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


Place new topics here. Stay on topic with National Labs' related issues.
This space is not for comments on a post. No discussions here, Comments will be deleted!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

LANL safety record topic of senate hearing for Perry

LANL safety record topic of senate hearing for Perry

The probe of Los Alamos by the nonprofit journalism organization caught the attention of top officials at the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the lab, and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation, who say safety should be the top priority given the lab’s role in maintaining and modernizing the U.S nuclear stockpile.

During a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry about safety concerns surrounding pit operations at Los Alamos. He asked Perry for assurances that the Department of Energy would commit to increasing safety requirements and accountability as part of the new management contract for the lab, currently being rebid.

Udall mentioned the safety issues raised by the Center for Public Integrity series to Perry, asking, “In your opinion, and the opinion of DOE, is Los Alamos making acceptable progress to fix all identified issues with its plutonium pit program?”

“The safety of the operations at our labs — I don’t think anything is more important,” Perry said, saying, the lab is “making significant progress.”

Who is telling the truth?

Klotz claims that PF4 is back up and running at 100%.

LANL and DNFSB both say otherwise.

Someone must be right, but who is it?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The good, the bad and the uglyyy!

Asked about the persistence of the Los Alamos lab’s problems, former NNSA director Miller smiled and said her colleagues at the nuclear oversight agency sometimes told the following joke: If Washington sent all three of America’s nuclear weapons labs an order to study how to “jump,” they would all respond differently. Lawrence Livermore, she said, would convene a conference and produce a three-inch stack of reports about “jumping.” Officials at Sandia would simply jump.

But at Los Alamos, she said, officials would instinctively respond with a “**** you, we’re not jumping.
June 21, 2017 at 10:35 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yep. Los Alamos would instinctively know that there is zero value in DOE directed "jumping" studies.
June 21, 2017 at 5:55 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I first heard that joke in 1980 as a postdoc at Los Alamos. It was old then.
June 21, 2017 at 6:49 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Given the response of the three Labs, it is interesting that NNSA would install former and current LANL managers (Younger, Girrens, Burns, etc.) at Sandia. Just goes to show how much thought NNSA gave to award the selection to (NTESS). It appears Sandia will now be responding to NNSA with a **ck you now. Good luck NNSA, you deserve it!
June 21, 2017 at 7:26 PM

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

University of California Favoring Illegal Immigrants

A California university’s decision to put a limit on the number of American citizens it enrolls — while placing no such restrictions on illegal immigrants who want to attend the school — is drawing sharp criticism from education activists.

The regents in the University of California system recently instituted Regents Policy 2109 in response to state lawmakers threatening to withhold from the university system nearly $20 million if school officials didn’t cap the number of out-of-state American students. The university’s response to the state government’s threat was to limit the percentage of out-of-state American students in the student body to 18 percent on most campuses.

McMillan known to Secretary Moniz for his hubris

The NNSA head, Klotz, alerted the Secretary of Energy, Moniz, and the two of them flew to Los Alamos to meet with McMillan, a man known for both charm and hubris. “Los Alamos is a legend,” McMillan has boasted in a promotional video. “It’s an icon. And of course, because of that, everybody notices what we do here; and we’re held to a very high standard.”

Moniz said he told McMillan personally that “I was not entirely satisfied with the reactions of some of his senior managers.” As a result, he said, “actions were taken,” without offering details.

But progress was not swift.

The NNSA, in its annual evaluation of Los Alamos’ overall performance for fiscal year 2014, judged the criticality safety program to be “below expectations” with deficiencies “similar to issues identified in past” evaluations; it particularly faulted the labels the lab had placed on nuclear materials and the guides the lab had prepared for workers performing plutonium handling chores.

Some of these shortfalls persisted in 2015, and new ones were discovered. On May 6, 2015, for example, the NNSA sent Los Alamos’ managing contractors a letter again criticizing the lab for being slow to fix criticality risks. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, which summarized the letter in one of its weekly reports, said “there are currently more than 60 unresolved infractions,” many present for months “or even years.”

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Patrick Malone | Center for Public Integrity

LANL inability to address safety issues

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nuclear lab shutdown endangers US arsenal

Sunday June 18, 2017 07:32 PM - Associated Press

An extended shutdown of the nation's only scientific laboratory for producing and testing the plutonium cores for its nuclear weapons has taken a toll on America's arsenal, with key work postponed and delays looming in the production of components for new nuclear warheads, according to government documents and officials.

