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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Who are Scooby and Doobydew?

Have you ever wondered if Scooby and Doobydew are people you know? Who is behind them?

To find out,  visit the website on 1/1/16!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NM Tax structure depends on for profit LANL operation


Now that the local politicians have tasted tax riches, there is slim to no chance that the contract will be allowed to go to a nonprofit operator.


http://www.dchieftain.com/news/state/up-for-bid-nuke-lab-contract-could-affect-tax-revenues/article_4254145e-8273-5bc5-bbac-f3b1d48f6e04.html

Saturday, December 26, 2015

LANL Reports More Safety Lapses at Waste Sites

By Rebecca Moss, The New Mexican

Thousands of mislabeled waste containers, missing safety equipment and a broken emergency alarm system were among the more than 400 hazardous waste permit violations that Los Alamos National Laboratory listed in a report to the state this week.

The report, submitted annually to the Waste Management Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department, largely characterized the violations as “inconsistencies” in record-keeping and labeling. However, it is the latest in a series of reports revealing a culture of negligence and lax safety protocols at the lab and follows a February 2014 radiation leak that shut down the nuclear waste storage facility in Southern New Mexico after a mislabeled and mishandled LANL drum burst there.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/lanl-reports-more-safety-lapses-at-waste-sites/article_d0cd5f20-c168-5e7d-b4f4-a69a7299d9a7.html
December 25, 2015 at 2:30 AM
Delete
COMMENT:
Anonymous:
"Culture". You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

LLNL's 2015 performance earns another contact award term

LLNL's 2015 performance earns another contact award term
12/18/2015

The Lab's ability to deliver on its science and technology missions has resulted in excellent marks in the fiscal year 2015 Performance Evaluation Plan.

The Livermore Field Office (LFO) recently released the assessment, which outlines six performance objectives for the period of Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015.

The Laboratory received four ratings of "excellent" and two ratings of "very good," resulting in an award of more than 93 percent of the possible fee, or almost $38 million. The percentage total ranks among the highest performance since Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) assumed management of the Laboratory for the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration in 2007. In addition, LLNS received another one-year award term to manage the Laboratory for NNSA, which extends the current contract to Sept. 30, 2020.

"These ratings reflect the Lab's strong capabilities in applying science and technology to meet critical national security needs," said Director Bill Goldstein. "I'm very proud to see our work recognized by NNSA."

Among the accomplishments cited by LFO:

* Continued improvements to NIF, resulting in a significant increase in shots, including plutonium shots, and major contributions to high energy density science in support of stockpile stewardship.
* Completion of the W80-4 Life Extension Program's "Phase 6/1 Concept Assessment" and initiation of Phase 6.2.
* Advancements in additive manufacturing, including fabricating the first classified 3D multilayer demonstration object, synthesizing a new explosive molecule and completing the first ever manufacturing of 21-6-9 stainless steel.
* Supporting four key Russian nuclear security engagements, as well as nuclear security best practices engagement with China, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and North Africa.
* Supporting follow-on activities from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty large-scale on-site inspection Integrated Field Exercise 2014.
* Performing high-quality analysis of sources for the uranium database project and preparing for and delivering verification training to IAEA inspectors.
* Receiving several awards for outstanding scientific and engineering research and expanding the number of scientific and technical publications.
* Developing an "uncrackable" code for nuclear weapons.
* Maintaining effective and efficient quality, security and environment, safety and health programs, as well as achieving an excellent record of safety for the fiscal year.
* Demonstrating strategic leadership through its participation and key role in numerous enterprise initiatives, councils, working groups and collaborations that addressed issues and led to performance improvements.

"These are tremendous accomplishments for our Laboratory, and I congratulate everyone here for the work they do every day to contribute to the nation's security and well-being," Goldstein said.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Employee morale

Is employee morale improving, getting worse, or stabilizing at LANS and LLNS?

http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/The-Root-Causes-of-Low-Employee-Morale.aspx



Why is the weapons complex still under DOE?

