Jan 12, 2008

NNSA Publishes Proposed Plan to Transform the Nuclear Weapons Complex

by SOPnewswire

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today, the availability of a draft Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS). The Notice of Availability for the draft SPEIS was published in the Federal Register. NNSA has completed distribution of more than 2,000 copies of the draft SPEIS, and the public has until April 10, 2008 to review and provide comments. Nineteen public hearings will be held across the country starting at the end of February.

The SPEIS evaluates NNSA’s proposal for continuing the transformation of the nuclear weapons complex, along with a range of reasonable alternatives. NNSA’s objective is to create a nuclear weapons infrastructure that is smaller, safer, more secure, and less expensive.

“The proposal described in the SPEIS would move NNSA from an outdated, Cold War nuclear weapons complex to one that is better able to support our future national security needs,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino.

The draft SPEIS evaluates four alternatives to address NNSA’s needs: maintaining the status quo, distributed centers of excellence, consolidated centers of excellence, and a capabilities-based complex. The SPEIS also contains a preferred alternative, the distributed centers of excellence, which would consolidate missions and facilities within the existing NNSA sites. NNSA would eliminate redundancies in missions, capabilities, and facilities, eventually saving money in the future.

The proposal would support President Bush’s plan for the smallest stockpile consistent with U.S. national security needs. The U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile has been reduced by nearly 50 percent from its size in 2001, making it the smallest stockpile since the 1950s. Further cuts to the stockpile have been ordered by President Bush, which would reduce the stockpile another 15 percent.

The draft SPEIS can be found on the following web sites: www.ComplexTransformationSPEIS.com or www.eh.doe.gov/nepa.

[We also recommend this link.]

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad. Visit www.nnsa.doe.gov for more information.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...consolidate missions and facilities within the existing NNSA sites"

This looks more like the "Do Nothing Option" of the Transformation Plan.

I think it's an election year and we don't want to piss off any of the voters option...and this will all change in another year or so.

My DOE/NNSA experience tells me that when you leave things in place they get larger...not smaller

i.e., largest workload at Pantex was in mid 1980's with a total workforce of ~3000. Today the workload is ~75 less with a total workforce of ~4000.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go O/T, but I have heard rumors of a new species of LANLian. Apparently there are double dippers that volunteered to leave (collecting the severance bonus) who are already being hired back on as "visiting scientists." I believe this marks the emergence of the TRIPPLE DIPPER.

Anonymous said...

DOE/NNSA "leaving things in place" will not cause the complex to grow. Besides, even NNSA is telling LANL we are about to shrink by at least 20%.

Both Pantex and LANL grew in workforce during the late 90's and early 2000's. However, this was during a period of budget surplus and post-911 concerns. And, unlike these previous periods, NNSA is now clearly telling LANL we are going to be downsized by at least 20%. Add in the serious loss of St. Pete and you get a clear picture of a lab that is going to quickly shrink in size, not grow.

We'll likely be laying off another 500 or so employees in FY09 and again in FY10 as: (1) new program growth remains poor, (2) we don't see historical attrition due to the SSP, and (3) the NNSA budget is cut back in the area of nuclear weapons work. These are the three criteria Mike gave that determine whether more layoffs might occur. On all three criteria, the outlook looks bleak.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently there are double dippers that volunteered to leave (collecting the severance bonus) who are already being hired back on as "visiting scientists." I believe this marks the emergence of the TRIPPLE DIPPER." (1:19 PM)

The good ol' boy system never dies at LANL. What did you expect?

Anonymous said...

Guest/visiting scientists are not paid by LANS.

Anonymous said...

Shut up about the "triple dipper" system. You are an ignorant jackass. I know several of these folks. The ones I know have >25 years of experience and don't want to abandon their relationship with the sponsor. I am very glad that they are WORKING FOR FREE. That is right you dumb-ass -- FOR FREE. Take you pathetic crap and peddle it to a dumb blog.

Anonymous said...

"Shut up about the "triple dipper" system. You are an ignorant jackass. I know several of these folks. The ones I know have >25 years of experience and don't want to abandon their relationship with the sponsor. I am very glad that they are WORKING FOR FREE. That is right you dumb-ass -- FOR FREE. Take you pathetic crap and peddle it to a dumb blog.

1/13/08 4:21 PM"

I agree with you to some extent on this, however I know some cases where these people do plan on getting paid in a year from now and some of these people are very poor quality. What they do is talk to a postdoc "once" a week. The postdoc knows these guys are idiots but does not want to piss anyone off since they want future refernece letters for jobs and greencards. It is a really sick and sad game that gets played time and time again. I have been at LANL for fair amount of time and I can honestly say that I have not seen one person who came back as a paid guest scientist that was really necessary. Of course this is only one persons observations. I know this stuff happens elsewhere so it really is not just a LANL thing.

Anonymous said...

5:19 pm: "I have been at LANL for fair amount of time and I can honestly say that I have not seen one person who came back as a paid guest scientist that was really necessary."

Well no offense, but your tone and writing style suggest that you aren't in a position to know what is "necessary" for the good of the institution. I'll rely on the managers that bring back these unpaid voluntary staff, recognizing the value of their contributions. Who is being hurt here? The "postdoc" who "knows" the unpaid but highly experienced staff membder is an "idiot"? And he/she "knows" this based on what? Maybe your advice?

Anonymous said...

5:19 PM "...What they do is talk to a postdoc "once" a week. The postdoc knows these guys are idiots but does not want to piss anyone off since they want future refernece letters for jobs and greencards..."

Shut up. Just because you work in ADCLES where "no ethics" is the rule and "everything goes" does not mean the rest of the Lab operates this way. If you have a complaint then file it with the waste-fraud-abuse office.

Anonymous said...

"If you have a complaint then file it with the waste-fraud-abuse office."

And after you take that very useful action, you should tape a "kick-me" sign to your butt.

Anonymous said...

I thought the subject for discussion was the NNSA Transformation Plan. Isn't it interesting that the comments turn ugly so quickly no matter the subject? Here is a suggestion if it is so terrible here ..... Just leave. If you weren't bright enough to sign up for the SSP, just quit. I am sure there is a perfect job out there for all you educated folks that will allow you to leave the rest of us that don’t meet your high standards.

Anonymous said...

"...Shut up about the "triple dipper" system. You are an ignorant jackass..."

I don't have a horse in this race, but I thought I'd pass on that the first person to utter a profanity in a blog is generally considered to have conceded the argument.

Anonymous said...

8:55 pm: "I thought I'd pass on that the first person to utter a profanity in a blog.."

So where was the profanity??? Or was it the use of the term "jackass" which I believe most of the world considers descriptive, even technical, but not profane? Or are you one of the sensitivity-challenged, ultra-self-esteemed, thin-skinned, no-perspective Starbucks people?

Anonymous said...

"first person to utter a profanity in a blog is generally considered to have conceded the argument."

This is simply not true, one can make a argument that is logically correct with or without profanity.

Besides if this was true than anyone from New York would lose every argument.

Anonymous said...

1/13/08 8:55 PM,

Good try, but I don't think reason is going to work here. Better to ignore the trolls than feed them?