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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Friday, October 20, 2017

FAQs on MSTS LLC

http://www.msts-llc.com/faq.html

Town out of growth?

Headline story in yesterday's Los Alamos paper was about the bank laying off 10% of their workforce. Does this combine with number of local businesses closing indicate that the town is running out of growth? 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Nevada transition offers

Nevada transition offers to management going out soon: Offers We are now in the Wave 1 phase of offers to the management team. Wave 2 of offers will start soon for the remainder of the workforce. Non-bargaining employees will receive an offer letter at the email that they used to apply online. You will need to electronically sign the offer letter within five (5) calendar days from the date of offer. Bargaining employees will receive transition packets to complete and return. A benefits summary and other employment related information will be included with offer emails. http://www.msts-llc.com

A&M, UT competing against each other to run Los Alamos weapons lab

UT never called them back, so now A&M is going after LANL on a competing team http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/competing-against-each-other-run-los-alamos-weapons-lab/9MxU18tiDmn2R9vY8ZsPbM

Board elimination

New Mexico Senator Udall opposes the elimination of the DNFSB In a turn of events, the just elevated Chair of the DNFSB has sent a private letter to the OMB urging the elimination of the Board. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/10/19/21217/gop-chair-nuclear-safety-agency-secretly-urges-trump-abolish-it
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/10/19/21217/gop-chair-nuclear-safety-agency-secretly-urges-trump-abolish-it

Charlie's all hands

Charlie gives an all hands talk today at LANL. Various rumors are 1 The contract will be extended by a year. 2 The new director is Craig Lessure. 3 The new director is Wallace, 4. The new director is Harvey Weinstein. 5. Charlie will be staying on longer due to the contract extension. 6 This is part of some punishment from from the events in the past year where he has to say all the great things that they implemented to improve the labs...so on. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rumor has it...

New rumor. UC and U Texas may team up for a joint bid and it will be non-profit bid

Increase in nukes

Trump wanted a 10x increase in the number of US nuclear weapons in July, which is what prompted the Sec of State to call him a " Moron" after the meeting... https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-wanted-dramatic-increase-nuclear-arsenal-meeting-military-leaders-n809701

Saturday, October 7, 2017

NNSA Statement on LANL

Mum? Is that because they didn't call you personally? NNSA Statement on Los Alamos National Laboratory Operations September 25, 2017 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On August 22, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) reported that it did not follow its operating procedures during a movement of materials within its plutonium facility. The amount of material involved was well within parameters known to be safe. At no time was there any risk of an inadvertent criticality. There was also no risk of injury or exposure to the workforce or public. The laboratory has since taken steps to help prevent a similar event in the future, and the qualifications of the workers involved were suspended pending rigorous retraining. NNSA requires its contractors to meet the highest standards of safety while working with hazardous and nuclear materials. At each of our laboratories, sites, and production plants, there are multiple layers of defense to prevent accidents involving these materials. These multiple 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Huge NSA breach the third one.

The issue is that we all know LANL is the problem lab with the out of of control culture but this makes it seem like some other organizations have problems? How can that be, is the cowboy culture spreading, or was there never cowboy culture. Strange strange times 


https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/10/the-cases-for-and-against-claims-kaspersky-helped-steal-secret-nsa-secrets/


The report may well be true, but, for now, there's no way to independently confirm it. The report is based on unnamed people the publication says had knowledge of the matter, and it provides no evidence to support its claim. What's more, the lack of detail leaves open the possibility that, even if Kaspersky's AV did help Russia home in on the highly sensitive code and documents, the disclosure was the inadvertent result of a software bug and that no one from Kaspersky Lab cooperated with the attackers in any way. Also lost in the focus on Kaspersky Lab is the startling revelation that yet another NSA insider managed to sneak classified material outside of the NSA's network and put it on an unsecured computer. More of this analysis will follow.

What shouldn't go overlooked in Thursday's report is that this is the third known instance in the past four years of an NSA breach resulting from insider access to classified materials. The best known case is whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was able to trawl through NSA networks collecting documents for an extended period of time before turning them over to reporters. In 2016, a separate NSA contractor, Harold T. Martin III, was arrested after he sneaked 50 terabytes of confidential material out of the NSA and stored it at his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The trove comprises as much as 75 percent of the exploits belonging to the Tailored Access Operations, the elite hacking NSA unit that develops and deploys some of the world's most sophisticated software exploits.

First, here's a summary of what the WSJ reported.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Locals looking for more.

