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

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Los Alamos Lab Flying LGBTQ Flag For First Time

Los Alamos Lab Flying LGBTQ Flag For First Time

By Rebecca Moss | rmoss@sfnewmexican.com Jun 11, 2019 Updated Jun 12, 2019

At 19, Samuel Buelow felt he had to leave Los Alamos to be himself.

He had grown up as a girl in the insular, scientific community that felt deeply conservative in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After moving to Pittsburgh for college, Buelow came out as a transgender, gay man.

“It was definitely something, at the time, I felt I couldn’t have done living here full time,” Buelow said of Los Alamos. “There was very little awareness of these issues in general. And when there was, it was surrounded by some pretty intense homophobia and transphobia.”

That was then.

This … is a town sporting different colors.

On Monday, a rainbow flag was raised for the first time in front of the Otowi Building on the Los Alamos National Laboratory campus, flapping alongside the U.S. and New Mexico banners. Lab officials said it will fly for the remainder of the week.

It was another sign of change at the lab, which in previous years has undertaken different pride representations, including decorating the windows of a prominent building with rainbow-colored Post-it Notes in 2017.

CJ Bacino, the laboratory’s diversity officer, said a Los Alamos lab LGBTQ staff and allies group called Prism brought forward the idea of raising the flag this year to help mark Pride Week in Los Alamos County.

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/los-alamos-lab-flying-lgbtq-flag-for-first-time/article_737d847e-8645-5455-8d96-15bcec7f3764.html

Bechtel refuses bilateral agreement with DOE

Bechtel refuses bilateral agreement with DOE contracting officials to incorporate Congressionally approved enhanced whistleblower protections citing they "could potentially create additional costs"

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/11/f68/DOE-OIG-20-04.pdf

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Detailed LA Times on testing legacy issues in the Marshall Islands

Detailed Los Angeles Times story on testing legacy issues in the Marshall Islands, it includes interviews with staff from DOE and LLNL.

"Five thousand miles west of Los Angeles and 500 miles north of the equator, on a far-flung spit of white coral sand in the central Pacific, a massive, aging and weathered concrete dome bobs up and down with the tide.

Here in the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet — or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program.

Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.

U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome.

Now the concrete coffin, which locals call “the Tomb,” is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise.

Officials in the Marshall Islands have lobbied the U.S. government for help, but American officials have declined, saying the dome is on Marshallese land and therefore the responsibility of the Marshallese government...

Over the last 15 months, a reporting team from the Los Angeles Times and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism made five trips to the Marshall Islands, where they documented extensive coral bleaching, fish kills and algae blooms — as well as major disease outbreaks, including the nation’s largest recorded epidemic of dengue fever. They interviewed folk singers who lost their voices to thyroid cancers and spent time in Arkansas, Washington and Oregon, where tens of thousands of Marshallese have migrated to escape poverty and an uncertain future.

Marshallese leaders acknowledge that America doesn’t bear full responsibility for their nation’s distress. But they say the United States has failed to take ownership of the environmental catastrophe it left behind, and they claim U.S. authorities have repeatedly deceived them about the magnitude and extent of that devastation."

https://www.latimes.com/projects/marshall-islands-nuclear-testing-sea-level-rise/#nt=liA4promoSmall-1col-7030col1-mainnt=liG0promoMedium-7030col1-main

Guard Accused Colleagues of Sexual Assault Fired


"A Nuclear Site Guard Accused Colleagues of Sexual Assault. Then She Was Fired"

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/us/politics/department-of-energy-sexual-assault.html

Settled sexual assault claims

Former Nevada Site Security Officer Settles Sexual Assault Claims Against Contractor"

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/former-nevada-site-security-officer-settling-sexual-assault-claims-centerra/?printmode=1

Friday, November 8, 2019

No-rehire list?

Anybody in HR....uhhhh....Strategic Human Resources Management (man we're pretentious) ever here about a "no rehire" list?

Who will replace Younger at SNL?