The unique research and production facility is located at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico, the birthplace of the U.S. atomic arsenal. The lab's director ordered the shutdown in 2013 after the Washington, D.C., official in charge of America's warhead production expressed worries that the facility was ill-equipped to prevent an accident that would kill its workers and potentially others nearby.

Parts of the facility began renewed operations last year, but with only partial success. And workers there last year were still violating safety rules for handling plutonium, the unstable man-made metal that serves as the sparkplug of the thermonuclear explosions that American bombs are designed to create.

...Kevin Roark, the spokesman for the consortium of firms hired by the government to run the lab, said in an email that he would defer to the NNSA's response. Charles McMillan, the Los Alamos lab's director since 2011, who receives government-funded compensation exceeding $1 million a year, declined to be interviewed about its safety records or the national security consequences of the shutdown. But he said in a 2015 promotional video that "the only way" the lab can accomplish its vital national security mission "is by doing it safely."... 


Over $1 million in compensation per year and Charlie "GQ" McMillan won't do interviews? 
What's he being paid for? To stand around and look pretty?

llnlthetruestory welcomes Evil Echo

llnlthetruestory welcomes Evil  Echo as a co-moderator and contributor to the blog.  His help is greatly appreciated!

LANL and waste containers

LANL still struggles to correctly label waste containers. 

Correspondence between Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico regulators shows the lab has failed more than once to accurately label drums of liquid waste shipped to a disposal center in Colorado.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Is it true?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Is it true LLNL cannot attract qualified people and when they do hire someone, they quit few months later? Have you seen that happen in your department?
June 16, 2017 at 4:18 PM

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bad Etiquette

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now Scooby is terminating posts on any blog that he doesn't like the trend of, or that criticizes the blog in any way. No more contentious or argumentative threads allowed! Pretty much eliminates all the regular posters here. It was nice arguing with you. No more of that stuff now. Must play nice or Master Scooby will provide needed correction (i.e. his fascist crap). (See how fast this gets deleted!)

The use of abusive language was reason enough to remove the posting, not any criticism of Scooby. Likewise the comment about fascist crap is out of line.

If you cannot write in a civil way, then don't expect your posting to make it on this blog. Criticize away, but do so in a respectful manner. Otherwise find another blog.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

What some people think of blog

Leakers inside NSA, is the background check process working?

After the cases of Manning, Snowden, and now Winner one wonders about such people managed to get and hold a clearance. Is the background check now that sloppy or are they getting let through on purpose. Either way, it's worrisome.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Less LEP work for LLNL

This may result in even less LEP work for LLNL and even more reliance on NIF funding to keep the doors open.

"In February 2017, DOD and NNSA representatives agreed to use the term “IW1” rather than “W78/88-1 LEP” to reflect that IW1 replaces capability rather than extending the life of current stockpile systems."

How long will the LANL transition be delayed by the Nevada contract protests?

How long will the LANL transition be delayed by the Nevada contract protests?

With two pending GAO appeals of the NNSA second decision on the NNSS award, this can drag on for months. Even though GAO is expected to make a decision by sometime later this year, that may not be the end of the road. The botched Y-12 contract endured an appeal to the US Court after the GAO made their decision and that delayed the final answer for even longer.

If NNSA delays the LANL bid until the NNSS one is sorted out then it could be 2020 before a new group takes over. 

Only a matter of time before something major happens at LANL

Only a matter of time before something major happens at LANL under the present leadership

Among issues raised Wednesday was a poor evaluations from the Department of Energy, which reported to the board in February that Los Alamos was the only national laboratory to receive a failing grade for its nuclear criticality safety program, a program designed to prevent a nuclear accident and radiological release during work related to nuclear weapons development.

Then in April, during Earth Day cleanup activities, a fire broke out on the ground floor of PF-4. Workers opened an unlabeled container they believed held powered graphite but in fact contained lanthanum nickel. The materials started to warm, then self-combusted, causing a small fire. One worker suffered second-degree burns.

"Charliecloud" has arrived!!

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 7, 2017 -- At Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to more than 100 supercomputers since the dawn of the computing era, elegance and simplicity of programming are highly valued but not always achieved. In the case of a new product, dubbed "Charliecloud," a crisp 800-line code helps supercomputer users operate in the high-performance world of Big Data without burdening computer center staff with the peculiarities of their particular software needs.

