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

Friday, December 15, 2017

Battelle team

Rumor is the Battelle team is: Drum roll Battelle Honeywell BECHTEL

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Texas is in!

Texas announces that it has put in a bid. All the wording sounds good but they have not said if they have an industrial partner. They seem to be pushing for academic excellence which would be nice for a change. So that is two teams for sure, any news on other bidders? 

http://www.everythinglubbock.com/news/state-regional/ut-system-makes-bid-to-operate-los-alamos-national-labs/881066013

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New NNSA Administrator

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty (former LLNL employee) to be nominated to replace NNSA Administrator Klotz 

https://www.defensenews.com/space/2017/12/12/trump-announces-pick-for-nuclear-weapons-czar/

UC confirms it put in a bid




http://www.lamonitor.com/content/university-california-submits-bid-lanl-contract

Why the secrecy?

Why is there so much secrecy around who is and who is not bidding. It seems very difference from 2006 when we knew immediately after the bids were submitted that it was LANS (and who was in the LLC) vs Lockheed Martin-UT. This is a public contract for a publicly owned facility, releasing the names of actually bidders should be required. University of California submits bid for LANL contract Los Alamos Monitor December 12, 2017 The University of California was the only organization to confirm Monday it had submitted a bid to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory for the next five years. Bids were due to the National Nuclear Security Administration Monday. The NNSA would not release information about the contractors that submitted bids and would not say when bids would be opened. The UC system confirmed its submission in an email to the Los Alamos Monitor. “I can confirm that UC submitted a proposal today for the Los Alamos National Laboratory management contract. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LANL under investigation

December 6, 2017 DOE letter states the Office of Enforcement intends to investigate LANS regarding an oxygen deficient "near miss to fatality" and "potential deficiencies" in the LANS "emergency response and pressure system design" 

https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/12/f46/Enforcement%20Notice%20of%20Intent%20to%20Investigate%2C%20Los%20Alamos%20National%20Security%2C%20LLC.pdf

LANL incident probed

SANTA FE – A U.S. Department of Energy office is investigating what’s described as a “near miss to a fatality” at Los Alamos National Laboratory, apparently after a worker went into a room despite the sounding of a low-oxygen alarm. https://www.abqjournal.com/1105482/los-alamos-lab-incident-probed.html 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Nick Darrow

Is Nick Darrow-Friend or Foe of the DOE?

Blog tenth anniversary today.

December 11 2007, this blog was started to carry the torch for the LANL defunct blog "lanl the real story".
10 years of Bechtel hegemony,  rising management costs, low morale,  high bureaucracy at all levels,  stagnant wages! Also,
10 years of valuable lessons in private Labs management.
What has Congress learned?
Looking forwards to the return of UC and may be the arrival of UT,  finally!

LANL May Lose Plutonium Pit Production

Rich: Leaked Document Indicates LANL May Lose Plutonium Pit Production To South Carolina "Not only would this represent a gigantic failure – for almost two decades, LANL has been America’s only nuclear weapons site capable of producing plutonium pits – it would reduce LANL’s mission to produce and secure America’s nuclear weapons capability." 
http://www.ladailypost.com/content/rich-leaked-document-indicates-lanl-may-lose-plutonium-pit-production-south-carolina

Wager

With proposals due (today),any sporting posters ready to make wagers on the outcome? Webster or Sarrao? UC or UT? Some solid money is on NNSA throwing it back open and declaring that they were not satisfied with any of the offerings

Saturday, December 9, 2017

UC and Texas A&M team up

UC and Texas A&M to team up on bid to operate LANL The New Mexican Dec 9, 2017 "When the University of California submits its bid Monday to continue management of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the public institution from the biggest, bluest state in the country will have a partner: Texas A&M University. The two large university systems, one from a solid Democratic state and the other from the largest Republican-led state, are planning to join forces in a proposal to manage the national lab for the next decade. Though university officials would not confirm the partnership, The New Mexican has learned from a source that they are working as a team to put together a unified proposal...Another known bidder is the University of Texas System, a consortium of 14 campuses with a flagship in Austin... Neither officials at the University of California nor those at Texas A&M would confirm their partners or say whether they are working together. "We can’t confirm or discuss any of our bid 

New swimming pool, improved ice rink and improved golf course.

Los Alamos spends LANL NMGRT on new swimming pool, improved ice rink and improved golf course. Demonstrating once more that Los Alamos is all about operating the Lab for local money, not for national service. The Los Alamos County Council Tuesday approved the use of up to $6.5 million in capital improvement funds to build a multi-generational pool that will be attached to the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. AND $4.5 million in improvements for the golf course and $1.2 million for improvements to the ice rink. 
http://www.lamonitor.com/content/council-approves-65-million-pool
 Looming large over the pool discussion was the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The lab’s management and operations contract is scheduled to go to a new contractor next year. If the lab’s contract goes to a non-profit contractor, the county, and the state, would lose millions of dollars in proceeds from the gross receipts tax. New Mexico does not apply a GRT tax to non-profits.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

5 Richest Counties Are D.C. Suburbs

Census Bureau: 5 Richest Counties Are D.C. Suburbs - CNSNews, Dec 7th (CNSNews.com) - The five richest counties in the United States when measured by median household income are all suburbs of Washington, D.C., according to the American Community Survey data released today by the Census Bureau. 
www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-bureau-5-richest-counties-are-dc-suburbs
.................... And coming in at #7 (Median household income of $105,902) is Los Alamos, 

Narrow support

Despite strong opposition, UT Regents to support LANL bid on split vote with narrowest of all possible margins 

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/regents-vote-pursue-los-alamos-nuclear-weapons-lab-contract/E48ROkdBqlLjMH5x3pKzaM/


  •  Longoria said the safety and financial risks aren’t worth it, citing the lab’s checkered safety record in recent years. She said operating a nuclear weapons lab lies outside the system’s core mission and could even put its multibillion-dollar endowment “at risk in a catastrophic event.” She added that the system’s flagship, UT-Austin, wasn’t in favor of the initiative.