"A prior Office of Inspector General report ... found that planning and execution of that project was not effective and resulted in a system that did not meet pre-established goals and objectives. In addition, a prior Government Accountability Office report identified NNSA project management as an area of high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.

These issues were attributable, in part, to ineffective project planning practices related to the development and implementation of the 2NV initiative. For instance, essential components of a well-developed project management approach, such as charters, business cases, alternatives analyses, and implementation schedules, were often inadequate, outdated, or had not been developed in a timely manner. In addition, monitoring and oversight activities were not always sufficient to ensure success and hold project managers accountable for delivering the project within cost, scope, and schedule."

http://energy.gov/ig/downloads/audit-report-doe-oig-16-05

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

First news on fee money sent to LANL

"The latest performance review calls for docking LANS $7.7 million in incentive fees for the May incident at an electrical power substation that left one worker hospitalized for more than a month with burns over 30 percent of his body, and for potential contamination stemming from the handling of highly enriched uranium at a Nevada facility twice in 2014."

http://www.abqjournal.com/694829/news/accidents-contribute-to-loss-of-contract-for-lanl-operator.html

Why does it matter ?

Why does it matter so much to the rank-and-file LLNL worker who has the contract? It's way above your level. LANL and LLNL will continue forever as rent-speakers - receiving billions every year to "certify" Cold War relics. Meanwhile, someone else will have to figure out how to fight ISIS, deal with Putin, etc.
Anonymous said...
"Why does it matter so much to the rank-and-file LLNL worker who has the contract? It's way above your level."

It didn't matter, and we paid no attention to it, until the contract change. Then it started really mattering because it had huge daily impact down at the worker level:

1) A bunch of unqualified, unthinking, yes-men/women have been systematically put into leadership positions. Mostly, these are people that don't have other options and therefore the management has leverage on them.

2) The most talented, intelligent, creative and productive individuals (in terms of both science and bringing funds in) have been relentlessly harassed until they left of their own accord or (where that didn't work) were forced out.

3) The entire culture has been transformed from one of getting smart, productive things accomplished...to one of shutting up, going along with ridiculousness, etc otherwise you face reprisals.

So, no, I didn't care who had the contract (or even who managed the place in the upper rungs) until it started severely impacting our ability to do productive, quality work for the nation.

More on LANL contract loss

Physics Today on LANL contract loss


In 2006 Los Alamos National Security LLC—a consortium of the University of California, Bechtel Corp, Babcock & Wilcox Co, URS Corp, and AECOM—took over management of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). On 17 December, in an email sent to LANL employees, lab director Charles McMillan revealed that the consortium's $2.2 billion contract would not be automatically extended or renewed after 2017 by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the contract. The consortium took over operations after several years of problematic management and has shown improved management in its recent yearly reviews, but not at a level that earned it an automatic renewal. LANL has had a number of public embarrassments this year, including a radiation leak at its main waste storage facility.


http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/news/news-picks/nnsa-to-open-up-los-alamos-contract-for-bids-in-2017-a-news-pick-post

SIr Mason of Battelle!

Any reason why Battelle should not run LANL with Mason as Director?
He got a 94 at ORNL for the last year grade.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

LANL contract up for bid!

Senators Confirm LANL Contract Will Go Up For Bid, New Mexican, December 19, 2015

Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation confirmed Saturday that the private consortium that operates Los Alamos National Laboratory will not have its contract renewed after it expires on Sept. 30, 2017.

