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 author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email


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Friday, June 30, 2017

Contractors change, accidents keep happening

While the below happened on LANS watch, it is nothing new for LANL. Go back and review the UC record at LANL and you will discover that rigging and hoisting was a persistent problem then as well. 

'Of all the FUBARS that Charlie reviewed he forgot to mention the $10M package that was recently dropped and destroyed when inadequate lifts were used and the package toppled to ground.

The PADNW confirmed this yesterday, it was an HVAC system. Stated they used 2 straps instead of the required 4. Fortunately, no one was standing under it. Another $10M down the LANS drain.'

Another Fire at LANL but Not a Fire Just Flames

On Wednesday, May 31, two post-doctoral researchers at the TA-48 Radiochemistry facility observed flames from the depleted uranium metal turnings that they were cleaning with nitric acid in a fume hood. The researchers choose not to fight the fire, closed the hood sash, pulled the fire alarm, and contacted 911. The Los Alamos County Fire Department, LANL emergency management, and the LANL hazardous materials team responded. No radioactive contamination, injuries, or damage beyond the containment tray in the fume hood occurred. Facility, program, and emergency response personnel held a fact-finding on Thursday to discuss the response. Of relevance to the broader emergency management program at the laboratory, several individuals indicated that they did not receive a mass notification message to stay clear of TA-48 because the notification is based on office location and some TA-48 users have their offices in other locations. No corrective action was assigned for this point. Facility personnel discussed challenges using their accountability process during the lunch hour and proposed to review the process and conduct a future accountability drill. Management also concluded that the fire did not meet Department of Energy reporting criteria for a fire and instead reported the event as a management concern.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Employee opinion

Is Charlie still planning to go ahead with the Gallup poll of employee opinions? What a waste of money after the Kiwi did his feel good cheer for LANS, and then was arrested a few months later for being a sex offender.

More on how Moniz viewed the safety culture at LANL

In that episode the final Accident Investigation Board report said supervisors had “fostered a culture where employees do not feel comfortable raising safety issues to management.” Ernest Moniz, secretary of Energy from May 2013 to January 2017, said shortly before leaving that the day the drum exploded at WIPP was by far the worst day of his tenure. Los Alamos, he said in a subsequent interview with CPI, had “inadequate quality control in how they were packaging the wastes. There is no sugarcoating that.”

Moniz also said that during his tenure, there was “a clear pattern” in which the nuclear weapons laboratories were annually ranked more poorly by his department on their “operations” than on their other tasks, with Los Alamos “in particular…the lowest.” He said he had “no doubt they have had some management problems.”

APS summary of some of the recent LANL screwups and new contract coming

Phys.Org 2017-06 Multibillion dollar los-alamos lab

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Improper LANL shipment involved Plutonium

Improper LANL shipment involved Plutonium

And so it begins.

The Los Alamos Daily Post has obtained a copy of an email issued this afternoon by the director of NNSA's Office of Governmental Affairs. The email states that DOE/NNSA will issue a public notice Tuesday alerting potential offerors of its intent to conduct a competition for the management and operating (M&O) follow-on contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
The public notice will be available on various websites for which links will go live by close of business Tuesday.

Another rumor is it stays as a for profit LLC. Bidders are Honeywell with U of Texas, UC with Batelle, Lockheed with ?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Rumor has it...

Has anyone heard about another recent LANL crit safety violation? Word has been leaking out around the complex that they are covering up in order to avoid a large fine.

Blog appearance

Your ads and over-writing of text on top of each other renderthe blog unreadble on an android device.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Anthem to stop selling Obamacare plans in Wisconsin.

This was just marvelous news - after what LLNL did to retiree health plans. What are we going to have left to turn to when the last insurer bolts? Not just Wisconsin, carriers across the county are leaving the system.

Friday, June 23, 2017

U.S. regulators to investigate after Los Alamos lab improperly shipped nuclear material

The Labor Department loosens a rule on beryllium exposure

From 6/23/17
You haven’t heard of it since chemistry class, but beryllium is a chemical toxic to lung tissue. The Department of Labor took years to finalize a rule protecting workers from exposure, and didn’t issue the final version until the tail end of Obama’s presidency—January 9, to be exact. It was always at risk of removal by the Republican Congress, which could have repealed it with just a majority vote, but it survived until now.
On Friday, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule on beryllium exposure; it doesn’t change the original exposure limits imposed by Obama but instead eliminates additional safety requirements for the construction and shipyard industries, such as conducting medical surveillance or providing training for those workers who are near, but not above, the exposure limits. Labor groups slammed the change, saying that it would lead to more lung disease and cancer among workers. Industry groups applauded the changes; the original rule, they argued, was too restrictive.
The DOL must still go through a full rule-making process, so the new beryllium rule won’t be finalized for months. In the meantime, the department said it wouldn’t be enforcing the Obama-era rule.

LLNL & LANL pensions

Only a matter of time before LLNL and LANL pension plans are sold off to insurance company

Consulting and outsourcing services provider Accenture Plc (ACN.N) said on Friday it would transfer $1.6 billion in pension obligations to insurers American International Group Inc (AIG.N) and MassMutual.

The transfer includes about $600 million in lump-sum payments to about 7,000 current and former U.S. employees of Accenture and $1 billion in purchases of annuities from insurance companies.

U.S. insurers are buying corporate pension plans at a record clip as rising interest rates and all-time high stock-market values give companies the perfect excuse to offload them.

Calculating they can make more money from selling companies an annuity to cover the cost of the pension plans and then invest the proceeds in bonds and other securities, insurers are competing to persuade corporate America to sell them their pension risk.

Pension transfers totaling $13.7 billion were finalised last year, up 1 percent from 2015, according to LIMRA, an industry trade group. The figure is the second highest annual total ever recorded, LIMRA said.

The average corporate pension fund was 83 percent funded in May, according to Mercer Investment Consulting


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.”

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.

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