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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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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Another 708 Whistleblower Case Against LLNS


Another DOE Part 708 Whistleblower complaint against LLNS has emerged. This time it was filed by a LLNS Counterintelligence Officer (CIO) working in the Counterintelligence Program. This CIO alleged LLNS retaliated against him 6 times for raising protected disclosures. 

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/06/f53/WBZ-17-0007.pdf

Friday, June 29, 2018

Last 4 comments deleted

Accidentally .Please resubmit.
Sincere apologies.

UPTE applauds new LANL contract

The University of California (UC) continues its reign in running the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The announcement was finally made on Friday, June 8, 2018, by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that UC will continue to manage the lab since it was founded in 1943.

UPTE's 6/15/2018 Press Release: 

UPTE applauds the new LANL contract that supports research, development and employees not profits. UPTE offers to work with Triad to improve safety and urges them to adopt two structural reforms. By persuading the decision makers in Washington to reform the bidding criteria, the union leadership at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory successfully advocated that the bids emphasize science and worker safety. The proposed 1% fixed fee, rather than a higher and variable performance bonus, sets a promising precedent for a safer operating contract for LANL and LLNL. A low fixed fee also increases the support for i nnovativ e science by reducing profit margins.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

11 deficiencies

DOE report on LANL conduct of engineering Appendix C has the summary of the 11 Deficiencies found in May 2018 report by the Office of Nuclear Safety and Environmental Assessments Office of Environment, Safety and Health Assessments Office of Enterprise Assessments U.S. Department of Energy  

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/05/f51/Conduct%20of%20Engineering%20at%20LANL.pdf 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Protests

Y-12 security breach could impact LANL bid protests A protest is likely to be lodged against any decision that picked a winner that had Battelle on the team. The RFP scoring on prior performance had to be very low for Battelle, considering that the Y-12 guard force was a Battelle operation under ORNL. Not only the nun getting through the fences, but the cheating scandals on tests and other public failures. These were reported as some of the greatest failures in the US nuclear weapons program, and they happened in the time window of the RFP scoring. It is really hard to see how NNSA can avoid a protest of any decision that had Battelle on the winning team.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The story of Randy and Anthony

Did Division Superintendent Randy Pico and Technical Associate Anthony 
Rivera bump heads over HEAF employee high voltage/high energy SKA
requirements?

Division Superintendents have a significant role and responsibility in the construction of job postings within their respective Divisions and in candidate selection. It looks like there were strong differences in high voltage/high energy SKA requirements for a HEAF assignment between Anthony Rivera and then Division Superintendent Randy Pico (“LLNS Manager A”?) as early as 2007.

From a 2015 “La Jicarita On-Line Magazine” story:

“In the early 2000s Rivera was responsible for correctly identifying a dangerous, unintentional high power laser initiated, High Explosive detonation scenario not addressed in the High Explosive Applications Facility (HEAF) Safety Procedures documentation. This safety concern was reviewed and subsequently included in the HEAF Safety Procedures. Prior to Rivera’s operational procedure correction, HEAF experimenters and technicians could have been exposed to High Explosive material subject to a time delayed explosive detonation causing injuries or fatalities.

In 2007 Rivera initiated a LLNL “Work Stop” for what he believed to be another imminent and potentially lethal threat to employees in HEAF. At the time Rivera had voluntarily moved from HEAF to another division at LLNL and became concerned about the qualifications of the employee who was hired to replace him in HEAF.

Before leaving his HEAF assignment in 2006 and accepting a lateral position at the National Ignition Facility, Rivera offered to review his LLNS B-Division funded assignment in HEAF with the employee who was hired to replace him. In 2007, as promised, Rivera had a meeting with this new HEAF employee.

According to Rivera, the employee was unqualified to work on potentially lethal high voltage, high energy Flash-Lamp Bank hardware that might place multiple employees in direct harm to electrocution. After numerous attempts by Rivera to have this safety concern addressed at a lower level with LLNS Manager “A”, this manager forced a subordinate employee, the Responsible Individual for this set of High Voltage, High Energy diagnostics, to accept and “add” the unqualified employee to the Integrated Work Sheet (IWS) paperwork without delay. The IWS is a project specific document that identifies a project’s purpose, procedures, hazards, and qualified employees approved by the IWS author and Responsible Individual.

Rivera then provided the 2007 “Work Stop” documentation to the NNSA Livermore Field office Employee Concerns Program Manager that detailed LLNL employment job posting fraud and the negligent assignment of an employee without the “Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities” to perform the job safely or effectively. LLNS Manager “A”, author of the job posting and responsible for creating that dangerous 2007 scenario, was subsequently promoted to a position of greater authority within Engineering.”

