NNSA releases FY 2011 Performance Evaluation Report for LANS

-A A +A
By John Severance

In the face of impending litigation, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released the Performance Evaluation Reports for its eight nuclear weapons sites including Los Alamos Wednesday.

On March 28, Nuclear Watch New Mexico filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court in Albuquerque.

“ These reports are the government’s scorecard for awarding tens of millions of dollars to nuclear weapons contractors, and were previously available to the public until 2009,” Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s Jay Coghlan said. “However, since that time the NNSA has withheld them in a general move toward less contractor accountability. We sought to help reverse that wrong direction through our litigation.”

The NNSA awarded it $83.7 million in bonuses for FY 2011, according to the reports.
This month however, the lab conducted a voluntary separation program for its employees and 557 of them took the package. The lab said it was dealing with a $300 million shortfall and it was looking to reduce its workforce by 400-800 workers.

The report found that LANS was deficient in its management Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility, which was deferred five years by the Obama administration.

“We are of course pleased these reports have been released, but they never should been withheld to begin with,” Coghlan said. “We are still reviewing them, and have some initial concerns that they may not be full and complete. If that’s the case, we will continue to fight for the full information that American taxpayers are entitled to. We need far greater contractor accountability for the millions of taxpayers’ dollars that corporations receive in profits from nuclear weapons research and production.”

There were many highlights for LANS, LLC.

• Multi-Site: LANS demonstrated leadership and commitment to the complex in assisting the resolution of multiple challenges facing the Weapons Program. LANS completed all onsite deliverables required in support of the Multi-Site commitments and set an example for the NNSA complex in use of the Supply Chain Management System.

• Programs/Science: LANS has successfully continued the LANL history of high mission success and achievement. Customer feedback from NNSA and DOE headquarters continues to improve and reflect a high level of performance. Overall MRT performance was 95%, the number of peer reviewed publications was the highest since 2006, and MOX Pu Oxide production goals were exceeded. Improvements to moderate hazard R&D work planning and controls resulted in measurable improvements in safety performance. Environmental program performance exhibited sustained high performance levels with achievement of all Consent Order submissions and setting an all-time record for shipments to WIPP.

• Operations: Sustainment of prior-year initiatives, combined with LANS expertise, continues to change the culture and condition of operations and facilities at LANL. As noted, LANS response to PF-4 seismic vulnerabilities was effective in maintaining critical mission capabilities. LANS continues to pursue improvement goals and objectives with notable successes including emergency response performance, security program performance, improvements in readiness activities, record number of TRU waste shipments to WIPP, and worker safety continuous improvements. However, sustaining formality of operations across the entire suite of nuclear and high hazard facilities is an on-going challenge. Sustaining Project Management delivery performance, Criticality Safety, Safety Basis for Area G, an aging infrastructure, and configuration management are also areas of concern. LASO involvement and intervention continued to be relatively high throughout the year.

• Business/Institutional Management: CAS maturation and integration of business processes and systems with programs, mission, and operations remain underway. LANS is collaboratively working with NNSA on Governance reforms and initiatives. LANS initiated acquisition planning and forecasting initiatives. However, the effectiveness of CAS needs to be further matured and additional opportunities to enhance performance and cost effectiveness across the institution must be pursued.

• American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (EM-funded): TA-21 D&D activities were completed ahead of schedule and under budget; however, MDA-B remediation proved a major challenge that required a significant amount of federal intervention. Additionally, financial management of the project was ineffective requiring a baseline change proposal for additional funding near the end of the project.

• Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Building Replacement Project CMRR: Beneficial occupancy of the Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building (RLUOB) facility was achieved and LANS provided excellent technical and administrative support to NNSA for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. LANS also collaborated with NNSA and Y-12 in developing synergies and efficiencies between CMRR and UPF. Concerns remain with overall RLUOB settlement costs in addition to recent deficiencies in Glovebox procurement and installation.

 • Award Term: LANS successfully completed of 4 out of the 5 of the discrete Award Term objective measures, including the mandatory Award Term measure. Overall success in Programs, Operations, Business and Subjective evaluation areas satisfied Award Term eligibility gateways.