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

Saturday, December 30, 2017

LLNS Pension Recalculation

LLNS Pension Recalculation - May 2017 Hello LLNS Pensioners: Some of you, myself included, may have received a letter from the LLNS Defined Benefit Pension Plan last May 2017. The letter to me indicated that they had discovered an administrative error with my monthly payment. They indicated that I had received overpayments from the plan in all payments since retiring and that I must repay the plan. They proceeded to make a repayment deduction from my monthly pension check. Unfortunately, this repayment deduction was made on an after-tax basis and the so called overpayment was made on a pre-tax basis. This was wrong and they should have known better. Why is this important? Assume that you are incrementally taxed at 25 percent and that they said that you were overpaid $2000 over the course of your retirement. You would have paid $500 in taxes and received $1500 in pension cash. When they applied the after tax repayment deduction they took $2000 out of your pension payments and you are 

Why isn't LLNL NIF mentioned?

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/long-wait-fusion-power-may-be-coming-end-ncna833251

Friday, December 29, 2017

Cases open the door for pension cuts

Based on the 1947 "California Rule", aren't ALL lab employees pension vested in UC/LLNL and UC/LANL prior to the for-profit contract transitions, entitled to the lower medical benefit premiums of their fellow UC employees? "At issue is the “California Rule,” which dates to court rulings beginning in 1947. It says workers enter a contract with their employer on their first day of work, entitling them to retirement benefits that can never be diminished unless replaced with similar benefits." 
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/12/28/cases-could-open-door-to-pension-cuts-for-california-workers/

Perdue bid?

Perdue put in a bid to run Los Alamos? Really, the chicken company or the university. Seriously, what is the connection if any and what is the motivation for some place that has no connection to bid?

So long Norm!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.mx/entry/norman-pattiz-resigns-uc-regent_us_5a45888fe4b0b0e5a7a5a9b5

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bill pre-filed to tax non-profit LANL operator

LANL contract still about the money to local community and state and not about the national mission “We’re trying to prevent the potential of a nonprofit entity taking over the management operation of the lab, which would have, needless to say, a $24 million impact to the state of New Mexico, as well as a $22 million impact to Los Alamos County,” Cisneros said. “It’s a significant concern for all of us that we maintain that status in terms of revenue for both the state and local government.” The bill seeks to specifically target non-profit contractors that take over the management and operations contracts of the state’s two national laboratories now and into the future. http://www.lamonitor.com/content/state-sen-cisneros-prefiles-grt-bill 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Blog name change?

Change the name of this blog. It is no longer relevant to anything at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. How do others that have looked at this blog in the past feel about a name change ? LANL - The Real Story 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cleanup contract

https://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-awards-new-los-alamos-legacy-cleanup-contract 

DOE awards Los Alamos legacy cleanup contract 
act to Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos LLC. The current legacy cleanup contract expires in March 2018 and is held by LANS LLC, the M&O contractor led by the University of California System that also is in the terminal months of a NNSA contract for operating Los Alamos National Laboratory. BWXT is also a minor partner in LANS LLC, along with Bechtel and AECOM. 

Glaring difference

With a tip of the cap to Doug Roberts at the end of the year, this set of comments seems most appropriate once again. Read through them recalling that UC was about to loose the LANL contract and there were two teams bidding to win the follow-on effort. The UC led team and the UT lead team. Glance over the hand wringing that was concerning the pension, which AD and DL were going to stay or depart on the new contract, and is the mission science or is it weapons or is it both. It is playing out about the same once again, with one glaring change. Last time, each team was fully public, including each industrial partner and who was leading the effort as the DIR candidate. Why are the teams refusing this time to be public with all members? 

http://www.parrot-farm.net/lanl-the-real-story/2005/06/summer-doldrums.html

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

DOE awards Los Alamos legacy cleanup contract

https://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-awards-new-los-alamos-legacy-cleanup-contract 

DOE awards Los Alamos legacy cleanup contract to Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos LLC. The current legacy cleanup contract expires in March 2018 and is held by LANS LLC, the M&O contractor led by the University of California System that also is in the terminal months of a NNSA contract for operating Los Alamos National Laboratory. BWXT is also a minor partner in LANS LLC, along with Bechtel and AECOM

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

UC, UT, A&M confirm bids

UC and UT and now A&M confirm LANL bids  

  http://www.lamonitor.com/content/texas-am-submits-lanl-bid

The big question is what industrial partner is coming on to run the production mission that NNSA requires from LANL. None of the universities have any credibility in that space, and so until the manufacturing players are out in the open this is all academic posturing. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

McRaven

McRaven was the primary driver behind the UT bid for LANL. What will be the impact of his retirement as system chancellor, which was announced after the proposals were submitted?

