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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Statement of Rose E. Gottemoeller


Office of Nonproliferation and National Security

U.S. Department of Energy

before the

Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

Committee on Armed Services

United States Senate

March 12, 1998

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. It is my pleasure to present testimony to you today as the Director of the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).


The worldwide proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their missile delivery systems has emerged as one of the most serious dangers confronting the United States since the end of the Cold War. In November 1994 and every year since, President Clinton has stated that, "The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." The President also declared the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and of the means of delivering such weapons a national emergency through Executive Order 12938.

As one of the United States Government's highest priorities, we must proactively address this problem that has broad consequences for international security and stability. At least 20 countries -- some of them hostile to the United States -- already have or may be developing WMD through the acquisition of dual-use technology, indigenous development and production, and/or support from supplier states. Additionally, safety and security of existing nuclear weapons and materials are of increasing concern as economic and social pressures mount in countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and the Baltics.

With the breakdown of the protection systems that secured nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, states and subnational groups may seek to obtain nuclear materials through theft and smuggling. This illicit path to proliferation is an area of great concern and a focus of attention for the national security community.

Additionally, there is growing concern about the threat from terrorism and the potential use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Terrorist groups have shown a greater willingness and capability to use large-scale weapons to achieve their goal. For example, the Aum Shinrikyo chemical attack in 1995 killed twelve and injured 5,500 in Japan. The United States must have programs in place, both at home and abroad, to prevent these weapons from being acquired or used, and to combat them if they are used.



The Department of Energy and the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security play vital roles in fulfilling the Administration's commitment to nonproliferation and reducing the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Our responsibility to reduce the danger to U.S. national security from such weapons involves preventing the spread of WMD materials, technology, and expertise; detecting the proliferation of WMD worldwide; reversing the proliferation of nuclear weapons capabilities; and responding to emergencies. We particularly draw upon 50 years of science and technology expertise resident throughout the DOE National Laboratory complex to help us achieve these goals. Today, I would like to highlight some of our key programs as well as new initiatives.

The Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) program seeks to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism by rapidly improving the security of all weapons-usable material in Russia, the Newly Independent States (NIS), and the Baltic States. The program, which focuses on materials in forms other than nuclear weapons, works to ensure the long-term effectiveness of improved MPC&A systems through training, strengthening national standards, and fostering indigenous capabilities for producing and maintaining MPC&A equipment. This activity is the first of five major program priorities in the overall Arms Control and Nonproliferation effort that also seeks to: limit the use of fissile materials worldwide, enable transparent and irreversible nuclear arms reductions, strengthen the nonproliferation regime, and control nuclear related exports.

Consistent with the MPC&A program's goal to secure nuclear materials, the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) program draws scientists, engineers, and technicians from the FSU nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs into commercial ventures. Through this program, we are able to reduce the potential for "brain drain" to proliferant states or organizations and provide long term employment for these scientists in commercially-oriented non-weapons work. Additionally, the program facilitates broad access of U.S. laboratory personnel to FSU chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons facilities, thus encouraging openness and transparency. This past year, we have taken the step to realign the IPP program with its counterpart, the MPC&A program. In so doing, we will ensure that our MPC&A and "brain drain" efforts are collaborative and mutually beneficial.

Our Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development program is dedicated to conducting applied research, development, testing, and evaluation of science and technology for strengthening the United States response to the threats to national security and to world peace. The program focuses its activities on the development, design, and production of operational sensor systems needed for proliferation detection, treaty monitoring, nuclear warhead dismantlement initiatives, and support to intelligence activities.

The chemical and biological agent detection research and development program complements our significant effort in nuclear weapons nonproliferation. By leveraging the Department's more than $1 billion investment in chemical and biological sciences, our program complements efforts of the Department of Defense, the Public Health Service, and other U.S. Government agencies. The program supports long term research and development and near term technology prototyping to address mission needs in counterterrorism, military operations, and policy and treaty support.

