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


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Friday, July 31, 2020

Invitation to clean debates

Dear blog visitor,

I am inviting you to keep your comments on topic. You don't need to win an argument. What every sane person wants are informative and interesting comments. Having seen this blog evolve negatively, I can confirm that you will never win an argument in an anonymous fashion. I renew my call for improving our blog and making it a friendly place where educated people come to inform and debate, instead of regurgitate and denigrate.

I am obligated and committed to delete any useless, hateful,  off-topic,  obscene comment. Not to mention complains about said deletions! 


Monday, July 13, 2020


There were 23 new active cases of COVID-19 this week at National Nuclear Security Administration sites, marking a second consecutive week of double-digit increases across the civilian nuclear security enterprise.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

NNSA and DOE dodged a Bullet

Senate Kills NDAA Language To ‘Usurp’ Civilian Control Of Nuke Budget

NNSA and DOE dodged a Bullet...

"A provision in the SASC’s 2021 defense policy bill that could have caused great friction between two powerful committees has been quashed. The provision would have handed DoD budgetary control of nuclear weapons development in the wake of strong opposition — including from Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Joe Manchin threatened to block the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on the Senate floor if the provision was not removed, according to one opponent.

The language in Section 3111 of the SASC bill would have given the Pentagon’s Nuclear Weapons Council power to set the annual budget of the development of warheads by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which develops and builds nuclear warheads for the Pentagon’s ICBMs, bombers and submarines.

The provision was overturned, as first reported by colleague John Donnelly, via an amendment cosponsored by Manchin and Sen. Maria Cantwell that the Senate approved on July 2, along with a larger package of changes. The amendment was approved unanimously, according to a July 2 press release by Cantwell.

Cantwell had been vociferous in her opposition to the bill, arguing that it not only would have usurped Brouillette’s power over his own department’s budget, but also could have resulted in the shifting of funds from other important DoE missions such as nuclear waste cleanup. (Brouillette made similar objections in a letter he sent to the SASC on June 29, further arguing that it would overturn civilian control of the nation’s nuclear weapons.)

While leaving budgetary control to DoE, the Cantwell-Manchin amendment does give DoD an opportunity to make its views on the annual NNSA budget proposal known. According to Cantwell’s release, the provision will “promote transparency by attaching the NWC’s recommendation for the NNSA’s budget as an appendix to the final budget request submitted by the Secretary of Energy.”

LANL plutonium-238 exposure

Los Alamos National Laboratory is investigating the possible exposure of Laboratory employees to plutonium-238 after a breach in a glovebox glove at the Plutonium Facility on June 8.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Honestly wondering...

I am just honestly asking the question as I am not sure if what I am feeling is correct?

1) I am honestly cringing to open the Lab Intranet as what new Social Justice post will we see?

2) I remember one of the Stem Protest comments was a lady caught up in the moment going to "make" her underlings watch Social Justice videos? Did I get that correct?

3) Our Director only portrays one side of H1 visa pause as 13m Americans are out of work, I think he is a Globalist and again I am asking?
As I notice 2 things about Liberalism, they (like our Director) really, really believe that everyone agrees with them and two their Ideology comes before safety of us and our families (like releasing Illegal Felons without notifying ICE or pooping on SF streets or removing the Police, Ideology over safety)?

4) I have never met WCI head and I am sure she is a good sincere person, but I did not care for her emails on this subject?

5) I honestly wonder how Lisa Haggerty would feel about this push?

6) It is distracting me, similar how the NFL kneelers "maybe" distract from their teammates and actually playing the game?

Any thoughts, feelings?


Monday, June 29, 2020

Credential Inflation In The Federal Workforce?

New Executive Order Fights Credential Inflation In The Federal Workforce"

"On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to fill job vacancies based on merit, rather than require a minimum level of education for candidates seeking open positions. The order rightly recognizes that a job candidate with several years of relevant experience may be just as qualified, if not more so, than one who has collected a stack of advanced degrees."

