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 authors serve as moderators. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another article on NNSA

REPORT: "U.S. Nuclear Security Agency Has 'Failed,' Says Advisory Panel"

Relax. Nothing is going to change. 

This is just one report like all the others detailing the failure of the NNSA and the decline of the highly demoralized weapon labs. The path forward will continue as planned. 

The TA-55 plutonium "Work Free Safety Zone" at LANL will continue. No startup anytime soon. LLNL and LANL will face further cuts in their work. The nation will not be building any new warheads and work on the previous warheads will slow down to a crawl. Bechtel profiteers and their enablers in management will continue to have free reign at the weapon labs.

Parney is right with his recent comments. The weapon research staff have become little more than 'Maytag' repairmen, sitting around with little to do. Keep wearing those shoes that GRIP and taking those endless rounds of online training. What else is there left to do? Last one to leave should remember to turn out the lights and lock the front gates.

Held's comments

Given Held's comments: In February, Held said DOE/NNSA was looking to move toward more of a “public interest” model of management for the nuclear weapons laboratories and away from the high fees paid to Bechtel and University of California-run contractor teams at Los Alamos and Livermore... "My strong feeling is these institutions exist to serve the public interest. They do not exist for profit maximization," and given that Held concurred with Goldstein's selection, I would expect Goldstein, as President of LLNS, to be quite willing to accommodate the changes NNSA is trying to make.

NNSA failed


U.S. Nuclear Security Agency Has 'Failed,' Says Advisory Panel

A congressionally mandated panel says a key Energy Department agency has "failed" in its mission to effectively oversee U.S. nuclear-arms operations.

The unmistakable conclusion of our fact-finding is that, as implemented, the 'NNSA experiment' involving creation of a semiautonomous organization has failed," according to Norm Augustine, who headed the bipartisan group with retired Adm. Richard Mies.

The former officials attributed the National Nuclear Security Administration's history of high-profile security lapses at atomic-complex facilities and soaring cost overruns in major projects to problems that became embedded in the nation's nuclear weapons culture after the end of the Cold War. Congress established the agency in 2000 following the Wen Ho Lee spy scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratory, giving it the responsibility to oversee arms activities that were previously handled by the Energy Department itself.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/global-security-newswire/u-s-nuclear-security-agency-has-failed-says-advisory-panel-20140327

Welcome Goldstein

 as next LLNL Director:

Well, well, they finally got something right. Goldstein won't be all things to all people but he's very smart, very honest and respected by those left at LLNL whose respect is worth something. Say goodbye to patronage and hello to a bone fide effort to conduct science and technology development in the national interest.

Albright: '3+2' Warhead Strategy Unlikely To Be Realized

Weapons Complex Monitor
March 25, 2014

Albright: '3+2' Warhead Strategy Unlikely To Be Realized

Budgetary pressure and technical considerations are likely to doom the Obama Administration’s “3+2” strategy for modernizing the nation’s nuclear stockpile, former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Parney Albright said yesterday. Speaking at George Washington University, Albright said he supported the strategy, which would modernize and consolidate the nation’s nuclear stockpile through three interoperable warheads, a gravity bomb and an air-launched cruise missile, but he painted a bleak picture for the strategy’s prospects, which has received a lukewarm response from Congress and the military.

Albright said the Administration’s recent decision to delay work on the W78/W88 interoperable warhead by five years would likely trigger a series of events moving the Administration away from the strategy. With the interoperable warhead delayed, he noted that the Administration still will need to do work on the non-nuclear portion of the W88, which he suggested is likely to expand to include the nuclear package as well. “Then the Navy almost certainly will argue that if I’m doing that, why do I want to pay for an interoperable warhead; that costs too much money,” said Albright, who resigned from the top spot at Livermore in October. “Let’s just go ahead and make this the way we did last time which is what they did on the W76.” Such an approach would decrease the incentive for the Air Force to pursue an interoperable warhead for the W78, and could lead to its retirement if the Air Force concludes it can live with the W87 as its only ICBM warhead. “I really think ‘3+2’ is the right thing to do. I really do,” Albright said. “I just don’t think it’s going to happen. I think there is a reasonable chance that we should be prepared for.”

