Find a Security Clearance Job!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

WEAPONS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, 05/07/1991, Question and Answer

Basis Date:
J. Johnston
Senate Appropriations
Docfile Number:
Hearing Date:
DOE Lead Office:
Energy and Water Development
Hearing Subject:
Hearing Text:

                    Weapons Research and Development
        Funding and employment related to the technology base of the
  weapons labs continues a downward trend.
        Question: What accounts for the continued reduction in both
  funding and employment levels?
        Answer: The continued reduction follows from the combined
  pressures of reduced funding available for nuclear Weapons Research,
  Development and Testing (WRD&T), constant requirements to support the
  existing and near-term stockpile, and increased requirements for
  dealing with a host of restoration, security, environmental, health,
  and safety (ES&H) issues.
        Question: Is the level of resources requested in the 1992
  budget request adequate to address priority activities foreseen at
  this time?
        Answer: Yes, but this level does erode the WRD&T technology
  base and results in stretching out further several of the ES&H
  activities which are planned.
        Question: What is the rationale behind the decision to give
  such activities as Technology Commercialization and Inertial Fusion a
  higher funding priority than the weapons research, development, and
  testing technology base program?
        Answer: The Weapons Research, Development and Testing
  technology base programs are part of a much larger program. The
  laboratories are multi-purpose institutions and carry out a large
  "number of missions ranging from human genome and superconductivity
  research to development of massively parallel computational
  techniques, in addition to their basic nuclear weapons mission.
        Both technology commercialization and inertial fusion ate
  viewed as activities that not only have their own potential payoff,
  but also support and extend the basic nuclear weapons mission. For
  this reason, they are supported as an overall part of the program in
  a manner that balances various programmatic needs against available
        Question: Funding for Technology Commercialization goes from
  $20 million in fiscal year 1991 to $32 million in 1992, a 60%
  increase in just one year. What is the justification for such a
  large increase in one year? Can this program assimilate such a large
  increase without waste and inefficient or ineffective use of the
        Answer: Technology Commercialization within Defense Programs
  is a new initiative. Both the laboratories and private sector
  businesses are just becoming aware of the potential and importance of
  technology transfer. In FY 1991, the Technology Commercialization
 Initiative issued a call for laboratory/industry proposals which
 generated more interest and support from the private sector than the
 budget could support. The willingness of private sector partners to
 match Government dollars demonstrates their confidence in the
       We will be funding about 35 of these proposals in FY 1991,
 almost all of which are multiyear projects that will require FY 1992
 funding. The FY 1992 call for proposals has just been issued, and
 based on the increasing maturity of the program, we expect a greater
 response than in the previous year. Consequently, even with the
 proposed budget increase, it will not be possible to support all of
 the high quality proposals that we expect to receive.
       All proposals are reviewed by at least two independent
 technical review panels. These reviews assure that only proposals
 that meet all program requirements, including benefits to Defense
 Programs and industry, are considered for funding. These reviews,
 coupled with the requirement for private sector cost-sharing, provide
 assurance that program resources will be used effectively.
       Technology transfer leverages government dollars with private
 sector dollars to fulfill a common need. This program brings private
 sector expertise and private sector dollars into government
       Question: How does the technology commercialization program
 benefit the weapons program?
       Answer: The Technology Commercialization Initiative benefits
 the weapons program in a number of ways. All projects must be in
 areas of technology which are related to the weapons program mission.
 Selection of projects is coordinated with the Office of Military
 Applications to assure that this condition is satisfied. The
 leveraging of Defense Programs research and development funds with
 private sector funds contributes to the maintenance of a stronger
 technical base in the laboratories to meet future national security
 needs than would be possible with Just Defense Programs (DP) funding.
 The laboratories are also strengthened through their increased
 exposure to the ideas and capabilities existing in the private
 sector. In addition, the program helps to create or maintain a
 viable domestic supplier base for critical DP's and Department of
 Defense needs. This will become even more important as the
 Department moves forward with its effort to upgrade and modernize the
 nuclear weapons complex and privatize the production of a greater
 proportion of nonnuclear components.
                         Nuclear Weapon Safety
       DOE and DOD continue to give very high priority to modernizing
 the SRAM A (W-69) warhead which has the potential for burn and/or
 detonation during an aircraft accident or fire. The result is
 dispersal of plutonium over a wide area.
       Testimony at last years hearing indicated a 1 year slip in the
 delivery of the missile system because of development problems, and
 concern over constraints in DOE's production complex (restart of
 Rocky Flats).
       Question: Does the budget contain sufficient funding to
 maintain the high priority status of this weapons safety work?
       Answer: Modernizing the SRAM A (W-69) with modern nuclear
 detonation and plutonium dispersal safety features would be the
 equivalent of developing a new warhead. The DOD has addressed the
 primary safety concern by removing the SRAM A from active alert. The
 long term solution will be achieved by replacing the SRAM A with the
 SRAM II (W-89), which includes insensitive high explosive and a fire
 resistant pit. There is sufficient funding for the SRAM II program.
       To implement some of the Drell Panel's recommendations for
 incorporating modern safety technology into the stockpile requires
 reopening of the Rocky Flats plant. The funding for addressing the
 facility safety and environmental issues is central to this goal.
 Another important factor in incorporating this technology would be an
 adequately funded nuclear test program. The Drell Panel made two
 other points which have an impact on funding. First, the
 laboratories must have the resources made available to develop the
 data bases for determining the safety benefit of design features and
 design options. Second, to provide intrinsically safe weapons in the
 future requires an investment in exploratory research.
       Question: Is everything being done that can or should be done
  in fiscal year 1992?
       Answer: The President's budget is adequate to address the
  highest priority concerns.
       Question: Has there been any change in either the warhead or
  missile system delivery schedule since last year?
       Answer: The SRAM II missile delivery system   has slipped due to
  a reevaluation of the program schedule by the Air  Force. The Air
  Force schedule indicates that the Department of Energy (DOE) is to
  provide first assets delivered (FAD) in the first quarter of FY 1996.
  DOE is making a commensurate adjustment to its production schedule to
  remain in step with this Air Force schedule change.
      Question: Update the Committee on the status of the technical
 problems which caused last years schedule slip.
      Answer: There are no technical problems with the W89 warhead
 for the SRAM II that caused schedule adjustments. The Department of
 Energy adjustment in production schedule was a direct result of the
 slip in the Air Force schedule caused by the missile motor production
      Question: How could the operational status of Rocky Flats
 impact the ability of DOE to address this weapons safety issue?
      Answer: The Department of Energy (DOE) has placed high priority
 on modernizing or replacing the W69 with a warhead that incorporates
 all of the modern safety features. A cost tradeoff study performed
 while the W89 was in Phase 2 development indicated that it was more
 effective to replace the W69 warhead on SRAM A with the new W89
 warhead, rather than use a Stockpile Improvement Program (SIP) to
 make safety changes in the W69. Congressional appropriation language
 mandated that the W89 warhead be compatible with the SRAM A missile.
     Question: Are you constrained by budgetary considerations from
 meeting required operational schedules?
      Answer: The FY 1992 budget request includes adequate funding to
 meet schedules for the W89 warhead for SRAM II, approved in the
 1991-1996 Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Memorandum.
      Question: What is the status of the Trident warhead safety
      Answer: We still view W88/Trident-II system as safe.
 Nevertheless, the Navy implemented Drell Panel recommendations to
 change Trident-II missile handling procedures, and the Department of
 Energy continues to improve the three-dimensional computer codes to
 predict warhead behavior in abnormal environments. The
 W88/Trident-II system will be included in a Special Stockpile
 Improvement Review undertaken by the Nuclear Weapons Council.
                        Nuclear Directed Weapons
      Last year Congress shifted the Nuclear Directed Energy Weapons
 (NDEW) activities under the core research and development weapons
 programs and appropriated $90.6 million under operating expenses.
      Question: Update the Committee on DOE's current activities and
 what the Department plans for NDEW activities in 1992.
      Answer: In FY 1991, the Department of Energy (DOE) continues to
 do threat assessment research on x-ray laser (XRL), nuclear explosive
 driven optical frequency laser (OFL), hypervelocity projectile (HVP),
 and nuclear reactor driven OFL concepts. The XRL research centers on
 preparation for an underground nuclear test [DELETED)
       The reactor driven OFL work continues to investigate the physics
 issues and technologies related to high-power reactor pumped lasers,
 including energy extraction and beam quality issues.
      In FY 1992, it is expected that the basic threat assessment
 research on the XRL, HVP, and reactor driven OFL concepts will
 continue, although at a lower level due to reduced funding. The
 research on the nuclear explosive driven OFL is expected to be
 significantly scaled back or possibly eliminated to fund higher
 priority programs. The only underground nuclear test planned for
 Nuclear Directed Energy Weapons (NDEW) concepts in FY 1992 is an XRL
 test [DELETED)
      Question: What funding levels are being requested for both DOE
 and DOD for fiscal year 1992 and how does that compare to the 1991
 funding levels?
      Answer: In FY 1991 the Congress deleted Nuclear Directed Energy
 Weapons (NDEW) as a separate funding line in the Department of Energy
 (DOE) budget, integrating the appropriated funds into the Core
 Weapons Research and Development programs. Thus, no separate NDEW
 program currently exists. However, DOE estimates that about
 $84 million in fiscal year 1992 will be needed to support the threat
 assessment research related to NDEW concepts. This level of funding
 compares to the $90.7 million appropriated in FY 1991 by Congress for
 the NDEW work. In addition, the Strategic Defense Initiative
 Organization (SDIO) provided $8.8 million to the DOE on a Military
 Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR) to directly support the
 NDEW threat assessment research on the x-ray laser concept. SDIO has
 thus far not provided an estimate of Department of Defense funding
 for NDEW threat assessment for FY 1992.
      Question: How much funding was transferred to DOE by DOD for
 SDI-related work in 1990 and 1991, and what is planned for 1992 and
      Answer: The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO)
 has provided $11 million in FY 1990 and $8.8 million in FY 1991 to
 the Department of Energy through Military Interdepartmental Purchase
 Requests to directly support Nuclear Directed Energy Weapons
 activities. The amounts to be transferred for FY 1992 and FY 1993
 are not known at this time.
      Question: What SDI/NDEW related tests are planned for 1991 and
 1992? What is the purpose and objective of each test?
      Answer: The Department of Energy (DOE) is not conducting
 Nuclear Directed Energy Weapons (NDEW) research as a Strategic
 Defense Initiative Organization project, but rather as a part of the
 DOE mission to do threat assessment research on advanced nuclear
 weapons concepts that could threaten the United States strategic
 deterrent forces and future strategic defenses. The SDIO will
 benefit, however, from the resulting research conducted by DOE NDEW
 threat assessment work.
      The only NDEW underground test planned for FY 1992 is an x-ray
 laser experiment [DELETED]
                       Weapons Testing Program
      The weapons testing program continues the downward trend of the
 past few years. While up slightly over the 1991 funding level, the
 program is 10% below the 1990 level of funding.
      Question: How do you view this trend and is the request, in
 terms of both dollars and numbers of tests, adequate to support the
 national security needs and objectives of the country?