"Charliecloud lets users easily run crazy new things on our supercomputers," said lead developer Reid Priedhorsky of the High Performance Computing Division at Los Alamos. "Los Alamos has lots of supercomputing power, and we do lots of simulations that are well supported here. But we've found that Big Data analysis projects need to use different frameworks, which often have dependencies that differ from what we have already on the supercomputer. So, we've developed a lightweight 'container' approach that lets users package their own user defined software stack in isolation from the host operating system."

LANS cares?

 After 9 years and on their way out, LANS wants our input in their first survey.

From: Charles F. McMillan, DIR
Date: June 7, 2017
Subject: Employee Engagement Initiative Begins Soon

Creating a positive, inclusive, and supportive work culture is essential to a vibrant workplace. In support of this, we will soon release an Employee Engagement Survey that will enable you to give us your direct feedback about working at the Laboratory. The information gathered through this survey will help shape the organizational culture at the Laboratory. This effort is one of several initiatives that supports the Laboratory’s Strategic Plan Goal 3 that aims to position the Laboratory as one of the best places to work.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Opinions on blog monetizing

  1. Really Scooby? Google ads on the blog? So much for your vaunted "volunteer" service. Hypocrite!
  2. Really Scooby? Google ads on the blog? So much for your vaunted "volunteer" service. Hypocrite!

    May 30, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    I agree, the blog must be shut down now!!! I am sick of this blog, I go to it every other day and stuff just makes me sick. No one should be forced to read this blog, yet everyday people come to read the blog. Crazy I tell you crazy. Do you not realize the blog has offended me!? Me personally. I now longer want to go to this blog and be offended, so I say shut it down so the next time I try to look at this blog I will not be able see anything Google ads or otherwise. It is for my own good.
  3. May 30, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    So subtle, so light-hearted, so sublime. Your perspicacity is amazing. Bottle and sell it. You are a treasure. Me, I just want to read a web page without somebody trying to sell me something I don't want.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Northern NM economy profits from LANL

Northern NM economy profits from LANL from Los Alamos Monitor

Joshua Montoya worked as a pipefitter when the thefts occurred. Montoya was arrested in July 2016, after the owner of an Española scrap metal yard gave investigators Montoya’s driver’s licence information and sales records of the transaction that also had Montoya’s personal information. 

In court Wednesday, Montoya pleaded no contest to larceny. In exchange for his plea, Montoya was sentenced to three years probation. If he completes the three years without breaking any other laws, the felony conviction will be wiped from his record.

Montoya’s attorney, Tyr Loranger, said he was able to get a more lenient sentence for his client because there were others involved.

“There were some sympathetic factors in Joshua’s case,” Loranger said. “One of those factors was that the main culprit in that case was someone else. There was someone else who was responsible for what was going on. Josh was just an accessory. That was the fulcrum I used to convince the district attorney that this outcome was in the best interest of justice.”

Shortly after his July 9, 2016, arrest, Montoya also checked himself into an inpatient addiction treatment program, which also helped his case, Loranger said.

Police believe Montoya started taking the copper between May 31 and July 9 of last year.

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials initially reported a theft of copper fittings that occurred between July 9 and July 13. Investigators traced the stolen copper to Gallegos Scrap Metal LLC, where the shop’s owner, Tim Gallegos was able to show investigators receipts from sales Montoya made to his shop.

After a more thorough examination of the records, investigators from LANL and the Los Alamos Police Department determined that Montoya had been selling copper materials from LANL several times a week since May 31.

“(Gallegos) said that since this date, Mr. Montoya has sold 2,709 pounds of copper and brass to Gallegos Scrap Metal and was paid $3,474.95,” said Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Jack Casias in his report. “Examination of one of the boxes showed a label which had ‘Los Alamos National Laboratory’ on it as well as ‘LANL SM-30 TA 60’ which is another technical area of the laboratory.”

Party time before vote!

UC Regents and UCOP party night before tuition vote

Monday, May 29, 2017

Fire raises questions about Los Alamos lab

A recent fire has put a national laboratory’s ability to operate safely into question.

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board announced Friday that it will hold a hearing next month to discuss the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. The board is an independent panel that advises the U.S. Department of Energy and the president.

A fire broke mid-April at the lab’s PF-4 plutonium building, where the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons are produced. Lab officials said that the fire was put out quickly and caused only minor injuries.

