Aug 16, 2009

Third Comment of the Week

Good stuff is pouring in this weekend. Greg's comments have proven to be a lightning rod. This one is a Nut Rocker.

--Doug

Greg, this transition may be perfectly rational and beneficial to employees. The reactions here are symptomatic of the complete erosion of trust that's been accomplished by LANL management over the last several years. Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs? Our management can't even seem to get the basics of modern human existince right anymore - e.g. safe drinking water and a non-porous roof over our heads. Our access to the basic tools to do our jobs is being eroded daily, and we are increasingly treated as babies in the safety and security arenas.

Mike berated a room full of managers last week (at the Leadership Summit on Alignment, of all places) for holding different views and experiences of the Lab than his own. Why can't Alignment go bottom-up as well as top-down? It was supremely ironic that Alan Bishop presented a video about the Shackleton Endurance expedition and pointed out that Shackleton built alignment by rolling his sleeves up and doing all the same jobs his team was doing (e.g. scrubbing the floors). Can anyone here imagine Mike writing an IWD and hand carrying it to all the FOD signoffs? Entering his own receipts into Concur? Working in an office with a leaky roof and shit-filled drinking water? Waiting an hour for a KSL taxi to take him to White Rock for Rad II testout?

I don't think so.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It was supremely ironic that Alan Bishop presented a video about the Shackleton Endurance expedition and pointed out that Shackleton built alignment by rolling his sleeves up and doing all the same jobs his team was doing (e.g. scrubbing the floors). "

Was that one of the views different from Anastasio?

Anonymous said...

Shutup you sheeple!
I am king!

MIKEY

Anonymous said...

Sounds like MA is losing it!
I hear managers have been 'encouraged to assist' employees to consider retiring/leaving. Assist like assign them grunt duty, preferably in a mouse infested roasting trailer. If they balk fire them for insubordination, if they do it fire them for violating some safety rule.
MA has decreed that his 5% 'attrition' goal will be achieved, if not with workers then a few managers will do.

Anonymous said...

Mikey sure does not like any disent.
He is clearly unqualified to be Director. He is NOT a leader but rather a commander.

Anonymous said...

From the top post ... and we are increasingly treated as babies in the safety and security arenas.

Maybe if you all would behave safely and securely and NOT continue to have incidents that embarass Mike and the institution, perhaps you would be treated better.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Mike. It's probably just a few "highly vocal malcontents" commenting here. It couldn't *possibly* be your leadership skills that are the problem.

Just in case you're having trouble getting to sleep at night, simply repeat the following to yourself:

PBIs, baby! Bonus! PIBs, baby!

Anonymous said...

Does any one share my perspective?
I feel that LANL has a history of low productivity that predates the present management. Dominici's power and influence had several effects, all that proved deleterious to the lab's present state. Idiot programs ran the expensive course of research and development to the detriment of all science. The lab was an arrogant, uncontrollable contractor that made enemies of the feds. The lab improperly used DOE funds for very expensive legal protection. The time has come for a change where the lab can compete fairly for support and somehow withstand peer review. LANL can not tolerate another accident or another security incident. Tough it out and remember that the salaries and benefits are outsize. Stop grousing about tiny diminutions of benefits and working conditions. Remember that you are working scientists - not DOE feds and you have not effectively retired a year after hiring!

Anonymous said...

12:44 is obviously a moron who sits behind a desk making rules while the real work is done by others for him. He should be director someday. He has already demonstrated all the right skills.

I love the vision of Alan Bishop telling war stories about Shackleton. That is priceless. Thanks Doug.

Anonymous said...

Mikey, you fucking turd-faced twat! Do you have any idea how much the remaining staff at LANL is beginning to hate you? Do you even care? Obviously not. You and your well compensated Bechtel friends are destroying this lab.

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone here imagine Mike...waiting an hour for a KSL taxi to take him to White Rock for Rad II testout?"

