DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S
BUDGET REQUEST FOR FY 1997
Hearing of the Subcommittee on Military Procurement
Committee on National Security
US House of Representatives
March 12, 1996
Hearing of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Committee on Armed Services
March 13, 1996
C. Bruce Tarter, Director
University of California
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am the Director of the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). We were founded in 1952 as a nuclear
weapons laboratory, and national security continues to be our central
I am here today to support the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
being pursued by DOE Defense Programs at the three national security
laboratories (Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia), the Nevada Test Site, and the
production facilities in the nuclear weapons complex. I intend to highlight
how Livermore fits into this highly integrated program whose goal is to
maintain confidence in the safety and reliability of the enduring US nuclear
weapons stockpile. I am also here to support another aspect of our global
security work--our important contributions to national efforts in
nonproliferation, arms control, and international security. Largely sponsored
by the DOE Office of Nonproliferation and National Security, these analytic,
policy-support, and technology-development activities build on and reinforce
nuclear expertise resident at Livermore. We are a "full-service" nuclear
weapons technology laboratory--committed to both maintaining the enduring US
nuclear weapons stockpile and dealing with the dangers posed by nuclear
proliferation in the post-Cold War world.
During this past year, the President reached two critical decisions that
established the course for future nuclear-weapons activities in the United
States. First, the President announced on August 11, 1995, that the US would
pursue a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) with no permitted nuclear
weapon test explosions. In making that decision, he also reaffirmed the
importance of maintaining a safe and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile. Then,
on September 25, 1995, the President directed necessary programmatic activities
to ensure continued stockpile performance:
"To meet the challenge of ensuring confidence in the safety and
reliability of our stockpile, I have concluded that the continued vitality of
all three DOE nuclear weapons laboratories will be essential... In accordance
with this conclusion, I have directed the Department of Energy to maintain
nuclear weapons responsibilities and capabilities adequate to support the
science-based stockpile stewardship program."
science-based Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program is a cost-conscious,
integrated response to several highly significant changes since the end of the
Cold War. It includes enhanced stockpile surveillance because the
enduring stockpile is smaller, continues to grow older, and includes fewer
types of weapons. To compensate for no nuclear testing, it includes a
revalidation process to assess stockpile performance when physical changes
are noted (or predicted) and to devise and validate remedial actions when they
are needed. This process relies on a more fundamental understanding of nuclear
weapons issues, better nonnuclear experiments, and more sophisticated computer
simulations. In addition, for a production complex that is currently in need
of modernization, the Program includes an agile manufacturing capability
to refurbish and replace aging and defective components in an affordable and
environmentally-responsible manner. Finally, the Program also includes the
supply of tritium for weapons.
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program is a major technological
undertaking that requires the integrated efforts of all aspects of the weapons
complex. It also requires adequate investment--on the order of $4 billion per
year for a decade--and flexibility to achieve a proper balance among the
aforementioned program elements. Maintenance of confidence in the reliability
and safety of the stockpile will suffer if we overinvest in one area at
another's expense. There is no single "silver bullet" which can supersede the
full set of integrated needs. Greater funding would increase the likelihood
that this very challenging Program will succeed; conversely, less funding will
increase risks. It is exceedingly important that we have a strong start in the
early years to ensure the Program's success.
Program success also requires effective partnerships among the laboratories and
between the laboratories and the production facilities. For the taxpayers'
benefit, we must ensure that the special skills and unique facilities existing
at one site are used efficiently to help work issues at another site. My
testimony will include examples of partnerships that Livermore is pursuing with
the other laboratories, with the Nevada Test Site, with the Y12 Plant, with the
Department of Defense, and with American high-technology industries.
Livermore's global security responsibilities extend beyond stewardship of the
US nuclear weapons stockpile. In his statement about a CTBT on August 11,
1995, the President emphasized the importance of pursuing:
"...a comprehensive research and development program to improve our
treaty monitoring capabilities and operations [and] continuing development of a
broad range of intelligence gathering and analytical capabilities and
operations to ensure accurate and comprehensive information on worldwide
nuclear arsenals, nuclear weapons development programs, and related nuclear
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
represents a major challenge to our national security, and countering this
threat requires a multi-pronged approach. DOE and its laboratories provide
expertise and technology to support arms control policy development, arms
control verification, and intelligence analysis of nuclear weapons activities
worldwide. Livermore has played a very prominent role in these efforts, and we
are undertaking leadership roles to counter the emerging threats of nuclear
smuggling and nuclear terrorism. To help prevent theft of nuclear materials,
we are also heavily involved in activities to improve fissile material control
and facilitate nuclear weapons dismantlement in Russia.
The technical issues we face in stockpile stewardship and management and in
nonproliferation and arms control are extremely challenging. They place
significant demands on Livermore's scientific and engineering excellence. I
will discuss each of these mission areas in turn, with examples of partnership
activities and new initiatives. I will then mention some laboratory management
issues and close with a short summary.
STEWARDSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
The Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs has led the Department, its three
national security laboratories, and other sites in the weapons complex, in the
development of the DOE Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program. A report
summarizing major features of the Program was published in May 1995, and a
draft of the programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for the
Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program was just issued at the end of
February 1996. Current capabilities and facilities, requirements, and cost
efficiency combine to drive the overall architecture of the Program and to
define necessary long-term investments. Additional efforts are underway to
complete necessary detailed roadmaps based on requirements set forth by the
Department of Defense.
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program calls for radical
changes--many already underway--in the manner in which the weapons complex
conducts business. It entails cost-cutting, making necessary investments, and
adjusting to new circumstances: fewer weapons, fewer types of weapons, no
production of new types of weapons, an aging stockpile, a production capability
in need of modernization, and no nuclear testing. In addition to the supply of
an adequate amount of tritium for weapons, the Program consists of three major
elements to support a small, enduring nuclear stockpile:
Several factors work to integrate the three major elements of the Stockpile
Stewardship and Management Program just described. First, the laboratories and
plants are developing comprehensive life-extension plans for each weapon system
slated for the enduring stockpile. These plans integrate enhanced
surveillance, revalidation, life-extension manufacturing activities on a
weapons system by weapons system basis, and time-phase all of the activities
(to the extent possible) to balance the workload. Second, each of the major
elements entails substantial partnership efforts among the laboratories and
between the laboratories and the production facilities. It is a shared effort
requiring the special skills and capabilities and the unique facilities at each
site in the complex. Finally, the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
is only as strong as its weakest link. The effort devoted to each of the three
major elements must be appropriately balanced. To increase planned funding at
one site--or in one program element--at the expense of necessary activity at
another will damage the overall Program.