      Answer: We view the trend with concern. While the FY 1992
 request will enable the Department to meet minimum national security
 requirements, further erosion of WRD&T may indeed prevent us from
 meeting national security objectives.
      Question: How does a declining level of funding in the testing
 program impact the technology base of the weapons labs?
      Answer: The declining level of test funding impacts the
 technology base because the reduced level of testing precludes the
 designers and engineers from obtaining the results of experiments and
 tests of their designs.
      Question: Given the importance of these activities to the
 national security, how do you justify this continued decline?
      Answer: We have had to make some tough decisions in order to
 ensure that our highest priorities are funded in an environment of
 decreasing resources. Our budget request reflects an appropriate
 balance of many conflicting priorities.
      Question: What is the status of the proposed reprogramming that
 would add an additional $20 million to the testing program for 1991?
      Answer: A proposed reprogramming of $20 million to the testing
 program for 1991 is currently being circulated for approval within
 the Administration.
      Question: What is the justification and need to conduct this
      Answer: The reprogramming is required to bring overall test
 program funding into better balance with research and development
 funding for FY 1991 to permit us to follow through on the required
 number of tests planned for FY 1991 and preparations for FY 1992
 tests. Receiving this funding late in the year means that
 specifically, it will be applied to test activities [DELETED]
       Funding will provide for emplacement hardware,
 diagnostic equipment, and for labor associated with event
 construction and diagnostics.
      Question: What date do you assume the reprogrammed funds will
 be available?
      Answer: We assume that the reprogrammed funding will become
 available in time to support activities planned for the remainder of
 FY 1991. Without successful reprogramming, major layoffs of
 contractor personnel at the Test Site would be required.
      Question: How much of the $18 million will be obligated and
 expended in fiscal year 1991?
      Answer: We expect to obligate and expend all of the
 reprogrammed funds in fiscal year 1991.
      Question: Discuss the current status of the Combined Device
 Assembly Facility (85-D-105) at the Nevada Test Site, particularly
 the problem with the special doors needed for the facility?
      Answer: The Combined Device Assembly Facility project is
 63 percent complete. The remaining work includes minor remedial work
 on the facility, procurement and installation of the cranes and
 radiography machine, installation of security system, communications,
 paving, and the procurement of the special doors.
      We do not foresee any more significant technical issues in the
 procurement and installation of the special doors. Discussions with
 the firms that have submitted proposals have clarified the major
 issues with respect to safety and security.
      The challenge that lies ahead is minimizing the impact the
 special door problems have on the overall project schedule. The
 technical evaluation, based on audits, has been completed. There
 were items requiring additional information, which is needed for the
 preparation of the pricing proposal. Once this is done, the Nevada
 Operations Office will complete the pre-negotiation memorandum and
 forward it to Headquarters for approval. Once approved, negotiations
 leading to an award will begin. The bid acceptance period has been
 extended through the end of August 1991.
       Question: How confident is the Department that the $12 million
 requested for 1992 can be fully and efficiently utilized in FY 1992?
       Answer: The funding profile for the Combined Device Assembly
 Facility was based on awarding a contract for the special doors late
 in the second quarter or early in the third quarter FY 1991. The
 award will now slip until the fourth quarter of FY 1991. This slip
 will not impact our ability to use effectively the funding requested
 in the FY 1992 budget request.
       Question: What is the status of appropriations, obligations,
 and expenditures for the project?
       Answer: As of April 1991, $73,602,000 has been appropriated, of
 which we have obligated $66,699,110 and costed $52,936,199.
       Question: How realistic is the 4th quarter 1993 completion date
 shown in the budget justification?
       Answer: Given the slip in awarding the contract for the special
 doors, we expect completion in the first quarter of FY 1994.
       Question: When will the review of the project cost estimated be
       Answer: The next review of project cost will take place in June
       Question: What would be the impact in terms of higher costs if
 no further funding were provided for the project until a firm cost
 estimate were available?
       Answer: The cost estimate is sufficiently firm to proceed with
 the project. If no FY 1992 funding is provided, we would anticipate
 a two-year delay in the project and an increase in construction costs
 of about $7,000,000. The two year delay would occur because of a
 year's delay in funding, the first year, and the time required to
 reinitiate the procurement process, the second year. The cost to
 maintain the existing facility during this period would be
 approximately $1,500,000 per year. During this two-year delay, we
 would continue to operate existing device assembly facilities with
 safety and security features which are less capable than those that
 would be provided by the Combined Device Assembly Facility.
       Question: When does the budget request assume that the problems
 with the doors will be resolved?
       Answer: The budget request assumed award of the special door
 contract in late second quarter or early third quarter FY 1991.
                   Weapons Production and Surveillance
      At the time the 1992 budget was prepared the Nuclear Weapons
 Stockpile Memorandum had not been approved by the President.
 Therefore, the national security requirements for nuclear weapons was
 not clear.
      Question: Has there been slippage in any Department of Defense
 (DOD) delivery/platform systems which would result in a corresponding
 slip in production schedule for the related warhead?
      Answer: During the last year, the production programs for the
 Nuclear Depth/Strike Bomb (B90), Follow-on-to-Lance (FOTL), and Small
 ICBM (W87-1) were terminated because their DOD delivery/platform
 systems were placed on indefinite hold or terminated. The SRAM II
 (W89) and SRAM T (W91) warhead production programs were slipped as
 follows due to delivery system slippage:
 Last year      W89            1993              1998
 This year                     1994              1998
 Last year      W91            1995              1999
 This year                     1997              1998
              Laboratory Directed  Research and Development
      Earlier this year the Department submitted a report describing
 all overhead taxes and indirect charges which are made against direct
 programs and the justification for each program charge or tax as
 requested by the Congress in the conference report on the FY 1991
 Appropriations bill. This is the Laboratory Directed Research and
 Development which the House subcommittee was critical of last year.
      Question: What is the purpose of this type of flexibility and
 how important is it in assisting with the national security effort?
      Answer: The Packard Panel Report (Federal Laboratory Review
 Panel of the White House Science Council, Office of Science and
 Technology Policy) issued in May 1983, expressed concern that the
 federal laboratory directors were not allowed enough flexibility to
 explore innovative scientific opportunities. The Report recommended
 that 5 to 10 percent of the Federal laboratories annual funding
 should be devoted to independent research and development (R&D). In
 December 1985 the Energy Research Advisory Board (ERAB) recommended
 that 'current exploratory Research and Development levels of
 1-2 percent [of] total operational funding should be increased to the
 range of 5-10 percent over the next five years.'
      The national laboratories have highly trained and competent
 staff and management working in the forefronts of science and
 technology. They are clearly in a strong position to determine those
 projects which have the greatest potential to benefit the national
 security and the scientific and economic vitality of the nation.
      The Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program
 is an important part of the mission of the national laboratories and
 plays a vital role in maintaining and upgrading our nuclear
 deterrent. Just as the ixisting nuclear weapon stockpile and current
 weapon production is based on past R&D, LDRD provides part of today's
 R&D base which will ensure the future vitality of the DOE weapons
 program. The need to expand and improve continually the Nation's
 science and technology base was demonstrated dramatically by the
 recent success of Operation Desert Storm. Our ability to respond to
 the increased ES&H requirements and our ability to improve the safety
 of nuclear weapons as recommended in the Drell Report is only
 possible as a result of past research and technology development
      LDRD (and its predecessor Exploratory Research and Development,
 ER&D) has had substantial success in contributing to the technology
 base of the Defense Programs and the nation. A long list of examples
 can be provided. In addition, it should be noted that many of the
 LDRD projects at the three DOE weapons design laboratories have
 resulted in a large number of R&D 100 awards, more than any other
 agency or company, public or private. These awards are given by
 industry for those developments which they believe are of greatest
 significance to the future of U.S. industry.
      Question: What are the Department's current policies and
 procedures related to laboratory directed research and development?
      Answer: The Defense Programs and Energy Research office worked
 together to produce a new DOE order (DOE 5000.4) that was issued on
 February 28, 1991, establishing uniform policy and guidelines for all
 the national laboratories' Laboratory Directed Research and
 Development (LDRD) programs. This order will be fully implemented by
 the Laboratories in FY 1992. Significant aspects of the new order
       Laboratories must submit annual LDRD plans and reports
       Laboratory LDRD plans and proposed annual funding levels must
       be approved by the Secretary
       Laboratories LDRD activities must be reviewed annually by the
       cognizant Secretarial Officer and responsible DOE operations
       Laboratories must accumulate LDRD funds equitably from all
       sources of operating and capital equipment budget
       LDRD projects will normally have a maximum period of funding
       (e.g., 3 years) to be established by the laboratory director
       and incorporated in the laboratory's LDRD management process
       unless exception is granted by the cognizant Secretarial
       Establishes an upper limit of 6 percent of the laboratories
       operating and capital equipment budget which is consistent
       with levels recommended in reviews of the national
       laboratories by the Office of Science and Technology Policy
       and the Energy Research Advisory Board.
      In addition, prior to implementation of the new order, the
 Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Application sent a letter to
 the Laboratory directors requiring that all LDRD projects be
 submitted to DOE Headquarters. Each lab director was required to
 certify that the portion of the LDRD funds derived from Atomic Energy
 Defense Activities are being used for the "purpose of maintaining the
 vitality of the laboratory in defense-related scientific
 disciplines," in conformance with section 3132(d) of the National
 Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991. The laboratories
 complied with this request.
      Question: What audit and accounting controls have been
 established to monitor this work?
      Answer: Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5000.4 issued on
 February 28, 1991, establishes the policy and guidelines regarding
 Laboratory Directed Research Development (LDRD). LDRD expenditures
 are considered an allowable cost in accordance with the terms and
 conditions of the laboratory operating contract and are identified in
 the laboratory accounting system. Each project has a proposal with a
 scope of work, budget, and schedule. Each project is uniquely
 budgeted for and has a unique cost code.
      According to DOE Order 5000.4, each laboratory will submit an
 annual written report on its LORD activities through the appropriate
 Operations Office Manager to the cognizant Secretarial Officer. The
 annual report should include a technical and financial summary of the
 program and a short description of each funded project.
 Additionally, each laboratory will provide reports to the Office of
 Scientific and Technical Information. Audits have been conducted on
 the LDRD program by both the IG and GAO during the past several
      Question: The estimate of lab directed research at the 5 multi-
 program Defense labs range from 26% and totals some $140 million.
 What is an appropriate level on a percentage basis?
      Answer: There are five Energy Research and four Defense
 Programs multiprogram laboratories authorized to conduct LDRD. The
 total funding estimated for all nine laboratories for LDRD in FY 1992
 is $140.5 million; with a majority of the laboratories supporting the
 activity well below the maximum 6 percent. The estimates for Energy
 Research laboratories are in the 0.8 to 4 percent range; the Defense
 Programs laboratories are in the 2 to 6 percent range. These
 percentages reflect differences between the laboratories in research
 emphasis, location, and methods used to support the science and
 technology base. In general, external reviews have given the
 laboratories very high marks for their use of the discretionary
 Research and Development funding and recommended levels of 5 to
 10 percent. A study conducted at the request of the Assistant
 Secretary for Defense Programs issued a report in April 1990,
 recommending a maximum level of 6 percent with the actual level at
 each laboratory determined by the quality of laboratory proposals and
 past performance on LDRD. The new Department of Energy order
 implements that recommendation.
