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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Cookie Jars Within Cookie Jars?



"DOE Pushes Back on Suggestion That Local Feds Investigate Subcontractor Ownership Ties" 

Local DOE officials should “independently review subcontractor ownership information as part of DOE consent reviews and assess potential conflicts of interest to ensure contractors are mitigating them,” GAO auditors said in a 76-page report published Tuesday...A notable example of subcontractors party to prime contracts in the NNSA enterprise is Bechtel National. The company is the lead partner on Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS), operator of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn...At Y-12, the company is also building the Uranium Processing Facility under a subcontract to CNS.

https://www.exchangemonitor.com/doe-pushes-back-suggestion-local-feds-investigate-subcontractor-ownership-ties/

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last month, the Feds filed a false claims lawsuit against the MOX contractor and Wise Services the subcontractor for fraudulent and illicit acts. Allegedly, kickbacks were given from Wise Services of cash, gift cards, YETI coolers, Masters, NASCAR and football tickets, phones, car tires, etc., to particular MOX employees best positioned to help Wise Services with aspects of their subcontract award and modifications to it.

Now the GAO is concerned with corporate partners of prime contracts including themselves in facility or site subcontracts too. Instead of giving and receiving kickbacks alleged in the lawsuit against MOX and Wise Services, it appears to be far less risky for a company to just be a prime contractor member of a facility and a subcontractor member of that same facility.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that the DOE is the one who pushes for that arrangement from contractors. That’s why they don’t want it looked into.

Anonymous said...


Saying LANL is weapons lab is like saying Rocky Flats was a weapons lab. It may be facility, a plant, or a factory but certainly not a laboratory. LLNL is now "THE" weapons lab. Sandia is a National Security lab. LANL is a facility that will attempt to make pits.

Anonymous said...

3/21/2019 11:30 PM

You obviously have no clue about the range of research programs at LANL including weapons research. A simple look at the LANL web site would educate you. It is in no way a plant. It is however a facility, the premier weapons and national security research facility in the US. Producing a few pits a year will not change that since pit production would use only about 10% of the LANL "facility."

Anonymous said...

10% may be a little low when the budget is north of 30% and growing.

Anonymous said...

"You obviously have no clue about the range of research programs at LANL including weapons research. A simple look at the LANL web site would educate you. It is in no way a plant. It is however a facility, the premier weapons and national security research facility in the US. Producing a few pits a year will not change that since pit production would use only about 10% of the LANL "facility.""

I agree, but the trajectory of LANL is no pits and if Savanah River folds than LANL is the next Rocky Flats and there are many a rumor that this is exactly what will happen, what NNSA wants, what New Mexico wants and so on. Heck there may even be a rational point to this. It could mean that some the weapons research will be moving to Livermore and Sandia as the priories shift. It will be very difficult to have a full pit factory coexisting with a science lab for very obvious reasons. Of course a solution would be what Oak Ridge did and split ORNL and Y-12, so that that the management would be easier and when something went wrong with one facility it did not effect the other. I simply cannot imagine that such a thing could happen at LANL. As pit production builds up expect that many incidents will occur, it is just the way it goes with large risky operations, and when these happen except long shutdowns, crazy restrictions, months and and months of training for everyone. There will also be the very easy temptation to blame scientists for a fast and easy way to get out, at the very lest the ugly "culture" problem can always be invoked. The pit people where influenced by the culture which caused them to screw up. I think it will become very clear to everyone that moving the weapons and all the other science out of LANL will be better for everyone in the long run. I think there could be some separate science into the issue of pit production but those are rather different from the other parts of the lab. By the way there is nothing wrong with being a facility, Rocky Flats or something like it was needed and could still be needed today. It needs to be done someplace and the LANL plant could be the best place. LANL science could easily turn into LLNL science and so on. Also New Mexico would be much happier with a large factory rather than a science lab so I can understand why they would want this.

Anonymous said...