As new bidders seek to score LANL management contract, locals push for community concerns

Go look up local newspaper articles from the regions where NNSA does business and see if any of the other locations have this issue. Why is it that only in Northern NM the community is in line for an ever larger handout?

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-14022-contract-scoping.html

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Union for 430 Sandia Labs Employees Authorizes a Strike

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The union that represents 430 Sandia National Laboratories employees has voted to authorize them to go on strike. A lab spokeswoman tells the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2fHGzOj ) that the Metal Trades Council rejected Sandia's "last, best and final offer" during contract negotiations Friday night. However, a strike authorization doesn't mean a strike is imminent and the union hasn't notified the labs that its members will go on strike. Sandia says the final version of the three-year contract offered general wage increases, lump sum payments and a $2,000 ratification bonus. It's the first to be negotiated between the union and Honeywell International, the lab's new managing contractor. The Journal reports that Metal Trades Council went on strike in August 1999 for 13 days over pensions, job classification and pay issues.
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2017-10-01/

Sunday, October 1, 2017

UC makes solo bid?

From much of what has leaked out in the past weeks, seems that UC made a rush to announce that they would be leading a bid team. With it now coming down that no one wants to team with UC in the next round, does this mean that LANL can finally return to being a UC only institution? 

Interested Parties

FedConnect Releases Interested Parties List For LANL M&O Contract A list of “interested parties” has been posted by National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) for the four-month transition and a five-year base management and operation contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory.   The list, which was released on the FedConnect website Sept. 26, is as follows: * General Dynamics * Huntington Ingalls Industries * Hampton Thomas Associates * SGT, Inc. * Internal Computer Services * efkairia, LLC * TerranearPMW, LLC * Cabrera Services * IBM Global Business Services * Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc. * Logan Research * KBRwyle * MAG Aerospace * TechSource, Inc. * Edgewater Tech * Longenecker & Associates, Inc. * Criterion Systems, Inc. * Information International Association, Inc. * Bechtel * Los Alamos Technical Association * Merrick & Company * Sigma Science, Inc. * North GeoEngineering Services, LLC * Advanced Insights Group Inc. * BWX Technologies, Inc. * CSRA LLC *

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A new structure?

The new structure for the bid being developed by UC and Bechtel/AECOM It appears the talks between UC and Bechtel and developing a new structure. This structure would be to break the Operations and Projects PADs away from the Science/Technology/Security making each partner responsible for the management, performance, and fee. How would this effect Weapons PAD and program???

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LANL violations

No comment yet from NNSA on latest LANL crit safety violation in pit production facility In 2016, LANL was the only one of the Department of Energy’s nuclear facilities to receive a failing “red,” or does not meet safety expectations, safety rating for criticality. No comment has been available from the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, of which the Los Alamos lab is part. The DNSFB’s recent report says that on Aug. 18, the crew that had cast the pit shell moved it “into a location that already contained plutonium metal,” exceeding plutonium limits. When too much plutonium is put in close quarters, a criticality reaction can take place. In this case, the violation was discovered three days later when the shell was moved again. The DNFSB report said “this was the first shell cast in the facility in about four years and the second time that a restarted operation encountered conduct of operations issues related to the criticality safety of material movements shortly 

LANS gets 6 month extension to run EM contract


It is starting to appear that the current team of LANS will get to keep all the contracts for the future.

https://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-extends-los-alamos-national-laboratory-cleanup-bridge-contracthttps://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-extends-los-alamos-national-laboratory-cleanup-bridge-contract

Monday, September 25, 2017

Notice of violation

"Worker Safety and Health Enforcement Preliminary Notice of Violation issued for violations of 10 C.F.R. Part 851 relating to electrical safety.

On August 17, 2017, the National Nuclear Security Administration issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (WEA-2017-01) to National Security Technologies, LLC, for violations of the Department of Energy’s worker safety and health program requirements (10 C.F.R. Part 851) associated with implementation of the electrical safety program and an electrical shock event that occurred at the Nevada National Security Site."

"...The incident occurred during preventive maintenance work on electrical equipment at the U1a Complex, involving multiple crews, crafts, and locations.  The electrical shock occurred while an employee was using a damp rag to clean the inside of an energized 5kV splice box..." 

https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/08/f35/Preliminary%20Notice%20of%20Violation%2C%20National%20Nuclear%20Security%20Technologies%2C%20LLC.pdfhttps://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/08/f35/Preliminary%20Notice%20of%20Violation%2C%20National%20Nuclear%20Security%20Technologies%2C%20LLC.pdf

Ploy?