LLNL has worked closely with Defense Programs to develop the DOE Stockpile
Stewardship and Management Program, and we are highly supportive of this effort
to create the necessary scientific and technical basis for stewardship in an
era of no nuclear testing. We are an active partner in the Program because of
the stockpile responsibilities we have, and because of our special skills and
capabilities and the unique user facilities that exist at Livermore. Our
partnership efforts in Stockpile Stewardship and Management include many
cooperative activities with the other DOE national security laboratories, with
the Nevada Test Site, with the production facilities in the weapons complex,
with the Department of Defense, and with various American high-technology
industries (most notably computations, lasers, high-speed instrumentation, and
high-precision optics). Examples in each of the three major elements of the
An enhanced surveillance program to understand and predict the effects of
aging. An enhanced surveillance program does not mean simply more
surveillance; it means smarter surveillance. With fewer types of weapons in
the stockpile and much less capacity to work on weapons in the production
complex of the future, we must become more proficient at detecting potential
problems early to provide adequate time for reanalysis and action, if
necessary. This calls for research and development activities in three
By using the data from the enhanced surveillance program to predict component
lifetimes, a more systematic refurbishment and "preventative maintenance"
program--rather than an expensive and high-production-rate replacement
program--will be possible. These scientific efforts are the key to an
affordable manufacturing capability in the production plants (discussed
We must improve data bases on the performance of stockpiled weapons so that
we can ascertain when observed behavior in aging weapons is anomalous. These
activities include building a modern nonnuclear experimental data base for
stockpiled weapons. Many of the nonnuclear experiments on the systems were
done 10-15 years ago. Today, much better techniques are available. In
addition to these new experiments, we need to make existing archival data more
accessible and useful to stockpile stewards.
We must improve the sensors and techniques used to inspect stockpiled
weapons. For example, new nondestructive evaluation techniques, such as
acoustic, x-ray, and neutron tomography, can reduce the number of weapon
components that must be destructively tested. Other advanced sensors are being
developed--most with industrial collaboration--to enable continuous monitoring
of key aging signatures within stockpiled weapons.
We must develop a better understanding of how aging affects the physical
characteristics of a material and the resultant impact on weapon reliability
and safety. Our pursuit of the "science of aging" entails activities such as
molecular dynamics modeling on computers and atomic force microscopy to look at
the effects of corrosion on an atomistic level. We are in the process of
establishing an enhanced materials database (using surveillance and
dismantlement data) and developing sophisticated computational techniques to
better analyze these data.
A revalidation process--backed by a set of new experimental tools--to
support high-confidence assessment and certification when issues about
stockpile performance occur. The Stockpile Stewardship and Management
Program includes a comprehensive assessment program to address issues that
arise from the enhanced surveillance program and to evaluate the significance
of observed and predicted aging processes. This program also reviews the
viability of options for refurbishing or replacing specific warhead components
and the viability of new production and fabrication processes and materials.
These efforts are to be tied to formal processes with the DoD for assessing
stockpile weapons and modification actions. A joint DoD/DOE Dual Revalidation
Program process has been developed. It was confirmed by the Nuclear Weapons
Council, which directed that the W76 be the first weapon reviewed. We are
currently working on establishing a Joint Certification Program with DoD to
formally certify weapon performance after necessary stockpile modifications.
The quality of these revalidation activities depends on the competence of
technical staff at the national security laboratories and their judgments. As
the scientific underpinning of revalidation, they will have to rely on
numerical simulation with advanced computer models and above-ground nonnuclear
testing in more capable experimental facilities. Science-based stewardship
will have replaced nuclear testing as the means to assure confidence in the
reliability, safety and performance of stockpile.
Important components of the scientific backing for the revalidation program
include the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI), which is
discussed below, and new experimental facilities to be constructed. These
include the National Ignition Facility and the Contained Firing Facility at
Livermore, the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Facility and the Atlas
Facility at Los Alamos, and the Process and Environmental Technology Laboratory
at Sandia. These scientific frontier-expanding investments will both provide
essential data for stockpile stewardship and maintain expertise unique to
nuclear weapons in a staff that will increasingly have no nuclear test
A small, efficient manufacturing capability to refurbish and replace aging
and defective components. The production facilities of the future must be
agile and highly capable, yet affordable. With cost constraints and the
planned much smaller stockpile of the future, the focus will be on capability,
not capacity. Choices of production technologies will emphasize flexibility
and will utilize modern commercial methods wherever possible. Clearly, there
must be a much closer tie between research and development on remedies to
problems that arise in the stockpile and manufacturing capabilities at the
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program calls for integration of
weapon components development with the required system engineering and
associated manufacturing and materials processes. This concurrent engineering
approach will reduce costs and provide flexibility to respond to potential
needs rapidly. Its success depends on our ability to develop computer-based
models of the performance of replacement weapon components and on our ability
to simulate associated manufacturing processes so that we can study trade-off
options efficiently and quickly. In support of this overall effort, the
nuclear complex-wide Advanced Design and Production Technologies (ADaPT)
initiative is developing techniques and technologies needed to develop new and
innovative manufacturing processes that reduce cost, improve efficiency, and
reduce waste production.
Enhanced Stockpile Surveillance. A critical issue in enhanced
surveillance is the development of a better understanding of how aging affects
the physical characteristics of a material and how these changes impact weapon
reliability and safety. With a better understanding of aging, our enhanced
surveillance program can be more predictive, which would enable systematic
refurbishment and "preventative maintenance" activities--rather than expensive
and high-production-rate replacement activities when aging effects have a
severe impact on weapon performance.
There are many different types of materials in weapons whose aging effects must
be better understood. Some are organic compounds, such as high explosives,
which can be expected to degrade over time. By comparison, plutonium is a much
more stable material in weapons; however, its properties are among the most
complex of all the elements. In addition, if remanufacture of plutonium parts
is required, long lead times will be necessary because of the limited capacity
the system will have. To understand the performance of an imploding pit of a
stockpiled weapon, we need to know much more about aged plutonium--its
microstructure and its equation of state at relevant temperatures and
We are conducting a variety of experiments to obtain better data on the
properties of plutonium. Some of these activities, such as our diamond anvil
experiments, can be pursued in the laboratory with minute quantities of
plutonium under highly controlled conditions, and we are working at facilities
at Brookhaven National Laboratory to field such experiments. Other activities
need to be conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). We are working in
partnership with NTS and Los Alamos to execute a series of subcritical
experiments to study the properties of plutonium shocked and accelerated by
high explosives. The first experiments are scheduled for later this year.