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dealing With Life Transitions in an Ever-Changing COVID-19 World

Dealing With Life Transitions in an Ever-Changing COVID-19 World  
ByJennifer Scott

Nothing’s for certain when it comes to COVID-19, except for the fact that everyone is working through some sort of change right now. Whether that change is as small as giving themselves an at-home haircut or as big as graduating from high school, people are dealing with all sorts of life transitions during these unprecedented times. Let’s explore some of those changes, as well as a few helpful tips for adjusting to and sorting through them. 

Trying to Sell a Home 

The full influence of COVID-19 on the US housing market has yet to be seen. Still, real estate experts speculate that with fewer folks out searching for new homes due to pandemic-related restrictions and concerns about the virus, home prices may end up falling this year. 

If you do want to sell your home during the pandemic, you can take extra precautions to give buyers peace of mind and hopefully sell before the market declines further. Some safe ways to show and sell your home could include virtual tours, 3D walkthroughs and video conferencing showings. As things open back up, you may also be able to arrange for in-person tours but if you do, make sure that your entire home is properly cleaned and sanitized before and after appointments. 

Finding or Starting a New Job 

Were you furloughed from your current job? If so, The Balance notes this may be the perfect time to reevaluate your career goals and begin searching for a position better-suited to your needs. You can spend the free time you have reworking your resume and combing through potential openings, to see if something catches your eye. 

If you do get called in for an interview, remember that there is no need to mention your furloughed status unless a prospective employer asks. Volunteering this information without being asked could end up complicating or even jeopardizing your job search. 

If you will be starting a new job during the pandemic, keep in mind that the onboarding and training process is bound to be different, and many of those steps may be completed virtually. 

Anticipating a Big Move 

Whether you plan on selling a home or starting a new job, these two major life changes may also require you to relocate while the COVID-10 crisis is ongoing. United Van Lines explains that planning a move in the middle of a global pandemic can be a little more challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible. 

You mainly need to be careful of restrictions and closings that could impact your travel, especially if you will be moving to a new state. If you are traveling through states, you may also want to check current COVID-19 hot zones, so you will know which locations may require added precautions. If you are merely moving to a new home in your current city, check out the COVID-19 cleaning tips mentioned above, so that you can ensure that your new home is safe for your family. 

Filing for Federal Benefits 

As mentioned above, there are quite a few people transitioning into new career fields due to COVID-19 closures. While the unemployment rate has fallen since the onset of the pandemic, millions of Americans are still desperately in need of financial support. As of June, the federal government has not decided whether to extend the CARES Act benefits currently providing assistance to these people. Still, you may end up needing to file for unemployment before the coronavirus crisis is over. 

Of course, accepting financial help can be difficult and emotional, but know that getting the help you need is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. So whether it’s unemployment or other financial aid, do what you need to keep yourself afloat. 

The coronavirus pandemic will likely continue to shape our lives in the coming months and even years. Since you cannot predict what changes this future will bring, all that you can do is focus on making the most of the changes in front of you. So whether that’s buying a new home or building a new career, or something else, try to find the information and resources you need to work through transitions in a positive way.
Jennifer Scott

Y-12 and Pantex M&O fired.

Y-12 and Pantex M&O fired. UC-tied underperformers next?
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Y-12 and Pantex M&O fired. UC-tied underperformers next?

6/23/2020 4:39 PM

I think the poster is saying some group or subcontractor associated with managing Pantex and Y-12 is out for underperforming. I have heard nothing of it or know which groups they are. I also don't think UC had any involvement with either theses places. Maybe it is a different UC than the University of California.

Friday, June 19, 2020

How is LLNS AAP?

Is the annual LLNS AAP worth a "hill of beans" in terms of actually addressing diversity employment disparities at LLNL?
6/19/2020 11:48 AM

Thursday, June 18, 2020

U.S. inertial confinement fusion (ICF) program finding increase

ICF funding:

Interesting that pulsed power ICF, which has shown no progress, gets a 30% increase, although the $ amount is small. Thankfully no $$ are being spent to build a new Z machine. This is probably a relief to SNL which has no need for that program.

At least LLE Rochester wasn’t able to extort the government for more money. Their budget remains flat.

Monday, June 15, 2020

How y'all doing?

How are sites doing in the resumption of work now that COVID restrictions are being lifted and some states are seeing an increase as restrictions are being lifted?

