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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

LANL: Help wanted

If you want to machine plutonium or pack waste drums here is your opportunity. Note, too, that LANS isn't on the list of top employers. You may be fine working there so long as you don't want to do science. LANS has destroyed the great tradition of top scientists at LANL.

http://www.ladailypost.com/content/lanl-puts-out-big-‘help-wanted’-notice

LLNL among America's best employers

Forbes: LLNL among America's best employers
LLNL Newsline 4/29/16

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was named to the 2016 Forbes list of America’s Best Large Employers, ranking No. 102 out of 500 employers that made the cut and the only national laboratory on the list. This ranking places LLNL among the top 10 employers in the San Francisco Bay Area and among the top 12 in government services nationwide.

The list, published in the April 19 issue of Forbes, was compiled based on the results of an online survey of 30,000 employees who were contacted without the involvement of their employers.

Top 10 Bay Area employers on the list
-Google (No. 2)
-Facebook (No. 11)
-Intuit (No. 35)
-Roche (No. 41)
-Stanford University (No. 44)
-University of California, San Francisco (No. 64)
-Genetec (No. 65)
-Kaiser (No. 96)
-Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (No. 102)
-LinkedIn (No. 148)

Top ‘Government Services’ employers on the list
-City of Austin (No. 22)
-NASA (No. 28)
-New York City Fire Department (No. 38)
-Los Angeles County (No. 39)
-Miami-Dade County (No. 48)
-Federal Reserve System (No. 50)
-Suffolk County (No.52)
-Department of State (No. 59)
-State of Oregon (No.67)
-State of Connecticut (No. 76)
-City of Los Angeles (No. 93)
-Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (No. 102)

While 500 companies made the list, around 1,900 employers qualified for consideration by getting at least 100 recommendations in response to one of two questions: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend your employer to a friend or family member?” and “Are there employers besides your own that you would recommend a friend or family member to work for?”

Approximately two-thirds of the 30,000 respondents were employees of large American organizations (headcount of 5,000 or more), and they comprised a representative sample of the U.S. workforce based on gender, age, region, education and ethnicity, according to Statista Inc., the third-party company Forbes partnered with to conduct the survey and compile its results.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Rumor: LANS staying until 2019

Hearing the opposite, LANS keeps the contract till 2019 and that there are efforts to get a Bechetl-UC-UTexas bid going for the next round.

Rumor: LANS departs in September

Word is leaking out that it will be announced on Monday that LANS is departing in September and an interim management team will operate LANL until a new contract can be competed.

Monday, April 25, 2016

LLNL at the top, LANL at the bottorm

LLNL gets top marks, while LANL gets lowest score of all of DoE in first annual report on nuclear crit safety to DNFSB.

https://ehss.energy.gov/deprep/2016/TB16A19A.PDF

What Went Wrong with the Los Alamos Contract?

What Went Wrong with the Los Alamos Contract?

Physics Today, March 2016

http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/69/3/10.1063/PT.3.3103
"I can't in all good conscious say there is nothing wrong with the LANS model, because if there is nothing wrong model, we wouldn't be in a place where four [extensions] are missed", say Tyler Przbylek

Saturday, April 23, 2016

TCP1 discussion

Are TCP1 plan fiduciaries violating ERISA requirements IF the plan is "openable"?

My read of ERISA requirements suggest an "openable" TCP1 pension understood to be closed, should qualify as a "material change" to the plan compelling the plan fiduciaries to communicate such changes to the participants of the plan without delay. 

"Each retirement plan is required to have a formal, written plan document that details how it operates and its requirements. As noted previously, there is also a booklet that describes the key plan rules, called the Summary Plan Description (SPD), which should be much easier to read and understand. The SPD also should include a summary of any material changes to the plan or to the information required to be in the SPD. In many cases, you can start with the SPD and then look at the plan document if you still have questions."