Was it all a ploy by the communications consultants to moderate the critical blog? One story is that the LANS team wanted to hold down negative comments as the re-compete heats up and that they were successful by spamming the blog with drivel. 

Draft RFP q&a


Questions and Answers to Draft RFP, second set, Q&A's 12 thru 110 (yes 110), posted 9/20/17

List of interested parties - Notable attendees include University of Texas and University of California; Leidos, Bechtel and General Dynamics - notably missing:  Lockheed

Readers will be interested in the clarification of (1) current employees have right of first refusal and (2) pension considerations are covered by ERISA and NNSA anticipates new contractor will continue current pension plans for retirees and future retirees.  All years of service and leave balances carry forward to new contract.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another crit safety failure....

LANL has another failure in criticality safety. Article looks as if the workers made not just one but two attempts to cover up the mistake instead of reporting the lapse. No wonder NNSA is fed up with LANS!

https://www.abqjournal.com/1067835/report-criticality-event-occured-at-lanl-plutonium-facility.html

Please reconsider your new policy to police the blog.

It's nature has changed from a sometimes chaotic but open forum to something more personal, a very limiting give and take between piqued individuals and even trite nannying. Closing off threads rather than letting them exhaust themselves eliminates the authenticity of the exchange. It will only take perusing a few more Nannied threads before you will lose the interest of followers like me who have posted perhaps now thousands of posts since the 2007 rebid debacle motivated this anonymous forum. Thanks for your efforts and consideration. I for one do not hold anyone but the author responsible for the posts in an open, very lightly monitored forum

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Report: LANL twice violated nuclear safety standards in Aug


Sep 22, 2017 

"The incidents are among the most serious to have occurred at the lab in the last year or more, and come at a time when the lab’s ability to handle nuclear materials — and ensure the safety of its workers and the public — have been questioned by critical investigative reports, the federal advisory board and members of Congress"

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/report-lanl-violated-nuclear-safety-standards/article_6692f11d-6c8d-5b4c-8f5d-1972330d3df6.html

Most Top Managers Will Be Gone

No matter who wins LANL, because the team will be divided 2, 3 or even 4 ways into different bid teams, it means at most 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 could survive into next contract. Some teams could have few or no current LANL managers.

The if you factor in the retirements that will be timed for the contract change another fraction of top managers will be gone.

No matter what the outcome, most LANL AD and PAD will be gone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

At least two bidding teams.

I am also hearing that UTexas and Battalle are putting in a bid. Anyone else hear this? 
That is at least two teams. How about Lockheed?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Annoying large fonts

Lately,  someone pointed out that some posts have huge fonts. It may have something to do with my mobile device browser settings. The posts look good from my mobile device.
I am doing this post using a laptop. It should have the correct font size.  I will continue researching the cause of the problem.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Can anyone explain?

This makes no sense unless LANS is intending to bid as the current LLC, which seems very unlikely. LANS was established for the sole purpose of bidding on the contract for, and running, LANL for DOE/NNSA. It has no other function or business. Can anyone explain this rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Queen Tauscher - Good, Bad, or Ugly?

The appointment of Ellen Tauscher as an Executive Committee Governor of the Boards of Governors of the Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, effective February 16, 2018, replacing Norman Pattiz, be approved.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

More control over LANL and SNL

Senators want DNFSB to have more control over LANL and SNL operations


New Mexico’s U.S. senators are pushing for language to be included in a major defense spending bill that they say would bolster safety at national laboratories in the state.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have proposed that the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report to Congress each year on what additional resources are needed to ensure that operations at Sandia and Los Alamos labs are safe.

The independent oversight panel found earlier this year that many of the safety systems in place at Los Alamos date to the 1970s and will need to be upgrading to meet future demands.


https://www.abqjournal.com/1063525/new-mexico-senators-push-for-annual-reports-on-lab-safety.html

Pattiz out from UC role in LLNS/LANS in 2018



Too little too late to save any hope for UC continued involvement in NNSA. Pattiz was a running joke and UC put up with his behavior for way too long.


http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept17/a1.pdf

Purpose of LANL.

The primary purpose of LANL, and the only purpose of LANL, is to provide wasteful sums of money to the local community.