Whether the “3+2” strategy succeeds or fails, Albright suggested the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories and their workforce face a grim future with a large gap in warhead work looming, and he argued that new weapons designs could invigorate the workforce. “If you don’t change how you think about Stockpile Stewardship then the labs basically become Maytag repairmen,” he said. “They’re basically—‘let’s take these things down to Pantex, let’s cut them open, oh, there’s a smudge, let’s fix it or not fix it and go forward.’ Think about the kind of workforce you’ll attract in that kind of environment if that was all they did.”

Fee Reductions At Los Alamos, Livermore

Weapons Complex Monitor
March 27, 2014

Held: DOE Pushing For Fee Reductions At Los Alamos, Livermore

The Department of Energy has had discussions with the companies that run Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories about reducing the fee paid to the companies, acting National Nuclear Security Administration chief Bruce Held confirmed yesterday. Speaking on the sidelines of a Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing that was postponed, Held noted that the discussions were in their preliminary stages but he characterized them as “pretty productive.” In February, Held said DOE/NNSA was looking to move toward more of a “public interest” model of management for the nuclear weapons laboratories and away from the high fees paid to Bechtel and University of California-run contractor teams at Los Alamos and Livermore. “Conversations have been very, very good, really good,” Held said. “That’s not getting into the details but starting to frame the issue of what we’re trying to achieve. My strong feeling is these institutions exist to serve the public interest. They do not exist for profit maximization. For the M&Os that run them we have to provide them reasonable compensation … but they are not profit-maximizing organizations.”

The contractors that run Los Alamos and Livermore currently earn about 3 percent of the lab’s budget in fee, while most Office of Science labs—and Sandia National Laboratories contractor Lockheed Martin—make around 1 percent. Held said he expected Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to ask the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board to take up the lab management issue. “I think people are in good faith thinking, if we’re going to ask for fee reductions they’re probably going to ask for something related to unallowable costs or risks or liability,” Held said. “The question is what is a reasonable package of things we can do.”

Augustine's interim report to congress

Augustine's interim report to congress


http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS29/20140326/101946/HHRG-113-AS29-Wstate-AugustineN-20140326.pdf

Air Force fires 9 commanders

Air Force fires 9 commanders in nuke missile cheating scandal, dozens face disciplinary action


Contrast how DoD handled this to how DoE handles screw-ups in the organization.


http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2014/03/27/commanders-fired-in-nuke-missile-cheating-scandal

GOLDSTIEN APPOINTED 12TH LLNL DIRECTOR

GOLDSTIEN APPOINTED 12TH LLNL DIRECTOR

Laboratory colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. William H. Goldstein as president of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and the 12th director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), effective March 31, 2014. The selection of the Laboratory director is one of the most important responsibilities of the University of California (UC) and the Executive Committee of the LLNS Board of Governors. Bill's appointment has the unanimous approval of the Executive Committee of the LLNS Board of Governors and the concurrence of Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, acting NNSA Administrator Bruce Held, UC President Janet Napolitano and Chairman of the Regents of the University of California Bruce Varner.

Bill is a 29-year career LLNL employee with extensive experience as a scientific leader and senior manager across the Lab's programs, with demonstrated ability to strategically guide its unique science and technology capabilities. He is highly regarded within the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the national laboratory complex and the scientific community. In January 2013, the Executive Committee of the LLNS Board of Governors appointed Bill as LLNL's deputy director for S&T. Prior to that he served as an associate director for 11 years, as a program leader in the Stockpile Stewardship Program, and as group leader for computational physics in the Nuclear Test Program.

Bill's appointment comes after a rigorous, competitive, national search led by the University of California that resulted in the review and consideration of more than 100 individuals representing a broad and diverse array of candidates. A number of Laboratory employees participated on either the Search Committee or the Screening Task Force. Their hard work and commitment to this search process is greatly appreciated.

We strongly believe that Bill Goldstein is the best candidate to lead LLNL at this time, and he will continue to champion the Laboratory's outstanding contributions to its national security missions into the future.

We also wish to give a special thanks to Bret Knapp for his service as acting LLNL director over the past five months while a national search for a new director was conducted. Bret stepped away from his essential management role as principal associate director for Weapons Programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory and led the LLNL management transition. His willingness to assume this temporary assignment is evidence of Bret's deep and abiding commitment to the laboratories and their national security missions. We wish him all the best in the months ahead.

