Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Nanos Should Resign

From Anonymous:

Ok, the "missing" disks never existed.

The "bad" safety trends weren't.

NNSA has punished UC for bad management of LANL.

Director Nanos works for UC.

Why has he not yet resigned?

Finally what many of us knew by the second day of the shutdown has made it to the headlines of the New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal. Where is the apology the Director promised if there were no missing CREM? What will be done to restore the emotional health of all those employees who were punished for something that never happened? What happened to the Navy method of "praising in public and damning in private"? And finally where is the acknowledgment by DOE/NNSA that in part they are responsible for the mess created by CREM? Fully funding the red network to sites which had to depend upon CREM would have resulted in the peaceful demise of CREM except for a few unusual cases, and we would not have been subjected to 6 months of headlines and comments.
Here, here. I have never seen a poorer leader than the director. From my perspective and that of many others, the director is a hothead who makes poor decisions in fits of anger and then has to cover it up with blame and subterfuge. His "refutation" of the Physics Today data was pathetic. His credibility is zilch. I have the feeling that UC is not really at fault here but that the director was forced on them and us by Washington. I can only hope that enough of us speak out and that this message gets back to Washington and the new Secretary sorts this out and gets the director to step down.
It will take more than getting the Director to step down to provide emotional stability for employees, no matter if they are UC or contractor. It will take a leader who repudiates all that Nanos has done. It will take someone who truly believes that everyone at LANL should support the core values of honesty and openness. If the Director truly believed in openness, he would be willing to listen to how his decisions have adversely affected employees, the community, northern New Mexico, and the future of the Lab. One only has to recall his first meeting with the Los Alamos County Council where he said that he was going to pull all LANL work across the bridge and then 6 months later he said that he was going to put more employees in town site offices. A very astute group leader told me after the first Nanos meeting he attended that no one should ask Nanos a question because if Nanos did not know the answer, he'd make something up, and we'd be stuck with it. And we are.
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Resigning would be the easy way out for Nanos. He based his rational for shutting the entire laboratory down on two false premises. There was no missing CREM material, as he claimed, and the safety trend plots (Physics Today, December, 2004, not Nanos' unpublished, non peer-reviewed cooked numbers) show LANL to be one of the safest facilities in the DOE complex. If his employer has any backbone at all, they will fire him.
We all have seen the data that the LANL safety record leads rather than lags the DOE complex. Why haven't we also seen the data that demonstrates our lead in security? I hear that other sites were using a different definition of accountable CREM and even though our tracking methods may have needed improvements other sites were not even tracking thousands of pieces of CREM at all. I have also heard that DOE HQ couldn't locate all of their CREM in a timely fashion. Does anyone know if this information is out in a documented source?
Ok.. why did UC so meekly take the large management fee reduction? Why havent they fired Nanos for being 'such a bad boss'? I think that there is more to the story and the people you should be asking are in California and D.C and not in NM.
My question is, does anything that affects this lab get by Domenici without his blessing? No. So maybe instead of St. Pete he should be called exactly what he is a "politican" nothing more.
The issue of the missing disks is that the inventory system produced a 'False positive'. In an inperfect world, of course we would rather have a false positive, than a false negative, or no indication of an actual problem. We all live in a world where we are daily confronted with choices involving false positive indicators. No problem unless we over react. In the medical profession, lots of tests give false positives. No problem unless the surgeon over reacts and kills the patient who really had no problem in the first place. There were/are a lot of people in the system who over reacted on this one, and the patient isn't doing so well. I suspect Nanos reacted the way he did, because he felt it was the politically correct thing expected by those who were in control in Washington. Sad.

One of the comments above was deleted at the request of the author in order for him to replace it with one in which a typographical error was corrected. Blogger.com does not allow an author to edit a comment after it has been posted.

--Doug Roberts
Frankly, after reading these comments, I'm surprised I live and work in a place filled with PhDs. I guess brainpower doesn't equal common sense. The shutdown had everything to do with the ability to follow rules and ensuring safety - mine and YOURS!!!! Please think about that. How many people would have had to die here in order for you to get that simple message? If you are so unhappy or are unwilling to understand, please leave. I do not want you ever to be responsible for my well-being. I want to come home to my family.
Obviously the lack of a Phd is no guarantee either. Feel free to believe the party line, though, if that is comforting to you.
Party line? Say that to the family of the person who died at Hanford. Or did you miss that?
Regarding the Journal story from Sunday in which it was "revealed" that LANL had 4x the security incidents with transmittal of classified info in e-mail versus other sites. LANL has the strictest definition of loss in that ANY e-mail sent with suspected classified is reported as an incident. Livermore only reports an incident if the e-mail is sent outside the llnl.gov domain. I've been told that over 80% of our incidents would not be reportable by the LLNL definition. There are many other examples where LANL sets very strict rules for self-reporting, and we end up getting beat up over this (including CREM rules, see earlier comment here). It's just infuriating to keep reading this kind of stuff without the slightest effort by LANL to repudiate or set the record straight. How many more times do we have to see misleading or bad information in the press before we correct it (insert obligatory credit-card purchased Mustang story here...)
Anyone who thinks that LANL as a whole has any concern for the emotional health of the employees, both contractor and UC - is sadly mistaken.

I have first hand experience with the treatment of people who have been trod on, and the people who have adjusted their ways to avoid being trod on - to the detriment of safety & security.

LANL is reaping what it has sewn - a culture that tolerates emotional and political abuse rather than face tough problems and potential issues.
With regard to cooked numbers, expect more. The forces of revisionism are working hard right now to bring down the costs and jack up the incident numbers. Please Pete, do the right thing and resign for the good of the institution and the country.
To the person who made the Hanford comment: those kinds of manipulative remarks don't generally impress people above the age of 21. That's the difference between a Navy recruit fresh out of high school and an adult with years of work experience. Here's a few more like it: "How many more people have to die before no one ever dies again?!?" or "When you post on this forum, you post with Hitler." or "When you criticize a 'safety' measure, you prove you don't care about peoples' *lives*!" These types of epithets are so easy to produce, and so worthless that I don't know why people bother. The Director's continued use of invective like this is the reason the attendance at his meetings is approaching zero. People are simply tuning out.
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