C. Paul Robinson,
Sandia National Laboratories
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for
the opportunity to testify today. I am Paul Robinson, director of Sandia
National Laboratories. Sandia is managed and operated for the United States
Department of Energy (DOE) by Sandia Corporation, a subsidiary of the Lockheed
Sandia is the DOE laboratory responsible for the ordnance engineering
for all U.S. nuclear weapons. Our responsibilities comprise the design,
certification, and assessment of the non-nuclear subsystems of nuclear
weapons, including arming, fuzing, and firing; safety, security, reliability,
and use-control; issues associated with the production and dismantlement
of nuclear weapons; and surveillance and support of weapons in stockpile.
We also perform substantial work in programs that are closely associated
with nuclear weapon research and development, including nuclear intelligence,
nonproliferation, and treaty verification technologies.
We are, however, a multi-mission laboratory. Ten percent of our work
supports DOE's responsibilities for environmental remediation and waste
management, and another ten percent supports Department missions in energy
science, research, and development. When appropriate, we also perform work
for other government agencies, particularly the Department of Defense,
in programs where our unique capabilities, built to support DOE's Defense
Programs responsibilities, can be of value. Increasingly, we are being
called on to support other federal agencies, such as the FBI and the National
Institutes of Justice, in developing advanced technology for combating
terrorism and criminal activity and to enhance the effectiveness of law
enforcement. An example of our ability to support key national concerns
is a walk-through explosives detection portal for airport screening, developed
for the Federal Aviation Administration. It has achieved 1,000 times better
sensitivity at lower cost and reduced size, and could dramatically reduce
the threat to civil aviation when transferred to operational use.
Major Topics Addressed in This Statement
My testimony today will largely be devoted to the stewardship of the
nuclear weapons stockpile. The challenges of stockpile stewardship are
formidable, particularly now that there are no new weapon designs in the
offing and we are constrained from nuclear testing by treaty. In addition,
there seems to be widespread indifference or opposition toward nuclear
issues in policy circles today. But the nuclear weapons stockpile remains
extremely important, and we take our responsibilities in this arena very
seriously. We believe that the presence of nuclear weapons has changed
the history of the world for the better. The awesome destructive power
of nuclear weapons and the extreme difficulties in countering or protecting
against their force has rendered the possibility of war between major nations
extremely remote. The deterrence which nuclear weapons have provided for
more than fifty years was the dominant factor preventing the Cold War from
becoming "hot" and allowed the world to enjoy the most peaceful
period of the century. The United States must depend on its stockpile of
nuclear weapons to prevent major wars for the foreseeable future.
We in the nuclear weapon laboratories serve as the Nation's conscience
for the technical integrity of that stockpile. It is our responsibility
to maintain a safe and reliable stockpile over the long term and to bring
difficult issues associated with that mission to your attention. The stockpile
stewardship program faces several major challenges-some of which are urgent-which
I will describe later in this statement. But first, I would like to report
how the Department of Energy has assessed Sandia's performance over the
past year, as well as discuss some of the contributions we and our parent
company make to the community. Then I will describe some very significant
achievements by Sandia in the area of stockpile stewardship and national
security during the last year. I will also discuss some highlights of our
current stockpile support work and report on our activities with the former
Soviet Union (FSU).
I am pleased to be able to report that, under Lockheed Martin's management,
Sandia's overall performance rating by DOE for fiscal year 1996 resulted
in the highest rating, "outstanding." This appraisal was based
on a new performance-based approach, with objectives and measures in four
areas: laboratory management, programmatic science and technology, operational
support, and management and administration. As stated by DOE:
Sandia is to be commended for the increase over FY 1995 in the number
of areas that received the highest rating of Outstanding. Specifically,
in the programmatic performance area, which under the new process received
a greater emphasis, representing 50% of the total appraisal, Sandia was
rated Outstanding based on inputs from DOE AL and DOE Headquarters.
We are pleased but not satisfied with our score, and we will work even
harder in the current year to sustain this high rating and realize improvements
in the few areas where performance can be enhanced.
We have also improved our relationships with industry and the community-a
cultural change that I attribute to the emphasis Lockheed Martin places
on being good corporate citizens through community involvement and partnering.
We recently celebrated our one-thousandth technology assistance project
under DOE's Small-Business Initiative, in which the Laboratories helped
solve specific, short-term technical problems with small or medium-sized
businesses. Lockheed Martin established a small not-for-profit corporation,
independent of Sandia, called the Technology Ventures Corporation, to facilitate
technology transfer from the Laboratories to industry. In the last four
years, it has helped create 18 new businesses-almost all of them start-ups
based on technology licensed from our laboratory-and nearly 600 new jobs.
In addition, Lockheed Martin has teamed up with Sandia on a number of
initiatives to aid the local community and has encouraged greater involvement
and support of charitable endeavors. From its own resources, it has generously
supported quality-of-life projects in the community, such as the biological
park and aquarium in Albuquerque, a mathematics and science academy, several
scholarship programs, and a recent donation to the New Mexico Museum of
Natural History and Science. In California, where Sandia also operates
a major a laboratory facility, it has helped support the local women's
shelter, a children's theater workshop, and science and math educational
programs. In aggregate, Lockheed Martin's contributions to the community
are on the order of several million dollars a year and represent a sizable
portion of their operating fee.
