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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


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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Some new/old rumors.

More talk that John Sarrao is the head of the UC lead bid. Webster is head of U Texas, and somebody named Perry is head of the Texas AM team. I presume this is not Rick Perry. Also there is probably a couple of other for profit teams with Lockheed, Bechtel and who knows. Some other rumors is that the UC team is worried, apparently they thought that no one else would bid and did not expect Texas or Texas AM to put something in. Also if history is any guide the Director must be a weapons guy. Wallace of course has been the only exception but he is just a lame duck. 

Predictions (1) it will go down like Sandia, some completely unexpected team will win. 
(2) Bechtel lead team wins.
(3) The Perry guy is in fact related to Rick Perry and Texas AM takes it. 

My bet is on 1, something like Northrop Grumman, or Leidos and the Director will be an ex General. The motto will be "Modernization Through Compliance MTC" or " Compliance alone sets minds in motion.", "New Mexico, yes we are part of the United States".

No Nomination Hearing Scheduled for NNSA Chief-Designate

No Nomination Hearing Scheduled for NNSA Chief-Designate
January 30, 2018
By Exchange Monitor

About two weeks before 2019 budget negotiations are set to compete for lawmakers’ attention on Capitol Hill, the Senate still has not taken a look at the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the National Nuclear Security Administration.

President Donald Trump nominated former Department of Energy and National Security Council staffer Lisa Gordon-Hagerty to the post on Dec. 19. About a month later, Frank Klotz resigned after almost four years as head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), leaving agency policy chief Steven Erhart at the helm on an acting basis.

The NNSA administrator, who also serves as undersecretary for nuclear security, is by far the highest-ranking Department of Energy (DOE) nominee the Senate has left to consider in the Trump administration. The agency’s other two undersecretary-level positions were filled in November, around four months after the administration sent their nominations to Capitol Hill.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has already held nomination hearings for other government posts this year, but had yet to schedule one for Gordon-Hagerty at deadline Monday for Weapons Complex Morning Briefing. No hearing was scheduled as of Monday, a committee spokesperson said.

Klotz was nominated in January 2014 and confirmed in April 2014. There have been four NNSA administrators since Congress created the DOE branch in 2000. Most were confirmed around two months after they were nominated.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Senior Executive Service Announcements

LANSLLNS Management Salaries and Bonuses

Correcting for COLAs, how much did LANSLLNS management salaries from Supervisors and above go up as a percentage compared to the pre-LANSLLNS period? What is a typical LANSLLNS manager "bonus" referenced to their respective base salaries, 5%, 20%, other?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New head of NNSA has BS

New head of NNSA has BS degree from far things have fallen, how far from the times when highly qualified scientists could be found in charge of the enterprise.

LANL Legacy cleanup to start soon

New LANL legacy clean up contract to start soon

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Jan. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a notice to proceed into transition for the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract to Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, LLC (N3B), a joint venture led by SN3, part of HII’s Technical Solutions division, with partner BWXT Technical Services Group, Inc. The 90-day contract transition period begins today and will lead into a base period of five years and option periods of three years and two years, respectively, with a total period of performance of up to 10 years and three months. The total value of the contract is $1.39 billion if all options are exercised.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

UT System critic

Kevin Eltife joined the UT System as an outspoken critic. Now he might reshape it

When former state senator Kevin Eltife was appointed last year to the University of Texas System Board of Regents, he arrived with an attitude shared by many of his old colleagues: skepticism.

Lawmakers had said they were fed up with spending in UT System offices, concentrating their ire on a $215 million land purchase in Houston and a ballooning administrative headcount. Like them, Eltife came in casting a critical eye on system growth and on the ambitious but expensive proposals championed by its leadership.

When the system decided to vie for a contract to manage the Los Alamos National Laboratory – an opportunity supporters said was lucrative and prestigious, but was said to cost over $4 million to bid for – Eltife echoed Longoria, another regent, when she said the project was “outside our mission." Even bidding, opponents suggested, would divert resources away from students – especially against the backdrop of declining state funding for higher education and mounting concern about rising tuition costs.

Eltife told the Tribune this month, weeks after the bid was submitted, that his “ultimate concern with pursuing” the contract was that “it was a system-down initiative.” 

“Our flagship, UT-Austin, wasn’t really excited about pursuing it,” he said. “Do we want initiatives that are started at the system level and pushed down to institutions, or do we want our institutions to bring us the initiatives they want us to help them with?” 

It’s an “area to look at” in the task force’s review, he said. “It’s really a philosophy of what direction you want to go.”

LLNL receives highest marks ever from NNSA

LLNL receives highest marks ever from NNSA

The Laboratory's outstanding performance in FY17 has resulted in the highest earned fee to date in the annual Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan (PEMP) issued Jan. 18 by NNSA's Livermore Field Office.

Once again, the Laboratory earned ratings of excellent in all four science and technology goals, with ratings of very good for operations and leadership. The result is an award of more than 94 percent of the total possible award fee.

In addition, Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC received another one-year term to manage the Laboratory for the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. This extends the contract to Sept. 30, 2022.

"This has been a very good year for our Laboratory and I'm pleased to see NNSA agrees," Director Bill Goldstein said. "Our ability to execute on our critical mission commitments is a result of the dedication each employee brings to their job every day. Congratulations to all on another successful year."

