition due?

What else is permitted at LANL?

The Tony Stanford case was recently settled, and now there are reports of even worse activities by senior managers.

Rich Marquez

I typed in Rich Marquez and LANL Blog and you get a ton of crazy stuff. How on earth did this guy a job at LANL?

Hi Pinky,
This email was making the rounds Friday. My guess is that Rich Marquez asked for this cheat sheet to be developed for his own use.

Richard Marquez is king of the sexual harassers. And kings, as we know, follow no rules.
10/15/09, 9:07 AM

Never even crossed my mind to use my cell phone to photograph the secretary's butt as she bends over to pick up a staple. Imagine what Sir Marquez has stored on his cell.
10/15/09, 9:16 AM

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rich Marquez - Top LANL Management Official Abruptly Resigns

Rich Marquez - Top LANL Management Official Abruptly Resigns

Today the following MEMO from LANL's Director Charlie McMillan was sent out:

Subject:  Departure of Executive Director

Rich Marquez, Executive Director, has informed me of his intention to leave Los Alamos National Laboratory. Effective immediately, I have asked Craig Leasure, Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business, to serve as interim Executive Director in addition to his current PADOPS responsibilities. The duties of the Executive Director will also be distributed among members of my office and the Laboratory’s executive leadership team.

We knew through the grapevine that he was escorted off of LANL property by Security late afternoon on Tuesday. Mr Marquez was quite a character at LANL for years and was the Directors right hand man. Who knows why he was abruptly let go but perhaps his much rumored "Bill Cosby" type behavior caught up with him or something even more unethical. The announcement was not the usual lauding and heaps of praise of a high up manager upon leaving LANL. The true reasons may never be revealed. If I was upper management I would be pleased that he is gone. In the trenches he had a real soiled reputation. So, he gets to leave with his millions and more than likely unpunished, other than losing his high paid job.
Anonymous said...

Rich Marquez, man that guy was a walking lawsuit, nobody liked him. Glad he is gone but I cannot imagine that LANS suddenly got a conscious and did the right thing it must of been something so bad that they had no choice. Well it least it is some good news.

UC must cut budget for 5 years to balance books

UC must cut budget for 5 years to balance books

Since "all options are on the table" it is only a matter of time before the outdated retirement system is updated to a modern defined contribution program.

LANL budget expected to decline

Overall Lab budget expected to decline, while pit production budget increases

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DoE contractors get caught

DoE contractors get caught using government funds to pay for unallowable legal settlements

Surely neither LLNL nor LANL would do such a thing!

"We did not disclose the identity of the contractors chosen because of confidentiality requirements regarding legal settlements and details of on going legal cases."

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rumor has it....

Hearing some news that they will be going to a non-profit model for the next contract call at LANL.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Another LANL major construction project with problems

It sure would be nice someday soon to see an end to the continual LANL problems. 

Anonymous said...

It sure would be nice someday soon to see an end to the continual LANL problems.

Perhaps when they get rid of the "for profit" model.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. Not until they get rid of the DOE.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Who is POGO?

Can somebody tell us what POGO's raison d'etre is, other than always calling for yet another LANL congressional investigation? For as long as I can remember, that's pretty much the only thing they've ever done. You could replace these guys by a perl script. 

I guess if they were to stop that, they would have to disband. A one-trick pony.Who is POGO

POGO calling for another LANL congressional investigation

When this happened before under UC, there were years of hearings and bad press. Maybe there will be fewer this time around.


I recently started working at the lab. So far it is enjoyable and interesting, my coworkers are cool and I am compensated well. For us that are new to the lab and this blog, what is the context I'm missing and what are the general motivations of posters here? Also why is there such a focus on LANL on this blog?

Game changing fine for LLC?

NNSA has placed a fine on the LLC that used to run Y-12. Yes, that is correct, not the one running it now. The detail that they waived the fine after placing it is less important. The case has been established that LLCs can, and will, be fined after they loose the operation contract.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Walp, Duran and Montano

Walp and Duran aren't letting it go, aided by Montano. There was always much more to this than appeared publicly, including the canning of some very competent and experienced LANL managers who did not deserve it, and not those named in the story.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New contractor, new vision?

Once you get by all the news on the elections, the All Blacks of New Zealand won another international rugby championship this week. The Maori dance was covered in full on the story, and it brought up memories of a few months ago when Charlie flew the executive coach in for his vision meeting. Everyone was forced to sit in the auditorium through the whole Kiwi show. What a waste of time and money!

Now that the lab contractor will be replaced soon, wonder if the the vision will change yet again?

LANL during Klotz visit

LANS sure did screw the pooch on today's bizarre lab closing. A quick at this morning weather forecast said was that was going to be heavy snow from 6:30-8.30AM and than snow free for the rest of the day so a reasonable choice would have been to have LANL start at 10AM. What did LANS do instead you ask? They kept the lab open during the worst part of the storm and than closed the lab at 10AM, this way you had drive in during the worst of it start work and leave just when the weather gets better. Truly effing dumb and bizarre. Supposedly Klotz was at LANL today so perhaps that contributed to the screw up.

Klotz of course well qualified to lead the NNSA with his strong science and engineering background he has an MPhill in international relations and a DPHil in politics. Personally I think Rachel Maddow would be a far better choice to lead the NNSA as show also has a DPHil in politics from Oxford.

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