SIGNIFICANT RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS
B61 Bomb Modification 11
For twenty years we have known that there was a need to replace the
B53 thermonuclear bomb with a system equipped with modern surety features.
Yet, replacement was repeatedly postponed. Today, I am very pleased to
report that we have begun the replacement of the B53 without designing
a new weapon and are bringing the replacement on-line in record time with
only a very modest budget.
On November 20, 1996, Modification 11 of the B61 bomb passed its certification
flight tests. All electrical and mechanical interfaces performed as expected.
In December, four complete retrofit kits were delivered to the Air Force,
two weeks ahead of schedule. This delivery met the milestone to support
Mod. 11 conversions in the field by a joint DOE/DoD team in January. The
B61 Mod. 11 has been accepted as a "limited stockpile item" pending
additional tests during 1997.
Work on the B61-11 had been authorized in August 1995, with a requested
delivery date of December 31, 1996. This schedule required one of the most
efficient development efforts in our laboratory's history. The retrofit
involved repackaging the B61-7 into a new, one-piece, earth-penetrating
steel case designed by Sandia.
The Mod. 11 will now permit us to retire the B53, which is a 35-year-old
weapon, and provide the operational military with a safer, more secure,
and flexible system. This program establishes one route to keeping the
World Record in Pulsed Power
We have a responsibility, in accordance with DoD requirements, to certify
the survivability of weapon systems in radiation environments. In the absence
of nuclear testing, we must rely on aboveground experimental facilities
which we are developing, along with more sophisticated computational models
and techniques, for predicting the effects of radiation on electronics
We are making good progress toward a driver for a high-yield laboratory
microfusion capability that can support both the weapon effects and weapons
physics concerns associated with stockpile stewardship at relatively low
cost. Sandia's Saturn and PBFA-Z accelerators, using Z-pinch technology,
are producing record x-ray outputs. Last fall, PBFA-Z achieved an x-ray
power output level of 160 trillion watts, releasing 1.8 million joules
of x-ray energy. This output doubled the previous record for x-ray power
and quadrupled the record x-ray energy level which had been achieved on
Saturn just last spring.
For many years, our long-range plans have proposed the construction
of a larger accelerator called Jupiter to further reduce our dependency
on underground testing. Based on the extraordinary results of our recent
experiments on PBFA-Z and our calculations, we now believe that a machine
the size of Jupiter will probably not be necessary to achieve the experimental
conditions required for stockpile stewardship. A smaller, less expensive
accelerator called X-1 can do the job by creating a high-temperature, long-duration
x-ray environment in a large-volume hohlraum. Presently, such a combination
of characteristics is achievable only with a nuclear explosion. X-1 provides
an extremely adaptable platform for weapon physics and weapon effects experiments.
While the site selection process for X-1 has not been initiated, the
Nevada Test Site (NTS) is a primary candidate for locating X-1 for a number
of reasons. As you know, NTS is required to maintain the capability to
resume underground nuclear testing if international conditions should make
that step necessary. However, as Edward Gibbon observed in his History
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, "All that is human must
retrograde if it does not advance." Our experimentalists, including
those in Nevada who used to prepare the diagnostic instrumentation for
tests, must be challenged with real work, or we cannot expect them to preserve
Fortunately, the instrumentation expertise required for measuring the
outputs of underground nuclear tests is compatible with the diagnostic
skills that will be required for operation of X-1. X-1 supports the readiness
program for nuclear testing by exercising the skills of our experimentalists
with real work. In addition, NTS is a convenient central location for a
National facility that can be accessed by all three Defense Programs laboratories,
and it has a well-developed infrastructure to support large-scale experimental
facilities. It also has an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in place
that permits experimentation with the radioactive products which will be
generated by microfusion outputs.
World Record in Computing
In December, Sandia and the Intel Corporation shattered the world computational
speed record by sustaining over one trillion floating-point operations
per second (one teraflop). This accomplishment was recently characterized
by Defense Programs' Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Computing
and Simulation as "the single biggest computer science achievement
in two decades." The event brought the speed record home to the United
States again, following operation of a Japanese computer which had bested
the previous U.S. performance.
This work was performed under DOE's Accelerated Strategic Computing
Initiative (ASCI) sponsored by the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs.
ASCI seeks to hasten the development of computers capable of 10's to 100's
of teraflops. Machines of this size will be required for stockpile stewardship
in the absence of nuclear testing and with reduced reliance on expensive
physical testing. ASCI will also develop a new generation of full-physics,
three-dimensional computer simulation tools to support simulation-based
life-cycle engineering. These tools will be developed in collaboration
with U.S. research universities and computing firms.