LANS, LLNS and social media.

How do "command and control" fear based management, for-profit DOE contractors like LANS and LLNS, deal with social media like this blog? Are their PR/attorney staff constantly trying to discredit blog posts?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

UT Austin flagship campus not on board

UT Austin flagship campus not on board with UT system bid for LANL http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2017/12/05/the-ut-system%E2%80%99s-bid-for-los-alamos-is-an-accident-waiting-to-happen
 You must go to the site and see the picture! There are several very strong reasons put forward for why it is not in UT Austin best interest for the UT system to win the LANL bid.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Study: LANL may not be best for pit-making

"Study: LANL may not be best for pit-making" "A single page from a briefing on a National Nuclear Security Administration study of where pit production should be ramped up over the next two decades leaked out on Friday. The document says there are cheaper and quicker options at Idaho National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina." https://www.abqjournal.com/1101279/study-lanl-may-not-be-best-for-pitmaking.html

Friday, December 1, 2017

TCP1 or TCP2?

Any Thoughts about the UC and TCP1 Pension Plans and The Decision now? It’s been about 10 years since LLNL changed management and employees were given the choice between staying with a UC pension (TCP 2) or going to the “equivalent” TCP1 pension plan. It was a difficult choice for many. Seems now that depending on the point that one was in one’s career, either option could have been a good choice. Any thoughts on TCP1 / TCP2 looking back on the decision now with 20/20 hindsight?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

UC leaders make the case to keep LANL

UC leaders make case to keep managing Los Alamos lab The New Mexican Nov 29, 2017 "Top leaders of the University of California were in New Mexico this week making the case that despite safety and operational lapses over the past several years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the university system alone has the experience and expertise to manage the nuclear weapons lab — a role the university essentially has had since the lab’s inception. “Through all of this time, the last 12 years, the laboratory has consistently been rated for their excellence in science and in support of their missions,” said Kim Budil, a physicist and the vice president for national laboratories at UC, responsible for both the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Los Alamos." 
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/uc-leaders-make-case-to-keep-managing-los-alamos-lab/article_9cd86668-b81e-57fb-88c7-c45bfe5ae966.html

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

UT goes for LANL

In rare split vote UT regents vote 4-3 to pursue Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab contract

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/regents-vote-pursue-los-alamos-nuclear-weapons-lab-contract/E48ROkdBqlLjMH5x3pKzaM/

'Longoria said the safety and financial risks aren’t worth it, citing the lab’s checkered safety record in recent years. She said operating a nuclear weapons lab lies outside the system’s core mission and could even put its multibillion-dollar endowment “at risk in a catastrophic event.” She added that the system’s flagship, UT-Austin, wasn’t in favor of the initiative.'

More on Wallace

Wallace to become director January 1, 2018 LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, Nov. 28, 2017— Dr. Terry Wallace has been appointed Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and President of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that manages and operates the Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The appointments were announced today by Norman J. Pattiz and Barbara E. Rusinko, Chair and Vice Chair of the Los Alamos National Security (LANS) Board of Governors, and are effective January 1, 2018

It is Terry Wallace!

LANS Names Terry Wallace LANL Director
http://www.ladailypost.com/content/lans-names-terry-wallace-lanl-director

Monday, November 27, 2017

Are they impervious?

Are historically "underutilized" minorities at LANL or LLNL, especially those in management, impervious to sexual harassment charges or other forms of misconduct? If so, why?

Do you guys remember Joe Barton the congressman from Texas ?

Do you guys remember Joe Barton the congressman from Texas who had it in for Los Alamos? He was the guy who kept saying close the place down. Below is just a typical example of some stuff he would say but there are dozens more. "But when Montano and his fellow auditors wrote up an account of the fishy deals, the report was buried. Montano was kept idle without work for nine months, he claims. Obviously, this burying of whistleblowers has become a habit over at Los Alamos. And Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, seems to be getting pretty tired of it. Attkisson asked Barton how could Los Alamos finally be cleaned up. And Barton answered, “One thing we could do is just shut the entire complex down.” 

https://www.defensetech.org/2005/03/20/more-los-alamos-shenanigans/

 Well, well well, it looks like Joe Barton is the one that is going to get shut down, with his latest scandal of him sending some rather wild videos of himself if you know

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Public records requests at Livermore

I came across this blog while doing research in advance of a FOIA request I intend to submit to LLNL (which for some reason has to be sent to NNSA). I am curious to know if anyone here has experience with the FOIA process at Livermore and would offer advice on how to maximize the likelihood of it being processed without necessitating suit in Federal court. (I found dockets from a few suits, which is actually how I ended up finding this place.) So, new topic suggestion: Public records requests at Livermore Thanks!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Any friction?

Has UC parting ways with Bechtel (and other LANS partners) on the new LANL bid, introduced any friction in the LLNS team?

