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[H.A.S.C. No. 10650]
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BUDGET REQUEST (DEFENSE PROGRAMS) FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001 AND RELATED MATTERS
MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MARCH 21, 2000
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MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina
BOB STUMP, Arizona
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JAMES TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
LANE EVANS, Illinois
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TOM ALLEN, Maine
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
Peter J. Berry, Professional Staff Member
Peggy Cosseboom, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Tuesday, March 21, 2000, Department of Energy Budget Request (Defense Programs) for Fiscal Year 2001 and Related Matters
Tuesday, March 21, 2000
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TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2000
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BUDGET REQUEST (DEFENSE PROGRAMS) FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001 AND RELATED MATTERS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Military Procurement Subcommittee
Sisisky, Hon. Norman, a Representative from Virginia, Ranking Member, Military Procurement Subcommittee
Gioconda, Brig. Gen. Thomas F., U.S. Air Force, Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy
Glauthier, Hon. T.J., Deputy Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
Gottemoeller, Rose E., Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of Energy
Huntoon, Dr. Carolyn L., Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy
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[The Prepared Statements submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Browne, John C., Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Clegg, Ms. Karen K., President, AlliedSignal Federal Manufacturing and Technologies
Gioconda, Brig. Gen. Thomas F.
Glauthier, Hon. T.J.
Gottemoeller, Ms. Rose E.
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Huntoon, Dr. Carolyn L.
McCrory, Robert L., Professor and Director, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester
Pellegrini, Dr. Benjamin J., General Manager, Pantex Plant, U.S. Department of Energy
Robinson, C. Paul, Director, Sandia National Laboratory
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Sisisky, Hon. Norman
Tarter, C. Bruce, Director, University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Van Hook, Robert I., Jr., President, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., Oak Ridge Y12 Plant
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers are pending.]
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BUDGET REQUEST (DEFENSE PROGRAMS) FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001 AND RELATED MATTERS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Procurement Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, March 21, 2000.
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:12 p.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. HUNTER. The subcommittee will come to order.
The subcommittee meets today to consider the Department of Energy's budget request for defense-related activities. While the general public may think of DOE only in terms of petroleum exploration technologies and alternative energy sources, this subcommittee has a much different perspective. We recognize the Department is responsible for a critical element of our national security: maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. This committee has oversight and authorization responsibility for roughly two-thirds of the Department of Energy's annual budget, the defense activities component, for which the request is $13 billion for fiscal year 2001.
I think I speak for members on both sides of the aisle when I say that we do not take our authorization and oversight responsibility lightly. That is why, when faced with the loss of secret nuclear weapons information through espionage, and reports of a Department in organizational disarray, we had to act. Last year, this committee played a significant role in the formation of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The birth of this semi-autonomous agency may have been difficult, but I feel that it is necessary to shelter the nuclear weapons complex from security problems and dangerous mismanagement. I hope the Department's leadership will begin to earnestly implement reorganization, rather than try to work around the NNSA.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In addition to the organizational challenges that have preoccupied us for some time, the nuclear weapons complex faces serious programmatic difficulties that have been highlighted in recent studies, the Department's 30-day review and the Foster Panel review mandated by Congress last year.
Both note that high quality, skilled personnel are needed but that the workforce in this key area is aging and finding, hiring, and retaining new talent is very difficult. We in Congress have tried to provide DOE and the NNSA with a number of tools to support a restructuring of the workforce to meet these demands, including authority to hire skilled scientists and engineers outside the restrictions of the civil service system. So far, however, we have scant evidence that DOE has done serious planning to use these tools.
Both studies also note that strong scientific and manufacturing capabilities are needed to support the nuclear stockpile. We will need the witnesses to tell us whether the $4.6 billion requested for defense programs this year will provide that support. The production plants and laboratories have aging infrastructure, inadequate for today's missions and safety standards. Yet, I note the infrastructure spending for nuclear weapons plants actually declined in the budget request we have before us.
Beyond these broad problems in defense programs, there are key programs to which we will need to pay particularly close attention. These include the National Ignition Facility which we are told is about 30 percent over cost and probably two years behind schedule. The effort to develop facilities and experimental programs to help us understand the physics of the initial explosions that trigger our nuclear weapons, which is not working well and for which funding is inadequate; and the advanced strategic computing initiative for which the overall budget request has blossomed to nearly $800 million, and even at that funding level, delivery of one advanced computer has been delayed, and one of the computer contractors may drop out of the program.
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It is no wonder that the 30-day review describes the weapons program as ''wound too tight.''
The other very large portion of the DOE budget over which we have jurisdiction is environmental management, for which the Department has requested $6.1 billion. One of the single largest projects, and the one that has shown the largest increase in the budget request, is the Hanford Tank Waste Remediation System. This project's goal is to extract, treat, and dispose of radioactive waste stored in large underground tanks near Richland, Washington. A new contracting approach is to be used on this project. Through a privatization approach, the contractors on this project will design and build the waste treatment facilities using private capital, their own funds, and funds borrowed through financial markets. The government will not pay the contractor for design and construction work until the treatment facilities are constructed and they begin to produce treated waste.
Although the privatization approach is intended to provide an incentive for a successful completion of the environmental cleanup project, we need the witnesses today to explain the support DOE will be required to provide in cases where the contractor runs into delays in construction or waste processing and defaults on the private sector loans. We will also need witnesses to discuss the estimated costs of the project, including the estimated cost of private sector loans, costs that DOE will eventually have to pay. Finally, we need to be sure that the cost of private sector financing is not excessive in light of the credit support DOE may be required to provide.
As Mr. Glauthier knowswe discussed this brieflythe devil in this deal is going to be the details. We are going to be spending a lot of time probably outside of this hearing working.
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Nonproliferation issues are also going to be discussed today. The fiscal year 2001 budget request contains $906 million for nonproliferation and fissile materials disposition. We welcome testimony from the Department on their experiences in securing weapons, usable nuclear material in Russia, and their attempts to negate temptations that could draw Russian nuclear weapons scientists into the weapon programs of unfriendly states.
With us today to discuss the DOE budget request and other topics are: The Honorable T.J. Glauthier, Deputy Secretary of Energy; Brig. Gen. Thomas Gioconda, Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration; the Honorable Carolyn Huntoon, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management; and Ms. Rose Gottemoeller, Acting Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, National Nuclear Security Administration.
Before we begin, I would like to call on my colleague, the very articulate gentleman from Virginia, Norman Sisisky, our distinguished ranking member, for any remarks he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. NORMAN SISISKY, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join the chairman in welcoming all of our witnesses to this hearing. I am especially pleased to participate in the hearing today. While I am not comfortable with the circumstances that have been the basis for most of the dialogue with the Department recently, I am glad to see that Congress, and especially the House Armed Services Committee, are taking the steps necessary to exercise their oversight responsibilities in these critical areas. It isn't just the $13 billion requested that makes this hearing important, it is the recognition of the critical missions that must be performed by the Department to sustain the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, to develop the next generation of naval nuclear propulsion, to clean up the nuclear weapons production complex, and to support efforts to reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.
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During the DOE Reorganization Panel hearing on March 16th, I remember receiving some budgeted program information regarding the defense programs of the Department. In that light, I look forward to the opportunity to understand even more about the Administration's FY 2001 defense budget request.
While I did not really want to take a lot of timeI don't usually have long opening statementsthere are some basic issues that I would like for the witnesses to address. First among them is the adequacy of the budget request to address shortfalls in the funds available for the security and counterintelligence initiatives. How does the FY 2001 budget request relate to the FY 2000 supplemental request for security?
I'm also aware of the difficulties the production facilities are having with the current year budget and the supplemental request that has been developed to make it possible at considerable risk for them to meet their production requirements. Is $55 million sufficient to reduce the risk of all the production facilities to an acceptable level? I would also like to know how the FY 2000 supplemental request and the FY 2001 report request relate.
The proposed funding for the National Ignition Facility (NIF), in light of the ongoing new baselines in the NIF, is of real concern, since so much reliance is placed on the NIF. I keep hearing that the amount of the budget is less than what is needed, but the Department has not yet decided how much more is needed. If the NIF is not going to be able to meet our expectations with regards to timing and capabilities because of a funding shortfall, I do not know how confident I should be in the amount of certificationto the added certification to the President provided by two secretaries. Would you share with the committee your assessment of the funding requirements for NIF?
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Additionally, the impact of aging of a civilian workforce is most pronounced in the Department of Energy. We all acknowledge the presence of the problem, but I'm not certain that the Department is striving to address this issue in a coordinated and integrated manner.
In previous authorization acts, the Congress provided the Department with some workforce shaping tools, but there is no feedback to let us know if they are sufficient. Cited specifically in the FY 2000 National Defense Authorization Act, a number of measures were enacted relating to the makings of nuclear weapons expertise in both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. Included in the Act is a requirement for a joint DODDOE plan setting forth the actions that the Secretaries consider necessary to retain more scientific, engineering and technical skills and capabilities within the departments, and the contractors to those departments, in order to maintain the United States nuclear deterrent force indefinitely. That plan has not been received, to my knowledge, and it was due to the Congress on March the 15th. And how effective do you think the scientific improvement and retention initiative will be in addressing this concern?
And then there's the problem of infrastructure. In some cases it traces its origins to the 1940s and 1950s, and it costs you to operate, fully maintain, and in some cases is no longer needed in light of the downsizing of defense program activities.
I'm also frequently reminded that the Department has had a tendency to underfund infrastructure. Gen. Gioconda, I remember you talking about the importance of doing something about the problem in your testimony last week. Does the budget submitted underfund infrastructure again in this submission, when does the Department anticipate developing an integrated maintenance and recapitalization plan?
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Believe it or not, there are many other issues that I could raise. I don't know if you could do your whole testimony on what I just asked you, but I do thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to the testimony from the witnesses and their response to the question.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Sisisky can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. And the distinguished ranking member of the full committee is here, Mr. Skelton. Ike, thank you. We also have the panel chair and ranking member of the Special Panel on Implementation and Reorganization, Mr. Thornberry and Ms. Tauscher are here.
Mac, do you have any statements you'd like to make before the witness testifies?
Mrs. TAUSCHER. I don't have a statement, Mr. Chairman. I am ready to discuss the related issues.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Well, I figured you would be. Mr. Glauthier, you have quite a challenge here. You've had a Department that has been in disarray and suffered a humiliating embarrassment with the loss of nuclear secrets in a 14-month time period in which the presumed thief of those secrets was kept next to the nuclear weapons vault, presumably taking whatever he wanted when members of the Department thought that the other guy had gotten rid of him. Until one day somebody slapped themselves on the forehead and said, ''My gosh, is he still sitting there with that senior clearance?'' And lo and behold, he was, over a year later.
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You've seen Congress work its will with respect to this reorganization, and you have a boss who's been, in my estimation, somewhat reluctant to implement the laws. And even before this panel explaining why the two-headed system is a grand and glorious thing. And we have a difference of opinion there. But you definitely have a wide array of issues that are of grave concern to us, both from a security standpoint and a fiscal standpoint.
The last thing I might throw in the mix here iswe've gone over I think in our opening statements most of the hot onesbut I think one tragedy of this era is we are in what I think is an emergency mode to try to develop defenses against missiles now that we all understand we live in an age of missiles. If you want to be able to protect your country, you're going to need to be able to stop them at some point. As history looks back on this era when we've scrambled to try to build defenses against incoming ballistic missiles, the DOE was basically AWOL in this great challenge through in some cases legislative acts, in other cases just policies hidden by the Department. Arguably, the best physicists in this nation, the smartest people, when this era is over, will have never participated in trying to build defenses against incoming missiles.
And then I think it's kind of a tragedy in light of the fact that your complex arose from this enormous challenge in the 1940s, and that was to develop and maintain nuclear weapons. And now stopping the nuclear weapons while they're on their way in is arguably the second big challenge of the last hundred years. And you folks will not have participated. It's a real waste of talent, and maybe one that will have tragic consequences.
Anyway, with that happy introduction, Mr. Glauthier, thank you for being with us today, and the floor is yours.
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STATEMENT OF HON. T.J. GLAUTHIER, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here. Mr. Sisisky and other members, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the budget with you. I will summarize my remarks.
It's also timely to be here. This weekend I celebrated the one-year anniversary of having been confirmed into this job, so I'm getting my chance now to start the second year, and this is a good opportunity to do it in detail.
You have my detailed statement in front of you. Let me just hit some of the highlights so that we can move on to the questions.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection, your statement will be included in the record.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Thank you. One of the Department's most important responsibilities to the American people, the President and to you, the Congress, is to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile. A dependable nuclear deterrent remains at the root of the United States national security policy. Our Stockpile Stewardship Program is working today to confirm the continued safety and reliability of the nuclear deterrent without underground testing.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Last October the Secretary tasked Under Secretary Moniz to conduct a comprehensive internal review of the Stockpile Stewardship Program. This has been referred to as the 30-day review which you mentioned in your comments. The principal finding of that review is that the Stockpile Stewardship Program is working, both in terms of specific science, surveillance, and production accomplishments, and in terms of developing a program management structure that integrates the span of program activities.
However, the program does face significant personnel and infrastructure challenges, including attracting and retaining the best and brightest employees at both the laboratories and production plants, maintaining and recapitalizing an infrastructure that in many instances is over 50 years old. These challenges are being addressed by Secretary Richardson and the Department. We've made considerable progress on these issues in the last three months and continue to work very closely with the Department of Defense through the Nuclear Weapons Council to ensure that the U.S. nuclear deterrent remains viable into the future.
In addition, our supplemental budget request for FY 2000 of $55 million will allow us to address infrastructure issues. It will specifically apply to the workforce, production readiness, required infrastructure, and safety challenges at the three production plants.
With Congress' continued support, our Defense Program has been able to break new ground in scientific, technical, and computational fields. I'd like to cite just three or four examples of accomplishments in this last year.
1. We are meeting the new production requirements for the W76, W80, and W88 warheads. We've completed the first ever three-dimensional simulation of a nuclear weapons blast, a calculation that would have taken an average desktop machine 30 years to complete but took our Blue Pacific supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab just 20 days.
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We are delivering refurbished W87 Peacekeeper warheads to the Air Force. And we've conducted a successful series of subcritical experiments at the Nevada test site.
In the nonproliferation area, we have another crucial component of our national security budget. This is focused on ensuring that Americans have a future that is safe and secure. To do so, the Administration is proposing a new $100 million long-term nonproliferation program for Russia. It's an important new opportunity, and Deputy Administrator Rose Gottemoeller will be here to explain that in more detail on the next panel.
Today our Russian Materials Protection, Control and Accounting work has expanded into all facets of the Russian nuclear complex, including naval and military sites, civilian plants and transportation. Department of Energy projects are now active in dozens of sites throughout the former Soviet Union.
We also see sound prospects for our initiatives for proliferation prevention and our Nuclear Cities Initiative, designed to prevent brain drain from Russia and other former Soviet states by creating civilian employment for former weapon scientists and workers. We have new opportunities to accelerate the downsizing of the Russian nuclear infrastructure. This chance must not be wasted.
Before I discuss the details of our FY 2001 budget request, I'd also like to address a major issue of concern both to the Administration and the Congress, that of management of the Department. In the past year, this has been a top priority for Secretary Richardson and for me. We've given it our closest attention and have taken several steps.
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First, we've changed the way that headquarters and the field interrelate. We've instituted a Field Management Council to bring coherence to decisionmaking and to weigh competing demands for requirements on the field. We've hired new managers at almost all of our sites throughout the complex.
Second, we've increased accountability of our top managers. We've clarified line versus staff roles and increased the accountability through a clear chain of command.