Steve Younger announced his retirement as Director of SNL months ago 

https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2019/08/27/sandia-labs-director-stephen-younger-to-retire.html

 Who will replace him? Will Honeywell promote from within as they did for their second Deputy Director? Will LLNL lose another weapons manager? Will an ex-LANS person show up again or someone recycled from NNSA? Maybe another Navy Admiral? Does it really matter?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Copper thief got probation

A former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory worker was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $40,000 for stealing more than 40 tons of copper from his employers over a three-year period.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/24/feds-man-stole-43000-pounds-of-copper-over-three-years/amp/

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Trump is going to build a wall in Colorado

Trump just gave away New Mexico to Mexico! and said that he is going to build a wall in Colorado!!! Mexico has nukes now! This changes everything. I know you have no idea that New Mexico is part of the United States but please it is not 1912 anymore.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Whistleblower retaliation lawsuit: the Rivera case

LAW OFFICES OF A. P. X. BOTHWELL

October 12, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEDERAL COURTS MUST SAFEGUARD WHISTLEBLOWER'S RIGHTS,
SAN FRANCISCO LAWYER SAYS IN NUCLEAR WEAPONS LAB CASE 

(San Francisco, Oct. 12, 2019) -- Atty. Tony Bothwell today told the U.S. District Court 
for the Northern District of California that "the government must be required to protect 
whistleblowers [who] have the courage to disclose practices that harm workers, the public and the nation." Defending a nuclear weapons lab engineer against the Department of Energy, Bothwell added, "It is the proper role of the court to overturn decisions of the 
Executive Branch that otherwise obscure the truth, chill the workforce, and disserve the law"

The San Francisco attorney represents Anthony Rivera, who was fired by Lawrence 
Livermore National Security LLC in 2013 after he disclosed "serious safety violations" 
in the lab's High Explosives Test Facility and the Mechanical Engineering Division. A 
Department of Energy administrative judge in 2017 decided that the lab intentionally 
retaliated against Rivera for having blown the whistle on safety concerns. But the DOE judge also decided that the lab would have fired Rivera anyway because he told coworkers about being harassed by management following his safety complaints. 
Bothwell, in a motion for summary judgment filed with the federal court in Oakland, said 
the Constitution protects a Livermore lab employee's right to tell coworkers how he was treated by management. The First Amendment applies, he said, because the nuclear weapons lab performs "government functions" and is managed by a joint venture in which the University of California is the "founding partner." Thus Rivera's employer was a "state actor".

Bothwell was the public affairs director of the Livermore lab in the 1980s when he stopped the Physics Department from firing Hugh DeWitt, a physicist who often spoke publicly against U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Bothwell later resigned from the lab. As a lawyer for more than 20 years he has represented Livermore scientists, engineers, and security officers who have blown the whistle on unsafe practices
For more info, read plaintiff motion below:


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Perry is in trouble

Rick Perry Subpoenaed In House’s Trump Impeachment Probe


https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5d9f9226e4b06ddfc5165763

Reinstating Superfund Site Corporate Taxes

Warren Proposes Reinstating Superfund Site Corporate Taxes

"U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), seeking her party’s nomination for president, on Wednesday proposed reinstating corporate taxes to pay for cleanup of Superfund sites contaminated by hazardous wastes."

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/warren-proposes-reinstating-superfund-site-taxes/

Monday, October 7, 2019

Senate Appropriations Panel Wants DOE Data on Livermore Excess Facilities

Senate Appropriations Panel Wants DOE Data on Livermore Excess Facilities

"The Senate Appropriations Committee wants a report from the U.S. Energy Department on what it will take to decommission excess facilities at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California over the next 10 years."

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/senate-appropriations-panel-looks-data-livermore-excess-facilities/?printmode=1

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Trump: I called Ukraine because Perry asked me to 😀

Trump told House Republicans that he made Ukraine call because of Perry: Report

"According to Axios, President Trump told House Republicans that he was urged by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to make his July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky...Trump told fellow party members "not a lot of people know this but, I didn't even want to make the call," a source who was on the call told the news outlet...The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant," Trump added"

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/464518-trump-told-house-republicans-that-he-made-ukraine-call-because-of

Friday, October 4, 2019

Fentanyl?

Fentanyl? Really LANL?

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/10/f67/DOE-OIG-19-54.pdf

Perry is leaving the D... (Memory lapse) oops!