Please join us in thanking Bret Knapp for his dedicated service and welcoming Bill Goldstein as the new LLNL director and LLNS president.

Sincerely,
Norman J. Pattiz 
Craig M. Albert

GOLDSTEIN TAPPED AS NEXT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE DIRECTOR

Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor -- SPECIAL BULLETIN (3-27-2014)

GOLDSTEIN TAPPED AS NEXT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE DIRECTOR

Longtime Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory official Bill Goldstein will be named the lab’s next director later today, NS&D Monitor has learned. Goldstein, the lab’s Deputy Director for Science and Technology, takes over the top spot at the lab from Bret Knapp, who has led the institution in an acting capacity since Parney Albright abruptly announced his resignation in late October. Goldstein has headed up the lab’s Science and Technology Directorate since 2012. A theoretical physicist, he has worked at the lab for 29 years, playing a large role in the Stockpile Stewardship Program and research activities at the National Ignition Facility. For more information, see tomorrow’s edition of Nuclear Security and Deterrence Monitor.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

UC closing in on naming new Lawrence Livermore Lab director

Bay Area News Group
March 20, 2014

UC closing in on naming new Lawrence Livermore Lab director
By Jeremy Thomas

The hunt for the 12th director of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory is reaching a conclusion, with an announcement of a selection expected soon from the University of California. At a Board of Regents meeting Wednesday in San Francisco, UC President Janet Napolitano called the months long search "virtually complete," adding that she and regent Norman Pattiz "participated in the candidate interviews last week, and a new director will be announced shortly."
ReplyDelete

NIF better funded in budget than LANSCE

Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Updated: March 22, 8:00 pm)
When President Barack Obama sent his FY2015 budget to Congress, it turned out to be bad news for the Manuel Lujan Jr. Neutron Center, which is part of the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center.
Through the past two decades, the Lujan Center has been operated through a partnership between the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
Obama’s budget request cut $10 million in funding for the operational costs of the Lujan Center.
This is what the budget request said.
“The BES operations of the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center will cease and funding is requested for safe storage of facility components”. For well over a decade, the Lujan Center at LANSCE has been an international center of excellence and innovation for basic and applied research in neutron scattering and fundamental nuclear physics,” the budget statement said.


http://www.lamonitor.com/content/neutron-center-loses-funding

leak at WIPP



Bob Alvarez, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment, examines the recent fire and plutonium leak at the WIPP nuclear repository in New Mexico; Egle Murauskaite explores this week's Nuclear Security Summit, and the changes in medical technology that will be discussed at the Summit in order to lessen proliferation risks. Best regards, Janice

The WIPP Problem, and What it Means for Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal: http://thebulletin.org/wipp-problem-and-what-it-means-defense-nuclear-waste-disposal7002

The Nuclear Security Summit: One Way to Fight Radiological Terrorism:http://thebulletin.org/one-way-fight-radiological-terrorism-alternative-technology

--Janice Sinclaire Internet Outreach Coordinator

Saturday, March 22, 2014

director search

  1. Mim John is giving a talk April 7 at LLNL. Is she on the short list of Director candidates?
    ReplyDelete
  2. UC President Napolitano will be holding an All hands at LLNL next Tuesday. Maybe she will be address the Lab Director search.
    ReplyDelete
  3. Corrected:

    UC President Napolitano will be holding an All hands at LLNL next Tuesday. Maybe she will address or be asked about the Lab Director search.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

report on the Labs out soon

Update on when the latest committee report on the Labs will be out


http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/mar14/o1.pdf


"As part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013, Congress established a twelve-member Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise to examine potential options and make recommendations for revising the governance structure, mission, and management of the nuclear security enterprise (NSE). The panel has committed to submitting a preliminary report, including findings, conclusions, and recommendations, in March to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, the Senate Committees on Armed Services, and Energy and Natural Resources, and the House of Representatives Committees on Armed Services, and Energy and Commerce, with a final report due at the end of summer."