Third, working with the Congress, we've regained control of assigning Management and Operations (M&O) contract employees to the Washington area. We've restructured assignment procedures for these employees in Washington, required specifically defined tasks from them, and order closure of most M&O Washington offices reimbursed by DOE.
Fourth, working with the Congress, we're applying sound business principles to management of our construction and environmental remediation projects. We've established and staffed the Office of Engineering and Construction Management within the Office of our Chief Financial Officer to make fundamental changes in our project management procedures, principles, and practices.
Fifth, we initiated several immediate actions correcting security and counterintelligence problems within the Department which have existed for years but had not received appropriate levels of attention. We've made substantial progress on an extensive program of security and counterintelligence improvements, including creating the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, which consolidated the security functions throughout the Department; instituting a bottom-up internal security review; and creating the Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance, which independently oversees security, cyber security, and emergency management within the Department and reports directly to the Secretary.
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Sixth, last year we launched the Workforce 21 Initiative to build a talented and diverse workforce and to address the skills gap which has been recognized by the General Accounting Office, the Office of the Inspector General, and by this committee.
The Department has also taken an opportunity to act to address the longstanding under representation of women and minorities in senior management and technical positions.
Seventh, under the direction of Under Secretary Ernie Moniz, we've also established a clearly defined and well articulated departmental R&D portfolio.
Last, the defense mission is being restructured, as you've indicated, into the National Nuclear Security Administration. As the Secretary and I have testified before the full Committee, we instituted the NNSA on March 1st. We've transferred some 2,000 federal employees and over 37,000 contractor employees into this new organization. The President has announced he intends to nominate Gen. John Gordon to head this organization. The President has nominated Madelyn Creedon to be the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs. We are committed to making the NNSA a viable, effective organization. The fiscal year 2001 budget for the NNSA will total $6.2 billion, an increase of over $400 million over this year's level for those programs.
We've made progress in many areas, but we're far from finished. Let me hit a few highlights in the budget and then turn to questions.
For national security programs, our budget proposes $6.6 billion, an increase of $550 million, or nine percent, over the fiscal 2000 comparable enacted level.
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Development of the NNSA portion of that budget, the $6.2 billion I referred to a moment ago, is a continuing process. We expect that in the next budget cycle we will have a fully developed NNSA budget, including compliance with multiyear budget and time-limited funding requirements.
For defense programs, we will invest $4.6 billion, an increase of $273 million over the FY 2000 enacted level to strengthen our Stockpile Stewardship Program. This request will address the many issues identified in the Secretary's Stockpile Stewardship 30-day review conducted by Under Secretary Moniz.
The FY 2001 request for defense programs supports the current infrastructure and anticipates no additional layoffs, supports ongoing initiatives, protects the highest priority work associated with pit aging issues and surety improvements, and provides significant growth in stockpile activities.
As I mentioned in my introduction, we've also identified an additional $55 million needed in supplemental FY 2000 funding to cover expenses at the weapons production facilities, to preserve critical skills in the workforce, and meet DOD weapons refurbishment schedules.
With regard to the National Ignition Facility (NIF), we request $80 million for operations and maintenance and construction in 2001. The NIF project has been on my watch list since September 1999 when it became known that the project was significantly behind schedule and over budget. Currently the Department is conducting a comprehensive review of the NIF project which will result in a new project baseline and evaluation of schedule and scope alternatives for the completion of NIF. Significant changes in the management structure of the NIF project have already been made to improve accountability.
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As you noted, Gen. Gioconda is available to discuss the defense specifics on the next panel.
In nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction clearly pose one of the most serious challenges to U.S. and global security today. In 2001 we'll expand our programs in partnership with Russia to prevent fissile materials and weapons expertise from falling into the hands of countries of proliferation concern or terrorists. The budget proposes $100 million for a new Presidential initiative that for the first time addresses challenges posed by civil plutonium stockpiles in Russia.
The proposed long-term nonproliferation program for Russia responds to recognized but previously unaddressed proliferation concerns and builds on successful ongoing projects in cooperation with Russia, allows DOE to take advantage of new opportunities presented by Russia to prevent the further accumulation of separated civil plutonium.
Our budget also advances the disposal of Russian military plutonium and supports the design of facilities needed to dispose of excess plutonium in the United States. DOE is proceeding with hybrid plutonium disposition strategy that includes immobilizing surplus plutonium in ceramic material surrounded by high-level radioactive waste, and another option to burn the material as mixed fuel in domestic commercial reactors. The $223 million request continues U.S. surplus materials disposition at the 200 level and allows for additional facility design activities to support this disposition mission.
In Naval Reactors, the Department has transferred the Naval Reactors program to the NNSA and is requesting $677 million for FY 2001the same level requested in fiscal year 2000. The program's cost-saving initiatives led to the shutting down of six of eight land-based test/research and development prototype plans. If provided, this request would result in a $2 million increase over the actual fiscal year 2000 appropriation of this program to support its priorities for current fleet and new submarine and carrier power plants.
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The budget also supports a bold measure Secretary Richardson undertook last year to improve security at all Energy Department sites with national security missions. Our national laboratories are now governed by dramatically different security procedures, and over the past two years, we've doubled the budget of the Office of Counterintelligence. We will continue to take firm steps to tighten security at our labs. These offices remain a part of Other Defense Activities account and include $38 million for intelligence, $45 million for counterintelligence, $25 million for worker and community transition, $320 million for security and emergency operations, and $15 million for independent oversight and assurance.
To complete the Department's first consolidated security budget, we will also present to Congress a budget amendment to the fiscal year 2001 request consolidating all of the Department's security activities. This will be the first time that the Department's security funding requirements will be budgeted directly. Responsibility for working with individual programs to define sites' needs and subsequent formulation of this budget will reside with the Director of the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, Gen. Eugene Habiger. This amendment will be submitted to Congress soon.
For the Defense Environmental Management program, a total of $6.149 billion is requested, an increase of $433 million over fiscal year 2000. These amounts ensure that each cleanup site will meet safety and legal requirements, support accelerated cleanup and site closure, and maintain other critical environmental priorities.
Our fiscal year 2001 request continues an aggressive approach to address immediate and long-term environmental and health risks of the weapons complex. In March 1999 we made great progress when we opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico as a safe, permanent disposal location for transuranic nuclear wastes.
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Also last year the Secretary reached agreement with the governors of Colorado, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington on a statement of principles laying the foundation for a cooperative working relationship between the Department of Energy and the states with DOE cleanup sites.
This request supports closure of Rocky Flats by December 2006, the closure date targeted in the new cost-plus-incentive-fee contract that took effect February 1, 2000. The Rocky Flats site is the largest site challenge to accelerate site cleanup and to achieve closure in 2006. And to date, significant progress has been made toward making this goal a reality.
The fiscal year 2001 request also furthers our efforts to protect the Columbia River by beginning the removal of spent nuclear fuel from the K-Basins at Hanford in November of this year. This project will carry out a first-of-its-kind technical solution to move over 2000 metric tons of corroding spent nuclear fuel from at-risk wet storage conditions in the K-East and K-West basins adjacent to the Columbia River into safe, dry storage in a new facility away from the river.
The increased request for the Privatization program will also provide more progress in cleaning up and reducing risks from an environmental legacy of the nation's nuclear weapons program. The fiscal year 2001 privatization request includes $450 million in budget authority to develop treatment facilities that will vitrify at least 10 percent of the 54 million gallons of high-level waste now stored in underground tanks at the Hanford site.
The Department is using a privatization approach that shifts many of the technical and performance risks to the contractor. The request, a $300 million increase over last year's level, anticipates an authorization to the contractor to proceed on the construction phase of the project this summer. The amount requested will keep the project on schedule to begin hot operations in 2007. Assistant Secretary Huntoon will be able to amplify on these projects in her statement on the next panel.
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In the environmental safety and health area, a total of $109 million is requested for defense environmental safety and health programs, and $17 million is requested to initiate an Energy Employee Compensation Initiative. Another $40 million is requested in nondefense programs to complete this Environmental Safety and Health (ES&H) activity.
Pending now before Congress is legislation to establish the occupational illness compensation program for the Department of Energy's workers at its nuclear facilities. The bill has three parts, each addressing a specific group of workers eligible for compensation benefits.
First, the Energy Employee's Beryllium Compensation Act, which addresses current and former DOE federal and contractor workers with beryllium diseases. Eligible workers would receive reimbursement for prospective medical costs associated with the illness and a portion of lost wages, or have the option of receiving a single, lump sum benefit of $100,000.
It also includes the Paducah Employees' Exposure Compensation Act, addressing Paducah, Kentucky employees exposed to radioactive materials; and includes a specific group of Oak Ridge, Tennessee employees determined by an independent panel of occupational physicians to have illnesses due to workplace exposure.
We urge your support and action on this ongoing program and on the specific initiative.
In conclusion, our fiscal year 2001 budget is a strong statement reflecting this administration's commitments to the American people. It's a request that enables us to effectively deliver our national security missions.
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I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, and the subcommittee to meet our responsibilities to the American people. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Glauthier can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Glauthier. And you've covered a wide array of programming, but that's the DOE officer here.
And I know the gentlelady from California wants to talk about it again, so I'll leave that to her to discuss with you.
Let me ask you about the Hanford, where you're getting close to the moment of truth here at Hanford with the privatization. Why don't you describe it for us in layman's terms, the present framework that British Nuclear Fuels, Ltd. (BNFL) is working under with us, in terms of how you think they view their opportunities and their risks.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. They have had a contract with us for the last two years to do initial design work and to develop a proposal which is to be submitted to us next month, April 24. At that point they're to give us a detailed proposal for how they would construct and operate a facility for the next 18 years, to actually receive the waste material from these tanks and vitrify it and dispose of it for us.
The key element of this program is to make this a performance contract so that they are paid only for the services that they provide. They will have to raise the financing to build the plant, and operate the plant, and the government will pay for the services only as waste is actually treated by them.
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Mr. HUNTER. In most cases where you have a product payment, where one side to the contract extends capital resources and bills the producer of income, if you will, whether it's apartment houses or a product-producing factory, the investors have an idea of what they're going to get from what they make. What is, from BNFL's perspective, what parameters do they have now on the cost per unit or the price per unit that they're going to be allowed to charge?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, of course, we expect to get the detailed proposal from them next month, and we are looking to see that the proposal is supported by very detailed cost material or back-up. We need to be sure that this is a fair contract for the government. If we're going to be in a position to make a long-term commitment, we need to be able to review it and to submit that to the Congress in June, I believe, for you to also review this with us.
Mr. HUNTER. And they have experience in doing this in Great Britain?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. They do. And they're operating a facility, a pilot facility of this same type in Maryland, which is operating quite well.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Do you have teams that are analyzing the operation in Britain and/or Maryland, trying to get a fix on what you think the real cost is per unit of treated waste?
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GLAUTHIER. Yes, we do. We have technical people who are reviewing not only those operations or have reviewed them, but also reviewing in detail the proposed scale-up to this full size facility that would be build in Washington State.
Mr. HUNTER. And do you have any estimates on cost?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. I personally don't have the figures on the cost per unit of production. Is that what you're looking for?
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah. I mean, if you've determined they've had this operation going in Great Britain long enough, I think one of the claims was that they've treated almost as much waste in Great Britain today as they would at Hanford. Go ahead.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. The total cost estimates are the ones that we have gone through in great detail, and we're looking at a life cycle cost over the full 18 years of this program that could cost above $6 billion. We've looked at the details of that. I've personally reviewed the details in terms of the spending year by year as they build the facility and as they receive waste from us and as they carry out the different responsibilities they'll have under the contract. I just don't have it parameterized for you in the way you've asked. But the financing
Mr. HUNTER. Well, let me ask you this. In order for you to have the life cycle cost, you have to have figured out how much waste is there to be treated, how much product is going to be produced, and therefore, what the cost is per unit of product produced. And, obviously, in Great Britain I think one of the claims that I think BNFL made was they've produced as much treated waste in their Great Britain operation as we're going to produce at Hanford. They have a real history there. And, obviously, they've got costs associated with that history they can look at with you and say, understanding there may be some variables, such as different environmental requirements and the other factors that make this system different from the one in Great Britain, that should be a pretty good basis for trying to figure out approximately how much you think this is going to cost. What's the cost in Great Britain, do you know?
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Mr. GLAUTHIER. I don't have the figure for that. I'd be happy to get that for you.
Mr. HUNTER. Could you? Get that for us. In fact, I think what we'd like to have is kind of a summary for the subcommittee of the operation in Great Britain and the pilot project in the United States and what it costs in terms of capital investment and how that pencils out into a per unit cost of the product itself. What the British people are paying to get this done, and what the pilot project over here has cost you.
I think we, on the committee, might want to add that as we try to figure out what we think is a reasonable cost here. Can you go ahead and consult if you need a little information. I want to know if you have some information here.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, I don't think we have the figures here today, but we'd be happy to do that. In addition, once we receive the proposal in over a month, we can give you the figures that correspond to what it is they're proposing to do here so that you can see really all three of those sets together.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Do you have anybody with you who knows how much waste they've actually treated in Great Britain, BNFL?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. We have a team going over there. We have information on it, but we don't actually have the specific figure that you've asked for here today.
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Mr. HUNTER. The bottom line is real important. Now how much of the $6 billion, what percent of the waste will be treated with that? Is thatthat's total?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, by volume we'll have treated 10 percent of the waste there. By radioactivity, it will be about 25 percent of the waste in those takes.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So in terms of doing the total project, what do you anticipate in terms of cost?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, it's not clear whether we'll use the same technique to treat all the waste. Part of the ongoing analysis is to decide what should the long-term plan be. This is going to be targeted at the most radioactive materials.
Mr. HUNTER. So the $6 billion is only in the interim planning area?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, it's the first step for the most serious material.
Mr. HUNTER. I understand. Okay. So you can only do approximately ten percent of the waste?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. That's correct. And the strongest or most radioactive ten percent. And it's a sizable project. We want to use this approach to financing to leverage private sector financing and the private sector's expertise in a project that is innovative. So we need to do this carefully, make sure it succeeds. If it works well, then it may well be a model that we want to use on other occasions there. But this is the start. This is the most serious first step that we can take.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. One variable here. One wild card here we've talked about a little bit is that there's always a possibility for lawsuits by private parties, by state agencies that say you have to do different things to increase the conditions or make the conditions of treatment more expensive.
Obviously, you've got a public entity contracting with a private entity. Investors in the private entity don't like risks. They like sure things. They like known quantities. What is BNFL doing in terms of working with you to make sure you've got a lay down of what I would call a fairly solid base of requirements that you both agree will have a high chance of not being varied as you walk down this path to get into this program? Could you cite us the stable contracting requirements?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Your question goes to one of the key features. This needs to be a very solid project that is done on a business basis that can be financed, it can be built, operated, and managed effectively over the course of this, with a high degree of predictability. So the company and the Department have been working with the state and with other regulators to try to assure that the project is laid out properly, that the milestones are achievable.
We have stressed to the company repeatedly that we need their proposal to be done in a way that is complete, businesslike and has all of the elements to it.
Mr. HUNTER. Good. And so you have the state working hand-in-hand with you here, the state regulators. And I mean, that's going to be a major part of this, to make sure that you bring them along and have some degree of reliability with respect to the future here, and not having lawsuits springing up or, you know, attempts at restraining orders and all of the terrible things that happen when you start doing environmental projects that people don't agree with.