In these experiments, we will study a number of important properties of
plutonium and generate data that can be used in our computational models.
Sophisticated diagnostics, including the use of laser holography, will allow us
to gather information about the plutonium equation of state at conditions
similar to those during weapon implosion. We will also measure properties of
the ejecta that comes off an accelerated plate of plutonium as a function of
surface finish and other important properties. This will help us understand
and better model the phenomena of mixing, which affects the performance of
primaries in stockpiled weapons.
A Science-Based Revalidation Process. Decisions about the stockpile
must be grounded in experimental reality and simulations using detailed,
calibrated computer models. At Livermore we operate state-of-the-art
experimental facilities for the integrated complex, including the High
Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF), the Flash X-Ray facility at Site 300,
and the Nova laser system. This past year, for example, weapon scientists from
Livermore and Los Alamos conducted more than 200 experiments with the Nova
laser to study hydrodynamic instabilities and mixing, material opacity,
equations of state, and other aspects of weapon physics. These experiments
generated important information about the physical processes occurring in
nuclear weapons, and their results provided essential feedback and information
for our physics computer codes.
A critically important thrust in the science-based revalidation process is
improvement of the computer models we use. Numerical simulation and computer
models, benchmarked with historical nuclear test data and results from
laboratory experiments, will be the principal tools for assuring stockpile
performance in the future. In the absence of nuclear testing, we need more
realism in the computer simulations--improved models of physical effects,
greater resolution, and use of three spatial dimensions to model unsymmetrical
physical phenomena (such as those produced by aging effects). This calls for a
10,000- to a 1,000,000-fold increase in computer speed and data storage
The objective of the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI), a
central element in the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program, is to
vastly improve the high-performance computing capability at the national
security laboratories. ASCI is a research partnership in which the
laboratories have begun to work with industrial firms to develop
technologies--including software, data storage, and communications
environments--that address the specific problems of the highest-end weapons
physics models. Multiple vendors may participate in various partnerships, yet
each partnership will proceed in a way that ensures portability of major
weapons codes between platforms.
The proposed ASCI budget in FY 1997 is $122 million, a sizable fraction of
which is intended for procurement of prototype high-end supercomputers from
American industry. We will be buying--and working with our industrial partners
to debug, refine, and improve--computational capabilities which should reach
the commercial marketplace ten years hence.
Our research partnerships with the computer industry will build on the
"business plans" of the vendors. The building blocks of our supercomputers
will be "off-the-shelf" processors. These "commodity" parts range from
single-processor building blocks to shared-memory systems with 8 to 100+
processors. ASCI is not intended to drive processor development. That is a
$100 billion industry. Rather, ASCI intends to build on the "business plans"
of the vendors--how they intend to cluster the commodity building blocks into
systems with ever-increasing capability. These partnerships will expedite the
process. We will obtain computing capabilities that we need for stockpile
stewardship and management. Industry will obtain for their prototype computer
systems sophisticated customers who can help refine concepts and develop
One approach to more powerful supercomputing follows the path of the current
state-of-the-art supercomputers at the national laboratories--single massively
parallel processing (MPP) machines, with large numbers of individual nodes each
with its own memory, tightly coupled via a custom, high-speed network. Some
software applications work exceedingly well in an MPP architecture; others
present difficulties which are yet to be overcome even on small scale machines.
Complementary approaches to more powerful supercomputing use as a building
block shared-memory processors (SMPs). Here, the challenge for ASCI is the
seamless integration of a large number of these SMP machines to create the
capabilities we need. As the individual SMPs represent the high-volume segment
of the commercial market, this general approach will benefit from a much richer
We have already initiated one research partnership to provide a "TeraFLOPS"
supercomputer by end of calendar 1996. A "TeraFLOPS" supercomputer performs a
trillion floating-point operations per second, which, operating at even a
modest 10% efficiency, represents a 1,000- to 10,000-fold improvement over the
capability of our best current supercomputer. This will allow us to perform
some 3D hydrodynamics calculations coupled with radiation transport, which is
an important but modest program milestone. We are in the process of soliciting
two additional research partnerships, each to provide a "several-TeraFLOPS"
supercomputer by the middle of 1998. Our fourth partnership is envisioned as a
"10-TeraFLOPS" capability in the year 2000.
The three laboratory sites will each provide both open and secure "TeraFLOPS"
capability. It is anticipated that the primary secure usage will be local.
However, the research nature of the ASCI partnerships requires seamless remote
access for some fraction of the ASCI applications development teams. Open,
remote access is also necessary to foster effective working partnerships with
research universities and other centers of excellence for high-performance
Our strategy of pursuing multiple approaches and creating multiple industrial
research partnerships is aimed at accelerating existing performance trends to
meet our specific needs. It is not possible to predict which technology path
will lead to the best results; indeed, it is unlikely that a single technical
approach will serve all program requirements. Therefore, the research
partnerships must overlap both in time and in technical approach in order to
achieve high payoff with manageable risk, ensure flexibility, avoid dependence
on single vendors, and serve diverse program needs.
An Agile Manufacturing Capability. LLNL is developing technologies to
provide cost-effective manufacturing capabilities to replace aging weapon
components or refurbish them to extend their life. This is an urgent need. In
the near-term we must be capable of replacing any questionable components to
important weapon systems--even as the production capability is being
restructured to be consistent with future stockpile needs. Some of our
manufacturing and refurbishment efforts entail making effective use of
industrial partnerships to pursue technologies in precision fabrication and
non-destructive evaluation. These activities, which are part of the nuclear
weapons complex-wide Advanced Design and Production Technologies (ADaPT)
initiative, are designed to provide cost-effective technologies for use in
ongoing refurbishment activities at the earliest possible date.
We have ongoing activities to extend the life of the W87. The objective is to
enhance the structural integrity of the W87 so that it may remain part of the
enduring stockpile beyond the year 2025 and will meet anticipated future
requirements for the system. The W87 warhead/Mk21 reentry vehicle (RV) is the
leading candidate for a single RV option for the Minuteman III ICBM. It is the
most modern and safe US nuclear warhead. It incorporates all "Drell safety"
features: Insensitive High Explosive, a Fire Resistant Pit, and an Enhanced
Nuclear Detonation Safety.