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Diversity harmed at LLNL

After nearly 30 years of false promises regarding diversity,
not much has changed at LLNL.  Lab careers of the outspoken, those that pushed the envelope as AEM Lab employees did in the 90s, endured careers that were systematically and forever harmed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

How is Bill doing?

As those before him since the 2007 transition, is LLNL Director Bill Goldstein simply a stooge for the for-profit LLNS LLC contractor? What has being the LLNS "President" meant thus far to LLNL employees besides unjustified mass layoffs and systemic benefit reductions?

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Manageable managers

"Advance opportunities are biased and many are given to those who can be manageable."

Unfortunately true. So how many of our LANL and LLNL Diversity Managers are "Manageable"?

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Unthinkable growth!

With race riots and and a depression level economy brought on by the coronavirus, how is the country going to continue increasing the NW complex by 20% every year? I see LinkedIn and postings for all sorts of jobs at the labs. I assume they will continue to increase their workforce by double-digits every year indefinitely. I harbor no ill will against the labs or NNSA, but the situation is strange.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Trump's idea of nuc testing is stupid

Nuclear testing is very, vary bad:

Note how the “experts” have perfect knowledge of other nations stockpiles. None of them have ever worked in the US nuclear weapons complex let alone the complexes of the highly secretive countries on which they speculate about.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Profit and diversity

Have the LANL and LLNL for-profit contractors, improved or undermined diversity efforts compared to UC/LANL or UC/LLNL?

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Nuclear ban in question

In April, while most of the world was focused on defeating a devastating viral pandemic, the US State Department quietly released its annual compliance report, describing whether and how the United States and other countries have been abiding by various arms control agreements. The report is sober reading for those hoping that the coronavirus would usher in a new era of international collaboration.

The report made waves for raising “concerns” about China’s adherence to a “zero-yield” nuclear testing standard, as called for by the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Nuclear testing and trump

Is this real? Trump may want to do a NW test? What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sandia Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

Sandia National Laboratories announced today that at some point in the near future they will be rolling out mandatory random/sequential COVID-19 PCR testing. There was no information on what will happen upon a positive test result. Failure to comply will result in punitive action, up to and including termination.
Apparently the ADA and EEOC have suspended all rules protecting employees from invasive medical testing, in the name of workplace safety. Any thoughts how to handle a forced test with unknown personal and career impact, when you feel fine and know that the test has a nonzero false-positive rate?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Changes in Employee Benefits Do Not Constitute Gross Mismanagement

DOE says, "Changes in Employee Benefits Do Not Constitute Gross Mismanagement"

A former UT-Battelle employee was demoted and eventually fired allegedly for "willful misconduct, failure to follow proper procedure, and loss of confidence", after she complained about a UT-Battelle announcement to discontinue all health insurance offerings except for its high deductible health plan (HDHP). Her appeal to the DOE OHA was denied. The DOE OHA noted the UT-Battelle move to a HDHP only health coverage was a "day-to-day" contractor matter and outside of Part 708 protections.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Without major hardware additions, will NIF ever reach ignition, or did they believe early on, it would take at least ~400 lasers to reach the ignition goal?

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Funding awards

The Ed Moses’ cancelled LIFE idea has been resurrected at LLE Omega:

Seems Ed deserves an apology and recognition for pioneering laser-driven fusion reactors for electricity generation.

Nuclear arsenal expansion

China urged to expand nuclear arsenal to deter US warmongers

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Directors “All Hands”

Directors “All Hands”.....more bureaucratic bilge or something of substances?

Monday, May 4, 2020

LLNS minorities

Has LLNS self-proclaimed Native American Senior Superintendent Randy Pico, consistently supported minorities or other LLNS employees that didn't help him move up the LLNS ranks? Can LLNS minorities trust this guy, or is he just a savvy opportunist?

Friday, May 1, 2020

What ever happened with the LANL Culture Survey?

Last Summer and Fall, Thom Mason really pushed the LANL culture survey into the organizations for all three deputy Lab Director's (Webster, Sarrao & Beierschmitt). All three surveys revealed serious morale problems. Has anyone heard of any positive changes resulting from any of these culture surveys? How convenient for the COVID crisis to hit. It seems like the COVID crisis has provided the cover to bury these surveys. Interestingly LANL has promoted several bad managers to higher positions during the "pause". Once promoted, this implies that nobody can held accountable for people mistreatment in their former (lower) positions?