Energy Secretary Rick Perry eyeing exit in November

"Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is expected to replace Perry...Brouillette has been filling in for Perry at Cabinet meetings for the past few months, one source added. Many of Perry’s former DOE staff members — including chief of staff Brian McCormack and special assistant Luke Wallwork — have all left DOE in recent weeks, a source said."

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/03/rick-perry-expected-to-resign-000189

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Staggering NNSA Hiring Goals!

Energy Secretary Advisory Board Briefed on ‘Staggering’ NNSA Hiring Goals

"The No. 2 official at the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) on Wednesday briefed members of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board on the “staggering goal” of swelling the nuclear-weapon steward’s workforce by about 20,000 heads over the…"

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/bookless-briefs-advisory-board-staggering-nnsa-hiring-goals/

Monday, September 30, 2019

NNSA budget under President Warren


Ok, what will the NNSA budget look like under President Warren? Trump is toast now, there is no second term and he might be gone before then, so having 1 year of Pence will not mean much. Doubt Biden can survive the scandal either so it is Warren or Sanders. I would bet Warren. Does anyone know what her stance is? She seems anti-nuke from what comments she has made. In any case with end of Trump coming big changes are in store for America.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sandia Labs: things to come.

Sign of things to come. Sandia Labs is doubling and almost tripling the cost for medical insurance for its retirees.

Sandia is raising all its monthly retiree health insurance premiums by $93 a month. For some, that's almost triple.

Read their letter to retirees here on the first post: www.thesandiatreatment.com

I know Sandia Labs is self-insured for employees. What about retirees?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Consolidated Nuclear Security investigation

CNS conducting investigation at Pantex. DOE Inspector General notified.

https://www.myhighplains.com/news/cns-conducting-investigation-at-pantex/

How are time fraud issues handled elsewhere? Understand a couple at Los Alamos have been brushed aside.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Delay in nuclear gravity bomb and warhead upgrades

Nuclear Gravity Bomb and Warhead Upgrades Face New Delays

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2019/09/04/nuclear-gravity-bomb-and-warhead-upgrades-face-new-delays/

By: Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta

Defense News Conference

WASHINGTON ― The United States’ B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb may face an 18 month delay during production, with the W88 submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead facing a shorter delay, a top National Nuclear Security Administration official confirmed Wednesday.

The B61-12 life-extension program consolidates and replaces the older B61-3, -4, -7 and -10 variants, while the W88 Alteration 370 is meant to replace the arming, fuzing and firing subsystem for the W88 warhead for the Trident II sub-launched ballistic missile. The two are among five major modernization programs underway at the agency.

Both had been due for production in 2020, but neither will have their first production units delivered on time, according to Charles Verdon, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s deputy administrator for defense programs. NNSA is working with the Defense Department to minimize the delays, but Congress has been informed both will be ready “roughly around the same time,” Verdon said at the at the 2019 Defense News Conference.

The issue stems from off-the-shelf parts used in both weapons. Both systems are planned to work for 20-30 years, and heavy stress testing of the parts raised questions for NNSA officials about whether the parts would survive for three decades. Rather than risk the pieces failing years in the future, officials decided to seek replacements now and delay moving forward with the program

Friday, September 20, 2019

The LANL decline continues



The new APS fellows (American Physical Society Fellows) are out for 2019.

LANL 5

LLNL 6

Sandia 2


So it is looking more and more like LLNL is going to the the science leader in the NNSA complex.
I doubt that many APS fellows will be given for a production facility.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wouldn't that be nice?

Wouldn't that be nice. Lisa Haggarty for NS Advisor.

"Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said the top candidates are Fred Fleitz, Bolton’s former chief of staff and a former CIA analyst; former deputy national security adviser Rick Waddell; Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, the undersecretary for nuclear security at the Department of Energy; Army Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence's national security adviser; and Robert O’Brien, special envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department".

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Prospects for NIF Success?



Since retiring from LLNL last year, I’ve been occasionally checking the news for progress concerning the NIF effort. I see that there’s recent news about NIF breaking a new energy record and news about the successful development of 2-micron fill tubes (down from 10-micron tubes) to reduce perturbations. But what’s the bottom line? Is there a sense at NIF that there may actually be a realistic possibility of NIF achieving ignition in the foreseeable future?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Are Real NNSA and Contractor Safety Culture Changes Occurring?



