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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why can't LANL keep it together at the top?

As it is approaching four years that Charlie has been in charge, let's take a look at the Lab leadership over this period. Is there one single time in four years that all senior positions have been filled by permanent individuals? Why is there a seemingly endless string of acting leaders? What is the root cause of this evident inability to fill and retain key personnel slots?

Salary facts

"...If there were damning factual evidence of anything untoward, it would obviously have been brought forward with great fanfare..."

Well there are some facts

(1) McMillan makes three times more than the last Director before the contract change.

(2) The number of Divisions at LANL increased from 30 to the current number of 120. The number of Directorates also increased by 
a factor of four. 

(3) The overhead rated have nearly doubled since the contract change. 

It stands to reason that if the Director is being paid substantially more than most other managers are also being paid more. It is also a fact that there are now many more managers than before. Now where is the value added to having all this management? 


http://www.abqjournal.com/495490/news/lanl-chiefs-compensation-tops-15m.html
SANTA FE – The annual compensation for Los Alamos National Laboratory director Charles McMillan has topped $1.5 million, federal records show.

That’s up from the $800,348 director’s compensation that the same records showed for 2009 and is nearly three times the LANL chief’s compensation in 2006, the last year the lab was still run by the University of California.




Los Alamos lab watchdog Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, in an email calling attention to McMillan’s compensation, referred to the performance-based fee adjustments that LANS receives based on evaluating how it met standards set by the federal government.

“So the performance-based bonus system is working just fine, right?” Mello wrote. “It really helped with LANL’s performance vis-a-vis WIPP, didn’t it?”

Credentials of the Director for S&T.

Please update or comment on the credentials of the Director for S&T. Is it correct - only 33 publications, mostly not peer reviewed? 

Patricia Kuntz Falcone (maiden name (1952-1977) Patricia Ann Kuntz).

Spouse: Roger W. Falcone, Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley; Division Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California. 

B.S.E. Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences (1974). Princeton University
M.S. Mechanical Engineering (1975) 
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering (1981, Stanford University

Sandia National Laboratories 
Member of the Technical Staff* (1981-1989).
Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff* (1989-1993).
Technical Manager* (1993-2003).
Senior Manager (Technical)* (2003 to present).
Sandia IPA at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.
Senior Policy Analyst* (2009-2011)
Assistant Director, National Security* (2011 to present).

Member, Board on Army Science and Technology of the National Research Council (2007-2009).
Member, Advisory Committee, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University (2006 to present).
Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1981 to present).
Member, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA (2007 to present).
Sigma Xi (research honor society) (1981 to present).

Selected Publications (total of 33)
P.K. Falcone, ed. Catastrophic Bioterrorism Scenarios: Response Architectures and Technology Implications, prepared by Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Washington Institute for the Department of Homeland Security, March 2006.

S.P. Gordon, P.K. Falcone, eds., The Emerging Roles of Energy Storage in a Competitive Power Market: Summary of a DOE Workshop, Sandia National Laboratories Report SAND95-8247, June 1995.

P.K. Falcone, ``Clouds and Obscurants Countermeasures,'' in Proceedings of the Countermeasures Verification Program Review, 
SandiaReport, December 1990.

P.K. Falcone, et al., ``Sensitivity Analysis of High Altitude Rocket Plumes Computed Using CHARM 1.2,'' in Proceedings of the 18th JANNAF Exhaust Plume Technology Subcommittee Meeting, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, November 14-16, 1989.

Patricia Kuntz Falcone, A Handbook for Solar Central Receiver Design, Sandia National Laboratories Report SAND86-8009, December 1986.

P.K. Falcone, Technical Review of the Solid Particle Receiver Program, Sandia National Laboratories Report. SAND84-8229, July 1984.

P.K. Falcone, R.K. Hanson, and C.H. Kruger, ``Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Measurements of Nitric Oxide in Combustion Gases,'' Combustion, Science and Technology, Vol. 35, pp 81-99, 1983.