The new record was set on the ASCI Option Red supercomputer, designed
by Intel and Sandia. When optimized, this machine will have ten times the
memory (nearly 600 billion bytes) and ten times the speed (over 1.8 trillion
operations per second) of the largest computers in use today. Now being
installed at Sandia, it will immediately be used in safety, aging, and
nuclear performance studies for real stockpile problems that we are dealing
with. For example, we recently performed a series of calculations on Option
Red to help us redesign neutron generators, which are critical components
in nuclear weapons. Comparable calculations would be infeasible on the
best commercial supercomputers, and the required experimental facilities
to explore these regimes and to validate design performance are simply
unavailable or unaffordable. The Option Red computer will be used by all
three Defense Programs laboratories to develop and test the software models
needed for science-based stockpile stewardship.
Synthetic Aperture Radar
Sandia has refined synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology for a wide
variety of treaty verification and nonproliferation applications. Synthetic
aperture radar is a technique for integrating radar pulses to synthesize
a high-resolution image. Although modern electronic navigational technology
is good at determining aircraft position, small random movements of the
aircraft can cause blurring and limit the practical resolution of SAR images,
especially during bad weather.
One of the spectacular results of Sandia's SAR research is that we have
developed a robust solution to this image-resolution problem. Our techniques
now make it possible for aircraft-based SAR to create images of ground
terrain with fidelity to one square foot-in any kind of weather! Our researchers
have also developed a technique to use SAR data to produce very accurate
topographical maps, either from aircraft or satellites. This work has profound
implications for treaty verification and nonproliferation activities, as
well as military operations.
These results are truly a remarkable feat of engineering. I am very
pleased that DOE has recognized Sandia electrical engineer Charles "Jack"
Jakowatz with the 1996 Ernest O. Lawrence Award, one of DOE's most distinguished
prizes, for his achievements in advancing the technology of synthetic aperture
radar. Jack's work and his personal success remind us of a central strength
of DOE and its national security laboratories: They have the ability to
anticipate and develop future technology needs and options which often
prove, over time, to be critical to our national defense capabilities.
Several retired warhead systems have been successfully dismantled at
the DOE Pantex Plant with support from Sandia and the other Defense Programs
laboratories. The process of dismantling retired warheads is a complex
and challenging undertaking. Substantial engineering support is required
by the laboratories to design safe and environmentally sound procedures
and special equipment for the work of the Pantex Plant. Research and development
in support of dismantlement operations has involved materials scientists,
experts in robotics and intelligent systems, design engineers, chemical
engineers, production engineers, explosives experts, and many other specialists.
It has been a teamwork effort for the Defense Programs laboratories and
Nuclear Material Safeguards and Security
Sandia has made significant contributions to nuclear material safeguards
and security. We recently completed a personnel and material tracking system
called PAMTRAK to protect sensitive material. It integrates proximity badges,
weight and motion sensors, and video cameras with a computer that reports
attempts to steal or divert material. It can also communicate with a site's
other security systems. The system can reduce radiation exposure to workers
and save money by reducing the frequency at which materials must be inventoried.
Sandia also completed-on time and within budget-a prototype Safeguards
Transporter (SGT). The SGT is the next-generation vehicle to carry high-value
materials, not limited to nuclear weapons, with enhanced safety and security
within the continental United States. The SGT may also find use in transporting
chemical and biological toxins from DoD depots to final disposition. A
successful nuclear explosive safety study was conducted in June 1996; final
design review was completed in July 1996; and production has been authorized,
with the first production unit (FPU) scheduled for December 1997.
To facilitate inspections, Sandia developed special nuclear material
containers that can be periodically opened and resealed with induction
brazing without excessive embrittlement or erosion of the container alloy.
The initial terms of the U.S./Russian Agreement on Safe and Secure Transportation
and Storage of Nuclear Weapon Materials through the Provision of Fissile
Material Containers of June, 1992, were satisfied with the shipment of
10,000 AT-400R containers to Russia. Sandia supplied the technical interface,
design, development, and testing on this product on behalf of the Defense
Special Weapons Agency (DSWA), which produces the containers and ships
them to Russia. Approximately 14,000 containers are planned for shipment
Neutron Generator Production and Support
Sandia completed construction of its neutron generator manufacturing
facility early in 1996, ahead of schedule and within budget. All shipments
of recertified W76 neutron generators for the Navy have been completed
as scheduled. Also, processing began for neutron generators returned from
the field for re-acceptance and reuse.
Sandia's neutron generator production responsibility is supported by
the laboratory's research and development capabilities. We recently completed
three-dimensional simulations and experimental correlation of the neutron
generator standoff phenomenon for the Warhead Protection Program Pit Reuse
Warhead. Simulations were completed using Sandia's PCTH hydrodynamic code
on our Intel Paragon supercomputer. Experimental data were acquired from
two primary hydrodynamic implosion tests conducted with Lawrence Livermore
Shock histories were acquired by special instrumentation located in
critical positions throughout the warhead electrical system and the neutron
generators, providing data for code validation. Through the use of advanced
visualization capabilities, Sandia's system designers, analysts, and shock
physicists developed an in-depth understanding of the complex 3-D explosion
through which the neutron generators must survive.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CURRENT STOCKPILE SUPPORT WORK
Bomb Impact Optimization System (BIOS) Exploratory Program
Sandia is largely responsible to the Department of Energy for all non-nuclear
aspects of nuclear bomb design. Building on the success of the B61-11,
we are examining changes to other B61 designs to add additional value to
these systems for our military customers.