The W87 Life Extension Program (LEP) exercises many aspects of the nuclear
weapons complex and provides a model of how stockpile stewardship and
management must work. Livermore has worked closely with the Air Force, the DOE
production agencies and plants, and the other weapons laboratories to ensure
that the warhead alterations can be carried through at the plants and will meet
the requirements of the customer.
Interactions with the DoD include a detailed examination of the current
operating environment of the W87/Mk21, as well as a projection into the future
of how that environment may change. W87 LEP activities include flight testing,
ground testing, and physics and engineering analysis. We work with Air Force
Space Command and defense contractors to interpret and apply the data obtained.
These activities are being coordinated by a Joint DoD/DOE Working Group under
the direction of the Nuclear Weapons Council.
W87 LEP warhead refurbishment activities involve the Pantex Plant, Allied
Signal in Kansas City, and the Y12 Plant in Oak Ridge. We involved the plants
early in the LEP so that an option is developed that meets performance
requirements and can be produced efficiently with high quality. Operations at
the Y12 Plant have provided the greatest challenge for the W87 LEP because of
the suspension of many operations at that facility. As a work-around,
Livermore has been building the mock W87 hardware required for the development
phase of the LEP.
In consultation with Y12 engineers and facility managers, we are developing
refurbishment processes and equipment to be used for full scale production.
Our emphasis is on the use of modular workstations and new technologies to
reduce waste, floor space, and necessary equipment. An example is the use of
laser technology developed at LLNL to cut certain high-value parts. The
importance of this technology is that the amount of material removed in the
laser-cutting process is extremely small, with almost no damage to the
remaining material. The process not only preserves the existing part, but it
essentially eliminates the waste stream created in the traditional
A demonstration project is underway to show the feasibility of using lasers to
cut high-value parts in the W87. The project utilizes capabilities developed
in the Inertial Confinement Fusion program and in the Atomic Vapor Laser
Isotope Separation program along with technologies that have been developed
over the last several years in Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
with various industrial partners. The demonstration will be conducted in an
environmentally controlled workstation designed and built at Livermore in a
cooperative effort with Y12 personnel. If the demonstration is successful, the
technology can be transferred to the production environment. While this
technology will be specifically developed for the W87 LEP, it has general
applicability to several stockpile systems and could be applied to future
Finally, we must determine whether the alterations could have any appreciable
effect on nuclear yield and certify the performance of the refurbished weapon.
We are using archival information, data gathered in new experiments (including
some using the Nova laser), and a combination of established computer
simulation techniques and new ones. Los Alamos has been an active observer at
all phases of the W87 LEP, and formal peer review has taken place in the
conceptual phase and the final development phase of the program. As we move
into final testing and evaluation, further in-depth review will be requested
before LLNL certifies the final refurbishment option.
Stockpile Responsibilities . Livermore shoulders special
responsibilities in the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program because we
are the design laboratory for weapon systems in the enduring stockpile and for
weapons to be retired. For the latter, we have a continuing active
responsibility to ensure safe and timely dismantlement and disposition of
excess materials. Dismantlement of the W68 SLBM warheads and the W71 ABM
warheads has been completed, and work is essentially completed on the W70 Lance
warheads. Weapon systems that are currently being dismantled or are to begin
to be dismantled soon include the W48 and W79 artillery projectiles, the W55
SUBROC, and the W56 ICBM warheads.
Livermore's responsibilities for the enduring stockpile include the B83 bomb,
the W84 cruise missile warhead, and the W87 ICBM warhead. These are the only
systems in the inventory with all the modern safety features, and they are
expected to endure past their originally anticipated lifetimes. In addition,
Livermore is responsible for the W62 ICBM warhead, which is to remain in the
active inventory past the end of the decade. We are developing comprehensive
plans to extend the life of these systems, and significant effort currently is
being expended on their surveillance, maintenance, and selective refurbishment.
Our efforts in the W87 Life Extension Program have previously been described.
Special User Facilities at LLNL. Livermore has additional
responsibilities in the Program because of our special skills and capabilities
and the unique user facilities that exist at Livermore. In addition to a
number of important but smaller science and engineering facilities, these
Livermore also has the lead in the development of two major user
facilities that figure prominently in the Program: the National Ignition
Facility and the Contained Firing Facility at Livermore's Site 300.
- the High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF), which is the most
modern facility for high explosives research in the world;
- the Nova laser facility, which--until construction of the National
Ignition Facility--remains the premiere facility in the world for conducting
high-energy density physics experiments essential to evaluation of important
nuclear weapons issues;
- the Flash X-Ray facility at Site 300, which is currently the most
capable hydrodynamic test facility in the world;
- the Secure and Open Computing Facilities at LLNL, which meet our
core program needs for stockpile stewardship and serve as a testbed for
development of high-performance computing hardware and software;
- the AVLIS facility and program, with the most advanced capabilities
in the world for conducting research and development on industrial-scale
processes involving uranium; and
- the Superblock, small, but modern facilities for special nuclear
materials research and engineering testing.
The National Ignition Facility. The National Ignition Facility (NIF)
was identified by the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Defense Programs,
Victor Reis, as being "the most important new facility" in the Defense Programs
budget request last year. The NIF is a cornerstone of the Stockpile
Stewardship and Management Program. It is the only facility that will permit
well-diagnosed experiments pertinent to fusion and high-energy-density physics
processes which occur after the high explosive is detonated. The NIF is also
the critical next step in the development of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)
as an environmentally attractive energy source, and it will serve as a user
facility for a wide range of fundamental scientific research. Initial
operational capability is planned for late 2002. To keep to this effort on
schedule and on budget, DOE Defense Programs has requested $191 million for the
NIF project in FY 1997.
This FY 1997 budget request has two components: a $132 million line item for
NIF construction and $59 million as a portion of the roughly $240 million FY
1997 national ICF base program. I urge full funding for both the NIF and the
national ICF base program. These highly interrelated efforts have recently
been favorably reviewed by the Inertial Confinement Fusion Advisory Committee
and the JASONs. The JASON report concluded: "we are convinced that the
present ICF program does make an important contribution to science-based
stockpile stewardship, and that the NIF will substantially increase this
The NIF will consist of the laser system and optical components, a target
chamber, and computer control system all in an environmentally controlled
building. The laser, consisting of 192 beams to deliver 1.8 million joules and
"ignite" small fusion targets, will be the world's largest optical instrument.
