Dec 7, 2007

POGO Asks DOE to Issue Stop Work Order For Los Alamos Facility: CMRR of Dubious Value and Questionable Construction

For Immediate Release
Contact: Marthena Cowart or Peter Stockton (202) 347-1122

The Project On Government Oversight has called for an immediate stop work order in a letter to Under Secretary for Nuclear Security & Administrator for National Nuclear Safety Administration Tom D’Agostino on the Chemical and Metallurgical Research Replacement (CMRR) program.

POGO has learned that Austin Commercial of Dallas , TX , the contractor hired for building the first stage of the CMRR, is not building the facility to ASME NQA-1 Quality Assurance (QA) standards for nuclear facilities, nor to other DOE QA requirements. There are also allegations that the new facility is not being built to recently increased earthquake standards.

Austin Commercial, which appears to have little, if any, previous experience in building a nuclear facility, is allegedly demanding an increase in their fixed fee from $10 million to $30 million if they are expected to meet these QA standards, and are even threatening taking Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to court. The big question is whether or not the Los Alamos National Laboratory spelled out these requirements in the contract.

Danielle Brian , Executive Director of POGO said, “The Los Alamos Site Office (LASO) has done nothing to stop this potential train wreck. This latest debacle is in keeping with LASO’s long history of a hands-off approach to oversight, largely because of their policy of allowing the Lab to police itself.”

Ms. Brian concluded her letter to Mr. D’Agostino, “History tells us that DOE’s tendency is to quickly begin construction in order to make it that much harder for the Congress to kill the project. On the current path, it would seem the taxpayers will end up with a poorly constructed facility of dubious value. Please issue an immediate stop-work order to ensure we do not suffer that fate.”

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government."

BULLSHIT!

POGO carries out the sloppiest investigations of any entity that I know of. All they seem to care about is sensational headlines.

Anonymous said...

LANL only has itself to blame, although it will undoubtedly blame everyone else but itself. Until all the management holdouts from the old UC regime are removed (beginning with Anastasio and his right hand man Marquez), I say shut the damn place down! And if LANS doesn’t have the gumption to throw out the UC trash it inherited, well then bring in someone else to run the damn place. Enough is enough!

--20 Years & Volunteered To Leave

Anonymous said...

The only sloppy work being done at Los Alamos is being done by LANL itself, and you damn well know it 6:49AM! You're the one that's full of BULLSHIT, asshole!

Anonymous said...

They also are in the pocket of of the anti-nukes, but will never admit it. Looking back over the past several years, they've always tried to lead the way in discrediting anything Los Alamos.

Danielle Bryan's cozy relationship with CBS is the best example. Because of POGO, CBS got sued on the Mustang case, after Lillian Anaya bit back.

It was sweet, and CBS keeps them at arms length and with a grain of salt, now.
It's the same way Tom Joles got suckered by Mello back in '98 when Greggy said we were doing "full scale" nuclear detonations in containment spheres kept in the back of TA-55. Too bad GM was long on motivation and short on facts. The spheres had been sitting there since the mid 80's. The lab stopped trying to do contaiment detonations back then because of safety issues.

POGO is the one who ought to come clean about who backs them and what their real motives are. Instead they carry this charade about being a people's watchdog. Can't speak about what other stuff they do, but 6:49 said it best about what they do against the Lab: Bullshit!

Anonymous said...

LANL is so successfully surrounded by fences, guards, secrecy, lawyers and public affairs platitudes it's amazing people like Joni Arends and Greg Mello aren't wrong more often isn't it?

There should be a pause until there is enough oversight that LANL can't hide it's screwups.

Anonymous said...

In regard to "hiding screwups," POGO has been far from forthright in admitting mistakes and exagerations.

Anonymous said...

It's too late, the attacks are coming from all sides. (Inside and out) Many of the employees' that are leaving are doing so with a sour taste in their mouths....LANL cannot even count on it's former employees' to stand up for this place. Several of my co-workers have contacted several organizations with some of the inside scoop.....

Anonymous said...

Can the SSP be re-opened for another week? I think I want to leave.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha..........POGO has an intellectual capacity of....well not very good. They are like Roark, it is all about the spin and grabbing headlies

Anonymous said...

News flash! The facility currently under construction is an office and radiological light lab facility. NOT A NUCLEAR FACILITY. So who gives a fucking rip if it's built to nuclear facility requirements? Criminy, if we HAD built it to nuke facility requirements we'd be skewered for wasting money instead.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point 6:17. The first building under construction is the RULOB not CMRR itself.

Anonymous said...

Yep - just goes to show POGO's integrity. Never, in the years I've been monitoring POGO since WEN HO LEE, have they ever shown the slightest respect for truth or integrity - just their agenda and headlines. Ever since the Walp and Duran garbage that got several highly dedicated LANL employees fired, and the consequent Bussolini stuff, they (Brian and Stockton, her husband) have tried their best to sink LANL. They rely on leaks, most of which they get from the DOE Emergency Operations Center, for their slams. What a bunch of a-holes.

Anonymous said...

POGO should crawl back into its hole from where it came. This is another example of what is worng with Washington. These political neophytes fail to comprehend anything yet speak out of either orafice when it serves their simple and misguided interests. Perhaps they would be better off in Putin's Russia.

Anonymous said...

"LANL cannot even count on it's former employees' to stand up for this place. Several of my co-workers have contacted several organizations with some of the inside scoop....."
12/8/07 9:42 AM

Why do you think that is? Is it because this place is run by the self-proclaimed best and brightest albeit clueless, or is because we're all a bunch of arrogant cowboy buttheads? Take your pick, that's who we are now in the eyes of the world. We followed lock step in the UC model. Just read about what's happening with UC in California and you'll understand. Like UC, we reject all criticism as a standard response. And it doesn’t matter the source or the authority behind the critcism. It could be God himself proclaiming in a booming voice and lightening flashes that LANL/UC needs to clean up its act and still, you'd get same shrill chorus of denial, spin and character assassination that appears on this blog every time a criticism is raised. LANL is now a shadow of its former self, that there can be no denial. Like the wealthy industrialist who now spends his days sitting on a park bench surrounded by the stench of liquor contemplating a bygone era, that's who we've become. And yet the sad reality, in both cases, is that little less arrogance and little more willingness to listen and compromise could have made a world difference. We made our own bed, now it's time to lay in it.

Anonymous said...

12/8/07 10:38 PM"...Ever since the Walp and Duran garbage that got several highly dedicated LANL employees fired, and the consequent Bussolini stuff,"

Huh. Pass some of that stuff you're smoking my way. Man that stuff must really fry your brain! "Dedicated LANL employees?" Bwwwwaaaaaahhhaahaaa! Yea right!