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 jlscoob5@gmail.com

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Safety, security and private management

Light penalties and lax oversight encourage weak safety culture at nuclear weapons labs...Explosions, fires, and radioactive exposures are among the workplace hazards that fail to make a serious dent in private contractor profits"
https://apps.publicintegrity.org/nuclear-negligence/light-penalties/

37 comments:

Anonymous said...



I am very confused. I though LANL is the problem lab but this article makes it seem like Sandia is the problem lab. I thought the joke was when DOE says jump Sandia JUMPS, LLNL makes a study and LANL says F*U. Sandia sounds like the basket case of the complex. I guess it does jump, but jumps off the cliff.

To be fair this article does seem to have it in for Sandia. I think a little digging will reveal a bit of conflict of issue on the part of the authors. Again no solid numbers are given just lots of speculation. Is this just another example of Fake News?

Anonymous said...

Just a little digging on the authors... The Santa Fe New Mexican...hmm. Now there is a trusted and unbiased source. To be honest something about these articles seems a bit off. Lots of speculation and innuendo but thin on facts. I am no fan of the for profit models but I sure as hell don't trust these guys.


Patrick Malone joined the Center for Public Integrity in May 2015 to cover national security. He spent 20 years reporting on justice, politics and deep investigations for newspapers in Colorado and New Mexico, most recently at The Santa Fe New Mexican. The Associated Press Media Editors recognized his work with honorable mention in the public service category of its national Journalism Excellence Awards for reporting that uncloaked secrets behind a radiation accident caused by Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2014. Malone also received a national award for health care policy reporting from the Association of Health Care Journalists for an expose in 2014 that revealed how hospitals leverage inflated consumer health care costs into tax breaks. He has received dozens of regional journalism awards for his coverage of cover-ups involving sexual abuse by Catholic priests, culture and corruption inside the Colorado prison system, and money and influence in politics, among other subjects.

Anonymous said...

Small fry. Insinificant, mostly few and far between, exaggerated by someone needing to make a living. Journalists are most often pestilence.

Anonymous said...

If the same story is not confirmed in our Lab Newsline it can't be true right?

Anonymous said...

https://www.publicintegrity.org/ An enlightened thinking individual can draw his own conclusions about the bias of the organization. They probably want all the NNSA labs to be converted to working on green energy and combating global warming.

Anonymous said...

The Center For Public Integrity is neither.

Anonymous said...

"If the same story is not confirmed in our Lab Newsline it can't be true right?

July 2, 2017 at 6:16 PM"

No, as someone said just read the articles yourself and you can see lots of innuendo without actual numbers to back anything up. I have no problem with activism but at least be honest about it and say this is some kind of unbiased journalism.

Anonymous said...

"Lots of speculation and innuendo but thin on facts."

From the article, which DOE/NNSA identified accidents at Sandia, LANL, and LLNL did not occur?

Anonymous said...


"From the article, which DOE/NNSA identified accidents at Sandia, LANL, and LLNL did not occur?

July 2, 2017 at 8:13 PM"

You fail to see the point. Yes those incidents did occur however without any comparison to other intuitions of similar size be it other DOE labs or industrial sites you have no idea how often they occur or the rate compared to these. For all you know the rate may be much lower. The article provides no information on this or possibly worse, the authors could have the information but deliberately choose not to show it since it would cast doubt on their narrative. The innuendo is that the NNSA labs are riddled with incidents beyond the norm, however incidents have also occurred at Oak Ridge, ANL, SLAC and so on, are we to believe that these are also highly troubled places? Again one needs to take a realistic look at the numbers and fact not innuendo.

I do not mean to be rude but next time you read any kind of "news" article try thinking critically for a second. Just ask yourself, does this make sense, do they really have credible evidence to back up these claims, is this the whole story, and so on.

I don't like the term fake news or the term culture but there is something to this. Here is some "speculation" on my part, I think when journalism become driven by profit it corrupted the news culture. They found that they could sell more magazines, get more viewers ect if they told the audience what they wanted to hear not the facts. Any news organization that stuck to the old fashion approach got left behind. It is sort of like the Tour de France, if everyone else is cheating you also have to cheat to be competitive. Again this just some random thoughts on my part.

Anonymous said...