Science at the labs

How is science currently being done at the labs. Below is a list of how science is often done in many places but is it how it is done in the labs?

It is unscientific to disagree with the consensus
It is unscientific to agree with a majority of scientists
It is unscientific to say that something is likely or unlikely
A theory is unscientific if it says that a quantity is meaningless if or when it is not observed by a well-defined procedure
It is unscientific to use aesthetic criteria while picking a theory
A theory is unscientific if it agrees with an older theory and they cannot be distinguished in currently doable experiments
It is unscientific to reduce a scientific question to an elaborate calculation or a complex mathematical argument
It is unscientific to dismiss an experiment (and evidence building on it) as a fraud or bad science
It is unscientific to consider people's subjective preferences and/or money in the scientific selection of the best policy
It is unscientific to dismiss an observed pattern as a coincidence or a fluke
It is unscientific to conclude that an observed pattern is probably not a coincidence and there must be a more detailed explanation
It is unscientific to claim that there is positive evidence in favor of a theory

Thursday, April 30, 2020

New Mexico budget crisis.

New Mexico and Santa Fe headed towards a financial crisis. The Los Alamos study group will again suggest closing down LANL as a way to save money for New Mexico since according to them Los Alamos creates poverty. How it does that is beyond me.

Concern as coronavirus threatens Russia's closed ‘nuclear cities’

The head of Russia’s state-run nuclear corporation has expressed concern about the spread of the new coronavirus to three “nuclear cities”, including one that houses a top-secret research institute that helped develop the Soviet atomic bomb.

Overdue investigation

In 2012, did LLNS management present an "intent to dismiss" letter to a young NIF employee just days before he committed suicide? Perhaps an impartial investigation is overdue.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Former LANL staff member in National Academy of Sciences.

Former LANL staff member from T-Div elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Jarzynski, Christopher; distinguished university professor and director, Institute for Physical Science and Technology, department of chemistry and biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park

Chris left LANL sometime after LANS came in.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Q-Clearance question

If you lie about something on your own 5 year security update regarding not paying your taxes, bankruptcy, a DWI, drug use, etc., you could have your Q-Clearance removed.

What happens to a person with a Q-Clearance who knowingly lies about someone else who has a Q-Clearance with comparable but untrue allegations? In other words, what happens to employees that purposefully weaponize Q-Clearance information against another employee with false information?

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Los Alamos employees punished

It was just a matter of time ...

Los Alamos employees who have charged the COVID leave code are now getting punished.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

NNSA does not waste any time

NNSA Puts CARES Act Relief Language Into Prime Contracts

"Not much sooner than Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette provided the guidance for doing so, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) added language to its prime contracts for major nuclear-weapon sites for billing the government for paid time off..."

Friday, April 17, 2020

China may have conducted low-level nuclear test

The US state department has claimed China may have secretly conducted a low-yield underground nuclear test, in an accusation likely to further inflame already poor relations between Washington and Beijing.

A report on arms control compliance does not offer proof, but points to circumstantial evidence, of excavations and other stepped-up activity at China’s Lop Nur test site.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Los Alamos gets praised

In her latest update as to what the state was doing to slow down the spread of COVID-19, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase, praised Los Alamos for its efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. According to current cell phone tracking data compiled by the Descartes Labs, Los Alamos was one of the few counties that showed (through the data) that Los Alamos is taking the governor’s social distancing orders seriously.

National Labs Join Fight against COVID-19

Some of the world’s best scientists and high-tech equipment have been enlisted to find solutions for the viral pandemic.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Blog rules

Scooby, recently a poster has taken over this blog with comments about the defense industry, which is irrelevant to the NNSA and flouts the rules of this blog. Could you kindly post the blog rules so as to prevent this from happening again? It’s an unfortunate distraction from an otherwise interesting blog.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Is anyone comprehending this new reality?

Clearly we’re not going see 20% yearly increases in the NNSA budget. I suspect the pit facility plans are going to be put on hold. Maybe we’ll have to reduce the nuclear Triad to only one system, like submarine-launched missiles. There are some big choices that are going to have to made because of our drastic reduction in GDP and tax base. Is anyone comprehending this new reality?