He doesn't have to wait. LANS supplies him with a free luxury sports car to get around and lets him park it right out front next to the NSSB.

Anonymous said...

What a horrible difference LANS has made to LANL. Our former Director, Kuckuck, was beloved by most of the staff. Everyone I know was sad to see him leave.

Anastasio, on the other hand, has been a complete failure. How this man ever make it into top level management is a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

Check out the photo of the EWOK.

Doesn't he look like he's going to tell us a lie?

Anonymous said...

8/16/09 1:25 PM blathered thusly:

"Does any one share my perspective?
I feel that LANL has a history of low productivity that predates the present management."

Hey Dummy, check out how many of the nuclear weapons in our enduring stockpile were designed, tested, and certified by Los Alamos. That was our job predating the present management, in case you've been living on Mars for the past 50 years or so. If you are "challenged" in finding the answer, here it is: approximately 87% of the nuclear weapons presently deployed are from Los Alamos. Los Alamos did what was expected of it to protect the Nation, regardless of whimpers from witless ingrates like yourself.

Sorry, posting anonymously to avoid the 5% solution.

Anonymous said...

Why does lab legal have the permission to spend money without limit? Lab legal needs to go away completely, LANS needs to hire an outside firm with competent lawyers who have budget constraints like any other law firm.

Anonymous said...

To the original poster,

I suspect you will agree that Mike's strengths lie in other areas than writing an IWD. His principal strong suit is his ability to say "Yes, Sir!" (with authority, and deep sincerity) to NNSA, and Riley Bechtel.

His single focus is maximizing profit to the LLC. His sole agenda is to assiduously meet all of the Performance Based Initiatives laid out in the language of the contract. That is his number one motivating goal as director of LANL. He gives not a single shit about anything else that use to matter here. Such as science, for example.

Those who know him realize that, due to his long association with LLNL, he doesn't even like LANL very much, and is only too happy to be one of the instruments of our downfall.

Anonymous said...

If Mike has his way, any future US nuclear weapons will come from Livermore. It has been his mission and the mission of his senior staff since the day he showed up with them to "fix" LANL. The fix is on all right. The fact that the rest of us show up at work to protect the Nation puts us immediately at odds with the Bechtel bunch, and their ridiculous management priorities.

Anonymous said...

Think I missed something. When did Glen Close turn in his resignation?

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant Greg Close, I didn't realize he gave notice last week.

Anonymous said...

Yeppers, from his blog:
Monday, August 10, 2009
Quitting my Day Job...
So, everyone says "don't quit your day job," right? I guess I'm ignoring that advice. Since it looks like opportunity will be knocking for us (or has knocked, and we're deciding how to answer) and I'm absolutely miserable at my job - I just quit. I have given a couple months notice, so that I can transition out of this role in good conscience. Also, this will keep me on payroll for a little bit longer and not stress our budget so much.

Anonymous said...

"Does any one share my perspective?

No

Anonymous said...

"Maybe if you all would behave safely and securely and NOT continue to have incidents that embarass Mike and the institution, perhaps you would be treated better.

8/16/09 12:44 PM"

Not true, this has been shown time and time again that LANL does much better than the rest of the complex in terms of safety and security. You can do anything you want at Sandia such as using the taxpayers money to stalk celebrties, sell secrests for money
at Oak Ridge, no prob. If the news does not care the congress does not care.

Greg Close said...

I don't know Mike. I don't interact with Mike. I can't speak to how he manages the science etc so I'm not going to pass any judgement there, one way or the other.

One thing I will tell you: Mike has stood up for you guys not getting the shaft on your benefits. Since Transition he has had the chance to say "go forth and slasheth ye the benefits" and he has not risen to the bait, ever. I think if he were purely motivated by greed/profit etc. he would have probably taken some of the cost cutting measures that were on the table.

Retirees, in particular, owe him at least for that (especially this year). Again, I can't speak to the other stuff - but in fairness I think that should be out there for the record. I'm not saying you should change your opinion, I'm just pointing out that people aren't usually the simplistic caricatures we paint them to be, good or bad. People are more complicated than that.