One such effort is the Bomb Impact Optimization System (BIOS) program,
in which Sandia is investigating the feasibility of modifying a B61 payload
for use in a guided glide bomb for aircraft delivery against defended target
complexes. This effort includes analysis, design, model fabrication and
testing, and ground and flight testing of a functional prototype.
This year, the BIOS program proved the effectiveness of concurrent engineering
approaches when, for the first time at Sandia, the nose tip for the BIOS
prototype was taken from concept to inspected, accepted flight component
by means of a completely paperless process. The polycarbonate nose tip
for the BIOS flight test program is a very complex shape requiring five-axis
machining capability; yet, drawings were neither created nor needed. Solid
models of the part were developed as computer files which were directly
compatible with software for finite element analysis, numerically controlled
machining, and even inspection. The process is proving to be so flexible
and efficient that refinements to the part will be possible even as it
is being machined, with no significant downtime.
Quality Improvement Program for the B83 Bomb
We are nearing completion on a quality improvement program for the B83
strategic bomb, which will extend the service life of this weapon. The
third major milestone of the B83 Quality Improvement Program (QIP) was
achieved when a B83-1 equipped with Alteration 750 was produced at Pantex
and accepted by DOE in March 1996. Alt. 750 incorporates a dual-channel
common radar into the B83-1 bomb. This unit was the first B83 bomb produced
to include all the component improvements from the quality improvement
program. Sandia engineers worked closely with production engineers at Pantex
and Allied-Signal/Federal Manufacturing and Technology to ensure the successful
transition of Alt. 750 from development to production.
Enhanced Nuclear Detonation Safety
Significant advances in enhanced nuclear detonation safety (ENDS) are
being realized with the design and development of miniature firing set
and stronglink subsystems. Prototype devices, ranging from complete firing
systems to application-specific detonator safing devices, are being modeled
and evaluated. Miniature machining, photolithographic (LIGA) semiconductor
processes, and silicon micromachining are employed to fabricate these devices.
These subsystems offer many opportunities to systems designers for miniaturization
and for enhancing the safety, security, and reliability of retrofitted
Much of our current stockpile activity can be characterized as life
extension work. With no new weapon developments planned for the foreseeable
future, we are required to support the weapons currently in stockpile well
beyond their designed service lives.
A major undertaking in stockpile life extension work is the Dual Revalidation
Program we are conducting with our sister Defense Programs laboratories,
Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore, under the joint sponsorship of the DOE
Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs and the Assistant to the Secretary
of Defense for Atomic Energy. This program examines and updates the design
information for every weapon type in the stockpile, including its interface
with the delivery system. Since we no longer have available the use of
underground testing to validate design performance, the responsible laboratory
team for each weapon will comprehensively examine the extant design data
using the best design definition tools and methods available to us today.
Any missing or incomplete elements in the documented design will be investigated
and completed. The revised design data package of drawings, specifications,
computer codes, and other documentation will then be given to a design
team from a different laboratory for their critical review. In this way,
two independent design teams will evaluate the design data package for
each weapon in the enduring stockpile and ensure that it is complete and
current with modern engineering standards, including the new computational
The ongoing stockpile activities I have described here are part of our
enduring responsibilities in stockpile stewardship and management. As you
can see, Sandia's tasks require constant engineering support using exceptional
and unique personnel and equipment.
ACTIVITIES WITH THE FORMER SOVIET UNION (FSU)
Since the early 1970's, Sandia has been the principal DOE laboratory
responsible for developing technology, systems, and standards to protect
nuclear weapons and materials at DOE facilities and during transportation.
In particular, work at 72 facilities in the United States involved the
actual implementation of protection systems. In addition to this DOE mission,
Sandia has worked on protection of nuclear material and weapons at numerous
facilities in 37 other countries.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States government-in
particular, the Department of Energy national laboratories such as Sandia-have
been working cooperatively with scientists and engineers in various institutes,
laboratories, and other organizations within the countries of the former
Soviet Union (FSU) to accelerate progress toward a common goal: to reduce
the risk of nuclear weapon proliferation, including such threats as theft,
diversion, and unauthorized possession of nuclear materials.
Our International Security Program has worked toward this goal by supporting
numerous projects in the FSU that help achieve the protection and security
of nuclear material and facilities. Additionally, the cooperative interactions
help to encourage the dismantlement of all types of weapons of mass destruction,
to advance nonproliferation activities, to assist the FSU states in converting
their defense-oriented capabilities to civilian, market-driven enterprises,
and finally, to improve Western access to the world-class science and technology
that exists within the FSU.
A major goal of the International Security Program at Sandia is to achieve
worldwide protection and control of nuclear materials and weapons. One
major step toward realizing this goal is our work with the former Soviet
Union on Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A), discussed
in detail below. In addition, other projects are underway, which contribute
to this goal: Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention Program (IPP); Lab-to-Lab;
Safe and Secure Dismantlement (SSD); and Safety and Security Technology.
Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A)
The MPC&A program for the former Soviet Union has two primary objectives.
1. Reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation by cooperating with Russia,
the newly independent states (NIS), and the Baltic States to improve MPC&A
for all weapon-usable nuclear material in forms other than nuclear weapons.
2. Encourage the development of a technology-based nuclear safeguards
culture and the infrastructure to sustain such a culture in Russia, the
NIS, and the Baltic States.
We have focused heavily on the first objective in the early phases of
the program. We have had success at many FSU sites in jointly developing
MPC&A plans, coordinating training workshops, improving existing MPC&A
systems, and designing and installing several new MPC&A systems. We
now have work underway at approximately 44 sites in the FSU. In Russia,
we are engaged with sites ranging from the MINATOM Civilian Complex to
the Naval Nuclear Fuel Sector and the MINATOM Defense Complex.
We also have work underway to address the second program objective,
to make an impact on the attitudes toward safeguards practices and to foster
the development of a sustainable, technology-based, nuclear safeguards
Last year, Sandia had a lead role in completing physical protection
upgrades and demonstrations of major technical importance in eight of the
44 selected facilities in the FSU. For example, work was completed on physical
protection upgrades to a facility at Elektrostal and at the Kurchatov central
storage facility, both in Russia.
This year, upgrades have been completed in the five republics of Belarus,
Georgia, Uzbekistan, Latvia, and Lithuania. All these states (except Lithuania)
have nuclear research facilities that possess proliferation-sensitive nuclear
material. Upgrade activities at these nuclear research facilities have
included installation of intrusion detection sensors, video assessment
cameras, central alarm stations, and hardening of nuclear material storage
Lithuania is the site of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which has
two 1,500-megawatt power reactors similar to those at Chernobyl. Work at
Ignalina has included improvements to a central alarm station and vehicle
access portal. Personnel have received training on physical protection
concepts, system operation, and maintenance. The MPC&A work there has
included collaboration with other national laboratories and with experts
from other nations, although Sandia performs the lead role in physical
Dedication ceremonies to commemorate completion of the physical protection
upgrades at these facilities have been held and were well attended by local
government officials and the appropriate U.S. ambassadors. Minor follow-on
activities for this fiscal year are expected to include supplemental training
and assistance in developing operational procedures and evaluations.
Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP)
The Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program (formerly the Industrial
Partnership Program) provides a mechanism for scientists and engineers
who have been supporting research and development on weapons of mass destruction
in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union to build careers
in the burgeoning Russian civilian workplace. The program makes use of
the capabilities resident in DOE's national laboratories and makes new
technologies available for commercialization by U.S. and Russian industry.
Sandia has 70 projects totaling $5.5 million with over 40 participating
institutions in the former Soviet Union. Forty-four have been completed,
26 are still active, and proposals for an additional 20 are awaiting approval.
In addition, eight cooperative R&D agreements (CRADAs) with $4 million
of DOE funds have been approved.
Lab-to-lab projects are science-driven, small R&D collaborations
that are closely coupled to Sandia projects. A broad range of science and
technology is involved, including nuclear power safety, environmental technologies,
safety and risk assessment, innovative materials development, lasers, pulsed
power, medical technologies, nonproliferation research, manufacturing technologies,
energy, computation, and basic science topics.
This effort is less formal than many other programs between the United
States and former Soviet states. Since there are no bilateral agreements,
implementation and progress can be achieved rapidly. In fact, it is this
relatively quick return on our investment that is one of the most important
positive features of the Lab-to-Lab program. Begun in 1992, it has served
as a model for many other efforts, including the IPP projects and the MPC&A
program mentioned above. Although less bureaucratically constrained than
many other programs, all Lab-to-Lab projects are conducted with DOE approval
and full coordination with the Department of State. They also comply with
all export control regulations and other relevant restrictions.
The individual projects included under this program emphasize science
and technology and are usually of relatively small monetary value. The
majority of these projects are conducted with Arzamas-16, Chelyabinsk-70,
Kurchatov Institute, and Eleron, and involve such topics as pulsed power,
computation, innovative materials development, and various medical technologies.
They tend to have a strong linkage to existing Sandia projects and thus
promote individual contacts and collaboration with a minimum of attendant
bureaucracy. This encourages long-term association with our peers in the
FSU institutes and expanded scientific and technological exchange, and
furthers our efforts in nonproliferation.
Safe and Secure Dismantlement (SSD)
Sandia receives funding and authority for specific SSD projects from
the Department of Defense through the Department of Energy. Under this
arrangement, we have provided various types of hardware and technical expertise
related to: modifications to Russian nuclear-weapons-transporting railcars
to enhance their safety and security; fissile material storage containers
and storage facilities; flexible armor blankets to protect warheads from
small-arms impacts; and different types of accident response equipment,
such as the Portable Integrated Video System (PIVS). These projects will
assist the Russian Federation by providing improved safety and security
for their nuclear weapons and components.
