BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trump pick for Air Force boss frustrated auditors

Trump pick for Air Force boss frustrated auditors with lucrative, murky consulting for nuclear weapons labs

Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith
Center for Public IntegrityFebruary 28, 2017

A federal inspector contacted the Energy Department fraud hotline a few years back to flag irregularities in contracts that several nuclear weapons laboratories had signed with a former New Mexico Congresswoman whom President Trump has designated to become the new Air Force Secretary.

A far-reaching probe ensued in Washington after the hotline contact, which ended in a demand that the weapons labs give back nearly a half-million dollars to the government. Wilson has said she did not do anything wrong in trading on her Washington experience to become a “strategic adviser” to the labs.

But internal Energy Department documents newly obtained by the Center for Public Integrity make clear that some of the contracting irregularities stemmed from demands specifically made by Wilson in her negotiations with the labs.

****

As Charlie McMillan of LANS is fond of saying: "Follow the money!"

I wonder, did Charlie sign the "consulting" checks for Heather Wilson?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Blog complaints

Hey Scooby, why all the garbage about "road signs," "store fronts," and "street signs" on the "prove you're not a robot" thing?? It takes me twice as long to do this crap as to type a post. What problem is this garbage solving? If you have abuse statistics, publish them so we can see your choices of authorization methods are reasonable. Why does all this matter on an essentially unmonitored, anonymous blog???
Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I suppose that you might have heard about denial of service attacks?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Again, on an unmonitored anonymous blog, the "service" is worth essentially nothing. Who cares if it goes down?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Similarly, untested nukes are also worth nothing. No computer sim is going to capture the effect of thousands of incremental changes in materials, design and manufacturing processes. Trump, make testing go BOOM again!

Friday, February 17, 2017

U.S. Forecast to Spend $400B on Nuke Forces Over Next Decad

U.S. Forecast to Spend $400B on Nuke Forces Over Next Decade: CBO
02/16/17 07:56
Weapons Complex Monitor

The United States appears set to spend $400 billion on its nuclear deterrent over the next decade, with spending rising as weapons modernization advances, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday.

The United States appears set to spend $400 billion on its nuclear deterrent over the next decade, with spending rising as weapons modernization advances, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported Tuesday.

"If carried out, the plans for nuclear forces delineated in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) budget requests for fiscal year 2017 would cost a total of $400 billion over the 2017– 2026 period, CBO estimates—an average of $40 billion a year. according to the report. "The current 10-year total is 15 percent higher than CBO’s most recent previous estimate of the 10-year costs of nuclear forces, $348 billion over the 2015–2024 period."

That increase is primarily due to the fact that the latest congressionally mandated cost estimate includes an additional two years of the modernization program, in which the United States plans to replace its existing fleet of ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, and strategic bombers. The entire modernization program has been projected to cost upward of $1 trillion over 30 years.

Of the estimated $400 billion price tag, CBO said it expects DOE and DOD to spend $344 billion in four areas: $189 billion at both agencies for strategic nuclear delivery systems and weapons; $9 billion at both agencies for tactical nuclear delivery systems and weapons; $87 billion for DOE nuclear weapons laboratories and associated operations; and $58 billion for Pentagon nuclear command, control, communications, and early warning systems.

"The remaining $56 billion of the $400 billion 10-year total represents CBO’s estimate of additional costs that would be incurred over the 2017–2026 period if the costs for those nuclear programs exceeded planned amounts at roughly the same rates that costs for similar programs have grown in the past," CBO said.

LLNL, Sanctuary Lab

Sanctuary Lab

LLNL is a sanctuary lab for people wanting to pose as scientists and engineers.
The work force is second rate and would get slaughtered anywhere else. It's unfortunate that the young, good talent leaves before 40.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Adjusting to a new administration


LLNL NewsLine - 02/09/2017

Since the founding of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1952, a dozen presidential administrations have come and gone. Each transition came with questions about program shifts and funding impacts. While each administration has set its own priorities, the Laboratory's core mission -- to apply cutting-edge science and technology to make the nation and world safer and more secure -- has stayed the same.