Labs running on tax payer dollars will always be under the microscope. The LANS performance fee was only reduced a fraction of what the actual WIPP damages were, while a true free market company might have fell into bankruptcy. DOE funded Labs with profit flow check-valves are not burdened with free market rules of sustained excellence, and thats why the poor "safety culture" at the DOE Labs is baked in the cake.

Anonymous said...

"DOE funded Labs with profit flow check-valves are not burdened with free market rules of sustained excellence, and thats why the poor "safety culture" at the DOE Labs is baked in the cake.

July 3, 2017 at 11:27 AM"

Again one needs real numbers and comparisons to say if DOE labs indeed have a poor safety culture.
This is what has been lacking the entire time. I can also just through out that the MBL has a poor safety culture since we know of people getting hurt, however unless you have real numbers and comparisons it is a meaningless statement.

Anonymous said...

The labs are generally well managed. Most infractions are minor thst are amplified by anti-Nukes to undermine the weapons establishment. A few errors are more significant, but generally managed and remediated. Not unusual for an important endeavor employing thousands in vaired and complicated tasks. The ignorant sponsors exacerbate the appearance of problems ss they arise. Complainers rather than resolute problem solvers, they are in disarray. NNSA is a place where major staff and salary reductions are warranted.

Anonymous said...

NNSA could completely disappear and the world would be a better place.

Anonymous said...

So 5:27 am what level of management are you, PAD? If the "labs are generally well managed," why are there so few criticality safety experts working there? Also to the poster who wants to see the accident statistics compared with those of other large industrial companies, what are you thinking? The things the Laboratories handle are exceptionally dangerous. This is why these materials are only handled by facilities that are supposed to be carefully monitored and have the expertise to do things like criticality assessments. Their accident statistics MUST be MUCH, MUCH better than other industrial facilities. Did you not notice the point that NNSA staff are limited because the contractors want limited oversight? That may sound great until you have to spend billions cleaning up their messes. If the contractors cannot run these facilities with a MUCH higher level of safety than a typical concern, the work has to stop. The fact that these contractors get paid a fortune and still cannot carry out their work safely means the management is inept and needs to go. And I really mean "go" not the usual business of putting the same monkeys in a tree with a different name like LANS.

People on this blog act like it is no big deal when these accidents happen but the people who have to work in these areas end up being injured or exposed to dangerous material far too often. The people who do these jobs know they are likely trading their health to take care of their families and that isn't right.

Anonymous said...

July 4, 2017 at 4:32 PM

You have some very good points. One of the biggest is that the NNSA labs should be in fact much better than that of standard industry. However the problem is that when something does go wrong there seems to be no effort to fix things but instead there is rush to blame the workforce. This is not just on the part of LANS, but also NNSA, DOE and congress. The labs started down this path when the WHL thing was pushed to the roof followed by Nanos. When something goes wrong you blame the culture, not management, not NNSA, not DOE. What one should say when something goes wrong is that labs should and must be held to a much higher standard which is part of the job and also why would should be proud of the job and this is what we are going to do to fix it. We have never heard this, ever. All you get is the evil culture of rat like workers of nerds are the problem.

Beat the workers and exalt the management. You never hear things like "we should listen to what the people on the ground are saying", what are they saying are the problems that need to be improved to do the job. Again all you get is that you should shut up, be ashamed that you are not a manager, know that you are what they mean by culture and if you have any sort of issue, concern or problem than you are welcome to leave oh and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. We can replace you scum like nothing. There are few criticality safety experts at the labs because they are not managers. They are just people and people come and go, there is nothing special about them. When you have that kind of attitude than you can see the results.

In other words the manta of labs is "people don't matter". As long they have this issue, along with NNSA and DOE in general than things will stay the same, we will always be average or below average. This has been just a rant, but please tell me when you have you ever heard upper management at the labs, NNSA, or even DOE say that "people matter".

Anonymous said...

In other words the manta of labs is "people don't matter".

This is a very accurate and insightful observation. It is in fact one of the crucial "cultural" factors separating LANL from top universities and companies. Places like Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Google or Facebook are obsessed with excellence, which to them means identifying, recruiting and retaining the best people. I've seen them fight tooth and nail for every top performer. In contrast, the managers at LANL are famous for spouting things like "no one is irreplaceable", "there is an oversupply of PhDs", "it is ok to lose people so long as you can hire some new ones". And in the short term this seems to make sense, as the management bonuses keep coming. Over time though the whole institution slowly rots to the core.