Its construction will allow America to retain world leadership in ICF. It will
advance US high technology industries such as those in optics, lasers,
materials, high-speed instrumentation, semiconductors, and precision
manufacturing. The DOE has estimated that at the peak of activities the
project will create about 3,000 construction and manufacturing jobs
Following completion of the Conceptual Design Report in April 1994, Secretary
O'Leary announced her approval of Key Decision 1 for the NIF in October 1994,
which allowed the next phase of NIF design to begin. At that time, the
Secretary established a formal process to evaluate the consistency of the
facility with US arms control and nonproliferation objectives. The completed
study, which went through interagency review, concluded that the "technical
proliferation concerns of the NIF are manageable and therefore can be made
acceptable" and that "the NIF can contribute positively to US arms control and
nonproliferation policy goals."
Substantial progress has been made on the NIF project this past year. We have
completed an updated Quality Assurance Plan, the Project Execution Plan, the
Title I Plan, and Advanced Conceptual Design. Selection has been made of the
NIF project architect and engineering contractor. In addition, together with
Los Alamos, Sandia, and University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser
Energetics, we began the next phase of design work (Title I) for the NIF.
We also continued our experiments using the Beamlet laser, which is a
full-scale prototype of a NIF beam. This work is providing us high confidence
in NIF performance, schedule, and cost goals. We have demonstrated NIF laser
performance on a per-unit-area basis, and we are now testing the target
illumination capability of the system.
The NIF will attract talented scientists and engineers to contribute to
stockpile stewardship because multiple benefits will derive from a vigorous ICF
program in the coming decades. As a user facility, the NIF will support
The need for the NIF is independent of any siting decisions. However,
Secretary O'Leary has voiced her preference for Livermore. LLNL is the natural
siting choice because of the large contribution we have made to the advancement
of ICF, our development of the new laser system to be part of the NIF, and the
fact that LLNL has over 4000 staff-years of experience in ICF and related
science and technology. The facility would greatly benefit from and contribute
to LLNL's existing unique capabilities in lasers, and the NIF would play a key
role in the future evolution of Livermore.
- National Security. The NIF will provide access to high-energy
density physics regimes essential to evaluation of important nuclear weapons
issues. Scientists will be able to obtain nuclear-weapon-related physics data,
particularly in the area of fusion and the high-energy-density physics which
occurs after the high explosive is detonated for comparison with advanced
numerical simulations. These include high-quality opacity data for partially
ionized materials, valuable information about the mixing of layers of different
materials during implosion, and data that can help us assess the impact of
cracks and other abnormalities on weapon performance. Other experiments will
be able to provide valuable data on nuclear weapons effects issues. Moreover,
the NIF will help us evaluate issues for existing designs and improve and test
computational models, but it will not enable us to design new weapons per se.
Fusion Energy. The NIF is an essential element in the program
for the development of inertial fusion energy for civilian power production.
If net fusion energy gain is demonstrated, as anticipated, the NIF will
constitute a crucial step towards the ultimate goal of providing energy
security for the US in the 21st century. The role of the NIF and ICF as the
principle alternate to the Tokamak was acknowledged by the recent Fusion Energy
Advisory Committee report.
- Science and Technology. The NIF will produce conditions in matter
similar to those found at the center of the sun and other stars. New,
well-characterized, high-energy-density regimes will be routinely accessible in
the laboratory for the first time. The NIF will advance scientific and
technical fields such as astrophysical sciences, plasma physics, atomic and
radiative physics, hydrodynamics, materials science, advanced coherent and
incoherent x-ray sources, nonlinear optics, and computational physics.
Scientific progress in those fields will, in turn, provide enhanced
understanding of the physical conditions in nuclear weapons.
The Contained Firing Facility at Site 300. Hydrodynamic testing is the
only currently available way of experimentally testing the
high-explosives-initiated implosion phase of a nuclear detonation. These are
critical experiments for understanding weapon safety, assessing the performance
of weapon primaries, and evaluating the feasibility of approaches for safely
disabling a nuclear device. The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
includes funding for construction of the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic
Test Facility (DARHT) at LANL and for upgrade of the Flash X-Ray facility (FXR)
at LLNL's Site 300 to make it a Contained Firing Facility. Containment of the
FXR test bed and the debris from explosive experiments will enhance this
important national capability and permit its continued use even if there are
future, more stringent environmental restrictions. Investment in the Contained
Firing Facility ensures our ability to continue critically important
hydrodynamic experimentation into the 21st century.
The FXR is the best diagnostic tool currently available for measuring
integrated performance of nuclear weapon primaries by nonnuclear testing. We
continue to improve its capability. Last year a major upgrade was completed to
increase the power of the electron beam produced by the linear accelerator at
the facility. During a hydrodynamic experiment a tantalum target converts the
electron beam into an intense X-ray beam, which is used to take an X-ray
picture of the test object. The upgrade permits us to obtain a higher
resolution X-ray photograph of an imploding mock primary and to take the
picture even later during in the implosion process when the material is
extremely dense. Our next planned upgrade, which has just begun and is due to
be completed in about two years, allows scientists to take two pictures during
an experiment and directly determine the velocity of the imploding materials.
THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND OTHER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Stemming proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is a critical
priority for the United States. It is a major challenge that requires a
multifaceted effort by the US Government with activities and programs
coordinated among the various agencies that shoulder nonproliferation
responsibilities. The DOE laboratories are working closely together to support
DOE's nonproliferation objectives, which are to control nuclear materials and
expertise, reduce nuclear weapons worldwide, roll back proliferant development
programs, prevent acquisition of nuclear weapons, avoid surprise, and respond
to proliferation emergencies.