P.K. Falcone, R.K. Hanson, and C.H. Kruger, ``Tunable Diode Laser Measurements of the Band Strength and Collision Halfwidths of Nitric Oxide,'' J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, Vol. 29, No.3, pp 205-221, 1983.

Ronald K. Hanson and Patricia Kuntz Falcone, ``Temperature Measurement Technique for High-Temperature Gases Using a Tunable Diode Laser,'' Applied Optics, Vol. 17, No. 16, pp. 2477-2480, August 15, 1978.

R.K. Hanson, P.A. Kuntz, and C.H. Kruger, ``High-resolution Spectroscopy of Combustion Gases Using a Tunable IR Diode Laser,'' Applied Optics, Vol. 16, No. 8, pp. 2045-2048, August 1977.

P.A. Kuntz, et al., Comprehensive Bibliography of Literature on Non-Cryogenic Storage and Recovery of Hydrogen, Interim Report AFLRL, No. 30, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, September 1973.

C.M. Hogan, P.A. Kuntz, et al., Environmental Impact of the Proposed Widening of Edgewood Road, ET 41, ESL, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA. September 1972.
P.A. Kuntz, et al., Air, Traffic, and Noise Environmental Impact Associated with the Replacement of the Dumbarton Bridge, ET 39, ESL, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA. August 1972.

Bye Bye Harry!

Well it's finally official....

-------------

March 27, 2015

Harold T. Conner, Jr.
Announces Departure from
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Harold Conner announced he will be leaving the Laboratory. He is heading back to the Oak Ridge complex to work for URS | CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR), the Department of Energy's (DOE's) cleanup contractor for the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation, primarily focused on cleanup of East Tennessee Technology Park (the former Oak Ridge K-25 Site).

Harold began as a University of Tennessee (UT) co-op student at Oak Ridge when he was 18 years old and is now heading back to lead the Nuclear Services and Engineering Division. This leadership position will include overseeing Engineering Programs, Systems Engineering, Waste Certification, Criticality Safety, Nuclear Engineering, Work Planning and Control, the Facility and Project Engineer, and the Chief Engineer. Additionally, he will be working with the UT Dean of Engineering looking for collaborative opportunities for graduates and research funding.

Please join me in thanking Harold for his dedication and commitment to the Laboratory. Harold has successfully led the Facilities and Infrastructure Directorate for the last eight years. He is well known for championing the outstanding contributions and accomplishments the employees of the Facilities and Infrastructure organization have made during his tenure here at LLNL.

With Harold’s departure, the Facilities and Infrastructure Directorate will undergo a reorganization that will take several months to finalize. During this time, I have asked Anita Gursahani, the Deputy Principal Associate Director, Operations and Business to take on the role of Interim Associate Director for Facilities and Infrastructure, effective immediately.

Harold’s last day at LLNL is Friday, March 27, 2015.

Mark W. Martinez
Principal Associate Director
Operations & Business

-----------------

Rumor is Harold will not be replaced and F&I will be dissolved. Note that his deputy - Brent Henderson - was not made acting F&I AD. Normally the deputy takes over while a search for a replacement occurs. Also note that there's no mention of a "search" just a reorganization.

Will there be a raise at LANL?

Will the staff raise money at LANL be diverted to pay for WIPP clean up?

Bonus at LLNL!

The Director announces a bonus for the entire LLNL staff. Not gonna alter anyone's lifestyle, but it's a bit of tangible appreciation.

Friday, March 27, 2015

It's official: WIPP debacle 100% due to LANL

The TAT’s overarching conclusion is that chemically incompatible contents of Drum 68660 from Los Alamos National Laboratory in combination with physical conditions (e.g., the configuration of the materials in the drum) supported exothermic chemical reactions leading to a thermal runaway; the consequent build-up of gases within the drum displaced the drum lid, venting radioactive materials and hot matter that further reacted with air or other materials outside the drum to cause the damage observed in WIPP P7R7.

The following key judgments led to and support that conclusion:

Key Judgment 1: Contents of Drum 68660 were chemically incompatible.

Key Judgment 2: Drum 68660 breached as the result of internal chemical reactions that generated heat and produced gases that built up pressure sufficient to overcome the drum vent and seal.