Monday, March 30, 2020

Is LA County's Inaction CRIMINAL?

Anonymous said...
Is LA County's Inaction CRIMINAL?
For more than a week the Los Alamos county leaders were informed about high risk for COVID-19 exposure of public servants in Shops (Smith, Pharmacy, Post-Office ..etc), and they will transmit the virus to the public and produce an avalanche of sick people.
The county were made aware that covering the mouth and nose with some paper towel, mask may reduce the probability of spreading the disease by more than 100 times.
This is necessary to be done by the entire community only when entering public spaces, not on street or inside own cars. Customers' and employees fever will be good to measure before being admitted in the shop.
By imposing these measures only, it might reduce transmission factor by 100 to 1000 times, and with "social distancing" the numbers may be much lower, most of the threat coming from outsiders in Santa Fe and Espanola.
A leaked LANL estimation predicted that about 5000 cases and >200 dead will be until September and I think taking these measures we may reduce the number well under 500 cases, with few or no death.
The difference is the cost of inaction or the reward for preemptive action.
I hope they will take the right decision, and not wait for instructions from a bunch of incompetent, inexperienced people.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Pension Status

Ironically, every year in April since 2009, LANS/TRIAD has published a perfunctory status of the Defined Benefit Pension. Given the hit on the market I do no expect good news. As a reminder, last April 2018 TRIAD published a 104% funding attainment. Prior to 2018, there has a been a 5% per year decline in value from 134%, in spite of bull markets. When the attainment is 80% or below TRIAD will "punt" the pension to the federal government (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) and pay a portion or all benefits would we have received from the plan. It should be noted that this is huge difference between the UC pension and the private LANS/TRIAD pension. My understanding is that UC pension will stay with UC through "thick and thin". I will never forget Tyler conveying "substantially equivalent in the aggregate", we will soon see what "aggregate" means. Buckle up everyone; we've been living on borrowed time.

I should also mention that LANS/TRIAD is very secretive about how (and who) they manage this private pension. I've tried without success to determine the qualifications and credentials of the personnel that manage the pension, let alone specifically where the investments.

Racist Acts Surge Against Asian Americans

The FBI warned Friday it has seen a surge in alleged hate crimes and racist incidents targeting Asian Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to grow.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Any cases of Covid-19 at the labs?

I know some of the DOE Labs are under minimum operations but no one had reported any covid  cases?
Are there any?

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Not everyone has moved on

We may have pushed the "treat people like people" needle, but it is naive and misleading to say "we have moved on".

"Coronavirus impact: Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19"

Saturday, March 14, 2020

A Lessons Learned Organization?

A Lessons Learned Organization?
Thom Mason presented an-all hands meeting on Tuesday. No coronavirus known in New Mexico, he announced. By Wed, rumors were circulating through the local schools that some kids were being pulled from school because a parent or parents, who are Lab employees, had tested positive for coronavirus. By Thursday, multiple sources of information, including teenagers and adults, confirmed the assertion that ten presumptive COVID-19 cases at LANL were known. Thursday evening the Governor announced that all public schools would be closed for three weeks. By Friday, Thom Mason issued a message that no known confirmed cases of coronavirus at Los Alamos had been identified. Business as usual. Meanwhile, more independent corroboration poured in through the town grapevine about the ten presumptive LANL cases. People were actually observed fighting over bottled water and toilet paper at the local grocery store! Information from people close to the New Mexico Health Dept. revealed that presumptive COVID-19 cases should go to CDC for confirmation through them. No contact to date with LANL!
Apparently the lowest first year variable fee award percentage in NNSA contractor history and being called out as not being a “lessons learned” organization has not deterred TRIAD’s behavior. Why should it, when you can call a 66% variable fee award “Good” and pay all the managers a bonus? How can it be that common knowledge of multiple presumptive COVID-19 cases was known two days after an all-hands meeting where nothing was revealed? It stretches credulity to believe that TRIAD is acting in good faith.
Caring about employee well-being is just an empty platitude without actions to back it up. Transparency, even when it means revealing inconvenient facts, and promptly disclosing to State Health officials is something we all have a right to demand from Triad. From their mishandling of Harborview, many gaffes regarding proper contract management and improperly vetting proposed actions with NNSA to now this latest obfuscation, Triad is amply demonstrating they are not up to the task for the management and operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Kids of infected LANL personnel pulled out of school

A person within the LA school system just told me that there are some folks at LANL who have tested positive for COVID and their kids have been pulled from school.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Management has no communication with employees, headless chickens...