Nation-states or rogue subnational units, such as terrorists, might acquire
nuclear capability through the theft and subsequent sale of fissile materials
or weapons. Alternatively, proliferation can occur through indigenous
development programs that draw on the increasing availability of nuclear
technology and the continuing spread of nuclear expertise. Livermore's arms
control and nonproliferation activities respond to both of these troubling
proliferation scenarios. Our efforts are concentrated in three areas:
The progress the DOE laboratories has made in these three areas is
substantial, and some of Livermore's specific accomplishments are discussed
below. We have made a good start at dealing with post-Cold War nuclear threats
to US interests. However, the technical and policy challenges posed by these
threats are considerable and much more needs to be done. For many of our
activities, progress is constrained by funding and important milestones could
be achieved earlier if additional resources were available.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, controlling nuclear materials and
expertise has been a major thrust area for the DOE national laboratories. Our
principal activities are:
- Controlling nuclear material at its source and stemming the spread of
nuclear know-how. Since the break up of the Soviet Union, this has been a
major thrust area for the DOE national laboratories. Our principal activities
relate to control of fissile material throughout the Newly Independent States
(NIS), support of Russian efforts in weapons dismantlement and materials
disposition, and cooperative threat reduction in the NIS through defense
conversion activities at their nuclear laboratories.
- Countering nuclear smuggling and nuclear explosive terrorism. In
spite of best efforts at control, some nuclear material might get into the
wrong hands. And events this past year in Oklahoma City, Tokyo, London, and
Tel Aviv soberly warn us of the danger posed by the possibility of nuclear
terrorism. The threat of WMD terrorism has become a high priority national
concern. Livermore is taking the lead in aspects of countering nuclear
smuggling and nuclear terrorism through new initiatives which I will describe.
These efforts should be strengthened, and they could be widened to counter
chemical and biological threats through application of many similar detection
and analysis techniques.
- Detecting and reversing nuclear weapons activities by
nation-states. These activities include long-standing Livermore programs
in intelligence analysis, in sensor development for detecting and monitoring
WMD activities, and in support of treaty negotiation and implementation.
Control of Fissile Material throughout the NIS. Livermore contributes
to the Los Alamos-led multi-laboratory DOE program to improve nuclear material
protection, control, and accountability (MPC&A) at Russian facilities. As
part of this effort, LLNL has the lead in assessing the vulnerability of
storage facilities and providing measurement systems for fissile material to
Russian institutes so that they can establish and verify nuclear material
In addition, our interactions in other Newly Independent States helped identify
the existence of hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium in
Kazakhstan, which were subsequently withdrawn to the US in the highly
successful Project Sapphire led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1994.
Afterwards, we led a multilaboratory team that developed a program to provide
technical assistance to Kazakhstan.
Russian Warhead Dismantlement and Materials Disposition. LLNL has a
lead technical role in the negotiations for Mutual Reciprocal Inspections of
fissile material removed from dismantled nuclear weapons. This is an
initiative with Russia to gain confidence in the process of nuclear warhead
dismantlement. We participate in the DOE Transparency Working Group, which
develops white papers for the Interagency suggesting US positions on various
possible monitoring arrangements. LLNL is now chairing an effort to evaluate
warhead radiation signatures for tracking warheads through the dismantlement
process. We have had exchange meetings on these issues with the Russians,
which have included technical demonstrations at Livermore's plutonium
In addition, LLNL continues its lead-laboratory role in the development and
implementation of transparency measures associated with the purchase of
highly-enriched uranium from Russia. We have provided technical guidance on
monitoring visits and familiarization visits to technical facilities in Russia
and at the two transparency review committee meetings.
Finally, the DOE is evaluating alternative means for disposition of excess
fissile materials. Livermore is responsible for assessment of two of the
options (geological disposition in a deep borehole and immobilization in either
glass or ceramics) and for technical work on the immobilization option. The US
has recently engaged the Russians in parallel studies. This issue is expected
to be addressed at the summit meeting on nuclear safety to be held in Moscow in
the spring of 1996. Recently, we hosted a meeting of the US and Russian
delegations in which proposals were developed for joint experimentation to
advance disposition technology in both countries.
Commercial development activities at NIS weapons institutes. Livermore
is heavily involved in international nonproliferation efforts aimed at engaging
those with nuclear know-how in the NIS in commercially viable work with
non-weapons and civilian applications. LLNL is a principal participant in the
Industrial Partnering Program, which pursues defense conversion of former
nuclear weapons institutes in the NIS through partnerships with DOE
laboratories and American industry in projects that have commercial potential.
Livermore is involved in over 20 projects--many initiated last year--that
employ over 400 NIS weapons scientists.
To protect against failure to control nuclear material at its source, we are
pursuing new initiatives to counter nuclear smuggling and nuclear-explosive
Countering Nuclear Smuggling. As part of a priority US effort to combat
the threat of nuclear smuggling, DOE was made the lead agency for technical
analysis of nuclear trafficking incidents and for MPC&A cooperation
(described earlier). LLNL is leading two important efforts to counter nuclear
A more comprehensive effort in counter-nuclear smuggling will require a
strategically-planned multilaboratory/multiagency program. Within DOE, a Focus
Group is working to coordinate DOE's anti-smuggling activities and to identify
gaps where new or expanded work is needed. Proposals are being developed for
additional investments in this important area.
- Support to law enforcement and other agencies in assessing illicit nuclear
trafficking cases and in training US and foreign officials. DOE's assessment
capability for illicit nuclear trafficking, centered at Livermore, is a unique
national and international resource in dealing with actual or alleged cases of
nuclear smuggling. Closely affiliated with our long-standing nuclear threat
credibility assessment capability, this program draws on all-source databases
(including details on incidents dating back to 1966) and experienced analysts
to provide on-call support to law enforcement and other officials in the US and
abroad. In 1995 we provided technical assessments to law enforcement agencies
in many separate cases involving the attempted illegal sale of alleged nuclear
materials; and, related to counter-nuclear terrorism, we direct and participate
in the credibility assessment of nuclear extortion threats targeting the US.
We also train foreign police and customs officials to be more effective
in detecting and investigating nuclear trafficking. We provided instruction at
the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, at other international
customs seminars and conferences, and in various bilateral settings. We have
also designed and tested a nuclear material identification kit that can be used
by inspectors at checkpoints or suspected sites for detecting nuclear
smuggling. Early versions are now available to US government agencies.
- Forensic analysis of seized materials to gain information about their
origin and route. A few extremely significant nuclear smuggling cases have
involved the seizure of kilogram quantities of genuine, weapons-usable nuclear
materials. In such cases, it is vitally important to learn as much as we can
about the stolen materials and their origin, so that officials can shore up
security deficiencies, determine whether additional material is at large, and
prosecute the criminals involved. Detailed forensic analysis of confiscated
materials and associated packaging can play an important role, and in 1995 LLNL
led a multilaboratory DOE effort to select and apply relevant techniques to
this problem. Because most seizures have occurred abroad, international
cooperation is indispensable.