Safety and Security Technology
Another important element of our efforts in the FSU relates to research
projects in the broad area of safety and security technology. A significant
number of the lab-to-lab contracts signed with the Russian nuclear weapon
institutes [Arzamas-16 (VNIIEF), Chelyabinsk-70 (VNIITF), and the Institute
of Automatics (VNIIA)] are safety and security projects.
It is in the mutual interest of the United States and Russia to share
safety and security information that could reduce the risks and consequences
of unintended actions with nuclear warheads and fissile material. Therefore,
a government-to-government agreement that allows the controlled exchange
of unclassified information in the field of nuclear warhead and fissile
material safety and security between authorized representatives of the
United States and the Russian Federation was signed by Secretary O'Leary
and Minister Mikhailov. This program complements Department of Defense
Nunn-Lugar work. The overall objective of the program is to increase the
safety and security of nuclear warheads and fissile materials both in Russia
and the United States through the coordinated exchange of technical information.
Current safety and security projects relate mostly to safety, with some
efforts relating to human factors engineering and transportation security
systems. They all involve research that affects design, analysis, testing,
and experimentation relevant to safety and security issues associated with
events that can cause major consequences to the public (e.g., nuclear contamination
or loss of life), but with low assessed probability of occurrence. Examples
of specific projects include research on:
· the dispersal effects of surrogate radioactive materials,
· crash and fire effects to aircraft transporting hazardous materials,
· bullet and projectile penetrations through shipping containers,
· rail car crashes and fires as well as other accident data for
rail and air transportation,
· risk criteria for operations associated with hazardous materials,
· probabilistic risk assessment methodology for high-consequence
but low-probability events,
· analysis and tests of lightning hazard effects, and the design
of containers that withstand explosive detonations,
· security systems for transportation tracking and monitoring,
· human factors engineering for hazardous systems.
ISSUES IN THE STOCKPILE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
Maintaining Confidence in an Aging Stockpile
One of the major long-term challenges we face is how to ensure the reliability
of an aging stockpile. We oversee the stockpile to ensure that weapons
continue to be reliable, that they are safe, and that they are upgraded
as necessary to maintain their capabilities until they are retired. Unfortunately,
we do not possess sufficient data on how reliability declines as systems
get older than about twenty years. However, it is now our daunting task
to ensure that systems remain reliable and safe for decades beyond their
planned service lives.
To do this job, we must scientifically understand the parameters of
aging in electronics, materials, and structures in order to both anticipate
failure paths and to provide for timely upgrades, replacements, and rebuilds.
We are vigorously exploring ways of leveraging science to help meet our
stockpile obligations in this regard.
The age, size, and structure of the stockpile have undergone significant
changes over the past few years, with important implications for maintaining
the deterrent. With no new production planned, the average age of deployed
stockpile weapons will inexorably increase. In addition, the stockpile
will be much smaller at START II levels, making each of the remaining weapons
more important to deterrence.
In the past, the stockpile consisted of many weapons of many different
weapon types. The size of the stockpile provided a substantial base from
which to gather surveillance data. And the diversity of the stockpile provided
an array of alternatives in the event of a problem with a particular weapon
type. Less diversity in the stockpile raises the risk that a single repeated
flaw, a "common-mode failure," could compromise a significant
portion of the deterrent. Moreover, today's weapon production complex has
less capacity to rapidly correct a common-mode failure that might occur.
The production complex also urgently needs modernization. These factors
narrow the margin of error that can be tolerated in the remaining weapons
and drive the need for much tighter stockpile surveillance.
Sandia is addressing these concerns through several initiatives, including
an Enhanced Surveillance Program (ESP), a program of fundamental research
in materials aging, the study of the effects of aging in components and
subsystems, and our augmentation of the computational resources needed
to model and predict the effects of aging without resorting to destructive
testing from the increasingly limited stockpile base.
The Enhanced Surveillance Program is proceeding along three paths. First,
by accumulating data from both accelerated aging experiments and dismantled
weapons, Sandia is improving the capability to detect, measure, and predict
the time-dependent phenomena of aging in materials and components. Certain
phenomena serve as signatures that reveal degradation in materials and
components. Thus, we are advancing our ability to use these "signatures"
in assessing and even predicting aging degradation.
Along a second path, we are integrating our empirical and theoretical
work in materials science as a means of further accelerating the development
of computational models of the actual behavior of aging components and
subsystems. With our proposed Model Validation and System Certification
Test Center (MVSCTC), we are pursuing a facilities and infrastructure modernization
effort specifically designed to support the integration of empirical testing
and theoretical understanding through computation.
Finally, we are exploring sensors that can be built into weapons to
constantly and automatically monitor the presence of the aforementioned
"signatures" of aging and degradation. With the goal of supporting
a full system demonstration, we are developing communications techniques
that will allow us to contact and monitor such sensors without dismantling
or otherwise disrupting the weapon.
Stockpile Confidence Under the Test Ban
Two years ago, the White House consulted with the directors of the Nation's
three nuclear weapons laboratories (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and
Sandia) as the President considered whether to pursue a comprehensive test
ban treaty. We told the President that we felt we could meet the challenge
of maintaining the Nation's nuclear deterrent under a comprehensive test
ban if we pursued a long-range program of science-based stockpile stewardship.
