Jun 19, 2009

Committee Strengthens the Stockpile Stewardship Program

For immediate release:
June 16, 2009
Contact: Loren Dealy (HASC) 202-225-2539

Committee Strengthens the Stockpile Stewardship Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the House Armed Services Committee took great strides to strengthen the Stockpile Stewardship Program. This is the program tasked with maintaining the safety, security and reliability of our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

“H.R. 2647 builds on the work we did in the last Congress, and on the recommendations of the Strategic Posture Commission. It authorizes important funding increases to the Stockpile Stewardship Program, from scientific and experimental activities to infrastructure maintenance accounts,” commented Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA). “And to support the stewardship program, the bill establishes a new Stockpile Management Program to codify clear objectives and boundaries for maintaining our nuclear weapons capabilities. I am proud of the ways in which this bill sustains and strengthens the Stockpile Stewardship Program.”

“The STRATCOM Commanders have told us that they do not need new nuclear weapons, but they do need unimpeachable confidence in the capabilities we have,” said Representative John Spratt (D-SC). “This bill bolsters that confidence and ensures a robust deterrent without the need to resume testing.”

Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI) said, “By boosting the resources authorized to support stockpile stewardship and by establishing legal objectives and limitations for weapons stockpile work, H.R. 2647 brings badly needed clarity to the debate over our nuclear posture.”

The bill does the following:
  • Clarifies two broad objectives of the Stockpile Stewardship Program: to ensure that core intellectual and technical competencies are maintained and to ensure the nuclear weapons stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable without the use of underground nuclear weapons testing.
  • Establishes the Stockpile Management Program – a new program for weapons work in support of the Stewardship Program. The program requires that changes to the nuclear weapons stockpile may be made only if:
The following objectives are met:
  • Increase the reliability, safety, and security of the stockpile;
  • Further reduce the need for nuclear weapons testing; and
  • Reduce the future size of the nuclear weapons stockpile;
And only within the following limits:
  • Remain consistent with basic design parameters;
  • Include well understood components that can be certified without weapons testing; and
  • Fulfill current military requirements.
Amends existing requirements for an annual plan for the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Programs to require an assessment of the adequacy of the capabilities and workforce needed to execute the Stockpile Stewardship Program, and to require independent peer review in the annual assessment and certification process.

*** All provisions are subject to change pending final passage of H.R.2647 ***

###
[Download a 650 page searchable PDF of H.R.2647 here.]

43 comments:

Frank Young said...

Don't miss page 639 starting at line 6.

Anonymous said...

Frank, you mean this little gem?....

******

SEC. 3121. COMPTROLLER GENERAL REVIEW OF MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS CONTRACT COSTS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY LABORATORIES.

(a) REVIEW REQUIRED. — The Comptroller General shall review the effects of the contracts entered into by the Department of Energy in 2006 and 2007 that provide for the management and operations of the covered national laboratories. The review shall include the following:

(1) A detailed description of the costs related to the transition from the period when the management and operations of the covered national laboratories were performed by the University of California to the period when such management and operations were performed by a covered contractor, including —

(A) a description of any continuing differences in the cost structure of the management and operations when performed by the University of California and the cost structure of the management and operations when performed by a covered contractor; and

(B) an assessment of the effect of such cost differences on the resources available to support scientific and technical programs at the covered national laboratories.

(2) A quantitative assessment of the ability of the covered national laboratories to perform other important laboratory functions, including safety, security, and environmental management.

(b) REPORT. — Not later than March 1, 2010, the Comptroller General shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the results of the review.

*******

This won't effect Mikey's annual 20% bonus, will it?

Anonymous said...

I hope this cost report dutifully reports how the SSP severance program hit last year's operating budget for over $55 million in costs.

I doubt the operating budget would have been hit up for this money if LANL was still being operating as a non-profit under UC. NNSA is using the lab's new for-profit status to financially squeeze LANL into the ground.

Anonymous said...

Frank, thank goodness for this blog! Without it, we would probably never learn about some of the news that is posted here. Good work, my man!

Anonymous said...

LLNL Newsline:
On Oct. 1, 2007, the Laboratory had a total of 8,880 employees, including career indefinite, flexible term, post-doctoral, students and retirees. Workforce reductions from normal attrition, a selective replacement hiring strategy begun in 2006, the VSSOP and the involuntary separation program are expected to bring the Laboratory workforce to a total of 6,800 employees by the end of the fiscal year (2008).

