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, December 31, 2017


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

LANL union to host town hall

LANL union to host town hall meeting Wednesday
By Tris DeRoma
Friday, April 21, 2017 

A union that represents some scientists and technical workers that work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory will host a town hall-style meeting Wednesday in Los Alamos to discuss the upcoming contract transfer.

The Department of Energy’s rebid process for the lab’s management and operations contract, currently held by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, is scheduled to start in the late spring or summer. The union, the “University Professional and Technical Employees,” is advocating for a non-profit company to take over the contract.

Members of the community are invited to the meeting.

“This is really organized as a true town hall meeting, where we want input from stakeholders,” said Jeff Colvin, executive vice president of the union. “Stakeholders are basically every employee at the laboratory and people who live in the local communities. Everybody is a stakeholder in the success of the laboratory. We want to hear from them.”

Colvin and others plan to attend to provide as many answers as they can.

“They will know what’s going on, as far as we know, concerning what the bid process is about, what the timeline is, and to have their say in what they’d like to see happen in this upcoming bid process,” Colvin said.

One of the issues that will probably be brought up at the meeting is the gross receipts tax issue.

LANS is a privately held, for-profit company, and as such pays millions of dollars of gross receipts tax to the communities LANL serves, including Los Alamos.

If a non-profit company is awarded the management and operations contract, Los Alamos County is at risk of losing millions of dollars in revenue.

UPTE favors a non-profit company management model, saying the for-profit model has stifled innovation in technological and scientific discovery at LANL.

“We hope to recruit more people who want to take a more active role in helping us influence the RFP (request for proposal),” Colvin said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Also attending the meeting will be representatives from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities. The coalition represents the priorities and voices of people from LANL’s surrounding communities, and often represents those interests in the New Mexico State Legislature and Washington, D.C.

The RCLC has written and endorsed state legislation that would preserve the gross receipts tax function, even if a non-profit entity was awarded the contract. The bill did not get a reading during this legislative session.

UPTE also approves of the idea. The RCLC’s executive director, Andrea Romero, said she thinks both sides can come together on a mutual understanding.

“The reality for us is if a for-profit contractor that can do the job well, meet all the demands that UPTE’s requesting specific to their workforce and the public interest… we just want the best people for the job,” Romero said. “We aren’t necessarily aligned on the deprivatization of the laboratory, we are leaving that up to the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) to be the best judge of. Whether you’re for a profit or non-profit, we want the best manager for the laboratory… Having a blanket deprivatization to us doesn’t necessarily solve some of their problems. It’s about what’s in the guts in the proposed plan of the next contractor.”

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at UNM-LA, Wallace Hall, Building 5.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Plutonium fire

  1. Fire in plutonium facility sends employee to hospital.

    With a headline like this, someone is sure to get called to Congress for hearings. Would be entertaining if it was Napalitano and Pattiz that had to do it for the UC led contractor!

  2. Comment
  3. No one in Congress or NNSA believes that UC is in charge of anything at the labs. In fact, you might be the only hold out who hasn't gotten the memo.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Small fire

  1. LANL reports fire at plutonium facility
    By Edmundo Carrillo/Journal North
    Friday, April 21st, 2017 at 5:47pm
    SANTA FE — A small fire broke out in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s plutonium facility Wednesday and caused minor injuries, but a lab spokesman said no radioactive materials were involved in the incident.

    The fire started around 10 a.m. during cleanup activity. Lab spokesman Kevin Roark said the blaze involved a pyrophoric metal material, which can spontaneously overheat in the presence of oxygen, but it was quickly put out. Roark said no radioactive substance was involved, but said the material that ignited is still under investigation.

    One employee was taken to the hospital with finger burns and was later released. The facility was not damaged and resumed normal operations Thursday, Roark said.

    The plutonium facility is part of the lab’s Technical Area 55.

  2. .

    Cowboy scientists!!!! I told you this is an out of control cultural zone of arrogance and hubris by scientists and engineers who think they are above it all just as Bodman said. How can you deny these real FACTS staring right at you?

Klotz speech

Anyone have any insight from Klotz speech yesterday?

Women at labs

  1. LANL Website:

    "The only national laboratories that earned a spot on the Woman Engineer list of top government employers were Los Alamos (No. 14) and Sandia National Laboratories (No. 17)."

    KRQE News:

    "Women at Sandia Labs allege discrimination in federal lawsuit"

  2. Really, a local liberal Albuquerque news headline as evidence of something? What a joke. Yeah, that's a great source of "facts." Aggrieved people can "allege" anything they want. Doesn't make it true. Whiners and crybabies (or in this case, crybullies) get all the press they want these days.


