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

Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SCOOBY!

I wish all the visitors and contributors of this BLOG a happy new year.
2013 will be the 6th year of this BLOG!
I hope 2013 will bring a more positive outlook, a fresh attitude of tolerance and optimism to everyone.
Together, let us uses this BLOG more constructively!

Scooby

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Should the Nuclear Weapons Complex be Broken up?



The real push back on moving nuclear weapons research and production work out of DOE to DOD has always come from the House and Senate congressional committees over the DOE (and its predecessor agencies). No one wants to give up such a large part of their territory to another committee. Also the committee prestige derived from overseeing the "crown jewels" national labs (LANL, LLNL, and SNL) and their combined Billion Dollar annual budgets.

I still think there's a change that some change may come out of this latest congressional mandated review of NNSA.

Everyone from the White House to Congress to the Lab Directors to the DOD customers recognizes that NNSA is broken. And as we've all read, even ex-NNSA leadership is saying its broken and not working the way Congress had intended. The only ones that remotely seem happy are the "for profit" contractor entities running the NNSA production sites, since they just have to follow NNSA orders without questioning them or pushing back, and if they do this they get their management fees. The NNSA science Labs on the other hand are full of relatively smart people raised/educated to question things and push boundaries.

A possible solution that the powerful Congressional Committees might buy off on... divide the NNSA mess into its key functions - research/science (LANL, LLNL), applied engineering (SNL), and testing/production (Pantex, KCP, Y-12, SRS, NTS).

Move testing/production to DOD (as an separate agency, similar to DARPA and NSA) and keep research/science in DOE (office of science, and have their nuclear weapons work done as "Work for Others").

Not sure about where to put SNL. I tend to lean towards DOD, since it seems to function and have more in common with the existing DOD applied research and engineering labs (ie, Lincoln Lab). It is also on an Air Force Base and seems to do a significant amount of WFO for DOD customers.

I'd really like to hear some thoughts on this approach? Pluses... minuses...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Time to move nuclear weapons complex out of DOE



This article will carry a lot of weight in the on-going debate, since the WWII era concept to create a separate agency just for nuclear issues was a creation of the Manhattan project scientists. Look for special interest groups to oppose the move, then look at what they stand to loose when it happens. The salary, perks and unchecked controls are relics of bygone times.


http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/who-should-manage-the-nuclear-weapons-complex

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What does it mean for us?

Looks like more and more we will go over the cliff. What does that mean for LLNL, Sandia, and LANL

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Management/workforce gap


Happy Holidays everyone. I am certainly having a great time. Now that I have a bit of rest I have been thinking about what has changed over the last 25 yrs. I would say the big changes have been in the last 12 to 20 yrs. There have been many but the clearest to me has been in management and managers attitudes. This has been not just in change of managers (which I have seen a lot of) but also people I knew very well who changed over time in management. Years ago managers had varied styles and views but today it is pretty much the same view. Let me explain the current views.
First there is this universal belief that management is very different from the workforce in that they are privy to the realities of the world and that the workforce is sheltered and simply does not understand the ways of the world. To be specific I am told consistently by managers that the non-managers have a naive view of the work world and believe that there is some inherent quantity called excellence, value, true purpose, or truth. The workers also believe they are special or smarter, and cannot be replaced or that the whole institute itself cannot be replaced. A management mantra is that everything really is nothing more than perception, building perception, and maintaining perception. We have to flow and mold with the current perceptions
and to attempt to counter such perceptions is foolish in two ways, (1) that in the end there really is no truth so you will ultimately have nothing to stand on. (2) That the people in charge such Congress and to an extent the American people will not, cannot and have no desire to understand the truth even is such a thing existed. Therefore in order for the labs to survive we must embrace these realities. Ideas installed into graduate students and postdocs of great science or engineering simplistic and will not lead to successful survivability. I have tried to nicely argue with a few of the managers and usually get the argument that my view is just not consistent with modern world or that you just don't get it do you.

Now in the "old days" the managers had also sorts of views some of them pretty harsh. but none of them had this sort modern view.
To me this seems like a postmodern worldview that there are no objective truths at all and everything is political.