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A&M in charge of changing culture

Triad partner A&M is in charge of changing the LANL culture


https://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/system-charge-los-alamos-includes-improving-safety-culture/A6JebWY1Ivj2RrJunfWvHI/

Same story reconfirms that UT will not protest the loss and did not really want to win anyway.

Losers debrief

Losers get debriefed this coming week in LANL contract competition


http://www.defensedaily.com/lanl-contract-competitors-await-debrief-next-week/

Worker radiation contamination

Worker radiation contamination averages one event per month this year at Los Alamos


It is at least the sixth time since January that the safety board has reported a contamination event at Los Alamos.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/radiation-on-worker-s-hands-prompts-lanl-cleanup/article_f5ddecb8-b5b2-5510-ba93-b6fefaec8668.html

Some information out of Purdue



They will wait on debriefing, but look to be preparing a protest.

“There will be a full debriefing,” Daniels said. “What I am told, each time the information has been slightly different, but it looks like from a scoring basis, it might have been a dead heat. We’ll have to see.”



Tomas, once again!

Daniels said he was anxious to talk in more depth about the bid with trustees. But he said Tomas Diaz de la Rubia – Purdue’s chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park, who was in the thick of the details, according to Daniels – talked him down, reluctant to say much more until Purdue can get a better rationale and more specifics from federal officials for why Purdue lost.

https://www.jconline.com/story/opinion/columnists/dave-bangert/2018/06/15/mitch-daniels-purdue-thinking-big-after-losing-los-alamos-bid/701725002/

Friday, June 15, 2018

Statement from Purdue President



In response to the news on Friday (June 8) that the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration awarded the contract to run the Los Alamos National Laboratory to Triad National Security, a team composed of the University of California, Texas A&M and Battelle, Purdue President Mitch Daniels issued the following statement:

“While we are disappointed to have not been selected, it was a tremendous privilege to be among the strong group of finalists competing to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory. The management of Los Alamos is a solemn responsibility for U.S. national security and the protection of our citizens, and we wish the very best to those involved in that essential mission.”

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2018/Q2/los-alamos-national-lab-bid-awarded-to-triad-national-security.html

Censorship

Scooby has lately been relentless in his censorship of posts he does not like. Don't bash Bechtel or the Bechtel lover here. Don't opine that no one wanted a for-profit contractor to win or that LA county lobbied NNSA for a for-profit contractor, and is now lobbying NM State Legislature to let non-profits (not all, but only this one!!) to be taxed as for-profits.

BTW, why are there so few active posts lately? Too much work for the moderator?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

VSIP

VSIP amounts likely raised from 25K to 40K across all federal agencies (to match DOD limit). Who is punching out if one is offered? https://www.fedweek.com/fedweek/defense-bill-before-senate-includes-larger-buyouts-for-federal-employees/

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Post award rumour

Word leaking out of DC late today is that there may be as many as three different protests to the LANL award decision. Some may be based on the qualifications of the key personnel, so this could take awhile to settle out.

Monday, June 11, 2018

UC wanted it desperately

What came out most clearly in the aftermath of the award decision was just how desperate UC was to stay at LANL. They only picked Bechtel last time to add political weight and the same this time for A&M. Time will tell if they chose better on the second pass. Bechtel did not add much value and it is hard to see how A&M will either. Maybe the Perry connection can help in the short term, but the contract will outlast him.

Whistleblower Update

Whistleblower Update: DOE/NNSA Legal Fee Reimbursements to LLNS Continue 

Despite a 9-27-17 determination by a DOE OHA Judge that there was a nexus between my "Protected Disclosures" and LLNS retaliation, the NNSA legal fee reimbursement stream to the contractor LLNS kept flowing into November 2017 and beyond. 

In 2016, DOE/NNSA reimbursed LLNS a sister LLC to LANS, $57,374 for "Rivera v. LLNS" in Northern District of CA Court for legal fees in a case that was classified as "ongoing".

In May 2018, through a FOIA, the DOE/NNSA released another set of legal fee reimbursements to LLNS. They amount to $170,997.  This figure does not include reimbursements to cover this legal firm's production of their 49 page January 2018 LLNS response to my Petition for Secretary Review.  Furthermore, this figure does not include LLNS internal labor man-hour charges for such things as coaching for depositions and OHA Hearing, strategy meetings, statement production, OHA Investigator telephonic interviews with LLNS managers and employees, etc. 

When all expenses including those redacted, are considered to date, I believe the DOE/NNSA will have reimbursed (bankrolled) LLNS well over a quarter of a million dollars to defend themselves, while leaving me the ex-worker bee whistleblower, to financially fend for himself. 