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_pension.html

More new rules on security,

Look out for more new rules on security, compliments of yet another LANL screw-up.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/in-lawsuit-lanl-worker-alleges-discrimination/article_53d577a4-9171-5231-94f1-59ca44d483fb.html

Friday, April 22, 2016

Man arrested for theft of LANL tools

Stories such as this have a major impact on LLNL and the entire NWC. Every time you gripe about some new DoE Order, stop for a moment and realize that it is most likely a result of some stunt at LANL that made the national news.

 http://www.lamonitor.com/content/man-arrested-theft-lanl-tools


 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A new top dog for nuclear weapons in NNSA

After Cook resigned, the principal assistant deputy administrator for military applications became the Acting head of NNSA weapons programs. The Air Force just assigned a brand new person to that slot, and the Col. comes to NNSA from Minot. Some astute readers will remember Minot as being in the news repeatedly over the last several years as the location of one scandal after another. 


Press Operations
Release No: NR-129-16
April 14, 2016
The chief of staff, Air Force announced the following assignments:


Col. Michael J. Lutton, who has been selected to the grade of brigadier general, from commander, 91st Missile Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, to principal assistant deputy administrator for military applications, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy, Washington, District of Columbia.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Your pension is not safe, even if you are retired.

Just because you're already retired doesn't mean Congress can't take your pension

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/15/1515632/-Just-because-you-re-already-retired-doesn-t-mean-Congress-can-t-take-your-pension#read-more

TCP1 numbers

After some digging I have managed to get numbers on participants in LANS TCP1. At the end of 2012 there were 6172 people in the plan. At the end of 2014 there were 6181 people in the plan. So small numbers of people do seem to be getting into the plan. I do not know any way that spousal support or other mechanisms could increase the plan numbers. I think only allowing some more people in could increase the numbers. Does anyone know of any other mechanism that could increase the numbers?

The numbers are small but if some people can get into the plan, why not current employees? Does not seem fair or maybe even legal

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nuke leak settlment

Looks like Charlie has a minder when he goes out in public. The lawyers must be keeping him on a short leash now that the contract has been terminated early.


"Lab Director Charles McMillan and Deputy Director Rich Kacich stood silently behind the governor as she made her comments."

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/state-using-nuke-leak-settlement-to-improve-roads-protect-waterways/article_b33545ad-5185-5135-8c01-3671922746ee.html

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

LANSCE closing

Does anyone have update on date for closing LANSCE? Word around DoE is 2020-2022.

Lab pension increase?

The Feb 2016 CPI-U was 3.0 in SF and 2.4 in LA. Therefore lab pensioners should see at least a minimum of 2.0% increase in pension payments in August.

Good news for Lab workers!


 I’ve just made significant news on 3-24-2016 re LLNL workers, news which could
positively impact several hundred of the 691 prior denied Part B cancer claims,
 and perhaps hundreds more who have not even filed. 
For many years LLNL workers, or their survivors, only had the benefit of a Special
 Exposure Cohort rule, part of the EEOICPA entitlement program, for certain specified
 cancer claims if they worked at LLNL for 250 days during the 1950 through 1973 period.

In October 2014 I filed a new petition to create an expanded Special Exposure Cohort
  for LLNL workers. The benefit of the Cohort is that the claimant gets a legal presumption,
under certain prescribed conditions, that radiation was the cause of the cancer.
 Thus, the claimant does not have the burden of that proof.   That petition I filed would
 potentially cover the entire period from 1974 through 2014.  My petition was accepted
 for study in January 2015, but was slightly narrowed by the government agency to cover
1974 through 1995.

This week, in Tampa, Florida, the Presidential Advisory Board, known as ABRWH
 (Advisory Board on Radiation Worker Health), which works under the Secretary
of Health & Human Services,  unanimously granted their advisory approval
of my petition re LLNL workers to now cover all employees from 1974 through 1989,
thus  a sixteen year expansion of potential claims from the earlier 1950-73 period.
 It becomes law in late June and will be implemented by August. 
Thus, the combined Cohorts cover forty years of workers.
  The remaining years, 1990 through 1995, and perhaps even later, are still under
 study and likely won’t have a resolution until 2017 or later.

The stats in the link immediately below brings your readers up to date on how
 many claims have been processed, paid or denied for Part B and E claims for LLNL
 workers.  The two links which follow are for Sandia Lab, Livermore,
 and for Lawrence Berkeley Lab.