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Mr. GLAUTHIER. I think it's fair to say we have a very close working relationship with the state. That doesn't mean necessarily we can always bring them along, but that we and they are continually trying to negotiate and be sure that we have an agreement on exactly where we're going with this project.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Could I make a recommendation, Mr. Glauthier, and that's that you include some of the state leadership or some of the people with technical capability in the state in with your team that goes to take a look at the British operation.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. That's a
Mr. HUNTER. I think that they need toif this is going to be in many ways duplicated here, I think it's not a bad idea to have their participation as your view this on down the line with them.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. I think it's a very good suggestion. We will do that. And they are partners in this. They have as big a stake in it as we do to be sure it's done right.
Mr. HUNTER. And to date, their reaction with your folks has been a positive one with respect to the BNFL proposal?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Yes, it has.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Understanding the proposal is not done yet. But in walking through this, they're
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Their focus has been to be sure that we're going to meet our schedule. They continue to want to look at those milestones and be sure this is going to succeed.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I've got a number of other questions but let's go to my colleagues and let them ask some questions here. We'll have some for you here at the end.
Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Some of the questions that I'm going to ask will come later in the meeting. I'm going to have to leave and go to another meeting. And I thank you. You answered a good part of the questions on the issues that I raised, except you didn't elaborate on one, and that's the aging in the core scientific group and the plan that you were supposed to submit to Congress that you haven't done yet.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Yes, Congressman. It is a major concern for us as well. And we have proposed in the budget an initiative to try to deal with this issue about the scientific expertise in our workforce. We have an ongoing effort right now to try to put that into more concrete terms, and we are trying to find a way to be sure that we will be able to bring those people into our federal workforce as well as into the contractor ranks that we have.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SISISKY. Are you going to submit anything to Congress in that direction?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. We certainly will.
Mr. SISISKY. That makes me feel better. I may not read it, but it makes me feel better that somebody's paying attention to it. And that's one reason for the report.
Let me ask you another question. Rocky Flats. How long since we've had production in Rocky Flats?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. It was shut down in 1989.
Mr. SISISKY. I was there 15 years ago, and they weren't producing anything. And they had about 8,000 people teaming up. Now tell me what's going on? You said you're going to have it clean by 2006. I've heard that all through the years.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, this is actually a real success story, because if you go back today, you'll see a site that is substantially different than the one you visited. Many of the buildings have been dismantled. One of the major buildings, 779, was dismantled in the late fall. And these are buildings that housed much of the process for actually producing some of the materials for the Cold War. We've taken these massive concrete buildings down to the ground. We're taking them away, and the process is moving through the site.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 2006, we are going to have the buildings, the facilities, the piping and everything goneoff the site. So in only six years, that's a sizable program and
Mr. SISISKY. How many people do we have working there? Approximately.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Probably about 6,000. It's a large workforce, and we have about two more years when we'll still have a high degree of security in a part of the site. At that point we will have taken care of the high security risks, and that'll help us operate more easily at the site too.
Mr. SISISKY. If I remember correctly, and at my age I don't remember too well, there problems with the aquifer of this stuff seeping into the water system. Has that been cleared up, or do you know?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. There was indeed a problem of that type. We've been doing a lot of monitoring of it, and it's contained so we're monitoring it to be sure it is not traveling any further. But beyond that at this point, it's still a problem underground and we need to deal with that also as we finish the project.
Mr. SISISKY. So you have no buildingslet me ask this. Is the securityso you do have some buildings there?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Oh, we do still now. By 2006 we'll be done, but we still have
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Mr. SISISKY. You have 6,000 people and just a couple buildings?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Oh, no. I think we have probably a couple hundred buildings still left at the site. It's a big site.
Mr. SISISKY. Okay. Thank you. And I will submit some questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. And I want to assure him, I've been to Rocky Flats and put on the suit and went in when they were taking down some of this radioactive stuff, and I remained radioactive even after I'd gone through three or four processes of trying to get it off of me.
Mr. SISISKY. They make you shower. And I hope they plan that for most of the Congress. I was walking through and he was this side of the shower taking his shower.
Mr. HUNTER. But Rocky Flats, from basically the little analysis we did, has been a success story in terms of cleanup. And is that still your feeling, that the Rocky Flats is walking along at the same pace it was in the last several years?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Yes. Actually, an accelerated pace. And as I mentioned, we've recently
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. We've actually given more money, because they did produce some results. I mean, we celebrated some.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. And we've renegotiated the contract so that now it is a closure contract with incentives to get completed by December 2006. And we've structured it in a way we think we're giving the contractor the flexibility to really carry that work out and get it done successfully.
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah. I thought the contractor was pretty creative, and they're pretty aggressive and they've beenbut they have a relationshipwhat's the relationship between Rocky Flats and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)? The waste disposal site in New Mexico. Because that was an issue here last year.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. That's right. And some of the waste material from Rocky Flats goes to WIPP. That was an issue to get the certifications that we needed. That material, I believe, is being transported now. Under the newest certification, we've just resumed the shipping to WIPP. So that seems to be one aspect of the plan that is on schedule and moving along.
Mr. SISISKY. Mr. Chairman, just one other thing. There is a reward for them to finish by 2006, an incentive. Is there a penalty if they do not?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Yes, there is. It's symmetric.
Mr. SISISKY. That's all I wanted to know. That's fine.
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Mr. GLAUTHIER. The public will save a lot of money if we can get this closed early. We're willing to share some of those savings with them. But they lose if they take longer.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, you mentioned that you have been on the job for just about exactly a year, and that means you have seen every aspect of the budget process, I guess. I want to ask about that budget for the weapons activities in the Department.
For several years in this committee we have had witnesses come and sit where you're sitting and were asked questions about whether the resources that they were asking for were enough to do the job that the country asked them to do. And for several years we got answers that were always, ''we're on the edge.'' You know, we're just barely there, but we can hang on until we get this amount of money.
But what they would tell us when they were not out in such a public forum was, we don't have nearly enough money to do what we are being asked to do. I'm hearing some of those same kinds of things from the nuclear weapons complex. For a number of years we had witnesses come before this committee and use the magic number $4.5 billion was what we had to have to do the job.
And it's gotten a little confusing when you tried to figure out exactly what that was for; if it was just stockpile stewardship, if it was ongoing weapons activities, or what it was. But that was the magic number, and the Administration and Congress have had a difficult time coming to that.
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But as your request now goes over $4.5 billion for weapons activities, I guess what I really want to know is is that enough money? And I don't want to know, you know, if you support the Administration request. I'm really trying to get a feel for what resources it takes to do the requirements, understanding that somewhere along the way, OMB or Congress or somebody may not fully fund the resources that we need to meet the requirements.
But as our stockpile ages, as we are going to have more and more of what is now categorized as directed stockpile work just to keep the weapons we have functioning, do you have a feel based on the last year how much money it takes to do that job?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, that's a very good question, Congressman. And it's difficult to know exactly how much you have to have. On a comparable basis, the $4.5 billion you referred to, this year's request is approximately $4.7 billion on that basis. Because of some transfers of programs, it shows up as $4.6 billion in the defense programs itself. But that is a sizable increase. It's not everything that one would like to have if you had no constraints.
We mentioned the concerns at our production facilities, the aging infrastructure that we have in the defense programs, presents real challenges. So we are continually having to assess priorities and balance off the resources we have. But we do feel that the funds we have asked for with the supplemental request that we've also put forward this year will be adequate to maintain the facilities and maintain the program effectively.
Mr. THORNBERRY. If you were to set a level of funding that would apply for the next five yearsafter we get past this yearwhat would that number be?
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Mr. GLAUTHIER. The five-year funding that we did submit in the budget is level funding at the request level that we've just submitted.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Are you comfortable with that?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, it's very tight.
Mr. THORNBERRY. See, you're sounding like those people we've heard before.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, that's right. We feel that we can carry the program out that way. We're working closely with the Defense Department and as a result of the 30-day review we talked about earlier where one of the conclusions, as the chairman cited, was that the program was wound too tight, trying to see whether or not there are some ways to relax that program a little bit; give us a little more flexibility. We think it's there. We think that the working relationship is very constructive right now and ask for your support at this level of funding.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me ask you about another area where I've heard concerns. The Department has decided that this year is the year that they will put up for bids a number of operating contracts. And the concern that I've heard expressed is with the transitions to NNSA and all the challenges facing the Department that they have bit off a big chunk to do these contracts all at the same time. Is that something that you have been involved with yet? How those negotiations will be handled, how that bidding will be handled, how those bids will be evaluated? Can you explain why all of them are being done this year with so much else going on?
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Mr. GLAUTHIER. You're right. We are putting out a large number of contracts for bid, and our policy is to try to recompete these contracts when they come up for renewal. The general pattern we expect is that we'll be awarding contracts with a five-year term and a five-year option. So we're not going to be recompeting this many contracts every year.
But this happens to be a point where the production complex, the three facilities, really all can and should be recontracted if you will. And so faced with a question about whether to extend or renegotiate the current contracts or to compete, we felt it was appropriate to go ahead and compete. The contracting or procurement office of the Department has said that they can handle the workload. It is a challenge. But the steps we've taken in the last year to try to reform our contracts and to improve the effectiveness of the competition process has made it easier and somewhat faster to do these. We're expecting good proposals to come in. And we think in the budget environment we have now with the tight resources we were talking about, it's very important that we make sure we have the best bids possible to carry out the programs.
Mr. THORNBERRY. To what extent will that process be public, both in terms of the bids that come in and the decisions that are made?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, it'll certainly have a lot of public scrutiny. A lot of it will be after the fact, because, of course, with propriety information at the time the bids are being evaluated. The process is a very carefully regulated process. And the records of decision will be ones that I'm sure will be available to the Congress, to your committee. And a large amount of the information will be available to the public. I expect everything except whatever will be business confidential information.
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Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That's all I have.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman and thank him for his great work on the panel and the other member of the panel in the leadership position, Ms. Tauscher.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, you know that in 1993 the President called for a moratorium on nuclear testing and that in 1995 the Stockpile Stewardship Program was promulgated. In light of all that, how would you characterize the importance of the National Ignition Facility to the Stockpile Stewardship Program?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Well, our current approach to stockpile stewardship without nuclear testing, NIF project is central to our ability to maintain the stockpile.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Well, we've known since the fallSeptember, October, November, that NIF was going to have a significant cost overrun. And I think the Secretary moved very appropriately to his advisory board to get some intel on where we were and what was the problem. And clearly, mismanagement issues have been uncovered. But the advisory board did say that the task force has not uncovered any technical or managerial obstacles that would prevent the condition of the NIF system. And I think we all agree that it is central to our Stockpile Stewardship Program, the ability to certify the viability of our stockpile.
Seeing that, the President's budget only includes an $8 million number for the NIF, which essentially is beginning to tail off, and since we know that the NIF is going to have a significant cost overrun, wouldn't it be better for us to increase that number to make sure that we are able to maintain the momentum that we have in the NIF project? And considering the fact that the supplemental that we've been talking about, which is very important for us, obviously, to help our production facilities, this $55 million proposed supplemental that we're looking for. But since Senator Lott has indicated today that he doesn't have a tremendous amount of hope for it, I guess I'm concerned that, first, we don't have a bigger number in the budget for the NIF to keep the momentum going. Second, that the baseline that we're operating under includes the optimistic approach that we're going to get a $55 million supplemental passed, which now appears that it won't happen, and that gives me some concern about the baseline of the FY01 budget. Because what will happen if we don't get the $55 million is that we will have a cascade over naturally of the shortfalls and we will essentially be standing on a very turbulent area. What do you suggest we do? What do we do about the NIF? What do we do about the supplemental?
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Mr. GLAUTHIER. The NIF project is getting a lot of attention and deserves that. It is very important, as I said, in our long-term strategy for stockpile stewardship. We need to be sure that we have that capability within the next decade. Now exactly which year we need it is a question that's open.
We've been reviewing the details on the project and of course have made many changes, many improvements in management, which I'd be happy to discuss. But on the financing side you're asking about, the reason for the budget request at the level it is, of course, is that the initial project was expected to tail down at this level, so it's on that same track.
I was just briefed last week by Gen. Gioconda, his staff, and by the laboratory director on what the options might be for different potential levels of increased funding and what the implications of each of those options would be. We have not yet had a chance to discuss that with the Secretary. We'll do that when he returns from his international trips. We're concerned not only about making a judgment about what the right level of funding is to maintain this project on the right track, but where they money will come from. And one of the concerns we have is we are so tight on many other frontsthe problems of the infrastructure, the production facilities, and things of that sortthat taking a significant amount of money, taking another $100 million or $150 million as we've discussed, is going to have implications for other parts of the program.
The Secretary has indicated in his comments last fall that as a result of this problem arising there at the Livermore site, he would expect whatever additional funds are required to come from the Livermore site and from the defense programs area. That would have sizable implications if that happened. And we just need more time for review.
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As you know, we've committed to submit a new baseline to the Congress for this project later this spring, and we expect to try to get you information on what option we would support and what recommendation we'd have for sources of funding I would hope well before the June 1st date that we promised earlier.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Well, Mr. Secretary, I understand all that and I'm sympathetic to it, but I think that at some level this looks a lot like kicking a can down the street. And it's not easy to face that news, but the truth is that don't we know that the NIF is going to cost maybe $300 million or $400 million more? And how and where we get the money is a big issue. But isn't it important for us to maintain the momentum that we have? Aren't we talking about layoffs if we don't increase the budget in the short term?
And I guess at some level I don't know what it means that in this decade. How can something be central to our Stockpile Stewardship Program and have this flimsy kind of date out there on when we expect to have it ready? I don't know why I should feel secure about the certification of the stockpile if this is so central to it, and you can't tell me when you're going to start to use it.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. On the timing, the current certification, of course, has been able to be done with the techniques, the tools and computers that we have now. We're going to be able to maintain that for some number of years.
Our sense is that by the time we get to the point ten years out, we will really want to have the NIF working and operable as part of that certification. Exactly where that becomes critical is the question I was referring to. But we definitely need it on track. You're right that the technical issues are not show stoppers. The successes lately have been encouraging in terms of production and things of that sort. But the big issue right now is really the financing. Where do we get the money, how do we do this, and how much money is needed to keep this on a track that at least will keep this moving well toward completion?
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Mrs. TAUSCHER. If we don't keep the momentum going at the funding levels we've got now, isn't it going to cost more money? I mean, isn't it pretty much assured that it will take longer and cost more money if we disrupt the momentum we have and stretch this thing out? And then where are we going to get the money that we need because we didn't do the right thing now?
Mr. GLAUTHIER. There are several options. Some of them have much more serious applications in that type. If we really provide no additional funding at all, there is a substantial increased cost and a break in the pattern. There are then other options that would not be as serious. And we're looking at all those. We want to come to you soon. We just don't have the answer yet.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Okay. Well, my only suggestion is that I'm very interested obviously in having the right information and having it credible, and I think that's what you're concerned about and I think rightfully so considering the mismanagement issues attendant to this problem.
But we also have here a timeline of the reauthorization bill going into the budget. And I think at some level you've got to let our folks, especially on the other side, on the appropriations side know that we're going to come with a surprise. And whether it's re-baselining or reprogramming or where we find the money, I think we need to do something dramatic to at least be aware among ourselves that we have to find more money and that it's got to go here, or we're going to end up kicking a can down the street and end up with a much more expensive NIF down at the end.
