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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

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

who will it be?

The calendar is counting down until McMillan departs, and UC has not yet announced who they will put in as a caretaker until the contract expires next year. Names floated include each of the current PADS, bringing Anastasio back from retirement, Gibbs, and Budil. What are the current odds on each of these, and is an obvious pick emerging?

Protecting tax proceeds paid by LANL

NM continues to view the national labs as a local revenue stream "The misstep was a case of too much lawmaking and not enough common sense. With a 30-day legislative session set to start in January, both the governor and lawmakers need to get together on a simple stand-alone bill that will protect the GRT revenue stream from LANL or again leave the state’s fiscal future in the hands of Washington, D.C."
 http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/business/protecting-tax-proceeds-paid-by-los-alamos-national-laboratory/article_2c628c3e-3bd2-5fa5-9d65-637861e012a2.html

Top page headline from Australia leading news outlet

Top page headline from Australia leading news outlet 'According to The Centre for Public Integrity, a pair of workers with “cavalier attitudes” at the Los Alamos National Laboratory stuffed “so much plutonium into a small space that they came close to triggering an accidental nuclear chain reaction, all to get some photos”. Their actions “nearly doomed a room full of colleagues”, according to a CPI report. “Plutonium is the unstable, radioactive, man-made fuel of a nuclear explosion, and it isn’t amenable to showboating,” it said. “When too much is put in one place, it becomes ‘critical’ and begins to fission uncontrollably, spontaneously sparking a nuclear chain reaction, which releases energy and generates a deadly burst of radiation.” And it gets much, much worse. Los Alamos National Laboratory in Santa Fe, New Mexico — responsible for the design of nuclear warheads — was a top secret facility during World War II and the birthplace of the atomic bomb. But it is in a state

Monday, October 30, 2017

Letter to Perry

Letter to Perry outlines numerous failures in LANL drill responses 
https://www.abqjournal.com/1083886/emergency-drills-weak-at-lanl-report-says-ex-federal-nuclear-safety-panel-finds-numerous-shortfalls.html

 A spokesman for LANL had no comment. A statement was provided by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the agency under the U.S. Department of Energy that includes the nation’s nuclear weapons labs. “NNSA and LANL have a comprehensive emergency management program in place that is routinely tested and validated through drills and exercises, with a focus on continuous improvement,” said NNSA spokesperson Lindsey Geisler. “As noted in the DNFSB’s letter, NNSA and LANL are taking proactive measures to strengthen emergency preparedness and response based on lessons learned from these drills and exercises. NNSA is committed to having world-class emergency management capabilities to protect our employees, the public and the environment.”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Missing link

Respectfully, "Trump urged to abolish nuclear safety" is missing the web link below: 
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/10/19/21217/gop-chair-nuclear-safety-agency-secretly-urges-trump-abolish-it

Trump urged to abolish nuclear safety

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) "GOP chair of nuclear safety agency secretly urges Trump to abolish it" "The chairman of a panel charged with protecting workers at nuclear weapons facilities as well as nearby communities has told the White House he favors downsizing or abolishing the group, despite recent radiation and workplace safety problems that injured or endangered people at the sites it helps oversee...Sullivan’s position is consistent with the longstanding preferences of the large private contractors that produce and maintain the country’s nuclear arms, most of which also contribute heavily to congressional election campaigns and spend sizable sums lobbying Washington. The board and its expert staff are now probing what it considers to be additional safety lapses or deficiencies that would cost weapons contractors millions of dollars to fix...Three other board members, all Democrats, have said in written complaints about Sullivan’s proposal that he was not on 

Top 10 in 2017

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/safety-board-says-lanl-unready-to-handle-emergency/article_4d220d87-a9d9-5f18-8b88-82274133f5b1.html

There is a list of 10 significant LANL safety events in 2017 at the end of the story. While 3 of them relate to environmental issues, the other 7 each deal with sustained problems in the plutonium facility. 

How will this situation be dealt with in the bidding process? PF-4 now falls under the PAD-WP and clearly Webster has not been up to the task of changing the culture, as required in the NNSA request for proposal.

Friday, October 27, 2017

NNSA Preparing to Seek Bids on New Albuquerque Facility

Federal oversight constructing new $250 million administration building for 1,200 employees in NM OCTOBER 24, 2017 NNSA Preparing to Seek Bids on New Albuquerque Facility The Department of Energy is preparing to solicit bids for a new three-story office building at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Albuquerque Complex on Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, according to a procurement note released last week. The semiautonomous nuclear agency expects to release plans for the new building around Nov. 17. Proposals would be due around Jan. 2, according to a presolicitation notice posted online Thursday. The 330,000-square-foot building will provide new workspace for about 1,200 employees who currently work in aging facilities that date to the Manhattan Project. According to the presolicitation notice, the new facility will cost somewhere between $100 million and $250 million. The Albuquerque Complex houses mostly administration personnel and is part of NNSA .