Headline banner on today's LANL website was about how LANL and SNL were the only two national labs that won awards last year for diversity in the workplace. Which two labs lost their contract? Looks like a perfect correlation.

Klotz replacement

  1. Who is going to replace Klotz?
  2. Admiral Jay Cohen was rumored to be in the running for NNSA several months ago.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Call for new LANL management

  1. An official call for new management at LANL will come out soon. This could be the opportunity to it right this time and crush the LANL cultural problem once and for all. Wording needs to be put in the contract that will allow the manager to do what needs to be done without question. This time they must not underestimate how clever the LANL people and not allow them to wait the next contractor out just as they did with LANS. They must anticipate that what normal people consider decent or undignified will not work on the LANL people who thing they know best. They will not respond to mere words, they will talk in the shadows, offsite, and on blogs. They have a history of showing contempt for the corporate management and this must change and change must be forced and the new contract must allow the next corporation to leeway to force it. LANL has been given every chance and has failed every time, so the next contractor needs to fix it or shut it down. To many it has seems unbelievable that such cultural problems have been so entrenched and persistant but we must realize that for 70 years these "people" at LANL have been told they are special, that they are smart, that they are doing things no else can do, that the work is vitally important and only they can do it, and these "people" actually believe it. If there is one thing that the next contractor must put above all else it will be culture and having the power to change the culture, but first it must know what it is really dealing with.


  3. April 17, 2017 at 8:13 PM

    Wow, you are really sick. You sound like a true Nazi. The LANL culture must be "crushed". "Change must be forced." "Fix it or shut it down." Your hatred for LANL employees is evident, but so is your insanity. If you think any company or university will bid on the LANL contract in order to use your proposed tactics on the employees, you are truly deranged. The first order of business for any new contractor will be to demonstrate continued scientific excellence and contract metrics met and exceeded. No contractor can achieve that with your idiocy. They would lose the contract on their first review. Neither NNSA, Congress, nor the country at large wants to see a LANL management that browbeats, "crushes," or demeans its scientific staff, which is in fact the best in the world (especially since you left).

  4. 8:41 PM

    I do not disagree with out but have to remember what has been said about the labs.

    From the Physics Today article.

    "Another former LANL official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, agreed. “What [Bechtel] didn’t realize is that Los Alamos is a very complex organization with a strongly entrenched culture and that it is its own worst enemy. [Bechtel] thought they could come in and do what they normally do: rotate people in and out. The folks at Los Alamos are smart; they quickly realized they could wait all these industry guys out.”"

    "I believe there is something about the Los Alamos culture that we have
    not yet beaten into submission… They exalt science and that's good. But ...
    they devalue security."
    NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks to Congress, 13 July 2004.
    Is there a “culture of arrogance” toward safety and security rules

    a belief amongst some very powerful people in Congress that academic culture and running a high security national laboratory are totally incompatible and scientists can't be trusted."

    Apparently a hypothesis has emerged that it is the long-standing scientific culture of Los Alamos that is responsible for the present situation at our institution.

    as Mr. Issa [Darrell Issa (R- CA)] points out, perhaps these people don't realize, these intellectual nuts or whatever they call them, these people don't appreciate the sensitivity of what they're working on because they work with it all the time."

    " Another Committee member's comments seem to condone the use of fear tactics: " I was an FBI agent before I did this in the late 80's.quite frankly I want a scientist afraid of these people. If they came wandering by, I want them worried that they're not going to be working there on something that they 've dedicated their lives to… "

    Bureaucratic issues are not "at the heart of the problem," he told the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee. "The heart of the problem is a cultural issue at Los Alamos."

    Asked by Representative David Loebsack (D-Iowa) to sum up the cultural impediment to security at the nuclear weapons facility, Bodman responded bluntly.

    "Arrogance," he said. "Arrogance of the chemists and physicists and engineers who work at Los Alamos and think they're above it all."

VSIP anyone?

VSIP in the near future? Inquiring minds want to know!

Flawed code story

Open letter to lab management about flawed code

Hmm, I cannot say anything about the viability of his claims for the code. Sometimes these people have a point and other times not. Perhaps his issues have been addressed by the community but he just refused to believe it. Of course maybe he has a valid issue that needs to be addressed.

However there is some interesting tidbits here.

"I was even told that (at least in my group) the appraisal of a scientist’s work rests strictly and solely on whether or not they had managed to obtain funding; not on the quality or incisiveness of their ideas. Yet, and with all due respect, the Director of the Laboratory has recently proclaimed LLNL to be a ``new idea’’ Laboratory."