      Question: What would be the impact of limiting lab directed R&D
 to 3 or 4% on the Department's ability to address national security
      Answer: The "appropriate" level is a judgement call. However,
 as we reduce the efforts focused on long-range development, we
 increase the risk that other nations will equal and surpass our
 nuclear deterrent capabilities and/or negate our deterrent as a
 result of new technological breakthroughs. The actual costs are very
 small in the context of national defense. The benefit of long-range
 research has been demonstrated over the years by the laboratories
 ability to respond to new nuclear weapon system requirements in terms
 of mission, increased safety, reliability, enhanced command and
 control, improved manufacturability, etc. We must not lose sight of
 the critical need to maintain and improve our scientific and
 technological capabilities. In the light of the rapidly changing
 world and a highly uncertain future environment, it is appropriate,
 indeed essential, to focus significant resources to enhance our long-
 range research and development efforts.
                       Rocky Flats Plant Restart
      The Dire Emergency Supplemental for 1991 provided $283 million
 for essential activities and to restart production operations at the
 Rocky Flats Plant.
      Question: How is work proceeding and what is the schedule for
 restarting facility operation?
      Answer:     Work is proceeding in an organized and methodical
 manner according to the plan for resumption. EG&G has completed its
 corporate Operational Readiness Review (ORR). The DOE ORR team is
 expected to initiate the DOE ORR later this month. There is no
 specific schedule for resumption of the buildings and plutonium
 operations, since resumption will be dictated by assurance of safety
 and meeting the guidance already given by the Secretary.
      Question: Can you provide a more specific schedule than the
 summer of 1991 for Building 559 and the fall of 1991 for
 building 707?
      Answer: Given nominal timeframes for the Operational Readiness
 Reviews (ORRs), administration and concurrences at the Department of
 Energy (DOE) Headquarters between offices, and time for input by the
 Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, it is currently estimated
 that buildings would resume operations approximately 60 days after
 the DOE ORR is initiated. The DOE ORR for Building 559 will start
 later this month. The DOE ORR for building 707 has not be set,
 however, it is expected to begin in early fall.
      Question: What uncertainties could impact DOE's current
      Answer: Schedule uncertainties would exist in the Operational
 Readiness Reviews if any safety problems which might take additional
 time to rectify, any legal challenges that enjoined the Department
 from proceeding according to schedule, any inability to meet
 restrictions set for waste storage and handling at Rocky Flats, and
 any unknown technical safety problems are uncovered.
      Question: Can you be more precise on the date for restart of
 Rocky Flats that was assumed in developing the budget request for
      Answer: The budget request for 1992 is in line with the current
 estimated start dates of the Department of Energy (DOE) Operational
 Readiness Reviews (ORRs) for each building which will undergo an ORR.
 Given a nominal time period of 60 days following the start of a DOE
 ORR and approval for resumption, the budget supports those plutonium
 operations expected to be in operation in FY 1992. Given schedule
 uncertainties, such as unknown technical safety problems or legal
 injunctions, the FY 1992 budget supports necessary operations to
 support resumption.
      At this time the DOE ORR for Building 559 will begin later this
 month. The DOE ORR for Building 707 has not been set but is expected
 to begin in early fall.
      .Question: How would DOE meet their national security
 responsibilities if, as some have suggested, Rocky Flats was closed
 in the very near future?
      Answer: Should Rocky Flats be closed prior to a new facility
 being available to produce plutonium components (pits) in the
 quantity necessary to satisfy stockpile requirements, the Department
 6f Energy (DOE) would be limited in its ability to provide new weapon
 builds.    [DELETED]
 Safety improvements to the present stockpile could only be accommodated
 where there are no changes in the present design of the nuclear
 package. DOE would continue to provide support to the present
 stockpile with respect to limited life component exchanges as
      Question: Has the Department explored the possibility of using
 SIS technology and the facility at Lawrence Livermore as an
 alternative to continued operation of Rocky Flats?
      Answer: A preliminary study was conducted on the cost,
 feasibility, and time period of using the Lawrence Livermore Special
 Isotope Separation Facility design as a new Rocky Flats plutonium
 parts production facility. The study in the Fall of 1990 concluded
 that it would take a minimum of 10 years and $625 million dollars
 depending on the site chosen and the availability of infrastructure
 support before a production facility could be built and operating.
      Question: What options exist or are being explored to
 manufacture pits if Rocky Flats operation is delayed or closed?
      Answer:    [DELETED]
      Question: Would these options meet the production requirements
 presented in the stockpile memorandum? If not, please explain why
 (be specific by weapons system)?
      Answer:    [DELETED]
 In addition to what is currently in the stockpile memorandum, the Drell
 Committee has made recommendations for safety improvements, such as the
 use of insensitive high explosive and fire resistance, where the
 feasibility for pit reuse would need further evaluation.
      Question: Does the complex have the capability to process and
 produce weapons specification plutonium ready for manufacture into
 pits at sites other than Rocky Flats?
      Answer: The Department has operated plutonium scrap and residue
 recovery facilities at the Savannah River Site (SRS), Hanford and the
 Los Alamos National Laboratory as capabilities and schedules
 permitted. The types of plutonium scrap material that can be
 processed varies from site to site.
 plutonium components from weapon returns are currently being
 processed by the F-Canyon. When the New Special Recovery facility
 becomes fully operational in FY 1992, the SRS will have a capability
 to dissolve impure metal.     [DELETED]
      At Hanford, plutonium recovery from scrap and residues is
 provided in the Plutonium Reclamation Facility (PRF), which is
 located in the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP). PRF is capable of
 processing plutonium oxides, plutonium scrap metals, plutonium
 nitrate solutions, plutonium sludges and plutonium ash. Preparations
 for startup of the PRF are underway. However, resumption of
 operation is dependent on resolution of environmental regulatory
 compliance issues. The Department plans to conduct limited
 stabilization operations in the PFP starting in mid-1991 to complete
 processing some of the materials remaining in the processing lines
 and to support material clean-out activities. These limited
 operations are necessary to place PFP in a safe standby mode and the
 recovered plutonium will be converted to an oxide form for safe
 storage/shipment as opposed to conversion to specification metal as
 was the case in past years. There are no existing or planned
 capabilities for processing of returns at Hanford.
      At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a wider variety of
 plutonium residues can be recovered as these facilities are operated
 primarily for research and development purposes. In addition to the
 residues capable of being processed at the SRS and in the PRF,
 Los Alamos facilities can be operated to process plutonium/beryllium
 sources, impure plutonium metals, plutonium/chloride oxides and a
 variety of low grade plutonium bearing materials. Approximately
 [DELETED]              will be provided to Rocky Flats from LANL.
      The capabilities for recovery of plutonium from scrap and
 residue materials are  variable and, at Savannah River and Hanford,
 are dependent on other baseline plutonium production missions. The
 capacities at Los Alamos vary with the quality of the plutonium
 bearing material, particularly since these recovery facilities are
 operated, in part, to develop recovery methods.
      Question: If DOE were directed not to restart the Rocky Flats
 facility, how would you meet the requirements of the stockpile
      Answer: If the Department of Energy (DOE) were directed not to
 restart the Rocky Flats facility, DOE would not be able to meet the
 requirements of the stockpile memorandum. DOE could use interim
 measures, such as pit reuse, to meet some aspects of the stockpile
 memorandum. However, its ability to support fully the stockpile
 memorandum, meet safety improvements in stockpiled weapons, and
 maintain a knowledge base and capability for future weapon production
 requirements would be severely undermined.
      Question: What would it cost and how long would it take to
 provide an interim capability to replace Rocky Flats?
      Answer: Initial studies indicate a facility which could produce
 plutonium components requires a minimum time period of 10 years and a
 minimum of $625 million dollars depending upon infrastructure
 available at the site chosen for the facility.
      Question: The Reconfiguration Study focuses on two options for
 the weapons complex in the future and both options would relocate
 functions carried out at the Rocky Flats Plant. In addition,
 Secretary Watkins has said that the goal is to get out of Rocky Flats
 as soon as possible. Why then, can't the Rocky Flats be removed from
 the Reconfiguration process and placed on an expedited path for
 relocation and closure?
      Answer: The Secretary's proposal to relocate nuclear weapons
 missions now carried out at the Department of Energy's Rocky Flats
 Plant is a key part of this proposal to reconfigure and modernize the
 weapons. Decisions on Rocky Flats cannot be made in a vacuum
 relative to decisions regarding relocation of other functions and/or
      Question: Could some time be gained now instead of waiting for
 a Secretarial decision on the entire complex in fiscal year 1994?
      Answer: There are options within the National Environmental
 Policy Act (NEPA) process to separate out decisions, such as Rocky
 Flats, prior to the final record of decision. The Programmatic
 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, however, is already
 minimizing the time period for completing required NEPA activity by
 performing site-specific reviews for Rocky Flats in conjunction with
 the larger Programmatic issues. Time savings have, therefore, been
 built into the process to the maximum extent possible. It is
 believed that separation of the decision on Rocky Flats from the
 current programmatic EIS process would gain less than 3 months.
      The NEPA process is only one part of the Rocky Flats relocation
 issue. A Site Evaluation Panel is evaluating several specific sites
 for a preferred alternative from the aspects of lowest life cycle
 cost, as well as environmental, sociological and other aspects of the
          Savannah River Reactor Restart/Tritium Requirements
      None of the 3 Heavy Water Reactors (K, L, and P Reactors) at
 Savannah River have operated since 1988 because of operational,
 safety, and environmental problems. After over 2 years and many
 hundreds of millions of dollars, the Department of Energy hopes to
 restart the K Reactor in the summer of 1991.
      Question: What are the current plans for the operation of the
 3 reactors at Savannah River?
      Answer: The Department issued a Record of Decision on February
 4, 1991, that formalized the Department's decision to operate
 K Reactor and defer until later the operation of L Reactor.
 Operation of P Reactor will be deferred indefinitely and that reactor
 will be maintained in cold standby. Reactor restart is expected to
 be in the summer of 1991 for K Reactor. Our intent is that L Reactor
 be made ready to operate within 12 months notice in the event of
 problems with K Reactor reliability.
      Question: How much has been spent since 1988 to bring these
 reactors, and associated personnel and management performance up to a
 standard which would allow restart?
      Answer: For the period from FY 1988 through FY 1992, we
 anticipate that we will spend $1.7 billion for reactor restart
 activities. However, during the same period of time, we had planned
 on spending approximately $0.8 billion for operation of the three
 reactors. Therefore, we estimate that through FY 1992 we will spend
 $0.9 billion more than was originally estimated to have been spent on
 the reactors for the period.
      Question: What level of confidence do you have that the
 K Reactor can be operated safely?
      Answer: There are two major activities that will provide the
 Secretary with assurance that the K Reactor can be safely restarted
 and operated. First, the Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared a
 Safety Evaluation Report (SER). The DOE SER is very similar in
 concept to evaluations conducted prior to the startup of troubled
 commercial nuclear facilities, and it specifically outlines the
 activities that must be accomplished prior to a restart decision.