"It is however a facility, the premier weapons and national security research facility in the US. "

That was true from 1943 to say 2005, but it is simply no longer the case. Sandia is now the largest facility in the NNSA complex. LANL has suffered a large number of scandals, must where total nonsense but the fact that NNSA decided that the "premier" national security research facility in the US was to be run by a sleazy for profit construction company tells you how much the US values LANL. The quality of science and engineering at LANL was premier before 2005 but by every measure LANL is now 2nd 3rd rate and huge amount of the talent left, and the new hires are far far below what we used to get. The fact that Bechtel got thrown out is good sign but the course may be clear now. LANL now has a very bad reputation to the outside academic world which has long term consequences.
LANL is not the same lab it was 20 years ago and it is no longer premier. Sandia is much stronger lab, and LLNL has improved and seems to be getting better.

Anonymous said...

LANL is not the same lab it was 20 years ago and it is no longer premier. Sandia is much stronger lab, and LLNL has improved and seems to be getting better.

3/23/2019 3:18 PM

Sandia cannot design, produce, or test nuclear weapons.

Anonymous said...

3/23/2019 3:09 PM

Word salad. No actual knowledge, no insight, just opinions. "Many a rumor...", "I simply cannot imagine..", "I think...", "I think..."

OK, your periodic rants without substance are really getting old.

Anonymous said...

Look where the investments are going. Pits not science.

Look at who will be developing the next decade of weapons. Is it LANL? Is it LLNL.

Last, look at who is still running LLNL. Some of you truly underestimate politics. Who is advocating for science at LANL??? Who is advocating for LANL at all?

Anonymous said...

"Look where the investments are going. Pits not science. "

This is what LANL keeps saying.

"Look at who will be developing the next decade of weapons. Is it LANL? Is it LLNL. "

LLNL, that is fairly obvious. They could move some people from LANL to LLNL.

"Who is advocating for science at LANL??? "

No one.

"Who is advocating for LANL at all?"

NNSA and DOE are but as a pit production facility. Again lots of rumors that Savanah River is simply not going to work and LANL is going to get the whole thing maybe by 2025.

Despite how it looks it could actually be the most logical thing to do.

Anonymous said...

"LLNL is now "THE" weapons lab...."

blathered 3/21/2019 11:30 PM

No, LLNL is "THE" laser lab. Their brilliant target designs and a modest upgrade to NIF will soon bring star power to earth. That will consume all of their effort, so they may have to give the w-80 back to the nuclear weapon experts who designed it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

3/24/2019 6:04 AM and 3/24/2019 8:07 AM are the same person, setting himself up with leading questions that presuppose his agenda, and then pretending to be someone different who provides answers confirming that agenda. Real adult behavior.

Anonymous said...

3/24/2019 6:04 AM and 3/24/2019 8:07 AM are the same person, setting himself up with leading questions that presuppose his agenda, and then pretending to be someone different who provides answers confirming that agenda. Real adult behavior.

3/24/2019 5:14 PM

Sounds like collusion. You know how that ends ;)

In any case I am one of the posters, so I can guarantee you that this not the same person.

Anonymous said...

"so they may have to give the w-80 back to the nuclear weapon experts who designed it in the first place."

The experts at BOTH labs that designed the weapons are gone. We have a 2nd and 3rd generation of people who have not taken things down to Nevada for testing. So now we have to claim that my set of "guessers" is better than your set of "guessers." Who has the better simulation programs and how do we really know? Our self imposed moratorium really put the brakes on North Korea and Iran.

Anonymous said...


Why can't we consolidate the science at LLNL? We all know that there will a big safety issue with the pit production at some point, it is just what happens when you work on this kind of thing, they will freeze up the whole lab for several years. The science and and pit will be treated the same. We can protect the science if we move it to LLNL.

Anonymous said...

3/26/2019 8:29 AM

Agreed. Bush 41 should have never agreed to unilateral ending of underground testing. Huge mistake.

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