Sandia contract extended for two years

Sandia contract extended for two years


http://www.abqjournal.com/370441/news/contract-for-sandia-labs-extended-2-years.html

NNSA WEAPONS FUNDING PROJECTED TO APPROACH $10B BY FY 2019

Weapons Complex Morning Briefing
March 17, 2014

NNSA WEAPONS FUNDING PROJECTED TO APPROACH $10B BY FY 2019

Funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons program is projected to continue to grow over the next five years, reaching nearly $10 billion by Fiscal Year 2019, according to the Obama Administration’s detailed budget justification for the agency that was released this weekend. The Administration requested $8.3 billion for the weapons program in FY 2015, a $533 million increase, and more of the same is expected in FY 2016, with the Administration projecting it will need $8.9 billion for the weapons program that year. Funding is projected to steadily increase before reaching $9.7 billion in FY 2019. The highest priced item in the NNSA’s budget is work on the B61 life extension program. The Administration requested $643 million for the program in FY 2015, and funding for the program is expected to steadily increase, reaching $729 million in FY 2018 and $726 million in FY 2019.

Meanwhile, funding for the NNSA’s nonproliferation account is expected to get a small boost in FY 2016 before leveling off through FY 2019, the budget request reveals. The agency requested $1.6 billion for the agency’s nonproliferation account in FY 2015, down $399 million from FY 2014 enacted levels. Funding is projected to be $1.7 billion in FY 2016, and largely flatline through FY 2019.

The budget details this weekend also shed a little more light on extra spending on the Administration’s wish list for FY 2015. Dubbed the “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative,” (OGSI) the Administration said it wants another $600 million for the NNSA’s weapons and nonproliferation accounts that would be above the Congressionally established budget cap for FY 2015. According to the budget details, which do not include any specifics about the funding, the OGSI money would be used to “accelerate modernization and maintenance of nuclear facilities” by “accelerat[ing] funding for infrastructure infrastructure planning and improvements found in the Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities program.” It would also boost nonproliferation funding with extra money for “R&D to advance proliferation detection and nuclear detonation detection capabilities; efforts to remove and eliminate, or secure and safeguard vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials worldwide; and efforts to limit or prevent the illegal transfer and illicit trafficking of weapons-usable nuclear and other radiological materials.” Additional money would also go toward cybersecurity programs.

More publicity for Omar Hurricane and NIF:

More publicity for Omar Hurricane and NIF:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/science/the-challenge-how-to-keep-fusion-going-long-enough.html

Chili cookoff moving to LLNL?

Chili cookoff moving to LLNL?

Remember the guy from the Sandia Chili cookoff?

http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-waste.html


Well, it looks like he may be moving to LLNL:

http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Author/12839142/timothy-jon-shepodd

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Russians keeping an eye.?

 Anonymous said...


Is it possible that the Russians have been keeping on eye on what America has been doing to the national labs and seeing all the people fleeing the labs? What idea do think that might give them? Somehow utterly destroying the moral at the labs may not be seen as the best move.
March 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM
 Delete

Message from Knapp

A MESSAGE TO EMPLOYEES FROM BRET KNAPP

March 14, 2014

LLNL employees

It is important for me to send this message to my friends and colleagues at the Laboratory. In the last few days, I have been diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While I remain optimistic about a full recovery, I have made the decision to withdraw my application for the LLNL director position. It is disappointing for me to do so, but it was the decision made with my family after evaluating my medical situation. The search for a permanent Laboratory director is continuing as originally scheduled, and I expect this to come to a successful conclusion shortly.

I am hopeful about my journey over the coming months. As I have said many times since I took the acting director position last November, I am extremely confident and optimistic about the Laboratory's future. 
I am inspired by the work you do and by your commitment to your collective future as you carry out the important work for the nation.

In the interim, I will continue as acting director and will assist in an effective transition to a new director. I will continue to rely on all of you and the LLNL senior leadership team to assure that the work of the Laboratory moves forward effectively and efficiently.

Bret

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

we trust you. Well, not really

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/us-intelligence-officials-monitor-federal-employees-security-clearances/

I have a feeling this is going to exacerbate the skills gap, as it will be hard to find employees (or good ones, that is) wanting to put up with this sort of thing. 

Collective punishment never really works that well.