 Second, an Operational Readiness Review led by senior DOE personnel
 will be conducted. The results of these two efforts will provide
 sufficient information for the Secretary to make a restart decision.
 Of course, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has been
 actively involved in the review of restart activities at the Savannah
 River Site reactors and their input will also play a role in the
 Secretary's decision.
      Question: Are there any technical or safety issues which need
 to be resolved and what are the planned solutions for those problems?
      Answer: The K Reactor is currently being tested to ensure that
 reactor safety systems are functional. This testing will identify if
 there are any outstanding technical issues that must be addressed
 before a restart decision.
     Additionally, there are two known technical areas of concern
 that we are focusing attention on at this time.
     First, a reactor design problem associated with gamma heating
 has been identified at the Savannah River Site reactors. Gamma
 heating is the absorption of gamma radiation by reactor in-core
 components which occurs normally during reactor operations. Gamma
 heating only presents a problem during the low probability occurrence
 of a loss of coolant accident, when the reactor tank partially drains
 causing in-core components to be exposed to air and not adequately
 cooled. Such an accident could result in the failure of reactor
 safety rods. Current efforts are being directed to manufacturing new
 components with materials that are able to withstand the postulated
 temperatures. Operating the reactors at a lower power level may
 preclude this problem. However, additional study is required.
     Second, there are concerns with the ability of the reactors to
 withstand seismic events. Recently, it became clear that
 uncertainties related to the characterization of the "soft zone"
 earth layer below K Reactor are sufficient to require the
 consideration of seismically induced subsidence.
      Question: Are there any legal issues which could impact your
 ability to restart the reactor in December as scheduled?
      Answer: In the legal arena, there is a Consent Order between
 the State of South Carolina and the Department of Energy which allows
 the continued discharge of thermal effluents from K Reactor until
 December 31, 1992, pending construction and operation of a cooling
 tower. However, notwithstanding the Consent Order, the Natural
 Resources Defense Council, Inc., and the Energy Research Foundation
 have filed a suit challenging restart prior to completion of the
 cooling tower. The United States District Court for the District of
 South Carolina, in which this case is pending, has instructed the
 parties to set up a schedule under which the Court can hear argument
 sometime in July on a motion by the plaintiffs for a preliminary
 injunction against restart.
      Question: Over the past 2-3 years the production reactor needs
 have changed significantly. Considering the tritium requirements
 needed for existing and new weapons, setting aside the reserve issue,
 does DOE agree with a recent GAO report which concluded that "without
 starting any reactors, sufficient tritium supplies will exist to meet
 the anticipated needs ... for the next several years." And " ... that
 one Savannah River reactor can meet projected tritium requirements
 over the remaining useful life of the reactor.".?
      Answer: The General Accounting Office (GAO) report you
 reference contains factually incorrect statements [DELETED]
                                               This reserve issue
 cannot be set aside. Therefore, the conclusion of the report that
 there is additional time to evaluate outstanding issues before
 restarting the Savannah River Site reactors is incorrect and
      If the tritium reserve [DELETED]                 is not included
 as demand, the Department of Energy analyses show sufficient tritium
 inventory to meet requirements through [DELETED]          without new
 production. However, because of the length of the production cycle
 from irradiation through extraction, reactor production of tritium
 must be resumed at least 14 months prior to the expected shortfall
 date. However, we do not consider it prudent management to delay
 restart to the latest possible date as that does not allow time to
 deal with any unexpected problems with reactor restart, attaining
 planned power levels or processing irradiated targets. Therefore,
 the Department plans to restart one reactor during the summer of 1991
                  assurance that the nuclear weapons stockpile will
 not be impacted.
      Finally, we would like to emphasize that the GAO report did not
 disclose any new supply and demand information that the Department
 had not already shared with the Congress.
          Savannah River Reactor Restart/Tritium Requirements
      Question: What are the projected tritium requirements,
 exclusive of reserve and with the reserve component, for each year
 through 1996?
      Answer: I will supply a table for the record which identifies
 the projected annual tritium supply and the projected annual tritium
 demand for the period FY 1991-1996. (The information follows):
                           FY 1991 - FY 1996
     Question: How does DOE plan to provide the material each year
 through 1996, i.e., reactor production, retirements, etc.?
     Answer: In addition to the demands identified in the table that
 I provided for the record in response to the previous question, there
 is decay demand on the Department of Energy (DOE) inventories. This
 decay demand varies depending on the projected size of the DOE
 inventory over time [DELETED]
                     Any forecasted shortfall in supply is satisfied
 by utilizing inventories above the minimum required [DELETED]
                and the rest must be made up by production in the
 Savannah River Site reactors.
     Question: How is the tritium reserve level determined (please
 be specific)?
     Answer:   [DELETED]
     Question: Could you explain recent reports that DOE has
 sufficient tritium to last until 1994? Does this include an amount
 for reserve?
     Answer: Exclusive of any reserve requirement, it is estimated
 the nuclear weapons stockpile will be adversely impacted about
 [DELETED]  without new production. However, because of the length
 of the production cycle (irradiation in reactors, basin cooling of
 irradiated targets, and extraction of tritium from the cooled
 targets) the reactor production of tritium must resume at least 14
 months prior to that expected shortfall date.   [DELETED]
     Question: How has the requirement to refill tritium bottles
 changed since 1970?
     Answer:    [DELETED)
       Question: Is DOE working on any technologies or advancements
 that would change the refill cycling? If so, please explain.
       Answer: The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to investigate
 technologies and advancements to extend refill cycling periods.
       Question: How will retirement of weapons in the stockpile
 change in the future?
       Answer: The surge in retirements between FY 1991 and FY 1993 as
 shown by the table, provides an additional tritium resource to the
 Department of Energy (DOE). Because all tritium decays at a rate of
 5.5 percent per year, these quantities only serve to forestall DOE
 tritium shortfalls for a short time. Without these retirements, DOE
 would be facing immediate problems with availability of tritium gas
 and the requirement to restart several tritium reactors as soon as
 possible. Reactor restart for tritium production remains critical to
 stockpile maintenance activities [DELETED]
                      , but with reduced stockpile levels, we now
 require the immediate operation of one reactor to accomplish this
    FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 FY 1993 FY 1994 FY 1995 FY 1996
       Question: What has been the level of retirements each year
 since 1987 and how did the actual retirements compare to those
 planned and the levels projected in the Nuclear Weapons Stockpile
       Answer: I would like to provide the information for the record.
 (The information follows:)
                            FY 1987      FY 1988 FY 1989     FY 1990
 NWSM Projected
  Retirements             [DELETED]
 Actual Retirements,
  End of Year             [DELETED]
      Each year after the NWSM is forwarded, the stockpile is updated
 approximately quarterly via the Planning & Production Directive. For
 example, in 1988 there were a significant number of changes in
 retirements. The rationale for these is as follows:
      After publication of the FY 1988-1993 NWSM the DoD requested
 accelerating the retirements of several systems.  [DELETED]
           The [DELETED]    warheads were a mix of systems reflecting
 small DoD inventory adjustments. DoD and DOE agreed with these
 increased retirements.
      Question: Isn't there a double benefit to tritium requirements
 by retiring existing weapons-retrieving tritium in the weapon for
 reuse and not having to provide future tritium refilling?
      Answer: After taking tritium decay into consideration there
 would be some benefit to tritium requirements by retiring a weapon
 versus providing tritium refilling, but not "double". Reuse of
 existing tritium in weapons being retired has already been
 incorporated into calculations provided to Congress regarding tritium
 requirements for the stockpile.
      Question: How long can DOE meet their tritium requirements
 without the New Production Reactor? Is it unreasonable to think that
 DOE could provide the necessary tritium into the next decade through
 optimum management of retirements and operation of the K Reactor at
 Savannah River?
      Answer: The need for tritium is dictated by the Nuclear Weapons
 Stockpile Memorandum which is approved annually by the President.
 The latest memorandum, which has been signed since last year's budget
 submittal, dictates a need for tritium that is significantly lower
 than the corresponding memoranda from 1988 and 1989. Due to changes
 in material needs, the Department expects to be able to meet
 requirements by operating only one Savannah River Site (SRS) reactor,
 K. A second reactor, L, will be maintained in a ready status should
 it be needed.
      There are no viable near-term alternatives for the production of
 tritium other than the SRS reactors. No life-limiting conditions at
 these reactors have been identified, even though they are nearly
 40 years old. We are instituting enhanced inspection and testing
 that should alert us to changes in the reactor situation so that
 preventative maintenance and/or replacement of equipment can be
 performed in a timely manner. With the improved maintenance
 practices we are initiating, we are optimistic that these reactors
 will be able to operate until new capacity is available. However,
 based on plans underway in the commercial industry for its aging
 reactors, it is important that this new capacity be developed on an
 aggressive schedule.
                Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration
      Question: Please provide the Committee with a brief summary of
 the conclusions and recommendations of the Study? How long would it
 take to complete this effort and what are the preliminary cost
 estimates to carryout the various options?
      Answer: The Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration Study (CRS)
 contains four primary conclusions. The first is that the size of the
 nuclear weapons stockpile is getting smaller and will likely continue
 to do so for the foreseeable future. The second is that the existing
 nuclear weapons complex is oversized for the current and projected
 nuclear weapons production requirements and therefore is inefficient,
 somewhat technologically obsolescent, and suffering from numerous
 materials condition problems. The third is that the ownership and
 operating costs of the existing nuclear weapons complex are likely to
 increase to achieve and maintain compliance with Federal, State and
 local laws, regulations and orders. The fourth is that the only
 credible way to address all of the aforementioned issues is to
 reconfigure the nuclear weapons complex and reduce its size.
      There are three primary recommendations coming out of the CRS.
 The first is that the nuclear weapons complex should be reconfigured
 to relocate the operations of the Rocky Flats Plant, and any other
 nuclear operations that may be beneficially collocated with them, at
 a single complex site. The second is that the nonnuclear
 manufacturing operations of the nuclear weapons complex should be
 consolidated and privatized to the maximum extent consistent with
 economic realities and security requirements, with a goal of having a
 single dedicated nonnuclear manufacturing site in the nuclear weapons
 complex. The third is that future nuclear weapons complex facilities
 should be designed with the ability to flexibly respond to changing
 workload requirements and the ability to readily incorporate new
 technologies as they become available.
      The CRS projects that the nuclear weapons complex could be
 reconfigured, given the uncertainties surrounding the fiscal,
 environmental and legal issues that are likely to emerge, no later
 than FY 2015. The Department of Energy has a goal for a major
 portion of the reconfiguration effort early in the next century. The
 preliminary cost estimated for reconfiguration activities are
 documented in a number of tables located in the CRS. The capital and
 non-capital cost estimates for reconfiguration range from
 $6.7 billion to $15.2 billion, depending upon the alternatives and
 stockpile cases chosen.
      Question: What are the major milestones and schedule for
 completing the Record of Decision and initiating work on the
 reconfiguration effort?