In November 1995, LLNL hosted the highly successful International
Conference on Nuclear Smuggling Forensic Analysis, which brought together a
mix of technical, intelligence, and law enforcement experts from 14 countries
to compare experiences and techniques. Notable was the participation by the
Russian Federation, which can play a pivotal role in helping to determine
sources of smuggled nuclear material.
The Conference paved the way for ongoing technical cooperation through the
creation of an International Technical Working Group (ITWG) and an agreement to
conduct international exercises. At the first meeting of the ITWG earlier this
year, plans were developed for an international interlaboratory exercise, which
will include the analysis of the highly-enriched uranium seized in an actual
nuclear smuggling case in 1994. A follow-on meeting of the ITWG is planned for
this summer in Moscow.
Countering Nuclear Explosive Terrorism. Countering the covert delivery
of nuclear devices against the US is closely related to countering the
smuggling of nuclear materials since many similar detection and analysis
methods can be used. Our approach is to build on our extensive experience with
DOE's Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST), the Threat Credibility Assessment
Center, the Accident Response Group, the Radiological Assistance Program, and
the Federal Radiological Management Assessment Center. Our new efforts include
evaluating the risk, developing improved techniques for detection and
disablement, and devising new investment strategies for dealing with nuclear
Our more traditional activities in monitoring and rolling back nuclear weapons
programs of proliferants include long-standing Livermore programs in
intelligence analysis, sensor development, and support of treaty negotiation
and implementation. We also provide support to counterproliferation efforts,
which are funded by DoD.
Evaluating the risk of stockpile theft. Using new research in
human reliability and new security simulation codes, we recently completed an
assessment of the risks associated with the theft of a nuclear weapon from the
US stockpile by a terrorist group and the subsequent use of that weapon against
this country. Our findings will improve our understanding of security needs
for nuclear weapons storage worldwide.
Developing a new concept for fissile-material detection--Wide Area
Tracking System (WATS). WATS is a concept for detecting covertly-delivered
nuclear devices with a system that can be deployed rapidly to detect the
movement of nuclear materials. The WATS project is expected to transition into
a formal DoD/DOE Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) in FY 1997.
During the first year of the two-year ACTD effort, we will work with the
military to determine operational requirements and complete the hardware
- Developing new techniques for the disablement of improvised nuclear
devices (INDs). We are striving to develop high-confidence techniques that
can be used to disable, without producing any nuclear yield, a large spectrum
of possible INDs which might be encountered in a nuclear terrorist incident.
Results to date have been very positive. However, at the current level of
funding, development and proof testing of our next field deployable technique
is several years away. Funding limitations have also necessitated placing on
hold the pursuit of other promising advanced disablement concepts.
- Initiating a comprehensive study. We are initiating a
comprehensive study to better understand US needs and appropriate technological
and systems solutions to counter nuclear (and other WMD) terrorist threats.
Our goal is to determine how the national laboratories and other agencies can
best leverage their resources, so that the most important and most tractable
problems receive the greatest effort.
Intelligence Analysis and Policy Support. Livermore has been supporting
the US intelligence community for 30 years by tracking and analyzing the
nuclear developments in countries of importance to US nonproliferation goals.
Our technical support assists US policy makers in taking actions to encourage
the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear technology and to discourage the
proliferation of nuclear weapons. In addition, we have completed numerous
studies of the paths to nuclear weapons production being taken by several
proliferant countries. These analyses are used by many government agencies
that deal with proliferation issues as they evaluate possible response options
and develop policy strategies to reduce regional tensions and motivations for
We also have supported the US government in negotiations with countries such as
India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine. In
addition, we evaluate for DOE an average of five to ten export requests a week
concerning prospective illegal or inappropriate exports of information or
commodities. We make certain that US exports are in compliance with federal
law and international nonproliferation commitments.
Sensor Development for Detecting and Monitoring WMD Activities.
Nonproliferation sensor research and development constitutes our largest
program effort for DOE's Office of Nonproliferation and National Security.
This work, coordinated with that of other DOE labs and government agencies,
focuses on the development of unique instrumentation and techniques for use by
the US military, intelligence, and arms control communities. LLNL-developed
sensors are used in international operations for treaty-compliance monitoring
and mutual confidence building. In addition, Livermore has provided
specialized monitoring equipment to the United Nations for the long-term
monitoring program in Iraq.
The challenge in developing sensors to detect proliferation activities is to
create instruments which are both highly sensitive and highly selective for
detecting weak signal in difficult environments. Our accomplishments span a
range of sensor technologies, from remote sensors to portable hand-ons and
unattended instruments, for various applications:
Treaty and Arms Control Support . Our treaty and arms control work
principally focuses on support to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
and issues about monitoring a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). We are
also supporting activities related to the START treaties, a Fissile Material
Cutoff Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and regional security issues.
Sensors for remote optical characterization of proliferation
activities. Many industrial processes generate and release tell-tale
chemical signatures which can provide information about the activities taking
place within a facility. The ability to remotely interrogate the chemicals
released into the environment from a facility would provide a powerful means
for monitoring treaty compliance or detecting weapons production activities.
Our efforts include fielding systems that--over time--incorporate progressively
more advanced technology to accomplish this challenging objective.
Livermore is also involved in the development of imaging sensors to
provide both spatial and spectral information about suspect facilities.
Airborne tests of the Compact Airborne Multispectral Imager held during 1995
and early 1996 demonstrated the use of this DOE/LLNL-developed technology for
aerial reconnaissance. LLNL has led the development of a new, more sensitive
infrared spectrometer for airborne remote sensing of trace chemicals in the
atmosphere. It will be flown aboard a US Navy aircraft in 1996 as part of the
DOE Airborne Multisensor Pod System.
We are a major participant in an advanced-technology multi-laboratory
program to develop laser-based systems for detecting trace chemicals in the
atmosphere, particularly those that might indicate activities associated with
nuclear weapons production. LLNL is responsible for the development and
engineering of systems that utilize state-of-the-art solid-state laser hardware
and for characterizing chemical signatures. We operate the facility used for
hardware testing at the Nevada Test Site.
Laboratory and field-portable instrumentation for chemical analysis.
Livermore scientists have developed a prototype advanced, portable mass
spectrometer that is light-weight, battery-operated, and capable of detecting
chemicals in the environment at very low levels. It is for use in the field by
arms control inspectors during cooperative, on-site visits and would provide
real-time feedback at the facility to help identify locations for further
sampling, analysis, and investigation. In recognition of the significant
technological advances that went into this design, Livermore scientists were
presented an R&D 100 award in 1995 by R&D Magazine.