"WIPP waste accident a 'horrific comedy of errors'"

"A DOE official quoted by Trento said a root problem is "the fact that DOE has no real operational control over the NNSA. Under the guise of national security, NNSA runs the contractors, covers up accidents and massive cost overruns and can fire any DOE employee who tries to point out a problem. Because they control so many jobs and contractors, every administration refuses to take them on."..."The contractor game at NNSA is played this way: Major corporations form LLC's [limited liability companies] and bid for NNSA and DOE contracts. For example, at SRS [Savannah River Site] they bid to clean up waste and get some of the billions of dollars from Obama's first term stimulus money. Things go wrong, little gets cleaned up, workers get injured or exposed to radiation and outraged NNSA management cancels the contract. A new LLC is formed by the same NNSA list of corporate partners and they are asked to bid on a new management contract. The new LLC hires the same workers as the old management company and the process gets repeated again and again."

https://www.wiseinternational.org/nuclear-monitor/794/wipp-waste-accident-horrific-comed-errors

Friday, September 6, 2019

We don’t need more pits!

This is form June. I no Mello fan but he has a point on this.


We don’t need more pits, LANL can’t make them

https://www.abqjournal.com/1329193/we-dont-need-more-pits-lanl-cant-make-them.html

In fact, LANL as a whole is entirely unsuited to production for fundamental, unchangeable reasons. Faraway bureaucrats and distracted congresspersons can’t change LANL’s inappropriate location, topography, geology, institutional identity and culture by diktat.

Now, with another big study done, NNSA has told Congress that LANL cannot do this, no matter how much money is spent. For some reason, our delegation hasn’t gotten the message.

From the engineering perspective, the only realistic plan for enduring pit production involves the brand new, partially constructed plutonium facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Which model?

Did LANS and LLNS move work at LANL and LLNL away from a workforce acknowledged mission centric model, to a contractor profit centric model?

Saturday, August 31, 2019

NNSA Seeks New Los Alamos Field Office Manager

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is looking for a new manager for its Los Alamos National Laboratory 

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/nnsa-seeks-new-los-alamos-field-office-manager/

Triad non-compliance

Triad and N3B found to have transuranic waste container non-compliance issues and "WIPP will refuse to receive the containers because their contents may be susceptible to exothermic chemical reactions and propagating fires."

https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/18826/Los%20Alamos%20Week%20Ending%20August%209%202019.pdf

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Triad chip?

The Triad chip is coming? There is talk that LANL, LLNL and NNSA in general will be part of a "body chip program". It will make getting and maintaining a clearance much faster and easier. It should be more secure and lead to more accountability when it comes to contracts. Hell it will not only be able to track every country and state you go but may be able to tell which things you read on the internet like which blogs you post to? Has anyone else heard about this? I guess the idea is that no one will complain when it comes to the nuclear weapons labs but this thing is going to be rolled out to the entire government workforce at some point.

Hanford retaliation lawsuit settlement


"Hanford company settles retaliation lawsuit after engineer raises nuclear safety concerns"

"Bechtel National has reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit brought by a former employee at the Hanford vitrification plant now under construction...Hall was making his second retaliation complaint against Bechtel...Bechtel said that the issues Hall raised were ones that had previously been raised, investigated and addressed. It claimed that Hall was trying to divert attention from his own shortcomings...He was mandated to participate in a performance improvement plan in late summer 2017, which was a sham because the decision to end his employment had already been made, said court documents"

https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article234314452.html

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Former NNSA No. 2 to Lead Government Affairs for Nevada Site Contractor



"Neile Miller, former principal deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), has joined Nevada National Security Site operating contractor Mission Support and Test Services as head of government affairs, the company announced Monday."

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/former-nnsa-no-2-lead-government-affairs-nevada-site-contractor/?printmode=1

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Rick Perry fooled!