      Answer: The Department of Energy is preparing a Reconfiguration
 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), which will lead
 to the issuance of a Record of Decision on the future configuration
 of the nuclear weapons complex, and is in the process of procuring an
 architectural and engineering (A&E) firm that will develop and
 analyze the preliminary designs for future nuclear weapons complex
 facilities. The major milestones for the PEIS are: Complete Public
 Scoping Meetings, September, 1991, Publish draft PEIS, November,
 1992; Complete Public Hearings on Draft PEIS, March, 1993; Publish
 Final PEIS, June 1993; Issue Record of Decision, October, 1993.
     Question: In light of the major commitments that DOE currently
 has underway (SSC, environmental restoration and waste management,
 New Production Reactor, etc.), how does the Department plan to
 address the budgetary issue presented by this massive undertaking.?
 How do you see the reconfiguration effort meshing with DOE other
 commitments without adverse budgetary impact?
     Answer: The present nuclear weapons complex will continue to
 require increasingly larger operating funds to upgrade the facilities
 to comply with Federal, State and local laws, regulations and orders
 in order to fulfill its defense missions. The reconfiguration and
 downsizing of the nuclear weapons complex offers-the opportunity to
 reliably satisfy the Department of Energy's defense obligations for
 the long-term. The Department of Energy believes that a substantial,
 real increase in its near-term budget will be required following the
 Record of Decision for Complex-21. In the near term, tough decisions
 will need to be made to balance the priorities to minimize any
 adverse budgetary impact. The Superconducting Super Collider does
 not directly compete with defense activities for funds, though it
 obviously places large demands on the Nation's limited fiscal
     Question: What are the national security implications of a more
 compact and less diverse nuclear weapons complex?
     Answer: The reconfigured nuclear weapons complex is planned to
 maximize its ability to respond to rapidly changing workloads and
 stockpile requirements. It would be designed to facilitate the
 timely and cost-effective incorporation of new technology into
 nuclear weapons complex operations, as it becomes available.
 Properly configured and executed, the reconfigured nuclear weapons
 complex will be capable of meeting all the Defense Programs mission
 more economically without adverse impacts on national security.
     Question: What is the justification for the budget request for
 the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Weapons Complex
 Reconfiguration going from $225,000 in FY 1991 to over $43,000,000 in
 FY 1992? What is the basis for the $42 million request for
 contractual services?
     Answer: The $42 million in FY 1992 for contractual services
 includes $25 million to fund preparation of the Programmatic
 Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) by a PEIS contractor.
 Activities include an Architectural and Engineering contract to
 develop conceptual designs and to continue to define feasibility and
 cost estimates for reconfiguration options; selection of candidate
 sites for relocation of the Rocky Flats Plant; evaluation of
 outsourcing the production of non-nuclear components; and exploration
 are intended to provide technical justification for construction of
 the ignition and gain facility (e.g. the NOVA Upgrade).
      The NIKE laser development at the Naval Research Laboratory is
 being accelerated with assistance from LANL. The Sandia National
 Laboratories is concentrating its efforts on improving ion beam
 divergence and focusing on the Particle Beam Fusion Accelerator in
 anticipation of a program review in 1992.
      The Department is also implementing certain organization change
 recommended by the NAS committee. The Department has elevated the
 Division of Inertial Confinement Fusion to the status of the Office
 of Inertial Confinement Fusion under the Deputy Assistant Secretary
 for Military Application and is taking appropriate actions to form a
 committee to advise the Department on technical matters and policy o
 importance to the national ICF program. Further, the Department has
 conducted a review of ICF classification policy to identify areas
 where the present guidelines might be modified to facilitate
 university and industrial participation without encouraging nuclear
 weapons proliferation. The final report of this review is under
 consideration by DOE management.
      Question: If full implementation were to proceed, how would the
 budget for Inertial Fusion change?
      Answer: Full implementation of the National Academy of Science
 (NAS) recommendations would require a significant increase in funding
 for the inertial fusion program. I will provide a table for the
 record which presents hypothetical outyear funding of the inertial
 fusion program and displays the recommended funding by NAS. The
 outyear dollars for the base program are based on fiscal 1991
 appropriations for operational expenses increased by 4 percent in th
 outyears. (The information follows the next question.)
      Question: Provide a funding profile which fully-implements the
 recommendations along with a profile of the budget planning targets
 over the next 5 to 10 years.
      Answer: I will provide the information for the record. (The
 information follows:)
      Question: What is the status of the Laboratory Microfusion
 Capability Study?
      Answer: The Laboratory Microfusion Capability Study is within
 four months of completion. The initial draft of the final report
 should be complete by late May, with the final report expected by the
 end of August 1991.
      Question: How much is the facility expected to cost and when
 will the program be ready to undertake such a project?
      Answer: Current estimates for the cost of the Laboratory
 Microfusion Facility (LMF) are $600 million to $1.2 billion (1989
 dollars). The exact cost depends on the LMF scope and the optional
 systems (e.g.,  additional target chamber) deemed feasible. While the
 goal of the Inertial Confinement Fusion program is to develop and
 operate the LMF, the Department of Energy intends to follow the
 latest recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS),
 which call for "expeditious demonstration of ignition and gain" as
 the highest priority of the program. To follow the NAS guidelines,
 the ICF program will first focus on Precision NOVA experiments to
 achieve technical grounds for proceeding to an ignition facility,
 which in turn will support a decision on whether to proceed with an
 LMF.   The rate of progress toward realization of an LMF will, of
 course, depend on the technical success of the program as well as
 level of funding. If both are good, construction of an LMF could
 begin as early as 2000.
      Question: Both the AURORA program at Los Alamos Lab and the
 NIKE program at the Naval Research Lab use krypton fluoride (KrF)
 laser technology in pursuing scientific research. How are these
 program different and why was the AURORA program ranked lower than
 the NIKE program by the National Academy of Sciences?
      Answer: Although both the AURORA and NIKE programs use KrF
 laser technology, their respective program objectives were different.
 The goal of the AURORA program was the demonstration of KrF laser
 technology as an inertial fusion driver. On the other hand, the NIKE
 program is to build a KrF laser with high uniformity with which
 experiments on direct drive instability studies can be conducted.
 The NIKE laser aims to produce a laser beam with greater than
 1 percent uniformity with which laser plasma instabilities in flat
 plate geometry can be studied.
       The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended that the
 Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program concentrate on achieving
 ignition and modest gain in the laboratory using an upgraded NOVA
 laser. Considering funding limitations and a thorough review of the
 AURORA program, the NAS reviewers considered it too difficult and
 expensive to implement a full implosion capability on AURORA.
 Specifically, the NAS report stated, "Moreover, the AURORA laser
 cannot be used to prove the NOVA Upgrade will succeed in reaching the
 goal of ignition in an x-ray driven hohlraum target.'
       On the other hand, the NAS concluded that the Naval Research
 Laboratory (NRL) is a relatively small and innovative part of the ICF
 program and a proponent of direct-drive. 'It (NRL) has been a
 pioneer in experimental and theoretical studies of Rayleigh-Taylor
 iristabilities, and has provided much of our understanding of how
 ablation suppresses potentially fatal growth of these instabilities
 and makes it possible to contemplate direct-drive targets.' The NAS
 recommended 'an acceleration of the NIKE construction schedule."
                             Inertial Fusion
      Question: When does the Department plan to close out the AURORA
 laser program, how much will be spent of that program in 1991 and
 1992? What is the justification for these expenditures?
      Answer: The AURORA program is being phased out in FY 1991.
 This includes an associated reduction in force action at the
 Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In FY 1992, laser activities
 at LANL will be in support of the NIKE KrF laier construction and the
 NOVA glass laser program. I would like to provide further
 information for the record. (The information follows):
      Year         Budget     Activity and Justification
      FY 1991     $2.2 M      Downsizing Studies and Initiate Facility
      FY 1992     $0.7 M      Complete Facility Decommissioning
      Question:   Provide for the record for each facility the
 technical justification, the forecasted results expected for each
 facility, and how the technical objectives of the programs are being
 achieved. Also, specifically describe program plans by individual
 laboratory and facility for fiscal year 1992.
      Answer: The Particle Beam Fusion Accelerator II (PBFA II) at
 the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque provides an
 alternative to high energy lasers as a driver for inertial fusion.
 That concept uses a beam of light ions to drive the imploding
 capsule. This alternative concept reduces the risk in developing an
 affordable driver for inertial fusion in a laboratory.
      PBFA II is now being operated at full energy and techniques are
 under test for concentrating that energy to maximize the power
 delivered to the target. Other tests are designed to optimize
 sources for generating lithium ions. Experiments in focusing the
 beams and coupling them to diagnostic targets are underway.
 Experiments with imploding targets will start this year.
      The HERMES III accelerator, also at the Sandia National
 Laboratories, was developed as a weapon effects simulator. HERMES
 III has been operated as a positive polarity machine, as is required
 of a light-ion accelerator. This alternative design offers promise
 as a pre-prototype module of a driver for a Laboratory Microfusion
 Capability. It is not yet known whether a laser or particle beam
 driver will ultimately be most efficient for driving inertial fusion
 implosion systems.
      Overall the Sandia Inertial Confinement Fusion program is
 emphasizing reduction in ion beam divergence and conducting of target
 physics experiments at increasing power concentration. The major
 program milestone for fiscal year 1992 ii the successful completion
 of a major review of technical progress in the summer of 1992. This
 program is consistent with the recommendations of the National
 Academy of Sciences (NAS).
      The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) operates the
 world's most powerful solid state laser, NOVA, as an inertial fusion
 research experimental facility. NOVA is also used by researchers in
 a number of other fields, including weapon physics. In the inertial
 fusion program, NOVA is used mainly for indirect drive
 experiments--laser beams converted to x-rays which then couple to the
 fuel capsule.
      By FY 1992, improvements to the NOVA experimental facility will
 have been completed as part of the Precision NOVA development program
 and will result in improved beam balance, pointing accuracy, and
 improved diagnostics.
      LLNL is conducting an experimental campaign on NOVA which is
 designed to explore the interaction of lasers with plasmas and
 imploding capsule physics. Issues to be explored include pulse
 shaping, requirements for symmetry and balance in the laser
 irradiation, laser-plasma coupling efficiency, stability of
 fuel/capsule interfaces, and target designs intended for high gain
 implosions. Current plans consider a possible upgrade of the NOVA
 laser to an energy output of 1.5 MJ to 2.0 MJ to achieve ignition and
 modest gain (10) by 2000 in support of the NAS recommendations.
      The University of Rochester, Laboratory for Laser Energetics
 (UR/LLE) currently operates the 24 beam, 2kJ OMEGA laser. To
 determine the future role for direct-drive, experiments need to be
 conducted at near-ignition conditions, unattainable at present.
 While beam-smoothing techniques have permitted high-quality, direct-
 drive implosions to study the limitations on target performance
 imposed by hydrodynamic instabilities, the direct-drive data base is
 insufficient to assure the success of high gain targets. These
 experiments are not possible on the existing NOVA facility at LLNL,
 since that laser does not produce smooth enough beams nor satisfy the
 strict uniformity requirements required for direct-drive. Modifying
 the existing NOVA laser for direct-drive would cost more than the
 OMEGA Upgrade and would compromise the mission of that facility,
 which is to validate the indirect-drive concept prior to construction
 of the NOVA Upgrade for ignition and gain.