Lawrence Livermore was created as the "new ideas" Lab, a multidisciplinary institution working at the cutting-edge to respond to the world's greatest challenges. Over the past six decades, our approach to innovation has served the nation exceptionally well. We changed the paradigm for nuclear weapons design with the Polaris missile; invented stockpile stewardship to assure the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear deterrent without testing; helped stem proliferation and respond to terrorist threats around the world; and, with our colleagues at Los Alamos and Berkeley Lab, initiated the human genome project.

Change is inevitable when any new administration takes over. Since the inauguration, a federal hiring freeze has been ordered; an immigration ban has been implemented, amended and litigated; and a new Nuclear Posture Review has commenced. As we learn more about these and other developments, and their impacts on the Lab, we will be sharing them with you. So far, it's clear that the hiring freeze does not affect the Lab, since we are not federal employees. We've been carefully tracking the immigration ban, and closely monitoring its immediate and potential impacts on employees and visitors. Our Immigration Services Office in the Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) Organization is a resource available to staff with questions. Through the Center for Global Security Research, and in other forums, we maintain tight connections to the nuclear policy community.

In addition, the government continues to operate under a continuing resolution (CR) enacted last December, expiring April 28. In other words, FY17 budgets have not yet been established. New budget priorities under consideration by the administration and Congress could impact funding in the current fiscal year through either a follow-on CR or an omnibus appropriation. Also in play is the federal debt limit, which will have to be increased or suspended by March 15, though the Treasury Department has a variety of means available to temporarily finance the government. The Lab will continue to operate in the event of a lapse in appropriations associated with either the CR or the debt limit, since our programs have healthy carry-over funding. On the whole, I expect budget impacts to the Lab this year to be minimal, despite these uncertainties.

Above all, it is important that we continue our important work through this period of change with a commitment to excellence and integrity, safety and security, that are the hallmarks of our Lab.

- Lab Director Bill Goldstein

Trump's ignorance

  1. "Asked by Putin about the possibility of extending the treaty capping U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads — known as New START — Trump reportedly paused to ask his aides what the treaty was, two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official briefed on the call told Reuters."

  2. Comments:
  3. "Asked by Putin about the possibility of extending the treaty capping U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads — known as New START — Trump reportedly paused to ask his aides what the treaty was, two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official briefed on the call told Reuters."

    February 9, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    If true, this is reason to fire the aides for failure to prepare him for what was a near certain topic during the call.

  4. Trump has no concern for or respect for facts or actual knowledge. Putin just had a freebee to show the world that Trump is a know-nothing lightweight who can and will be played internationally just like he tries to play all his business adversaries in the US. I didn't vote for Hillary, but I now believe we are in for 4 years of embarrassment, cringing, denials of facts, and coverups never seen since Nixon, or probably even worse. This guy is a complete asshole, and the world knows it. As soon as a majority of the US public knows it (I give it six months) he will be impeached.

  5. "Asked by Putin about the possibility of extending the treaty capping U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads — known as New START — Trump reportedly paused to ask his aides what the treaty was, two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official briefed on the call told Reuters."

    Look why should we believe this? Was it vetted? The MSM has been either wrong, dupped or out and out lying about so much lately and simply does not pass the smell test. This sounds like total and complete BS to me. Fake News.

    Here is few pointers on why this is obviously is fake news, you have two officials and on former official, 3 people, briefed on a presumably classified call. (1) why would a non-official be briefed? (2) Why would these people that are that trusted to be told this go out and leak it? (3) The risk is huge and what advantage could people who are so close to this have? If you are gonna leak you leak something really huge not small.(4) And this is the BIG giveaway, and yes there is always a detail that gives it away that it is BS. These people did not actually hear the call...they where briefed. If they where briefed they would been given overall big picture of the conversation not some specific detail about Trump asking his aids questions. If they where in on a conference call with Putin the call they might have a point but there is no way these kinds of details would ever be in a brief. Gotta call BS on this.