We said that we could not guarantee that this challenge would be met, but
we pledged our very best efforts to this end. We emphasized that a continuing
strong commitment to a science-based stockpile stewardship program would
be essential if we were to have a chance to succeed. This commitment requires
sufficient funds to support the core program for maintaining the stockpile
as well as an investment in special facilities required to perform our
work in the absence of underground nuclear tests.
There are those who regard the nearly $4 billion budget for nuclear
weapons as excessive and unwarranted. However, the costs of stockpile stewardship
are not a linear function of stockpile size. A threshold capability will
be needed to support the stockpile as long as it numbers in thousands,
especially with the sophistication and demand for reliability that is associated
with the systems upon which deterrence rests today. I believe we are near
that threshold now, especially in light of the many closures and changes
that have occurred in recent years. It is true that the stockpile is substantially
smaller than it was ten years ago; but critics fail to calculate the avoided
cost that would have been required to support the larger and more diverse
stockpile of the past. A conservative analysis puts that cost at 50 percent
or more larger than today, for a budget of at least $6 billion, even without
considering the additional costs of science-based stockpile stewardship
arising from the test ban.
We are often asked about the "core" activities within the
weapons program. Indeed, some try to portray the core as a "sandbox"
for laboratory scientists and engineers to play in-a characterization that
is both incorrect and unfortunate. Rather, the core is the at the heart
of the historical bond between the laboratories and the government in carrying
out nuclear weapons research and development efforts. Through the core,
our laboratories are accountable to the government to anticipate what the
technical needs of the weapons program will be years in advance. The concept
of core funding is what has enabled us to readjust priorities to meet urgent
needs that may arise, such as was done for the B61-11, without coming back
to the government for every extra dollar that is needed. The core is at
the heart of a system that makes everyone at Sandia feel a personal responsibility
and obligation for the performance of the stockpile, now and in the future,
while never marginalizing the needs of our military customers. The core
has also provided the support in which the remarkable synthetic aperture
radar work, discussed earlier, could be conceived and realized. The core
enabled past investments which have made it possible today for ASCI, enhanced
surveillance, DAHRT, NIF, X-1, AHF, and other initiatives, to be realized
in this unprecedented period where underground testing is no longer available.
Today, I believe we face a near crisis in the core weapons program.
Last year, our laboratory experienced a significant loss in funding for
our core nuclear-weapon efforts, even after the plus-up in funding provided
by Congress. A number of factors contributed to the reduction, and over
the past two years we have had to eliminate 1,100 jobs across the laboratory.
This year, we may again face the likelihood of more cuts, as a result of
the laboratory allocations, particularly through continued erosion of the
core program budgets as moneys are increasingly directed toward initiatives
intended to address the absence of nuclear testing.
At Sandia this year we have the fewest number of scientists and engineers
in the weapons program than at any time since 1952. Yet, even with our
greater understanding of the physics and technology of nuclear weapons,
the current generation of weapons within the stockpile is extraordinarily
more complex as compared with those of 1952. The deep cuts we have experienced
over the past six years have resulted in the retirement of our most experienced
experts. These reductions have also driven off some of those early in their
careers, and they have limited our ability to hire new talent. We are not
at all well-positioned to take further cuts at this time without losing
essential "muscle" to carry out our important obligations in
R&D and stockpile support. Our complex work is unique-there is no other
quarter where we can obtain the experience base to carry out these weapon
Several special facilities needed for the Defense Programs laboratories
are also requested, including DHART (Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrotest facility),
NIF (National Ignition Facility), X-1 Advanced Radiation Source, AHF (Advanced
Hydrotest Facility), and ASCI (Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative).
These represent the first stage in a process of addressing to what extent
we can replace the role of underground nuclear testing with laboratory
experiments. I expect that as the process of science-based stockpile stewardship
evolves, other facilities and upgrades will be conceived in the decades
ahead to better simulate the environment and processes that occur during
a nuclear explosion and do a better job of maintaining the science and
technology of stockpile stewardship without testing.
The essential question for managing the total program under the constraints
of a substantially reduced budget (the program was cut in half over the
previous six years) will be how to best balance the needs to support and
maintain the stockpile itself-to maintain the essential skills needed to
address the problems that can arise-while also creating new facilities
to partially substitute for the loss of nuclear testing. I believe the
present course we are pursuing-a continual reduction of an already depleted
core weapons program-will be particularly destructive to the ability of
Sandia to meet the challenge we promised the White House that we would
undertake. Having served for much of my early career in leading the nuclear
weapons efforts at one of the nuclear physics design laboratories, I can
also express my doubt that the present funding can sustain their necessary
core weapons capabilities while also financing their needed efforts in
new facility initiatives. If no additional funds become available, I believe
that it will be necessary to readdress the funding allocation to achieve
a better balance between core and initiatives.
In the view of our laboratory, the initiative to enhance supercomputing
capabilities (ASCI, as described above) is not truly a "new initiative."