What happened to Evil Echo?

Answer:
On leave.

LLNL SHRM AD opening

Who are the front runners for the LLNL SHRM AD opening?

Harmless on his own

Ok they are going to announce the interim director soon now that Charlie is has been given his walking papers. One odd thing is that publicly people say that Charlie is leaving on his own but privately every single one of them said he was fired. So all the fingers point to Leasure. No one seems to like the guy and say he has absolutely no ability lead and no clue about the programs, his job over the years has been to be a yes man and gofer for higher ups. Many people say he is sort of harmless on his own

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving "Labbies"

I wish all blog visitors and contributors a Happy Thanksgiving day and a safe Holiday season.  I feel blessed and often dream of a peaceful 🌎 with less hatred and more compassion.
Julian.

Monday, November 20, 2017

DOE cites Savannah River

DOE Press Release November 8, 2017 "WASHINGTON, D.C. 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) for a violation of worker safety and health requirements.  The violation is associated with worker retaliation by SRNS against an employee at the Savannah River Site in 2015...DOE proposes an escalated civil penalty of $320,000.  DOE considers the safety significance of the Part 851 violation as particularly egregious given the involvement of SRNS senior management in the retaliatory act." 

https://www.energy.gov/articles/department-energy-cites-savannah-river-nuclear-solutions-llc-worker-safety-and-health-0

 DOE PNOV November 8, 2017 "Of particular concern to DOE is the involvement of SRNS senior management, including the past SRNS President, in the retaliation. DOE highly values an environment where employees are confident that their safety concerns are taken seriously, and where acts 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Defense funding bill protects Los Alamos

New Mexico’s two U.S. senators have successfully added an amendment to a major defense funding bill to help protect Los Alamos National Laboratory’s role as the nation’s producer of plutonium pits, the triggers for nuclear weapons.
https://www.abqjournal.com/109799/los-alamos.html
  Pits baby, they keepan NM good!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sexual harassment at LANS and LLNS

With the recent male political, hollywood, and academic figures accused of sexual misconduct, are LANSLLNS managers held to a higher ethical standard, or are female LANSLLNS employees just very fearful to file a complaint with Staff Relations or HR and as a result, such matters do not frequently surface?

Former procurement officer indicted

What is it about the NM environment that leads to repeat waste, fraud and abuse at the NNSA labs?  
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-procurement-officer-federally-funded-nuclear-research-and-development-facility

 Former Procurement Officer at Federally Funded Nuclear Research and Development Facility Indicted on Charges of Wire Fraud, Major Fraud and Money Laundering

Thursday, November 16, 2017

UC Regents Approve LANL Bid

UC Regents Approve LANL Bid "The UC Board of Regents unanimously approved the submission of a bid to manage the Los Alamos National Laboratory ... “NNSA is a tough, demanding customer,” said UC Regent Norman Pattiz, chair of the National Laboratories Subcommittee, during the meeting. “But the work to be done at Los Alamos is too important for the university to walk away from. I see nothing in this (request for proposal) that changes things so dramatically that we walk away from this.” 

http://www.dailycal.org/2017/11/15/uc-regents-approve-los-alamos-lab-bid-review-audit-progress/

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Aides Interfered

UC President Janet Napolitano's Aides Interfered in Audit of her Office, Investigation Finds Top aides to University of California President Janet Napolitano interfered with a state audit of her office, suppressing campus criticism of its services and operations, according to findings of an investigation ordered by the UC Board of Regents. Napolitano approved a plan to instruct administrators from the UC system’s 10 campuses to submit responses to confidential questionnaires about her office for review by her aides before returning them to the state auditor, according to the fact-finding review obtained by the Times. “Based on the foregoing review, we conclude that members of the president’s executive office did interfere with the surveys,” stated the investigative report, which was conducted by former state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno and the law firm of Hueston Hennigan. It added: “We further conclude that two members of the president’s staff undertook these actions with

UC announcement today 1PM

UC will make its announcement today - Nov 15, at 1pm. There are two national lab session at the UC Regents meeting; one closed and one open. From the posted agendas: Closed Session - "Discussion. Update on Partnering Arrangements Related to Proposed Bid for Los Alamos National Laboratory Contract" Open Session - "Action. Approval to Submit Bid for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Contract." 
http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/agendas/nov17.html

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

UC regents to hear demands for Norman Pattiz’s removal

Chair of LLNSLANS BOG may removed by UC Regents UC regents to hear demands for Norman Pattiz’s removal; vote on 2018-19 tuition hikes tabled 
http://www.dailycal.org/2017/11/13/uc-regents-to-hear-demands-for-norman-pattizs-removal-vote-on-2018-19-tuition-hikes-tabled/
At the UC Board of Regents meeting this week, the regents will hear demands from students at various UC campuses for Regent Norman Pattiz’s removal and vote on submitting a bid for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. A year ago, a recording surfaced of Pattiz asking to hold television writer and colleague Heather McDonald’s breasts, sparking outrage in the midst of the university’s ongoing efforts to address sexual harassment cases systemwide. Despite the backlash, Pattiz has retained his seat on the board

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Energy undersecretary wants nuclear safety reports hidden from public