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And, you know, I'm still concerned about these issues of when exactly do we need the NIF? How long can we certify without it? And I think it gets fuzzy here five, six, seven, eight, and I don't want to be standing here saying, well, we should have paid for it FY01 and now we need it and don't have it.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. I understand. We agree with those issues. We also are looking at the issues at the other sites as well and trying to figure out how we can make sure we don't create a problem that is as serious at some other site if we end up diverting the funds. So we need to work together. We will get to you as soon as we can.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Before Mr. Thornberry was saying, maybe I'll agree with Mr. Thornberry. I think that we have to understand that the American people can take the bad news. If this stuff is going to cost us a whole lot more money, I think it's important enough for them to take bad news. And I think we've got to start telling people that. Because I agree with the same things Mr. Thornberry says. You know, that we're band-aiding and plastering and praying that this stuff holds together, and we're underfunding and we're putting people to the edge. And we're being constantly forced to rob Peter to pay Paul. I think that this is something that is so important that if it costs X more, that we should tell the people that it costs X more. Because we don't have the option of getting this wrong and saying, well, you know, we were afraid to ask you for the $150.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. We will in fact be honest with you. And when we give you the rebaselining, we'll tell you exactly what it is, and we will also try to give you some information on what the effects will be if there are other avenues chosen; if it's stretched out longer.
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I do want to also mention one other thing. And that is that in this effort to try to various the various requirements, we want to be clear that we are not compromising health or safety for our workers or the people in the vicinity of our plants.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Well, I know. Many others and I are ready to work with you on this. We consider this to be the most important thing among many important things. So, thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentlelady. Well, we've got a number of other questions, and obviously you've brought up a lot of areas that we need to explore, Mr. Glauthier. Why don't we agree that we'll have a number of questions for the record for you, if you could, and get back to us on those.
Our second panel is waiting to come up. One thing that we need with respect to Hanford, I'd like to have, if we could, a simple summary of the economics of the Great Britain BNFL site. That is, what they spend, capital costs, how much product did they produce, what did it cost total, and therefore what did it cost per unit to do.
One other thing. Did you folks ever get back with usI know Mr. Ryan was concerned about thison the cost of background checks on the visitor programs? The cost with respect to the amount of our intelligence budget that was spent on that.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. I'm not sure if we did. I can't imagine if it was a request that we didn't submit the figures, but I'll be happy to check on that.
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Mr. HUNTER. Why don't you consider that we'd like to have that information. Just simply, what do we spend on the visitors' program, and a subset to that, what do we spend on the background checks with respect to that. How much of our intelligence money do we devote to that on the visitors' programs?
Thank you for the overview. We appreciate it. And thank you for your service.
Mr. GLAUTHIER. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. One part of that background of the visitors' program, I know one thing that was asked at one point but I never saw the answer to it was how much of our scientists' timesomething that they want to work on, understanding often it's something of common interest, but how much of our time is spent in that direction, that exchange? Okay. Sure appreciate it.
Okay, folks. We'll move right along here and, Ms. Gottemoeller, I want to thank you for being with us again, and it's nice to see you. Why don't you lead off?
STATEMENT OF ROSE E. GOTTEMOELLER, ACTING DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR FOR DEFENSE NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's a great pleasure to appear again before your subcommittee, and I thank you for the opportunity to speak today.
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As you know, Mr. Chairman, on March 1, 2000, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation and National Security, which I led, became the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. On March 1st I was designated by Secretary Richardson to serve as the office's Acting Deputy Administrator.
This new office also incorporates the Office of Fissile Material Disposition. Laura Holgate, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Fissile Materials Disposition, will also serve as Special Secretarial Negotiator for Plutonium Disposition, recognizing the continuing high-level visibility of this important nonproliferation mission.
I did testify on this matter before Mr. Thornberry's special subcommittee in the preceding week. I'd like to reiterate for this subcommittee that I do feel that the overall process of transition is going very smoothly. We have very much welcomed our colleagues from the Office of Materials Disposition, and I look forward to continuing with a smooth implementation of the NNSA.
The Clinton Administration has put in place a robust agenda to stem the proliferation tide. The Department of Energy, under the leadership of Secretary Richardson, plays an important and unique role in implementing this agenda, working in partnership with other U.S. government agencies as well as governments and organizations worldwide. Our contributions to national security are extensivefrom developing technologies to better prepare for possible chemical or biological weapons attacks; to securing at-risk plutonium in North Korea and Kazakhstan; to checking the spread of nuclear weapons-usable materials, technologies, and expertise from Russia and the independent states of the former Soviet Union.
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Against this backdrop I would like to share with members of this panel the many programs my office administers to advance important nonproliferation and national security goals.
Before I move on to our wide-ranging base programs, however, I would like to use this opportunity to build on the comments of Deputy Secretary Glauthier to describe an important new initiative developed by Secretary Richardson that I believe will greatly boost our cooperative work with Russia to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This new effort is the Long-Term Nonproliferation Program with Russia.
A key part of the Administration's nonproliferation strategy is the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative begun last year, a multi-dimensional and multi-agency effort to address proliferation risks that arose with the Soviet Union's collapse. The President's FY 2001 budget request includes a proposed $100 million program to improve our ability to respond to the most serious dangers presented by Russian nuclear facilities and weapons-usable materials, bringing our cooperation with Russia to an entirely new level.
The new initiative has two core elements. The first attempts to plug gaps in our efforts to manage fissile materials from the civil side of the nuclear fuel cycle, and the second addresses proliferation vulnerabilities in Russia's nuclear infrastructure.
Under the first part of the new initiative, we propose to work in an area where we have never worked before in our threat reduction efforts with Russia, and that is to prevent further accumulation of separated civil plutonium, which is weapons-usable material. To facilitate a moratorium on the separation of plutonium from spent power reactor fuel in Russia, we have offered to assist in the construction of a new facility for the dry storage of spent fuel. This initiative is important. Once implemented, it could cap Russia's stockpile of civil plutonium, which is currently more than 30 metric tons, and growing at a rate of two additional metric tons per year. With a halt of further reprocessing, there will no longer be an addition of two metric tons per year to Russian stocks on the civilian side at a time when we are moving to dispose of two metric tons on the defense side of the house in our plutonium disposition program. So I do believe that this plugs an important gap in our overall efforts with Russia.
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The second part of the initiative expands our excellent cooperation addressing problems of the nuclear weapons infrastructure in Russia. It takes this cooperation to a new level, what I call the second generation of cooperation with the Russians in working with the Russian Navy to help secure their stocks of nuclear fuel for the submarine fleet and ice breakers, and also accelerating programs with Russia to consolidate and convert fissile materials to non-weapons-usable forms and to facilitate and accelerate the closure of nuclear warhead assembly and disassembly facilities at Avandard and Penza-19.
Now I will turn briefly to our core nonproliferation activities.
I'd like to start by discussing our flagship ''brain drain'' prevention programs: the Nuclear Cities Initiative and the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention. As you may know, Secretary Richardson and Minister of Atomic Energy Adamov established the Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) in late 1998 to cooperate with Russian efforts to create peaceful, commercial jobs for displaced nuclear weapons scientists and engineers in Russia's ten ''closed'' cities. NCI is a new type of ''brain drain'' program in that it focuses on weapons workers slated to leave the nuclear weapons complex as facilities and their jobs are eliminated.
Our initial focus has been on three municipalities: Sarov (Arzamas-16), Snezhinsk, also known as Chelyabinsk-70, and Zheleznogorsk, or Krasnoyarsk-26.
I'm proud to say that NCI is already working to create jobs under our new high-level strategic planning efforts with the Ministry for Atomic Energy, a planning effort that establishes goals, costs, and timelines for workforce reductions and facility closures in each of the three cities. The Sarov strategic plan was completed last September. It identifies the reduction of as many as 6,000 employees at the Institute of Experimental Physics. That is the Russian version of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and a nuclear weapons design institute in the Russian sense.
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Through the plan we have also agreed to the accelerated shutdown of weapons assembly and disassembly at the Avangard plant in Sarov. Weapons assembly will halt by the end of 2,000, and weapons disassembly will halt by the end of 2003. To implement this accelerated shutdown, a commercial agreement for the production of kidney dialysis equipment was recently completed, linking the Avangard plant with a German-American medical equipment company and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Similar private industry partnerships are under development in the other closed cities where we are working.
Like NCI, DOE's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention Program works to secure weapons of mass destruction expertise and know-how. Since the program's inception in 1994, more than 6,000 weapons scientists in Russia and the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union have been supported through 400 nonmilitary projects. The program partners Russian and NISand scientists from the independent states with specialists at the Department's national laboratories and concentrates aggressively on the commercialization of projects that are cost-shared with U.S. industry. Major corporations, such as United Technologies, Dupont, and American Home Products, are participating in the program. To date, U.S. industry has contributed $64 million, eclipsing the $38 million provided by the Department of Energy for cost-shared projects.
Mr. Chairman, I am especially proud of these figures. We listened to the considerable criticism we received last year from a GAO report on the IPP program, and we have worked energetically in the past year to enhance the commercialization efforts in this particular program. I testified to this panel last year that we had received contributions of some $32 million from business. Those numbers have risen to $64 million in just the past year, which I think is a good indication to you of the energy that we have placed into commercialization efforts in the past year.
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Six commercial projects have already been launched with full graduation from U.S. government financing, and another 13 projects are poised for full commercialization by the end of 2001.
Another core activity is our Materials Protection, Control and Accounting program. Our efforts in this area are progressing well. We have improved the security of 450 metric tons of fissile material at more than 30 sites in Russia. Last October, Secretary Richardson and the Russian Minister for Atomic Energy, Mr. Adamov, signed a government-to-government agreement that ensures the job gets done at the Min Atom sites. We are also nearing completion of an implementing agreement with the Russian Ministry of Defense that will advance our Materials Protection Control and Accounting (MPC&A) work at a number of very sensitive Russian navy sites. I've been very impressed with the unprecedented degree of cooperation and access of DOE employees that the Russian Navy has shown to them and to our programs overall.
A recent GAO report criticizes the Department for having completed security upgrades for only seven percent of the material considered at risk. The GAO's assertion is wrong. In fact, we have recently upgraded security for 450 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, or approximately 70 percent of the estimated stock of 650 metric tons of at-risk material. These upgrades include quick fixes such as fortifying entrance and exit points, placing one-ton concrete blocks on material storage areas, or even just bricking up windows to secure these sites against terrorists or outside attack. The seven percent figure cited by the GAO refers only to those sites where we have completed all upgrades. But at sites where we have undertaken quick fixes, some of them as you've heard quite simple, we have considerably improved the overall security of the weapons-usable material at those sites.
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Mr. HUNTER. Ms. Gottemoeller, do you have a figure? You say the GAO figure is seven percent.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. What's your figure?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Seventy percent.
Mr. HUNTER. You multiplied by 10?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes. Four hundred and fifty metric tons out of the 650 that we are wrestling with under this program.
The one recommendation that we received from the GAO, one we've taken very much to heart, is the necessity of preparing a strategic plan, a new strategic plan for the MPC&A program, and we have that effort underway. It should be completed by May. Our strategic plan addresses two additional issues raised by the GAO report that I would like to comment on. That is, access to facilities and taxation by the Russian Government.
As you might imagine, access is a sensitive point for Russia since we are working at some of their most highly sensitive nuclear weapons complex facilities. However, we are making progress. Secretary Richardson, for example, recently established a special task force to help us better understand Russia's requirements for approving visits by DOE personnel and to share ideas on improving our procedures to facilitate access. I should also stress that this is not a complex-wide problem. I would argue that now, in fact, we have more access than we have money to spend at particular sensitive sites.
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Moreover, at major defense sites in the Min Atom complex, such as Mayak, Krasnoyarsk-45, and Sverdlovsk-44, we have gained considerable access and are moving quickly to upgrade materials security. And I'd like to underscore that sites that do not grant us access do not receive contracts for work.
The other issue is Russian attempts to tax our MPC&A cooperation. And that is another area where we're making good progress. New Russian legislation and implementing regulations are now on the books that exempt the entire MPC&A program, as well as all DOE cooperative programs with Russia, from direct Russian taxes. I am pleased to report that the MPC&A program was one of the first to be registered as tax exempt, and this is a very positive step forward.
The GAO report correctly indicates that approximately $1 million in taxes were included in a contract for MPC&A work by a particular Russian institute. But we did not pay the $1 million in taxes, and we are working on ways to avoid ever paying. In the meantime, I have directed the MPC&A program to review all existing contracts to ensure that none contains requirements to pay taxes. That is simply not U.S. government policy, and now we are working with the government of Russia under their new legislation to ensure that assistance in general is not taxed across U.S. Government (USG) programs.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like
Mr. HUNTER. And what will that mean, Ms. Gottemoeller, with the GAO's figures when wethe privatization program when they said of the dollar that goes to Russia, our labs take something like 40 percent off the top. Then it gets to Russia, and their bureaucracy goes to work, and when it gets down to the scientist, he gets 17 cents out of the dollar. What does that mean the scientist is going to get now?
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Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Mr. Chairman, I remember you questioning me on this last year and I know it's of great concern to you, and that is one area, although I did not report in the remarks I've just made, we have actually made great progress in that area as well by turning to a mechanism called the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, the CRDF. In that way we have been able to move to paying the scientists and technicians in Russia directly in a grant-making facility that the CRDF manages for us. And they are completely exempt from taxes.
So, unlike last year when money to the scientists was flowing through the laboratories on our side and then to their own laboratories on their side and sometimes they were ending up with not very much at the end of that train, now we are paying them directly. The money is going directly into their bank accounts. So we have addressed that issue as one of our responses to the GAO report.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes. I thought that that might be indicative of penchant for government taking this U.S. money as it moves into its deployment in these security programs and across the border might be a problem. And that kind of raises a little red flag. Please go ahead with your statement. We want to get into that when you're finished, because I think that's a big issue with us.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Certainly, Mr. Chairman. And I'll be happy to return to that.
I actually would like to, if I may, sir, submit the remainder of my remarks to you for your record.
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Mr. HUNTER. Certainly. And without objection, all statements will be included in the record.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And I didn't mean to interrupt you, Ms. Gottemoeller. Indeed, you were closing up here. Do you have any final things you'd like to offer here? Do you think things are going pretty well?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. I do believe, sir, that they are going pretty well. If I might, I would just add a few words on our Fissile Material Disposition program since that is a new program for my particular office. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, the transfer of the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition to the new Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation is now complete and has gone extremely well. There is a strong synergy between Fissile Materials Disposition and my office's broader mission to demilitarize large stocks of U.S. and Russian fissile materials surplus to national security requirements. This goal is extremely important and advances our long-term nonproliferation and national security goals.
By assuring that hundreds of tons of fissile material are withdrawn from U.S. and Russian stockpiles and never used again to build nuclear weapons, we are closing the door on an era of the nuclear arms race and improving security for future generations.
On the international front, as part of the President's Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative, we continued our efforts with Russia to demonstrate a number of plutonium disposition technologies, demonstrations that will accelerate Russia's ability to build the facilities to dispose of its own surplus plutonium.
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We also continued extensive negotiations with Russia on a bilateral plutonium disposition agreement. Implementation of this agreement is needed to trigger the start of actual disposition in both countries. I'm pleased to report to you that the U.S. and Russian negotiators are now very close to a final document. Both sides are pushing hard to have an agreement in hand this spring.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I will conclude my remarks, and if I may, submit my testimony for the record.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Gottemoeller can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Ms. Gottemoeller. And Gen. Gioconda, why don't you come up now and we'll let Ms. Huntoon bat cleanup here.
STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. THOMAS F. GIOCONDA, U.S. AIR FORCE, ACTING DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR FOR DEFENSE PROGRAMS, NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
General GIOCONDA. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I'm pleased to report today that the Stockpile Stewardship Program is working to ensure the continued safety and reliability of America's nuclear deterrent. Our nuclear deterrent remains the cornerstone of this nation's defense. The highly trained men and women working at our production plants and weapons labs possess the critical nuclear weapons skills needed to support the stockpile.