As for quitting, yes I quit. All things considered that was the best decision for my family. My wife can concentrate more on her job/science and I can train our children to become ninjas, which has always been a dream of mine.

I'm just shocked someone read my blog... LOL.

Anonymous said...

I'm absolutely miserable at my job -

Why is that?

Anonymous said...

I need your help. I am relatively new to LANL, pretty nice looking and smart. Name the top 10 best-looking guys there - you know the tall and handsome ones. The social life is not the best for women here, from what I can see.

Frank Young said...

Leadership Summit on Alignment? What the hell is that? I'm picturing a guru droning managementspeak while bored managers align at the dessert cart. Is that about right?

Anonymous said...

No gurus, Frank. Just our senior managers.

There is a breakout session where each AD/PAD is required to actually shut up and listen for a while. It can be sort of interesting, depending on who does the talking in your breakout group. Heaven only knows what they do with all this datagathering afterwards.

And no desserts. Not even bottled water or a 1/2 burrito. Unallowable cost. This exercise goes all the way down to the team leader level. Can't be wasting LANS fee on the unwashed masses, can we?

Anonymous said...

11:13 PM, I feel your pain.

All I can say is, watch our for the ones driving fiendishly expensive sports cars and referring to themselves as "sexy" on internet dating sites.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that Greg Close is leaving as Greg was often the only source of useful information coming from management. He seemed to not only care, but he's also able to read and write. Now we can only hope that some other LANS (Bechtel) manager takes the initiative and signs up for reading lessons.

Anonymous said...

11:13 PM, "The social life is not the best for women here, from what I can see."

Oh my God, girl...date strictly on educational level! Never date a PHD! I went on a picnic once with this PHD fool. He had Kentucky Fried Chicken, wrapped in foil, keeping warm, sitting on the car engine on the way to Jemez Springs. We ate this exhaust tainted chicken and he chased butterflies with a net all afternoon while spouting high-falutin' words.

Next date was with a ponytailed pipefitter, two six-packs of Bud, and some of those Magnum condoms.

Left LANL A While Ago said...

So,

How's morale at LANL these days? I left in 2006 shortly after LANS took over, and sort of fell out of touch. For some ill-conceived reason I decided to take a look at the blog again this weekend. If the bulk of the material currently featured here is any indicator, it would seem that morale has achieved a new low, with no bottom in sight.

Could it be that this is merely the effect of the LANL blog being the hangout of a "few highly vocal malcontents", as Kevin 'Comical Ali' Roark used to claim, or is morale there as deeply into the shitter as it appears from the (thankfully!) outside?

Anonymous said...

"Mike berated a room full of managers last week (at the Leadership Summit on Alignment, of all places) for holding different views and experiences of the Lab than his own." (COW Post)

This is the key problem with our Director. He's highly delusional about the declining situation at LANL. He even believes that staff morale is good. Now he wants to force his delusional Kool-Aid poison down the throat of the rest of lab management.

This emperor is wearing no clothes but he's unaware that he's buck naked! This ugly situation portents more bad things to come for LANL's employees.

Anonymous said...

"How's morale at LANL these days?" - 10:08 am

Worse than when you left. Much worse!

Anonymous said...

There are several great looking and tall men, just aim high. The ones I find most disgusting are those who bike to work and don't shower. And those who don't shower in the morning, don't ride bikes and don't wash their clothes very often.

Anonymous said...

Hey, but how about those Los Alamos Geek Women? Eh?

Oh, yeah. High-water pants. Wool socks and sandals. Hair washed maybe three days ago. Yeah, baby!

Anonymous said...

"He had Kentucky Fried Chicken, wrapped in foil, keeping warm, sitting on the car engine on the way to Jemez Springs."

Now see, you left out the most important details. Like, how was the alleged chicken affixed to said engine? Rope, wire, bubble gum? Did you have Original Recipe or a Variety Bucket? Was there gravy and dumplings? And, my god, was the chicken still warm when you got there!?