Key Judgment 3: Drum 68660 was the source of the radiological contamination in WIPP.

Key Judgment 4: Initiation of the thermal runaway was internal and not caused by phenomena outside Drum 68660.

Key Judgment 5: Thermal and pressure effects resulted in the movement of material during the release event and caused the damage observed in WIPP P7R7; the release did not result from a detonation.

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/03/f20/MARCH%202015%20-%20FINAL%20TECHNICAL%20ASSESSMENT%20TEAM%20REPORT.pdf

Need the real story behind UC and LLNS retiree health benefits and the merits of the lawsuit

The real story behind UC and LLNS retiree health benefits and the merits of the lawsuit. I'd like a true analysis. My understanding is that UC retiree health benefits today are worse than the LLNS benefits as of 2015. If you worked 20 years under UC/LLNS you would receive 100% vested benefit, while under UC alone at 20 years you would receive 80%. Depends on age and total years of service, but UC watered down their coverage in 2013 so that UC employees would have to work 30 years minimum and retire at 65. Am I wrong ?

Safety culture overreaches

Safety culture overreaches and stymies the lab. We all know it.

Adults must wear bicycle helmets on site.
And on a similar note:
Parents Must Sign Permission Slip Before Kids Can Eat Oreos


Safety Nazi says "No science for you!" Take ladder training.
COMMENTS:

March 26, 2015 at 3:12 PM"

You are a prime example of the cowboy culture that has ruined the labs. You think you are sooo smart. Remember what Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said, when asked who is to blame for the problems at the labs, "arrogance of scientists". How do you people get such big egos? You people do not earn enough money to justify saying you are so great. The hammer needs to be brought down on you.
March 26, 2015 at 6:55 PM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Someone needs to take some anger management classes.
March 26, 2015 at 7:07 PM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Remember what Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said...

March 26, 2015 at 6:55 PM

Quoting idiots does not bolster your argument.
March 26, 2015 at 8:04 PM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Someone needs to take some anger management classes.

March 26, 2015 at 7:07 PM

.... or get a PhD to remove that jealousy.
March 26, 2015 at 9:31 PM
 Delete

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What is the reputation of each LLNS corporate member?

What is the reputation of each LLNS corporate member?

What is the reputation of each LLNS corporate member Bechtel National, the University of California, Babcock and Wilcox, the Washington Division of URS Corporation, and Battelle? What are their respective influence levels within the LLNS LLC?

Another study about how to fix the DoE labs


Maybe, just maybe, someday a leader will act on the problems, and not continue to study them.


http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/03/f20/Interim%20Report_SEAB%20Task%20Force%20on%20DOE%20National%20Laboratories.pdf
March 24, 2015 at 5:34 PM
 Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Another study about how to fix the DoE labs"


How about getting a private company to run it? It could be made much more cost efficient have to live up to industry standards. Everyone wins.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

So that's where all the overhead is going.....


"The Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico spent $1.6 million to review similar travel and conference requests during one fiscal year, an increase of $1.4 million from the previous one.

And Los Alamos officials poured $708,500 into updating a travel and expense management system so they could track all the paperwork."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/03/23/consequences-of-the-federal-travel-clampdown-more-costs/

Another LANL project over budget and behind schedule



With WIPP closed for the foreseeable future, the TRU waste project will miss deadlines and continue to have a large budget increase.


http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-182

Monday, March 23, 2015

Aon Hewitt news?

Has anyone heard more about the change from Aon Hewitt for retiree benefits? I saw a post weeks ago here, but I am waiting for details. I am out of the country and have little access to info. Saw article online on the Independent that there is a briefing on Monday, March 23 at the Bothwell theatre in Livermore. Is anyone planning on attending?

Does LLNS Staff Relations and LLNS Senior Management have "free rein"?

"Does LLNS Staff Relations and LLNS Senior Management have "free rein" to do what they wish to any employee at any time without potential risk to the LLNS annual DOE/NNSA "award fee"?