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Your ongoing support for the stewardship program is absolutely essential for its continued success. If approved by Congress, our supplemental will provide funds needed by the production sites to cover workload costs and stabilize our highly skilled workforce.
Before I get into the details of the 2001 request, I'd like to draw your attention to two developments impacting the stewardship program. First, as many of you are aware, at the Secretary's direction, we undertook a comprehensive internal review of the Stockpile Stewardship Program in November. This detailed review was led by Under Secretary Ernest Moniz. The review concluded that the program was on track in developing the science, technology and production capabilities needed to support the stockpile. However, several of the findings were needed to shape further discussions and decisions in the program. In this effort, we must continue to prioritize investments, schedules, and resources. The programs faces challenges, and there are 15 specific actions that emerged from the report's findings. We are aggressively working these actions to further strengthen the program.
Key among them is the need for DOE and DOD to refine its process for determining the scheduling of stockpile refurbishments that we face in the future and to take into account the military, human, and budgetary needs along that way. We are working with DOD right now to address this issue.
Second, we have a new business strategy for the Stockpile Stewardship Program. We have transitioned from the old paradigm of design, test, and produce, to an environment of maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of our current weapons with advanced science and manufacturing techniques. We need a new business strategy to support our new business approach. We feel that this is a superior approach, as it provides more visibility into the program and quite frankly gives you and us a better means to integrate and balance the competing needs of the program.
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The major elements of this new approach are Directed Stockpile Work (DSW). That encompasses all activities that directly support the specific weapons in the stockpile as directed by the President's nuclear weapons stockpile plan. It covers all the activities that support the day-to-day needs of the stockpile. DSW work occurs across the entire weapons complex.
Next is campaigns. It has technically challenging research and development programs designed to provide us with the critical science and engineering capabilities needed for the certification of the nuclear weapons stockpile over the long term. Campaigns have definite milestones, work plans, and specific dates that we have developed. There are currently 17 campaigns which are being conducted across the weapons complex.
And finally, as you have alluded to in your statement, infrastructure. Our facilities must be in a safe, secure, and reliable operating condition to support our work. This category also includes our new construction work, our transportation system for moving components and weapons safely and securely through the complex, and our federal staffing that provides the needed oversight of the program.
Let me talk a little about the FY 2000 supplemental. Our supplemental of $55 million is targeted at the Y12 plant in Tennessee, the Kansas City plant, and the Pantex plant in Texas. The funding if approved will allow us to meet increased workload requirements related to weapon refurbishments, upgrade the enriched uranium infrastructure at Y12, and avoid layoffs of the critically skilled personnel at these three relocations.
Mr. HUNTER. You might briefly list the dollars associated with that request.
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General GIOCONDA. It's $55 million overall, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. And it's what? Break them down if you could by installation. Do you have them?
General GIOCONDA. Sir, I'll provide that for the record. I have it, but I don't have it with me.
Mr. HUNTER. There must be somebody back there to count how much we're spending.
General GIOCONDA. It's $38 million for Kansas City; $38 million for the enriched uranium at Y12; $7 million for the Kansas City plant, and $8 million for the rest of them.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Go ahead.
General GIOCONDA. I'd like to give you a few examples of why this is important as we go through all this work because of what they do. The two types of safety devices I brought here today are from the Kansas City plant. This is the trajectory-sensing signal generator and its strong link. Both are designed to prevent the detonation in a highly unlikely event that a weapon is involved in an accident. Components of these types are widely used in a number of weapons in the inventory.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC These unclassified parts are composed of hundreds of components and require hours of careful manufacturing by highly skilled technicians to meet specific specifications. Therefore, when we lose these workers, if we were to, these are people you can't train overnight to come back in and do this type of work.
The next is a common radar used on the B83. We plan to incorporate this same radar
Mr. HUNTER. That first one is associated with which site?
General GIOCONDA. Kansasall three are, sir. I made up Kansas City to keep it unclassified and not radioactive.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General GIOCONDA. Next is the common radar we've talked about. This component is made up of 1,300 parts and has more than 4,000 solder joints. These are but a few of the examples of 6,000 parts that make up a nuclear weapon that have to be managed, expertly managed, studied and produced in our complex every day.
The overall budget request of $4.6 billion compared to our FY 2000 appropriation of about $4.3 billion provides us with about a six percent increase in funding for FY 2001. The major reasons for this increase are a significant fraction of the nation's nuclear arsenal, the W8 and the W76, are scheduled for refurbishment over the next decade. Work associated with these two systems will constitute the majority of the directed stockpile work. We must meet the schedules for these activities, including the development of scientific capabilities required to certify without nuclear testing.
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We are working with the DOD to identify and assess the final technical drivers and schedules for weapons component replacement for certifiable modifications.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. General, before we totally leave the subject of the supplemental behind, you'd need $55 million that's requested in the supplemental for the sites you mentioned. If you could provide in your estimation that's extremely meritorious
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. And even qualifies for the status of an emergency request, I think it's a critical request.
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir. Without that action, sir, we'd be looking at having to lay off over 1,000 workers in the complex, which would basically at this time of year shut my directed stockpile work down.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I would like you if you couldbecause that's an issue with the supplemental with some membersif you could whip up maybe an addendum to your testimony here, a one-pager, maybe just a letter to me, stating why you think that is a critical department here, and why that meets the status of an emergency request.
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir. We'll do that.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you. I didn't mean to interrupt you.
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General GIOCONDA. We're making significant security improvements also with our budget and in our transportation system used to transport our components, material, and actual weapons within the complex. We have to recognize that we live in a dangerous world, and moving components around the complex, we need to up our security too while we're doing those things.
We're requesting a few new construction line items in the 2000 budget. The Preliminary Project Design and Engineering Pilot Program is a new initiative with about $50 million to fund preliminary design before setting a hard baseline and asking for construction approval. It's very similar to what I'm used to in the DOD for preliminary design work. Several candidate projects are proposed. We believe this will provide an important improvement in our project management system.
We have three other new projects, one at Pantex, the Weapon Evaluation and Testing Laboratory, a new storage facility for highly enriched uranium at Oak Ridge Y12, and a security information system laboratory at Sandia. In total, however, our construction request for FY 2000 is down.
While I'm on the topic of construction, let me say a word about the National Ignition Facility (NIF). As many of you have already stated, the project has encountered significant technical issues in assembling and installing the laser infrastructure. Let me emphasize that these problems with NIF are not scientific. They are project management, project integration issues that we did not foresee. A new baseline will be constructed and submitted to the Congress by the new management team that we have put in place before the June 1, 2000 deadline is set by the Congress. The previous funding plan, as has been stated, has been included in this budget, because quite frankly when we looked at this, we did not have the management team in place to take a look at that and get you a good baseline crossed. And we hope to be talking to you as we get the options through the Secretary and get the Department of Energy's position on the NIF.
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And I would like to point out one last but important area of growth, even though it represents only about one-tenth of one percent of my budget. We are funding a plan that will focus on building and sustaining a talented and diverse workforce of federal R&D technical managers as recommended by the Chiles Commission report. The plan will include innovative recruitment strategies, retention incentives, comprehensive training and development programs for new and current employees.
We have also included resources to reengineer our organization to place employees closer to where the work is accomplished and streamline some of our administrative functions.
Our FY 2001 budget will also allow us to build upon a significant list of accomplishments of stockpile stewardship. The Deputy Secretary already has mentioned several, so I won't repeat those. But let me add, first and foremost we have completed three annual certifications and expect the fourth shortly. Through continued success of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, we have been able to support the Secretary of Energy in joining the Secretary of Defense in certifying that the nuclear weapons stockpile is safe and reliable, and there is no requirement for underground testing at this time.
ASCI continues to excel as the Deputy Secretary has highlighted. This is important because as our weapons grow older, the problems are expected to get harder, and we must have the ready, more sophisticated tools and people to allow our assessment of whether our weapons will continue to be safe, secure and reliable. Our ASCI program is key to one of those requirements.
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As you may recall, we decided in 1996 to reestablish a limited capability to produce plutonium pits at Los Alamos National Lab, which was necessary with the closure of Rocky Flats. We have now fabricated four development pits. While many other scientific and production steps are needed to verify the quality of pits produced, this is a very positive sign. We plan to have a certifiable pit to you by 2001.
The Department also plans to undertake a preconceptual study of a pit production facility during FY 2001. This study will build on earlier work done by the DOE. Based on our ongoing pit aging studies from our campaigns, we believe that we have at least 15-year lead time for the construction of a pit manufacturing facility. Our overall course of action on pit manufacturing hasn't been approved by the Nuclear Weapons Council and continues to be reviewed by them due to its central nature to the program.
Our tritium program is making significant progress. We signed a 35-year $1.5 billion agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority for the irradiation of tritium-producing burnable absorber rods. With this agreement in place, we now have three reactorsWatts Bar and both Sequoyah units available for tritium production. We expect to break ground at the Savannah River site this summer for the construction of the tritium extraction facility. This facility will begin to deliver tritium gas to the stockpile in 2006.
With the success of the commercial lightwater reactor program and other competing financial demands from other parts of stockpile stewardship, DOE has been forced to redefine the work associated with the accelerator production of tritium program. We will continue limited engineering development and demonstration activities at Los Alamos National Lab as well as work with other parts of DOE to develop a joint program for the other uses of APT technology.
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We are also accomplishing our life extension requirements for the W87 involving principally the Kansas City Y12 and Pantex, and we have produced the first new neutron generators at Sandia since the close of the Pinellas plant in the early 1990s.
Mr. Chairman, over the last five years, the stewardship program has made significant scientific and technical advances, strides that many of our critics and even some of our supporters doubted we could achieve. These accomplishments increase our confidence that the men and women of the stewardship team will be able to meet the scientific and engineering challenges of stewardship in the decades ahead.
These challenges include meeting the requirements for nuclear deterrenceour primary job; attracting and retaining a preeminent nuclear team as many people reach retirement age; certifying replacement pits; producing tritium; and implementing new security standards. Our ability to meet these and other challenges is dependent on your continued support of our budget for this vital national security program and our aggressive federal management.
[The prepared statement of General Gioconda can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, General.
Ms. Huntoon, thank you for being with us. And your written statement will be included totally into the record without objection so if you want to summarize, go right ahead.
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STATEMENT OF DR. CAROLYN L. HUNTOON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Ms. HUNTOON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's a pleasure to be here today, and first I'd like just to give you a brief overview of some of our work in environmental management, the scope and accomplishments. I'll also summarize some of our initiatives to improve the program.
Recently I visited the sites that were the former nuclear weapons productions in our country that we're now responsible for cleaning up.
Mr. HUNTER. Ms. Huntoon, you might bring that microphone a little bit closer.
Ms. HUNTOON. Is this better?
Mr. HUNTER. That's great.
Ms. HUNTOON. I'm sorry. If there's one thing these facilities have in common it is how diverse they are in what they were doing and in the amount of work that we have to do to clean them up. It's a huge amount of waste we've got to take care of. The extensive subsurface contamination, remediation, and the large quantities of nuclear materials left from the weapons production process must be stored in a way that protects the public and our workers as well as safeguarding it from potential terrorists and adversaries.
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In the ten years since Environmental Management was established, the Department's made great strides in addressing these problems. As a result of the characterization and environmental studies begun in the early years of the program, we now understand better the nature and extent of these wastes and contaminations. As a result, we have a better life cycle analysis and we've improved our project baselines. Through contract reform, we're improving the performance and accountabilities with our contractors.
The accelerated cleanup of Rocky Flats was discussed by the Deputy Secretary, and we are very pleased with the progress being made there and the new contract that has been put in place to incentivize the contractor to move toward closure in 2006.
Each year we're making significant progress across the country. We're finishing our remediation work at various sites. We're demolishing unneeded buildings, and we're treating and disposing of waste, moving highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel and plutonium into safer storage.
Last year we opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the world's first deep geologic repository for nuclear waste. To date we've made 45 shipments of true waste to WIPP from Rocky Flats, Los Alamos and Idaho. And on March 10 we shipped from Rocky Flats the first shipment under the new certification issued by the New Mexico Department of Environment.
At Rocky Flats we removed all remaining plutonium pits and highly enriched uranium. We demolished a former plutonium research facility and we sent 12 shipments of waste and we revised our baseline.
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We also continued to make great strides toward closure, accelerating the closure at Fernald and Mound sites in Ohio. At the Mound site this year we'll remove the remaining nuclear materials. At Fernald we intend to award a new closure contract that will incentivize the contractor to expedite the closure similar to the Rocky Flats contract.
We completed our cleanup at three more sites in FY99. We'll complete two more sites this year and plan to complete an additional three sites in FY 2001. This will bring our total of completed sites to 74, leaving 39 to go.
In FY99, we vitrified 248 canisters of high-level waste at Savannah River and West Valley and expect to produce 400 more at Savannah River in 2000 and 2001.
Briefly summarizing our request for FY 2001, we're requesting $4.551 billion in defense environmental administration and waste management appropriation; $1.082 billion in the defense facility closure project appropriation; and $515 million in the defense privatization appropriation.
In addition to the planned progress I've already mentioned, I will highlight just a few more items that are more described in my written testimony. At Richland we've begun to remove the corroding spent nuclear fuel from wet storage pools in the K Basin near the Columbia River to a new dry storage facility further up the river. We will initiate this work in November of this year.
At Savannah River, we'll continue to process spent nuclear fuel and plutonium-bearing materials in both the F&H chemical processing canyons. These canyons will convert these materials into safe formulas for longer-term storage. We'll continue to receive shipments of foreign research reactor of spent nuclear fuel that contain highly enriched uranium, thereby reducing the risk of the global proliferation of nuclear weapons.
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By the end of 2001, we will have received about one-third of the total number of planned shipments.
In August of this year we will determine whether to authorize the contractor to proceed on the high-level vitrifying waste at Hanford. As we discussed earlier, these wastes of about 54 million gallons are stored in underground tanks near the Columbia River and need to be removed since the tanks were not designed for permanent storage and are aging. Our agreement with the State of Washington is to begin removal and treatment of this waste by 2007.
We've discussed the privatization approach, and I won't continue that. But one point I do want to make clear is that on April 24, we're to receive from the contractor the first official proposal for this work, and then we will have several months following that to evaluate that proposal and compare it to expected cost.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me go to for one second. I haven't looked at these state agreements for a long time, and I think there's some stipulated judgments there. We have basically a legal obligation to remove that waste in a time certain.
Ms. HUNTOON. That's right.
Mr. HUNTER. The privatization agreement is going to lead to a program that eliminates 10 percent of the waste. And yet we have an agreement you've just stated with the State of Washington to remove the wastethat presumes 100 percentby a day certain. How do those two concepts match?
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Ms. HUNTOON. Well, we've been working very closely with the State as we have moved into this proposed program. We have an agreement currently on the books that in 2018, 10 percent of the waste will be managed. That's 18 years from the beginning of this contract. And then in 2028, 10 years later, it will all be accomplished.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So the State's agreement coincides and correlates with the plan schedule that BNFL has tentatively proposed here?
Ms. HUNTOON. That's correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I didn't mean to interrupt you. Go ahead.
Ms. HUNTOON. That's okay. I'm going to skip through the privatization works. I think we discussed that earlier. But as I wanted to talk a little bit about some of our organizational changes to try to help manage this program more efficiently. We've reorganized our office to make it coincide with the Secretary's reorganization of the Department. The field managers at five of the largest sites report directly to me as the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management. The new organization ensures the field and headquarters managements are directly accountable for our sites.