      The Naval Research Laboratory conducts model studies on
 instabilities. Inertial fusion experiments have stopped on the
 PHAROS III glass laser. The Naval Research Laboratory effort is
 focused on development of a small, 3 to 4 kJ, KrF laser called NIKE.
      The goal of the NIKE development is to demonstrate a laser beam
 illumination uniformity on target of plus or minus one percent and
 continue collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory on KrF
 technology development. Completion of NIKE will allow basic
 experimental investigation and validation of the results of theory
 and computer simulations for KrF laser-matter interaction
       AURORA facility decommissioning is starting in FY 1991. The
  decommissioning will be completed in FY 1992.
       Question: Provide for the record a funding profile of the total
  estimated cost by year through completion and the milestones for the
  following projects:
       Precision NOVA
       NIKE Laser Development
       Omega Laser Upgrade
       Pulsed Power Development
       NOVA Beamlet
       Answer: I will provide the information for the record. (The
  information follows:)
                PROJECT FUNDING  a)
              (Dollars in Millions)
  Activity                 FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 FY 1993
  Precision NOVA  2     $     8.8  $  7.8  $  6.1  $   3.1
  HIKE Laser
   Development                4.9     8.8     9.2     11.6
  OMEGA Laser Upgrade           0     8.5     8.1      8.2
  Pulsed Power
   Development               29.2    31.3    34.7     35.1
  NOVA Beamlet                  0     3.4     3.7      3.8
       The major milestones for the  above  projects are:
 o  NIKE:
       FY 1991 - Complete Beamline A and High Energy Discharge Array
       FY 1992 - Complete Beamline B, and 20 cm Amplifier
       FY 1993 - Complete Target Facility, Control Systems, and
                 Systems Integration
  a) The Department of Energy has not established funding profiles for
  the NOVA, NIKE and Pulsed Power activities beyond FY 1993, since they
  are not classified as major projects but operating and/or capital
  equipment acquisitions for experimental research programs. A funding
  profile was developed for the OMEGA Upgrade, since it is a major
  modification to an entire laser/target experimental system. However,
  available funding was greatly reduced from the plan and therefore
  total projected cost and schedule is being reevaluated.
                       New Production Reactors
      The budget request for FY 1992 for the New Production Reactors
 program is $500 million, consisting of $152.3 million in operating
 expenses, $336.5 million in construction funds, and $11.2 million in
 capital equipment funds.
      The Department's preferred strategy of proceeding with a Heavy
 Water Reactor (HWR) at Savannah River, a Modular High-Temperature
 Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR) at Idaho Engineering Lab, and contingency
 development of a Light Water Reactor (LWR) tritium target for use in
 the partially completed WNP-1 reactor at Richland has been changed.
 The new strategy is to continue preliminary design of both the HWR
 and MHTGR through the Record of Decision in December 1991 at which
 time the Department would select a single technology and site.
      Uncertain tritium requirements brought about by a significantly
 reduced stockpile coupled with the restart of the K Reactor at
 Savannah River bring into question the Departments "urgent" schedule
 to bring a NPR on line.
      Question: Why was it necessary to change the New Production
 Reactor strategy from the Department's 2 reactor-2 site preferred
 strategy to a single reactor technology-single site strategy?
      Answer: The concept of building two new production reactors at
 two sites could no longer be supported given the multiple competing
 priorities within the Atomic Energy Defense account. Therefore, at
 the Record of Decision scheduled for December 29, 1991, the
 Department proposes to select only a single reactor technology and
 site with which to proceed into detailed design and construction.
      Question: Was it simply budgetary constraints or were there
 other factors (including tritium requirements) involved?
      Answer: The decision to prematurely curtail the preferred
 duality strategy of two reactor technologies built at two sites was
 based upon funding constraints within the Atomic Energy Defense
 account. The Department has always maintained that duality is the
 preferred approach to providing an assured supply of nuclear
      Question: What impact does Secretary Watkin's statement that
 the Department can provide enough tritium to meet production
 requirements through the decade have on the NPR construction
      Answer: Secretary Watkins' statement was based on the
 assumption that the Department would be able to produce tritium from
 the current production reactors in Savannah River which have been
 shut down since April 1988. One of these reactors is scheduled to be
 restarted later this year with another to be placed on standby and
 the third closed down. Currently these reactors are 37 years old and
 will be 47 years old when the proposed New Production Reactor is
 scheduled to be operational. Therefore, the New Production Reactors
 Program has not altered any construction schedules and will remain on
 an urgent schedule.
     Question: What risks are associated with going to a single
 reactor strategy and how might this change DOE's evaluation of the
 competing technologies?
     Answer: The primary risk associated with building only a single
 reactor is that the Nation will have only a single source and
 location for tritium production in the next century. To mitigate the
 possible effects of this, we are developing a contingency light water
 reactor tritium target. The three reactor technologies identified
 initially by the ERAB were the most advanced and reliable
 technologies proposed for tritium production. Therefore, Department
 of Energy's evaluation of these competing technologies will not be
 altered due to the fact that we are currently proposing to build only
 a single reactor.
     Question: There has been some concern expressed about how DOE
 will ensure that the NPR will "meet or exceed" safety levels afforded
 by modern commercial nuclear power plants. Is this level of safety
 needed and how will DOE ensure it?
     Answer: One of the primary objectives of the New Production
 Reactors (NPR) Program is to provide a level of safety and of safety
 assurance that will meet or exceed that offered to the public by
 modern commercial nuclear power plants. The Department stands firmly
 behind this commitment. The NPR Program has developed specific
 safety requirements that "meet or exceed" the requirements for modern
 commercial nuclear power plants. These requirements are in addition
 to the Department's own standards. The design, construction and
 operating organizations within the NPR are strictly responsible for
 complying with these safety requirements. Independent of these line
 management organizations, there is a self assessment Office of Safety
 and Quality which reports to the Director of the NPR Program and is
 responsible for conducting comprehensive evaluations of compliance
 with the safety requirements. They will verify for the Director that
 the safety standards have been met or exceeded. The Office of
 Nuclear Safety, reporting directly to the Secretary of Energy, will
 likewise do the same validation for him. Finally, the Defense
 Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an organization separate from
 Department of Energy, is providing oversight of the safety of the NPR
 design, and will provide oversight of the construction and operation
 of the new reactor with recommendations made directly to the
     Question: What are the major milestones between now and
 selection of the technology and site?
     Answer: The major milestones between now and the Record of
 Decision include issuance of the draft Environmental Impact
 Statement, which was done on April 19, 1991; issuance of the final
 EIS, scheduled for November 29, 1991; and finally the Record of
 Decision, the selection of the technology and site, which will occur
 on December 29, 1991. Currently the NPR Program is in the midst of a
 60-day public comment period which will be completed on June 17,
 1991. During that time the NPR will hold 13 public hearings at five
 states around the three proposed sites.
       Question: What is the total project cost estimate for both the
 HWR and MHTGR technologies? Provide a funding profile, through
 completion, for each technology along with a schedule of the major
       Answer: The New Production Reactor (NPR) has developed a total
 estimated cost (TEC) based upon conceptual designs which cover
 capital and construction costs only. The TEC for the heavy water
 reactor, on a ten year construction schedule, is $5.490 billion in
 year-of-expenditure dollars and for the modular high-temperature gas-
 cooled reactor plant, on a twelve year construction schedule, is
 $5.466 billion. The MHTGR is a four module plant which equates to
 one-half the output capacity of the proposed HWR. As part of the
 preparations for the record of decision, the NPR Program is currently
 developing the TEC for an eight module gas reactor plant which could
 produce a comparable amount of tritium to the HWR. The total project
 cost (TPC) estimate includes the TEC plus operating costs associated
 with the Project such as EIS preparation, training of operators, and
 safety oversight activities. These costs are being identified an,
 along with other life cycle costs, will be available prior to the
 Record of Decision. The overall schedules for the NPR Program are
 currently being revised to reflect the new funding levels and the one
 reactor strategy as outlined in our FY 1992 budget request. We
 anticipate that this activity will be completed during the summer of
       Question: What is the status of the Department's review and
 conclusion related to the potential use of a linear accelerator to
 product nuclear materials?
       Answer: The conclusions reached after a technical review of
 accelerator technology is that it is considered to be an
 insufficiently mature technology for the Department to build a
 production machine by the year 2000. Significant questions remain
 regarding technical feasibility, operational reliability, cost and
 the availability of a dedicated power source.
       Question: If the MHTGR technology is not selected, what impact
 would that have on the commercial nuclear energy development program?
       Answer: If the modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor
 technology is not selected as the New Production Reactor technology,
 the commercial program would suffer a significant delay and would
 require a restructuring of the program within existing budgets.
       Question: How much is included in the budget request for LWR
 target development and will it be completed in FY 1992? If not,
 provide a funding profile by year through completion.
       Answer: The light water reactor (LWR) tritium target
 development will be completed in FY 1993. The budget request for LWR
 target development in FY 1992 is $25 million and in FY 1993 it is
 also $25 million.
                        New Production Reactors
      Question: The FY 1992 Budget of the United States Government
 (normally referred to as the appendix to the budget) includes
 language related to the New Production Reactor. Could you explain
 why this language is needed and why it was not included in the
 Department's detailed budget justification document?
      Answer: The language which your question refers to is the
 following: "...of which $100,000,000 shall be for the design of new
 production reactor capacity, to become available for obligation sixty
 days after issuance of the Record of Decision on the Environmental
 Impact Statement on New Production Reactor Capacity,".
      This language is not necessary for the Department to carry out
 these activities, however, it is consistent with the activities and
 schedule anticipated in FY 1992. It is our understanding that the
 Office of Management and Budget added this language late in the
 process primarily so that the outlays scored against the $100,000,000
 in Budget Authority could better reflect real expectations rather
 than a higher rate driven by the formula used for the overall
 account. This was necessary to stay within the outlay target for the
 050 function. Finally, because this decision was made late in the
 process and the Department's budget had already been printed, this
 language change does not appear in the Department's detailed budget
 justification document.
                       Naval Reactors Development
      The FY 1992 budget request transfers funding for the enriched
 material program to Naval Reactors. This amounts to $122.8 million.
      Question: What is the Justification for funding the enriched
 materials program under Naval Reactors?
      Answer: It was decided to place budget responsibility with the
 user. All of the material produced with this funding is used by
 Naval Reactors.
      Question: The committee understands that the Department is
 currently reviewing the potential uses of surplus enriched uranium
 that may be available from weapons retirements and other activities.
 When did the Department first become aware of this possibility and
 what are the potential uses of this enriched uranium?
      Answer: The Department first became aware of the potential for
 surplus enriched uranium from the weapons program when it became
 apparent there would be a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons.
 Potential uses for this material include naval reactors, new
 production reactors, and research reactors.
      Question: What is the current status and schedule for
 completing DOE/DOD coordination and review activities and making a
      Answer: The review effort will be completed this Summer. It
 will present options and recommendations for decision by the
 Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Defense.
      Question: What criteria will be used in making the decision?
      Answer: The criteria used to make the decision will include
 weapons requirements, other user needs which are defense and non-
 defense related, and production capability in the event additional
 material is needed in the future.