Rick Perry Oversees America’s Nukes. He Just Fell For A Basic Instagram Hoax.
The energy secretary was among a number of high-profile public figures caught out by a fake post.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rick-perry-instagram-hoax_n_5d5d1ff4e4b09e2b9fe4466c

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Turning back from nuclear brink

Aug. 6 and 9 are days of remembrance. On those days in 1945, the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 civilians. Those two days changed the world forever. We now know the face of annihilation...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/bangordailynews.com/2019/08/08/opinion/contributors/us-must-turn-back-from-nuclear-brink/

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Russian testing

Good article on the Russian testing program.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/08/yes_the_russians_are_testing_nuclear_weapons_and_it_is_very_important_114651.html

Weapons in he wrong hands

Anonymous said:

In light of recent events in Dayton and El Paso it is our moral duty to reexamine our stance on nuclear weapons especially in light of the date. Nuclear weapons have and will disproportionally effect people of color a fact that has not been considered before. In this light NW are not simply weapons of indiscrimante mass destruction but actually weapons of white supremacy and maybe the ultimate weapons of white nationalism. In light of this California should reconsider having LLNL on its land and the many non-Trump supporters in the lab should consider if they want to be part of the resistance and ask why they are still working at this place. Do you really want to an enabler of white supremacy by working at the NNSA labs?

Sunday, August 4, 2019

California’s Historical Nuclear Meltdown



"The accident, which occurred in 1959, is claimed to have released more radiation than Three Mile Island...Fortunately, this reactor was only 1/100 the size of the Three Mile Island reactor. However, it’s been reported to have released up to 240 times more radiation than the 1979 disaster. How can this be? The answer: the experimental reactor did not have a concrete containment structure. Thus, any radiation that escaped the venting system entered the atmosphere...When the Department of Energy came out in 1989 with the statement that the SSFL site was still contaminated, community concern began to grow. A study showing increased levels of bladder cancernearby the site showed up. Then there was the follow up report by UCLA that SRE plant workers who had been exposed to the highest levels of radiation had triple the amount of cancer death rates then those not exposed."

https://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2011/03/20/californias-historical-nuclear-meltdown/

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Gov. slams planned nuclear waste storage site



SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham came out swinging Friday against a planned facility to store spent nuclear fuel in southeast New Mexico, saying it would be “economic malpractice” to open such a site in an oil-rich region that’s also home to agricultural operations.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1325681/gov-lujan-grisham-against-planned-nm-nuclear-storage-facility.html

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF18/20190613/109638/HHRG-116-IF18-20190613-SD007.pdf

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

$14 Million for Fusion Energy Sciences Research

Department of Energy Announces $14 Million for Fusion Energy Sciences Research

"A major goal of the research is to develop methods of sustaining steady-state or continuous operation of fusion reactors, an essential step toward eventually making nuclear fusion a practical energy source...The research focuses on high-priority challenges in “magnetic confinement” of plasma (a hot mixture of ions and free electrons) on the pathway toward eventual development of a contained, self-sustaining fusion reaction.  The research will be performed on the DIII-D tokamak, the largest magnetically confined plasma facility in the United States."

https://www.energy.gov/articles/department-energy-announces-14-million-fusion-energy-sciences-research 

Democratic debates

Just watched the second debate. Warren says we should have policy that the US will never use a nuclear weapon first. Some other guy I think it is Gov Bullock says he would not agree with that. Sanders wanted to say something but there was no time. Free college though. Maybe they will ask the same question to on Thur.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Nuclear proliferation

Let me understand this: Saudis violate human rights openly. Their foreign workers are slaves. They still consider Christian and Jews as their enemy.
They destroyed Yemen etccc
Now, they get nuclear weaponry?
Is that against the non-proliferation policy?
The Trump administration is dangerous to our security and world peace.
Perry is definitely incompetent!

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/29/rick-perry-saudi-nuclear-democrats-3662906

Sunday, July 28, 2019

US suspends low-level radioactive waste shipments from Oak Ridge to Nevada

The department had announced earlier that shipments of the waste from Tennessee to Nevada have been suspended while it investigates whether the materials were “potentially mischaracterized” as the wrong category of low-level waste. 


https://www.wate.com/news/us-suspends-low-level-radioactive-waste-shipments-from-oak-ridge-to-nevada/

Monday, July 22, 2019

Taxpayers won’t have to pay Hanford contractor’s costs in discrimination lawsuit



"The appeals court upheld an April 2018 decision of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that the Department of Energy did not need to reimburse Bechtel National $500,000 for its legal defense costs in discrimination lawsuits filed by two employees. Both were fired. Bechtel argued that previously DOE had always reimbursed Bechtel for its costs to defend and settle lawsuits, including employment discrimination claims."