Anonymous said...


The term "no one is irreplaceable" has some value in that the labs are a team so that they whole place will not grind to halt if one person leaves. The issue is you do not need to go around and say this very week and make it the priority management point. It creates that culture that people don't matter. If people don't matter does what the institution matter or how the institution does it matter? The better attitude is that people do matter, that we listen to the people and that the people are they key to labs success. A culture of excellence provides excellence on all levels.

I have actually heard certain PADs saying the exact thing "no one is irreplaceable", "there is an oversupply of PhDs", "it is ok to lose people so long as you can hire some new ones", along with retention is not something we should be doing, the landscape is always changing so cycling people through is fine, and the job is what you make as there is no actual value in what you do. You can sense the utter disdain this person has for "the people". I have heard similar stories under other directorates.

Maybe you are right this approach comes from the year to to year "management bonuses keep coming". A related issue is that bonus is much more sensitive to screw ups rather than getting stuff done, in other words if you accomplished everything but had a major screw-up you could lose 50-90% of the bonus. If you had no screw ups but failed to get much done you might lose at best 20% of the bonus. It does not take a genius to see why the management does not care about the workforce sense they are seen as just a liability. Also you can sort of see why the management sees itself as different, since they do not actually put in the cat litter, work in labs, do actual stuff, they can claim it has always been the non-management that causes the problems. Under this system if the lab was 100% management than screwups would not occur nether would anything else but you would still get 75% of the bonus. Nifty is it not. You can claim that we are "for profit" but we are not for profit like Google is in that they need people to do stuff. We make a profit by not doing stuff. If you need people to do stuff than people matter but that is not the way our contract was written.

In the old days you could have something like this. Every year you test some bombs, if they work exactly as desired you get a big bonus, if not you get dinged. In that environment having the best people would matter and matter a lot. That essentially is how it worked. Now this model is gone so instead it is. Every year you make sure nothing goes wrong, if nothing goes wrong you get big bonus, if not you get dinged. This creates the "people don't matter" culture which ironically just leads to more screw ups on the long term, however the bonus is only about what you get in the short term.

Anonymous said...

It's amusing people blame NNSA and DOE for failures at LANL, given that many facilities are under their wing, but only LANL reliably surfaces as the unmanageable turd of safety and security lapses. This has been true for decades, and we have LANL to thank for our current LLC management structure. We the people pay these organizations (UC, LANS, LLNL, whatever) to manage the facilities according to rules laid out by NNSA, we even pay staff at field offices to oversee how well the managers are doing, but still LANL can't keep it together. You read it here first, whoever takes over management of LANL will come in with carte blanche to lop off heads and change the culture by force.

Anonymous said...

"It's amusing people blame NNSA and DOE for failures at LANL, given that many facilities are under their wing, but only LANL reliably surfaces as the unmanageable turd of safety and security lapses."

It is true that LANL is often one in the news the most however if you know anything or just a fast check will show that there are plenty of problems in every other lab that are equal or on the level of LANL, and yes this includes the non-NNSA labs as well. Again you need hard numbers to back up your claims yet you will not provide them. If you took the time to read the reports that where justed posted on the blog you will see Sandia has even more problems. The news will not report on Sandia due to the simple fact that no one has ever heard of Sandia.


You simply don't know what you are talking about and spouting the same old "cultural" crap. How do you plan to change the "culture" by force? You sound like another managers are great workers
are bad because workers are what you mean by culture. A fish rots from the head down, beating up the workforce will only make things worse.

Anonymous said...

"and we have LANL to thank for our current LLC management structure"

Ahh, that kind of gives it way. Was it really about LANL being so bad or was it about pushing the perception that LANL is so bad in order get get as much money and prioritize every that could be privatized. LANL is not to blame for current LLC structure, corrupt politicians are to blame. Again if LANL was the cause than why make LLNL private as well...because that was the plan the whole time.

Anonymous said...