Neither the LLNS Staff Relations employment practices, or the LLNS employee grievance system are evaluated or graded as part of the NNSA Livermore Field Office annual "Performance Evaluation Report.” As such, LLNS Staff Relations employment practices and endorsement of said business practices from LLNS Senior Management, are not accountable by any established metric in any systematic predefined annual review to either the DOE or the NNSA.

Ellen Pao lawsuit is going to have an impact on LLNL staff relations.

I think the recent Ellen Pao lawsuit is going to have an impact on LLNL staff relations.

http://recode.net/2015/03/06/women-outperformed-men-and-a-sexual-predator-was-on-the-loose-kleiner-perkins-investigator-opens-up/

Staff relations has a history of blaming the victim and easing out employees who are victims of retaliation or seen as "problems" by the management. Management also has a history of making highly personal attacks on performance appraisals that have no relevance to actual performance. That isn't working in the Ellen Pao case. Of course at the lab, management "picks the winners" and pushes down those it doesn't like. This highly subjective criterion doesn't play well in the courtroom.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Conner and Henderson get the shove from LLNL

See you in the funny papers....

Looks like Conner and Henderson get the shove from LLNL. It's official and I hear there is a PARTY next week! These guys are frauds and should be sued. They (and their "parent" companyies) should have to repay every penny that they fraudulently took from the US taxpayers. Absolutely nothing but misery left from their "vacation" to California.

Will the LLC protect UC against environmental fines?



"In addition, the board discussed the status of a $36.6 million fine levied against the Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, or LANS, by the New Mexico Environment Department after a canister of waste related to Los Alamos National Laboratory released detectable radiation in February 2014.

LANS, which was formed in part by the university, has operated the Los Alamos lab since 2006. The existence, however, of LANS — a limited liability company — is “designed to protect (the university) against these kinds of things,” according to Regent Norman Pattiz."

http://www.dailycal.org/2015/03/19/napolitano-apologizes-regents-vote-to-exempt-veterans-from-nonresident-tuition-at-thursday-meeting/

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Edward Snowden documents and note about Sandia hacking Apple:

Edward Snowden documents and note about Sandia hacking Apple:

http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/03/cia-apple-inc-security/
In a 2012 seminar, Sandia Labs made a presentation titled “Strawhorse: Attacking the MacOS and iOS Software Development.” The lecture illustrated how a comprised version of Xcode makes it possible to get access to iPhone and iPad data, or create “backdoors” on Mac computers, as well as turn off key security features on Apple devices. Exactly how the agencies planned to get developers to use the comprised software code was not specified.

Another Electrical Near Fatality at LANL Involving a Post-Doc


Colleagues:

Last Friday evening (3/13/15), there was an electrical incident in one of the P-Div labs at TA-53. A postdoc noticed a “tingling” when he was working on the (supposedly) grounded case of a stepper motor. Upon investigation he found ~60 volts a.c. on the outside of the case. The investigation is ongoing, so many details are not known.

The points that I want to make are twofold:

1) He was not expecting anything to be amiss, but received a shock anyway. It occurred Friday evening, when there are very few people around. Having said that, you can understand how this could have ended up very badly. My expectation is that if you are doing any lab work after hours ,that there be another person in the near vicinity.

2) As it turns out, he doesn’t appear to exhibit any ill effects, although his Deputy Group leader is taking him to Occ. Med. as a precaution. However, no one was notified until Monday morning. Anytime any untoward electrical event happens (or any safety related event for that matter), someone in your line management must be notified as soon as practical. By notification, I mean talking to a human being; voice mail, email, texts, etc. are insufficient. Your line manager will then follow up by notifying me and the FOD; both of which are required. You and your line management need to jointly ensure that you know how to contact them whenever a safety event occurs. This can be by posting numbers in your workspaces or putting them into your cellphone. If you can’t find them, my Blackberry number is appended below.

Please be safe out there and if you ever have a question as to whether you should let your line management know about a concern, then the answer is yes, let them know. Telling us about something that requires no action is much better than the opposite.