I may indeed by naive but do modern corporations also believe this kind of stuff?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I too have noticed a big change in management. I would agree with the above, but with a small twist. That is perceptions are more important than substance. Managment can go a long way based solely on perceptions. They hope to move on before reality demonstrates that their "snake oil" doesn't work. If a manager can keep ahead of the destruction he causes, the new schmuck coming in behind him can take the blame

Does LANL get another chance?


Does LANL get another chance?

After the several well publicized failures this past year, will LANL get a contract extension from NNSA? Was one of Tom D's final acts to fix this? Anyone know the answer here?

coment:
Comment:

LANS is doing a good job. Just look at their reward fee and compare it to what UC used to make.

10MJ to 2MJ: Justifications

10MJ to 2MJ: NIF and the background behind the justifications and margin for the current design.

Many formerly at the lab have described a series of events that ultimately led to the current 2MJ design. From what was known at the time, 10MJ was the energy needed. That kind of energy is easy to deliver using high explosives, for example. But I'm confused as to how a much lower energy delivered by a method (laser) untested could be justified as having sufficient margins. Does 10MJ provide overly massive margins for ignition? Does anyone have open literature references for better explaining the decisions and events leading to the current design?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Defense authorization bill for fiscal 2013

By Douglas P. Guarino
Global Security Newswire
WASHINGTON – The Senate on Friday approved a defense authorization bill for fiscal 2013 that would mandate construction of a new nuclear weapons laboratory and storage facility in New Mexico but that lacks many other controversial nuclear security provisions lawmakers considered earlier this year.

The 81-14 Senate vote on the of legislation followed House approval of the latest version of the same bill on Thursday by a vote of 315-107. The bill authorizes – but does not appropriate -- $527.5 billion in base Defense Department spending, $88.5 billion for overseas operations, and $17.4 billion for defense-related nuclear programs managed by the Energy Department.

The bill now goes to the White House for the president’s signature.

Both chambers approved the measure without additional amendments to the conference committee version that resolved differences between the House and Senate defense bills.The legislation lacks many controversial provisions House Republicans had originally sought to include, such as limitations on the implementation of the New START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

In addition, the bill does not include controversial language limiting DOE oversight of its semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration. Instead, a special congressional panel would study whether the governing structure of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex ought to be changed in the future.

The legislation also does not authorize funds for construction of an East Coast ballistic missile defense interceptor site, as some House Republicans had sought. Rather, it requires the Defense Department to study no fewer than three potential new sites, at least two of which must be on the East Coast.

The bill eliminates funding for the multinational Medium Extended Air Defense System, a battlefield system meant to intercept threats including tactical or medium-range ballistic missiles and aircraft.

Lawmakers did, however, mandate construction of the New Mexico facility by 2026. The Obama administration had sought to delay work on the new building, which is part of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Also included is language intended to spur domestic production of isotopes used in medical diagnostic procedures without the use of highly enriched uranium, which could be used to build a nuclear weapon if it fell into the wrong hands.

In addition, it sets the stage for additional sanctions intended to discourage Iran from pursuing a nuclear-weapon capacity, by designating Tehran’s energy, port, shipping and shipbuilding sectors as “entities of proliferation concern.”

D'Agostino to resign in January

D'Agostino to resign in January

Let the games begin! Who will be the new Administrator of NNSA? And, perhaps more importantly, will it matter one way or the other to LLNL?


Comment:


Steve Younger will be the one.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Still a hole in Y-12's fence

4 1/2 months after unprecedented break-in, there's still a hole in Y-12's fence

This should be the end for the whole show. Chu, D'Agostino, Cook all should depart before the week is over and Congress should add a last minute rider to the defense bill to move the nuclear weapons complex to DoD.

Representative Turner, where are you when the country is in need of quick and decisive action?

http://blogs.knoxnews.com/munger/2012/12/still-a-hole-in-y-12s-fence.html

Sequestration's fiscal cliff or not, LLNL employees report to work

Sequestration's fiscal cliff or not, LLNL employees report to work
NEWSLINE
12/19/2012

The Laboratory will be open for normal business on Jan. 2, 2013, no matter what happens in the last days of 2012 in Washington with the FY13 budget between now and the deadline for sequestration (Jan. 1).

Sequestration refers to a series of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and tax hikes that will take place should the Congress and the Administration reach an impasse on its debt reduction plan. Every line item of the budget is impacted with no exceptions at present.

All employees should plan to report to work as scheduled on Jan. 2.

