Nov 30, 2007

Commentary: Let's get serious about the LANL debate

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's getting harder and harder to take this guy serious, sounds like he doesnt quite get it. One thing he stated thats a little scary is: "the House cut lab budget by 25% for FY 08"..... Care to guess how many job cuts that will equate to? And thats just for this coming year.....

Anonymous said...

Did you catch the part of eliminating LANCE?

Anonymous said...

Sen. Dominici was told by the Administration that they could not bale him out this time. He is of no use to them once he publicly came out with his resignation, and is not in the loop anymore. It was stated in the Monitor that both Bush and Chaney were going to let the RIF's continue, despite the 25% cut in LANL's budget for FY 08. Sooo my friends hold on to your collective ass's, you are going for a ride that you and yours will never forget.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course the Santa Fe New Mexican have it both ways! They make their money pandering to the card-carrying, Udall supporting, Santa Fe moron elite! And, well, those Luddite folks are scared of anything connected with the word, "nuclear."

You go Pete! Too bad nobody will listen to you now that you're a lame duck.

Anonymous said...

"Pit Demetia's" frontotemporal lobar degeneration is showing again. The last few years of totally inept, corrupt, and now, under Bechtel, totally greedy LANL management have gutted the lab of any expertise worth mentioning.

Way to go, "Pit", for your part in how we got to where we are!

Anonymous said...

They can't eliminate LANSCE.
MaRIE depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Loose Nukes....how about Loose Congressmen and Sen. Dominici...I think the latter is much more dangerous...

Anonymous said...

That is a great statement, Pete. Thank you for trying to bring some sense to the Santa Fe New Mexican and all the Luddites, a great term I cannot improve upon. It's really too bad that the Luddites, in particular the majority of the posters here, don't get it. By their ignorant and cruel statements, these people demonstrate that they have nothing to offer but hate.

Please understand, all you Luddites, that if a 20-25% cut were actually implemented in one year, it could mean the elimination of 50% of the LANL work force owing to fixed costs, time delays, and severance pay. Nobody would be left to work on the diversified projects such as energy research that your man Udall espouses.

Anyone with any sense understands that if the Nuclear Weapons Complex is to be downsized it must be done gradually over several years to avoid a huge instability in the work force and the economy of Northern New Mexico. In fact, NNSA already has plans to taper it down over several years. In addition, it will take time to realign labor rates (LANL has huge overhead for various reasons) and funding sources so the Lab can actually achieve the diversification that Udall seeks. Santa Fe should want a gradual transformation, even if some of its residents are too stupid to understand it.

In addition, Pete's statements about the need for stockpile stewardship are valid. Of course, the need to maintain a reliable stockpile is something that anti-nuclear types would never acknowledge, so I won't bother to go into that.

Anonymous said...

Let's get 'serious' about LANL's mission:

Sen. "Pit" Dementia (R-NM) is 'serious' only about the Plutonium Pit Production Facility (PPPF!) and the expanded use of nuclear weapons to maintain the American World Empire by force.

But the Empire cannot be maintained by force. Mankind will need to conserve the world's supply of oil, beginning here at home, if there is any hope for civilization. And if the Laboratory has a real scientific role to play in this arena -- a dubious proposition when you see that DOE already has a National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado, where costs are substantially lower -- then St. Pit has hardly anything to say about such a new mission for LANL.

At least in that regard, Congressman Udall has a dream. And a new mission in mind for the Lab. But time is running out for LANL under Bechtel, since demoralization under Mikey and his Golden Words is rampant, and soon, the weight of mismanagement will sap whatever strength is left.

Anonymous said...

As we all kenw as Domenici goes down so does the Lab...and Yes Sen. it was your lavish spending on outdated ideas that brought us to this point, your lavish spending is the real shame.....

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, lab cutbacks mean I can no longer afford to continue my subscription of the New Mexico.

I'm canceling my subscription as of today.

Others who work at LANL may feel the need to do likewise.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Pete. God bless you! You just put a little ray of sunshine into a very dreary and bleak day up here on the Hill.

Sadly, I don't think anyone in Congress will pay attention to a single word you had to say in this editorial. The desire to severely and collectively "punish" all of Los Alamos is now the over-ridding wish of most of those in Congress, even those within our very own Congressional delegation!

It will take about 5 years for LANL to re-structure and diversify into new areas of basic research and national security. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll be given the time nor the funding nor even the necessary management gumption to accomplish this metamorphosis.

Anonymous said...

Some data from an old presentation I found while cleaning out my office - in case I take the voluntary.