According to the report, the board is unsure whether the lab is fit to continue to operate and handle increasing quantities of plutonium in coming years after a series of problems with management in maintenance and cleanup.

Friday, May 26, 2017

NNSA Seeking Federal Staffing Boost

"...Meanwhile, recruitment and retention of technical talent at NNSA labs remains an ongoing concern..."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Impeachment impact

Suppose Trump is impeached in the next few months and some are saying that this is going to happen, what does this do for the contract changes? It may not even be Pence who stays they may say Russia had hold of the whole administration and we have to put Hillary in charge? What happens than to the labs and NNSA?

Goldstein to lead UC bid for LANL!

Goldstein to lead UC bid for LANL!
Is this a joke?


I have heard a different name but Goldstein would make more sense than the name I have heard and Goldstein would lend some actual credibility to a bid team from UC. Than again maybe it is all bs. The blog seems to have the same level accuracy as the NYT and WSP when it comes to anonymous sources. Sorry Scooby I don't want to disparage the blog by making this comparison but I was just trying to make a point ;)

Scooby: your comment foes not bother because the blog isn't  the WSJ or the NYT. 🙂

What will happen to LANL TCP1?

Does anyone have a sense as to the future of the LANL TCP-1 (Pension) under a new M&O contractor. Will they have to continue it for transferring employees or freeze it and force employees into a 401K plan?

The current contract (Clause H-36) says this - "If the Contract expires, or is terminated and an award is made to a follow-on management and operating contractor, as a part of the transition to another entity and in accordance with Contracting Officer direction and applicable law the Contractor shall transfer sponsorship of site-specific pension and other benefit plans covering employees at the Laboratory to the follow-on management and operating contractor."

But does this mean transferring employees will continue to accrue benefits under TCP-1?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

NM locals demand LANL remain for profit!

  1. Public officials from Northern New Mexico communities are renewing a push to try to ensure that Los Alamos National Laboratory and its contractors continue to pay gross receipts taxes on their purchases.

    Under state law, the communities and the state would lose tens of millions of dollars a year in gross receipts taxes if a nonprofit group takes over management of the lab next year when the Department of Energy puts a new contractor in place. The lab is now managed by a for-profit consortium, which is required to pay gross receipts taxes.

Comment :
  1. "These communities need this revenue!"

    Perhaps, but could someone point out some improvements made by these revenues since the contract change? There may be some but even in Los Alamos, any improvements seem to be to the county officials and buddies rather than to the actual community. I hope it is different in the other parts of New Mexico but I have my doubts.

Monday, May 15, 2017

UC bid for LANL

  1. What will the UC bid for LANL look like? With the PAD level (all?) retired, what does UC have to offer in competition? Who are the new PAD and AD levels? Who will be the Director? LLNL people coming in again or not?

    After the Sandia winner any team with any players can win. How can UC win?

  3. Very simple... UC drops all the current LANS/LLNS industrial partners and then UC teams with Honeywell for a LANL bid and with Battelle for a LLNL bid. These are its best shots, not say these LLC would win, but UC has zero chance if it stays with Bechtel.

  4. After the Sandia winner any team with any players can win. How can UC win?

    May 14, 2017 at 11:05 PM

    You may be right that anything can happen. I have heard that there is UC team with team leaders that are internal LANL people who expect that if they win they will be the next high up managers, director etc. Judging from who these people are and lack of weapons experience I say the odds are slim. To be honest it seems like UC will be putting a bid as a favor and doing as little as possible on their end and are letting the LANL side put the whole thing together. Could it work, who knows.

    One could try the pitch that LANL is soo utterly different than anything else that only internal LANL who have been there for 25 years can possibly hope to run it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Where's Ed Moses?

Has Ed Moses been in the public eye since he left the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO)?

Heather Wilson

  1. The ethical swamp monster who received $450,000 of government funds even though there is no evidence that work performed had been completed is now your SecAF.
  2. ALL 4 Labs she worked for have refuted the baseless claims against Heather Wilson.

    Read the Wiki page, she is very qualified.

    Sheesh, Owebama earns $400K for each 90 minute speech and these hypocritical Dims say nothing. Disgusting. Wilson worked for years to get that kind of money.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

LANL: worst place to work in all of the complex

LANL still has the market cornered. Worst place to work in all of the complex.