 By Patrick Malone | The Center for Public Integrity Nov 10, 2017 Updated Nov 10, 2017
 The head of the federal agency that produces U.S. nuclear weapons has privately proposed to end public access to key safety reports from a federal watchdog group that monitors 10 sites involved in weapons production. Frank Klotz, administrator of the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, made the proposal to members of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board in an Oct. 13 meeting, multiple U.S. officials said. Klotz contended that recent media stories — including those in The New Mexican — about safety lapses that relied partially on the board’s weekly disclosures were potentially counterproductive to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s mission, the officials said. His solution was presented as the Trump administration considers an acceleration and expansion of nuclear warhead production 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Bid rumour

Some random rumors Webster is heading the UTexas bid. Jon Sarao? is the head of the UC bid. If this is the case than if either of these teams win I would not expect much will change at LANL, both these guys have been in the LANL systems their whole career. I would guess they would put in other current LANL people for the new PADS, ADs so we are just gonna get exactly the same kind of management as before. I am not saying that either of these guys are bad on a personal level I am just saying that they have only been exposed to the LANL way of management, this is all they know so no doubt will continue to manage the place they only way they know how to manage. Why are we even going through a contract change if we are going to just end up with same managers and exactly the same management culture. Make no mistake everyone knows that the issues at LANL are due to the management culture, just look at every survey, look at the annual scores that come out and read the reports of on 

UT having second thoughts.

UT getting second thoughts about LANL. 

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/local/regents-unexpectedly-postpone-vote-bid-for-los-alamos-contract/JXG91YFP5DNJGTgKndfhVK/ 
Looks like the risk - reward equation is being examined a bit more closely by UT regents. 

Lab safety record

The best way to improve the safety record at the labs:  

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/energy-undersecretary-wants-nuclear-safety-reports-hidden-from-public/article_2ed7fa0d-2c99-5405-b3cb-cd4676c6ef46.html

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sandia recruitment

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The head of Sandia National Laboratories says the research facility has recently made changes aimed at bolstering recruitment and diversifying the workforce. Just great, great lower the standards. Lab director Stephen Younger told members of a state legislative committee on Wednesday that Sandia has dropped its grade point average requirement for non-intern positions. Younger says the change adopted in August is part of an effort to look at the whole person, rather than just transcripts or what kind of degree a person might have. He says the change opens up the field to prospective workers who might have struggled early in college but went on to earn degrees. He says the lab is looking for people with grit and determination and it plans to work more closely with New Mexico's colleges and universities.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

MSTS TOP LEVEL

The MSTS top level organization chart is now available on the MSTS and NSTec transition websites. Most organizations are not expected to have significant change. MSTS will release the next layer of organization charts in the next few weeks.

http://www.msts-llc.com/documents/msts_org_11-07-2017.pdf

Monday, November 6, 2017

O&B all hands meeting

Anything interesting  in today's  O&B?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NNSA wants to increase explosions

NNSA wants to increase explosions for Site 300 from 100 pounds per day to 1,000 pounds per day

https://energy.gov/nepa/ea-2076-proposed-increase-weight-explosives-detonated-lawrence-livermore-national-laboratory

The Proposed Action is to increase the weight of explosives used at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Experimental Test Site (Site 300) Building 851 Firing Table up to 1,000 lbs./day to 7,500 lbs./year. The explosives weight is the actual mass, in pounds, of explosive mixtures or compounds for an experiment. Currently, research and development activities at LLNL’s Site 300 Building 851 involve detonation of explosives up to 100 lbs./day up to 7,500 lbs./yr.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

RFC answers

Check out this NNSA answer to one of the DRFP questions published on the government solicitation https://energy.gov/nepa/ea-2076-proposed-increase-weight-explosives-detonated-lawrence-livermore-national-laboratorysite:


Question 168. Section J, Appendix A, Chapter III, Paragraph 2.3, page 31: Comment: The DRFP indicates an expectation by the NNSA to achieve culture change at LANL. Yet this expectation ignores the importance of lower-tier management buy-in because the winning contractor may only replace Key Personnel and their immediate directs, giving the right of first refusal to every incumbent position below that level. Recommendation: Enhance the culture change likelihood of success by allowing the incoming contractor the latitude to evaluate and replace personnel, if deemed necessary, at up to 2 management levels below the Key Personnel position.


Answer 168. Please review the Final RFP and responses provided herein regarding right of first refusal. Although initially the right of first refusal is offered to incumbent personnel below the level of the direct reports, it remains the responsibility of the New Contractor to meet the requirements of the contract and properly manage and operate the Laboratory. There is no contractual requirement prohibiting the new contractor from taking appropriate personnel action against individuals with adverse performance.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

who will it be?

The calendar is counting down until McMillan departs, and UC has not yet announced who they will put in as a caretaker until the contract expires next year. Names floated include each of the current PADS, bringing Anastasio back from retirement, Gibbs, and Budil. What are the current odds on each of these, and is an obvious pick emerging?