The New Mexican reported in a story published Saturday that the National Nuclear Safety Administration, the arm of the Department of Energy that oversees the lab’s contract, has decided to put the contract worth about $2.2 billion annually up for competitive bidding. The decision follows a series of federal investigations and performance evaluations involving the lab’s safety record before and after a drum from the lab burst and leaked radiation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February 2014 near Carlsbad, shutting down the nation’s only underground nuclear repository indefinitely.
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/senators-confirm-lanl-contract-will-go-up-for-bid/article_349ea81e-b3b7-5b14-8dbd-e64c4bc66f7e.html

Saturday, December 19, 2015

LANL contract term losses

Covers much of the LANL contract term losses

http://www.abqjournal.com/693548/news/poor-performance-at-lanl-means-contract-up-for-bid-post2017.html

Is this the end of for-profit LLCs for DOE?

Is it time for DOE to remove these LANS and LLNS for-profit LLCs and revert to a University non-profit model?

December 19, 2015 at 8:32 AM

COMMENTS:
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nuclear weapons should not be a for-profit endeavor.
December 19, 2015 at 8:47 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Federalize LLNL and LANL.

Who will be the new LANL Director?


Since the lowest score in the evaluation was for leadership, who will be brought in from outside LANL to replace Charlie?
December 18, 2015 at 10:37 AM

COMMENTS:
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ed Moses?
December 18, 2015 at 10:39 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
How about Charlie Verdon? You guys need another LLNL guy.
December 18, 2015 at 3:05 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Verdon, Dunning, Pinkington.
December 18, 2015 at 3:39 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Verdon, Dunning, Pinkington.

Just more Livermore losers. We are so tired of hearing "at Livermore, at Livermore,..." at Los Alamos.
December 19, 2015 at 5:05 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Where is Norm Pattiz in this fiasco at LANS? He is the principal reason that the LLCs have failed. It's absolutely unbelievable this loser has endured all the failures of the Labs during the last 9-years. Where is he? On his $20M yacht, at a Lakers game sitting on in the front row, in his Beverly Hills mansion sitting at the fire in his silk pajamas with a gold brick necklace smoking Cuban cigars sipping Cognac. He doesn't care about the Labs! He's never showed at LANL, he can't fly his jet into Los Alamos, it too large for the runway.
December 19, 2015 at 5:16 AM
Delete
 

Hello Charlie!

Results are out and Charlie will go down as the only Director to never earn a contract extension.
Sad, so very sad.
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Charlie said the score was very disappointing to LANS. This whole private contractor thing has been a complete disaster. If you have any doubt just remember when LANS rolled out the "lab" purpose, misguided, inane, inappropriate and a waste of time. Well they sure have dropped that like a rock. LANS needs to go and the sooner the better.
December 17, 2015 at 7:50 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
An end date for Bechtel!
December 17, 2015 at 8:36 PM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Goodbye you corporate turds. Don't let the door hit you on the ass.
December 18, 2015 at 4:12 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean they will stop cycling through Bechtel cronies that are incompetent stay parked for three years at a huge salary
do nothing, look down on the technical staff, and move on to their next assignments. Don't they also get their lifelong benefits transferred to LANL?
December 18, 2015 at 7:54 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
The end date being?

December 18, 2015 at 8:09 AM
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
yes parent company employees get their Bechtel service credit counted as Years of service at LANL. Higher ranking ones (and not just parent co.) are being granted vacation accrual rates at the pre-1992 or so rate as part of hire package (Director has the right to over-ride the vacation policy for whoever he wants). So much for that ethical rant Charlie was on for a few weeks.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Contractor scores starting to come out

Y-12 and Pantex got 57% and had a very good year, when compared to LANL, last year. Does this indicate that LANL is in for another year of sub 10% score from NNSA?

http://knoxblogs.com/atomiccity/2015/12/15/cns-gets-disappointing-performance-score-of-57/
December 16, 2015 at 4:49 AM
Delete
AnonymousCOMMENTS:

The talk in the halls at LANL is that LANS got 46% but the site office moved it up to 56% so that LANS could get an extension. Odd that the site office is now under scrutiny from the IG about doing a bad job. Still a disappointing year for LANS again. Not sure how they could justify bringing up the score to 56%, maybe this is way we still have no official word on the score. In any case an extension gives LANS another year to really mess things up more than they already have.
December 16, 2015 at 4:47 PM
Delete
Anonymous 
46%, 56% still an F.

