Oct 16, 2007

Vision of the Future Nuclear Complex

A smaller, safer and less expensive complex, that leverages the scientific and technical capabilities of our workforce, and meets national security requirements

As Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), it is my responsibility to ensure that the NNSA can fulfill its critical role in maintaining the United States nuclear weapons deterrent. President Bush has said that the United States needs to maintain the lowest possible number of nuclear weapons consistent with our national security requirements. Over the last several weeks, we have demonstrated that the NNSA is fully supporting the Presidents objective. We announced that the NNSA: increased the number of weapons dismantled by 146 percent over last year; maintained the current stockpile without the need to carry out an underground nuclear test; and, rebuilt a W88 warhead with a replacement pit manufactured at Los Alamos. The above accomplishments are truly significant and clearly demonstrate that we are Getting the Job Done.

During the last year, I have been carefully evaluating whether the facilities that make up the current nuclear weapons complex are what we need to address our ongoing activities and our future requirements. I have determined that we need a smaller, safer, and less expensive complex and that we must leverage the scientific and technical capabilities of the NNSA workforce, while remaining responsive to changing geopolitical events. In the near future, NNSA will announce a proposal that outlines possible paths towards this goal. This proposal will be presented in a Preferred Alternative for Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which will go out for public comment.

We must also address the fact that NNSAs special nuclear material (SNM) is spread among too many sites and that it is getting increasingly expensive to provide effective security for this material. It is imperative that we consolidate SNM to fewer sites and fewer locations within the nuclear weapons complex.

I believe that over the next ten years as we continue to operate without significant budget increases, we must eliminate multi-site redundancies and dramatically improve our efficiencies by consolidating both missions and capabilities at our sites. For instance, I want to consolidate SNM to 5 sites, and have a smaller footprint within those sites. I also want to close or transfer hundreds of buildings that are no longer needed for the NNSA mission and reduce NNSAs overall footprint by as much as a third where we can improve our operational efficiency.

This transition will not be easy, and there will be some impacts on our workforce and our communities. However, if we do not act now, we will be spending billions of dollars to maintain an aging and inefficient complex when the resources could be better applied to mission-oriented activities. The steps I have outlined are a necessary start to ensuring that NNSA will continue to meet its national security requirements and be responsive to the challenges of the future. In order for this Vision of the Future to become a reality, I will need your support and assistance. I look forward to working with each of you and our stakeholders as we transition the NNSA complex to a smaller, safer and less expensive complex, that leverages the scientific and technical capabilities of our workforce, and meets national security requirements.

Tom D'Agostino

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

This seems to have been written in a foreign language - either Gobbledy Gook or Blather.

Are there short translations?

;-D

Anonymous said...

"I believe that over the next ten years as we continue to operate without significant budget increases, we must eliminate multi-site redundancies and dramatically improve our efficiencies by consolidating both missions and capabilities at our sites."

Sounds like LLNL or LANL is about to go bye bye.

Anonymous said...

I think I just heard the hatchet fall. Actually, on second thought, it's more like the sound of a big chain saw swinging through the air.

Good luck surviving the clusterfuck that D'Agostino now has prepared for the NNSA workforce. With the release of this memo, we enter A Brand New Day.

Anonymous said...

12:15,

Yes, here's the executive summary:

LLNL - Design the bombs.
LANL - Make the Pu pits for the bombs.
ORNL - Make the U stuff for the bombs.
SRL - Make some of the other stuff for the bombs.
PANTEX - Take stuff apart. Put stuff back together.
SNL - Hmm... They do WFO at SNL; we're not sure we want them to play any more.

Anonymous said...

There should be no doubt left in the minds of the staff at NNSA labs regarding what they have planned for us now. Your best option at this point may be to look for a job at one of the DOE labs while they still have some openings left.

Working for any of the NNSA labs is going to be a horrifying experience over the next ten years.

Anonymous said...

The deal where the best and brightest
sacrifice an academic career to come
here and do unpublishable work in the
nations interest has been broken for
ever. Saying they will continue to
retain the best and brightest is a
sick joke, and everyone in the outside
world now knows it. Why would anyone
come here now? How could anyone have
the stomach to try and recruit here?

Anonymous said...

Translation: we are fucked.

Anonymous said...

I know a large number of the best of and brightest of the generation of physicists and computer scientists that are currently in grad school or just out.

They ain't coming here.

They are doing graphics, highly parallel computing, nanotechnology, and bio-anything somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Tom D'Assastino would have believed that a no money down 3 year ARM would be a good deal too. If you can buy a $1.1 million dollar house for $3,000 a month, why worry. Well, the ARM has recalibrated just like DOE will cut the Lab's funding, money to the public schools, and county services. Well, I bet Doris Heim is busy right now signing those RIF lettrs.

Anonymous said...

An ex-LANL female who sued on discrimination has passed the NM bar. Look for a big billboard on I-25: Call 1-866-SUE-LANS

Anonymous said...

Hmm, not so fast 10:22-

It appears that SRS is getting into the Pu game by building MFFF, which has already started construction.

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh.