Doug

R. Douglas Fulton, Ph.D.
Division Leader
Physics Division
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Monday, March 16, 2015

White House official selected as LLNL Deputy Director of S&T

White House official selected as LLNL Deputy Director of S&T
Newsline - 3/13/15

Patricia Falcone, the associate director for National Security and International Affairs in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has been selected as deputy director for Science and Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Falcone will join the Lab on April 7.

"Falcone's proven leadership and expertise in national and international security matters, combined with her commitment to and experience in sustaining and developing science, technology and engineering excellence for critical national missions were prominent among many factors in her selection," said Lab Director Bill Goldstein in announcing the appointment.

During her tenure at OSTP - a position appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate - Falcone advised on a wide range of national security science and technology issues including the health of national security science and technology capabilities in federal and national laboratories, universities and industry. Prior to serving as associate director, she was on assignment from Sandia National Laboratories to OSTP, working on science and technology issues associated with nuclear security.

"Dr. Falcone's breadth and depth of knowledge, her terrific contacts across the defense and intelligence communities, and her superb judgment all contributed to an outstanding performance in her leadership of national-security science and technology for the White House, said John P. Holdren, OSTP director and science and technology adviser to the president.

While at Sandia she served in a variety of technical and management positions and was named a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff in 1989. Falcone has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton University and earned both a Master of Science and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Throughout her career, Falcone has been connected with Lawrence Livermore and arrives with deep knowledge of the National Nuclear Security Administration and its laboratories.

As a member of the LLNL senior management team, Falcone will serve as the principal advocate and champion of the Laboratory's science and technology base, and oversee the strategic development of its capabilities. She will be responsible for the Laboratory's portfolio of world-class ST&E activities, for collaborative research with academia and the private sector, the Institutional ST&E Roadmap, and internal investment portfolio, including the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program.

In announcing Falcone's appointment, Goldstein also thanked Greg Suski for "outstanding support over the last year in the acting DDST role and in supporting the transition in the DDST Office."

Layoff notices?

Layoff notices? Anybody hear anything?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

UC Hires Fresh Counsel To Combat Retiree Lawsuit

UC Hires Fresh Counsel To Combat Retiree Lawsuit
Independent
March 12, 2015

In its battle with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory retirees who would like to return to University of California healthcare, the University has hired a law firm that knows a thing or two about fighting: Crowell & Moring LLP, which represented the Blackwater Security Co. after it was accused of unnecessarily killing Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Last week, the University terminated the law firm that had been representing it, San Francisco based Hanson Bridgett LLP.

Observers wondered whether recent court setbacks prompted the University to make the move was unclear. Rulings in Oakland Superior Court, where the class action healthcare case is being heard, have tended to favor the arguments of the retirees. The University did not explain or announce the change in law firm other than to file a required notice with the court.

UC’s new lawyers are from an international firm with some 500 attorneys and extensive experience in dealing with government contracts. Crowell & Moring is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in San Francisco, New York and London, among other major cities.

After Blackwater employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a 2007 Baghdad shootout, Crowell & Moring successfully defended the company (today called Academi) against a range of accusations, including complaints worth more than $1 billion under the False Claims Act.

The False Claims defense was so successful that Crowell & Moring summarizes it on its website as a case study.

Now it will try to help UC prevail against LLNL retirees.

The retiree lawsuit, first filed in 2010, is intended to return the retirees to UC health care programs. Those programs were available to them from the time of the Laboratory’s founding in 1952 until 2008, when a for-profit consortium took over for the University as manager of the national defense laboratory.

The contract change led to industrial style health care coverage, which retirees considered a violation of promises made during their careers at the Laboratory. They formed a grass roots organization, raised funds and found legal counsel to file suit.

The University has contested the suit from the start. In rulings, the court confirmed, over UC objections, that the retirees have standing to sue. More recently, it allowed the retirees to convert their suit to a class action, which UC opposed.

As of last week, as the window closed for retirees to choose to remain in or to remove themselves from the lawsuit class, only 132 had chosen to “opt out.” That left slightly more than 4,400 retirees and surviving beneficiaries for purposes of continuing the suit.