Anonymous said...

"Next date was with a ponytailed pipefitter, two six-packs of Bud, and some of those Magnum condoms.

8/17/09 7:49 AM"

Hell ya girfriend, Id'a take one with tats, missing teeth and some good meth over these idiots with a PH.ds

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, watch our for the ones driving fiendishly expensive sports cars and referring to themselves as "sexy" on internet dating sites.

8/17/09 7:27 AM


The large number of expensive sports cars suddenly popping up all over LANL seems to indicate an alarming outbreak of Small Pee Pee Disease (SPPD). Unfortunately, NIH medical trials have shown that sudden acceleration in fast sports cars does nothing to cure it.

Anonymous said...

"Oh my God, girl...date strictly on educational level! Never date aPHD! I went on a picnic once with this PHD fool. He had Kentucky Fried Chicken, wrapped in foil, keeping warm, sitting on the car engine on the way to Jemez Springs. We ate this exhaust tainted chicken and he chased butterflies with a net all afternoon while spouting high-falutin' words."

Oops I guess we should come clean with this. Many years ago a friend of ours got caught in date with a
rather nasty skank. Other than, the skin problem, raspy voice, weight issue, and substance abuse problem she was perfectly fine. Our friend did not have the heart to tell her to buzz off directly so we dreamed up a geek date from hell to scare her off. He said the picnic in the engine was not what scared her away is was when he said that he just donated all his money to the Canadian society for the preservation the Black Spotted Antartic Monarch butterfly.

Anonymous said...

"If Mike has his way, any future US nuclear weapons will come from Livermore." (6:33 PM)

Why do you think McMillan was recently elevated to PAD of nuclear weapons by LANS? The coup is almost complete. LANL is to become mainly a pit production facility with the science side of weapons migrating over to LLNL. The declining NNSA budgets will help see to it.

Anonymous said...

In 2007 this blog averaged 77 posts/month (check the archives), in 2008 it was down to 34 posts/month, and this year it has so far averaged 24 posts/month. It has gotten to the point that the COWs are about comments to the previous COWs. Of the 8 posts presntly up on front page, 6 are COWs commenting on posts to previous COWS. All of this is evidence of fewer and fewer posters with fewer and fewer complaints, which is scientific proof that things are getting better at Los Alamos !

Anonymous said...

As stated "Domenici’s power and influence had several effects all that proved deleterious to the lab's present state. Idiot programs ran the expensive course of research and development to the detriment of all science."

Let’s be honest, funding is paid for quantifiable tasking. R&D and science driven projects, are subject to variation and don’t fit well within the Six Sigma and Black Belt driven world. It’s easy to develop a PBI to go build xx units for XX dollars, but in the R&D world, quite often it’s difficult to define, or even agree on tasks. Therefore, NNSA and LANS prefer simple straight forward tasking that they can measure. This is what killing science . . . Similar to a supervisor without technical competence (not knowing his/her craft, or the theoretical concepts of the ongoing work), but only able to grade on attendance, because either they are present, or they aren’t. There is no gray area to grade.

Anonymous said...

4:44 PM: Yes, Kuckuck was a pleasant interim figure after the Nanos disaster. The beginning of the end came with the announcement that Browne was stepping down and Admiral Butthead filled the void. That was the day LANL died -- we just didn't realize it for a year or two.

(Oh no, look at my timestamp. So very late in the mountain time zone. Must be drinkin' time there. Not here though.)

Anonymous said...

3:27 am: "The beginning of the end came with the announcement that Browne was stepping down and Admiral Butthead filled the void. That was the day LANL died -- we just didn't realize it for a year or two."

Anyone who knew and worked with John Browne realized it immediately. Nanos' first all-hands meeting (conducted in conjunction with Browne's announcement) was a clear message. Reason and respect were gone; command and punishment were here. The Lab did die that day. Now it has rotted enough to begin to crumble.

