Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nanos was wrong in his decison to shut us down last year

A comment from the

http://lanl-the-real-story.blogspot.com/2005/07/never-repeat-summer-of-2004.html

post:

Through commitment, leadership, and dedication, I believe that we will never repeat the summer of 2004.

Through better leadership is how a repeat of last year's disaster will be avoided. Director Nanos, with the complicit approval of UC, did more damage to LANL last year than any other person or event in LANL's history by using faulty reasoning and poor judgement in deciding to shut the entire laboratory down.

Terry [Wallace], I approve of your attempts to put a positive spin on last years events, but in the end you come across sounding like another management apologist.

Nanos was wrong in his decison to shut us down last year. Until you can admit that, you remain a part of the problem.

Comments:
To be fair, Wallace's ADSR email is to an internal lab audience, and is not ever meant to be redacted and distributed to the outside (much less posted to the blog!). If you are expecting Wallace to write to the ADSR staff saying that "Nanos is an idiot, and that shutting down the Lab should land Nanos and Dynes in Jail", then it aint ever going to happen. However, this does not make Terry and apologist for Nanos. In fact, he came to my group to talk about issues, and was specifically asked about the stand down. He is unflinching in his characterization that the "process was wrong", and further, nearly every problem the lab has experienced in the last 6 years were management failures.

Say what you will, at least Wallace is willing to talk about the last year. In my husband's group (in ADWP) the AD is still talking about "punching someone in the stomach".
 
Give me a break. I don't know TCW from Adam, but these comments about "part of the problem" are just asinine. Nanos was the devil, and thank god he is gone. But why is everyone that is in management part of the nanos cliche? I believe Wallace was hired after nanos was given his notice. Is Kuckuck part of the problem? Sheesh.
 
Read UCOP PRESS RELEASE RE: LABORATORY DIRECTOR on May 6, 2005. Dynes said that Nanos was an agent of change. An agent of change just follows orders from his superior. In this case the orders came from UC, who received them from NNSA. I won't speculate where they came from before that. As Voltaire said "It is dangerous to be right when the governmet is wrong".

Leave it alone.
 
To 6:15PM

Kuckuck is an interim director who will retire within months. He will not be the LANL director regardless of who wins the contract. He might not be part of the problem, but he is certainly not part of the solution.
 
I think it's time to get off this horse and put him out to pasture. We have rode him as far as he's going to go.
 
There have been "shut downs" at LANL all the way back to 1996, when Browne did the first... Using shut downs was part of the LANL culture. Nanos did not make the decision in isolation. He had input from the DOE and his upper management.
Wallace seems well intentioned, and on point. The thing now is to address the "corrective action plans" which resulted from the shut down, to get something positive from the event.
And, stop pretending that everything was just lovely. The "missing CD" that wasn't is often mentioned; but how about Cremers and the laser accident? Very real, and very troubling. Not just Cremers, but the culture which should have corrected Cremers long ago, was shown up as failing.
Stop the alibis... do yourself a favor. Has the safety culture, shown up by the Cremers accident, been fixed? I hope so...
 
What the 7/12 5:50pm poster had to say about Wallace's talk with his group is interesting. It's extremely rare that a high-level manager would ever state to the "troops in the trenches" that LANL managers made mistakes and continued failures. There are two LANL "cultures" that need to be changed, and these are not in safety and security (there will always be those who "don't get it" no matter how many lectures and briefings they are made to attend). LANL's records, overall, in these areas are not that poor. The cultures that need "adjustment" are the one of LANL management competency, modus operandi, and distance from the troops, and the one of too many people at LANL believing they are owed a comfy living by the citizens of the U.S. for doing Great Science. "Welfare queens in white coats...." as a congressman once told some scientists who went to Wash. D.C. to demand more money.
 
Well at least this "welfare queen" doesn't drive a pimp Cadillac at taxpayer's expense.
-Dawn-
 
Nanos saved LANL from a DOE shutdown that would have been far worse in terms of duration and impact. Nanos was not the problem. He was the solution. The new contractor will finish his work.
 
Anonymous : 7/13/2005 06:31:34 PM said...

Nanos saved LANL from a DOE shutdown that would have been far worse in terms of duration and impact.

What more could DOE have done that could have impacted the Lab more?
 
After the DOE ordered shutdown at ORNL, it took several years to restart the facility. LANL was only partially shutdown for a few months.
 
The previous three comments are all clearly from the same Nanos apologist. We only have Nanos' word that DOE would have shut LANL down had he not done so first.

Personally, I don't take Nanos at his word.
 
Call names if you choose. Denial runs deep on the hill. You will have a hard time when a culture of compliance takes root here under the new management.

Wait till the new Sheriff gets here, you’ll see.
 
The last three comments referred to could have been from three Nanos clones. They are still among us, and THEY ARE THE GODDAMN PROBLEM.
 