Friday, December 15, 2017

LANL personnel change

The C student is promoting the Ds In order to prove that he is the new maximo leader Terry Wallace has appointed a whole list of people to positions according to the Peter principle. Incoming Lab Director announces transition personnel changes December 13, 2017 As part of his transition to Laboratory Director, Terry Wallace, principal associate director for Global Security (PADGS), has announced some staff appointments and organizational changes. Director’s Office Heading the appointments in the Director’s Office is Carolyn Zerkle, associate director for Business Innovation (ADBI), who will become the new Executive Director in the Director’s Office and have management oversight of the Laboratory’s institutional leaders. Current Executive Director, Dave Lyons, will rejoin Weapons Physics (ADX) as a Deputy Director within the US/UK Program Office. Other personnel announcements in the Director’s office include: Executive Office Manager: Jackie Valdez Director’s Executive

Battelle team

Rumor is the Battelle team is: Drum roll Battelle Honeywell BECHTEL

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Texas is in!

Texas announces that it has put in a bid. All the wording sounds good but they have not said if they have an industrial partner. They seem to be pushing for academic excellence which would be nice for a change. So that is two teams for sure, any news on other bidders? 

http://www.everythinglubbock.com/news/state-regional/ut-system-makes-bid-to-operate-los-alamos-national-labs/881066013

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New NNSA Administrator

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty (former LLNL employee) to be nominated to replace NNSA Administrator Klotz 

https://www.defensenews.com/space/2017/12/12/trump-announces-pick-for-nuclear-weapons-czar/

UC confirms it put in a bid




http://www.lamonitor.com/content/university-california-submits-bid-lanl-contract

Why the secrecy?

Why is there so much secrecy around who is and who is not bidding. It seems very difference from 2006 when we knew immediately after the bids were submitted that it was LANS (and who was in the LLC) vs Lockheed Martin-UT. This is a public contract for a publicly owned facility, releasing the names of actually bidders should be required. University of California submits bid for LANL contract Los Alamos Monitor December 12, 2017 The University of California was the only organization to confirm Monday it had submitted a bid to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory for the next five years. Bids were due to the National Nuclear Security Administration Monday. The NNSA would not release information about the contractors that submitted bids and would not say when bids would be opened. The UC system confirmed its submission in an email to the Los Alamos Monitor. “I can confirm that UC submitted a proposal today for the Los Alamos National Laboratory management contract. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LANL under investigation

December 6, 2017 DOE letter states the Office of Enforcement intends to investigate LANS regarding an oxygen deficient "near miss to fatality" and "potential deficiencies" in the LANS "emergency response and pressure system design" 

https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/12/f46/Enforcement%20Notice%20of%20Intent%20to%20Investigate%2C%20Los%20Alamos%20National%20Security%2C%20LLC.pdf

LANL incident probed

SANTA FE – A U.S. Department of Energy office is investigating what’s described as a “near miss to a fatality” at Los Alamos National Laboratory, apparently after a worker went into a room despite the sounding of a low-oxygen alarm. https://www.abqjournal.com/1105482/los-alamos-lab-incident-probed.html 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Nick Darrow

Is Nick Darrow-Friend or Foe of the DOE?

Blog tenth anniversary today.

December 11 2007, this blog was started to carry the torch for the LANL defunct blog "lanl the real story".
10 years of Bechtel hegemony,  rising management costs, low morale,  high bureaucracy at all levels,  stagnant wages! Also,
10 years of valuable lessons in private Labs management.
What has Congress learned?
Looking forwards to the return of UC and may be the arrival of UT,  finally!