Any information on the impact of budget cuts or changes going forward as a result of reaching this "fiscal cliff" will be provided at a later date as soon as the Lab receives more guidance from the federal government reaction, stakeholders and other customers.

Tauscher Favors More Autonomous NNSA

Weapons Complex Monitor
December 19, 2012

Tauscher Favors More Autonomous NNSA

Former Congresswoman and Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher weighed in on NNSA governance during a speech at the American Security Project yesterday, suggesting that she supported much of the reform language in the House and ultimately said she’d favor making NNSA an autonomous agency that reports to the Energy Secretary without the baggage of DOE bureaucracy. As a California Congresswoman [her district included LLNL], Tauscher was instrumental in creating the NNSA in 1999, and she said NNSA could be structured like NASA or the Securities Exchange Commission, with a link to the Energy Secretary and “understanding that this is so important that the President has to be involved at times, and maybe with a director that is somebody with a real pedigree that gets appointed, like the FBI director, for 10 years so that there’s not a question of in and out and up and down.”

Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act

Weapons Complex Monitor
December 18, 2012

The House is expected to unveil the conference version of the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act this evening, and it is likely to include language creating an advisory panel to review governance options for the National Nuclear Security Administration, NW&M Monitor has learned. During Senate consideration of the bill, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Tom Udall introduced an amendment to create the 12-member panel, largely to provide a compromise between Senate Democrats and House Republicans at odds over language targeted at reforming the NNSA in the House version of the bill. While it’s unclear how much of the House reform language survived conference negotiations, the panel would provide a means of pushing the debate into work on the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Authorization Act.

The House language would increase the autonomy of the NNSA in an effort to improve efficiency and productivity while also streamlining directives and regulations, moving the agency toward performance-based oversight and eliminating oversight of the agency by the Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety and Security. The language was opposed by the Administration and unions, as well as by some House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans in the wake of the July 28 security breach at the Y-12 National Security Complex, which is believed to have eroded some negotiating leverage for proponents of the reform language. That likely made the Kyl-Udall amendment an appealing compromise, especially because the panel will only review and lay out options for NNSA governance, including whether or not the agency should remain in DOE, leaving hard decisions to lawmakers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Is management uncomfortable with this BLOG?

I wonder if the lab could try to put pressure on scooby because these threads are probably making lab management uncomfortable, especially all of the posts that air out the lab's dirty laundry. Heavy handed methods are used to silence their own employees, but I don't know of an example where they actually had any power to silence people on the outside. But I wouldn't put it past the lab to try.


Comment:

Get a lawyer AND a publicist if it happens. This is the kind of stuff that should hit the news, if the lab is going to try to beat up on private citizens on top of all the lies and deception.

Fiscal Cliff" Prompts Fresh Push for U.S. Nuke Spending Cut

Good stuff here

http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/fiscal-cliff-talks-prompt-new-call-curb-us-nuke-spending/

Fiscal Cliff" Prompts Fresh Push for U.S. Nuke Spending Cut

WASHINGTON -- Dozens of Democratic lawmakers have revived a call for $100 billion in U.S. nuclear weapons spending reductions over 10 years as Congress pushes to enact $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions by the beginning of January.

"Unchecked spending on nuclear weapons threatens to push us over the fiscal cliff," Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and 44 other House Democrats stated in a Dec. 4 letter to the top Democratic and Republican lawmakers in both chambers, citing the term popularly used to refer to the anticipated funding moves. "We know there is plenty of waste in the nuclear weapons budget."

The lawmakers singled out plans to refurbish approximately 400 B-61 nuclear gravity bombs, a project expected to cost roughly $10 billion. They also cited the scheduled construction of a new highly enriched uranium processing facility in Tennessee; the effort is projected to cost between $4.2 billion and $6.5 billion.

Anonymous said...
I wonder why they didn't site NIF which is directly weapons related and cut their funds by 50% or more immediately. I guess good snow-jobs pay off. I do think they're going to cut LANL for the next five years. Again, it's time for a 3&3 VSIP and save the jobs for the young who need another 30-45 years before they can retire. helloooo !!! NNSA, Anyone in their ?
Anonymous said...
"Dozens of Democratic lawmakers have revived a call for $100 billion in U.S. nuclear weapons spending..."