Anonymous said...

"All of this is evidence of fewer and fewer posters with fewer and fewer complaints, which is scientific proof that things are getting better at Los Alamos !" - 9:43 PM

It's clear to almost anyone who actually works at LANL that you must not work here. If you did, you would instantly know that most of the employees at the lab do not think things are getting better under LANS management.

Morale is at absurdly low levels. Director Anastasio is seen as a sick joke. And trust in LANS? It's non-existent.

Anonymous said...

"It was supremely ironic that Alan Bishop presented a video about the Shackleton Endurance expedition.."

So LANS upper management now sees operation of this lab as a type of expedition death march.

Wonderful. Now I get it! When do we start boiling the leather in our shoes that "GRIP" for lunch?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I believe that 9:43pm *does* work at LANL, probably for the director's office. He's obviously spent a lot of time analyzing the blog's traffic over time, and is trying pretty hard to make a case that things at LANL are JUST PEACHY!

No problems here! No sir! Nothing more to see, move along. LANS is doing a TERRIFIC job managing LANL. Yep. Things are JUST FINE HERE!

Now, if we could just find a way to shut that blog down...

Anonymous said...

The sarcasm and irony in 8/17 9:43 pm's post is obvious to (almost) everyone. The humor-challenged are of course exempt.

Anonymous said...

I think that the reason that the posts have become less frequent is that the remaining sheeple have given up. Those who can (under age 50 and employable) have left. AND, they have been replaced with a bunch of BS-level C students who are grossly overpaid and thus quite happy.

Anonymous said...

5:01 pm: Could you possibly give the "sheeple" thing a rest? It wasn't all that clever to begin with, and now it is just annoying and a substitute for actual thought.

Anonymous said...

The deadly "Livermore infection" is spreading at LANL.

Mikey, McMillan... and today it was announced that Livermore's "golden boy", Bret Knapp, will be given expanded authority at LANL.

They're all doing such a wonderful job destroying what's left at Los Alamos:

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
LANL News Release

Bret Knapp to head combined Weapons Engineering, Weapons Physics Directorates at Los Alamos National Laboratory

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, August 18, 2009­ Two of the three Los Alamos National Laboratory weapons programs directorates have been combined under the leadership of Bret Knapp as the associate director for the new weapons directorate. The new organization adds the Weapons Physics directorate to the Weapons Engineering directorate already under Knapp’s leadership. The third program, Stockpile Manufacturing and Support, remains unchanged.

Charles McMillan served as associate director for Weapons Physics before he assumed his new role as principal associate director for Weapons Programs.

"This new leadership position will allow for greater integration in the planning and execution of the stockpile stewardship program,” said Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio. “Bret’s commitment to and knowledge of the nuclear weapons programs will be invaluable in shaping the Laboratory’s contributions to this critical mission.”

Knapp came to Los Alamos in 2006 and has earned recognition for restructuring the engineering program organization in a way that lowered overhead costs, achieved programmatic excellence, and leveraged technical capabilities in an environment of declining budgets and financial uncertainty. Previously, Knapp served in a series of weapons engineering leadership roles at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“Throughout his career, Bret has established an outstanding record of programmatic achievements while demonstrating technical depth, honest and open communication, and fostering internal collaboration,” said McMillan. “These leadership skills will serve the weapons program well as we change and adapt our organizational posture to be responsive to current national security requirements.”

Knapp earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He received the NNSA Defense Program Individual Award for Excellence in 2000) and two NNSA Defense Program Awards for Excellence in 1998 and 1999.

Anonymous said...

8/18/09 6:32 PM
The bloody carcass of the "grip" horse needs to be buried too.

Anonymous said...

these "dating" posts are hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Is it shallow of me to think that Mikey is rather unattractive?

It is true that although the odds are good for females in Los Alamos, the goods are indeed odd.

Anonymous said...