I've also created the Office of Integration and Disposition, which reports directly to me. And this was done to try to resolve the many issues across sites that are common to multiple sites, and to make sure that we integrate the operation and integrate the movement of materials at the lowest cost possible.
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To reduce our costs and schedules, we also need new technologies. Our previous science and technology investments are beginning to pay off now, and we've deployed over 500 deployments in new technology across the country. I plan to continue these necessary investments.
For technical and cost reasons, many of our sites cannot be cleaned up to background levels. Some residual contamination will remain and will be contained for many years. I've created an Office of Long-Term Stewardship to help ensure that mechanisms are in place at these sites, such as land use restriction, physical barriers or monitoring equipment, so that even after cleanup is complete the public health and safety will be protected. This program should provide confidence to the public and our regulators that removal remedies are acceptable because the Department can be trusted to care for the sites over the long run.
Improved program and project management is essential. I established the Office of Project Management within EM to set our own project management policies, procedures, conduct independent project reviews, and train our staff in the proper project management tools and principles. My philosophy is to do the work safely or don't do it. The safety of our workers is our highest priority. I intend to ensure that all the EM personnel understand and meet their safety and security responsibilities.
In conclusion, cleaning up a legacy of environmental contamination from nuclear weapons production will fulfill a legal and moral obligation we owe the states and the country that contributed to the national defense effort that won the Second World War and the Cold War. This is important work. I'm enthusiastic about it and I'm committed to meeting this challenge.
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Finally, Mr. Chairman, I'd also like to request favorable consideration of a reprogramming request pending before your committee. This request has already been approved by the other authorizing and appropriating committees, and it would transfer $19 million to the EM program direction account to mitigate the impacts of transferring funding of responsibility for 125 employees at the Idaho site and avoid layoffs at all of the EM sites.
Thank you for your considered support in this program.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Huntoon can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much. Do you have a question, sir?
Mr. THORNBERRY. Yes, sir. Ms. Gottemoeller, I appreciated your testimony on the GAO seven percent number, because I do think that helps explain what we're dealing with. One of the big questions we've had since the beginning of MPC&A is how much material are we dealing with. You used the 650 metric ton figure. How confident are you that that's holding?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Mr. Thornberry, one of the things that has I think been a positive aspect of the MPC&A program has been that as we have developed trust and confidence among our interlocutors on the Russian side, they have shown us basically new storage facilities, places at the time in 1994 when we did our original study to lay the groundwork for the MPC&A program, places we didn't know really existed. Sometimes buildings within sites that are warehouses for storage of additional materials.
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One of the reasons why I very much welcomed the recommendation of the GAO to take another look at our strategic plan from the earlier period to re-examine that strategic plan and see what we have found out in the last five years was because I suspect that there were actually additional materials; some of my staff have told me they believe it could be as much as 800 metric tons, by comparison with the 650 metric tons. I expect, sir, to be able to report to this committee and to our other responsible committees of Congress by early May on exactly what we have found. But we, for example, have already expanded the number of sites we are working at to 55 sites from the original 50. So we have found that there is more material out there than we had suspected at the beginning.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me ask you about another issue. One project that's been controversial for several years which I have supported has been the conversion of reactors in Russia so that they no longer produce plutonium. And it's obvious to me that if we're going to spend money over here getting rid of plutonium, it's silly if they're still making new plutonium over there. It's like a treadmill. Could you tell me where that stands, and how is that conversion going? Where are we in putting them out of commission as far as creating plutonium?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir. As you're aware, the effort that we had underway was a core conversion project to essentially take the plutonium-producing cores of the reactors at Tonsk and Krasnoyarsk and convert them to enriched uranium fuel. We've been looking at two options, highly enriched uranium fuel and low enriched uranium fuel.
That set of options is still very much under scrutiny and examination at the present time. However, within the past month, the Russians have come to us and proposed that we examine this and the notion of proceeding immediately to a fossil fuel option and shut those reactors down rather than converting the cores, which on the face of it would be a better long-term solution to the overall problem than core conversation because those reactors are very old and have raised concerns about the safety of their operation overall.
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Mr. THORNBERRY. What's that do to cost and time?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Sir, we have told the Russians that if their new proposal to examine other options comes in at the same cost and within the same timeframe or better, that we would be willing to look at it. And we have a technical team in Moscow this very week to examine with the Ministry of Atomic Energy those other options. But we are maintaining a very I would say precise notion as to the cost and timelines. We really are resolved to get this plutonium production reactor problem resolved and get those reactors shut down. So there's no change in the overall goal of our agreement with the Russians. But I think if we are finding that the new options they present to us are reasonable, we will certainly take a look at them. But we will keep this committee and our other congressional committees fully informed as we move forward.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Gen. Gioconda, one of the controversial programs at the National Laboratories is the laboratory director research funds. That has received a lot of attention. And one of the concerns that I've heard expressed from both of the laboratories is that that is an important tool to get and to keep top quality scientists, to be able to use that money. Basically, if somebody going's to get out and convince their peers that it's a good idea worth pursuing, then they have a chance to get that research funded.
You obviously know your evaluation of that program and how it fits into our larger goals, particularly because you don't come from one of the labs.
General GIOCONDA. No, sir, I do not. LDRD is the existing program. It's existed for many years. And if you go way back in time when I got into the program andbeing a history majorI went back and looked and it did have some problems. It had some problems because, quite frankly, it suffers now I believe unfairly as it's called the lab directors' walking around money.
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If you go back and take a look at history, there were some issues then. But I believe over time that the yearly reports on LDRD that have been asked for by the Congress, the requirement that every one of the programs pass through the defense program's eye and where it rests in stockpile stewardship, a lot of that stuff has been cleared out, and even in the Defense Department walking around and telling them about the program, their challenge is in looking under the hood of those programs involved in that.
What unfortunately has happened, though, is when the Congress went from six percent to four percent, all the existing programs had to be scaled back or canceled, and all new exploratory work has been put on hold. And when you take a look at that, that takes the breadth and scope of fundamental and exploratory science out of the picture for stockpile stewardship. When you look at stockpile stewardship, there are unknown unknowns out there in the stockpile. It's only a matter of time when they become known. The quicker we get on top of them and in front of them, then we can do all the prudent planning that's needed to keep stockpile stewardship as the way the nation wants to rely on the nuclear deterrent.
It's estimatedbecause I asked what the impact was when I got on boardthat 20 percent of the post-doctoral appointments are affected when you mess around with the LDRD, because that's what you put your new people on. Those are the people who have the new ideas. And when you say 20 percent of your new talent is affected by that, and you've already heard about the Childs Commission, that ought to give you cause about the program. It's the vitality and the forward looking that I'm worried about without LDRD in the program.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Because of your kind of unique situation as an Air Force officer, let me ask you also about a problem that the chairman brought up earlier. I have also sensed frustration in the laboratories that there is not more cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy laboratories; that we do not take full advantage of the tremendous resources which are available to us. You go talk to people and it's, well, they never come to ask. And then you talk to the DOD and well, we don't know what it is they could do to help us. And we're kind of at a standoff where we're not hitting on all cylinders, as it were. What's your perception as to where we are and what we can do to take better advantage for the country's security primarily of these resources? Whether it's missile defense or others.
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General GIOCONDA. Sir, my position dates back to the Manhattan Project. I go back in the lineage of the pictures on the wall. But that's where my position over at DOE and the successor organizations. And one of the reasons that the DOD puts a flag officer at DOE is for those reasons; that this was the leading edge of technology and things like that.
But unfortunately, when I arrived two-and-a-half years ago, I jokingly referred to myself as the POW over in DOE. And the reason was because DOD and DOE were at war. And they were at war over budgetary resources. About $300 million was banged back and forth. And what happened is the communication between the two Departments dried up. There used to be hundreds of military officers who were assigned to the DOE complex. When I arrived, there was only eight plus myself.
What happens is that you're right, they don't know what goes on. Gen. Gordon, for example, who's been nominated, started early in his career as a lab research assistant at one of our labs, and he came out of that environment back to the regular Air Force, if you would, bringing with him the capability that those labs can produce.
What happens is, unfortunately, then the labslet me look at the other sidethe labs went on to a sales motif where they went out there and started to huckster their wares, if you will. And then if you huckster your wares and you get out there, then you are treated when you arrive just like another contractor that arrives with a great idea.
And then what also has to happen is DOE has to worry that limited resources for stockpile stewardship are not detracted. What needs to happen, quite frankly, isand we've been trying to do that with something that was in the law about three years ago I believe you put in the lawis pilot programs. Select the key things that you think are necessary, we think are necessary for the security of the nation, and put the best brains if you would on those key issues. Then from that, grow a program of cooperation I think is the best way to approach this. Otherwise you'll get into resource competition, you'll get into the huckster motif, and neither of them over time has resulted in anything valuable.
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There is a work for others program embedded in DOD, and I go back and ask the customers. I call up my fellow one-stars and I ask them, are you getting the benefit? And they are. But it's hard. You have to do it one at a time to get the benefit. There's a lot of great programs at the labs that our nation doesn't even realize that the labs do for them. And I'm not just talking about the big three, if you would, that work for DP. There's a lot of defense work that goes on throughout the lab complex that feeds back into DOD.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. Ms. Tauscher.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gen. Gioconda, the NIF program is pretty badly managed, isn't it?
General GIOCONDA. Yes, ma'am. I've been saying ''yes, sir'' to the Secretary so long over NIF that I'm used to it. When he says NIF, I say, ''yes, sir.''
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Then let's get past it, okay? Mr. Glauthier and you have indicated that we have a new management team at the NIF. And are you confident that we have good, better people there? That we're getting the right information?
General GIOCONDA. There's three parts of the management. When I took over this program in August, about a week later is when I heard about the NIF's problems, so this is kind of like the first crisis that comes up on your watch, so you remember these things all too well.
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We first had to find out what the problem was. And originally, people thought it was in science. And the science is not the issue. What happened is the lab thought that they can do what they're not world class at, and that's program integration. They're world class in science, but they're not world class inand that took a mental catharsis. They had to go through this problem, because they still thought that they could handle it.
We had to then go through what went wrong. Secretary Richardson is very upset about having to make a speech in June where it was on cost and on schedule, and it wasn't. So I believe what we've done is we've put the lab management teamI'm comfortable with that, because I've wrung them out asking questions and all that. We have a federal structure that we have to put into being also. And then what we have to do is make sure there's enough oversight outside so we never get in a situation again where we love ourselves to a false sense that everything is on target. We allowed the building going up on time, on schedule, thinking that the project is on schedule and on project, and that was not true.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. So are you
General GIOCONDA. So I'm confident that we're on the path to go
Mrs. TAUSCHER. You're confident.
General GIOCONDA. Now what the management team has to do, and they have brought together a series of options for that path's future. I went back to the basics. I asked them the question, why is NIF necessary? Before I go down and talk to you, why is it necessary? So we went back to the basics and built it up from there.
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And I'd like to offer to you the white papers that we developed, when the Secretary approves them on why NIF is important. He's reading them now. And that way we built it up from the bottom up, based on the requirements and moved it up before we make the commitment for the future. And those white papers clearly outline how each of our campaigns, NIF will be important in the future. The good news is, we don't need NIF tomorrow, but we do need NIF in the future.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. So you're confident that we have fixed the management problems and that we are now
General GIOCONDA. We're fixing the problems.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. We're fixing the problems. But do we have the right people in place to move forward?
General GIOCONDA. Yes.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Okay. Do you think the Secretary thinks that?
General GIOCONDA. The question that I would tell you is they have to, just like they went through me, they have to gain his confidence. Because quite frankly, they lost his confidence. And I'll be honest with you, I don't blame him. I don't blame him for not having confidence until they proved themselves. And they need to continue to prove themselves. Part of this option routine is a way that I believe they build the confidence back to the Secretary that he can test it. And we're doing that right now.
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That's why, unfortunately, we don't have a firm DOE position. But we want a position that we can stand behind and show you that we wrung it out. Because we've got to get your confidence back, too.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Well, I agree. I think that the biggest hurdle we have going forward is a credibility gap. But when I hear the Secretary testifying in front of the Energy Subcommittee last week and still talk about management problems, it concerns me that we have got to past at some level this issue in order to get to a place where we can start to figure out how do we baseline the project and how do we get the money if we're still backing ourselves around the axle about something that happened months and months ago, an embarrassment that has been personalized, then I think we're going to find ourselves still sitting here looking at each other trying to figure out how to go get the money.
So I heard you to make sure that we have everybody on board understanding that indeed problems have been solved, which you have indicated they are, and certainly Secretary Glauthier indicated he thought they were, that we start to move past this and get to the business of getting us the information that we're going to need so that we can go get the money. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentlelady. General, you said that the team at Livermore is world class in a lot of things but is not world class in the integration.
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Do you have a different team now doing the integration?
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir. We've also hired an outside firm that is world class in that thing, and we're going through the contracting procedures now to get them on board and not keep the lab on the science part, which they are world class on, and keep the project management to people who are experts in project management. And we're going through the contracting procedures to do that. They're not on board yet. The project's sensitive, but we're on that path.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So you think we're moving out correctly now and thatit looks to me like you still have a few timecards you'd like to punch and check here before you're fully confident that you're moving inthat we're not going to have some big overruns in the future.
General GIOCONDA. Sir, that's part of my job to make sure that the Secretary gets confidence back in this program, and we're doing that through the processes that we're putting them through. I'm not just waiving whatever they did.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Let me run something by you. I referred I believe to one thing aboutin my opening statement about the DOE being AWOL in the biggest challenge of the last half of this century, which is realizing we live in the age of missiles, and learn how to stop them. I believe that the Domenici ban that's in place actually proactively bans DOE from doing any ballistic missile defense work, even in the lab directors' discretionary fund, which I find to be incredible. So even if the lab director has one of his top physicists, one of the smartest guys in the world, come to him and say I've got an idea for a little project for $10 million bucks that will help us be able to shoot down ballistic missiles in short order, under the law he can't do that. Now he can come in and say I want to develop a new mouse, which is one of the projects we did with the lab directors' discretionary money, but he can't come in and suggest that he has a project to help us shoot down incoming ballistic missiles. That's against the law for him under the Dominici ban. Is that your reading of the ban?
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General GIOCONDA. Sir, what I can do is I can work with the Ballistic Missile Office. I know Gen. Kadish. He and I went to a small basketball college together. And he and I are working to try to prove that we can work together on this project. So we're going to try to make some progress on that issue.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But my point is, you can't use DOE resources, even lab directorsand the gentleman behind you is noddingeven lab directors' discretionary money to work missile defense?
General GIOCONDA. I can use it two ways. I can use it if I prove due use, back to stockpile stewardship as the primary reason, or I can use it on a work-for-others basis. Those are the only two ways I'm allowed.
Mr. HUNTER. If they come in and pay you for it?
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. And you do that. Okay. Ms. Gottemoeller, you've got such a big area and remote geographically and in some cases in terms of our oversight capabilities, such a remote area of responsibility that it's difficult for us to know really what's going on. And you always have the fear when you're supplying money for somebody else who heretofore had the responsibility of spending their own money for something, that they're going to gain. We all know on this committee that we spend a lot of hours trying to figure out how to shift responsibilities to other committees so that they'll pay for them. I'm sure they, much more successfully than us, have spent many hours shifting areas into our areas of responsibility. I noticed, for example, our environmental budget this year in this area is bigger than the weapons budget, to the consternation of some of our members.