Delete
Anonymous 
--Y-12 and Pantex got 57% and had a very good year, when compared to LANL, last year.

So you must be unfamiliar with CNS ? "very good year" LOL
December 16, 2015 at 6:40 PM
Delete
.
DOE/NNSA grades on the curve.

Delete
 
So you must be unfamiliar with CNS ? "very good year" LOL



It was said that CNS was very disappointed with the score. By the way this was another
Bechtel run mess. Seems like Bechtel just f*ks up everything they do. Why the hell are they in charge of LLNL and LANL? I guess they must really pay off...I mean lobby congress. What a utter complete pathetic disgrace this has become.

In any case LANS is now a dead man walking, this should make LLNLS a bit nervous as history has shown what is done to LANL is done to LLNL.
December 17, 2015 at 8:07 AM
Delete

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Latest fallout from LANL

http://www.lamonitor.com/content/audit-points-weaknesses-lanl-oversight
By Associated Press
Friday, December 11, 2015 at 9:17 am (Updated: December 11, 9:18 am)


ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Investigators are raising flags about weaknesses in the way federal officials keep track of deficiencies, concerns from employees and contractors and other problems at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The findings of the U.S. Department of Energy's inspector general were outlined in an audit released Thursday.

Investigators say the National Nuclear Security Administration's office that oversees operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory failed to put in place an effective management program that includes the tracking of actions taken to fix problems at the lab.

As a result, the auditors wrote, the risk increases that the field office "may not be identifying and resolving environment, safety and health issues in an effective and timely manner."

Critics say the findings are serious since the administration's field office serves as the primary check on the lab's safety and operational integrity.

"Several (Los Alamos lab) facilities operate with continuing safety violations of one kind or another that never seem get corrected if it is inconvenient — or expensive — to do so. These findings help explain why," said Greg Mello, director of the Los Alamos Study Group, an anti-nuclear watchdog group.

The lab has been docked in recent years for numerous operational and safety problems, including violations of its state permit for mishandling waste that ultimately caused a radiation release and shut down the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository.

Administration officials on Thursday said they agree with the recommendations outlined in the audit, and plan to make improvements and to enforce existing requirements and corrective action procedures.

Field office spokeswoman Toni Chiri said the office also is a part of the NNSA's overall efforts to enhance governance and oversight activities across the complex.

According to the audit, the field office failed to log issues that had been identified in assessments into its corrective action tracking system. And nearly three-fifths of those issues that were entered included incomplete, inaccurate or invalid closure data.

Auditors also pointed to inconsistencies in documenting cases.

As for the corrective action process, one goal is to prevent problems from recurring. While the field office had implemented such a system, auditors found that it wasn't consistently used.

The findings also pointed to incomplete files when it came to documenting employee concerns but noted that record keeping seemed to improve in 2013 and 2014.

In one case, weaknesses related to fire safety in the field office building were documented but the record was closed before corrective action was completed. Auditors said that could have compromised worker safety.

Monday, December 14, 2015

WIPP reopening behind schedule and over budget

According to the latest new reports, there is no date for scheduled reopening and the air handling systems are inadequate and way over budget.
Thanks again, LANL!

Site 300 Causes Concern

Site 300: "Proximity of Superfund Site To New Tracy Development Causes Concern" 

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/12/13/proximity-of-superfund-site-to-new-tracy-development-causes-concern/

Friday, December 11, 2015

Delay of LANL contract notice letter

Considering the IG report of earlier this week about LAFO, there probably will be a delay in delivery of NNSAs annual evaluation letter to the lab. Be ready for news just before the holiday break.

Issues Management at the Los Alamos Field Office

The Office of Inspector General has issued a report titled “Issues Management at the Los Alamos Field Office," (OAI-M-16-02).