Essentially, at the end of FY06, the headcount was stated as:

Staff Aug: 653
PDs: 352
LANS Staff: 8794
Total: 9799

The headcount estimates made at the time for the end of FY07 and FY08 were:

FY: 07 08
Staff Aug: 403 303
PDs: 352 352
LANS Staff: 8294 7794
Total: 9049 8449

So over two years, they estimated a decrease of 500 LANS Staff each year net, through hires(+), terminations(-) and retirements(-), for a total of decrease of about 1000 LANS Staff. The presentation did not elaborate on the categories of LANS Staff to arrive at the net estimated decrease, namely MGT, TSM, TEC and SUPP. Likewise, a net decrease of 250 and 100 for Staff Aug over the two years. The total net decrease over two years from Staff Aug and LANS Staff was estimated at 1350.

The actual headcount at the end of FY07 is given as:

Staff Aug: 452
PDs: 351
LANS Staff: 8561
Total: 9364

So, it would appear actual net decreases of about 233 LANS Staff and 201 Staff Aug took place in FY07, for a total net decrease of 434 out of 750 estimated. The net LANS Staff decrease is less than half the number originally estimated.

Other data indicate that the monthly averaged LANS Staff FTEs (not headcount) went from about 8530 in Oct 06 to about 8256 in Sept 07, a net decrease of about 274 FTEs over FY07. Net decrease was 278 FTEs from TSM and TEC, net decrease was 1 FTE from MGT, and there was a net increase of 5 FTE in SUPP. Corresponding figures for Staff Aug are 445 for Oct 06 and 305 for Sept 07, a net decrease of 140 FTEs.

Anonymous said...

Poor pathetic Plutonium Pete is pissed. Perhaps. Pete perceives politics. now prevents promoting Pu pork imperpetuity. Pobrecito.

Anonymous said...

You go Pete! Too bad nobody will listen to you now that you're a lame duck.--
11/30/07 8:22 AM

No. People don't listen to morons, which is what the Petemiester has become in D.C. these days. He's a fossil. A relic of a bygone era.

Anonymous said...

People stop listening when you lose credibility. Saint Pete has cried wolf once too often.

Anonymous said...

You go Pete! Too bad nobody will listen to you now that you're a lame duck.
11/30/07 8:22 AM

Lame duck? Remove the word duck and you've got it right.

Anonymous said...

8:17 am: Might want to watch the misspelling "bale" which has appeared in at leat two of these threads - points you out.

Anonymous said...

11:14 am "At least in that regard, Congressman Udall has a dream."

Dreams are for people who are asleep.

Anonymous said...

All you people who are calling Pete Dominici names ought to be ashamed of yourselves. It is not his fault that he is sick and has had to step down. Pete has had a long distinguished career, whether you like his views or not.

It is interesting that you name callers have nothing intelligent to add to the debate. Absolutely nothing. Why don't you tell us exactly why you think that numerical modeling without underground testing is a bad idea? What strategy for deterrence would you propose?

Instead, you just come here and take up space with insults.

Gussie, your policy of allowing diverse opinion should draw the line somewhere. What is the point of "moderating" the blog if you let all this venomous crap come through? This stuff is spam, not opinion. Your blog is seriously degraded because of it.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Senator Domenici was called "Pit Dementia" before anyone knew about his disease. I've never called him that and I think it's a little cruel, but not out of line for a blog comment. Have you heard some of the things Senator Clinton is called?

I am responsible for the comment moderation policy. That policy is to allow every comment if at all possible. I don't second guess Gussie's decisions. He's probably made mistakes, I know I have. Regardless, the blog will continue to allow everyone to have a voice. Even people you don't like.

-Pinky

Anonymous said...

The problem is, how many of the contributors to this blog are LANL people and how many of them are dedicated, Lab-hating outsiders who are just getting their kicks trashing Los Alamos?

Next, as for Domenici's comments, I found his comments to be interesting and regard them as part of the story that gets lost in the current loud hysteria.
I do think at least a LITTLE foresight on his part would have helped prevent our current situation. That, and a more realistic view about which way the country was going rather than maintaining the ultra-conservative Republican staus quo.

All of this stuff is indicative of the way the government works...pretty damn incompetantly. Decisions made by idiots inside the beltway who consider everyone on the outside as expendable components. They got theirs, screw everyone else.

DOE/NNSA doesn't like anyone making them look bad, what better plan than to bring in a greedy contrctor to do their dirty work.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

2:14 AM,

Two things. First, what are you doing posting at 2:14AM?

Second, as Pinky indicated, "Pit Dementia" Dominici earned his nick name a year or two before he announced his degenerative brain disease. I believe it was during the time of the "LANL, The Corporate Story" blog that someone gave him the name in response to his vocal support of pit production at LANL.

Ok, three things: While I don't necessarily agree with the tone of some of the comments here, I do agree that continuing to throw money at LANL instead of fixing the problems that exist here will not make LANL a better place to work. Dominici has always thrown money at LANL, and that is one of the reasons we are in our current state.

-Gussie

Anonymous said...

The end of LANL is around the bend and you guy's are crying about "name calling" of Se. Domenici? wow! maybe you should be filling out applications at the Smiths Store before all those jobs are taken....What a bunch, no wonder we are in the state were in...