Saturday, March 12, 2005

The single largest factor contributing to LANL's poor performance

From Anonymous:

http://www.abqjournal.com/north/320637north_news03-12-05.htm?tease



Report on LANL's Failings Made Public

By Adam Rankin
Journal Staff Writer

In January, Los Alamos laboratory managers learned the U.S. Department of Energy was penalizing the nuclear weapons facility for poor operations. This week, the federal report card detailing the laboratory's shortcomings in 2004 was made public.

The single largest factor contributing to LANL's poor performance ratings was the unprecedented laboratory work shutdown and resumption process initiated in July by lab director Pete Nanos.

Because of the poor ratings, the University of California, which operates LANL, received only $2.9 million out of a possible $8.7 million laboratory management fee for running the nuclear weapons lab in 2004. The $5.8 million fee cut was the largest ever assessed against a national laboratory and was the first time such a fee penalty has been assessed against LANL.

The shutdown, despite improving procedures and raising important safety and security issues for review and improvement, forced laboratory divisions to miss crucial deadlines, according to LANL's 2004 Annual Performance Appraisal.

Of the projects that missed deadlines, most were in the weapons program at Los Alamos, which is the second-largest production facility in the nuclear weapons complex.

"The discussion of operational milestones not met is due to the work suspension," explained LANL spokesman Jim Danneskiold. "High-risk operations are the ones in the weapons program, and those are the ones that were most affected by the work suspension."

He said despite the setbacks, LANL managers fully intend to meet the deadlines in 2005.

Because of the shutdown, LANL delivered only 50 percent of "surveillance components," 82 percent of required packaging materials, 69 percent of neutron tube targets and 98 percent of dynamic experimentation products, according to the appraisal. Also, "Many key facilities were unavailable for the entire fourth quarter of (fiscal year) 2004 because of the suspension of operations," according to the review.

Of the 10 overall criteria that LANL was judged on, the laboratory received three scores of "outstanding" for its national security strategic objectives, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and community initiatives; four "good" scores for effective business systems, developing the work force, nuclear warhead assessment and certification, and weapon stewardship; two "satisfactory" scores for implementing a balanced weapons program and completing facility projects; and one "unsatisfactory" score for "maintaining a secure, safe, environmentally sound, effective, and efficient operations and infrastructure basis in support of mission objectives."

Also considered "unsatisfactory" was LANL's environmental compliance for meeting state regulations and for missing waste shipment deadlines.

Despite the poor operations rating, DOE reviewers praised several aspects of LANL's work in financial management and the weapons program, which they noted was hindered by the shutdown.



Comments:
Does anyone know where this "federal report" is that is referred? It might be interesting to read without the media filter.
 
I posted it about a week ago. The link is http://www.doeal.gov/LANLContractRecompete/Reports.htm
 
So Nanos caused UC to lose $5.8M and they're not "drawing conclusions"?

At least they got a wakeup call...
 
I hope UC thinks Nanos was worth an additional $5.8 dollars.
 
The rating "outstanding" for preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has more to do with the residual legacy of the Nonproliferation and International Security Division -- that Nanos and Cobb worked so hard to destroy -- than anything on going at the laboratory today. I goin'the way of the Ole Cowhand from the Rio Grande, ridin' off to Nevada not to do work but to get drunk.
 
The is no question that Director Nanos is soley to blame for the stand down. One of the facts that is largely ignored on this blog is that LANL has tremendous difficulty with its oversight office, LASO. The relationship between LANL and LASO is unlike any other lab in the complex -- it is fair to say that LASO hates LANL, and LASO is staffed with incompetent workers. It is hard to understand how it got this way (I am sure that trollers will say that LANL is arrogant, etc., but that is largely bull -- there is something else here). The relationship with
LASO has taken a big turn for the worse with the arrival of Ed Wilmot. Wilmot has stated that LANL should be a production site -- and these are much easier to manage. Wilmot has written confidential correspondence with NNSA and DoE calling UC crimmal for managing los alamos so poorly. Yet, when you look at what he is complaining about, they are largely oversight functions.

Wilmot personally has an agenda to shut down LANL. He is holding up almost all LANL actions and plans, and has for months. He personally said he supported the stand down, and would have worked to do it him self, then he turns around and grades LANL as unsatisfactory on Appendix F because the lab was shut down. Wilmot recommended CANCELLING the UC contract immediately, and only Linton Brooks could prevail to add some very small amount of balance and award some fee.

Nanos needs to go -- and he is apparently on his way out with an appointment in Washington starting at the end of March. But LANL will never be right as long as LASO runs amoak.
 