I sent a Tweet to Secretary Perry yesterday asking him when he expects to provide his "final agency decision" on this Whistleblower matter.  I don't know how deeply DOE Department Counsel will be involved with Secretary Perry's review. 

Anthony Rivera 

Who is the lead?

Appears Battelle is the the lead as the address comes back to their corporate HQ,,, https://app.oneteam.net/Profile/triad-national-security-llc-804U5#details

Bechtel at LLNS

Bechtel is out of LANL, so how does this change things at LLNL between UC and Bechtel. I cannot imagine that they will be getting along very well now.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Out of State HMOs for Lab Retirees

Out of State HMOs for Lab Retirees 

To UC/LLNL and LLNS retirees that had Kaiser while working at LLNL before retiring to Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, etc., how do you like your non-Kaiser HMO in terms of monthly premiums, retiree costs for operations, and general quality of care compared to CA Kaiser?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Curious timing

Curious timing on this little announcement by Bechtel...

--------
Bechtel headquarters leaving San Francisco in favor of Virginia
Friday, June 8, 2018

Bechtel, the San Francisco-based engineering and construction behemoth, isn’t going to be based in San Francisco anymore. The company said on Thursday it was moving its headquarters to Reston, Va., near Washington, D.C., although it will maintain offices in San Francisco.

“Consolidating the corporate leadership and operations in Reston will enable the company to thrive in the current fast-paced business environment — one that demands faster and seamless decision-making, integration and collaboration,” said Jack Futcher, the company’s chief operating officer."

https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Bechtel-headquarters-leaving-SF-in-favor-of-12977525.php 

Interesting views in Texas Monthly

Interesting inside looking into the LANL bidding team and LANS partner drama. If even close to being accurate it makes you wonder how the LLNS internal relationship is not also broken.

https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/rick-perry-hands-texas-lucrative-los-alamos-contract/

Key point in the story:

"There was much hand-wringing by the University of California over putting together a new bid for the Los Alamos contract. During a September meeting of the Board of Regents, university regents placed much of the blame for Los Alamos’s problems over the past decade on Bechtel, and decided to move forward with a new bid with a different private partner. Bechtel, of course, did not like that. Shortly after the meeting, Bechtel president Barbara Rusinko sent a letter to UC president Janet Napolitano, responding to each point of criticism levied by the regents—and objecting to their harsh criticism of Rick Perry.

According to the letter, which has been obtained by Texas Monthly, UC regent Richard Blum was concerned about the outcome of the looming bidding war being affected by the political leanings of each bidding group, explaining that they decided to bring Bechtel into their 2006 bid because “they were a Republican group.” 

"After UC and Bechtel broke up, Bechtel connected with Purdue University to form a competing bid. There were whispers early in the bidding process that A&M and UT were weighing the benefits of teaming up for a Texas-centric bid aimed at pleasing Perry, but the heated rivals couldn’t make it work and instead went forward with separate bids.

A&M helps run a similar but smaller lab, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, with UC and Battelle (and Bechtel, too). Given the two university systems’ collaborative history, combined with A&M’s conservativeness to balance out UC’s liberal leanings, their bidding group for Los Alamos made for an obvious alliance."

Triad in the news

https://www.lamonitor.com/content/nnsa-awards-contract-triad-national-security-llc
NNSA awards contract to Triad National Security LLC
Friday, June 8, 2018 

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced Friday the contract to manage and operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory has been awarded to Triad National Security LLC.

Triad National Security, LLC is a limited liability company, a conglomorate of Battelle Memorial Institute, the Regents of the University of California, and the Regents of Texas A&M University, Fluor Federal Services, Huntington Ingalls Industries/Stoller Newport News, Longenecker & Associates, TechSource, Strategic Management Solutions and Merrick & Company. 

Triad released this statement about the decision:

"Triad National Security LLC is honored by today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to award the Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operations contract to our team. We are committed to building on the legacy of world-class research, unparalleled innovation, and service to public good that have been the hallmark of the laboratory since it was founded in 1943. Until Triad receives the notice to proceed from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and transition commences, we are unable to provide additional information about our team’s plans beyond the details announced today by the DOE/NNSA.”

It is Battelle, UC & UT

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/450707122/nnsa-awards-los-alamos-national-laboratory-management-operating-contract

DOE faults NNSA

DOE faults NNSA field office for lab’s safety issues

https://www.lamonitor.com/content/doe-faults-nnsa-field-office-lab’s-safety-issues

Friday, June 1, 2018

June 6th

Latest, the announcement is Wed, June 6. The decision was made two weeks ago but there was a 2 week waiting time. The other is Bechtel is the winner and they need to keep this under raps until the whole thing is totally final so that nothing can be done.

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