I apologize very much as I had no idea how much hatred there is for some LANLS people. I only thought the newbies were treated very badly, as in .

I do know that through this blog you were able to get rid of butt head Nanos. Can you stop the appointment of Anthony Mortilaro to County's Chief Executive? For those who do not know him well, he is only 1/4% below Anastacio. Mike does not care about our community but he has no real influence on the rest of his county councilors because he refuses to see the end game.

Anonymous said...

We will soon embark on yet another fiscal year. At the Pu factory, costs continue to go up, the availability of the plant will go down, and the infamous 4-10's schedule will continue to be executed as 4-8's. Add the new and useless FOD implementation of the Conduct of BS, a deputy AD (where the division and group leaders do most of the work anyway WITHOUT a deputy) and we have all the makings of more and more low productivity. What once took a couple of days now takes a couple of weeks, kills a few more trees and add to it an ATOMICS observation for not getting a paper cut, and we have a true recipe for leadership...

Anonymous said...

Well, except for not having even a shred of truth to it, everything that was said about Knapp in the press release was right on the mark. The truth is Knapp has destroyed everything he has touched. Now his wrath will be visited on the once immune people of X-Division. It appears that both Charlie and Mike actually respect the man. I think you'll be hard pressed to find any other individuals who do. Congratulations, Mike, on picking another loser. You rock.

Anonymous said...

"Now his wrath will be visited on the once immune people of X-Division." - 6:49 AM

When Bret Knapp begins using his well known "chain saw" tactics on the employees of X-Division, it's going to get ugly. Get ready to hunker down, people. I suggest you try hiding under your desks once you hear Knapp starting up his noisy chain saw.

With this new management change, the LANS Livermore Boys will finally be able to totally destroy what's left of the weapons design work at Los Alamos.

Anonymous said...

I'd give $100 to have a beer with John Pedicini and listen to his opinion of Bret Knapp.

Anonymous said...

A new top post is, "Inside Obama Administration, a Tug of War Over Nuclear Warheads," Tuesday, August 18, 2009, at http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090818_1478.php.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply troubled by Mikey's decision to put Bret Knapp also in-charge of X-Division. Knapp has targeted, harassed, and transferred a large number of Hispanics and women out of W-Division without cause. He personally targeted me and forced me and many others out of weapon program following my 30-year career in the weapons program. Bret has this extremely high opinion of himself that is not justified. The guy is a moron who can't speak in public. Quite frankly, Bret is the most disgusting animal I have ever met. I am hoping that X-Division has the power to run this SOB out of town. Let the games begin.

Anonymous said...

It seems that more than a few people now recognize Knapp for the worthless sack of shit that he truly is. He is by far the worst manager I've ever been associated with. He is technically a zero, his instincts are warped, management zip, integrity nada, budget savy - don't make me laugh. The guy is awful in every single category. His only redeeming feature is his loyalty to...Livermore. My respect for Charlie just plummeted.

Anonymous said...

On the dating thing, I am hot, I am rich and don't worry about Mary, the saddlebags underneath her eyes turn me off. Wolfie

Anonymous said...

4:52am-

and don't forget all group leaders are now required to charge 20% to programs. We have a new but recycled manager, Tim George, who will be our new Deputy AD. The guy sucked as NMT Division leader, left the lab on some kind of industrial sabbatical, came back to LANL, didn't have a real job, so gets promoted up the chain.

The FOD overspent to implement the conduct of BS, so lets cut costs by shipping RCTs out to CMR. Yes, all the makings of true leadership and improved efficiency.

Oh yes, we could go on and on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There are several great looking and tall men, just aim high."


Like? Many single women read this blog. We even wash our hair, wear make-up, and go without sandals and wool socks...:-)

Anonymous said...

"He (Knapp) is by far the worst manager I've ever been associated with. He is technically a zero, his instincts are warped, management zip, integrity nada, budget savy - don't make me laugh. The guy is awful in every single category. His only redeeming feature is his loyalty to...Livermore." - 7:08 PM


Excellent! This is just what I want to hear! Why do you think I praise this man so highly?