“Our community has had some real challenges in communicating our interests, and just meeting and communicating with the potential bidders,” said Andrea Romero, the executive director of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.

http://www.lamonitor.com/content/la-local-leaders-meet-dc-officials

LAFO gets a new sheriff in town


Colleagues: 

Our friend and colleague Kim Davis Lebak is retiring after 28 years of public 
service. Throughout her distinguished career, Kim served in various capacities 
in DOE and NNSA offices across the country, including Livermore, Sandia, Pantex, 
Savannah River, and DOE/NNSA Headquarters. Most recently, she has been Los 
Alamos Field Office Manager. Kim has been an extraordinary public servant and 
contributed greatly to NNSA's missions. 

Steve Goodrum has been selected to serve as the new Los Alamos Field Office 
Manager. He has served as NNSA's Assistant Deputy Administrator for Stockpile 
Management since 2005. Steve's 40 years of experience in the nuclear security 
enterprise includes assignments as the Amarillo Area Office Manager and as the 
Sandia Site Office Deputy Manager. 

Please join me in thanking Kim for her service, and welcoming Steve to his new 
role. 


Frank Klotz

UC and Bechtel are talking.

New rumor is that UC and Bechtel are talking partnership again with a different structural arrangement.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pete Domenici has passed away.

Saint Peter is no more....

https://www.abqjournal.com/1062836/end-of-an-era-sen-pete-domenici-passes-away-in-albuquerque.html

Expectations of being the next contractor.

With WIPP, Beth Sellers, Arc-Flash, and inappropriate plutonium air transport, to name a few problems at LANL, have the LANS management failures and the NNSA Los Alamos Field Office oversight failures established a clear moral hazard or a no immediate consequence expectation for any failures on the part of the next LANL contractor?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What is it about LANL that is turning off the major defense contractors?



Look at the recent SNL competition and Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrup Grumman each put together a team for the bid. From all accounts none of them are expressing interest in running LANL in the present round. Without making a claim if this is good or bad, it represents a complete U-turn from the SNL case and is worth considering what caused the change.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Do you have stories to share?

My name is Zach Dorfman--I'm an SF-based journalist working on a story on the particular challenges surrounding counterintelligence/counterespionage in the Bay Area. While Russian espionage will likely be the focus, I'm also interested in the actions of other states, such as China.

LLNL and Sandia are obviously an important part of this story. I saw your blog, which seems to serve as a lively forum for former and current DoE employees, and therefore wanted to reach out.

If you have readers who worked in counterintelligence at LLNL or Sandia (or any of the other national labs, for that matter) or just have stories to share, I'd very much appreciate if you could pass on this request. These conversations can be structured in ways that ensure anonymity regarding what ultimately appears in print, if desired. That includes shielding the institutional identity of one's current or past employer.

I'm an independent journalist and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. My work has appeared in the Atlantic, Politico Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs, among other outlets. My 2016 piece for the Atavist, "Codename: Chilbom," was a finalist for a Livingston Award. Here's a link to my website: www.zachdorfman.com

Please feel free to get in touch at zachsdorfman AT gmail DOT com

Thanks again 

Best,
Zach

Saturday, September 9, 2017

How is NIF?

What's Happening at the National Ignition Facility (NIF).  LLNL sure has been "mum" about it's billion dollar showcase failure.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Who will it be?

Time to start the betting pool for the next LANL director, now that Charlie has been shown out the door. Names already mentioned include Gibbs and Wallace, and there is a circle of ADs that are rooting for Marquez to return. Who will be the bookmakers favorite?

LANL Cleanup Contract Award Due Within Days

The Energy Department’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) could be just days from awarding a new contract for legacy nuclear cleanup operations at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

A major procurements update from EM, dated Aug. 11, says the contract was due to be issued from June to August of this year. The Environmental Management office did not say last week whether it anticipated meeting that schedule.

One industry source said Fluor and CH2M are believed to have bid on the contract, but could not say whether the companies might be teaming with other firms. The source did not know what other companies might also be seeking the contract.

Fluor did not respond to a request for comment regarding a potential bid on cleanup at the nuclear-weapon lab, while CH2M declined to comment. Both companies sent representatives to a pre-solicitation conference on the contract in June 2016, along with an October 2016 site tour. Many of the major contractors in the DOE cleanup complex were also represented, including AREVA, CB&I, Atkins, Stoller Newport News Nuclear, and BWX Technologies.