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But we are undertaking what normally would be the responsibility of Russia. That is securing its nuclear weapons and components thereof. Do you have any mechanism in place or any procedure whereby you keep the Russians bearing a large part of this burden? Because you know when they have budget meetings and they've got scarce dollars and they say Ms. Gottemoeller just arrived and she's got this new program. We think the good old Americans are going to pay for this. Let's use this money over here on my project, and we can use this money on your project, because you're not going to have to use that money on this project because Rose is going to pay for it. You know that's going on. If Russians have followed human nature like American politicians do, you know it's going on. Do you think that you've been successful in getting them to spend their resources? And how do we do that on an ongoing basis?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Mr. Chairman, I don't think any of us would have predicted ten years ago the chaotic breakup of the Soviet nuclear arsenal and the crash of the Soviet economy that accompanied the breakup of the Soviet Union. And that is the source from which our efforts at cooperating with the Russian Federation on threat reduction, that's the source from which that sprang.
I think if there remains stability in that country and stability in the security and safety of their nuclear weapons and material, of course, we wouldn't be in this business.
Mr. HUNTER. We agree with all that. And we all agree we should be spending some of our resources.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Okay.
Mr. HUNTER. The question is, how do you keep the other side holding up their share of the burden when there's such an inducement to let the Americans pay for it?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir. I think the best way that we do that, Mr. Chairman, is to ensure that we set our priorities very clearly through our joint project contracting work and that the contracts themselves serve as the mechanism by which we have access to the work that gets done. And we can see exactly what has been accomplished and we can have a clear understanding of where our money is being spent and that it is being spent on high priority projects.
At the same time, I think we have to keep the pressure on the Russian side to ensure that they are holding up their side of the bargain. And our basic underlying policy is that we're not going to pay for this entire job; that they have to in fact put resources into the effort as well.
Now the problem that we've had in dealing with them over the years has been, in my view, a problem associated with historical Soviet Russian secrecy. And that is that they haven't been particularly transparent about their budgets and how they organize payment for projects. Part of that is associated with the way they haven't particularly had a financing based, cash-based economy. A lot has been done on barter and trade and that type of thing. So, for example, a lot of the contribution that they make to our joint projects is in the area of materials that they bring to the project, buildings that they donate, labor that they donate to our joint efforts. And sometimes it's a little bit hard to get them to articulate exactly what that is worth to them, and their economic system is changing to be more like our's. I hope in future years we will have a much better sense of the overall value to their budget.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. It looks to me like you've almost got to rely on a series of negotiations which I presume you have
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Exactly.
Mr. HUNTER. With some pretty smart people on our side to extract some contribution from the Russian side for a particular project.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. And, sir, that's our absolute policy, that they must contribute. We don't bring a sack of money and hand it to them. They have to contribute, and we bring something to the table as well. But we're very careful to ensure that we know how our money is spent.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Now my question is, have you seen them bringing their matching contribution, whether it's in kind or money, which I presume is rare? Do you see that occurring?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir. And I'll give you a specific example of that.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, how about across the board? We want you to give a specific example, but I mean do they on a regular basis, consistent across the board, do they keep their end of the bargain? When they say we're going to bring X to this deal, do they bring X to it?
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Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you see the materials showing up, the people showing up?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Go ahead. Give me the example.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. I'll give you one example, then I'll just give you a sense, too, of what I see emerging as a new trend, which I think is actually fairly hopeful. The one specific example I wanted to raise is our Navy work, which has been very successful, and the Navy is coming to us and saying we want you to do more, because you work efficiently. You get things done in a very efficient manner.
And they have us working in the Northern Fleet area up in the Arctic where the building season, the construction season is short. And basically when we first started building our fresh fuel storage cooperative project up in the Northern Fleet area, they said to us, we will put all the labor you need on this project so we can get it done in a very short three-month construction period. And they brought hundreds of conscripts to the site to move rock, to move earth, to get the site prepared so we could do the construction. And it was a very cooperative partnership, and we did meet the goal of getting the fresh fuel storage facility built in the three-month construction season we had available up in Marmansk.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. They brought conscripts?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. What kind of conscripts were those?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. They were Navy sailors, basically. They did very good work, too. Got the site prepared. We were building this facility back into a rock face, and so there was quite a bit of rock moving to do, and they were very effective and efficient at doing that.
Mr. HUNTER. And you think the Navy program meets an important need here? Do you want to talk about that a little bit? What they aren't doing that you'd like to see them do.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Well, they have talked to us about expanding our efforts in very sensitive sites both up in the Northern Fleet area and in the Far East, further efforts with them to secure nuclear materials, fresh fuel and other sensitive nuclear materials that they are working with. They're quite concerned because recently they have had a number of security breaches that have concerned them very much.
You might have read in the Far East about some theft of nuclear fuel that went from one of their basis there within the past six weeks. And then there was the situation where the sailor took a number of hostages, actually, on board a nuclear submarine two years ago. So they've had a number of security breaches that have really lit a fire under them about getting their nuclear materials and sensitive nuclear capabilities under better control.
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Mr. HUNTER. Now what can we do for them in that sense that they can't do themselves? I mean, one thing the Russians have been good at in the past is security, right?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Right. Well, I want to underscore, Mr. Chairman, that I think they do have a serious budget deficit that they've been trying to wrestle with. And you can see it in the way they have underfunded their general purposes forces and the way they have not been able to do modernizations. They simply have not had the money to maintain and address many of these issues with the security of nuclear materials and weapons systems in their fleet and in their overall armed services. So it has been a very, very serious problem for them.
However, at the same time, they have been willing to be very open to us about the problems increasingly as we've built up confidence, as we've built up trust with them, they've been willing to open up to us about specifically what their problems are and what particular sites they consider to be the greatest security risks. So I do think on that basis we can make very good progress on a rapid fire basis. That's a different situation with the Navy than we had with some of our other sites where we've had access problems.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Well, this seems to me to be kind of a different situation we're going to be into than we've had in the past. The image in the past, you've got the crumbling former nuclear complex people walking out the door with stuff because nobody's in charge, kind of like over here.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But now we're moving into an area where we have an active arm of the Russian military, which is still at least well funded in terms of their submarine service, from the information that I have, and still has extremely potent technology with some very well-trained people aiming nuclear weapons at the United States. And they say that they don't have the resources to be able to guard these facilities that have material in them. It seems inconsistent with the potency and the prioritization that was given from my understanding to the Russian Navy by the Russian Defense Department. That's one arm, at least the submarine arm is one arm that was given a priority over a number of other arms that basically were allowed to erode with this lack of funding. That's a new thing.
You've got an active service, it's got a budget. It's got a weapons program. It's engaged in military operations. Even if they don't have money to do what?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. I think the work we're doing, Mr. Chairman, is very consistent with the work that's being done in the Defense Department Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to cut up Russian submarines. What we are trying to do is basically work with them to ensure that as their strategic nuclear forces downsize over time, that that downsizing is accomplished in a secure and safe way and that, to the degree we can, we work to accelerate that process.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I guess the question is in this area with the Navy are we providing them expertise, or we have teams of people over there saying this is how you handle your submarines, so you don't just have these nuclear submarines just laying here like old fishing reefs in the harbor, or are we assuming that part of the financial load of handling these that they otherwise were handling?
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Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Sir, there's absolutely no contribution to Russian operational capability that goes on. What we are doing is helping to secure nuclear materials in an environment where they have suffered some severe difficulty maintaining the security over those materials.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But in what sense? In other words, what are they lacking that we're giving them? Are we giving them gates, guns, and guards?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Physical security upgrades at this point, Mr. Chairman. We're building fences. We're putting in buildings that have secure locks on the doors. We're helping to overall provide also a new security culture. So there is some training involved in it as well. In the past they were very dependent on the multiple layers of security of the Soviet approach to maintaining the nuclear weapons complex, so we are helping to train them in a new security culture where they have fewer gates, guns, and guards available, because they simply can't pay the salaries. They don't have the money to do so.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. We're building gates?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir. Physical security.
Mr. HUNTER. And fences for them? I mean, this is something the Russians have built for a long time, very effectively, and doing it so that nobody got out or in. And we're doing that for them because they can't afford to do it?
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. There's been an entireyou mentioned the word ''crumbling'' a few moments ago. But there has been a significant breakdown in the fabric of their overall society, and it has created, as I said, a number of very visible crises and events recently. I mentioned the two, the one in the Far East and the one with the sailor taking the hostages in the Northern Fleet area. We see that in a wide range of situations, however. So they are very concerned about both insider threats caused by the severe economic crisis that they are under, and we continue to be concerned about outsider threats because of the crumbling of security at military and weapons complex facilities that terrorists and outsiders could get in and actually steal weapons components or weapons-usable nuclear material. So it's a concern that stems once again from the chaotic breakup of the Soviet Union and the aftermath, the continuing crisis.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, I understand our concerns. But the concern doesn't necessarily translate into are we really doing something here that wouldn't be done otherwise? And is it necessary for the United States to pay for building a fence around your nuclear materials repository, or otherwise it wouldn't be done? And we're dealing with a country that has majored for hundreds of years in having very severe fences that people neither got into or got out of, and now that's something that the Americans are doing because they just can't seem to do it themselves. And I don't think they're going to put any of our sailors or any of our people out on their operational boats in the Russian submarine force to help them quell discipline problems. Have they offered that to us?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. No, sir. And again, I'd like to underscore, we don't in any way contribute to their operational capabilities.
But if I may, I'd really like to emphasize that I think this is a modest investment and a very productive partnership between our two countries that has produced very rapidly enhanced security for nuclear components and materials and furthermore has provided us, the United States, some remarkable and I think unforeseen, totally unforeseen insights into their military establishment and their nuclear weapons establishment.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. And so there have been a number of ways that we have benefitted by greater understanding over the years because we are now much more closely involved and actually working in some of their very sensitive sites.
Mr. HUNTER. How many sites do we have that we are involved in in the former Soviet Unionin Russia?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. We are at 55 sites of the Ministry of Atomic Energy complex, and we are at approximately 15 sites of the Navy complex. That number, I say approximately, because we've recently been invited to work at additional sites. I'd like, sir, if I may, to check on that number and make sure I have it right.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So approximately 15 with the Navy?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. And how much is the Navy program going to cost the U.S.?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. In the pastwell, each site has been, as we've developed this program, we have developed, as I said, the kind of trust that the Navy is willing to expand their work with us, they have been rather modest in cost. Each site has been $5 million or $6 million. So that has been, again, a good investment.
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Mr. HUNTER. You've only spent $5 million to $6 million with the Navy?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Well, up to this point, we've worked on about three sites, I mean where we've actually put considerable funding into them. So it's about $15 million up to this point.
Mr. HUNTER. Fifteen million dollars? What do you expect to spend with the Navy component over the next four or five years?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Sir, if we are working at the rate of $5 million or $6 million per site, $45 million, $50 million is the scope of the work overall.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. And have they got, outside of that, in the Russian nuclear complex, how many sites?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Fifty-five sites overall.
Mr. HUNTER. Fifty-five sites. Okay. Of those 55, do the basics I think are important first the guns, gates, and guards. Do we have those now at all 55 sites?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir. What we have done is begin with a number of what we call quick fixes, where we'll quickly put up a perimeter fence, we'll quickly brick up windows and put in better steel doors, locks on the doors, that type of thing, even clearing a site to get trees and bushes away from the walls of their warhead storage facilities and that type of basic quick fix we call it.
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Mr. HUNTER. Well, when you say that physicallyall the 55 sites are not physically secure, with at least concertina wire around them?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. They are, you knowbecause that's a cheap fence, right? If not a fence, you can throw that up real quick.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Actually they are double perimeter fences in many cases. So it's a site fence typical of what you'd see at a U.S. weapons facility.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. What percent of those 55 sites had perimeter fences when you got there? Because I would think they would all have them.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Well, sir, they did have them, and I'd like, if I may, to send you some pictures, because some of them were quite broken down when we got there. In fact, they had perimeter fences, many of them with holes in them. So they had, I would say, a great dependence on their guard forces, a great dependence on the overall security offered by the strictures of Soviet society. So they did not pay as much attention to physical security, and that's where we've made a rapid fire improvement in the past few years.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Are they all fenced at this point?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. At some sites, sir, we are still working on the perimeter fences. We're still working to get them completed. For example, at the weapons production facilities, the four weapons production facilities, that's an area where we've only gotten some access recently, so we've begun working on the perimeters there. But for the sites where we have been working for a long time, yes, the perimeters have been completed.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Could you get me the number of the 55 sites, the number of them which are fenced, totally fenced?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Sure.
Mr. HUNTER. And how about manned with guards? I presume we're not supplying any guards?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. No, sir. We help to train the guard force, again, to produce in them we hope more of a security culture up to an international standard. But we do not actually pay them.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Of the guards that we have or of these 55 sites, how many of them are adequately guarded in terms of personnel? Manned, in other words, the perimeters manned?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Each of them have guard forces associated with them, and the kinds of problems that we have encountered, particularly in the winter of 1998 after the economic crash in August of 1998, the guard forces were inadequately clothed, for example, or did not have heat available in their guard houses and so they were abandoning their guard posts. So we were able in that periodwe did not do it this winter because there was no needbut we were able in that period to supply some winter uniforms, for example, quickly.
So those are the kinds of problems we have encountered with the guard forces, but all of the sites have guard forces.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. On a scale of one to 10, and in terms of the security you'd like to have for those 55 sites, where do you think we are?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. I think for most of the sites, sir, we're at the seven level. We still have work to be done, as I indicated in my statement.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Okay. Thank you, Ms. Gottemoeller, and thank you for your work in this area. You've got a big responsibility here, and something that you've got a lot of discretion invested in. You know, one thing I recommended when we had a talk a year or so ago was that you haveyou told me about the team that moves from site to site, and I had recommended that you have an on-site, especially with respect to the Navy, an on-site manager if you would; somebody who had some clout, who could spend some money if he needed to, and work on a daily basis with the Russians at the site so that you didn't have to come in and be briefed up and maybe get snowed as to how much you should spend or what the problems were, but have somebody really do the stuff and to stay there. Then when your team came in, you've got the site manager on your side who could brief you. And he could also interact with the Russians and hopefully gain their trust and cooperation. Are you guys doing any of that?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Sir, we now have several individuals who are very, very well trusted by our Russian Navy counterparts, and they are now working at the sites. We don't have anybody actually located yet at the bases, living at the bases.
Mr. HUNTER. How about the other sites of your 55?
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes. That is actually an area we have been working on very actively with the Ministry of Atomic Energy. It's part of our response to the access problem in that we are taking an approach where we will have actual project teams with permission to have ready access to the sites and then they will be able to spend more time at the sites on just the kind of project work that you have pointed to. So we are proceeding in that direction for the
Mr. HUNTER. Well, when you have a site manager, a U.S. manager, or site attendee or whatever you call it, he's at the site and he ends up knowing a whole lot about that site.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Right.
Mr. HUNTER. He stays there. Doesn't move around. Because you guys told me what your schedule is at one time. You'd spend three-quarters of your time in the air going back and forth.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir. And that's precisely why we've been eager to go to this project team approach with what we call a project manager who would be spending more time in countries. But we will have some work to do in that regard.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, what do you think about just having 55 people, one at each site who lives there and really develops a precise understanding as to exactly what that site's all about, what its weaknesses are, what you need to do? And also is a constant, you know, if rapport and communications with your Russians is important. Having one person on site who maybe even spends a little money when they ask you to and do things that they point out are inadequate, would be, I would think, a much better way of gaining rapport than to have the traveling teams that are going to be here in two weeks. And they're going to come in and get grief and gain your trust.