Let’s see … cut workforce from 8880 to 6800 thereby reducing cost by -25%, gaining efficiency and higher productivity …. NOT!
Result of Transition: cut 2000+ employee in order to support extra management contract fees, taxes, operating cost (including 40+ highly paid managers), higher health care cost, higher retirement benefit cost (TCP1, 401K), reorganization cost, ISP/VSSOP cost, pending lawsuits, etc. Any improvement(s) due to Transition???

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to report on the expense of Mikey's LANS supplied luxury sports car.

I'm pretty sure that expense wasn't present before June 1st, 2006.

The enormous run up in all the executive salaries at LANL post-June 1st '06 should also be added into this report.

Anonymous said...

You people are so naive. So big deal, a report will be prepared that "studies" the costs of running LANL, before and after the LANS takeover. It will be given to congress. Bechtel & buddies will bribe a few appropriate Congressmen. The LANS contract will get renewed.

That's the process, in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

Well, Senator Feinstein seemed surprised at some earlier testimony from the lab directors regarding rising costs (which should have been no surprise to her if DOE was forthright). Her husband is chair of the U.C. Board of Regents, so we'll see if such a report goes quietly or not.

Anonymous said...

Tauscher was a big support of UC and employees at LLNL. The news reported that at the NIF dedication a few weeks ago, she got the loudest and longest standing ovation from employees - compared to the lukewarm applauses afforded the NNSA officials. I wonder if this is her parting shot at NNSA.

Anonymous said...

Yes sir, this is indeed good news and a game changer.... NOT.

It's more like Congress telling NNSA, "Go get me another rock. No, no, not that one. A-n-o-t-h-e-r one."

What did they think was going to happen when the took one of this nation's top research labs and then handed it over to a sleazy, for-profit, money-grubbing **CONSTRUCTION** company?

A discovery of new formulas for quick-set cement? Better crane designs? Or how about shoes with a rubber sole that can really GRIP? Yeah, that's the ticket! Shoes that GRIP.

Anonymous said...

Finally a glimmer of light at the end of long dark tunnel?????? I thought it was over. And please take those IWDs and put them were they belong. God, I have a list that is miles long.........

Anonymous said...

Cool!!!!! I'm already out of there, but cool!

Anonymous said...

Cool!!!!! I'm already out of there, but cool!

Anonymous said...

Cool?

You folks must love setting yourselves up for big disappointments. The report may come out. It may show that LANS costs much more than UC did. In which case LANS will say that they will "aggressively lower costs through productivity improvements."

Bada Bing. LANS gets the contract renewal.

Cripes! I've got this great bridge I'd love to sell you.

Anonymous said...

“The STRATCOM Commanders have told us that they do not need new nuclear weapons, but they do need unimpeachable confidence in the capabilities we have,” said Representative John Spratt (D-SC).”

So much for the needs of STRATCOM Commanders. What if Pantex, from their standpoint, would like new weapons that are safer & more secure from terrorist? Or, John Spratt (D-SC), have you really thought beyond STRATCOM needs? My guess is you don’t have a clue as to the overall need for safer & more secure nuclear weapons. Do you really think more fences & guards at PX lessens the "insider" threat?

• “The program requires that changes to the nuclear weapons stockpile may be made only if:
The following objectives are met:
• Increase the reliability, safety, and security of the stockpile;"

Err, a, isn’t that the basic premise for designing & building new nuclear weapons?

“And only within the following limits:
• Remain consistent with basic design parameters;”

A new pit & IHE is within the basic design parameters.

Come on folks, do you really believe a “Committee Strengthens the Stockpile Stewardship Program”?

I’ll take LANL’s best over this Committee any day.

What the h-ll is happening to America?

Anonymous said...

"Frank, thank goodness for this blog! Without it, we would probably never learn about some of the news that is posted here. Good work, my man!
6/19/09 11:41 AM"

Frank does an excellent job imo but 11.41am you really need to strengthen your daily reading list. Geeze, it's plastered all over the internet.

Anonymous said...

6/19/09 11:47 AM Wrong blog

Frank Young said...

6/19/09 11:19 AM,
That is the one.

6/19/09 11:41 AM,
As usual, the thanks should go to the reader who sent this to me. Though I appreciate the kind words!

Anonymous said...

Let's make sure to remind the auditors about all of the costs that were pushed down onto direct charges - things like each staff member now does their own travel using CONCUR, a huge inefficiency to have highly paid staff making travel arrangements.

The auditors can't just stop with the LANS-provided bottom line on cost savings, they must also evaluate whether LANS is providing basic services and maintenance, or whether LANS is letting the LANL physical plant decline into a state of disrepair. My administrative help has declined 50%, my office has not been vacuumed in over a year, I take my own trash out, the building's roof hasn't been repaired, the toilet has been out of service for two months, snow removal has declined, some concrete steps have corroded to the point where they're dangerous, the grounds are a mess. Maybe other are experiencing the same?