Attorneys for the retirees last week presented a trial plan as requested by the court. University attorneys are expected to present their plan this week. The next conference with the judge is scheduled for April 1.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LLNS Board of Governors. So is it really worth $40+ million a year?

LLNS Board of Governors. So is it really worth $40+ million a year?

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Norman Pattiz 
Chairman; Regent, University of California; Founder, Westwood One, Inc.; Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Courtside Entertainment Group; Chief Executive Officer, PodcastOne and PodCastOne Sales

Craig Albert 
Vice Chairman; President, Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental, Inc.

Kimberly Budil 
Vice President for Laboratory Management, University of California; Chair of the Nominations and Compensation Committee

John Howanitz 
General Manager/Senior Vice President, Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental, Inc.

Robert Powell 
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis; Chair of the Science and Technology Committee

Bob McQuinn 
President and Project Manager of Nuclear Waste Partnership, LLC

Jeffrey Wadsworth 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Battelle Memorial Institute


INDEPENDENT GOVERNORS

Kevin Chilton 
General (Retired), U.S. Air Force

Donald Kintzer 
Partner (Retired), PricewaterhouseCoopers; Chair of the Ethics and Audit Committee

Steve Koonin 
Director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress; Chair of the Mission Committee

Richard Mies 
Admiral (Retired), U.S. Navy; Former Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command

The Honorable Ellen Tauscher 
Strategic Advisor for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, California 10th Congressional District; Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; Former Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense


ADVISORY MEMBERS

Michael Anastasio 
Laboratory Director (Emeritus), Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories

Robert DeGrasse 
Vice President and Manager Government Affairs, Bechtel National, Inc.; Chair of the Business, Operations, and Security Committee

Bruce Varner 
Chairman, The Regents of the University of California; Partner, Varner & Brandt, LLP

Craig Weaver 
Senior Advisor, Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental, Inc.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

WIPP Resolution To Go To Governor


Resolution asks that negotiations be resolved regarding WIPP fines

By Sarah Matott

smatott@currentargus.com @SarahMatott224 on Twitter

CARLSBAD >> A resolution urging the state of New Mexico and the Department of Energy to reach an agreement is expected to be signed by Eddy County public and private groups, and sent to Gov. Susana Martinez.

The resolution is asking that the DOE and the New Mexico Environment Department resolve their dispute related to the compliance order issued after investigating the causes of the two events that took place in 2014.

This is the compliance order that resulted in fines to the DOE that targeted the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the Los Alamos National Laboratory directly.

The first group to approve the resolution was the Carlsbad Department of Development on Thursday.

Carlsbad City Council and the Eddy County Commissioners are expected to pass the resolution on March 17. It is unknown when the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce will discuss the resolution.

"Negotiations have been on everyone's mind and WIPP is extremely important to the nation," Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said Thursday at a WIPP meeting.

After the resolution is approved by all four groups, the resolution will then be sent to Gov. Martinez.

"We need to see these negotiations resolved, for it effects the whole clean-up effort in a dramatic way," said John Heaton, chair of the Mayor's Nuclear Task Force. "The process we suggested may or may not be accepted for their resolution."

http://www.currentargus.com/News/ci_27659752/WIPP-resolution-to-go-to-governor

Monday, March 9, 2015

'Jeopardy' puts Lab's science in the spotlight

'Jeopardy' puts Lab's science in the spotlight
LLNL Newsline - 03/04/2015

The clue: This institution is where you will discover the "Science of Security."

The answer: What is Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

The Laboratory will be featured in an entire category of clues on the TV game show "Jeopardy," Monday, March 9. The show airs at 7 p.m. on the ABC network.

Called the "Science of Security," the category features basic science questions that tie into Laboratory facilities and programs, among them laser science and the National Ignition Facility, high performance computing and Sequoia, astrophysics and the GeMINI planet imager, bioscience and the Microbial Detection Array and satellite technology and the Lab's work to track them for traffic control.

Each clue will be read during a video clip featuring various locations about the Lab. A film crew from "Jeopardy" came to the Lab last June to shoot clips for the category.

A video clip will be posted in a future edition of Newsline and in the Daily Clips.