Protecting tax proceeds paid by LANL

NM continues to view the national labs as a local revenue stream "The misstep was a case of too much lawmaking and not enough common sense. With a 30-day legislative session set to start in January, both the governor and lawmakers need to get together on a simple stand-alone bill that will protect the GRT revenue stream from LANL or again leave the state’s fiscal future in the hands of Washington, D.C."
 http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/business/protecting-tax-proceeds-paid-by-los-alamos-national-laboratory/article_2c628c3e-3bd2-5fa5-9d65-637861e012a2.html

Top page headline from Australia leading news outlet

Top page headline from Australia leading news outlet 'According to The Centre for Public Integrity, a pair of workers with “cavalier attitudes” at the Los Alamos National Laboratory stuffed “so much plutonium into a small space that they came close to triggering an accidental nuclear chain reaction, all to get some photos”. Their actions “nearly doomed a room full of colleagues”, according to a CPI report. “Plutonium is the unstable, radioactive, man-made fuel of a nuclear explosion, and it isn’t amenable to showboating,” it said. “When too much is put in one place, it becomes ‘critical’ and begins to fission uncontrollably, spontaneously sparking a nuclear chain reaction, which releases energy and generates a deadly burst of radiation.” And it gets much, much worse. Los Alamos National Laboratory in Santa Fe, New Mexico — responsible for the design of nuclear warheads — was a top secret facility during World War II and the birthplace of the atomic bomb. But it is in a state

Monday, October 30, 2017

Letter to Perry

Letter to Perry outlines numerous failures in LANL drill responses 
https://www.abqjournal.com/1083886/emergency-drills-weak-at-lanl-report-says-ex-federal-nuclear-safety-panel-finds-numerous-shortfalls.html

 A spokesman for LANL had no comment. A statement was provided by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the agency under the U.S. Department of Energy that includes the nation’s nuclear weapons labs. “NNSA and LANL have a comprehensive emergency management program in place that is routinely tested and validated through drills and exercises, with a focus on continuous improvement,” said NNSA spokesperson Lindsey Geisler. “As noted in the DNFSB’s letter, NNSA and LANL are taking proactive measures to strengthen emergency preparedness and response based on lessons learned from these drills and exercises. NNSA is committed to having world-class emergency management capabilities to protect our employees, the public and the environment.”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Missing link

Respectfully, "Trump urged to abolish nuclear safety" is missing the web link below: 
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/10/19/21217/gop-chair-nuclear-safety-agency-secretly-urges-trump-abolish-it

Trump urged to abolish nuclear safety

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) "GOP chair of nuclear safety agency secretly urges Trump to abolish it" "The chairman of a panel charged with protecting workers at nuclear weapons facilities as well as nearby communities has told the White House he favors downsizing or abolishing the group, despite recent radiation and workplace safety problems that injured or endangered people at the sites it helps oversee...Sullivan’s position is consistent with the longstanding preferences of the large private contractors that produce and maintain the country’s nuclear arms, most of which also contribute heavily to congressional election campaigns and spend sizable sums lobbying Washington. The board and its expert staff are now probing what it considers to be additional safety lapses or deficiencies that would cost weapons contractors millions of dollars to fix...Three other board members, all Democrats, have said in written complaints about Sullivan’s proposal that he was not on 

Top 10 in 2017

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/safety-board-says-lanl-unready-to-handle-emergency/article_4d220d87-a9d9-5f18-8b88-82274133f5b1.html

There is a list of 10 significant LANL safety events in 2017 at the end of the story. While 3 of them relate to environmental issues, the other 7 each deal with sustained problems in the plutonium facility. 

How will this situation be dealt with in the bidding process? PF-4 now falls under the PAD-WP and clearly Webster has not been up to the task of changing the culture, as required in the NNSA request for proposal.

Friday, October 27, 2017

NNSA Preparing to Seek Bids on New Albuquerque Facility

Federal oversight constructing new $250 million administration building for 1,200 employees in NM OCTOBER 24, 2017 NNSA Preparing to Seek Bids on New Albuquerque Facility The Department of Energy is preparing to solicit bids for a new three-story office building at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Albuquerque Complex on Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, according to a procurement note released last week. The semiautonomous nuclear agency expects to release plans for the new building around Nov. 17. Proposals would be due around Jan. 2, according to a presolicitation notice posted online Thursday. The 330,000-square-foot building will provide new workspace for about 1,200 employees who currently work in aging facilities that date to the Manhattan Project. According to the presolicitation notice, the new facility will cost somewhere between $100 million and $250 million. The Albuquerque Complex houses mostly administration personnel and is part of NNSA .

UT and A&M plan to not team up together on LANL bid

http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/A-M-UT-may-compete-over-Los-Alamos-bid-12308718.php


Texas A&M University System regents last week authorized an administrator to explore the development of a proposal to manage and operate the laboratory, the facility responsible for the safety and reliability of the country’s nuclear weapons.

The U.S. Department of Energy – headed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a prominent Texas A&M University alumnus – issued an official request for proposals on Wednesday. Bids are due on Dec. 11. (A&M said this week it had not contacted Perry about the competition.)

Both systems said they’d be open to partnering with academic and business entities – but it appears unlikely that they’ll team up for the bid.

UT Vice Chancellor David Daniel said in a statement this week that UT could “not identify a role” for the A&M system had "elected not to partner with them on Los Alamos.”

He acknowledged, however, that UT is working out “a number of details” still.

Some lab observers say even the best new management won't be able to rectify the facility's issues, including what they call a culture of secrecy that prevents accountability.

The complex facility has seen high-profile safety and security concerns over several decades, including reports of missing property and fraud.

The company had not always resolved "significant and long-standing nuclear safety deficiencies," according to a DOE memo from July 2015. When the company could not address safety concerns, it had to suspend some activities between 2013 and 2015.
That memo also said LANS struggled to implement multiple critical nuclear safety management requirements.

Later that year, officials announced that Los Alamos' contract would not be extended after low performance, the Associated Press reported.