LANL May Lose Plutonium Pit Production

Rich: Leaked Document Indicates LANL May Lose Plutonium Pit Production To South Carolina "Not only would this represent a gigantic failure – for almost two decades, LANL has been America’s only nuclear weapons site capable of producing plutonium pits – it would reduce LANL’s mission to produce and secure America’s nuclear weapons capability." 
http://www.ladailypost.com/content/rich-leaked-document-indicates-lanl-may-lose-plutonium-pit-production-south-carolina

Wager

With proposals due (today),any sporting posters ready to make wagers on the outcome? Webster or Sarrao? UC or UT? Some solid money is on NNSA throwing it back open and declaring that they were not satisfied with any of the offerings

Saturday, December 9, 2017

UC and Texas A&M team up

UC and Texas A&M to team up on bid to operate LANL The New Mexican Dec 9, 2017 "When the University of California submits its bid Monday to continue management of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the public institution from the biggest, bluest state in the country will have a partner: Texas A&M University. The two large university systems, one from a solid Democratic state and the other from the largest Republican-led state, are planning to join forces in a proposal to manage the national lab for the next decade. Though university officials would not confirm the partnership, The New Mexican has learned from a source that they are working as a team to put together a unified proposal...Another known bidder is the University of Texas System, a consortium of 14 campuses with a flagship in Austin... Neither officials at the University of California nor those at Texas A&M would confirm their partners or say whether they are working together. "We can’t confirm or discuss any of our bid 

New swimming pool, improved ice rink and improved golf course.

Los Alamos spends LANL NMGRT on new swimming pool, improved ice rink and improved golf course. Demonstrating once more that Los Alamos is all about operating the Lab for local money, not for national service. The Los Alamos County Council Tuesday approved the use of up to $6.5 million in capital improvement funds to build a multi-generational pool that will be attached to the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. AND $4.5 million in improvements for the golf course and $1.2 million for improvements to the ice rink. 
http://www.lamonitor.com/content/council-approves-65-million-pool
 Looming large over the pool discussion was the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The lab’s management and operations contract is scheduled to go to a new contractor next year. If the lab’s contract goes to a non-profit contractor, the county, and the state, would lose millions of dollars in proceeds from the gross receipts tax. New Mexico does not apply a GRT tax to non-profits.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

5 Richest Counties Are D.C. Suburbs

Census Bureau: 5 Richest Counties Are D.C. Suburbs - CNSNews, Dec 7th (CNSNews.com) - The five richest counties in the United States when measured by median household income are all suburbs of Washington, D.C., according to the American Community Survey data released today by the Census Bureau. 
www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-bureau-5-richest-counties-are-dc-suburbs
.................... And coming in at #7 (Median household income of $105,902) is Los Alamos, 

Narrow support

Despite strong opposition, UT Regents to support LANL bid on split vote with narrowest of all possible margins 

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/regents-vote-pursue-los-alamos-nuclear-weapons-lab-contract/E48ROkdBqlLjMH5x3pKzaM/


  •  Longoria said the safety and financial risks aren’t worth it, citing the lab’s checkered safety record in recent years. She said operating a nuclear weapons lab lies outside the system’s core mission and could even put its multibillion-dollar endowment “at risk in a catastrophic event.” She added that the system’s flagship, UT-Austin, wasn’t in favor of the initiative.

LANS, LLNS and social media.

How do "command and control" fear based management, for-profit DOE contractors like LANS and LLNS, deal with social media like this blog? Are their PR/attorney staff constantly trying to discredit blog posts?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

UT Austin flagship campus not on board

UT Austin flagship campus not on board with UT system bid for LANL http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2017/12/05/the-ut-system%E2%80%99s-bid-for-los-alamos-is-an-accident-waiting-to-happen
 You must go to the site and see the picture! There are several very strong reasons put forward for why it is not in UT Austin best interest for the UT system to win the LANL bid.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Study: LANL may not be best for pit-making

"Study: LANL may not be best for pit-making" "A single page from a briefing on a National Nuclear Security Administration study of where pit production should be ramped up over the next two decades leaked out on Friday. The document says there are cheaper and quicker options at Idaho National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina." https://www.abqjournal.com/1101279/study-lanl-may-not-be-best-for-pitmaking.html

Friday, December 1, 2017

TCP1 or TCP2?

Any Thoughts about the UC and TCP1 Pension Plans and The Decision now? It’s been about 10 years since LLNL changed management and employees were given the choice between staying with a UC pension (TCP 2) or going to the “equivalent” TCP1 pension plan. It was a difficult choice for many. Seems now that depending on the point that one was in one’s career, either option could have been a good choice. Any thoughts on TCP1 / TCP2 looking back on the decision now with 20/20 hindsight?

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