Lab management and operations prime Los Alamos National Security currently handles legacy cleanup under a bridge contract that expires on Sept. 30. It appears unlikely the contractor – a partnership of Bechtel National, BWX Technologies, AECOM, and the University of California – would secure the follow-on contract after a February 2014 radiation release at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., was connected to a container of waste shipped from Los Alamos.

http://www.exchangemonitor.com/publication/morning-briefing/lanl-cleanup-contract-award-due-within-days/?printmode=1

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

And this is why no credible institution will partner with UC going forward for LANL.

UC did not remove McMillan earlier, and that has doomed their chance for any future with NNSA.


“Charlie McMillan has led Los Alamos National Laboratory with a rare combination of commitment, intelligence and hard work,” said Norm Pattiz, Chairman of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS). “Because of his passion for the Lab, its missions and its people, he agreed to stay on as Director at the Board’s request, past his originally planned retirement date. We appreciate Charlie’s commitment and believe he has put this iconic institution in a strong position to continue serving the country for many years to come.”

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Another test in North Korea.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/03/asia/north-korea-nuclear-test/index.html


Looks like NK did another test. I think the best thing to do is let Bechtel just have full control of the labs and so could be done with whole nuclear weapons thing in the US once and for all. Get rid of UC, crush scientists, and cultural cowboys. Winning!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Who is going to win?

So any bets on who wins a Bechtel-University of Texas LLC vs a University of California-Battelle LLC showdown on the LANL contract?

McMillan talk on managing

Watch Mcmillan talk about how LANS is 'managing' the contract transition


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nr8AW7zHtQ

Loyalty??

The new Sandia operator is requiring employees to sign what some are calling a "loyalty oath". Anybody got a copy? I hear some would rather leave than sign, others are simply not signing, and others are contacting their lawyers to figure out what parts of it may be illegal.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

VSIP

Economy slowing....budgets tightening......when can we expect to start hearing about a VSIP?

No one wanted to keep the present team.

Others may want to add in as they wish, but there were usual suspects at the NNSA bidders day. UC, Bechtel,BWTX, UT and others showed up to the event. About all that was clear is that no one wanted to keep the present team.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Any positives on UC?

A previous poster asked if anyone could give one positive contribution from UC to LANL in the past 20 years. No one listed any. Sure there are lots of negative ones from UC as well as from other partners. Are there any UC positives? Any at all??

Sunday, August 27, 2017

NNSA questions and responses to LANL draft RFP

NNSA questions and responses to LANL draft RFP to date (more responses pending):  NNSA's responses emphasize the RFP will be done by the book (i.e., federal acquisition regulations).

Questions and Answers August 11, 2017 Draft Request for Proposal DE-SOL-0011206 Los Alamos National Laboratory


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9eIrcyRIQxyOXFyRWZhTnJqR0E/view?usp=drivesdk

Thursday, August 24, 2017

UT retrying

UT, a two time loser, is considering stepping up to the plate for a third swing

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/system-exploring-development-bid-run-los-alamos-lab/xSKvO6a8ALwhPD3e3I3EEL/http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/system-exploring-development-bid-run-los-alamos-lab/xSKvO6a8ALwhPD3e3I3EEL/

LANS hires another DDIR



Gibbs makes a comeback from retirement to try to save the end of Charlie's term. We now have 3 DDIRS, 5 PADS, 5 or more DPADS, 15 or so ADS and 15 or more DADS. Just one more layer of upper level management to feed from the overhead trough, with no value added.

Cost and safety at LANL

A U.S. senator has asked the National Nuclear Security Administration to report to Congress by Thursday on the costs and safety of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s weapons production program and, in particular, the potential for critical accidents.

In early August, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a ranking member of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Frank Klotz, administrator of the NNSA, saying she had serious concerns about poor federal oversight and management of the laboratory and requesting a report.



http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/senator-seeks-answers-on-lanl-s-nuclear-safety/article_2e3901ef-fff5-5086-b270-eeb603c15e07.html

SF committee mulls halt to plutonium program



City resolution would rescind state consent agreement for waste cleanup, halt LANL’s plutonium pit program

http://www.lamonitor.com/content/sf-committee-mulls-halt-plutonium-program

LANL Officials Present Update To Community Leaders



"..."We will remain strong through the transition as we work on what the Lab does on behalf of the nation,” he told more than 270 gathered for updates from McMillan, NNSA Los Alamos Field Office Manager Kim Davis Lebak and NNSA Environmental Manager Doug Hintze..."

http://www.ladailypost.com/content/lanl-officials-present-update-community-leaders

DOE labs shouldn't be involved in fundamental science?