In concert with our international activities, we are also responsible for wide-ranging activities to accomplish nonproliferation and national security goals in the United States. These activities include: (1) developing policy and guidance and providing technical assistance for a rigorous nuclear safeguards and security program for the entire Department of Energy complex, thereby ensuring the demonstrated security of our own nuclear materials, technology, and expertise; (2) declassifying millions of Departmental documents while protecting critical information that has the potential to facilitate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; (3) overseeing a security investigations program for both Federal and contractor employees of the Department; and (4) managing and strengthening the Department's emergency management and response capability and providing assistance to other government agencies as well as state, tribal, and local governments.

The Office of Nonproliferation and National Security over the past year has supported the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, which addressed growing concerns about domestic terrorist activities and both physical security and cyber threats to eight infrastructures that are increasingly dependent on technology and information (Telecommunication, Electrical Power Systems, Gas and Oil, Banking and Finance, Transportation, Water Supply Systems, Emergency Services, and Continuity of Government). The Energy Department is a lead agency in this effort, and my office has the lead to coordinate critical infrastructure protection efforts across the Department.

Finally, the Department's intelligence program serves as the federal government's primary source of intelligence analysis regarding all things nuclear. As a key component of the Intelligence Community, the intelligence element supports and leads numerous efforts across the nuclear spectrum. Additionally, the Counterintelligence Enhancement Initiative has redoubled efforts to protect sensitive national security technologies, expertise, and information from foreign intelligence services. Our counterintelligence presence in the field has increased, and we are expanding awareness and training, and are aggressively pursuing counterintelligence leads and anomalies. Energy Secretary Federico Peña announced on February 10, 1998, the reorganization of intelligence programs at DOE to improve counterintelligence capabilities and enable better coordination with national law enforcement agencies. The reorganization, which will be completed by June 1998, creates a new Office of Counterintelligence and revises the responsibilities of the Office of Intelligence. Both offices will report directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Energy.


Over the past year, the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security has achieved major successes in its nonproliferation mission. I would like to highlight some areas which are representative of these achievements.

First, the Materials Protection, Control and Accounting program in 1997 cooperated with Russia, the Newly Independent States, and the Baltic States in securing tens of tons of weapons-usable nuclear materials. By the end of the year, cooperation was underway with 47 sites across the former Soviet Union and security upgrades had been completed at seventeen of those sites. Today we are working with Russian authorities to upgrade security at every known site, totalling 53, and we expect to have completed upgrades at a total of 27 FSU sites by the end of the year. This includes accelerated work with the Russian Navy, as well as in the transportation sector. Additional sites may be identified for cooperation as we continue to build confidence and trust. It is important to remember, however, that we are just now beginning major work to secure hundreds of tons of these materials at the uranium and plutonium cities, the Russian weapons laboratories, and other sensitive facilities. Completion of these large sites will require a sustained, multi-year effort. I have brought with me today a copy of our recently completed MPC&A Program Strategic Plan, "The Partnership for Nuclear Security," that describes in much more detail what the program is about, where it is going, and how we will get there. I request that the report be submitted for the record.

Second, since achieving the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the negotiation and signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), we have been very actively involved in efforts to ensure the successful implementation of these treaties is possible. Our technology development program focuses on providing the capability to monitor and verify a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and has completed its third year. DOE technologies will significantly increase the nation's capability to identify potential nuclear explosions with high confidence and with minimal false alarms. The primary objectives of the CTBT monitoring system are to detect nuclear explosions in all environments (underground, underwater, or in the atmosphere) and, if such an explosion does occur, to detect, locate, and identify its source. The system is designed to provide credible evidence to national authorities, to aid in resolving ambiguities, and to serve as the basis for appropriate action. Seismic, radionuclide, hydroacoustic, infrasound, on-site inspection, and data processing technologies are all being exploited. During the summer of 1997, we launched the FORTE small satellite on an Air Force Pegasus XL launch vehicle. FORTE actively demonstrates next generation techniques for detecting and characterizing electromagnetic pulses from nuclear explosions in the atmosphere. This new technology will provide the United States with improved capability to monitor compliance with the nuclear test ban treaties once it is deployed on key national satellites.