This from the same bunch that hasn't passed a budget in 3+ yrs. Congress spills more than $10bil/yr.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Laser fusion put on slow burn

Laser fusion put on slow burn

The US National Ignition Facility rethinks its strategy on achieving thermonuclear fusion in the lab, but fails to silence critics.

Geoff Brumfiel
Nature
11 December 2012

The government's new plan, revealed to Nature, calls for a slower, more deliberate approach to achieving ignition: the point at which more energy is produced by a fusion reaction than is consumed. Many physicists believe that this would be an important proof of concept for controlled fusion.

The plan sets a new course for the laser at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. It also promotes the exploration of several alternative ways to reach ignition, including one not involving the laser. And it is more tentative than the previous strategy: it sets a three-year deadline for finding out whether ignition is possible at all, whereas the last one aimed to demonstrate actual fusion...

The US$3.5-billion NIF uses lasers to crush a 2-millimetre pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point of fusion. Rather than irradiating the fuel directly, the lasers shine into a cylindrical capsule. The capsule walls then emit X-rays that squeeze the fuel pellet until it explodes.

This indirect approach mimics the ignition system in a thermonuclear weapon, which uses radiation from a fission 'primary' stage to squeeze hydrogen isotopes in the fusion 'secondary' — creating a powerful explosion.

The NIF's main mission is to gather laboratory data on the process to help weapons scientists to care for the ageing US nuclear stockpile. The United States has adhered to a voluntary moratorium on testing nuclear weapons since 1992, so nuclear scientists must use computer simulations to check that the weapons still work, and NIF data feed into these models.

Physicists at the NIF also hope that the process might pave the way for producing electrical power through thermonuclear fusion.

The latest plan was drafted by the NNSA, which oversees the lab, in response to a congressional request for a strategy for achieving ignition.

Over the next three years, researchers will conduct reduced-power tests to refine their computer simulations and understand why ignition has been so elusive. They will also look at possible improvements to the capsule design.

Other promising approaches to be studied include using lasers to ignite the hydrogen fuel inside the pellet directly, and using a machine called the Z-pinch to squeeze the fuel inside a magnetic field.

By October 2015, the NNSA hopes, it will be able to say whether ignition can be achieved using the NIF or the Z-pinch. Failure, it warns, could have serious implications for the nuclear-weapons programme.

The more sedate approach follows "common sense", says Ricardo Betti, a physicist at the University of Rochester in New York. But he worries that the plan does not give enough time to ignition experiments, focusing instead on other nuclear-weapons experiments and fundamental science. Devoting less time to ignition reduces the probability of success, he warns...

http://www.nature.com/news/laser-fusion-put-on-slow-burn-1.12016

http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/7.7875!/file/Report%20to%20Congress-NIF%20Path%20Forward-December%207%202012.pdf

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NAPA Study Of Nat’l Labs Recommend More Strategic Approach

Weapons Complex Monitor

December 10, 2012

NAPA Study Of Nat’l Labs Recommend More Strategic Approach

A forthcoming National Academy of Public Administration report concludes that the Department of Energy needs to be more strategic in how it manages its laboratories, DOE Office of Management Director Ingrid Kolb said last week at the Energy Facility Contractors Group semiannual meeting. NAPA is expected to release its Congressionally mandated study in January, but Kolb outlined the initial findings last week, noting that one of the group’s main recommendations will be to establish an external commission that would examine how the Department is strategically planning work done at the laboratories. The study was mandated by Fiscal Year 2012 omnibus appropriations legislation. “They particularly wanted to emphasize that the labs should be focused on work that supports national needs,” Kolb said. “They thought we were a little too focused on just the science world, just the NNSA world, just the energy world. They want to see more integration.”

Kolb said NAPA is also recommending that other commissions be created to look at how the Department is funding infrastructure improvements at the laboratories, including using third party financing alternatives, that the funds distribution system for the labs be streamlined, and more clarity provided on the role of Contractor Assurance Systems. “I think it’s a very good idea since CAS seems to mean different things to different people,” she said. Kolb also said the NAPA study also urged DOE to move to more “outcome-based” assessments of laboratory performance rather than more transaction-based oversight. “The Office of Science uses such a system,” she said, “but other systems in DOE get much more down in the weeds with lots of performance indicators.”

LANL accountability

The Energy Department’s internal watchdog has identified more than $470 million in unresolved and unaudited spending at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, with much of the total dating to 2003.