DOE labs shouldn't be involved in fundamental science?

That's funny, since LLNL was founded by Teller, who strongly believed that a strong fundamental research component was essential to the vitality of the lab.

Why? Good scientists want to work on real scientific problems, not figure out the reason why some piece of plastic is degrading inside a bomb. At the same time, they must be expected to work on practical problems of importance to the mission. As in any labor market, if you want top quality staff, you need to do what you need to do to attract them. That means having some fraction of their time devoted to good, original science.

The alternative is to hire people with no ambition, content to work on whatever is handed to them, in exchange for a paycheck.

Sorry, you don't want C students in charge of nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

One of the two dominate DOE EM clean up contractors merges with engineering firm



Either CH2M or Fluor have most of the environmental remediation projects nationwide, and this could be indicative of broader consolidation in the industry.


https://www.ch2m.com/newsroom/news/jacobs-acquire-ch2m-create-premier-15-billion-global-solutions-provider

Commander of the US Japan based forces dismissed.

This morning's news reported that the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet had flown to Japan to personally dismiss the Commander of the US Japan based forces. It took a few days for this to happen after the recent ship collision close to Singapore. The official statement indicated that this was the second incident and confidence in leadership had been lost.

Why does this story have any relevance to the NNSA? Contrast the US Navy response with that of LANS. When repeated failures happened at LANL, there were no firings at the top leadership ranks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Upbeat talk

Janet makes news at LANL by declaring that UC will bid for the continuation of the M&O contract


For all of the lab employees that started under the UC system, this is welcome news to hear. She was not forthcoming in her talk about who else would be brought in to run the lab. As everyone that survived the LANS years knows, the choice of corporate partners is what determines the workplace quality. Last time around, UC was so desperate to hang on to the contract that they chose partners unwisely and the result didn't turn out well for the workforce. 

Now the most important questions are what has UC learned from this mistake and how are they positioned this time around to make a better choice? Janet avoided these issues in her upbeat talk, but the employees deserve to have clarity on what UC has planned to address the gaping failure that was LANS.

Janet was great!

  1. Janet Napolitano gave a speech at LANL today. UC is definitely putting in a bid no sure who they are partnering with but Janet was very positive it was great talk.

  2. Janet has charisma and showed us what leadership looks like. Most impressive was her honesty, explaining how when she entered the job she had only vague understanding of the role UC plays in Los Alamos, and how her thinking evolved. She did not pretend to be somebody she is not. She sees the big picture, and that's for sure. I guess a resume that includes governor, DHS secretary, and UC president stands for something. Stark contrast with your typical lab upper level management.

Monday, August 21, 2017

LANL employee survey results

LANL employee survey results have not yet been revealed. Rumor has it they are not good. I guess management doesn't know what to do

Anonymity poll

81% of you prefer anonymous posts and comments. So,  no change. 


Prospective Contractors Invited to Lab for Tour

"Prospective LANL Management Contractors Invited to Lab for Tour, Meetings"

http://www.exchangemonitor.com/publication/morning-briefing/prospective-lanl-management-contractors-invited-lab-tour-meetings/

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bechtel & UC

If it wasn't for Bechtel, UC would have been gone 10 years ago. This is what we should blame them for.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

WHY SHOULD THE NNSA LABS BE DIFFERENT?


DOE has stated in various public forums that they want to move from a for profit model to a service oriented model. The for profit model seems to have failed so it seems reasonable to move to a more service oriented model such as found in PNNL, ANL, NIST, Fermi Lab, LBL, SLAC, BNL, NRL, NREL and so on. Why should the NNSA labs be different?

How competitive is LLNS as an employer?

In 2017, what attracts scientists and engineers to work and stay working for LLNS? Is it competitive pay, job security, benefits, interest in LLNL missions, other?

DOE moving away from for-profit lab management.

DOE has stated that they want to from from a for-profit model to a service model. The for profit model has failed at both labs. I you increase the fee you do not attract the best and brightest but the greediest and most corrupt. You also change the reason why someone would even want to manage the lab, is for money or the service to the nation. If it is for the money than how does that end, the manager will just see the lab as a way to make money and could care less about the country, it will act to maximize whatever money it can because it is managing the lab for money. If they could make big money selling the secrets to anyone who could pay and they if they could get away with it than of course they will do it, they want the money and that is why the want to mange the lab. The whole idea of a for-profit corrupts the whole culture and attracts exactly the wrong sort or characters. Norther New Mexico politicians only want the money and as much more as they can get and that is the only reason they want it to stay for profit at a high fee. I urge DOE to stand firm, the role of LANL is not to give money to Northern New Mexico, LANL serves the entire nation so do not endanger the entire nation just so some local politicians can get more money.

