Sunday, January 28, 2007


"Management" History at Los Alamos

Dirty little secret (some history for you youngsters): All those 63 years that UC "ran" LANL (mainly the retirement system and benefits), the real bosses were: Senator Clinton P. Anderson, Senator Joe Montoya, Congressman Manuel Lujan, and for the last 34 of those years, Senator Pete Domenici. Micromanagement on a day-to-day level was carried out by the successors to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), namely, ERDA (Energy Research and Development Administration), DOE (Department of "Energy"), and Domenici's biggest blunder, NNSA (National Nuclear "Security" Administration), which managed to compound the incompetence of DOE (stupidity emanating from headquarters in Washington, DC, multiplied by even greater bungling and fumbling at the Albuquerque office) with a local office of their very own in Los Alamos.

Now, with Bechtel in charge, things are much, much better. And much more efficient, too. We hear that safety, security, and business practices are running much more smoothly: Incidents have been reduced a mandated 30%, so as to fulfill the RFP and maintain the $79M/year management fee for the Limited Liability Corporation. (However, there have been unsubstantiated rumors to the effect that upper management has interfered with reporting procedures. We will keep you, Dear Readers, informed of any new developments we hear about prior to the upcoming Congressional Hearings.)

--Pat, the ever-watchful Dog

Oh, good. First we hear about numerous attempted coverups regarding security issues. Now the ugly, but hardly surprising rumor that LANS management has been cooking the books, Enron-style, with respect to reportable accidents.

And just in time for the Congressional hearings, too.

Let me see if I've got this straight: LANS was going to improve safety and security at LANL, all the while bringing costs down, right?

Time to start thinking about a plan "B".
After reading the History of LA...It's time to move the "Train Wreck" up a few months...It has become very obvious that the "walls are tumbling down" Just read some of the solutions that are posed..Oh well the Gravy Train is coming to an end...
In anticipation of the sarcasm-impaired reading this post and, having long recognized them for the good literal-minded scientists that they are, please allow me to give them the benefit of my canine sagacity:

The part about "how good the new LANS management team is doing" at LANL was sarcasm.

Here, let me spell it out for you:

Main Entry: sar·casm
Pronunciation: 'sär-"ka-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan thwar&s- to cut
1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2 a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b : the use or language of sarcasm
synonym see WIT

-Pat, The Sarcastic Dog
The "Gravy Train Wreck "is in danger of a re-railing before schedule.....
Yes, I know of several accidents that should have been reported but were not. Several managers in CLES for example have even been notified by workers and have done nothing ...
Hmm. It sounds like LANL could use another work shutdown. Say, 6 or 7 months to write a bunch of documents about how to work safely without having reportable accidents.

(Disclaimer: that was more sarcasm, in case the above was too subtle).
Some more tidbits for you to sink your sarcastic teeth into, Pat:
* A handful of people at KSL were fired for daring to be involved in accidents on the job.
* An upper-level manager snuck some classified out, but of course, he was SO HIGH in the management chain that he was ABOVE the rules.

Cover-ups (a.k.a. sweepings of dirt under the rug) are rampant at LANL. Even more rampant than ever before.
And don't forget that LANS is incorporated for the first 5-year period of the contract as a federally-favored "Small Business".
Division Leaders, ADs and the like are ALWAYS above the rules. This is especially so under LANS. We have ADs that break the rules and abuse their power and punish malcontents continuously. Since the Director ain't watchin' the hen house so to speak, the behaviors go unpunished, although it is not clear that he really cares.
The first question out of the mouths of the Congressional committee should be directed to D'Agostino, and be worded as follows:

"Mr. D'Agostino, you don't really plan on giving the LLNL contract to UC/Bechtel, yet again, do you? If so, we'll be meeting with you again, you can rest assured, shortly after the contract is awarded. And take note. It will be a most unpleasant meeting."

To any House members who may scout out this blog -- yes, there are lots of whiners and complainers on this blog. It is also a precious source of information about what is taking place inside the labs that you won't get from any other source.

Use some judicious filtering and take note of what you see. Many of us are like you. We do not like UC running our labs. We are greatly upset that UC got the LANL contract. We see a NNSA that is badly broken. We want our management to improve. We want to work in a place that is not dysfunctional. It's not working out well at LANL. Please help us, and don't hurt the hard working staff who are hoping for a better lab. We are not all cowboys and butt-heads, and most of us deeply love this country and love doing science that helps strengthen our national security. Don't give up on us just yet. Please be careful with your words. Direct them at those who are truly at fault, and avoid belittling comments directed against the whole workforce and against the vital work that we do to help this country.

And one more thing. Yes, you do need a Los Alamos -- a well functioning Los Alamos.
You can Forget about DOE "Oversite" as well. I filed a complaint with DOE over a safety violation. It took months for DOE to respond. When they did meet with me LANS management was there with a hand up the DOE's guy's ass - He was moving the DOE guy's lips like a dummie. The only thing he said without assistance is, "What do you want me to do about it?"
Political favors are running rampant. No job ad but NM Speaker's daughter gets a nifty job. As long as our politician's and their families are taken care of why should they care!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?