Anonymous said...

8:04 AM, i'm waiting for our "adopt a toilet" program. I mean, we already have mikey out picking up trash.

i can just see every toilet in a building being "out of service" with a bag over it because no one wants to clean it...people running from building to building looking for a working toilet...it would be hilarious. that would almost certainly save money, right?

Anonymous said...

Score one for the military-industrial complex. Our country can do without healthcare, the world can do without a habitable planet, and so what if we go bankrupt as a nation just so long as we don't deny the military-industrial complex and its stable of Washington lobbyists and Congressional hacks another payoff. Long live the military-industrial complex!

Anonymous said...

Long live the military-industrial complex!

6/20/09 10:00 AM

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex that you so happily berate, you wouldn't be posting on this blog as there would be no internet. The internet evolved from a DOD sponsored DARPA project back in the 70s to have a highly redundant communication system that could route its way around nuclear attacks.

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex, you probably wouldn't even be typing on a home computer. Computers evolved back in the 1940s and 50s from the US military's needs to have fast "calculating machines" that could compute artillery trajectories.

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex, the mutually assured destruction (MAD) standoff would never have occurred and the US would likely have been treated to a devastating WWIII sometime during the last 60 years.

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex, there would be little protecting your freedoms as a American citizen to vote and to have freedom of speech.

You owe the US military and its military industrial complex far more than you'll ever know. God bless the military industrial complex. It has done many good things for America and the world.

Anonymous said...

Rubbish, 12:51. Al Gore invented the internet; everybody knows that. It's just a bunch of tubes, anyhow -- even George Bush knows that.

Now, go count your guns or listen to Rush Limbaugh or something and quit bothering us with your right-wing blather.

Anonymous said...

12:51 does present a broad target, as a

Flag-waving, God-fearing Right-winger.

After you've unwrapped yourself from the flag, 12:51, be sure to go to church tomorrow and ask that all-knowing, all-powerful righteous Christian God of yours to bless America. Or at least the American military industrial complex. Maybe he'll accommodate you since he's probably got nothing better to do. I mean after all he's just been sitting around twiddling his thumbs since he finished creating the world & everything 6,000 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Other great inventions of the military-industrial complex:

(1) Nuclear Weapons, (2) ICBM, (3) SLBM, (4) Bomber - and Fighter Aircraft, (5) Ballistic Missile Submarine Nuclear Powered (SSBN), (6) Missile Defense, (7) Directed-Energy Weapons, (8) Space - and Satellite Technology, (9) Stealth Technology, (10) Radar Technolgy, (11) Supercomputer, (12) Tank, (13) GPS, et cetera.

The powerful motto of the MIC:

Si Ego Certiorem Faciam, Mihi Tu Delendus Eris.

PS: All these inventions could have been awarded the Nobelprize in Physics, especially if you share a naturalistic worldview.

Anonymous said...

And what they didn't invent; war.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at this blog for months and want to join the ranks of anonymous posters. I work for a DOE contractor and I'm waiting for a sign that the new DOE with a new kind of Energy secretary would protect criticism of, say, LANL management.
I worked at the place some years ago and was amazed to find myself in programs that made no sense from the inside. Was I the only one that realized that these big programs were going forward on lies and misrepresentations. The comments on this blog seem largely to focus on individual bosses but I found that the programs and lack of peer revue was the problem.
Incidentally, I hear that the last Domenici handout has been released and the once disgusted officials are now feeling better about themselves.

Anonymous said...

"I worked at the place some years ago and was amazed to find myself in programs that made no sense from the inside. Was I the only one that realized that these big programs were going forward on lies and misrepresentations."

Among the sheeple at the Lab yes...you were the only one.

Anonymous said...

Among the sheeple at the Lab yes...you were the only one.

6/21/09 10:42 AM

The in-breeding and self-selection process at LANL has created a new form of life... the Super-Sheeple!

The Super-Sheeple is oh, so soft and pliable. One of the best part about this creature is that it doesn't even bother to "baa-baa" when it's harvest time on the farm.

Being a strictly genetically engineered creation, it has no balls so the genetic formula can't be stolen and reproduced at other national labs. It's a LANL exclusive life form.

Coming next... Super-Sheeple II! Twice the sheeple-ness behavior in a creature that, along with the Super-Sheeple's attribute of no mouth, also has neither eyes to see nor ears to hear. And best of all, it has hoofs that can really GRIP!

Peter said...