I have an important message for the employees still left at Los Alamos. Are you listening carefully?

FUCK YOU ALL!!!

Now, at long last, do you fully understand exactly where you all stand with me and LANS, or are you still too dense to finally get it? LANL is to become a Pu factory and little more. We're almost there...

- MIKEY

Anonymous said...

Why would Mike do something like this ill advised Knapp appointment over X-Division? I don't get it?

It's as if he's actively trying to demoralized and diminish the weapon science work force that is left at LANL. Good thing Joe Martz left. Perhaps he knew something we didn't?

Anonymous said...

Science appears to be thriving at ORNL. They are hiring over 50 new staff members a month according to the article below.

Taken together, the size of ORNL plus Y-12 works out to be almost the size of LANL.

However, much like the old Los Alamos, ORNL is run as a non-profit for only around $10 million a year and is growing. Y-12, on the other hand, is run for a big profit by BWXT and is not growing.

Hmmmm, there seems to be a familiar pattern here.

......
Munger: A jobs milestone: ORNL tops Y-12 (Knoxville News, Aug 19)

I've been covering the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities for a long time, the better part of three decades, and I can't remember the last time Oak Ridge National Laboratory had more employees than the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.

Apparently, not many others can, either.

I raised the question last week on my blog, "Atomic City Underground," after the latest employment stats - through the end of July - showed ORNL had surpassed Y-12 in total employment, 4,537 to 4,485.

According to DOE spokesman John Shewairy, the agency's "readily available" personnel records only go back to 1994 (the rest are in storage), and ORNL was never on top during that period.

"So it's been at least 15 years," Shewairy said.

I suspect it's been quite a bit longer than that.

Mind you, there are multiple ways to account for workers at the two Oak Ridge facilities, which are separated by several miles and distinctly different missions. The above numbers are based on the employment numbers of the managing contractors, UT-Battelle at ORNL, B&W at Y-12.

Each of the Oak Ridge facilities, however, has a much bigger population on site daily. More than 7,000 people work at Y-12 on a daily basis, including more than 500 security guards with Wackenhut - the government's security contractor in Oak Ridge. There also are numerous subcontractors, plus the federal staff of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

ORNL has plenty of support personnel on site, too, and a whole lot of post-doctoral fellows, visiting researchers and students galore.

But the base employment totals substantiate a growth trend at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and that's expected to continue.

In this fiscal year, ORNL has hired 319 new staff members, lab spokesman Billy Stair said.

"Over the last five months, we are averaging about 50 new hires per month," he said. "One of the key numbers is the total number of requisitions, or open jobs that will be filled. The number of requisitions on July 31 was 316, the largest monthly number in memory and an indication of strong program growth and that the hiring totals will increase."

Stair said ORNL's employment was down to as low as 3,700 in 2002.

Y-12, meanwhile, has been pretty stable in the 21st century, typically with employment levels somewhere between 4,400 and 4,700.

Thousands of jobs were cut from the Y-12 payroll during the 1990s, following the end of the Cold War and curtailment of weapons production, but the plant's employment totals were still ahead of those at ORNL, which faced its own funding challenges.

Speaking of ORNL and Y-12, both of the management contracts are due to expire next year. DOE, however, has not yet announced how it plans to proceed with those contracts.

Both UT-Battelle, the manager at ORNL, and B&W, the operating contractor at Y-12, have indicated they plan to compete if their respective contracts are put up for bids.

Daniel Poneman, the deputy secretary of energy, was in town last week for tours and briefings at ORNL and Y-12, but he apparently did not shed any light on DOE's contracting strategy.

"It was not discussed," ORNL's Stair said.

www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/aug/19/
a-jobs-milestone-ornl-tops-y-12/

Anonymous said...

I guess I am confused. The ship has a corrupt captain. When criminals run the ship, why are you suprised when you are robbed or raped?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8/19/09 8:25 PM said...