Deputy Inspector General Rickey R. Hass did not allege misuse of funds in the report Monday. Still, he said resolution of the reviews “ensures that costs charged to the government are allowable, makes certain that taxpayer’s money is spent wisely, and has the potential to free significant funds that would be better spent on Los Alamos' mission critical program activities.”

The department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the laboratory, did not challenge the findings and pledged to resolve the outstanding cost questions by next year.

A department spokesman offered no additional comment.

Read more:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/27/nearly-a-decade-later-los-alamos-still-hasnt-accou/#ixzz2Eja2xJgA

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A word from SPSE-UPTE Local 11

Greetings,
Far-reaching changes in LLNL personnel policy go into effect this January 1, and Lab management has undergone an extensive campaign to “spin” these changes. In our December 2012 monthly memo (http://www.upte.org/spse/Dec2012MonthlyMemo1.pdf) we discuss the changes and how they will affect you and the future of our Laboratory.

We are also hosting one of our Noontime Talks on this subject this coming Wednesday, December 12, in building 453 Armadillo Room 1001. We invite you to attend, and bring your questions and comments.

If you cannot attend our talk, please feel free to contact us directly:

Thanks,
Riki Gay
President-elect SPSE-UPTE Local 11

Thursday, December 6, 2012

LANL Firm To Pay $10M

=== LANL Firm To Pay $10M ===

By John Fleck / Journal Staff - Wed, Dec 5, 2012

The contractor that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory is on the hook for $10 million as a result of construction management problems that mean the new security system at the lab’s primary plutonium site does not work, the lab and the National Nuclear Security Administration said in a joint statement issued late Tuesday.

The $10 million will cover “potentially unallowable costs” incurred in construction of the $213 million security system built around the lab’s Technical Area 55 plutonium complex, where the dangerously radioactive metal is used in the manufacture of nuclear weapon parts.

The money will come from Los Alamos National Security LLC, also known as LANS, a private company that is a partnership of Bechtel Corp., the University of California and a number of other firms. The company manages Los Alamos, a nuclear weapons research and manufacturing center, for the federal government.

The lab abruptly halted work on the project in October. Initial testing of the new Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrades Project (NMSSUP) security system, involving fencing, sensors and other security technology, showed it did not work, but the lab was out of money to begin fixing it.
--------------

Don't expect LANS to take the penalty payment out of their annual profit fee. Bechtel will probably demand that it come out of the labs operating program budgets (a new project "tax"") and maybe even move to have it covered using more LANL employee salary and benefit reductions.



LANL Contractor To Pay $10 Million

LANL Contractor To Pay $10 Million

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — The contractor that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory says it will pay $10 million to cover some of the costs for fixing a faulty $213 million security system.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the money will cover “potentially unallowable costs” incurred in construction of the system, which was built around the only place in the country where nuclear weapon triggers can be made.

Citing a joint statement from the lab and the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Journal says the money will come from Los Alamos National Security, the private contractor that runs the lab.

Officials have estimated it will take an additional $41 million and another six months to fix the system, which was supposed to be up and running this summer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Ignition Facility seeks new cash

National Ignition Facility seeks new cash
David Perlman
San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The elusive effort to mimic the explosive violence of hydrogen bombs inside Livermore's giant National Ignition Facility, long delayed, now faces intense scrutiny by a dollar-conscious Congress.

The National Nuclear Security Agency in charge of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says in a draft report to Congress that the lab's scientists should conduct at least three more years of experiments. An estimated $5 billion or more has been spent over the past 10 years to build and run the project called NIF, and current experiments are running at least $450 million a year.

Congress had set the end of this year as the deadline for "ignition," as the goal is termed. Now the nuclear agency's report says the extension is needed for NIF scientists to consider two very different and untried technical approaches to the extraordinarily complex physics problems that have prevented them so far from achieving their goal of duplicating the explosion of an H-bomb in the lab.

Congressional experts are reviewing the report and some are highly skeptical about its eventual success. The final report from the nuclear security agency is expected early next week, when congressional staff specialists will begin considering its implications for NIF's future.

NIF's goal is still "very, very far away," said one congressional expert who follows the technical details closely. The expert, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the project, complained that the nuclear agency appears to be asking Congress for a "blank check" until at least 2015.

"They're asking us to give them a blank check ... and then we'd see where we are," the expert said. "That worries me. They're not even close."