This does seem to ring true. Does anyone want counter this? To be fair funding is
important and should and must be part of the evaluation however it should not be the "only" criteria for evaluation. The point of being funded is to do something not just to be funded however I would say under the current management it is only funding that matters. Why is this so? I would say because it is easy, takes less work, and there is no upside to rewording good results. Only rewarding funding and this goes against the concept of an "new idea laboratory".

Friday, April 14, 2017

APS News

  1. This month's issue of "APS News" arrived in the mail this week and the front page cover headline was "How African-American Women Succeed in Physics." Clearly the APS has moved away from promoting science and is now spending all of the dues collected to promote diversity and inclusion. In the process it has lost its once mighty clout as the lead advocate for science in Washington, and an important supporter of the NNSA physics labs is now relegated to just one more noisy voice in the crowd.

  3. The dreadful lack of women in STEM educational fields, and the scary demographic trends regarding men vs women in higher education in general, might justify some of this, but the title (I haven't read the article) seems to indicate a truly unfortunate racial focus. How about "How Women Succeed in Physics"? Wouldn't that necessarily include African-American women? Not politically correct enough for whomever APS is trying to impress?

  4. If you are going to remove the race, why not the sex too. Just talk about the real issue, which is presumably, "How do under-represented minorities succeed in physics?" It's the same issues for all, starting with fewer role models who students feel they can identify with

ISIS bombing lamented

'March for Science’ Group Laments Trump’s Bombing Of ‘Marginalized’ ISIS Fighters


  1. Here we go, the first mention of moving NNSA over to DOD

    "Mulvaney declined Tuesday, when first announcing the plan, to say how many jobs, overall, the administration intends to eliminate.

    One possibility is moving the National Nuclear Security Administration from the Department of Energy to the Department of Defense."
  3. Bad move, obviously considered by people who know nothing about history. Millenials: if they didn't experience it, it doesn't matter.
  4. 9:32 is full of rhetoric and empty on facts. Mulvaney is hardly a millennial and he is closer to being a pensioner than he is to the college student.

    Moving NNSA from DOE to DOD will face the Congressional turf battles of some snowflakes losing oversight authority and Mulvaney knows what battle he is picking here. As a long term Member of Congress, he just might be crazy like a fox.
  5. It's not only millenials who know nothing about history.

Equipment theft

  1. Can't wait to see how the UC led team at LANL tries to spin this one.

  2. The rumor I keep hearing is that UC will not be part of any bid at LANL. In any case
    we can always blame of the culture of arrogant scientists on this.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The American Physical Society (APS) update

  1. APS is now an official partner and supporter of the March for Science! But when you read their mission page, you find politically correct drivel like this, "We acknowledge that society and scientific institutions often fail to include and value the contributions of scientists from underrepresented groups. Systems of privilege influence who becomes a part of the science community, what topics we study, and how we apply our work in creating new technologies and crafting policy. We recognize that, historically and today, some scientific endeavors have been used to harm and oppress marginalized communities....", and "The March for Science does not tolerate hate speech, bigotry, or harassment within or outside our community. Targeting individuals or communities with violent language, including statements that reflect racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, or any form of bigotry, will result in banning and/or blocking...." What has the APS become?
    Comments :
  2. "The March for Science does not tolerate hate speech, bigotry, or harassment within or outside our community........

    Sure it does......! It just has to be targeted at the right group.
  3. I cancelled my membership over this stuff, since they've gone crazy and they obviously don't need my money. Maybe the black-hooded anarchists in Berkeley will chip in to make up the difference.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Whistle blower protection

This is a link to a March 24, 2017 letter from three Senators to DOE Secretary Perry regarding DOE OIG confirmed retaliatory conduct by SRNS management against Sandra Black. The Senators ask if the involved SRNS managers will be held directly accountable for the retaliation. The Senators also ask about consequences for the Contractor.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

NIF update

  1. NIF Update. Spoiler alert: It's still a failure.

  2. comment:

    Odd, it looks like a hopeful future. In any case science is not about success or failure, it is about truth and what may seem as a failure at first may turn out to be the one of the biggest discoveries since Newtons gravity. Let the discoveries began! Lux Lux Lux!!!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Still want to work for UC?


    60 minutes show on H1B visas.
    60-80 Indian workers (from India) replace UCSF IT team (1/2 pay, no benefits)and Big Sis (Janet N) is behind it and Disney did the same.
    The H1B program was never meant for this (a loophole).

