Tuesday, February 08, 2005

UC, Please Do Not Bid on the Contract

From Anonymous:

There is a group out there calling themselves "The Coalition for LANL Excellence" advocating that everybody hush up regarding all the glaring deficiencies in the current LANL management body. This, in the hopes that, if we are all real quiet, UC will win the new contract for LANL and Everything Will Be All Right Again. However, a recent poster to the "Coalition" news group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/COALITIONforLANLEXCELLENCE/) more fully expresses the opinion of more than just a few of us:

Subject: Don Janney's assumption about the wrong track

Don Janney's leading assumption must be examined with a cool and cautious eye. I, personally, don't have any anecdote to share to the effect that Director Nanos is a bad person; my interactions with him one-on-one have been nonexistent--not even a phone call. However, Nanos is responsible for horrendous damage done to the Laboratory by his unilateral shutdown. The reasons he cited have all gone up in smoke: When he called us "arrogant," "buttheads," and "cowboys," he accused LANL, of which he had but two years experience, of a "culture" of disregard for security and safety. Yet the "missing" CREM is now declared nonexistent by the FBI; the safety statistics demonstrate that Los Alamos continued to lead Sandia and Livermore--until the shutdown, when, counter-intuitively, the rates climbed sharply. (Why? -Primarily minor accidents caused by the stress of the shutdown itself.) Now, we hear, as we suspected all along, that there exists NNSA data on security incidents at the three nuclear-weapons labs, showing that LANL is comparable to, or better than SNL and LLNL.

Since the Director of the Lab is solely responsible for the shutdown (his words), then surely, he must take sole responsibility for his misguided actions. If his pride prevents him from resigning gracefully, then his immediate supervisor, UC President Dynes, must step forward and relieve him of command. Will he do so? No? -Pride again?

I believe that most of the people who come to this website are most concerned about salaries, benefits, and retirement; science takes a secondary--though by no means unimportant--place in their concerns. I suggest that it should be the other way around. If the chain of command--Congress, DOE/NNSA, UC, and upper LANL management--truly cared about science, they would then care for those who do the science, and they would strive to insure a better work environment for getting that science done. In other words, science drives better working conditions; it will NEVER work the other way around. If Congress, or DOE/NNSA, or UC need to be educated about the Lab, then that's a job requiring the skills, patience, and understanding of the Lab Director. Here, we have a Director that has attacked us from within, and with no grounds for doing so! And who defended us? Surely not Congress; surely not DOE/NNSA; and sadly, UC stood by and did nothing.

I suggest that "cooling it" is very good advice; but we must also strive to put science first, or else life at LANL will be a hollow shell of what it once was. I suggest also that people read these comments, think about them, and then write a cool e-mail to:


I would like to add to these thoughts: UC, please don't bid on the contract. A number of us feel that you simply are not good enough for us. We would rather see a more capable organization assume the responsibility of managing Los Alamos National Laboratory.

If we had true "leaders" at LANL which includes all senior management I would be more inclined to step up to the plate and give it 110% but with UC and management mismanagement I am less inclined to be sympathetic.
Halliburton (http://www.halliburton.com) is already performing excellent service through KSL at LANL. Management of the entire laboratory should be turned over to Halliburton!!!
UC should do the right thing and replace upper management now. Then, hopefully, they can compete successfully for the contract.
Halliburton maybe, but don't use KSL as a example. KSL can't get anything done in a reasonable time frame, and just trying to deal with their red tape is enough to make you do the job yourself.
Hmmmm, could it be that KSL has to deal with the same red tape as LANL staff? Its just that the collective made them go first.
Give it to Halliburton! Then we can send all the buttheads and cowboys over to Iraq to be truck drivers!
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