The Laboratory is taking several precautions following the report of an employee with a presumptive but unconfirmed case of coronavirus – COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution the decision was made to close building 551W for cleaning. All employees in that building have been sent home with instructions to return to work on Monday. Disinfection of the building has been completed.

The Laboratory was made aware of the employee’s presumptive case late Wednesday. Health Services has been in contact with the affected employee and has identified 23 people who had close business contact. Per CDC guidelines, those employees have been sent home for self-monitoring over the next 14 days.

Any employee showing signs of respiratory illness, including fever, should stay home until they are symptom free. People who identify as part of a high-risk group should contact Health Services for further guidance, 2-7462. High risk groups include people 60 and older, those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes and people who have weakened immune systems.

The Laboratory is suspending all business travel and visitors to the site through March 13. In addition, managers are encouraged to allow liberal use of telecommuting. Employees should discuss details with their supervisors. Large, in-person meetings are discouraged. Further guidance on the Laboratory’s response to this issue will be provided in upcoming communications.

All employees are encouraged to slow down and be deliberate in all actions; we realize this may be a distraction. For more information, including frequently asked questions and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, see the Health Services website.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

We are all to blame!

Is there some point to this all? We are suppose to ensure the stockpile which was relevant in the 60s and 70s. The cold war is over and we are all about to "die" ok maybe not but be shut down by Covid19. Has everything we have done been for nothing? I can understand some boomers saying " I protected freedom" but can anyone from that past 25 years say that...I think not. Maybe our talents should have been used elsewhere where it could have made a difference. We spent all this money on bombs to kill an enemy that no longer existed now in the end when we could have used that money to fight viruses we wasted it. We are all to blame.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

ORNL researcher indicted

ORNL researcher and UT faculty member Anming Hu indicted by the feds today. Looks like it could be another Thousand Talents case.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Diversity Managers

Are "Diversity Managers" at NNSA labs bought off to protect their NNSA contractor? Ever met an openly disgruntled race discrimination concerned diversity manager? Nope.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Coronavirus and LANL- LLNL

Coronavirus topic: If this gets going will part of the LLNL and LANL be devoted to fighting this, at least in terms of modeling and large scale simulations? Which place will be the big break out US city? The sure bets are LA, SF, Seattle but my guess it is going be something like Denver or Orlando first. This is actually starting to like possible pandemic.

Something strange is going on at TRIAD

Some strange things are going on at LANL as whole ares of the lab have been suddenly shut down to non-US citizens. Could be corona virus could be something else. Other rumors are things have not gone well for TRIAD the first year and the hammer is or will soon be coming down on LANL. Something very odd is going on.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Triad scores lower

Did anyone notice Triad got a worse at risk fee score for 2019 than LANS ever did except the WIPP year? What is going on?

Triad 2019: 66%

LANS 2018: 75%
LANS 2017: 70%
LANS 2016: 85%
LANS 2015: 74%
LANS 2014: 45% (WIPP accident)
LANS 2013: 82%
LANS 2012: 74%
LANS 2011: 83%
LANS 2010: 81%
LANS 2008: 81%
LANS 2007: 71%

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

LANL contract competition

The NNSA expects contract competition to manage LANL will yield $76.1 million in cost savings over the potential 10 year life of the contract

Thursday, January 30, 2020


Is double-dipping becoming more common? I have a few former bosses/colleagues that have retired from one national lab, with full pensions, and gone on to start new jobs at other national lab. They are all over 65. Used to be guys left at 60-62. Was wondering if this is becoming a trend, particularly with baby boomers who want to keep working.