This link below is a graph showing benefits paid for Lawrence Livermore
 since the outset of this program. You can easily see from the graph that in mid 2008,
synonymous with the first Special Exposure Cohort (1950-73) there was a dramatic
 ramp up in awards thereafter.   I anticipate a similar ramp up later this year when
 the impacts of today’s new rules go into effect.


My purpose in communicating to your LLNL blog site today is to make your readers
 aware of these new benefits to literally thousands more workers who might have
 become ill after working at LLNL.  Of course I’d like all of them to contact me,
phone, mail, or email.   Whether they filed a claim and were denied, or have pending
 claims, or have never filed, I am happy to provide them guidance and my expert help.
 If the worker is deceased, direct survivors can be eligible, such as a surviving spouse.
If none, then children, including stepchildren. The survivor chain can go up to
 grandparents and down to grandchildren.

Though I focus on cancer claims, I also take some claims involving non cancer
 respiratory and kidney diseases.

My web site is WWW.FROWISS.ORG  and I have no unhappy clients.
My fee is miniscule, 2% if they win, nothing if they don’t.
   It’s worth every penny having a professional expert taking care of all
of this for sick claimants and their families in this red tape nightmare, typical
 of most government programs.   I’m not an attorney and this is not a lawsuit
 or action involving any court.  The BBB has granted me an A+ rating for many
 years now, reflective of the fact that I have no unhappy clients and have done
about 2,400 paid claims, amounting to about $500 million in awards to my clients.
 Nationally, the EEOICPA program has paid out about $12 billion since it began in 2001.

I’m an independent claims advocate, a professional, specializing in helping workers
 and survivors of workers who had been employed in the nation’s nuclear weapons
 development program, originally known as the Manhattan Project.
 The illness compensation entitlement program is called EEOICPA and has existed
under Federal law since 2001.  For the past eight years I’ve been doing these
 claims nationwide, about 2,400 of them, but I focus on certain national labs
 and test sites.  In the Bay area, my main focus are the Lawrence Labs at
 Livermore and Berkeley, and the Sandia Lab in Livermore.
 I’ve helped hundreds of these families with cancer claims.  I’ve known all these
facilities since the 1960’s as the “RAD LABS”, as I used to provide all of them
instrumentation solutions in a prior career as a technology entrepreneur.

I am also considering sponsoring a new SEC petition for the SLAC facility,
but I need help from current or former employees there who have found
 that the dose reconstructions or dosimetry evidence is faulty, that evidence
 has been altered, or that health endangerment has occurred due to lack of
 adequate internal or external radiation monitoring or lack of air monitors in the
 appropriate worker locations.

Albert B. Frowiss, Sr.
Independent Claims Advocate, EEOICPA
P.O. Box 909
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
858.756.1494 phone and fax
FROWISS®email: frowiss@frowiss.org
website: www.frowiss.org

Monday, April 11, 2016

More additions to WIPP

Considering that there is no firm date for the full reopening of WIPP, this looks like a very risky path to take.


"The plant’s mission also included a pledge to “open clean and stay clean,” but a runaway reaction from an improperly packaged waste drum from Los Alamos in 2014 caused a radiation leak that escaped the cavern, contaminating the air above ground and breaking that promise.

Meanwhile, the plant is still pegged to take waste waiting at national laboratories, as well as new waste the labs create. The U.S. Department of Energy’s budget for the coming year proposes funding to enhance the nation’s nuclear stockpile and ramp up plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Laboratory — work certain to contribute to the waste stream."


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/changing-nuclear-landscape-alters-wipp-s-role/article_2a57716d-4e92-5e94-bc3a-d2a6ce1ae26c.html

Classified and classified.

So in an interview with Fox News today, POTUS said there was classified and then there was classified. He assured thst former SOS and candidate Hillary knew the difference, and she protected the classified while she mishandled the classified, all with the best of intent. This method is not something that I have been briefed on, 

How do I know which classified to handle with current practice and which to follow the new SOS practice of saving to unprotected email servers and circulating confidently among favored confidantes unmarked. 

When was this new policy announced?