LANL shined the spotlight on UC, which also managed LLNL, if you remember. That bright LANL light led to the creation of another layer of bureaucracy, the NNSA, but when that didn't shut down the spotlight it led to the creation of LANS and then LLNS, to replace UC. The appalling lapses that continue even to this day show that it was never the fault of UC, and you can't completely blame LANS either, unless it is for not firing everyone on Day 1 and restarting the lab with 10 people. You are left with the cowboy culture of arrogance at LANL.

Anonymous said...

The records, while not perfect, were somewhat better during the first few years of LANS, when many of the upper managers were not home grown LANL. Since Charlie took over, he has had nothing but trouble, and today most of his minions are long term LANLites. The rank and file workers at LANL are not the issue, it is those that have moved up into management that must be replaced when the new contractor arrives next year.

Anonymous said...

" You are left with the cowboy culture of arrogance at LANL.

July 5, 2017 at 5:50 PM"

Either you are joking or just revealing how insanely bat*t crazy and bitter you are. It is hard to tell on the blog at times.

Anonymous said...

As Vic Reis once said, "It's the same old day-in and day-out safety and security issues at Los Alamos".

Anonymous said...

As Vic Reis once said, "It's the same old day-in and day-out safety and security issues at Los Alamos".

July 5, 2017 at 11:26 PM

Yup! in 2007, twenty long years ago, exactly this summer. In fact, it's worse under the leadership of LANS, the LLC has fixed nothing.

Anonymous said...

Make that 1997.

Anonymous said...

"As Vic Reis once said, "It's the same old day-in and day-out safety and security issues at Los Alamos".

July 5, 2017 at 11:26 PM"


As Vic Reis once said, " It's clear that privatization of the labs has not worked".

Anonymous said...

"Yup! in 2007, twenty long years ago, exactly this summer. In fact, it's worse under the leadership of LANS, the LLC has fixed nothing.

July 6, 2017 at 3:55 AM"

In your case it was twenty long years ago that guards came to escort you off lab property. You have never worked again and blame LANL and your coworkers for your termination. Will you ever step up and take responsibility for yourself or will you continue to remain a pathetic bitter loser lashing out at the world?

Anonymous said...

Bitter Man is so easy to pick out. There is only one person of this forum who calls everyone "bitter" and "loser", projecting his issues onto other posters.

Anonymous said...

Bitter Man is so easy to pick out. There is only one person of this forum who calls everyone "bitter" and "loser", projecting his issues onto other posters.

July 6, 2017 at 7:58 AM

Lets see, you post almost every day about for the past 10 years about Vic Reis, cowboy culture, cesspools, and your all extreme consuming obsessive hate for LANL and hatred of scientists. That sounds like pretty good case for someone who is indeed very bitter and projecting their issues on the blog.

Anonymous said...

You can write the most bitter, horribly biased personal attacks on this blog, but don't use the word "tattoo" or the Evil moderator will erase your post. Watch.

Evil Echo said...

Bzzzt! Thank you for playing, but "tattoo" is not a trigger-word. As a consolation prize we're giving you a case of Rice O'Roni - The San Francisco treat.

The rules are clear - foul language, name-calling, and personal attacks are not allowed. Those comments that fail to follow these simple rules get zapped.

Other than that you can be as bitter as you like.

Anonymous said...

You can write the most bitter, horribly biased personal attacks on this blog, but don't use the word "tattoo" or the Evil moderator will erase your post. Watch.

July 6, 2017 at 9:33 AM

Lets see how long this lasts ;)



Tattoo, tattoo

I got Elvis on my elbow.
When I flex, Elvis talks.
I got hula girls on the back of my leg.
And she hulas when I walk.

Screaching cherry red
Screamin' electric green
Purple mountain's majesty
Really talk to me. Talk to me, babe.

Swap meet Sally, tramp stamp Kat
Mousewife to momshell in the time it took to get that new tattoo.
Tattoo, tattoo

Read more: Van Halen - Tattoo Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Anonymous said...

I work at LANL and it is a cesspool. Worst in the complex.

Anonymous said...



I work at LANL and it is a cesspool. Worst in the complex.

July 8, 2017 at 10:47 PM

How would you know?

Anonymous said...

Thought that the delusional chorus had finally stopped, but looks like it is back.

UC good.
Bechtel bad.

Anonymous said...

UC good.
Bechtel bad.

July 9, 2017 at 11:54 AM

None the less it is true.

Blog Archive