Klotz Against DOE Name Change

Klotz Against DOE Name Change, but Mum on Other Recommendations for NNSA
Weapons Complex Monitor - March 5, 2015

National Nuclear Security Administration chief Frank Klotz told House appropriators yesterday that he was not in favor of changing the name of the Department of Energy as a Congressional advisory panel recommended last year, but Klotz declined to say how whether he supports one of the more extreme recommendations of the panel: moving the semi- autonomous NNSA back under DOE. “I think the Department of Energy sounds just fine,” Klotz told Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), the ranking member of House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, at a subcommittee hearing yesterday. After the hearing, he added: “I think the Department of Energy captures regardless of what the governance structure is, captures the full range of what the Department does. It’s short, it’s succinct, it’s direct. Everyone understands it. Moreover it’s timeless.”

The Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, which was chaired by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine and former Strategic Command chief Richard Mies, called on DOE to be renamed the Department of Energy and Nuclear Security as part of recommendations to strengthen the NNSA. It also called for NNSA to be renamed the Office of Nuclear Security and for the agency to be reabsorbed by DOE. Klotz said the NNSA planned to weigh in formally on the panel’s recommendations March 17 in a report to Congress. He emphasized, however, that DOE had already begun implementing many of the panel’s recommendations. “Many of the recommendations called for things which under [Energy] Secretary [Ernest] Moniz’s leadership we’re already implementing in terms of increasing the discipline, and the rigor, of our approach to program and project management,” Klotz told NS&D Monitor after the hearing.

One year and counting............

March 7, 2014
SANTA FE — Los Alamos National Laboratory Deputy Director Beth Sellers, the second-highest ranking administrator at the lab, has resigned over failure to properly report a potential conflict of interest when a relative of hers, apparently her husband, received a lab consulting contract in 2012.

The resignation of Sellers, whose compensation for the 2012-13 fiscal year was $335,834, follows an investigation by the Department of Energy’s Inspector General that substantiated allegations of conflict of interest involving a senior female manager at the lab and a consultant married to that manager.

A lab spokesman said he was not authorized to say whether Sellers was the focus of the investigation, but the facts outlined in the IG’s report dovetail with a statement she released on Friday.

On Friday, the lab issued statements from both Sellers and LANL Director Charlie McMillan.

“You may soon read news coverage about an issue involving the Laboratory,” Sellers stated in a message to lab employees. “A family member of mine was awarded a consulting agreement with the Lab in the fall of 2012. At the time, this was not properly disclosed for full evaluation of potential conflict of interest. I realized this mistake several months later and immediately requested a review from Lab Counsel and Audits and Ethics.”

She went on to say she realized the matter would be a distraction for the lab.

“This is unacceptable to me as a Laboratory leader, so I have decided to voluntarily step down,” she said.


http://www.abqjournal.com/364443/abqnewsseeker/deputy-director-of-los-alamos-national-laboratory-resigns-over-conflict-of-interest-in-consulting-contract.html

Watchdogs Urge Big Cut to Contractor Fees at the Sandia Labs

http://www.nukewatch.org/watchblog/?p=1898 said...
Watchdogs Urge Big Cut to Contractor Fees at the Sandia Labs

UC/LLNL Staff Relations "Non-Disclosure Agreements

"How do past UC/LLNL Staff Relations "Non-Disclosure Agreements" (NDA) legally relate to LLNS and the comments below? Can all UC/LLNL NDAs be legally made public by a former UC/LLNL employee or a current LLNS employee, or a former employee of either?" 


"...An NDA is valid for the length of the term exploitly stated in it. This can vary considerably, but a term of 1-2 years is fairly common in fast moving industries.

If the company you signed an NDA with no longer exists, then there is no aggrieved party to sue you for breaking the contract. So even if the language of the NDA somehow allowed the NDA to continue in force, you have nothing to worry about.

Please note, that if the assets of the company or the company itself were purchased, then the NDA is almost certainly still enforceable by the new owners..."

http://www.quora.com/Non-Disclosure-Agreements/How-long-is-an-NDA-valid

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