      Question: What are the potential budgetary savings if this
 material is used for other purposes? Provide a table showing the
 estimated savings for each possible use.
      Answer: The review to be completed this summer will include the
 estimated budgetary savings if this material is used for other
 purposes. The budget savings can vary greatly depending on the
 specific quantities and timing of material availability for the
 various applications. The impacts on the need for new and/or
 existing production and processing facilities will be included.
      Question: Are there any scientific or technical reasons why
 this material could not be used in Naval reactors?
      Answer:   [DELETED)
                         Technology Transfer
      Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to report that we are making
 significant progress in implementing the National Competitiveness
 Technology Transfer Act that was adopted as part of the FY 1990
 Defense Authorization Act.
      I am pleased to say that the Secretary of Energy has made a
 strong commitment to implementing the policies embodied in the bill,
 and that we are seeing promising collaboration with other federal
 agencies, most notably the Department of Commerce. The federal
 government is launching an initiative which I believe makes the
 valuable scientific talent and resources of our national laboratories
 available to the private sector to help promote America's
 competitiveness in world markets.
      May I say I count on the continued strong support of the
 Department of Energy, and aggressive action by the Administration, to
 make this initiative a success. A great potential is there, and we
 have passed it up for far too long. It is time to be on the move.
      For FY 1992, the President has requested $32 million for the
 technology commercialization initiative. This is $12 million above
 the FY 1991 funding level that this Subcommittee so generously
 supported last year. I am pleased by the budget request, however, I
 understand that the responsibility for the technology transfer
 program has been put under the Acting Deputy Science and Technology
 Advisor for Defense Programs.
      Question: What is the rationale for the reorganization of
 responsibility for technology transfer?
      Answer: The realignment of the technology commercialization
 function to the Defense Programs Deputy Science and Technology
 Advisor will significantly elevate the reporting stature of this
 program to an appropriately higher level within the DP organization.
 This realignment was part of a broader realignment of functions
 within the Department and was done to improve the management of
 current high priority programs including technology transfer. Of
 paramount importance in this realignment is the fact that the Defense
 Programs Deputy Science and Technology Advisor's role is one of
 direct oversight of the weapons laboratories and the conduct of day-
 to-day interactions with the laboratory directors so as to further
 technology commercialization and other Departmental national security
 goals and objectives. In this capacity, the DP Deputy Science and
 Technology Advisor will be in the best position to manage and oversee
 the maturation of the Defense Programs technology commercialization
 program with our national laboratories, field offices, and industrial
 partners. These changes should be of enormous benefit to this
 rapidly growing program.
      Question: How will the Department's transfer of these program
 responsibilities improve the operation of the program?
      Answer: This function within the Defense Programs' Science and
 Technology portfolio, as opposed to being combined with export
 control, classification, or specific technology programs, provides
 increased attention to technology transfer, thereby improving its
      Question: Will the Department, through the Acting Deputy
 Science and Technology Advisor, be aggressive in implementing the
 Tech Transfer Act?
      Answer: The Department plans to continue its aggressive and
 vigorous implementation of the National Competitiveness Technology
 Transfer Act. The involvement of the Deputy Science and Technology
 Advisor in the Defense Programs Technology Commercialization
 Initiative is another indication of high-level support to the overall
 technology transfer effort of the Department.
      Question: Would you please bring the Subcommittee up-to-date on
 the coordinating efforts the Department is taking to learn from, and
 to cooperate with, other federal agencies involved in technology
 transfer activities?
      Answer: Within Defense Programs, under the Technology
 Commercialization Initiative, there is a concerted effort to assure
 cooperation with other technology transfer efforts, including those
 within DOE as well as with other Government agencies and to benefit
 from their experience. Within the Department, there are periodic
 meetings with other programs to review activities and identify
 opportunities for potential collaboration. This has already resulted
 in joint funding of several projects. In the advanced manufacturing
 area, Defense Programs is participating with the Department of
 Defense and other agencies in reviewing the DOD MANTECH program and
 developing a National Defense Manufacturing Technology Plan.
 Specifically, Defense Programs is leading the review of the role of
 technology transfer and manufacturing extension services in that
 plan. Defense Programs is also represented in a number of other
 interagency activities such as the DOD Centers of Excellence and the
 Advanced Manufacturing Study of the National Science Foundation. In
 addition, the laboratories have been encouraged to seek the
 involvement of other agencies in their programs.
      Question: Please provide a detailed summary of what DOE has
 done organizationally and fiscally to implement the technology
 transfer initiative.
      Answer: Within Defense Programs, the technology transfer
 function is being reassigned to the Deputy Science and Technology
 Advisor, who reports directly to the Assistant Secretary for Defense
 Programs. The staffing for technology transfer within Defense
 Programs has grown from a staff of two in FY 1990 to seven in
 FY 1991. Defense Programs has been working with other Departmental
 elements and other government agencies to find opportunities for
 collaboration in areas of mutual interest to pool and leverage
 resources. At the Defense Programs laboratories, the contracts have
 been modified to incorporate the provisions for the National
 Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act (NCTTA). Similar
 modifications for production plants are under consideration.
 Activities at the laboratories that have been significantly increased
 include the expansion of the Offices of Research and Technology
 Application (ORTAs), outreach to potential partners among U.S.
 industry, and the development of cooperative agreements with private
 sector partners. In FY 1991, the budget for technology transfer
 activities at Defense Programs laboratories includes a $20 million
 line-item for Technology Commercialization and an indirect allocation
 of up to 0.5 percent from the laboratories' R&D budget, estimated to
 total approximately $11 million. In response to the Defense
 Programs' call, the laboratories and other facilities submitted over
 60 proposals for joint activities with private sector partners that
 exceeded by half the available funding in FY 1991.
      Question: Can you describe how DOE goes about determining the
 needs of industry in this program? In other words, what outreach
 activities will DOE take to let industry know what technology it has,
 and how does DOE determine how it can best make its technology
 available to industry for its use?
      Answer: Industry needs are determined in a number of ways.
 Both DP and the laboratories have consulted with a variety of private
 sector organizations in formulating the program, including
 representatives of private companies, trade and professional
 associations, and other groups such as the Manufacturing Forum of the
 National Academy of Engineering and the Council on Competitiveness.
 Increased laboratory participation in conferences and seminars, as
 well as personnel exchanges, also contribute to a greater
 understanding of industry needs.
      Defense Programs' outreach strategy is focused on two levels:
 national and local. The national level effort is directed to
 increasing industry awareness of the existence of the Defense
 Programs Technology Commercialization Initiative, the overall
 capabilities of the Defense Programs complex, and our interest in
 working with th# private sector. The local effort is 'aimed at
 identifying specific technologies and capabilities and the
 opportunities for industry to participate. In general, the
 opportunities are available to all interested parties although the
 proprietary interests of companies will be respected.
      In the final analysis, the ultimate measure of success in
 determining industry needs is their willingness to cost-share the
 work. Based on industry expressions of support to date, as evidenced
 by the response to the call for proposals, the program is on the
 right track.
      Question: Would you please provide for the record a list of the
 technology transfer agreements that DOE has signed?
      Answer: At this time two technology transfer agreements have
 been signed: the Special Metals Processing Consortium at Sandia
 National Laboratories and the Human Genome project at Los Alamos
 National Laboratory.
       Question: Would you also provide a list of agreements currently
  pending final approval and signature?
       Answer: For the record, I will provide a list of Joint Work
  Statements (JWS) and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
  (CRADA) currently pending final approval and signature. (The
  information follows):
                                                  Status of    Status
 Facility Technology Transfer Project               JWS        CRADA
 LANL     Continuous Air Monitor                  Pending      Pending
 LANL     Characterization and Evaluation
          of Dense Monolithic Superconductors     Pending      Pending
 LANL     Development of Advanced DNA            Sequencing
           Technologies                           Approved    Approved
 SNL      Integrated Circuit Reliability
           Modeling                               Approved
 SNL      Integrated Circuit Reliability
           Modeling                               Approved
 SNL      Intelligent Processing of Assemblies    Approved
 SNL      Physical Security Systems               Approved
 SNL      Physical Security Systems               Approved
 SNL      Integrated Circuit Reliability
           Modeling                               Approved
 SNL      Solvent Reduction                       Pending
 SNL      Digital Product Data                    Pending      Pending
 Y-12     Regional Manufacturing Initiative       Approved
 Y-12     Environmentally Compliant
            Manufacturing                         Pending
                           Technology Transfer
       Question: How many new agreements does DOE expect to support if
  the full budget request of $32 million is appropriated?
       Answer: During FY 1991, the Defense Programs Technology
  Commercialization Program budget is projected to support about
  35 agreements for collaborative activities between the laboratories
  and the private sector. Most of these activities are beginning the
  first year of a multiyear effort and will require follow-on funding
  in FY 1992. The "mortgage" for projects carried over into FY 1992 is
  projected to be approximately $20 million, and the remaining budget
  will support only about 15 additional agreements, depending on the
  scope and requested funding of the projects. The call for proposals
  for FY 1992 has been sent to the laboratories, and the actual
  selection of projects will be decided at the beginning of the fiscal
  year. Additional impacts on the FY 1992 budget may arise from CRADA
  partnership opportunities at the laboratories that are independent of
  the proposal call, but for which funding is currently not allowed
  from the indirect allocation for technology transfer at the
  laboratories, or is not available from other sources.
       Question: I am pleased to learn that the industry response to
  the technology transfer initiative has been so positive; that
  industry is coming to DOE with cash in hand to participate in these
 joint Ventures. How much additional funding would DOE need to
 support these projects in FY 1992?
      Answer: The projects that Defense Programs is initiating in
 FY 1991 are multiyear activities based on a 50 percent cost-share
 with the private sector partners. We are committed to continue our
 cost-share arrangements with private industry in FY 1992 and will
 require follow-on funding of approximately $20 million. The
 remainder of the FY 1992 budget will be devoted to initiating new
 project activities. Based on the significant response to the
 technology commercialization program in FY 1991, it is anticipated
 that substantial funding increases in FY 1992 would be fully matched
 by industry.
      Question: What is the largest amount of funding industry has
 been willing to commit thus far to a consortia effort under this Act?
      Answer: The total industry cost-share for FY 1991 activities is
 projected to be approximately $20 million. This reflects the total
 amount of resources offered by the private sector partners, including
 funds, equipment, and in-kind services, for all of the collaborative
 projects initiated in FY 1991. Many of these activities will involve
 industry consortia or multiple partner arrangements.
                          Technology Transfer
      Mr. Chairman, the Secretary has put a high priority on this
 initiative, among the many important issues he has to address. I
 trust that when the ongoing review of the appropriate missions for
 the national labs in the post-Cold War period is completed,
 technology transfer will be given prominence. I believe that this
 country could do no better to help American business and industry
 become more competitive than to allow them access to the nation's
 most significant research and technology development resource--our
 national labs.
                     New Production Reactor Program
            Light Water Reactor - Tritium Target Development
      It is my understanding that the need for the development of a
 light water reactor tritium target has always been in terms of a
 'contingency program." In other words, a tritium target which could
 be readily adapted to currently existing light water reactor designs
 if the need arose for accelerated tritium production in case of a
 national emergency.