DJ Johnson of Honeywell

DJ Johnson of Honeywell is a textbook example of an Organizational Conflict of Interest. He is micromanaging and directing work at Sandia in order to raise the Kansas City performance evaluations. He is attending internal meetings which are far below his level and are not supposed to include people outside of the Sandia and Kansas City org structures. Sandia and Kansas City are legally distinct entities under different contracts. An FFRDC is not allowed to provide benefit to other organizations which may be related to their managing company.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Ex-LANL scientist pleads guilty
ALBUQUERQUE — A former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist accused of lying about his contact with a Chinese recruitment program pleaded guilty Friday to one count of making a false statement to the U.S. government.

Turab Lookman of Santa Fe accepted the plea as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that includes dismissal of two other charges.

Lookman will be sentenced at a later date, probably within 60 to 90 days, federal prosecutor George C. Kraehe said.

He could face up to five years in federal prison and be fined as much as $250,000.
Lookman, who was 67 when he was arrested, admitted to lying to a LANL investigator in 2018 about his contact with a program that prosecutors said had been “established by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Paul Briones told Lookman that the 10-month sentence the defendant had discussed with attorneys was “on the low end” and would not be binding to the U.S. district judge who will decide whether to accept the terms of the plea deal.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

UC/LLNL retirees settlement

UC/LLNL retirees have reached a settlement with the University of California to compensate the UC/LLNL retirees for health care benefit premium increases. What chance do LLNS employees have of acquiring similar retirement health care premium compensation from UC if they too were 100% vested UC/LLNL employees before the 2007 transition to LLNS?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Debate instead of denigrate!

Dear blog visitor,

Please keep your comments on topic. Make them informative and interesting and not a way to win an argument. You will never win an argument in an anonymous fashion.
Together,  let us improve our blog and make it a friendly place where educated people come to inform and debate, instead of regurgitate and denigrate.
I feel obligated and committed to  filter out any useless, bitter attacks.

Scooby, Doobydew, Julian

What would you revise?

If LLNS employees and UC/LLNL retirees had the opportunity to revise the current and future Prime Contract/Annual PER to manage LLNL, what would they want revised based on their post 2007 experience and impact to LLNL mission objectives?

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hilarious Glassdoor review of Sandia

Hilarious Glassdoor review on Sandia National Laboratories

"Be Aware of Major Drawbacks"

Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
I worked at Sandia National Laboratories full-time for more than 5 years


9/80 schedule, health benefits, the freedom to move around to other projects or groups within the labs and job security.


Where to start? The politics, back-stabbing and dog-eat-dog competition is extreme to the point of being counterproductive, stressful and exhausting. Funding changes constantly, making it very difficult to develop and maintain core competency. Lot's of pressure to fit square pegs into round holes for the sake of capitalizing on a prior technology investment. The Good Old Boys network and nepotism are alive and well. The best way to get ahead is to go to the right church and have a degree from UNM. Old fashioned, corporate "management is God" culture. Career advancement in the science/engineering ladder is extremely slow, even compared to other national labs. To advance, you have to go into management. Much more emphasis on bringing in grant/program dollars, no matter the quality, than doing good technical work. Performance reviews emphasize nebulous "leadership" and "behavior" metrics that serve only to make promotion dependent on things other than job performance (like nepotism, friendships or religious affiliation). Lot's of crusty old guys, retired in place, like to keep the new generation down and systematically trash ideas from any fresh faces, in order to squash the competition. Overhead rates on your time/salary are so high, especially as you get more senior, that you will eventually price yourself out of doing any work. This also makes it impractical to compete with more efficient R&D institutions. Loss of mission and focus since outside of the ~30% of nuclear weapons work, the lab doesn't have a compelling advantage over more efficient private companies (e.g. Lockheed, Raytheon, HRL, SAIC, etc.), and Sandia is far too expensive and bureaucratic to compete with universities. Nevertheless, they spend much of their effort trying to compete with both.

Advice to Management

There really is nothing to say. In the 70 year history of Sandia, management has gone from AT&T Bell Labs for $1/year, to Lockheed for millions/year and now to the Honeywell conglomerate, which is widely considered to be one of the worst large employers in the US. Folks in Sandia have a very high opinion of themselves, but it is not shared by the outside world or the DOE / NNSA. They are viewed as an engineering shop, like Honeywell or Bechtel, and the government apparently manages them as such.

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