Monday, September 26, 2005

More on the VERIP


Could you please post this anonymously.


I have read all of the comments here pro and con regarding a VERIP at LANL. Frankly, none of the the "pro" arguments make any sense to me. Given that DOE must give its approval to a VERIP before it can happen, the justification seems to boil down to just one thing: does DOE expect there to be a budget shortfall for LANL in coming years, or not?

If the expected answer to that is "yes", then a VERIP makes perfect sense. Otherwise, I can see no rational explanation for one, economic or otherwise. A VERIP would further drain LANL of expertise. In fact, it would make the 1,150 staff who left by July 1 of this year look piddle'n by comparison. In spite of the analyses of the financial "experts" on this blog, I just don't see how a further decimation of experienced staff would be in anybody's best interest.

However, I grant that we are talking about the same DOE who "fully backed Director Nanos in his decision to shut LANL down" last July. As with all important decisions regarding the running of LANL, the decision on whether or not to allow a VERIP is therefore a crap shoot. I give it 50-50 odds.

If we DO get a VERIP, it can only mean one thing. A nasty
RIF is being planned for our future. Therefore, I sincerely
hope we don't see a VERIP anytime soon. Logically, I can't
see any reasons for a VERIP, as a lot of our seasoned technical
expertise has already gone out the door at LANL. Why would
the DOE want to make things even worse for Los Alamos, unless
the future of LANL is to be drastically scaled downward?
What makes you think that a RIF will not be coming along, even without a VERIP?

Do you think LANL is going to escape the budget realities facing Washington? Even St. Pete can only do so much.

Time will tell.
Confused about the poster's figures.

I see 8301 UC Regulars on 10/1/04 and 8413 on 7/31/05. That 7/31 figure includes 693 terminations of UC Regulars.

What's the 1150 figure?
12:29 PM:

See the following:

Although we hope for the best on the VERIP, I think that it is a pipe dream. Just think how the liberal, anti-LANL media would phrase a VERIP: "DEADBEAT, LAZY, NO-GOOD, LANL EMPLOYEES GET ANOTHER WINDFALL~vpquu
A VERIP is UC system wide endeavor. It is not a bailout tool for LANL employees. Can you imagine the outrage (and possible litigation) if UCRS funds were used solely to benefit LANL employees? A private LANL VERIP is not possible and at this moment, due to "compact" funding from the State, the UC system does not need a VERIP.
It could well be that a VERIP is part of a plan to greatly reduce the scope of operations at LANL. To restrict the mission of the lab to just nuclear weapons, a number of staff would have to go.
That does make sense, 7:04. Los Alamos has probably become almost more trouble than it is worth. Even the "nuclear mission" work can mostly be done elsewhere. Livermore can do weapons design (please, let's not start that arrogant crap of "but we are so much better than Livermore" again). None of the other non-nuclear research has ever really been sanctioned by DOE. At best it could be said that DOE grudgingly "allowed" LANL to branch off into non-weapons areas. About the only work that could not readily find a home elsewhere is pit manufacturing.
Oh, really? Most nuclear work can be done elesewhere? Let's see, Hanford is mothballed, Rocky has been D&D'd, SRS has shut down most of its processing lines, SuperBlock at Livermore is shut down due to TSR issues.....You need operating Pu facilities to do nuclear work.
Hanford & SRS made enriched U -- we don't need any more of that. Rocky made pits (I gave you that one, remember?) SRS made Pu, we've got plenty of that now. You can keep your Pu processing at LANL. Who else would want it, anyhow?
LANL: "World's Greatest Pu Processing and Pit Production, Serving No One."
Hey 9/27/2005 06:27:39 PM

Just because we have a hunk of EU or Pu doesn't mean that it is in a finished state that is suitable for the desired application. Somebody is still going to have to fabricate, melt, cast, machine, etc etc etc the messy stuff. And that means a whole lot of infrastructure.
Actually, 9/26/2005 10:30:32 pm, LANL employees who took a VERIP in the mid-90's lost a lawsuit that gave them LESS than other UC employees taking the same VERIP.

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