    Come one folks all you have to do is use your brains on these so called leaks or weird news stories to figure out it is junk. Remember the story two weeks ago where
    they said had some Russian prostitutes in a hotel, that as also on MNS, oh wait that was also BS. Many of us grew up with Ed Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Ted Kopple, the old 60 mins and so on. That kind of journalism is long long dead. It takes hard work, intelligence and integrity for real journalism or for honest press. Look what we have today, just random networks that pick up stories of the internet that came from God knows where. There are no journalist anymore, that would take time and money and in the end there is no profit as no one wants real news. We have fake news because that is what we want and what we will pay for. When people complain about "Fake News" what they really mean is that they do not lake the "Fake News" from the other side but they do like their own "Fake News".

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Best article yet on the direction US nuclear weapons are heading...



Trump's nuclear options: Upcoming review casts a wide net
Defense News
February 8, 2017

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/trumps-nuclear-options

Some key excerpts:

"In a Jan. 27 executive order signed at the Pentagon, Trump directed Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to “initiate a new Nuclear Posture Review [NPR] to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies.”

It’s wide open language, leaving Mattis with significant leeway over how the study will be run, who will be involved, and even the timetable, all factors that are certain to affect the study's conclusions. Or, as Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, puts it: “Trump is basically turning nuclear policy over to Mattis, whether Trump realizes it or not.” 

But how much will really change? Analysts largely agree the modernization plan put forth from the Obama administration will probably remain intact -- but note it's the policies around the edges, and who gets to shape those policies, that will be key to watch. 

While many of the Obama-era plans are facing scrutiny from the new administration, nuclear experts believe that major changes to the current modernization program under Trump are unlikely. 

That’s largely because the Obama administration had set the Pentagon on an ambitious modernization course that will see almost the entire nuclear weapons complex renewed...

...Peter Huessy, a senior defense consultant with the Air Force Association, predicts a “stay the course -- plus” policy to emerge, continuing the modernization efforts of the Obama administration but looking to fill perceived near-term gaps in the nuclear posture. That potentially includes trying to speed up the procurement of the big modernization programs, as well as flowing extra funding to the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA), where the modernization of a new wave of warheads is ongoing. 

“I think NNSA and the labs need more money. I also think they have to do a better job, and it’s a continuing fight to do better with what money they have,” Huessy said, referring to experts' concerns about aging NNSA infrastructure...

...“I think you could maybe add some things into the ‘18 budget that are absolutely necessary but you’d have to do a pretty quick study, and you’d have a hard time drilling down too much because you don’t have the people in place,” Huessy said. “It has to be done carefully and explained well. I don’t know if it will be a quick and short NPR. I know there are people who think it should be. We’re going to be doing about three defense bills in the next year. So there is an emphasis on getting decisions done quickly.” 

...Huessy looks at it from a practical view. Other nuclear states already exist, and working out nonproliferation policies for the current geopolitical world is a sensible thing to do, in particular given the pressures around the Korean peninsula and the tensions between India and Pakistan. 

"Any move to undo the 2010 NPR three 'Nos' -- no new warheads, capabilities, and missions -- would not only be unnecessary, destabilizing, and financially costly, it would also be deeply divisive domestically and internationally, including among close allies," Reif said. "And it would inflame already acute and widespread fears that Trump can't be trusted with the nuclear codes."

Class action lawsuit

Class action lawsuit: Sandia Corporation

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170207006594/en/Lieff-Cabraser-Outten-Golden-Announce-Sandia-National

LANL HR at work, solving the lab's biggest challenges:



To: LANL-ALL

From: Susan K. Harris, HR-DO, P124



Date: February 7, 2017



Subject: Pornography in the Workplace

Los Alamos National Laboratory strives to create and maintain a comfortable and safe work environment for all. As such, we take reasonable steps to deter inappropriate behavior that adversely affects our work environment. One area that has an especially negative impact is viewing or accessing pornography, whether using government equipment to do so or bringing pornographic material into the workplace. This behavior is unacceptable and undercuts the Laboratory’s efforts to be a “best place to work.” In addition, dealing with pornography is closely related to addressing the larger issue of sexual harassment, which the Laboratory does not tolerate.