So you know this first hand but still work there? Why? Self-abuse? If it is not first hand, why repeat innuendo and rumor? Either way, you are a complete jerk. Thousands of good people disagree with you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"LANL still has the market cornered. Worst place to work in all of the complex. "

True expect that it is not true, at least by all the people that want to work at LANL and want the pay, but hey don't let a good narrative get in your way. I am no fan of LANS but you did say the "complex" and so it is. You could say the world or the world of science and you may have a partial argument but the, LANL is not the worst place in the complex, never has been and never will be, and yes some of us know this for a fact. There are of course some who have personal reasons that cause them to say, that is to say they have no choice but to say, to proclaim, that LANL is the Devil, but those are personal reasons, very very,...very, personal reasons and not as we shall say rational reasons to say that LANL is the Devil. We all have personal reasons for our motivations but some are more personal than others if you know what I mean and some of the posters know exactly what I mean.

Nevada National Security Site contract

The National Nuclear Security Administration has for a second time awarded the management and operations contract for its Nevada National Security Site – this time to Mission Support and Test Services LLC (MSTS), a partnership of Honeywell International, Jacobs and Stroller Newport News

Perry's visits

Perry visited the DoE 'problem children' this week

Anyone get any good takeaways from the LANL or WIPP visits?

California yanks $50M from UCOP

It has been a bad couple weeks for UCOP over the hidden slush fund, audit tampering, and Napalitano hearing testimony under oath that was refuted by internal e-mails. Now they have ticked off the Governor as well.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I’m not in the business of opining on my colleagues,” Brown said. “Most people think she’s doing a pretty good job. That’s certainly the view of the regents and I think a lot of others. I have my issues with the university. I think their salaries are way too high, especially the administrators.”"

Well at least the the labs the salaries of the managers is not too high...oops, never mind. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

WIPP Receives Shipment of LANL Waste

MAY 09, 2017
WIPP Receives Shipment of LANL Waste

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico has taken delivery of some transuranic waste generated at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and formerly stored at the privately operated Waste Control Specialists disposal site near Andrews, Texas, sources in New Mexico said.

WIPP took delivery of the waste last week. The sources did not quantify the amount of material in the shipment, but did say the waste was not the potentially explosive, improperly packaged nitrate salts from Los Alamos that caused the 2014 radiation leak that shut the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant down for almost three years.

The Energy Department and Nuclear Waste Partnership, the prime contractor for WIPP, did not immediately reply to requests for comment Monday.

In 2014, Waste Control Specialists took custody of more than 100 barrels of nitrate salt waste from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The company has stored the material under contract with Nuclear Waste Partnership under a deal that was recently extended through September. DOE has refused to make the value of the latest extension public, but the contract’s base and option periods through March were worth about $25 million.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Bid extension request

DOE asked bidders for the NNSS contract to extend their bids until 30 June 2017. Are they applying lessons learned form the Sandia transition?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

UC President forced to testify

  1. UC President forced to testify on audit scandal and coverup of slush fund

    The Cali performance is a good warm up act for her when she gets hauled before US Congress to testify on how UC is doing such a great job with the NNSA.

  2. from the LA Times article:

    "Napolitano said she regretted how the issue was handled, but wanted to make sure the auditors' surveys of campuses were accurate."
  3. Numerous e-mails contradict Napolitano testimony on audit cover-up

    Even if only a fraction of what is in this story is correct, the e-mail trail could lead to numerous resignations and perhaps even some criminal charges.

DOE budget

DOE's numbers in the finalized FY17 budget agreement to fund the government through September...

The Energy and Water bill provides $31.182 billion for DOE. This amount is $1.438 billion more than the fiscal year 2016 level. 


Nuclear Weapons: The bill provides $9.318 billion, which is $471 million more than the fiscal year 2016 level, for nuclear weapons activities. This amount will advance life extension programs for the B61 gravity bomb and the W76 and W88 submarine-launched warheads; invest in the science, technology and engineering needed to maintain a safe and secure stockpile without underground nuclear weapons testing; and upgrade or replace aging infrastructure, especially for uranium and plutonium activities. 

Scientific Discovery: The bill provides $5.392 billion, $42 million more than the fiscal year 2016 level, for the Office of Science. The Office of Science is the largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, and supports 22,000 researchers at 17 national laboratories and more than 300 universities. The bill continues to advance the highest priorities in materials research, high performance computing and biology to maintain U.S. scientific leadership. 