This report is now available for viewing and can be accessed by clicking the link below:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Contract Right to Health Benefits Found by Judge

Courthouse News Service              Wednesday, December 09, 2015              Last Update: 3:20 PM PT


Contract Right to Health Benefits Found by Judge

By SEAN DUFFY

(CN) - An Alameda County judge ruled Tuesday that retirees of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were University of California employees entitled to the system's health care plan.
The decision by Judge George Hernandez Jr. marks the first time that a contractual right to benefits for California public employees has been recognized.
"The legal issue is whether the employees have a legal right to have health care through the university, or can the university change it as it likes," Dov Grunschlag, who represented the retirees, said. "The judge has found this contractual right on the part of public employees for the first time."
Hernandez ruled that the UC Regents and the retirees had a mutual understanding over the nature of their health care plans, which were a component of compensation, and not merely a gift.
"The university and petitioners reasonably understood that the university offered employee benefits, including retiree health coverage, to prospective and existing employees in exchange for their agreement to accept and remain in employment with the university," Hernandez said in his statement of decision.
Employees at the laboratory were originally offered health care from Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, after it assumed management of the lab in 2007 from the UC system. However, the plans offered were more expensive than what the UC system offered, and the laboratory did not have the same established track record.
These factors concerned retirees of the lab - who were UC employees when the system ran the lab - and eventually led to a class action against the UC system earlier this year.
"They were concerned that the laboratory may change things since there was no contract with them," Grunschlag said in a phone interview. "They could make any number of changes to what they have now, which was worse than what UC offers its employees."
In a separately filed order, Hernandez found that the regents were legally authorized to enter into contracts governing employment relations with the laboratory employees when it ran the lab. He also held that the regents took action that "clearly evinced a legislative intent to create private rights of a contractual nature enforceable against the regents," the order said.
It is unclear at this time whether the UC regents will appeal.
Grunschlag is a partner at the San Francisco-based law firm Carter, Carter, Fries & Grunschlag.
 

Comment:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
All of us that froze our UC retirement and retired later under UC after the contract change should band together and fight for the same rights.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Letter sent to DOE Secretary from Anthony Rivera's attorney

Dear Secretary Moniz:

Anthony T. Rivera's Petition for Secretarial Review was served on your office July 15, 2015. His case arose under 10 C.F.R. Part 708 due to reprisal for his reporting of dangerous incidents in the High Explosives Application Facility at Livermore. The issue is straightforward. Your Office of Hearings and Appeals conducted no investigation and no hearing.

If there is no particular explanation for the delayed response to the Petition for Secretarial Review, I will be obliged to start preparing to obtain judicial intervention. We will bring the matter to court if your decision is issued without providing a remedy. If no decision is received from your office, we will plan to file the court case January 15, 2016.

Your consideration is appreciated.

Cordially,
ANTHONY P. X. BOTHWELL
Attorney for Anthony T. Rivera

cc. Mr. Kevin Knobloch, Chief of Staff
Mr. Steven Croley, General Counsel
Comments:

Does this effect the profit margin by LLNS?
December 7, 2015 at 10:12 PM
Delete
Anonymous 
LLNS "profit margin"?

This matter does not solely implicate the Contractor LLNS. The NNSA LFO staff of the period in question was also referenced in the NM La Jicarita article this past October. The article said the NNSA LFO was "fused together" administratively with LLNS. This would seem to put in question the LLNS profit evaluation objectivity of the NNSA LFO staff and puts another spin on the posted LLNS "profit margin" question

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Livermore Field Office sets core values

"Livermore Field Office sets core values as part of continuous improvement process"

http://nnsa.energy.gov/blog/livermore-field-office-sets-core-values-part-continuous-improvement-process

Comments:

How much did this drivel cost the taxpayer?
What were the NNSA LFO values before November 2015?

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