      While this 'contingency' concept may have had some validity in
 the past, especially after the Savannah River reactors were shut
 down, I must strongly question the need for such a contingency
 program under current circumstances. These circumstances include the
 following three items:
      (1) The Department recently distributed the draft EIS on the New
 Production Reactor program which, if all goes according to schedule,
 will result in the selection of a final technology and location in
      (2) I believe that it is the Department's intention to restart
 the tritium-producing K Reactor at Savannah River this summer.
      (3) The General Accounting Office, in its February 1991 report,
 Nuclear Materials: Decreasing Tritium Requirements and their Effect
 on DOE Programs, indicated that there has been a dramatic decrease in
 tritium requirements since 1988, and that DOE now has additional time
 to make decisions regarding future tritium production needs.
      Question: In light of the restart of K Reactor, the progress on
 the New Production Reactor, and the GAO's finding that there has been
 a dramatic reduction in tritium requirements, dd we really need a
 light water reactor contingency program any longer--one which was
 initiated a decade ago when a better case for tritium production
 could be made?
      Answer: The justification for the New Production Reactors (NPR)
 Program, in its entirety, including the light water reactor
 contingency, has been based upon providing production capacity for
 the next century. It is not based upon quantity, but rather the
 ability to provide what ever quantity the President feels is
 necessary in the years 2000-2040. The current production reactors,
 which have been shutdown since April 1988 will be 47 years old when
 the NPR is scheduled to be operational. On February 27, 1991,
 Secretary Watkins transmitted a letter to the Comptroller General
 regarding this issue. In this letter Admiral Watkins states, 'The
 GAO report contains factually incorrect statements and faulty
 conclusions.' Further, the GAO report disregarded the [DELETED]
                                                  a reserve supply of
 tritium. The need for a reserve has been clearly demonstrated while
 the current Savannah River reactors have been shut down and all
 tritium production has been halted. The maintenance of the light
 water reactor contingency is now more than ever, a necessity in order
 to guarantee the existence of assured production capacity to preserve
 our Nation's nuclear deterrence. Essentially it serves as an
 insurance policy should any unanticipated technology or siting
 problems occur in the future.
      Question: There already exists a proven tritium target for the
 heavy water reactor, and I understand that we are very near a final
 proof test for a tritium target for the MHTGR (Modular High
 Temperature Gas Reactor). While there may have been a legitimate
 argument ten years ago for the need to develop a light water target -
 before the MHTGR target was developed - what is the justification for
 needing three tritium targets today - especially since tritium
 requirements have decreased dramatically in the last decade.?
      Answer: The Department identified the most advanced and
 reliable technologies for potential tritium production. The
 environmental impact statement, currently being prepared, is
 evaluating all three candidate reactor technologies and the three
 proposed sites. The Department will continue with design and
 development work on all three technologies until the final EIS is
 completed. Until that time the Department may make no
 environmentally significant decisions, such as selecting a reactor
 technology or choosing to eliminate from consideration one of the
 technologies. The justification for the New Production Reactors
 (NPR) Program has always been adequate capacity as opposed to
 quantity. The NPR will eventually replace the 37 year old Savannah
 River reactors which have been shut down since April 1988,
 essentially halting all tritium production for the Nation.
      Question: The Department of Energy has been pursuing  the
 development of a light water reactor tritium target since about 1981.
 Could you please provide the Subcommittee with the amount of money
 that has been spent on this program since 1981 - including transfers
 and reprogrammings?
      Answer: The Office of New Production Reactors was created in
 October 1988, subsequent funding for light water reactor tritium
 target development work, including transfers and reprogramming, will
 total $54.4 million from FY 1988 through FY 1991.
      Question: In addition, please provide the Subcommittee with an
 estimate of how much additional funding will be necessary, beginning
 with FY 1992, to complete the development of a light water tritium
      Answer: The light water reactor tritium target budget request
 for both FY 1992 and FY 1993 is for $25 million respectively. The
 light water reactor tritium target development program will be
 completed in FY 1993.
      Question: In 1988, the Energy Research Advisory Board reviewed
 all the tritium target technologies. The Board determined that full
 size light water targets would have to be tested under full operating
 conditions in order to verify specific design. Will the currently
 proposed light water target tests be sufficient, or will tests have
 to be done in a currently operating light water reactor to be
 meaningful? If nothing else, I am very concerned with the
 implications that this could have on our nuclear non-proliferation
      Answer: There are Currently no plans to irradiate light water
 targets in a commercial light water reactor.
      The mission of the LWR Tritium Target Development Plan is to
 demonstrate and qualify a high-temperature LWR tritium target, with
 fabrication and extraction processes sufficiently confirmed to
 ensure a deployable target consistent with production needs. The
 demonstration and qualification of this technology will include a
 target rod design data package and performance specification that
 provide the technical information for analysis and prediction of
 integrated plant operation so that technical operating specifications
 and operating procedures can be generated.
      Sufficient testing, in DOE's Advanced Test Reactor, of targets
 will be completed to qualify the target design to the performance
 specification. The testing is being accomplished in pressurized
 water reactor conditions.
      Additionally, sufficient other testing will be completed to
 verify the thermal, hydraulic and mechanical stability and
 reliability of integrated target and fuel assemblies in a hydraulic
 testing facility. This testing also will be conducted at pressurized
 water reactor conditions of temperature, pressure, water chemistry
 and water flow.
      As a result, testing of an integrated target and fuel assembly
 in a commercial light water reactor are not planned.
                     New Production Reactor Program
            Light Water Reactor - Tritium Target Development
      Question: On page 382 of your FY 1992 budget justification, it
 indicates that your total request for tritium target development is
 $46 million dollars. On that same page, under the heading "Major
 Laboratory and Facility Funding," the request for the Richland
 Operations Office is $25,485,000. Is the entire $25,485,000 for
 Richland all related to the development of the light water tritium
      Answer: Of the $25,485,000 shown under Richland Operations
 Office, $25,000,000 is for the development of the light water tritium
 target. The balance of funds, $485,000, is to complete Environmental
 Impact Statement related tasks at Pacific Northwest Laboratory and
 Westinghouse Hanford Company.
       Question: On page 381 of your FY 1992 budget Justification, a
  sentence appears saying the "Program Direction" funding for New
  Production Reactors includes substantial travel costs to all three
  proposed reactor sites (Savannah River, Idaho and Richland). Please
  provide the amount budgeted for travel to Richland under "Program
  Direction," and a breakdown of proposed expenditures at Richland
  under all the remaining program activities (Program Support, Safety
  Review Process, Environmental Compliance, etc.)
       Answer: A breakdown of the proposed FY 1992 funding for
  Richland, including travel expenditures under the  Program Direction
  line, is summarized in the following table. (The   information
 _________Activity_____           ________$_____
 Confirmatory Development         $          0
 tritium Target Development         25,000,000
 Conceptual Design                           0
 Environmental Compliance              485,000
 Safety Review Process                       0
 Program Support                             0
 Program Direction (Travel)             57,600
 Total Operating Expenses          $25,542,600
 Capital Equipment                           0
 Construction                                0
   Total Funds at Richland         $25,542,600
                           Materials Production
                          PUREX Processing Plant
       In the Senate  Report on the FY 1991 Energy and Water
 Development Appropriations Bill, language was included which gave the
 Department specific direction regarding the PUREX processing plant at
 Hanford. Included in that language were the following items:
       o  The Department should consider the completion of an EIS prior
          to reopening the facility.
       o  Operation of the facility should not be resumed until
          completion of an independent safety review by the Defense
          Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.
       o  The Department should undertake a comprehensive assessment,
          with independent oversight, which explores all the available
          options, including long-term interim storage and direct
          disposal, and other such options that would not require
          operation of PUREX or an oxidation facility.
       o  The Committee also disapproved of the Department's transfer
          of PUREX to the waste management program.
      Question: Please provide the Committee with an update on the
 activities surrounding the PUREX facility, specifically recounting
 all activity relating to the four above items.
      Answer: Since Senate consideration of the Department's FY 1991
 budget request, the Secretary has determined that the PUREX plant
 does not need to operate in support of weapons program plutonium
 requirements. In October 1990, the Secretary also announced that the
 Department would prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that
 addresses options for disposal of the inventory of Hanford spent
 fuels. PUREX operation will be included in these options. We have
 no current plans to operate the PUREX plant unless, at the completion
 of EIS analyses, it is selected as the preferred safe and
 environmentally acceptable disposition alternative for Hanford spent
      In accordance with established Departmental policies, PUREX
 would not be restarted for a waste management mission without first
 assuring our ability to operate safely. As with other restart
 efforts, the Department anticipates that several reviews conducted by
 internal organizations (such as the Office of Nuclear Safety) and
 external organizations (such as the Advisory Committee for Nuclear
 Facility Safety or the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board) would
 be conducted before PUREX operations were resumed.
      Based on our decisions not to restart PUREX in support of the
 weapons program and our subsequent decision to prepare an EIS, we
 understand from discussions held with Senate Appropriations Committee
 staff that the committee has withdrawn its objections to the transfer
 of PUREX to the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste
 Management. This transfer is on schedule to take place in the fourth
 quarter of FY 1991.
                    Weapons Complex Reconfiguration
      It is my understanding that the Department has included $42
 million in its FY 1992 budget for its Weapons Complex Reconfiguration
 Initiative. While I applaud the Department's intention to modernize
 and reduce the size of the nation's nuclear weapons production
 facilities, I was disturbed to learn that the Hanford Reservation is
 a candidate site for some of the proposed consolidated operations.
      Question: In light of the fact that the major activities slated
 for Hanford in the foreseeable future are related to waste clean up
 under the Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program, why
 is Hanford now being considered as a site for future defense
 production activities?
       Answer: The Department of Energy's Weapons Complex
 Reconfiguration Initiative is a process stretching over several years
 and beginning with the preparation of a Programmatic Environmental
 Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act
 (NEPA). The Department of Energy must examine reasonable alternative
 approaches to reconfiguration. To avoid prejudicing the viability of
 any alternative, this analysis will include an alternative to place
 new weapons facilities at the Hanford Reservation.
      Question: How much weight will local public acceptance and
 regional Congressional support be given during the site selection
 process for the consolidation?
      Answer: In the process of preparing the Programmatic
 Environmental Impact Statement, a variety of criteria and concerns
 will be considered, including socioeconomic factors such as public
 acceptance at the regional, state, and local levels. In the absence
 of issues that might be Judged as disqualifying a particular site
 from further consideration, all criteria will be considered in any
 decision about the future configuration of the complex.
      Question: How much of the budgeted $42 million do you intend to
 spend on investigating the potential of the Hanford site?
      Answer: Of the $42 million budgeted for FY 1992, $17 million is
 to support the development of a capital asset management process and
 condition assessment surveys for the entire nuclear weapons complex.
 The remaining $25 million is not apportioned by location, however,
 only a very small portion will be spent on direct investigations of
 the Hanford Reservation. The deletion or addition of the Hanford
 Reservation to the list of alternatives has little effect on the
 overall level of effort.

Join the mailing list