Isn’t this exactly what lab managers do when they want to fire someone after years of excellent reviews? Well, DOE has now pre-justified their actions so that they can point to the poor performance of the management if the UC is fired. Hopefully DOE will consider Bechtel-UC as a new entity and not prejudice the bids because of the “dysfunctional old UC management”.
 
Regarding the 11:52 Post:

"In the Year of Darkness, 2004, the rulers of NNSA devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by destroying the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity, no pain, and no fear, something unstoppable that also had no common sense or ears to listen, traits found primarily in cowpersons and buttheads. They created the cyborg 'TERMINANOS, ' the thing that thinks small and won't leave, in the nightmare that won't end. However, we all know the outcome of this miserable experiment. The TERMINANOS was asked to put his house on the market by the Governor of California. The rulers of NNSA then gave their cyborg an assignment in Washington, which was immediately stood-down, and we all lived happily ever after."

Oops, excuse me. I must have fallen asleep at the keyboard.
 
Main Entry: cow.boy
Pronunciation: 'kau-"boi
Function: noun
1: one who tends cattle or horses; especially : a usually mounted cattle-ranch hand
2: A person currently winning an argument with a Nanite.
 
Hey, only we cowpersons and buttheads have common sense and ears to listen.
 
Roger, that. The TEERINANOS has neither.
 
TEERINANOS? Sorry, I don't have TERMINANOS on my spell-check.
 
Why are you all rooting for Bechtel-UC? What if it is the worst of both entities? Definitely no UC benefits. All that six sigma paper work. Maybe layoffs. Construction managers. We'll be too busy checking boxes and straightening chem. cabinets to do science.

What if you miss a training date? And what if someone on your team makes a mistake- or your student drops something on their foot? Everyone within shouting range will be fired. (or hung in the town square as a example.) In the LANL of the future we are herd animals- lie low and try to survive the predators.
 
To the poster at 6:52PM,

Another definition of a cowboy: A person who knows the difference between a chuck wagon and a pile of BS. For example, no chuck wagons have shown up at recent all-hands meetings.

For the poster at 8:51 PM,

You are right. If its a Bechtel/UC limited liability corporation, we will not be working for UC but a lifeless Frankenstein Corporation, stitched together for the convenience of NNSA without a spirit of intellectual freedom or an appreciation for science.
 
Yep - Lie low, do as little as possible, take lots of accumulated sick leave when necessary, preferably around meetings you don't want to attend. Take all your vacation. Anything else you can think of to keep your sanity.....
 
"The single largest factor contributing to LANL's poor performance ratings was the unprecedented laboratory work shutdown and resumption process initiated in July by lab director Pete Nanos."

Can anybody offer up a rational explanation as to why Nanos is still Director at LANL? I just don't get it.
 
Linton Brooks and John Foley
 
Lie low, little doggies, lie low on the ground.
Lie low, little doggies, stop millin' around,
If you stray from the herd, you may never be found.
Lie low, little doggies, lie low.
("The Cowboy's Lament" - The Sons of the Pioneers)
 
Is John Foley Bob Foley's dad? If so, I blame him too.
 
Hey, goddammit! LANL's John Foley is a decent guy! If he has a son, I'm sure he's not a slime-bucket former admiral!
 
To 8:32 Poster:

Especially on Saint Patrick's Day, you should know that not all John Foleys live and work in Los Alamos. Besides, I took the 7:28 comment as a Celtic tongue-in-cheek joke. Top of the morning to you and stay off the Guinness stout.
 
Make that the 8:42 Poster, I'll have to stay of the Guiness meself.

Signed 9:11
 
The 8:48 posting, hick-up
 
Guiness. Not just for breakfast any more.
 
Los Alamos Monitor, Sunday, Sept.19,2004,p.A12
Nanos said he appreciates the support he has gotten during the crucial process of bringing the lab through an extremely difficult time.
"I can't walk through Smith's or Starbucks without two or three people telling me how good they feel about the lab and where it's going."
 
To 9:35 AM,

Yes, and I bet those two or three people were Rich Marquez, Bagdahd Bob Fallin, and Micheline Devaurs.

Point being there were suck-ups then, too.
 
Trust me - There are more suck-ups at LANL than anyone realizes. There are those that will agree we are in a sorry state and then turn around and suck-up at the first chance they get. Its usualy the ones that can not find a decent paying job, if at all, outside of LANL.
 
To 9:53:

You are right but there were two others, Telfon Don and a blind dog named Rover who thought Nanos was the milkman.
 
Why in heaven's name does UC have to pay financially for Nanos' friggin' shutdown when there was in fact no wrongdoing? I say "fine him directly" and make him responsible for the consequences of his actions. Any why on earth does every employee of the Lab have to continue to pay for his errant behavior, lack of leadership, and "piss poor" management? It's not only not right, it's not moral.
 
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