Third, our program to stem chemical and biological proliferation, initiated in Fiscal Year 1997, has been developing technologies to detect, characterize, and facilitate decontamination of chemical and biological threat agents. In 1999, we will expand our emergency management capabilities to provide critical information necessary for an effective response to chemical and biological incidents. Specifically we will improve the Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability to analyze chemical and biological plumes in addition to the current radiological capability. We will also enhance our Outreach program to provide first responder training for weapons of mass destruction emergencies. At the planning and operational level, Headquarters and field elements are actively working to improve defenses against the nuclear, biological, and chemical threat by increasing training for first responders, better equipping these forces with state-of-the-art personal protection gear, and acquiring technologies that will provide better detection capabilities for explosives. This effort to increase the protection posture at DOE sites and facilities supports national policy on counterterrorism and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Fourth, at the Helsinki Summit in March 1997, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin underscored their interest in further nuclear warhead reductions beyond START I and START II, as well as the need to monitor nuclear warhead inventories, nuclear warhead dismantlement and fissile materials resulting from warhead reductions. Progress in these areas would further U.S. efforts to reduce the nuclear danger and strengthen strategic stability and nuclear security. Any treaty involving the monitoring of nuclear warheads, nuclear warhead dismantlement and stockpiles of fissile materials will have a significant impact on DOE. DOE has the nation's responsibility to maintain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear stockpile and to ensure that excess nuclear warheads are dismantled safely in accordance with arms control requirements. In anticipation of an agreement, the Department of Energy has begun to review the impacts of such a treaty on its critical national security mission. DOE has established a START III Task Force to conduct detailed analyses with recommendations on how the Department and the U.S. Government should prepare for commencement of START III negotiations with Russia. These analyses will include issues concerning stockpile maintenance, irreversibility, security and transparency. The results of these studies will be provided to an Interagency Working Group convened by the National Security Council responsible for START III treaty preparations .

Fifth, the intelligence program continues to focus the decades of laboratory experience in nuclear weapons design and production on the emerging national security challenges of today. This program provides vital intelligence support to Administration and Departmental priorities, such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Reduced Enrichment Research and Test Reactor program, and our MPC&A activities. The program puts cost-effective, user-friendly technologies in the hands of intelligence, military, and law enforcement operators. Our nonproliferation objectives are best served by timely and well-focused intelligence assessments.

Finally, there was substantial media and Congressional interest throughout 1997 in the Department's safeguards and security program. In November 1997, Secretary of Energy Federico Peña announced several actions to strengthen the safeguards and security at the Department's defense nuclear facilities. The Secretary stated, "The Cold War may be over, but the potential threat to our nation's security is not. At Energy Department sites, where we are dismantling and cleaning up after 50 years of building nuclear weapons, we face new security challenges that demand new security solutions." At that time, the Secretary released a report summarizing a review of safeguards and security that had just been completed by the Director of the Office of Security Affairs. The 56-page report highlights issues, initiatives, and achievements which characterize the current protection posture and status of safeguards and security programs at DOE's 12 major defense nuclear facilities. The report found that the current level of security being provided across the board is satisfactory at most locations. "Three facilities are not fully satisfactory at this time, although, with very few exceptions, these marginal facilities are currently implementing compensatory measures or developing and implementing corrective action to upgrade their status," the report notes in its executive summary.

Several actions have been initiated by the Department to enhance security and respond to the issues raised in the report and in detailed site profiles that were completed by the Department's Office of Security Evaluations. These actions include establishment of a Security Management Board that will include senior DOE managers, three members selected by the Secretary of Defense, one by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and one by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Department is also committing more than $19 million to upgrade and replace aging security alarm systems at Rocky Flats. In addition, Hanford, the Nevada Test Site, and Los Alamos National Laboratory are increasing the number of security police officers and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is reestablishing a special response team. Security systems and equipment at several other sites are also being upgraded. Under the supervision of a DOE Security Council led by Depuy Secretary Elizabeth Moler, a special security review team led by Sandia National Laboratories has commenced a comprehensive system analysis of all our major facilities that will develop recommendations on the use of state-of-the-art technology to more effectively and efficiently protect sites.