    Like it or not Mr. Trump (and maybe Bernie) addressed this in the campaign.
    Me thinks Mr. Trump (or Bernie if he was elected) will deal with this soon, a lot on his plate right now.
  2. Oh forgot, be careful what you wish for!

  3. Perhaps we can hire some of those cheap but smart Indians on H1B visas to take over the high level work at the weapon labs.
    Think of all the money we would save!

  4. Don't give the directors any ideas. They will think it is a great suggestion.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

How much would the military gain?

Under the budget plans, defence department spending would rise by $54bn (£44bn) or 10%, including $2bn for nuclear weapons, while homeland security would get a 6.8% boost.

In addition, the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the maintenance and safety of the nuclear arsenal and its research labs, would gain $1.4bn.

DOE is -6% overall.

The Washington Post assessment is pretty good...

  1. The Trump’s budget would cut DOE spending overall by $1.7 billion — or 5.6 percent from current levels — to $28 billion. But the money is redistributed. NNSA's budget would grow 11.3 percent while the rest of the DOE’s programs would be cut by 17.9 percent. The president would drop programs such as the Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides grants to states and some Indian tribes to improve energy efficiency for low-income families, and the State Energy Program, which gives grants to states. It would also eliminate altogether the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which is popular in Congress and spends $300 million on basic research; Title 17 loan guarantees for new low-carbon energy projects; and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which has helped such companies as Tesla develop electric cars and Ford develop more-efficient combustion engines and light materials.


  1. Tesla and Ford are private companies. Why are taxpayers subsidizing them? Anyone remember Solyndra?

Trump is to gut the labs.

The budget has a 20% decrease to DOE office of science, 20% cut to NIH. NASA also gets a cut. This will 
have a huge negative effect on the lab. Crazy, juts crazy. He also wants to cut NEA and PBS, this may not seem like 
a big deal but they get very little money and do great things.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Perry picks former Bush White House official as chief of staff

Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter
Monday, March 13, 2017 

A well-connected political consultant for electric utilities and former George W. Bush administration official is Energy Secretary Rick Perry's chief of staff.

Brian McCormack — a former White House aide, a strategist at the Edison Electric Institute and a familiar face on Capitol Hill — is working for Perry, a Department of Energy spokesman confirmed. DOE hasn't made a formal announcement.

McCormack's last day with EEI was March 2, the same day the Senate confirmed Perry, according to Brian Reil, a spokesman for the industry group.

As chief of staff, McCormack is helping manage DOE's $30 billion budget, 13,500 employees and 104,000 contractors. Past chiefs of staff have also helped implement the secretary's policy initiatives.

A DOE career employee who's not authorized to speak to the press and asked to remain anonymous said McCormack's presence is reassuring given his energy experience and EEI's acknowledgement of climate change.

EEI has described climate change as "one of the biggest energy and environmental policy challenges this country has ever faced" and has backed cap-and-trade legislation in the past. Several high-ranking Trump administration officials — notably, U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt — have questioned the notion of human-induced climate change despite scientific consensus on the issue.

Prior to EEI, McCormack held several posts in the Bush administration, including deputy assistant to the president for strategic initiatives and external affairs from October 2007 to January 2009.

He also served as a special assistant in the Department of Defense to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, presidential envoy to Iraq, and later to Ken Krieg in the Office of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trump pick for Air Force boss frustrated auditors

Trump pick for Air Force boss frustrated auditors with lucrative, murky consulting for nuclear weapons labs

Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith
Center for Public IntegrityFebruary 28, 2017

A federal inspector contacted the Energy Department fraud hotline a few years back to flag irregularities in contracts that several nuclear weapons laboratories had signed with a former New Mexico Congresswoman whom President Trump has designated to become the new Air Force Secretary.

A far-reaching probe ensued in Washington after the hotline contact, which ended in a demand that the weapons labs give back nearly a half-million dollars to the government. Wilson has said she did not do anything wrong in trading on her Washington experience to become a “strategic adviser” to the labs.

But internal Energy Department documents newly obtained by the Center for Public Integrity make clear that some of the contracting irregularities stemmed from demands specifically made by Wilson in her negotiations with the labs.


As Charlie McMillan of LANS is fond of saying: "Follow the money!"

I wonder, did Charlie sign the "consulting" checks for Heather Wilson?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Blog complaints

Hey Scooby, why all the garbage about "road signs," "store fronts," and "street signs" on the "prove you're not a robot" thing?? It takes me twice as long to do this crap as to type a post. What problem is this garbage solving? If you have abuse statistics, publish them so we can see your choices of authorization methods are reasonable. Why does all this matter on an essentially unmonitored, anonymous blog???
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I suppose that you might have heard about denial of service attacks?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Again, on an unmonitored anonymous blog, the "service" is worth essentially nothing. Who cares if it goes down?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Similarly, untested nukes are also worth nothing. No computer sim is going to capture the effect of thousands of incremental changes in materials, design and manufacturing processes. Trump, make testing go BOOM again!