The ultimate aim of NIF's nuclear weapons scientists is to understand the obscure physics involved in thermonuclear fusion, validate related computer codes, and thereby assure the safety and reliability of America's aging weapons stockpile without the underground bomb tests that are now banned by international treaty...

But after 35 experiments and more than 1,000 laser shots since NIF scientists began three years ago, the effort has fallen short. In order to achieve ignition, the laser beams would have to produce between three and 10 times more energy and heat than they have been able to accomplish, the report said.

Just where the problems lie remains a mystery. A national committee of laser experts headed by Stanford physicist Robert L. Byer recently had high praise for the NIF laser's "robust operation" and said it has "met and exceeded its design goals." The NIF scientists, the committee concluded, are on a credible path toward upgrading the laser array to reach the energies needed for ignition...

NIF project director Ed Moses declined to comment on the report until its final version is complete. But he said it's impossible to make predictions about success in any field where such complex science is involved...

In experiments so far, the laser shots fired at target after target have yielded pressures 15o billion times Earth's atmosphere, he said, but pressures twice as high are still needed for ignition...

But NIF's giant laser array is now performing spectacularly, he said, and its total output of energy and power is "more than we need," Moses said.

Senate OKs Study of Nuclear Agency

Senate OKs Study of Nuclear Agency

By Michael Coleman
Albuquerque Journal
Wed, Dec 5, 2012

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Udall’s push for a congressional study of the National Nuclear Security Administration gained steam Tuesday when the Senate included his proposal in a bill authorizing defense programs.

The New Mexico Democrat’s amendment would create an advisory panel to suggest ways to reform NNSA, the federal agency that oversees New Mexico’s nuclear laboratories.

Udall’s amendment was incorporated in the Senate defense authorization bill, which unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday. The House version of the defense legislation, approved in May, does not include Udall’s amendment, but it could be added in House-Senate negotiations on a final bill.

The House version does include a separate amendment sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., that calls for an independent study of how best to broaden the labs’ national security missions.

“Multiple reports have called attention to the need to expand the labs’ mission in order to strengthen their capabilities,” Luján said.

Udall said that the NNSA is plagued by cost overruns, security breaches and management issues and that the problems damage the science and nuclear stockpile stewardship missions of the national labs.

“The ineffectiveness of the NNSA is a serious national security issue, and our amendment will take a good look at what is needed to reform it,” Udall said Tuesday in a statement provided to the Journal.

The panel would “assess the feasibility and advisability of, and make recommendations with respect to, revising the governance structure of the National Nuclear Security Administration,” according to Udall’s office.

The 12-member panel’s membership would be bipartisan, with members appointed from the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The members would be appointed for one year and would be responsible for submitting a report within 120 days of enactment of the amendment.

The report would make specific recommendations, including how to improve scientific work, safety and employee retention. The study would also explore ways to diversify the national labs’ missions.

Among the directives in the amendment is a requirement that the panel consider whether oversight of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex should “remain with the (presidential) administration or be transferred to another agency.” Some NNSA critics have suggested the nuclear weapons labs should fall under the purview of the Department of Defense.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"deuterium EOS" issue?

Could we perhaps break the usual rules on this blog and have somebody post the actual facts related to the "deuterium EOS" issue? What actually happened, or didn't happen that was supposed to?

It would be acceptable to accompany the facts with the usual diatribe, but maybe put that in a separate paragraph?

Scooby's note: what the heck is  "deuterium EOS:?

Mikey sightings

There have been reports of Mikey sightings several times lately at the NSSB. Any news on if he has been called back to help Charlie? By this point even the blind can see that Charlie was not up to the job, but it is hard to imagine what could be offered to entice Mikey to return.

Art Wong's Q&A

Art Wong's Q&A today on changes in LLNL's Workforce Mgmt Policies --anything of note asked? answered? not answered/ducked?

Monday, December 3, 2012

How did Chu do in front of Congress?

Does anyone know what transpired during the congress hearing for Secretary Chu on the NIF?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Furloughs


Anonymous said...
How are the furloughs going to affect the retaining of the talent at LLNS?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
In todays world where there are no jobs and foreign nationals are coming into America to take your jobs my bet is no one will leave. They'll just take their 20% cut in pay, buy less, cut services and hang on until the next RIF.

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