Will any competent contractors be willing to bid on LANL?


The indications are that several incompetent ones (UNM and UC come to mind) have signaled their intent to bid, and now would be a good time for DoE to make it worthwhile for competitive alternates.

http://www.lamonitor.com/content/low-contract-fee-could-spell-trouble-northern-new-mexico-advisor-warns

Friday, August 18, 2017

When Charlie met Janet.

Topic for Janet when she and Charlie have their mutual admiration meeting:

Please provide a list of all tangible contributions that UC has made to operating LLNL and LANL in the past 25 years. For each one listed clearly indicate how it was specifically unique to the UC.

Other posters welcome to offer suggestions.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hey moderators!

Hey moderators, if you want to persist in the inane rule about no comments on posts on this top post thread, why not just disable replies here? Your rule has never had any effect, and most times, people have plenty of time to read the relevant and cogent replies before you get around to (vindictively, it seems) deleting them. Understand the technical capabilities of a blog moderator? Or is Blogger just not set up to accommodate your whim? Just as a thought, how do multiple requests for new threads differ from comments on a single request? Why not just automatically make each new top post immediately a new thread? No need to sort comments. Just wondering. Actually, wondering about the need for moderators at all, except for profanity,which I believe is fairly automatic these days.

Steve Younger

For all the rumormongering that went on when he was named Lab Director, by all accounts Steve Younger and his team have done a good job of transitioning SNL leadership. Their model of full housecleaning of the previous L-M managers above the GL level looks to have been what was desired by NNSA. Anyone want to wager if Younger is making a behind the scene effort to duplicate the win at LANL?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time to get serious

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's time to get serious about modernizing US nuclear weapons, from the laboratories and explosive packages to the delivery systems and the command and control systems

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-557

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LANL employees worried

LANL employees worried that next contractor will be forced to restrict retirement and benefits to 105% of industry standard


“That is the concern of folks that have invested a lot of time in the laboratory, what’s going to happen to my retirement, what’s going to happen to my benefits.” Jekowski said. “The way I read the draft RFP, they’re marching more toward industry standards for benefits packages. “There’s a rule of thumb that’s used now that bidders can’t offer more than a 105 percent of the benefits that would be identified by a statistical analysis by credentialed benefits providers.”



http://www.lamonitor.com/content/lanl-coalition-mulls-benefits-new-contract

Another Near Miss at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Another Near Miss at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Lab Accident Sends One Person to Hospital

By Rebecca Moss | The New Mexican Aug 14, 2017 Updated 5 hrs ago 

A main electrical line was accidentally cut in a building at Los Alamos National Laboratory, sending one person to the hospital for examination, shutting down power for several hours and pausing work for some electrical employees from Friday through Monday, according to sources familiar with the incident.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/lab-accident-sends-one-person-to-hospital

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pu contamination at UNM covered up by LANL


More on the story uncovered by the investigative reporter.

http://kunm.org/post/lanl-makes-mistakes-shipping-hazardous-materials

UC System President to address LANL staff



McMillan must be in real trouble, seeing that Napolitano is coming to pay a visit.

In the early days, UC had leaders that understood why it was important to the country that the strategic deterrent be guided by great scientists. There have not been any UC faculty comparable to Lawrence or Seaborg for decades at this point, and may never be again. The Saxon and Gardner eras of UCOP marked the beginning of the end of knowledge about and interest in nuclear weapons for the top leadership. The last serious intellect on the subject in UCOP was Jud King, and he has been retired for years. The great science leaders of decades past would be horrified to discover that someone such as Kim Budil was now in charge of UC stewardship for LLNL and LANL.

Opinion about commentors' anonymity.

The question has been raised regarding allowing or disallowing anonymous posts. I think a vehicle such as this blog provides an interesting and sometimes provocative channel for questioning the orthodoxy and culture at the labs. I suspect losing anonymity will damage that, and ultimately the blog will collapse as a result.

Certainly, there is the constant static of "I hate Bechtel," "things were so much better under UC when we were unaccountable," and "things would be better if NNSA and or Congress would only realize just how great albeit unproductive we are." Oh, and the ever present "why is LANL dominating an LLNL blog" -- which goes back to the death of the original LANL blog. I think that static is worth the openness the blog presents, and it can be easily ignored.