Friday, April 8, 2016

NNSA plan to reduce contractors' pension obligations

I just browsed through the just released NNSA FY17 Stockpile Stewardship Plan, and an item in the 5-year funding plan caught my eye. NNSA is planning to reduce their contractor pension obligations by 70% over the next 3 years ! Reminder: contractors = LLNL, Sandia, Lanl, etc. That's us folks ! There is not a single word in that document that says how they plan to dump us.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Did this person go to work for Director McMillan?

DOE:
'Invincible' office manager terrorized staff -- IG

Kevin Bogardus, E&E reporter
Greenwire: Friday, September 4, 2015

A Department of Energy office manager cursed at subordinates, tasked them with personal chores, opened their private email and sought to silence detractors.

Talk about the boss from hell.

The manager's transgressions and many more are listed in a report by the DOE inspector general, which was obtained by Greenwire under the Freedom of Information Act. The document provides much fuller detail on what happened at the department site office than the report's summary version, which DOE released to the public last September.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

LANL culture

Culture is the enemy and must be rooted out and eliminated. The LANL culture is one of the worse of all cultures and the most dangerous. What is this culture, it is arrogance. Bechtel has been a success any other company would have been completely wiped out by the culture, but Bechtel has persisted.

Amazon culture


Amazon culture has an enduring nature of success

It is worth exploring that when organizations have success it is often attributed to their culture, yet when failure after failure piles up for years on end, there is a resistance to attribute it to culture. Is there a double standard at play here?


"In a letter sent to shareholders on Tuesday, Amazon.com Inc's founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, defended the online retailer's corporate culture, which was the subject of a critical report by The New York Times last year.

Bezos noted the enduring nature of corporate cultures in his annual letter to shareholders.

"The reason cultures are so stable in time is because people self-select," he wrote. "Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another," he said, adding that Amazon has never declared that its approach is the "right one."

Amazon was the subject of a months-long investigation by the Times, which depicted the company as having a bruising corporate culture that edged out workers who had been evaluated harshly by their peers and managers."

http://fortune.com/2016/04/05/amazons-bezos-shareholder-letter/

Unhappy reader

All those pesky threads with all those difficult posts were deleted in a second by making up top posts, or by making threads of proposed top posts that were inane. At least we got rid of all those nasty threads, right Mr. Blog Censor (uh, I mean Moderator)? No violations of blog rules, just you didn't like them, as usual. Such is the atmosphere of transparency at LLNL, whether the management or the blog, same philosophy. Sigh..

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

LANL employee-owned LLC

I have a serious question, and hope that it will spark some actual discussion on its merits.

Should LANL (LANS) employees consider creating a 100% wholly "employee owned" LLC to bid on the LANL contract. 

A model for this could be Parsons Engineering - with 15,000 employees it is an engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm with revenues of $3.2 billion in 2015 and is 100% owned by its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Trust. 

Let's say our new company is called "Oppenheimer Engineering LLC" and is 100% LANL employee owned through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). 

Oppenheimer Engineering would then "team" with academic partners (e.g., Purdue, Univ of Chicago, UNM, etc.) and "subcontract" specific work to industrial firms (e.g., Lockheed-Martin, Grumman, Parson, etc) in the bid on the LANL M&O contract. The annual contract management and award fees would serve as the basis for funding the ESOP. The non-profit partners would get a share of the fee, while the industrial for-profit subcontractor would be paid for the specific services they provided. LANL operations and employee salary cost would continue to be paid/reimbursed through the M&O contract.

There's some good information on the National Center for Employee Ownership website at www.nceo.org 
http://www.nceo.org/articles/employee-ownership-100

Evaluations for all NNSA sites are being held up

One story is that the evaluations for all NNSA sites are being held up over some legal protest filed by LANL.


By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 12:02am

Either the National Nuclear Security Administration is running really late in completing performance evaluations of national weapons contractors or it is stonewalling in releasing them. Neither possibility is good.

In past years, annual evaluations were made public in January. The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, and in the past the government has been able to complete the evaluations in about three months.