Applied Energy Research and Development: The bill provides $4.311 billion for applied energy programs, $123 million more than the fiscal year 2016 level. This funding supports research, development, demonstration and deployment of an extensive range of clean energy technologies, including for nuclear, fossil and renewable energy applications, that keep the United States at the forefront of energy innovation. This amount includes $306 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop next-generation, innovative energy technologies. 

Nonproliferation: The bill provides $1.902 billion for nonproliferation activities that reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. This amount will continue efforts to secure and permanently eliminate remaining stockpiles of dangerous nuclear and radiological materials around the world. The bill also invests in new technologies that can detect uranium and plutonium production activities in foreign countries. 

Naval Reactors: The bill provides $1.420 billion, which is $45 million more than the fiscal year 2016 level, for naval reactors. This amount includes $214 million to continue the design of a 40- year nuclear reactor core to power the Ohio-class submarine, and $124 million to refuel a research and training reactor in New York. 

Environmental Cleanup: The bill provides a total of $6.420 billion, $201 million more than the fiscal year 2016 level, for environmental cleanup activities across the DOE complex.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Interesting new Website...

Interesting new Website...

"The privatization has placed the LANL and LLNL science and engineering missions in jeopardy. The focus has shifted to meeting the contract performance goals and earning maximum fee, resulting in less tolerance for the open debate and discussion that is necessary both for good science and engineering and for regulatory compliance. The changed environment has affected careers through program misdirection and loss of trained personnel, and has escalated a decline in science and engineering productivity. Both Labs have suffered from a decline in recruitment and a continued loss of senior people. All of this has happened while costing taxpayers an additional 300-400 million dollars per year, more than half of which is in management bonuses."

UPTE meets with public about LANL contract change

UPTE meets with public about LANL contract change

By Tris DeRoma
Los Alamos Monitor
Friday, April 28, 2017 

Representatives of the University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE), which has a chapter at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, urged people at a town hall meeting to help it make changes to the laboratory’s management and operations structure.

“We put together this panel to initiate this discussion, which we hope will turn into an ongoing discussion over the next number of months as the requests for proposals for the next LANL contract is being composed and created within the DOE (Department of Energy) and the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration),” said UPTE System-wide Executive Vice President Jeff Colvin.

When the lab’s operations and management contract comes up for rebid sometime this year, UPTE is hoping a non-profit entity takes it over, instead of a for profit entity, which is what the lab has now under Los Alamos National Security LLC. Representatives at the meeting told the audience the for-profit model has led to a LANL being a national lab without a sense of mission, like it had in the days of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.

“The ironic thing is that industry was brought in to organize the labs and make them more efficient,” UPTE Tri-Labs Task Force member Mike Fluss said to the audience. “The consequence has been is that industry has brought in chaos and has made the lab more expensive.”...

...“What has happened has become a place where managing the physical plant, it’s called tactical management, has been emphasized at the expense of, rather than for, the mission focus,” Fluss said. “Short term milestones and box checking have taken over, and this has resulted in a loss of focus on mission success and a focus on profit first, safety and environment second.”

Recommendations from the UPTE include the creation of a steering council that would be directly accountable to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and chaired by LANL’s director. The council would also include LANL scientists and engineers as members. Other changes include The DOE developing 10-year, long range plans for LANL, and a management structure would be built around those plans.

The plan’s more notable change would come with the millions of dollars of gross receipts tax the lab contributes to the state each year, which is then given to counties where the labs are located. If the DOE does decide on a not-for-profit contract, the state stands to lose about $200 million a year.

UPTE reps said under their plan neither the state nor Los Alamos County would be affected by the loss of the gross receipts tax.

“Any reduction for gross receipts taxes currently paid to the state of New Mexico should be compensated by substantially equivalent contribution to New Mexico educational institutions and local governments in consultation with the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities,” a statement in the UPTE proposal said.

Also on the panel at the town hall style meeting was the regional coalition’s executive director, Andrea Romero.

The RCLC recently drafted state legislation that should the contract go to a non-profit, the state’s $200 million in gross receipts tax revenue that comes from New Mexico’s National Laboratories would be secured...

...UPTE has voiced support for the gross receipts tax bill in the legislature as well.

At the end of the meeting UPTE officials urged audience members to go to their website at and learn more and to sign up for mailings on future meetings.

“This was very good,” Colvin said. “This is just the start of the process. We will be back as the process unfolds.”

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