"and don't forget all group leaders are now required to charge 20% to programs."

True, they are REQUIRED to charge 20% of their time to programs. BUT, nowhere does it say that they actually have to do any work on those programs.

Anonymous said...

Tim George is back? Oh, that's just perfect.

Anonymous said...

Bret Knapp is Mikey's little 'attack dog'. He does Mike dirty work so that Mike can appear to keep his hands clean.

Mike's letting Knapp off his leash again by giving him much wider authority at LANL. Staff who are in weapon science should be prepared for a vicious ass-biting.

Anonymous said...

If Director Nanos had had Mr. Knapp at his side when he was Director, this place would have have been whipped into shape in no time. I have nothing but respect for Mr. Knapp (and Director Nanos). So stop your collective moaning and get to work! You all are a bunch of spoiled rotten pathetic butt-head cowboys; just as the Admiral tried to get across when he was here! Rest assured our friends in Washington DC and the DOE aren't buying your collective bull anymore. Nobody does!

Anonymous said...

12:09: Is that you Kevin? We've missed you!

Anonymous said...

"Hey Dummy, check out how many of the nuclear weapons in our enduring stockpile were designed, tested, and certified by Los Alamos. That was our job predating the present management, in case you've been living on Mars for the past 50 years or so. If you are "challenged" in finding the answer, here it is: approximately 87% of the nuclear weapons presently deployed are from Los Alamos. Los Alamos did what was expected of it to protect the Nation, regardless of whimpers from witless ingrates like yourself."

I've been away from the blog for a while, but I'm certain that I am being described in this note. The author is entitled to his opinion and the blog master does not prohibit ad hominem, although it doesn't seem to add to the quality of discussion. My reply is that the newest LANL weapons are very old and hardly something that can be the basis of a proposal today. Furthermore, a count of weapons does not indicate their quality. The DOE does not shop for the best weapon because weapons are rarely selected because of some figure of merit but simply because the test worked. A LLNL kiloton does the same as a LANL kiloton. The DOD orders a new weapon only to fit in the newest delivery vehicle. Making a new bomb is a matter of making it to fit in terms of dimensions and weight distribution. In other words, it is the delivery vehicle that determines which bomb is in the majority. Under any circumstance it seems unlikely that the man who tried to describe me is a research scientist and even less likely one who knows anything about the weapons that LANL once designed. The Motorola report in 1993 said that there was a 7:1 ratio between support and scientist. (They said some worse things, too.) The ratio has not improved.
Personnel, even employees that don't directly aid the researchers, have to face the reality of a history of non-productivity. LANL must write proposals that succeed on based on merit. The cost of doing business is a problem and is the direct result of too many non-productive employees. Remember Pogo? "We have met the enemy and it is us."

Doug Roberts said...

Dear 6:52pm,

Your fervor has been duly noted. But, just for the record: to whom do you refer with your opening salutation of, "Hey, Dummy..."

Also, just for clarity: what is your position on "Ad Hominem" attacks?

Thanks In Advance.

Frank Young said...

6:32,
This blog was originally unmoderated simply because I didn't think I could be an impartial moderator. Eventually a wise friend convinced me that my moderation of comments would be better than none at all. He turned out to be correct on that point. The only problem with moderation is people never see the rejected comments, so there is no way they for them to approve of our judgment. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Anonymous said...

"8/20/09 6:52 PM
"

What is your point?

Anonymous said...

"...and the infamous 4-10's schedule will continue to be executed as 4-8's..."


Shhhhhhhh......

Anonymous said...

8/20/09 11:37 PM

"...and the infamous 4-10's schedule will continue to be executed as 4-8's..."

Actually, I know of several people who consider their commute to/from SF and ABQ as part of their "10 h days" and similarly "8 h days". Many people arrive at work at 9 am, take a 1-2 h lunch, and leave by 4/4:30 pm. Interestingly, management looks the other way and simply signs off on the T&E....