https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article232789237.html

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Another Bechtel Whistleblower Settlement

Another Bechtel Whistleblower Settlement

"Hanford whistleblower who lost his job reaches settlement in lawsuit over safety concerns"

"Millwright Walter Ford filed a lawsuit in federal court against Bechtel National, the contractor building the $17 billion plant and Aecom, its primary subcontractor..The Department of Labor said in a ruling made in 2015 that Ford’s role as a whistleblower in his 35 years at the Hanford nuclear reservation contributed to a decision to lay him off in November 2011."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article230958223.html

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Will Triad employee salaries be revealed?

As a Non-Profit LLC, will Triad employee salaries be revealed? 

"Nonprofits are required to submit their financial statements and other information -- including the salaries of directors, officers, and key employees...The IRS and nonprofits themselves are required to disclose the information on Form 990 to anyone who asks."

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/question-are-nonprofits-finances-public-information-28028.html

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Saturday, July 6, 2019

LANL Salaries Severely Fallen Behind Market


I noticed that the salaries being disclosed for engineering and science positions have really fallen far behind the market the past several years. First, most "scientist" positions are advertised at the postdoc, 1 or 2 level and require very advanced skills and experience nevertheless. On the other hand, there are glorified system administrator jobs being filled at the 3/4 level. Scientist jobs at the 3/4 level ask for incredible credentials that would be VP or director level in the private sector, and pay 2x to 10x. They are literally looking for world-class talent for $119-200K. Seems ludicrous.

According to Paysa, LANL is ranked 245th in pay for similar companies and 13,718th in all companies.

I understand how they can get some obsessive nanoscience or chemistry postdoc to work there, but how many top engineers or scientists are going to take a 2x or more pay cut and put up with the clearance requirements just to work on the government's niche problems? Not many good ones I imagine.

How can they fill these positions that ask for world class expertise paying so far below market? Also, why isn't pay keeping up with market under the GOCO model?

Is weapons science leaving LANL?

Is weapons science leaving LANL and going to LLNL? Follow the money.

Monday, July 1, 2019

LLNS CONTRACT

Should LLNS be awarded another contract after September 30, 2023, or will the NNSA favor a Triad like contractor model?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Command and control

Does LLNS have a "command and control" leadership style and if so, does it complement or detract from its NNSA mission objective effectiveness compared to other leadership approaches? 

"How Command and Control as a Change Leadership Style Causes Transformational Change Efforts to Fail"

http://changeleadersnetwork.com/free-resources/how-command-and-control-as-a-change-leadership-style-causes-transformational-change-efforts-to-fail

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Los Alamos Lab Flying LGBTQ Flag For First Time


By Rebecca Moss | rmoss@sfnewmexican.com Jun 11, 2019 Updated Jun 12, 2019

At 19, Samuel Buelow felt he had to leave Los Alamos to be himself.

He had grown up as a girl in the insular, scientific community that felt deeply conservative in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After moving to Pittsburgh for college, Buelow came out as a transgender, gay man.

“It was definitely something, at the time, I felt I couldn’t have done living here full time,” Buelow said of Los Alamos. “There was very little awareness of these issues in general. And when there was, it was surrounded by some pretty intense homophobia and transphobia.”

That was then.

This … is a town sporting different colors.

On Monday, a rainbow flag was raised for the first time in front of the Otowi Building on the Los Alamos National Laboratory campus, flapping alongside the U.S. and New Mexico banners. Lab officials said it will fly for the remainder of the week.

It was another sign of change at the lab, which in previous years has undertaken different pride representations, including decorating the windows of a prominent building with rainbow-colored Post-it Notes in 2017.

CJ Bacino, the laboratory’s diversity officer, said a Los Alamos lab LGBTQ staff and allies group called Prism brought forward the idea of raising the flag this year to help mark Pride Week in Los Alamos County.

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/los-alamos-lab-flying-lgbtq-flag-for-first-time/article_737d847e-8645-5455-8d96-15bcec7f3764.html

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Gender bias suit dismissed

Gender Bias Suit Against Sandia Labs Dismissed

BY SCOTT TURNER / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 12:05am

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A class action lawsuit accusing Sandia National Laboratories of “systemic and pervasive” discrimination against female employees was dismissed recently in federal court.