Pornography has no place at the Laboratory and no place on government equipment, be it a cellphone, desktop computer, laptop, or any other government property. Therefore, I am announcing that our disciplinary practice related to pornography is as follows:



“Bringing any pornographic material to the Laboratory worksite or using government equipment to view or access pornography will result in termination of employment.”



We are treating this offense the same way we treat use of illegal drugs by employees: If you violate this rule, we will terminate your employment. If in doubt as to whether a website or other location is likely to contain pornographic material, do not access it at work or use government equipment to do so. The prohibition against accessing pornography on government equipment applies regardless of location. For example, the Laboratory will enforce this rule whether an employee accesses pornography on his or her Laboratory cellphone, laptop, or iPad while at home, on travel, or elsewhere.



Please help create a positive workplace environment that is respectful to all employees and contributes to the long-term success of the Laboratory and its mission.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

UC and lab management

  1. UC just landed on the new administration's twitter account post. It might soon be time to end all UC involvement with Laboratory management.


    "If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
    6:13 AM - 2 Feb 2017"

    Comment
  2. UC just landed on the new administration's twitter account post. It might soon be time to end all UC involvement with Laboratory management.



    Berkeley students did the right thing and they should be very proud. The speaker is spreading hate speech and hate speech is not protected under the US constitution, if anything the speaker should be locked up. Free speech is not free when it comes at the expense of other people. It is time to fight back against hate!

Optical Society of America joins the battle on the side of American Physical Society

Optical Society of America joins the battle on the side of American Physical Society, and sticks it's nose into partisan politics too. 
www.osa.org/en-us/get_involved/public_policy/osa_responds_to_immigration_ban/

Hurry while they are still hiring!

Hurry! Send in applications to LANL, while they are still able to hire.

http://www.lamonitor.com/content/federal-hiring-freeze-does-not-effect-lanl

APS sticks its nose into partisan politics once again!

APS sticks its nose into partisan politics once again!

Dear APS Member,

We share the concerns expressed by many APS members about recent U.S. government actions that will harm the open environment that is essential for a successful global scientific enterprise. The recent executive order regarding immigration, and in particular, its implementation, would reduce participation of international scientists and students in U.S. research, industry, education, and conference activities, and sends a chilling message to scientists internationally.

As stated in the mission of the APS, we are committed to being a leading voice for physics and international cooperation, for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity. Fulfilling this mission includes supporting both the mobility of scientists and a culture of unfettered communications. The values that advance science necessarily include open scientific discourse, free from discrimination and harassment, and consideration of diverse points of view.

APS undertakes a variety of activities in support of our mission. These include engaging our leadership, staff, and members in communicating with Congress on both sides of the aisle; holding symposia at meetings to assist our members in understanding and discussing our goals; and working closely with other scientific societies to amplify our voices.

Finally, APS has a history of issuing statements, some of which are very relevant to recent events. It is worth rereading these statements, including one titled Visa Rules and Government Procedures Hampering U.S. Science and Technology, adopted by the APS Council on June 06, 2003. In that statement we said, “National security and economic vitality critically depend on science and technology and strongly profit from contributions of foreign-born scientists and engineers. The American Physical Society calls on the United States Administration and Congress to implement appropriate and effective visa rules and government procedures that sustain science and technology. The rules and procedures must protect the nation against terrorism. They must also promote continuing international scientific and technological cooperation and ensure the flow of people and knowledge needed to guarantee economic strength and national security.”

APS will continue to monitor this situation closely, as we work to identify opportunities to take impactful action to protect our scientific community and the principle of open scientific exchange.

Yours sincerely,


Laura H. Greene
2017 APS President


Kate P. Kirby
APS Chief Executive Officer

UC bid

A new rumor is that UC does not plan on putting in a bid or being part of any bid for LANL. Has anyone else heard anything about this?

Comment:


That story is making the rounds and does seem to have credibility. We might look to see some public statement soon from UCOP that either denies or confirms it.

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