Our Declassification program complements the safeguards and security efforts by continuing to make information that is no longer sensitive available to the public while protecting information that warrants protection in the interest of national security and nonproliferation. To that end, we project that we will review three million pages of classified documents for possible declassification and release to the public in 1999. To ensure the most effective and efficient review of these documents, we will begin streamlining the current classification guide system to ensure it is not only current, but also reflective of today's world conditions. We are also continuing the development of the Declassification Productivity Initiative -- a state-of-the-art review and redaction system relying on advanced artificial intelligence -- which will reduce the amount of time required to perform declassification reviews, enabling us to make even more documents available to the public.

These examples of the successes of the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security cannot be achieved without the DOE's National Laboratories involvement and support. In partnership, we are achieving direct, tangible results that significantly improve our national security.


The table below summarizes the Fiscal Year 1999 budget request for the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security from the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1999 as compared with the Fiscal Year 1997 and 1998 adjusted appropriations (in thousands).

Appropriation/Activity FY97 comparable


FY 98


FY 99
Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development $ 206,677 $ 210,000 $ 210,000
Arms Control and Nonproliferation 216,244 234,600 256,900
Intelligence 30,857 33,600 33,600
Nuclear Safeguards and Security 47,208 47,200 53,200
Security Investigations 20,000 30,000 30,000
Emergency Management 21,182 20,000 23,700
Program Direction




SUBTOTAL $ 628,547 $ 658,300 $ 696,300
use of prior year balances --- - 1,163


offset to user organizations ---


- 20,000
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET REQUEST $ 628,547 $ 657,137 $ 676,300

The Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development budget request for Fiscal Year 1999 is unchanged from Fiscal Year 1998. The funding will continue to provide for developing, prototyping, and delivering technologies to the operational users responsible for monitoring treaties, countering terrorism, and detecting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Arms Control and Nonproliferation budget request reflects a $22.3 million increase in the following areas: (1) increased policy analysis and technical assistance associated with the anticipated negotiations of a new START III agreement, specifically in support of the Helsinki Summit Statement (+$4.5M); (2) increased analytical and technical support to International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safeguards initiatives (+4.5M); (3) increased nonproliferation activities for Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting program to expedite the installation of systems and equipment and implement procedures and controls to prevent the spread of nuclear weapon fissile materials in the Former Soviet Union (+$15.3M); (4) continuation of a security initiative in Kazakstan (+$15M)(1); and (5) adjustments to other arms control programs (+0.2M). The increases are offset in part by: (1) a reduction in the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program (-$14.6M) based on the availability of prior year balances which amount to approximately $25 million; and (2) a reduction in the spent fuel canning activities in North Korea (-$2.6M) which are entering a new, less costly phase (as canning is completed, we will be emphasizing monitoring, which is less costly than the canning).

The Intelligence budget request is unchanged from Fiscal Year 1998, although we are expanding training in strategic material identification and illicit trafficking prevention focusing on the NIS and East Europe.

The Nuclear Safeguards and Security budget request reflects an increase of $6 million from Fiscal Year 1998. The additional funding in the security budget provides for accelerated development of computer security enhancements for information assurance (+$1M) and to begin alarm replacement and installation of vehicle barrier systems (+$5M) at headquarters to comply with the Department of Justice report on the Vulnerability Assessment of Federal Facilities.

The Security Investigations budget request reflects a change in Departmental policy for the funding of security clearances. Beginning in Fiscal Year 1999 the costs for background investigations for all contractors and non-federal personnel in the field will be allocated to user programs. This does not represent a reduction in the number of investigations that will be carried out, only a new way of paying for them. The funding in the Security Investigations line item funds background investigations for all Departmental federal staff and Headquarters contractors requiring a security clearance.