Friday, February 17, 2017

U.S. Forecast to Spend $400B on Nuke Forces Over Next Decad

U.S. Forecast to Spend $400B on Nuke Forces Over Next Decade: CBO
02/16/17 07:56
Weapons Complex Monitor

The United States appears set to spend $400 billion on its nuclear deterrent over the next decade, with spending rising as weapons modernization advances, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday.

The United States appears set to spend $400 billion on its nuclear deterrent over the next decade, with spending rising as weapons modernization advances, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported Tuesday.

"If carried out, the plans for nuclear forces delineated in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) budget requests for fiscal year 2017 would cost a total of $400 billion over the 2017– 2026 period, CBO estimates—an average of $40 billion a year. according to the report. "The current 10-year total is 15 percent higher than CBO’s most recent previous estimate of the 10-year costs of nuclear forces, $348 billion over the 2015–2024 period."

That increase is primarily due to the fact that the latest congressionally mandated cost estimate includes an additional two years of the modernization program, in which the United States plans to replace its existing fleet of ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, and strategic bombers. The entire modernization program has been projected to cost upward of $1 trillion over 30 years.

Of the estimated $400 billion price tag, CBO said it expects DOE and DOD to spend $344 billion in four areas: $189 billion at both agencies for strategic nuclear delivery systems and weapons; $9 billion at both agencies for tactical nuclear delivery systems and weapons; $87 billion for DOE nuclear weapons laboratories and associated operations; and $58 billion for Pentagon nuclear command, control, communications, and early warning systems.

"The remaining $56 billion of the $400 billion 10-year total represents CBO’s estimate of additional costs that would be incurred over the 2017–2026 period if the costs for those nuclear programs exceeded planned amounts at roughly the same rates that costs for similar programs have grown in the past," CBO said.

LLNL, Sanctuary Lab

Sanctuary Lab

LLNL is a sanctuary lab for people wanting to pose as scientists and engineers.
The work force is second rate and would get slaughtered anywhere else. It's unfortunate that the young, good talent leaves before 40.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Adjusting to a new administration

LLNL NewsLine - 02/09/2017

Since the founding of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1952, a dozen presidential administrations have come and gone. Each transition came with questions about program shifts and funding impacts. While each administration has set its own priorities, the Laboratory's core mission -- to apply cutting-edge science and technology to make the nation and world safer and more secure -- has stayed the same.

Lawrence Livermore was created as the "new ideas" Lab, a multidisciplinary institution working at the cutting-edge to respond to the world's greatest challenges. Over the past six decades, our approach to innovation has served the nation exceptionally well. We changed the paradigm for nuclear weapons design with the Polaris missile; invented stockpile stewardship to assure the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear deterrent without testing; helped stem proliferation and respond to terrorist threats around the world; and, with our colleagues at Los Alamos and Berkeley Lab, initiated the human genome project.

Change is inevitable when any new administration takes over. Since the inauguration, a federal hiring freeze has been ordered; an immigration ban has been implemented, amended and litigated; and a new Nuclear Posture Review has commenced. As we learn more about these and other developments, and their impacts on the Lab, we will be sharing them with you. So far, it's clear that the hiring freeze does not affect the Lab, since we are not federal employees. We've been carefully tracking the immigration ban, and closely monitoring its immediate and potential impacts on employees and visitors. Our Immigration Services Office in the Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) Organization is a resource available to staff with questions. Through the Center for Global Security Research, and in other forums, we maintain tight connections to the nuclear policy community.

In addition, the government continues to operate under a continuing resolution (CR) enacted last December, expiring April 28. In other words, FY17 budgets have not yet been established. New budget priorities under consideration by the administration and Congress could impact funding in the current fiscal year through either a follow-on CR or an omnibus appropriation. Also in play is the federal debt limit, which will have to be increased or suspended by March 15, though the Treasury Department has a variety of means available to temporarily finance the government. The Lab will continue to operate in the event of a lapse in appropriations associated with either the CR or the debt limit, since our programs have healthy carry-over funding. On the whole, I expect budget impacts to the Lab this year to be minimal, despite these uncertainties.

Above all, it is important that we continue our important work through this period of change with a commitment to excellence and integrity, safety and security, that are the hallmarks of our Lab.

- Lab Director Bill Goldstein

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