I guess they're giving with one hand and taking away with the other. The House Armed Services Committee published the FY 2010 Defense Authorization
Bill last week. Buried inside was a last-minute change that took $369 million
away from DOE. The $369M was supposed to
be used for cleanups at nuclear weapons sites but will be used instead to
"bring home the bacon" and buy F-22 fighter jets that the military admits it doesn't even
need.

See the articles below for the details.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4144686
http://armedservices.house.gov/apps/list/press/armedsvc_dem/skeltonpr061709.shtm
l
http://pubfiles.computersforpeace.net/HR2647.pdf

Peter said...

I guess they're giving with one hand and taking away with the other. The House Armed Services Committee published the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Bill last week. Buried inside was a last-minute change that took $369 million away from DOE. The $369M was supposed to be used for cleanups at nuclear weapons sites but will be used instead to "bring home the bacon" and buy F-22 fighter jets that the military admits it doesn't even need.

See the articles below for the details.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4144686
http://armedservices.house.gov/apps/list/press/armedsvc_dem/skeltonpr061709.shtml
http://pubfiles.computersforpeace.net/HR2647.pdf

Anonymous said...

Congress doesn't care much for the NNSA science labs. Isn't that abundantly clear by now? You would have to be deaf and dumb not to notice this fact.

Anonymous said...

"The $369M was supposed to be used for cleanups at nuclear weapons sites" (12:40 PM)

I guess this means that NM will start issuing another round of big environmental fines that will have to be paid for out of LANL's declining operating budget.

Anonymous said...

Indeed the salaries of these third-rate Bechtel people are totally out of line with their qualifications and with the job requirements.

And, many of these jobs are filled without advertisement.

This is a scandal and needs a GAO audit.

Anonymous said...

6:30 AM,

I agree, but I fear that the Comptroller General's auditors are only going to interview third-rate Bechtel people and they are going say what a wonder job they are doing improving how the lab is run. And that they earn their big salaries because they are doing a much better job than UC - just go ask the NNSA fed overseeing their wonderful work.

Basically Bechtel is getting free millions of dollars annual out of the lab for just assigning a few people at LANL. Other than a handful of bodies, what has Bechtel done to earn its share of the fee?

Bottom line, NNSA put zero additional dollars into the LANL contract to cover the 10 fold increase in management fee paid to the contractor. So it has to come out of the lab's base budget, which means there's a whole lot less money for overhead functions that support the work at the lab.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that John Spratt sent most of the money to Savannah River.

Anonymous said...

"Other than a handful of bodies, what has Bechtel done to earn its share of the fee?" - 9:19 AM

LANS is the science shut-down crew. That's what they are doing to earn their NNSA profit fees. That is the main reason why Bechtel was put in charge of what was once a top research lab.

Limited production efforts, lots of facilities maintenance and environmental cleanup... LANL's bright new future. The science side is quickly dieing off as many scientists call it quits and bail.

Anonymous said...

9:19, 12:32.

You do not seem to be aware that UC gets half of the fee. Blame UC twice for every time you blame Bechtel.

12:32 "The science side is quickly dieing off as many scientists call it quits and bail."

All of the scientists with the guts to bail have already done so, mostly years ago.

Anonymous said...

6/27/09 4:14 PM

Yes UC gets "half" of the fee, but it puts its share back into research at the labs and campuses. Bechtel puts its share into its corporate pockets - not a dime goes into anything associated with the Lab.

Also UC selects the Lab Director and senior managers responsible for science and technology programs at the Lab, and also the positions of Laboratory Counsel and External Relations; while Bechtel and the other partners select senior managers in the remaining areas of business services and operations.

Anonymous said...

Can you give an example of UC reinvestment, 9:15?

Anonymous said...

"All of the scientists with the guts to bail have already done so, mostly years ago." - 4:14 PM

Yes, the on-going selection process at LANL has resulted in a most interesting population of remaining employees, hasn't it?

Anonymous said...

6/28/09 9:33 AM,

its the $20 million a year Lab Research Program and information on 2008 projects can be found at

http://www.ucop.edu/labresrfp

From the website

"The University of California is pleased to announce a new research opportunity funded by a portion of the management fees that may be awarded to the University for the management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) based on an annual performance evaluation process included in each of the two management contracts. The Regents of the University have directed that this net fee income, anticipated to be approximately $20M/year, be allocated to research that is related to the missions of the laboratories and emphasizes collaborations between University faculty, staff and students and the research staff of the laboratories."

Anonymous said...

Thanks 3:56.

1. Have any of these been funded at LANL at any significant level, or just at the universities.

2. If the money is primarily spent at universities and not at the lab, how is this different than Bechtel using the profits for its own purposes?