Livermore is also home to a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory, the
Forensic Science Center, whose specialized staff bring a wide range of advanced
chemical analysis techniques to bear on special samples for the US Government
and law enforcement communities. The Forensic Science Center is a unique
resource for analytical instrumentation and methods tailored to the needs of
the proliferation detection community.
- Unattended ground sensors. Our unattended ground sensors program
draws on microtechnologies to achieve small size and low power consumption. We
have developed and deployed networked sensor systems for treaty monitoring.
These sensor technologies have also been used for environmental
characterization, counter-narcotics, civilian law enforcement, and immigration
and border control.
- Support to the IAEA. LLNL has been helping the IAEA meet its new
technical challenges following the post-Gulf War revelation of Iraq's extensive
nuclear weapons program. We have supplied inspectors and developed and fielded
equipment in support of inspections in Iraq; we have worked with IAEA to
bolster the Agency's ability to enforce safeguards; and we are providing
technical assistance to selected foreign laboratories on peaceful uses of
CTBT Monitoring. The CTBT effort at LLNL is focused on completing
the research and development necessary to permit effective monitoring of the
Treaty. Livermore is working closely with the other national laboratories to
deliver software systems this year that can accurately locate and identify
events with explosion characteristics in regions of interest. We also have
provided input to DOE on the impact of a CTBT on the maintenance of the US
nuclear stockpile. These studies have allowed DOE to develop negotiating
positions for Interagency consideration prior to and during the CTBT
negotiation. In addition, our scientists have provided expertise to the
Conference on Disarmament, the international Group of Scientific Experts on
seismic detection, and the On-Site-Inspection Working Group.
AND MANAGEMENT ISSUES
On September 25, 1995, as the President directed DOE to carry out the necessary
programmatic activities to ensure stockpile performance, he also stated that:
"...these labs must be run as efficiently as possible. I have
directed the agencies to review and, as appropriate, to rescind internal
management instructions and oversight that impede laboratory performance. I
have directed the agencies to clarify and focus the mission assignments of
their laboratories. I also have directed the agencies to achieve all possible
budget savings through streamlining and management improvements before
productive R&D programs are sacrificed."
It is important that
we succeed in these efforts. Livermore has been working with the DOE on
management and oversight issues through Department-wide efforts and various
pilot projects aimed at streamlining excessive DOE rules and regulations and
consolidating laboratory audits and reviews. In addition, we have stepped up
our long-continuing efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of LLNL
operations and cut costs.
At Livermore we have made major progress on a broad range of initiatives to
achieve cost reductions and greater efficiency in meeting our mission
objectives. Some highlights include:
These actions and others currently being planned will improve our cost
effectiveness without sacrificing our ability to meet programmatic milestones.
A second important aspect of Livermore's administration and operations is the
role of the University of California (UC) in overseeing our work (and that
performed by the Los Alamos and Berkeley laboratories). The current management
and operating contract between UC and DOE added a much stronger management role
for the University, and it also introduced performance measures as a way of
evaluating the activities of the laboratories. On balance the new contract has
been quite successful. It pioneered the whole concept of performance-based
management within DOE, and in many ways this contract has paved the way for
other recent contractual actions taken by DOE.
We have managed to downsize the workforce at the Laboratory by over 2000
people or approximately 20% over the past half dozen years without
significantly disrupting operations.
We have restructured major parts of our organization to clarify and
strengthen lines of responsibility and accountability.
We are just completing a top-to-bottom cost cutting review which is
providing an objective basis for further workforce restructuring and
We are reducing overhead and out-sourcing more of the routine services
required to support our activities.
- We have greatly streamlined our procurement practices and reduced the size
of our business operations organization by 38% as well as reduced the cost by
30% since FY 1994.
An exceedingly important part of this management role is the University of
California's President's Council on the National Laboratories, which oversees
all the scientific and technical work performed at the three National
Laboratories UC manages. In particular, the National Security Panel of the
President's Council is providing outstanding service to the nation. The Panel
has a very strong influence on the national security activities at the
laboratories through its effective reviews of our programs. Its constructive
criticism of our scientific work, its probing questions, and its
recommendations how the laboratories can better integrate their efforts have
had a major impact on the design of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management
The University of California has been the contractor operating Livermore--as
well as Los Alamos and Berkeley--since our beginning. This arrangement has
provided great benefit to LLNL and the nation. It has been a major factor in
attracting and maintaining the quality of our workforce, it has provided an
atmosphere in which independent views and technical honesty are treated as core
values, and it has led to an array of scientific and technical associations
that would have otherwise not been achievable. These are exceedingly important
factors to preserve as we face new technical challenges in stockpile
stewardship and management and in stemming proliferation.
The DOE Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program lays out a challenging
program for the national security laboratories and other elements of the
nuclear weapons complex. It represents a major change from the design and
testing of weapons to a program in which enhanced surveillance of the
stockpile, nonnuclear experiments, and computations form the basis of judgments
about the safety and reliability of weapons. It calls for the creation of a
manufacturing capability that depends on strong partnerships among the
laboratories, modernized production facilities, and American industry.
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program is a demanding effort which
requires a long-term commitment by outstanding scientists and engineers. It
also requires long-term, new investments in capabilities and facilities for
stewardship and management of the enduring stockpile--on the order of $4
billion per year for a decade. This can only happen if there is sustained
bipartisan support for the Program from Congress and the Administration.
Accordingly, I urge your strong support of the FY 1997 budget submission for
Defense Programs. It is imperative that we lay a solid foundation early in the
effort to ensure the Program's success.
Technically difficult challenges also face Livermore scientists and engineers
working on projects to stem the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. Livermore plays a very prominent role in the national effort,
providing expertise and technology to support arms control policy development,
arms control verification, and intelligence analysis of nuclear weapons
activities worldwide. We are also undertaking leadership roles to counter
nuclear smuggling and nuclear terrorism, and we are heavily involved in
activities to help Russia improve protection, control, and accountability of
its fissile materials. Much more can and needs to be done. Consequently, I
also urge your strong support of the program proposed by the Office of
Nonproliferation and National Security. We should also explore mechanisms for
broadened federal support from other agencies in this important area.
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Last modified March 12, 1996.
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