Successful decontamination

The final RFP for the new M&O for LANL came out this week from NNSA, followed by a weekly report from the DNFSB indicating that work control problems are not yet resolved in the plutonium facility



https://www.abqjournal.com/1083974/los-alamos-workers-exposed-to-radiation-excerpt-lab-says-three-employees-were-successfully-decontaminated.html


Radioactive material was released last month when pipefitters at Los Alamos National Laboratory removed a plug from a service panel on a sealed glovebox in the lab’s plutonium facility, according a report by an independent federal safety panel.

“All three workers were contaminated on their protective clothing,” including one on his skin in the chest area, “which was successfully decontaminated,” says the report posted by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s Los Alamos staff.

The safety board report says two pipefitters, accompanied by a radiological control technician, were replacing elbows on the service panel with shorter versions when the plug was removed because was interfering with turning one of the elbows. “This was the same work crew and glovebox involved” in another recent, previously reported contamination event, the report states.

In the previous event, access to the plutonium facility and movement of all personnel were suspended for about two hours after radiological control technicians found contamination on the protective clothing of several workers.

More plutonium problems

Reports of more problems for LANL and plutonium workers


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/three-los-alamos-lab-workers-contaminated-in-accident/article_32d1f5e5-5752-57c2-b7c3-fd279c9769a3.html

More training to come


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/three-los-alamos-lab-workers-contaminated-in-accident/article_32d1f5e5-5752-57c2-b7c3-fd279c9769a3.html

Fusion program

Article on Sandia Z that inadvertently manages to show what a wasted effort their fusion program is:  
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43nwp3/fusion-energy-explainer-z-machine-general-fusion-sandia-national-labs

DOE made the right decision to go with NIF. Why they maintain failed legacy efforts like Z is inexplicable

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

RFP for LANL

NNSA releases final RFP for LANL M&O contract NNSA refused to budge on the numerous requests to apportion the failures of the current contractor to various parent companies and stuck with their view that all of them will receive failing ratings on the past performance criterion. M-4 TECHNICAL AND MANAGEMENT CRITERIA The following criteria are listed with degrees of importance. Criterion 1 and 2 are of equal importance and, when combined, are significantly more important than Criterion 3. (a) Criterion 1: PAST PERFORMANCE The Government will not apportion past performance under a DOE, NNSA, or other contract differently among parent companies that have teamed for the purposes of said contract; all parent companies under a contract will be equally credited (positively and negatively) for past performance for that contract

Monday, October 23, 2017

NNSA to DOD.


What happened to all the talk earlier this year of moving NNSA into DOD or reabsorbing it into DOE. Seems the same old status quo that everyone thinks is broken has won out. 

US Preparing to Put Nuclear B-52 Bombers Back on 24 Hour Alert


http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2017/10/exclusive-us-preparing-put-nuclear-bombers-back-24-hour-alert/141957/?oref=d-topstory Interesting comment from this story that has potential implications for NNSA labs... "[General] Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat... During his trip across the country last week, Goldfein encouraged airmen to think beyond Cold War uses for ICBMs, bombers and nuclear cruise missiles. “I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?” 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bank layoff

Los Alamos Bank lays off 10% of workforce With all the other boarded up store fronts in town and closed businesses, this is just one more sign that the money is running out. 
http://www.lamonitor.com/content/bank-lays-26-part-realignment

Friday, October 20, 2017

FAQs on MSTS LLC

http://www.msts-llc.com/faq.html

Town out of growth?

Headline story in yesterday's Los Alamos paper was about the bank laying off 10% of their workforce. Does this combine with number of local businesses closing indicate that the town is running out of growth? 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Nevada transition offers

Nevada transition offers to management going out soon: Offers We are now in the Wave 1 phase of offers to the management team. Wave 2 of offers will start soon for the remainder of the workforce. Non-bargaining employees will receive an offer letter at the email that they used to apply online. You will need to electronically sign the offer letter within five (5) calendar days from the date of offer. Bargaining employees will receive transition packets to complete and return. A benefits summary and other employment related information will be included with offer emails. http://www.msts-llc.com

A&M, UT competing against each other to run Los Alamos weapons lab

UT never called them back, so now A&M is going after LANL on a competing team http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/competing-against-each-other-run-los-alamos-weapons-lab/9MxU18tiDmn2R9vY8ZsPbM

Board elimination

New Mexico Senator Udall opposes the elimination of the DNFSB In a turn of events, the just elevated Chair of the DNFSB has sent a private letter to the OMB urging the elimination of the Board. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/10/19/21217/gop-chair-nuclear-safety-agency-secretly-urges-trump-abolish-it
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2017/10/19/21217/gop-chair-nuclear-safety-agency-secretly-urges-trump-abolish-it

Charlie's all hands

Charlie gives an all hands talk today at LANL. Various rumors are 1 The contract will be extended by a year. 2 The new director is Craig Lessure. 3 The new director is Wallace, 4. The new director is Harvey Weinstein. 5. Charlie will be staying on longer due to the contract extension. 6 This is part of some punishment from from the events in the past year where he has to say all the great things that they implemented to improve the labs...so on. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rumor has it...