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Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. That could be useful, Mr. Chairman. It's obviously one thing we would have to negotiate very carefully with the Russians on, but I think it's a very useful notion.
And it's certainly the kind of notion that we're working on now with this project team and project manager approach.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. We'll be interested in what you come up with. We've got some more questions for the record.
Let me ask you something else, Ms. Gottemoeller. As your name came up in this big brouhaha we had over the scientist at Los Alamos who was suspended; there was a meeting with the FBI, and just total confusion.
We had Elizabeth Moeller and Mr. Trulock in to tell us about security in October of 1998, and I asked them the question, had there been any thefts of nuclear secrets from any of our nuclear weapons labs. This was obviously after they were well aware of the theft at Los Alamos. But I wasn't aware of it.
And the answer was, they went off and talked about a lot of other stuff that happened in the 1980s, but later admitted to me they didn't tell me the truth. They purposely omitted telling us that.
That was in October 1998. And I think it was in December of 1998 when they did, and I think prompted by the Cox Commission, some inquiries that basically told all about thein fact, I think that also prompted them to look around at this guy who is still sitting there next to the nuclear secrets vault, and they got him out of there at that point.
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Mr. Trulock brought testimony to that October of 1998 hearing. And in the hearing, I asked him if his testimony had been changed by anybody that he presented to us, and he said it had. And we then had another hearing later on with Ms. Moler.
My question to you isand I could be wrongbut I thought that your name was brought up as somebody who was given the testimony. Mr. Trulock prepared his testimony, and in the testimony he said some things such as, ''We've had thefts, significant thefts, by the Chinese, et cetera, that would have then prompted us, if that hadn't been stricken out, to pursue that and probably discover this theft at Los Alamos.''
That was taken out of his testimony.
And my question to you is, did you ever see that testimony? Was that ever passed off to you for your okay, Mr. Trulock's testimony for the 1998 hearing before this subcommittee, October of 1998?
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Trulock left my management chain early in 1998, when the reorganizations occurred, the first reorganizations that formed counterintelligence and the Offices of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, into two independent offices reporting directly to the Secretary.
I would have reviewed his testimony prior to his departure. That's normally what happens in the Department of Energy, testimony is handed around for oversight review and comment, just in the normal context of how we do business on a day-to-day basis.
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But I do not believe, and I don't have a recollection, sir, of reviewing any testimony of his after his office left my management chain in February of 1998.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Well, if you could, for the record, if you could review that.
Mr. GOTTEMOELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. It was at the October 6, 1998 hearing where we asked those questions and were given the non-answers, and that he provided this testimony where, to me, the critical parts had been stricken out by somebody in the Administration.
Now that you know that that's what we want, if you could let us know, for the record, if you know of anybody, when you look this thing over, who was involved in reviewing that or changing that, we would like to have that answer for the record.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. Okay, sir, I will review my records.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
Ms. GOTTEMOELLER. I don't have any recollection, however.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But if you could review that, maybe review your records or whatever, we would appreciate that.
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Ms. Huntoon, with respect to Rocky Flats, one issue that I recallforgive me if I haven't got it totally in recollectionwas that there was a big controversy about moving stuff out of Rocky Flats to WIPP.
In fact, I think you had in the report that you had a Udall brother running for office in Colorado, and one who was running for office in New Mexico, and the Colorado Udall said, ''By gosh, this waste is going to WIPP,'' and the one in New Mexico said, ''Over my dead body.'' It was kind of a political issue at one time.
Maybe it was in the context of two cousins fighting each other, but I know when I was out there, there was a lot of stuff in the paper about New Mexico not wanting to take the waste at that time.
As I recall, there were some efficiency questions as to whether we were spending too much time and effort basically classifying and permitting, if you will, that waste, and a lot of money, going through too many bureaucratic steps in getting that waste loaded up at Rocky Flats and moved out to WIPP.
So I knew this is a very broad question. Have you looked at how much it is costing us to, once the waste is canistered, compartmentalized, by the folks who are doing the cleanup at Rocky Flats, are you satisfied that we're moving it efficiently and cost-effectively to New Mexico?
Ms. HUNTOON. Mr. Chairman, we're moving toward that direction. The initial loading and moving of the waste started out a slower process than we desired, but we did get some moved out, and then we ran into the problem of the re-permitting of the facility, the WIPP facility, so everything stopped again until we got the new permit. Then we had to go back and recertify everyone to ship again to WIPP, so that slowed us down.
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But in the loading and the management of the transportation, the loading of the samples, the waste, and the management of the transportation, we're getting better and better at it, and we've put in some efficienciesadding another loading dockbecause these containers have to have special loading capabilities.
Mr. HUNTER. Yes.
Mr. HUNTOON. And we're adding another one. The new contract has that as the baseline, I believe, to add another one, so that we can have two places loading at one time.
The people down at WIPP have gotten more efficient at handling the tru-packs, that's what they're called, when they arrive down there.
So it was a buildup process. We didn't start out very well, but I think it's getting better, and the goals that we have this year and the schedules that we are going to maintain this year call for a very large increase in the number of shipments.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Could you look at that issue and let us know what it's costing per canister, and just a brief report on whether we're going through an efficient permitting and cataloging system.
Ms. HUNTOON. Okay.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Excuse my question for being so broad.
Ms. HUNTOON. No, I understand.
Mr. HUNTER. That being a cost issue that came up.
Gen. Gioconda, what do you think the prospects are for DOE to become a partner in missile defense with DOD? And you know the problem. I think you've laid out part of the problem.
I mean, if you take money out to DOD, and you've got the contractors fighting, scuffling for it, and claiming that the DOE is taking the money. If you use DOE money, like you tried to do here a while back, then you've got their protectors banning us from using any of these physicists to solve our defense problems. They're there for other things, like making a new mouse, and stuff like that.
General GIOCONDA. Sir, I would hope they wouldn't use that money in LDR anymore. I think those things are gone. But as a way around ittwo years ago when you first asked us to look into thiswe had a three-day conference where we went through, in a very detailed fashion with the labs and the ballistic missile office, and constructed a work program at both wires at the critical junctures of what BMDO thought were necessary, where they needed immediate help.
And as in all relationships, sir, I would recommend that that be a starting point, and then let that process grow.
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Mr. HUNTER. Let what be a starting point?
General GIOCONDA. The starting point would be to go back and ask for that update, update whatever that wasof course, it's dated nowbut ask that and have that relationship start at that point, where the labs would be asked to work on the critical structures and also the dual use availabilities that are already inherent in the program. We did that.
They put it into two baskets. Basket one is the dual use, where we are working on things in stockpile stewardship that have direct feedback to the ballistic missile effort, and then the other area was the work for other areas, and allow that relationship to start from that point.
Unfortunately, everyone wants to get to an endgame of just a commingling of money or worse. What I think needs to happen is we need to start with an agreed-upon list, a task list, if you would, that both the DOE agrees they can work and they have the talent and the people to work on it, and number two, that the Ballistic Missile Defense Office sees that as a requirement that they definitely need.
Start there, divide it into the two pots, and I think there may be a way forward with it.
Mr. HUNTER. How would you apportion the costs? I mean, money is the bottom line here.
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General GIOCONDA. Well, no, sir, for me it is not money.
Mr. HUNTER. No, I know not for you, but it's going to be with a lot of other people.
General GIOCONDA. The thing that I'm most concerned about in the effort is that I only have, in stockpile stewardship, 18 members, and I have to be very careful here to not cut a deal, basically, that puts my 18 members not working on stockpile stewardship.
Mr. HUNTER. Sure.
General GIOCONDA. I'm very sensitive to that, particularly with what the Chiles Commission is telling you. We're down to one and two experts in various fields, and if they're not working on stockpile stewardship, sir, you're going to hear from me about that. I have to tell you that.
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah.
General GIOCONDA. And so what I would recommend is, if we could have that group together, what would be the split? The split would determine what they want us to work on.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Let me ask you another question that goes to kind of the makeup of the complex now.
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If you take the smartest scientists, I mean the real good physicists who, in theory, could help build a missile defense if they were allowed by law to do it, right? I mean, this is like the Manhattan Project having a law that says that guys like the smartest scientists that you have developing the nuclear weapon are prohibited by law from doing it.
So if you took these guys and had a requirement for them to do stuff, had a real challenge that they could solve in the missile defense area, is their workload such that they can do it?
My impression is that you've kind of got two inconsistent themes here. One theme that I think you've got is that you're losing a lot of smart people. Your real top-notch physicists are getting older, and they're not being replaced, and there's not that excitement, not that pull, not that magnetism that the program once had for our best and brightest.
So the impression you get is that they're sitting around eating bon-bons, they're not doing what they want to do. Maybe the stockpile stewardship stuff is boring, but one thing we do know, it's not pulling any young people to follow in their footsteps, right?
So my question is, are the human resources stretched? In other words, if you said, ''Hey, I want to have a great man working on missile defense,'' would your answer back be, ''he is not available, he's wall-to-wall every day on stockpile stewardship,'' or would it be that there's grants available, but the money is not there?
If you take the smartest physicists we've got who could be applied to missile defense, do they have the time to do it?
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General GIOCONDA. Sir, it depends on what you ask them to do, first of all.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay.
General GIOCONDA. Sir, through the complex, there is no one sitting around eating bon-bons.
Mr. HUNTER. I know. But my point
General GIOCONDA. We also don't have the bon-bons to eat.
Mr. HUNTER. No, I understand that. But my point isstill, the point that I'm trying to make here is valid.
Are your guys available? Are your guys available and do they have the time with this shrinking pool of smart guys who could apply to missile defense, do they have the time to do it?
General GIOCONDA. Sir, the devil is in the detail of what's been asked.
I'm down to ones and twos. That's why I think the Ballistic Missile Defense Office needs to come up with the requirements that they need, and my labs need to look at that, and I need to analyze it, task by task, function by function, and that's sort of where we were at in thatwhere we would make a commitment to do that.
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It would be just like every other requirement that's asked of us by the Defense Department. We make a commitment to deliver it based on the resources we have available and the time that they want it in.
Mr. HUNTER. I understand that.
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. But I still want to have kind of an answer to my question. If you look at your top scientists and you look at their work schedules, are they totally consumed by the stockpile stewardship work requirements, or do they have some time to be able to work on this stuff? And I understand it's a matter of degree, so my question to you is, do you have any time?
General GIOCONDA. Sir
Mr. HUNTER. In other words, is your problem a human resources problem with respect to having people available for missile defense, or is it more a money problem, a money resources problem?
General GIOCONDA. Sir, they're related. I would say both, but I would like to start with dual use.
For example, if I have somebody working on hostile environments for nuclear weapons, hostile environments is very important work that the Ballistic Missile Office also needs, and if there are areas there that they could be working on both at the same time, providing both on information line, there's a win there for both issues.
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I've got to be able to say to you that government can work together to work on priorities. However, if they ask me to work on intercept issues that are not directly related to stockpile stewardship, then I have to see what they want, when they want it, and how they want it, and go and see if the team is available to do that, and fit in that work with what requirements I have for stockpile stewardship.
So it really depends on the request, who can do it. But dual use is the first place to start, I would contend.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But I think in talking to a lot of these smart guys, what they think is exciting, of course, is the intercept stuff, and as you know, in the old days, that's a lot of the stuff that they worked on, that they were devoted to.
But you think they may have some time available to work on this stuff?
General GIOCONDA. They could, if they split the requirements.
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah. Because, if we work this torturous path of trying to get money, and then the answer back is, ''I don't have enough people to do that, and they're all consumed with stockpile stewardship work,'' it doesn't matter how much money you got, right?
General GIOCONDA. Let me give you
Page 111 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. You only have so many hours in the day.
General GIOCONDA. Let me give you an example of where we would get into it. If they would ask me to use my ASCII machines to work on the intercept issue, I would go back and take a look at what the deputy secretary talked to you about, and I would put everybody on overtime to arrive at that burn code that I considered critical for stockpile stewardship.
So I would have to phase what they want in with what my critical milestones for stockpile stewardship, because I've got 50 percent of the stockpile coming through for limited life exchange or more in the next five years. That has to be set in.
So I have to be very, very careful to give you an answer that you can take to the bank. It really depends on what they're asking you to do.
Some of the people that don't want to get into the exciting part, that you talk to, well, their excitement and the needs of the nation sometimes are going to be at odds.
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah. But let me just tell you, General, I think one of the tragedies of this last 50 years is going to be we had this big challenge to shoot down missiles, and the smartest guys weren't allowed to play in the game. I think that's incredibly dumb, for a country.
You know, maybe it's partially because of politics. Partially, it's because of resource allocation. It's crazy. I mean, it's like the old, you know, you draft the guy that's the physicist and you send him to the motor pool. You know, it's one of those things that we've done.
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But when you go in and when you talk to these guys, your great, great scientists, and a lot of them have got some ideas on how we can do stuff, plus we've got all of these resources. You've got physical resources. You've got computer capability, you got simulation capability, you got ranges. None of that stuff is being used, except on this limited, paid-for basis, by DOD; that's really frustrating.
So, let me ask you, did you get a chance to talk with Senator Domenici's staff about this?
General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Are they interested? The last time I talked to him he said he was interested in doing something in the area of missile defense.
Have they indicated any interest in working?
General GIOCONDA. Sir, my problem is, his staff has changed over from when I talked to him, so I can't tell you the current, quote, staff position.
But I pointed out what we did, showed them the dual use that we did when we met with the Ballistic Missile Office. I talked to Gen. Davis, who is my one-star equivalent over at the Ballistic Missile Office, and he's interested in renewing that, and it's incumbent upon us to do that.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But I have to emphasize at every point my job is in nuclear deterrent, and that's why you're finding me a hard push here, because if I don't do that jobthe nuclear deterrent is right up there with what you consider important, also.
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah, but you see, I think that this would help you, in terms of stockpile stewardship. I think you can have something exciting like this.
You know, I've talked to these guys. The one thing that used to bring these people, as you know, into this business was they did stuff, and there was an endgame where they were tested. And you had guys flying out to the test range in Nevada, working on the last of their problems as they were getting on the plane, and I think they either succeed or they fail, or they partially succeed.
But there was an attraction in the program, because you had a testing program you don't have now, and I think that's the reason they've got the lab directors' discretionary fund, a couple hundred million bucks. That's not small potatoes. That's so people can come up with different ideas, and these smart guys can use their creativity to help the country in different ways.
And I think if you had this ban on them doing stuff on what they all know is the big challengethat's being able to take out incoming ballistic missilesI think that that has a depressing effect on the smart people who are in the labs, and the smart people who would otherwise come to the labs.
If you have an attraction there, then I think you're going to have more recruits, and maybe more retention. I don't know if you have a retention problem. But I think that that would provide some help for somebodyyou said in your statements you're going to have creative recruitment possibilities. Well, even if we've got a creative recruitment policy, it doesn't mean you're going to get people to join. That's why we're 1,200 pilots short in the Air Force right now, right?
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General GIOCONDA. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. That's a retention problem.
General GIOCONDA. Sir, I could tell you, I'm so concerned about that.
To give you a Chiles Commission statistic for 1999, 40 percent of our skills were replaced in our hiring. That left 60 percent unfilled. That gives you pause, when you look at the condition of where we're going to have A-teams in the future to do the work of stockpile stewardship, which is what I'm tasked to do.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you so much, and Ms. Huntoon and Ms. Gottemoeller, thank you for being with us today. We'll have some more questions for the record. Thanks for your patience in sitting through another one of our short hearings.
The Subcommittee is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:25 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
March 21, 2000
[The Appendix is pending.]
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