It looks like 6:35pm has noticed that LANL doesn't have a lock on becoming the complex's future pit fab facility.

Oh, oh.

Combine this with D'Agostino's observation that "It is imperative that we consolidate SNM to fewer sites and fewer locations within the nuclear weapons complex," and LANL's position suddenly looks a bit more tenuous.

Anonymous said...

What is the source of this post? Did D'Agostino make this statement today? If so, where? I couldn't find this anywhere on the web.

Pinky and The Brain said...

That's a good question, thanks for reminding me!

I received this from multiple sources yesterday and I could not find an official source for it either. As far as I know it first appeared on Vlad's LLNL blog Sunday.

I decided to post it here with some minor corrections. It appears genuine despite some odd formatting and the "DAgostino" spelling, which I have always seen as D'Agostino.

If anyone can vouch for its provenance please leave us a comment.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see PACTSPEIS to see if they are GJD.

What a bozo. If this is the best DOE/NNSA has to offer, the entire country is screwed, not just LANL. Yeah, lets consolidate SNM in only a few places, so no one can do any work with it. Plutonium science be damned. As if the DOE sites with their large private armies aren't the most well protected sites in the world against SNM theft. Where did this moron come from? And why is he at the head of our nuclear weapons production complex?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem that, at this point, DoD is the de-facto operator of the NNSA? And that they are doing to the DP labs what they did to their own labs years ago?

We've sure had our share of navy guys running the show recently, from Adm. Butthead on up.

Anonymous said...

Hey chuckles,

Make up your mind. Do you want lower overhead (= consolidated security), or higher overhead (= Pu spread everywhere).

Can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

And why is he at the head of our nuclear weapons production complex?...

The fault lies with the most senior leaders of the Labs over the past 20 years. Once, AD positions were incubators for senior government service. It was expected those most senior would join government after retirement from the Labs to guide decision making.

Atlas shrugged. Recent leaders would not leave Santa Fe and Livermore for difficult, ugly D.C. These, with years of relevant experience, rejected positions of influence (except an ancient few) that went to unprepared appointments; a former dentist, a crazy lady, one reasonably informed politician and underachieving former flag officers who lack experience and insight.

We reap etc.....

Anonymous said...

8:27 pm:

"Make up your mind. Do you want lower overhead (= consolidated security), or higher overhead (= Pu spread everywhere).

Can't have it both ways."

Well, yes you can. You can protect high (multiple CAT I) quantities with your most secure forces, and you can accept some risk on lower quantities. It's called graded risk. However, the NNSA has decided that "no risk" is the only situation they will accept. And they will pay (unnecessarily) for it. Understand that security for SNM in NNSA is NOT an overhead cost to programs. NNSA security has been direct-funded (B&R code FS20) since 2001, or thereabouts,

Anonymous said...

please post as anonymous

re: verifying Tom's comments. This fits right in with what NNSA has on their website
http://www.doeal.gov/MOContracts/default.aspx

Contract Strategy for the NNSA Nuclear Weapons Complex

Welcome to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Service Center’s web site for the Contract Strategy for the NNSA Nuclear Weapons Complex.

The NNSA is planning to develop and implement a contracting strategy for its Management and Operating (M&O) Contracts that will promote more effective and efficient technical and business operations in support of a more responsive and affordable Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC). NNSA plans to release a Request for Information (RFI) to initiate discussions on potential contracting options and contract provisions that would achieve NNSA objectives while promoting vigorous competition for new contracts through elimination of barriers to competition. The objective is to create a much more responsive and affordable NWC. Strategies could include consolidation of two or more M&O contracts, transfer of discrete work scope from one M&O contract to another, and breakout of functions for special focus from existing M&O contracts into new NNSA non-M&O prime contract(s).
NNSA will use this website as a means to exchange information with industry and other interested parties including other Federal agencies with similar contracting objectives through written comments and one-on-one meetings for this acquisition strategy.

Please direct questions concerning the content of this web site to NWC Contract Strategy Help.


Clicking on the NNSA logo at the top of each page will return you to this Home Page.

Last Modified:

Anonymous said...

10/16/07 8:27 PM
Hey chuckles,

Make up your mind. Do you want lower overhead (= consolidated security), or higher overhead (= Pu spread everywhere). Can't have it both ways.

Shut up my great AD! Now you should know about spreading Pu everywhere and then covering it up, right?

Anonymous said...

"Affordable NNSA complex" is code word for savage job cuts of perhaps 33% across the complex.

The NNSA nuclear option has just been launched.

Duck and cover!

Anonymous said...

I use to think that Linton Brooks was the worst Director that NNSA could ever produced, but Tom D'Agostino easily surpasses him in the piss-poor manager category.

What is it about these Navy boys. Bob Foley, Pete Nanos, Linton Brooks, and now Tom D'Agostino. These guys seem to demonstrate some of the worst characteristics of leadership I've ever seen, and yet both DOE and UC keep snapping them up for their most prized positions.

Anonymous said...

10/16/07 12:22 PM,

Sounds like SNL gets the best deal of all.