The Emergency Management budget request reflects a $3.7 million increase over the Fiscal Year 1998 appropriation. The increase reflects new requirements stemming from Presidential guidance on nuclear materials smuggling prevention and counter terrorism. The increased funding provides for full operational capability for the Headquarters Communications Center; Departmental and interagency exercises to ensure comprehensive response programs to counter nuclear material trafficking; development of nuclear forensics analysis capability in support of United States Government nuclear smuggling prevention initiatives; and expansion of the Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability for strengthened domestic response to chemical threats to our operations, the environment, and the public.


The Program Direction budget funds (1) salaries and benefits, escalated for inflation, for Federal employees consistent with the Department's Strategic Alignment Initiative staffing allocation, (2) technical contractor support--below actual FY 1997 and FY 1998 levels, and (3) other related expenses such as the Working Capital Fund. The FY 1999 request for Program Direction is $88.9 million, a $6 million increase over the FY 1998 appropriation.

The FY 1998 appropriation for this account was reduced from the request based upon the availability of prior year unobligated funds. During FY 1998, critical support is being sustained at FY 1997 levels. However, the prior year funds will be exhausted by year's end.


The Office of Nonproliferation and National Security is responsible for providing the leadership, management, and focus to bring to bear the Department's extensive scientific and technical expertise to confront the global menace of weapons of mass destruction. We accomplish this through a partnership of Headquarters Federal and contractor personnel. Federal personnel in the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security have taken the lead, with the support of our technical support contractors, to: (1) provide analytical and technical support to the arms control, nonproliferation, intelligence, law enforcement and emergency response communities; (2) ensure that projects are requirements-and customer-based with established milestones and deliverables; (3) provide on-the-ground technical assistance throughout the DOE complex for strengthened domestic nuclear safeguards and security and emergency planning and response; (4) provide management of multi-lab efforts to reduce the risk of unwarranted, duplicative efforts, and (5) provide on-the-ground support to nuclear materials protection, control and accounting initiatives throughout the former Soviet Union.


Our headquarters Federal personnel, with the timely support of our on-site contractors, have made significant contributions to the: (1) implementation of safeguards and security measures throughout the DOE complex; (2) development of site safeguards and security plans for more effective safeguards and security throughout the DOE complex; (3) evaluation of the overall status of emergency management and response systems throughout the DOE complex; (4) strengthening of nuclear materials protection, control and accounting in the former Soviet Union; (5) advancement of policies and technologies for transparent and irreversible nuclear weapons dismantlement; (6) identification of intelligence requirements and providing timely support to senior policy and program officials; and (7) identification and refinement of requirements for the research, development, and application of next generation technologies and systems to combat the growing threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In addition, Headquarters personnel are responsible for the operation of the Headquarters Communications and Emergency Operations centers and operation and maintenance of classified data bases and Intelligence Community link-ups to provide Field elements with timely information.


The FY 1999 Program Direction request will enable the Department to continue its successful partnership joining together the talents of the Federal, National laboratory, and Headquarters technical support service contract employees. This partnership has continued its longstanding role of providing technical analyses and studies to strengthen domestic national security and reduce the global nuclear danger while expanding its role to provide on-the-ground, "real time" technical support throughout the DOE complex and around the world to help ensure that nuclear materials, technologies, and information do not fall into the wrong hands. The $6 million increase will help ensure that the Department will be able to continue to bring to bear its scientific and technical partnership to confront the global menace of weapons of mass destruction.


Preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction is a critical global security issue and a crucial national interest. The Office of Nonproliferation and National Security is uniquely capable to meet this major challenge. Our policy expertise, coupled with our science and technology base, enables us to provide innovative solutions to national and international nonproliferation problems. The work we do benefits the nation's security across a broad spectrum: protecting nuclear material in the United States and worldwide; rolling back existing nuclear weapons development programs internationally; ensuring the verifiability of nuclear treaties; and responding to emergencies. We are proud to be leaders working aggressively within the U.S. Government and in the international arena to make the world a safer place. Thank you.

1. The actual increase is $5 million; $10 million of prior year balances will be used in Fiscal Year 1998 for Kazakhstan spent fuel activities.

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