U.S. District Judge James O. Browning dismissed with prejudice the suit brought by Lisa A. Kennicott, Lisa A. Garcia, Sue C. Phelps and Judi Doolittle.

Kennicott, Garcia and Phelps originally filed suit in February 2017. Doolittle later joined the suit.

“We are pleased the matter has been resolved,” Sandia Labs spokeswoman Heather Clark said. “Sandia National Laboratories embraces gender diversity in the workforce and provides equal opportunities for all employees. Women are encouraged to pursue fulfilling careers and work toward common goals at the labs.”

https://www.abqjournal.com/1323811/gender-bias-suit-against-sandia-labs-dismissed-plaintiffs-had-alleged-that-evaluations-discriminated-against-womens-pay-promotions.html

Monday, June 3, 2019

SPSE-UPTE missed opportunity

Has SPSE-UPTE missed an opportunity to discuss the career ramifications of LLNS "career indefinite" employees forced into EIT/EBA status?

Monday, May 27, 2019

DOE whistleblower problem

DOE contractor employees are misled from the get go regarding the investigative authority of DOE to address whistleblower claims


When Hanford contractors Bechtel and URS (also members of the LLNS LLC) were asked to provide records of a Hanford whistleblower employee, Bechtel and URS refused, and essentially told the DOE IG, yes the DOE IG, to take a hike. 

It would appear that DOE claims to offer whistleblower protection knowing that they have no authority to demand records to prove or disprove contractor retaliation. This uncommunicated detail which appears to be a form of fraud, simply buys more time for DOE contractors to mitigate whistleblower issues using tax payer dollars. 

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/10/f18/IG-0923.pdf

Friday, May 24, 2019

Another Scandal !

Another Scandal
Former LANL scientist indicted for making false statements

SANTA FE, N.M. — A former top scientist with Los Alamos National Laboratories has been federally charged with three counts of making false official statements about “his involvement with a program established by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property,” according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1320008/former-lanl-scientist-indicted-for-making-false-statements.html

Hanford worker contaminated

https://www.opb.org/news/article/hanford-nuclear-reservation-contamination-health-workers/

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Another set of unfulfilled NNSA FOIA requests go to District Court

Another set of unfulfilled NNSA FOIA requests go to District Court

On May 9, 2019, my Attorney for FOIA matters filed "Rivera v. National Nuclear Security Administration et al" in CA Northern District Court. The complaint alleges failure to provide timely responses to 4 NNSA FOIA requests. In summary, the FOIAs requested the following records:

1. NNSA LFO Contracting Officer review of legal fee reimbursement allowability based on DOE Acquisition Letter AL 2016-06 that 
requires review of underlying contractor misconduct in whistleblower cases 

2. Career indefinite employee and supplemental labor employee lay offs at LLNL from June 1, 1984 to November 1, 2013

3. Records relating to the LLNL HEAF 10kg port glass rupture during an August 30, 2013 experiment 

4. Legal fee reimbursements to LLNS for the period of May 18, 2018 to January 18, 2019 related to my whistleblower case

https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/28150710/Rivera_v_National_Nuclear_Security_Administration_et_al

In my previous CA Northern District Court FOIA related proceeding regarding whistleblower related expenses, the NNSA did not provide the requested internal aggregate man-hour charges (available through project/task records) of LLNS employees related to my whistleblower case. These expenses may include internal man-hours charges for strategy meetings, testimony, depositions, coaching, statement construction, statement edits, investigation guidance etc., all charged to LLNS contracted funds. The use of contracted funds for this purpose did not require the oversight or approval of the NNSA. As such, these aggregate internal time charges were directly extracted from contracted funds without the need of a reimbursement allowability process. 

Anthony Rivera

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Pedigree and productivity

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/05/02/study-when-it-comes-research-output-where-phds-get-hired-matters-more-where-they

This is an interesting study that shows that faculty productivity depends on mostly on the institution where one is at not the institution where one got their Phd.

The message is that if the organization is excellent it brings up everything. This was an argument used in the past at the labs as why we needed excellence at the labs. In other words having excellence in open science will bring up the quality of all parts of the lab. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

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