The Sheriff will come to town and change the "culture of arrogance" at LANL all right. He'll change the culture of arrogant managers, and the Nanophiles will be quakin' in their boots. But maybe for the False Admirals who never, ever walked athwartships, a better analogy is that the ship will finally come in:

"Oh, the foes will rise with the sleep still in their eyes,
And they'll jerk from their beds, and think they're dreamin'.
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal,
And they'll know that it's for real:
The hour that the ship comes in."
 
Wow - some of the Nanos posters think that LANL was (and maybe is) a bunch of cowboys that have no interest in safety....these same posters think that THEY are the solution. This solution is getting rid of experimental science, and IWDs that have heft! Who is arrogant here?
 
Anonymous : 7/13/2005 07:03:50 PM said:

"After the DOE ordered shutdown at ORNL, it took several years to restart the facility. LANL was only partially shutdown for a few months."

I am not familiar with the ORNL shutdown. What did they do to incur the wrath of DOE?

BTW, some operations in DX still have not restarted.
 
The Nanos shutdown is a litmus test item. Those who continue to espouse
support for the shutdown will never be welcome by most of the staff at
Los Alamos. This is a gut-level phenomena, so those few who keep trying
to defend it (you know who you are) had best consider leaving the lab now,
as your fellow staff members will largely hate you for holding this view.
It may not be fair, but that's just the way it is. The shutdown was a
defining event for this community and always will be. Which side of the
line you stand on is a very important marker for most of the LANL staff.
 
A big part of the problem is that people aren't yelling to their congressman for the appropriate penalties to be levied against Nanos and his cronies. Nanos and his crew knew that the "missing crem" wasn't missing. They continued to use government funds to try to make their story stick. Maintaining the charade cost us a fortune and that is a crime. It is fraud to misappropriate government funds to protect personal interests. This fraud tolled in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Bernie Ebbers and Ken lay are in prison for such crimes why should it be any different when the "CEO" of a government operation commits the same level of transgression? Nanos, Seestrom, Cobb, Jones, and everyone else who participated in this scandal should have to answer to a judge and jury. Call your congressman and demand justice. Don't let them sweep this under the rug.
 
...And remember John Horne and Todd Kauppila.
 
10:33 - Right on.
 
To use the words of an erstwhile leader that knows one when he sees one.... Nanos is a "major league ***hole".

We are fortunate that he is gone and any amount spent to get him out of Los Alamos is well spent. Let us now move on.
 
With Nanos a memory, the stand down is now being celebrated by the handing out of cash awards to people who worked on various stages of "restart." It's SO SO nice to know that the Lab continues its incredible arrogance toward its contract workers. Not only did we (many of us) get screwed by not getting "converted" through the Lab's celebrated but faux Contingent Worker Project (also a memory), but now that the cash is being doled out, guess who doesn't get any. Yup. The contractors. I put in many many hours on MSA projects, in the office at 3 AM etc., and I get ZILCH. I know of some UC employees who did absolutely NOTHING on any phase of restart and who still got cash awards because their Divisions had the money to pass around.

Then I hear that the Contingent Worker Project Committee gets nominated for (and probably won) a Distinguished Service Award! For a project they didn't half finish! The continued stupidity of this UC-run organization boggles the mind.

Welcome, Lockhhed-Martin! Welcome!
 
Nominating the Contingent Worker Program for a Distinguished Performance Award is yet another of a long line of self-agrandizing actions by LANL/UC management. The Distinguished Performance Award Program has been a fraud for more than 20 years. The Team awards are the worst as they often, as in the case of the Contingent Worker Program, are used to justify management actions. This Distinguished Performance Award Program is something that we would home the LM/UT eliminates.

Just in case you ask, I have two Distinguished Performance Awards.
 
Excellent point about using the award to justify iffy or outright stupid management decisions or in the case of the Contingent Worker Project, a project the Lab never even fulfilled no matter how much HR juggled the numbers, leaving hundreds of long-time workers stranded.

And I certainly did not mean to imply that the Distinguished Performance Awards were all bogus. I know MANY at the Lab who have won well-earned recognition. But the CWP recognition is one of the most obviously ridiculous I've heard of.
 
Brad Lee Holian, Ebbers has just been sentenced as isn't in prison yet...Lay hasn't even reached trial. Sorry, you are mistaken.
 
Just trying to follow the threads here...I mentioned John Horne and Todd Kauppila in an earlier signed posting. Ebbers and Lay are criminals (whether or not they will ever see the inside of a cell), while Horne and Kauppila are heroes of mine. Where was our intrepid poster (7/15/2005 11:26:44 AM) trying to go with his or her comment?
-Brad Lee Holian
 
Sorry, Brad. Guess I had a brain f@rt.
 
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