UT and A&M plan to not team up together on LANL bid

http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/A-M-UT-may-compete-over-Los-Alamos-bid-12308718.php


Texas A&M University System regents last week authorized an administrator to explore the development of a proposal to manage and operate the laboratory, the facility responsible for the safety and reliability of the country’s nuclear weapons.

The U.S. Department of Energy – headed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a prominent Texas A&M University alumnus – issued an official request for proposals on Wednesday. Bids are due on Dec. 11. (A&M said this week it had not contacted Perry about the competition.)

Both systems said they’d be open to partnering with academic and business entities – but it appears unlikely that they’ll team up for the bid.

UT Vice Chancellor David Daniel said in a statement this week that UT could “not identify a role” for the A&M system had "elected not to partner with them on Los Alamos.”

He acknowledged, however, that UT is working out “a number of details” still.

Some lab observers say even the best new management won't be able to rectify the facility's issues, including what they call a culture of secrecy that prevents accountability.

The complex facility has seen high-profile safety and security concerns over several decades, including reports of missing property and fraud.

The company had not always resolved "significant and long-standing nuclear safety deficiencies," according to a DOE memo from July 2015. When the company could not address safety concerns, it had to suspend some activities between 2013 and 2015.
That memo also said LANS struggled to implement multiple critical nuclear safety management requirements.

Later that year, officials announced that Los Alamos' contract would not be extended after low performance, the Associated Press reported.

Successful decontamination

The final RFP for the new M&O for LANL came out this week from NNSA, followed by a weekly report from the DNFSB indicating that work control problems are not yet resolved in the plutonium facility



https://www.abqjournal.com/1083974/los-alamos-workers-exposed-to-radiation-excerpt-lab-says-three-employees-were-successfully-decontaminated.html


Radioactive material was released last month when pipefitters at Los Alamos National Laboratory removed a plug from a service panel on a sealed glovebox in the lab’s plutonium facility, according a report by an independent federal safety panel.

“All three workers were contaminated on their protective clothing,” including one on his skin in the chest area, “which was successfully decontaminated,” says the report posted by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s Los Alamos staff.

The safety board report says two pipefitters, accompanied by a radiological control technician, were replacing elbows on the service panel with shorter versions when the plug was removed because was interfering with turning one of the elbows. “This was the same work crew and glovebox involved” in another recent, previously reported contamination event, the report states.

In the previous event, access to the plutonium facility and movement of all personnel were suspended for about two hours after radiological control technicians found contamination on the protective clothing of several workers.

More plutonium problems

Reports of more problems for LANL and plutonium workers


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/three-los-alamos-lab-workers-contaminated-in-accident/article_32d1f5e5-5752-57c2-b7c3-fd279c9769a3.html

More training to come


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/three-los-alamos-lab-workers-contaminated-in-accident/article_32d1f5e5-5752-57c2-b7c3-fd279c9769a3.html

Fusion program

Article on Sandia Z that inadvertently manages to show what a wasted effort their fusion program is:  
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43nwp3/fusion-energy-explainer-z-machine-general-fusion-sandia-national-labs

DOE made the right decision to go with NIF. Why they maintain failed legacy efforts like Z is inexplicable

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

RFP for LANL

NNSA releases final RFP for LANL M&O contract NNSA refused to budge on the numerous requests to apportion the failures of the current contractor to various parent companies and stuck with their view that all of them will receive failing ratings on the past performance criterion. M-4 TECHNICAL AND MANAGEMENT CRITERIA The following criteria are listed with degrees of importance. Criterion 1 and 2 are of equal importance and, when combined, are significantly more important than Criterion 3. (a) Criterion 1: PAST PERFORMANCE The Government will not apportion past performance under a DOE, NNSA, or other contract differently among parent companies that have teamed for the purposes of said contract; all parent companies under a contract will be equally credited (positively and negatively) for past performance for that contract

Monday, October 23, 2017

NNSA to DOD.


What happened to all the talk earlier this year of moving NNSA into DOD or reabsorbing it into DOE. Seems the same old status quo that everyone thinks is broken has won out. 

US Preparing to Put Nuclear B-52 Bombers Back on 24 Hour Alert


http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2017/10/exclusive-us-preparing-put-nuclear-bombers-back-24-hour-alert/141957/?oref=d-topstory Interesting comment from this story that has potential implications for NNSA labs... "[General] Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat... During his trip across the country last week, Goldfein encouraged airmen to think beyond Cold War uses for ICBMs, bombers and nuclear cruise missiles. “I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?” 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bank layoff

Los Alamos Bank lays off 10% of workforce With all the other boarded up store fronts in town and closed businesses, this is just one more sign that the money is running out. 
http://www.lamonitor.com/content/bank-lays-26-part-realignment

Friday, October 20, 2017

FAQs on MSTS LLC

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

Town out of growth?

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Nevada transition offers

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

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

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

Board elimination

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

Charlie's all hands

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rumor has it...

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

Increase in nukes

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

NNSA Statement on LANL

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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Huge NSA breach the third one.

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


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


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

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

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Locals looking for more.

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Union for 430 Sandia Labs Employees Authorizes a Strike

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

UC makes solo bid?

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

Interested Parties

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

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