I am also a little surprised that the blog owner, who chose to operate in anonymity himself until he was safely retired and outside the reach of employment retaliation, would even ask the question. If anonymous posting is stopped, will Evil Echo then also be unmasked?

I would also bet you will get a quiet campaign of managers at LANL and LLNL to vote against anonymity.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Anonymous comments and posts: has the time come?

Greetings!

The Blog moderation team want to get your opinion on discontinuing anonymous posting. See upcoming poll.
Such type of posting encourages meaningless and inflammatory remarks and bravery. In addition, the team wants to be able to track and block any posters who violate blog rules. It is the team's intention to improve the contents of this BLOG and make it a platform for intelligent debate.
For those of you fearing "retaliation" for expressing your opinion, don't worry. You can create a gmail id  which does not reveal your identity.

Cordially,

Scooby and Evil Echo.

Bechtel was never worth a damn

UC is a far cry from it's former glory. Bechtel was never worth a damn. Given that, I'm sure the NNSA will find new and creative ways to encumber scientists with additional Government bureaucracy while putting inept Beltway bandits in charge of the US nuclear weapons enterprise.

Who runs Los Alamos?

Real Statistics, Who runs Los Alamos?

Board:3 UC, 2 Bechtel, 1 BWXT

Directors: 2 UC (Charlie and Dave), 1 Bechtel

PADs: 4 UC, 1 Bechtel

ADs: 11 UC, 1 Bechtel, 1 AECOM, 1 other

Question for Goldstein.

While gone a week on vacation, the blog has erupted with comments that split equal parts pro-UC/anti-Bechtel and anti-UC/pro-Bechtel. Sure this is all driven by the LANL contract, but those of us here at LLNL still work under the exact same partnership, with the exact same Board of Governors. 

Will the impending family divorce of the partners at LANL have a cascading impact on LLNL operations, employees and retirees?

It would be good if Bill put out a statement that clarified this situation for all.

Soon. a very very beautiful golf course in Los Alamos. In fact, the most beautiful!

LA County considers leverage of LANL GRT to build "one of the top 50 golf courses in the US"


Before going all out against this notion, it just may not be as crackpot as it seems. Perhaps the county is in cahoots with Donnie to build one of the greatest golf courses of all time, and put the presidents name in large gold letters on top of the clubhouse.


http://www.lamonitor.com/content/atomic-city-update-will-la-get-new-golf-course

They do this every place they go.

Ok UC lead the labs for 60 year and things worked very well. LLNS and LANS lead the labs for 10 years and total and complete disaster. What is the new ingredient...Bechtel. The cultural change of turning the labs into money making scams is the Bechtel MO. There is plenty of books on this
and they have this down to an art form. They take over and leverage every possible profit they can out of a place and yes they pay off the upper managers. They do this every place they go. 


https://www.amazon.com/Profiteers-Bechtel-Men-Built-World/dp/1476706468

https://www.amazon.com/Friends-High-Places-Corporation-Engineered/dp/0345360443/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WH0NFRM


Why blame Bechtel?

Following from the stacks and stacks of studies in the recent years, the quality of science has declined at LANL. Since LANL science is 100% led by UC, how is it that Bechtel keeps on getting blamed for this decline?

Oakridge official convicted of murder.

Oak Ridge counterintelligence official convicted of murder. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/thomas-martens-molly-martens-corbett-found-guilty-in-jason-corbett-trial/463606763

Friday, August 11, 2017

Senator Claire McCaskill letter to NNSA

Senator Claire McCaskill letter to NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz raises "extensive safety violations and chronic problems" at LANL, and states that numerous NNSA contractors "have not been held accountable in a meaningful way" for "serious injuries, such as electric shocks, burning by acid or fire, and the inhalation of radioactive particles" 


https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/08/03/21046/senator-cites-cpi-articles-calling-tougher-safety-practices-nuclear-weapons

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3912784-2017-08-03-CMC-Ltr-to-NNSA-Re-Safety-Violations.html

It all comes down to this

It all comes down to this

Finally, the state and local governments are concerned about the possible loss of significant tax revenue if the new M&O contractor is a nonprofit. In the event the new contractor is not subject to the state's gross receipts tax, we ask you to work with the State of New Mexico and local jurisdictions and seriously consider other options to maintain support for the cost of local services the NNSA relies upon.

Blog Archive