New rumor. UC and U Texas may team up for a joint bid and it will be non-profit bid

Increase in nukes

Trump wanted a 10x increase in the number of US nuclear weapons in July, which is what prompted the Sec of State to call him a " Moron" after the meeting... https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-wanted-dramatic-increase-nuclear-arsenal-meeting-military-leaders-n809701

Saturday, October 7, 2017

NNSA Statement on LANL

Mum? Is that because they didn't call you personally? NNSA Statement on Los Alamos National Laboratory Operations September 25, 2017 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On August 22, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) reported that it did not follow its operating procedures during a movement of materials within its plutonium facility. The amount of material involved was well within parameters known to be safe. At no time was there any risk of an inadvertent criticality. There was also no risk of injury or exposure to the workforce or public. The laboratory has since taken steps to help prevent a similar event in the future, and the qualifications of the workers involved were suspended pending rigorous retraining. NNSA requires its contractors to meet the highest standards of safety while working with hazardous and nuclear materials. At each of our laboratories, sites, and production plants, there are multiple layers of defense to prevent accidents involving these materials. These multiple 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Huge NSA breach the third one.

The issue is that we all know LANL is the problem lab with the out of of control culture but this makes it seem like some other organizations have problems? How can that be, is the cowboy culture spreading, or was there never cowboy culture. Strange strange times 


https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/10/the-cases-for-and-against-claims-kaspersky-helped-steal-secret-nsa-secrets/


The report may well be true, but, for now, there's no way to independently confirm it. The report is based on unnamed people the publication says had knowledge of the matter, and it provides no evidence to support its claim. What's more, the lack of detail leaves open the possibility that, even if Kaspersky's AV did help Russia home in on the highly sensitive code and documents, the disclosure was the inadvertent result of a software bug and that no one from Kaspersky Lab cooperated with the attackers in any way. Also lost in the focus on Kaspersky Lab is the startling revelation that yet another NSA insider managed to sneak classified material outside of the NSA's network and put it on an unsecured computer. More of this analysis will follow.

What shouldn't go overlooked in Thursday's report is that this is the third known instance in the past four years of an NSA breach resulting from insider access to classified materials. The best known case is whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was able to trawl through NSA networks collecting documents for an extended period of time before turning them over to reporters. In 2016, a separate NSA contractor, Harold T. Martin III, was arrested after he sneaked 50 terabytes of confidential material out of the NSA and stored it at his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The trove comprises as much as 75 percent of the exploits belonging to the Tailored Access Operations, the elite hacking NSA unit that develops and deploys some of the world's most sophisticated software exploits.

First, here's a summary of what the WSJ reported.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Locals looking for more.

As new bidders seek to score LANL management contract, locals push for community concerns

Go look up local newspaper articles from the regions where NNSA does business and see if any of the other locations have this issue. Why is it that only in Northern NM the community is in line for an ever larger handout?

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-14022-contract-scoping.html

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Union for 430 Sandia Labs Employees Authorizes a Strike

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The union that represents 430 Sandia National Laboratories employees has voted to authorize them to go on strike. A lab spokeswoman tells the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2fHGzOj ) that the Metal Trades Council rejected Sandia's "last, best and final offer" during contract negotiations Friday night. However, a strike authorization doesn't mean a strike is imminent and the union hasn't notified the labs that its members will go on strike. Sandia says the final version of the three-year contract offered general wage increases, lump sum payments and a $2,000 ratification bonus. It's the first to be negotiated between the union and Honeywell International, the lab's new managing contractor. The Journal reports that Metal Trades Council went on strike in August 1999 for 13 days over pensions, job classification and pay issues.
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2017-10-01/

Sunday, October 1, 2017

UC makes solo bid?

From much of what has leaked out in the past weeks, seems that UC made a rush to announce that they would be leading a bid team. With it now coming down that no one wants to team with UC in the next round, does this mean that LANL can finally return to being a UC only institution? 

Interested Parties

FedConnect Releases Interested Parties List For LANL M&O Contract A list of “interested parties” has been posted by National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) for the four-month transition and a five-year base management and operation contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory.   The list, which was released on the FedConnect website Sept. 26, is as follows: * General Dynamics * Huntington Ingalls Industries * Hampton Thomas Associates * SGT, Inc. * Internal Computer Services * efkairia, LLC * TerranearPMW, LLC * Cabrera Services * IBM Global Business Services * Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc. * Logan Research * KBRwyle * MAG Aerospace * TechSource, Inc. * Edgewater Tech * Longenecker & Associates, Inc. * Criterion Systems, Inc. * Information International Association, Inc. * Bechtel * Los Alamos Technical Association * Merrick & Company * Sigma Science, Inc. * North GeoEngineering Services, LLC * Advanced Insights Group Inc. * BWX Technologies, Inc. * CSRA LLC *

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A new structure?

The new structure for the bid being developed by UC and Bechtel/AECOM It appears the talks between UC and Bechtel and developing a new structure. This structure would be to break the Operations and Projects PADs away from the Science/Technology/Security making each partner responsible for the management, performance, and fee. How would this effect Weapons PAD and program???

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LANL violations

No comment yet from NNSA on latest LANL crit safety violation in pit production facility In 2016, LANL was the only one of the Department of Energy’s nuclear facilities to receive a failing “red,” or does not meet safety expectations, safety rating for criticality. No comment has been available from the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, of which the Los Alamos lab is part. The DNSFB’s recent report says that on Aug. 18, the crew that had cast the pit shell moved it “into a location that already contained plutonium metal,” exceeding plutonium limits. When too much plutonium is put in close quarters, a criticality reaction can take place. In this case, the violation was discovered three days later when the shell was moved again. The DNFSB report said “this was the first shell cast in the facility in about four years and the second time that a restarted operation encountered conduct of operations issues related to the criticality safety of material movements shortly 

LANS gets 6 month extension to run EM contract


It is starting to appear that the current team of LANS will get to keep all the contracts for the future.

https://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-extends-los-alamos-national-laboratory-cleanup-bridge-contracthttps://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-extends-los-alamos-national-laboratory-cleanup-bridge-contract

Monday, September 25, 2017

Notice of violation

"Worker Safety and Health Enforcement Preliminary Notice of Violation issued for violations of 10 C.F.R. Part 851 relating to electrical safety.