After the Journal in early January requested the Fiscal Year 2015 evaluation for Los Alamos National Security LLC, the contractor that operates the lab for the government, the NNSA’s press secretary responded that evaluations would be posted online when they are completed, and that was expected by middle January. Two months later, they have not been posted.

The Journal recently filed a Freedom of Information request and last week NNSA Press Secretary Francie Israeli wrote that the “situation has not changed.”

Yet in December, LANL’s contractor apparently already knew what its FY 2015 evaluation contained. LANS officials disclosed to employees that while the FY 2015 evaluation was better than the very critical FY 2014 evaluation – largely hurt by LANL’s role in a radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico in February 2014 – it wasn’t good enough to earn the contractor an extra year on its contract.

As a result of LANL’s second unsatisfactory performance rating, the NNSA announced it would put the lab contract out for bid after 2017, only the second time it has been subject to competitive bidding.

Sandia National Laboratories has been hit hard by NNSA for what the agency said were improper payments to former Rep. Heather Wilson to lobby for federal funding for the lab. Sandia’s contract expires at the end of April 2017 and a draft RFP was recently posted.

Money to run the labs comes from U.S. taxpayers, who deserve to know how it is being spent and if contractors are doing their jobs in a timely and efficient manner.

Past shoddy attention to detail by NNSA contractors and lackadaisical oversight by the U.S. Department of Energy are some of the reasons why the evaluations are critical to protecting national security. The potential search for new contractors makes the evaluations especially critical. They should be made public post haste.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

NNSA Delivers Annual Reports to Congress

In many ways, it is fitting that NNSA released these on April Fool's Day

http://nnsa.energy.gov/mediaroom/pressreleases/nnsa-delivers-annual-reports-congress-progress-stockpile-stewardship-and

Omar Hurricane

How long are they stay on this Omar Hurricane BS? So he put 3 months of work in to go from 0.1% of predicted (Lindl) yield to 1% of predicted yield. And this break even stuff in nonsense. They're putting in 2,000,000 Joules of energy and getting out 20,000. And nothing's changed for over two years. They're stuck at 20,000 Joules. In addition to this, there's no value in these experiments anymore. The scientific community doesn't really care about the "tent" or "mix" or what a diamond ablator might do. Sorry, maybe Rochester Omega does but they're cranks.

Change in worker's comp fought

Change in worker's comp fought
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/senators-simplify-nuke-workers-comp-claims/article_525e2455-5e06-5336-80ac-7b6dd5ae6367.html

LLNL career fair

Lawrence Livermore to hold career fair (3-10-16)

“We have needs throughout our career spectrum,” said Randy Pico, LLNL Engineering Directorate's senior superintendent. “We do this so rarely in our own community, so it’s an incredible opportunity for people to come in and meet (recruiters) from the Lab. It’s a really exciting time for us. We just feel strongly that our local pipeline is ready for this.”

https://www.llnl.gov/news/lawrence-livermore-hold-career-fair

Purdue should bid

Purdue should be a leading candidate for bidding on LANL contract, since they have such strong talent.

http://www.purdue.edu/research/staff/biographies.php?id=94

DOE to send waste to NM

It looks like the waste that was forced to remain at LANL due to their drum explosion that closed WIPP will be staying put. Even if WIPP does reopen sometime in the next few years, and that remains uncertain, it looks like all the available space will be filled up by waste from SC. The legacy waste at LANL, as well as all other US waste, that was supposed to go into WIPP will have to find a new home.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/feds-plan-to-send-nuke-waste-to-n-m/article_29b7b496-ddfc-552b-b5b1-83d36b8bb782.html

NM rolls out cleanup proposal for Lab

Some real info about Los Alamos
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/new-mexico-rolls-out-cleanup-proposal-for-federal-lab/article_37495828-d326-5858-a5e9-5ddbf26d539a.html

Lab directors as speakers

Recently heard the Directors of all three Laboratories speak and was struck by how different they were. One of them was able to communicate in clear and coherent sentences while the other two rambled well off topic in poor English. It was not only the distraction of their very weak public speaking ability, but also the faulty logic that was contained in their speeches. Don't know if others have the same experience, however Goldstein was well above the others.

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