Among the accomplishments cited by NNSA:
*Exceeding the requirements on the four LLNL weapons systems (W80, B83, W84 and W87) as well as Los Alamos' W78 flight testing system, and reviewing and providing recommendations to improve Weapon Quality Policy.
*Successfully completing the Cycle 22 Annual Assessment Review.
*Demonstrating multiple lower-energy shots on the National Ignition Facility and generating the highest fusion yield to date.
*Successfully demonstrating the feasibility of incorporating new additively manufactured compounds in future Life Extension Programs.
*Making significant progress in Advanced Simulation and Computing capabilities, as well as the installation of the Sierra supercomputer.
*Leading the development of programmatic guidelines for International Nuclear Security and serving as the lead for international nuclear forensics work.
*Providing exemplary leadership in Standoff Disablement efforts.
*Achieving significant advancement in grid modernization through successful simulation of cyberattacks and prediction of impacts as part of the California Energy Systems for the 21st century project.
*Formed the Accelerating Therapies for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) partnership with GlaxoSmithKline and the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute to apply LLNL high performance computing capabilities to advance drug research and discovery.
*Built and delivered the world's highest average power petawatt laser system, HAPLS, to the Extreme Light Infrastructure Beamlines Project in the Czech Republic.
*Developed bioengineering technology to replicate human heart tissue on a chip.
*Maintained highly effective environment, safety and health programs and achieved an excellent safety record.
*Demonstrated improved security performance. And established a Security Culture Campaign to educate and engage employees

Savannah River Site news

Savannah River Site has some advantages in fight for pit production

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The price of doing business at LANL.

LANL docked $3.1M for shipping plutonium via commercial air. At 3.1M that would be two managers at best at LANL. The price of doing business at LANL.

LANS gets docked

LANS gets docked $2.6M for accidents in 2017, but it sounds like criticality incidents weren’t a big issue.

Why did LANS fail?

Both LLNL and LANL are for profit. Profit is money that one gets in return beyond what is invested. In the case of LANL and LLNL, certain members members of the LLC make a profit, other members of the LLC reinvest the money back in the lab and do not make a profit. People paying the extra money that got used for profit expect something in return. I cannot go into all the details on this blog but one of the expectations was that by paying this extra money that certain industrial partners promised that they would improve business practices, introduce industrial effectiveness and so on which would actually save lots money in the long run. At least that was the claim, however this not only did not happen but things become much more expensive and less efficient. Of course one could argue what certain industrial partners wanted to really "maximize" their profit by doing absolutely nothing and not investing anything at all. Let us go through a simple exercise, suppose you come across a lemonade stand that claims it sells lemonade. You say " that sounds good I would like to have some lemonade!". The person at the stand says that will be 1 dollar for lemonade. You give them 1 dollar and the person does not give you any lemonade and you say hey I want my lemonade. The person at the stand says it would cost them 40 cents to make the lemonade so they would get a profit of only 60 cents if they did that but if they did nothing they would get a profit of 1 dollar. Did you know that 1 dollar is more than 60 cents? Now you may think this is short sighted and such a lemonade stand would go out of business in a day which is true in most cases, however for something like an LLC at LANL and LLNL this is not true and for 10 years you can make a metaphorical 40% more "profit" by not investing a single cent to fulfill the promises you said would happen when you got the contract in the first place. Now I will not fill in all the gaps as that is for you to figure out but this is why the contract is changing, why DOE is rather shall we say unhappy with certain members of the LLC. Not only will this explain LLNS/LANS for you but it may also help you understand how banks, supermarkets, the stock-market, and other business work and in some cases fail.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

DOE staffer fired for taking pictures of Perry and coal baron.

DOE staffer claims retaliation over photos of secret meeting "A former photographer at the Department of Energy says he lost his job in retaliation for making public photos of a meeting between Secretary Rick Perry and a coal baron peddling a wish list of policy initiatives that would directly benefit his company. Simon Edelman has filed a federal whistleblower complaint alleging he was terminated from the agency after he provided the photos to two media outlets that published them in December. Edelman was at the March 29, 2017, meeting snapping shots as Robert “Bob” Murray handed Perry a four-page “action plan” to revive the nation’s struggling coal industry. Murray is chairman and CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, one of the nation’s largest coal producers. Also attending the meeting were Perry’s chief of staff and Andrew Wheeler, a coal company lobbyist later nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as the second-highest ranking official at the Environmental Protection Agency

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Texas A&M

Texas A&M nonexclusive partnership with multiple companies is one version of why they refuse to go public on LANL bid teams. If this is correct, that is some messed up situation. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nuc review

Trump has been busy today. Exclusive: Here Is A Draft Of Trump’s Nuclear Review. He Wants A Lot More Nukes. His first Nuclear Posture Review: more nukes, more posturing. 

n October, NBC reported that President Trump had told a gathering of high-ranking national security leaders that “he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.” While the report doesn’t nearly go that far, it does call for the development of new, so-called low-yield nuclear weapons — warheads with a lower explosive force. The logic of those pushing for the development of smaller nukes is that our current nuclear weapons are too big and too deadly to ever use; we are effectively self-deterred, and the world knows it. To make sure other countries believe that we’d actually use nuclear force, the thinking goes, we need more low-yield nukes. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

LLNL Retiree Group

What is happening with the LLNL Retire group suing UC to restore the health benefits to retirees? Apparently the Retiree Website is no longer being updated. See: Why did the judge decertify the retiree list?

Yet I got an E-mail that included: " The order decertifying the class will result in our having to fight harder. There will be added expense. But we are determined to do the right thing for retirees who spent their lives worked at the Laboratory assuming they would get the benefits promised by the Regents, which we all understood were protected and guaranteed. It is not acceptable that retirees in our class (now including over 9,000 people when surviving spouses and dependents are counted). We must continue the fight! So we have to ask for your help again. Please give what you can afford. Every 

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