On August 17, 2017, the National Nuclear Security Administration issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (WEA-2017-01) to National Security Technologies, LLC, for violations of the Department of Energy’s worker safety and health program requirements (10 C.F.R. Part 851) associated with implementation of the electrical safety program and an electrical shock event that occurred at the Nevada National Security Site."

"...The incident occurred during preventive maintenance work on electrical equipment at the U1a Complex, involving multiple crews, crafts, and locations.  The electrical shock occurred while an employee was using a damp rag to clean the inside of an energized 5kV splice box..." 

https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/08/f35/Preliminary%20Notice%20of%20Violation%2C%20National%20Nuclear%20Security%20Technologies%2C%20LLC.pdfhttps://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/08/f35/Preliminary%20Notice%20of%20Violation%2C%20National%20Nuclear%20Security%20Technologies%2C%20LLC.pdf

Ploy?

Was it all a ploy by the communications consultants to moderate the critical blog? One story is that the LANS team wanted to hold down negative comments as the re-compete heats up and that they were successful by spamming the blog with drivel. 

Draft RFP q&a


Questions and Answers to Draft RFP, second set, Q&A's 12 thru 110 (yes 110), posted 9/20/17

List of interested parties - Notable attendees include University of Texas and University of California; Leidos, Bechtel and General Dynamics - notably missing:  Lockheed

Readers will be interested in the clarification of (1) current employees have right of first refusal and (2) pension considerations are covered by ERISA and NNSA anticipates new contractor will continue current pension plans for retirees and future retirees.  All years of service and leave balances carry forward to new contract.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another crit safety failure....

LANL has another failure in criticality safety. Article looks as if the workers made not just one but two attempts to cover up the mistake instead of reporting the lapse. No wonder NNSA is fed up with LANS!

https://www.abqjournal.com/1067835/report-criticality-event-occured-at-lanl-plutonium-facility.html

Please reconsider your new policy to police the blog.

It's nature has changed from a sometimes chaotic but open forum to something more personal, a very limiting give and take between piqued individuals and even trite nannying. Closing off threads rather than letting them exhaust themselves eliminates the authenticity of the exchange. It will only take perusing a few more Nannied threads before you will lose the interest of followers like me who have posted perhaps now thousands of posts since the 2007 rebid debacle motivated this anonymous forum. Thanks for your efforts and consideration. I for one do not hold anyone but the author responsible for the posts in an open, very lightly monitored forum

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Report: LANL twice violated nuclear safety standards in Aug


Sep 22, 2017 

"The incidents are among the most serious to have occurred at the lab in the last year or more, and come at a time when the lab’s ability to handle nuclear materials — and ensure the safety of its workers and the public — have been questioned by critical investigative reports, the federal advisory board and members of Congress"

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/report-lanl-violated-nuclear-safety-standards/article_6692f11d-6c8d-5b4c-8f5d-1972330d3df6.html

Most Top Managers Will Be Gone

No matter who wins LANL, because the team will be divided 2, 3 or even 4 ways into different bid teams, it means at most 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 could survive into next contract. Some teams could have few or no current LANL managers.

The if you factor in the retirements that will be timed for the contract change another fraction of top managers will be gone.

No matter what the outcome, most LANL AD and PAD will be gone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

At least two bidding teams.

I am also hearing that UTexas and Battalle are putting in a bid. Anyone else hear this? 
That is at least two teams. How about Lockheed?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Annoying large fonts

Lately,  someone pointed out that some posts have huge fonts. It may have something to do with my mobile device browser settings. The posts look good from my mobile device.
I am doing this post using a laptop. It should have the correct font size.  I will continue researching the cause of the problem.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Can anyone explain?

This makes no sense unless LANS is intending to bid as the current LLC, which seems very unlikely. LANS was established for the sole purpose of bidding on the contract for, and running, LANL for DOE/NNSA. It has no other function or business. Can anyone explain this rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Queen Tauscher - Good, Bad, or Ugly?

The appointment of Ellen Tauscher as an Executive Committee Governor of the Boards of Governors of the Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, effective February 16, 2018, replacing Norman Pattiz, be approved.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

More control over LANL and SNL

Senators want DNFSB to have more control over LANL and SNL operations


New Mexico’s U.S. senators are pushing for language to be included in a major defense spending bill that they say would bolster safety at national laboratories in the state.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have proposed that the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report to Congress each year on what additional resources are needed to ensure that operations at Sandia and Los Alamos labs are safe.

The independent oversight panel found earlier this year that many of the safety systems in place at Los Alamos date to the 1970s and will need to be upgrading to meet future demands.


https://www.abqjournal.com/1063525/new-mexico-senators-push-for-annual-reports-on-lab-safety.html

Pattiz out from UC role in LLNS/LANS in 2018



Too little too late to save any hope for UC continued involvement in NNSA. Pattiz was a running joke and UC put up with his behavior for way too long.


http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/sept17/a1.pdf

Blog Archive