LANL No. 2 quits over contract conflict

http://www.abqjournal.com/364848/news/lanls-no-2-quits-over-conflict.html?paperboy=loggedin&utm_source=emailed2friend

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FY2015 Budget Request: Preserving President Obama’s Nuclear Security Vision

NNSA Press Release
FY2015 Budget Request: Preserving President Obama’s Nuclear Security Vision
Mar 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The President’s FY2015 Budget Request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), delivered to Congress today, includes $11.7 billion to support NNSA’s continued efforts to keep the American people safe by modernizing the U.S. nuclear stockpile, executing an aggressive international nuclear nonproliferation agenda and supporting U.S. Navy requirements.

“NNSA’s budget reaffirms the President’s commitment to nuclear security and nonproliferation. The FY15 request provides the resources we need to modernize and maintain an aging nuclear weapons stockpile and supporting infrastructure, keep dangerous nuclear material out of the hands of proliferators and terrorists, respond to a nuclear or radiological emergency and ensure that our nuclear Navy has the power it needs to sail the globe,” said NNSA Acting Administrator Bruce Held. “NNSA has an enduring responsibility to steward the taxpayer’s dollar effectively and efficiently, which is why we are pursuing mission-effective and cost-efficient solutions to the most high risk nuclear security challenges facing our country.”

The budget request allows the NNSA to fund activities that deliver on the President’s nuclear vision while also recognizing that NNSA must continue to seek efficiencies in the way it operates and ensure that it get the most out of its infrastructure investments.

The $11.7 billion request represents an increase in funding relative to the FY2014 enacted and FY2013 annualized Continuing Resolution (CR) levels and builds on last year’s jointly conducted planning process with the Department of Defense to meet the goals of the Nuclear Posture Review within the current fiscal constraints of the Bipartisan Budget Act. The request ensures a safe, secure and reliable nuclear deterrent through our stockpile Life Extension Programs (LEPs); continues to make the world a safer place by securing vulnerable nuclear materials around the world; ensures the safe and reliable operation of the Navy’s nuclear powered fleet; and provides world class nuclear counterterrorism and emergency response tools.

It requests $8.3 billion for the Weapons Activities appropriation, up $534 million from FY2014, including $2.7 billion to modernize the stockpile, particularly the B61 LEP; $1.7 billion to strengthen the science, technology and engineering base in support of life extension activities; and $2.4 billion to keep the President’s commitment to modernize the NNSA’s nuclear security capabilities, including continued design activities for the Uranium Processing Facility. It includes $1.6 billion for NNSA nonproliferation efforts and reflects the decision to place the MOX project in cold standby to further study more efficient options for plutonium disposition. Finally, the budget request includes $1.4 billion for Naval Reactors, up $282 million from FY2014, to support our naval nuclear propulsion systems, including three major initiatives: the Ohio-class Replacement submarine; refueling of the Land-Based Prototype reactor; and the Spent Fuel Handling Recapitalization Project.

LANL Pu Facility funding cut:


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/new-budget-for-lanl-does-not-include-money-for-plutonium/article_3749ec30-ac2a-5b9c-a898-210861358d93.html

Almost no work has occurred at the facility for the last 9 months due to safety issues. Among the alternatives for getting Pu work done is a proposal to do it at Livermore's Pu facility, see:

http://www.abqjournal.com%2F362158%2Fblogs%2Fu-s-plutonium-options-the-congressional-research-service-report.html&ei=-y4XU7XANIOTyQHh44HACg&usg=AFQjCNET1Ez9VPd4UTEfJLq7OfCGMRySxw&bvm=bv.62286460,d.aWM

What will LLNL's response be?

Fusion in Russia

Lucy,you have some splainin to do:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/03/russian-focus-fusion-device-gets-to-30.html

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Radiation contamination at treasure island

We've just published the Center for Investigative Reporting's year-long investigation into the Navy's refusal to look into radiation contamination at Treasure Island in San Francisco. It's an important piece with an accompanying multimedia presentation and a primer on military nuclear waste; please check it out if you can.

Best regards

 http://thebulletin.org/treasure-island-cleanup-exposes-navy%E2%80%99s-mishandling-its-nuclear-past

Multimedia

http://thebulletin.org/multimedia/treasure-island-nuclear-timeline

A primer: Military nuclear wastes in the United States: http://thebulletin.org/primer-military-nuclear-wastes-united-states

--Janice Sinclaire Internet Outreach Coordinator

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