Tuesday, February 27, 2007


From the 'Halls' of NNSA (?)


PLEASE post this anonymously. I work at NNSA and I was asked to help draft a memo spinning the RRW decision to be announced sometime soon, probably later this week. It seems to me to be the worst way to go about this thing, but the Deciders at the top have reluctantly heeded the military on the POG and chosen the Los Alamos design. But NNSA's going to award the actual project to Livermore, believe it or not. It looks to me like there'll at least be a lot of grumbling at Livermore about having to work on a Los Alamos design, and complete demoralization of the Los Alamos team. Whatever you do with this, make sure you don't publish my e-mail address, or I'm cooked. Thanks.


[Note to all contributors: When blogspot.com sends me an e-mail, the original sender's e-mail address has been wiped off clean. It keeps you truly anonymous, but at the same time, I had to append a question mark to the title of this post, just for honesty's sake. -Pat.]

... A camel looks like a horse that was planned by a committee...
Well lets hope this is true and that LLNL gets the RRW assignment, and that Los Alamos is completely out of the picture entirely.

The problem of course is that I doubt anyone at LLNL believes in LANL's concept at all, and consequently it will rub them the wrong way, but, nevertheless it means employment for LLNL employees for the next few years or so, and that's all that counts no matter who the new contractor is. Yippy !!!

Now all that LLNL has to do is keep the work force they have and freeze all hiring for the next decade or two, and all will be well.

As far as getting ones hopes up that this information is valid information, well, that is to be seen.
I am not in weapons, so could someone clue me into the scientific reasons that NNSA might do this? The truth may be simple politics, or a favoring of LLNL, but I'm hoping to see an answer of substance...
You mean award a nuclear design to someone that has introduced most contemporary safety features?

You are obviously some bitter loser who probably got fired from LANL or LLNL.
You can make the work a better place by just admitting you are worthless and leaving everyone alone. Now go along and crawl back under that rock and disappear.
The latest from one of the Associate Directors: Although there will not be any RIFs, a furlough is being considered. You might think that before sending all of us on unpaid leave, they would first forgo some of their exorbitant fee...
Back to the purported NNSA insider...

First, if the decision has been made, documenting the rationale is necessary. So, the request to generate a "spin" memo is normal practice. After all, there is politics to consider, even if they were NOT a driver.

Second, if the decision has been made and an announcement is imminent, then having an insider "blow the whistle" is unethical behavior on their part. That must be why they are scared. In high political circles, letting the cat out of the bag before the political appointee does can indeed ruin a career.

Third, if the decision has been made as stated, and the LANL design is given to LLNL, it will likely be due to the concerns over security at LANL. Whether the security issue are real , perceived or simply political (and they are assuredly some of each), their effect is real.

Bottom line, an early unconfirmed leak of this sort doesn't really do anything but inflame emotions and feed the rumor mill.

I will wait until there is "confirmed" information before I get inflamed.
I heard the rumor of furloughs about a month ago over lunch in the LANL cafeteria, but never heard it again. A month has passed so the rumor has likely grown from that early seed.

If you are at the bottom of the performance curve, or out of favor with the powers that be, perhaps you should heed the rumors and get out while the getting is good.

But if you are in the upper portions (say top 50%) of the performance curve, and you haven't gone out of your way to piss off most of the management chain, then a furlough is unlikely to affect you.

If you have no idea where you fit in the curve, I predict you are in the bottom half.
Looks like the NNSA guy (gal?) ALMOST got it right. Maybe at the last minute, the Deciders decided to go All the Way with the Braggers-by-the-Bay.
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