Computational simulation has always been fundamental to carrying out our
work effectively and economically, and we have consistently pursued advances
in this field from our core program. Indeed, during the 1970's and early
80's, computer acquisition costs represented nearly the same share of our
budget as they do today. The recent success we achieved in creating the
first teraflop computer is the fruit that our core program funded over
many years. It is vital that we continue to be able to model and simulate
computationally the performance of all our systems and subsystems, and
that we advance this capability to the point where their performance and
aging can be predicted on a scientific basis.
Non-nuclear Stockpile Assurance Testing
Stockpile evaluation activities involve both laboratory and flight tests
of stockpiled weapons, as well as designing test equipment and monitoring
test performances. Test results that identify deviations from weapon performance
standards are thoroughly investigated and may result in repairs, retrofits,
or recommendations for stockpile improvement programs.
Joint tests of weapons in their delivery modes are performed in cooperation
with the Department of Defense. We continue to be concerned about budgetary
constraints and other complications that affect the ability of the laboratories
and the military services to support the joint DOE/DoD Stockpile Surveillance
program. An example of our concerns is the possible Air Force ICBM strategic
missile testing shortfalls that could impact the reliability and credibility
of W62, W78, and W87 warheads. Developments that hamper the ICBM nuclear
warhead surveillance program include: moving from multiple to single reentry
vehicle configurations while constrained by the same number of missile
flights, thus reducing reentry vehicle flight opportunities; possibly eliminating
Peacekeeper flight tests; and a reluctance to combine reentry vehicle and
warhead telemetry tests.
While this critical budget issue was solved last year (in great measure
by the work of this committee) and flight support was reinstated for tactical
nuclear bombs, a similar problem may be developing for all nuclear bombs,
motivated by pressures to reduce national test range costs within a shrinking
defense budget with many unmet needs. This is a long-term issue that must
be continuously monitored.
My concern over these issues is based on Sandia's half century of test
experience with nuclear bombs and warheads. We have sized our stockpile
surveillance program to yield results within significant parameters. This
requires us to test eleven warheads per year of each of the nine types
currently included in the surveillance program. Generally, two to four
flight tests of each type are conducted jointly with the military, and
eight laboratory tests (for a total of eleven) are conducted by Sandia
at the Pantex plant. From a study of historical bomb and warhead data,
we find that approximately 22 percent of the defects discovered in all
tests are flight-unique; that is, if we don't flight test we will likely
not see that portion of defects within the weapon system. Given the stringent
reliability requirements that nuclear weapons must meet, we have determined
that the minimum requirement for flight tests is in the range of two to
four per year per weapon type.
We believe that a nuclear warhead assurance program that does not perform
flight tests, or performs fewer flight tests than the minimum required,
would lack a credible basis for evaluating system reliability. The credibility
of reliability testing diminishes as the number of flight tests decreases.
Erosion of credibility in our reliability test program is serious, and
would directly undercut the maintenance of confidence in the stockpile
as well as the reliability prediction that STRATCOM uses to develop our
deterrent plans. I urge you to assure that funding to support the joint
flight test capabilities is maintained at an adequate level.
Maintaining Design and Production Capabilities
All weapons now in stockpile will reach the end of their design lifetimes
over the next two decades. With the passage of time, many materials and
methods that were used in the original production runs are no longer available.
In some cases, original materials and technologies have become commercially
obsolete. We cannot simply reproduce replica components of outdated technologies
and designs. Maintaining the ability to design, develop, certify, and either
produce or procure updated materials and components is vital to ensuring
the long-term reliability of the stockpile.
Most components of nuclear weapons are subject to normal aging and must
eventually be replaced. The requirement to replace these weapons or their
components will create a backlog of work that will need to be addressed
early in the next century.
Sandia has used a systematic replacement planning tool known as the
Stockpile Block Upgrade Plan. While primarily driven by the need to replace
limited-life components, the Stockpile Block Upgrade approach also upgraded
the technological currency of components and helped maintain a consistent
production workload free from peaks and valleys. The original Stockpile
Block Upgrade Plan has evolved into the broader Stockpile Life Extension
Program (SLEP) which DOE is now using for limited-life component exchanges
and systematic upgrades in blocks of related subsystems.
It should be emphasized that the nuclear weapons program requires an
intimate relationship between the laboratories, where the technology is
developed, and the production plants that manufacture nuclear weapons.
Sandia works closely with DOE's production agencies. We design or specify
nearly all of the non-nuclear components of nuclear warheads. We support
the production engineers at Allied Signal, Kansas City Division, who are
responsible for manufacturing many of our components, and the engineers
at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, where warheads and bombs are assembled
or disassembled. We also produce a limited number of two kinds of components
in-house, as a result of plant closures in the DOE complex. We have the
additional assignment for manufacturing development engineering of twelve
other weapon component technologies, for which we are DOE's production
agent. We are working closely with commercial industry to develop new suppliers
for these components.
For a variety of security, business, or technical reasons, it is impractical
to rely on industry for all the components required for nuclear weapons.
This is particularly true for components that are produced in low quantities
and are unique to nuclear weapons. Consequently, DOE must retain an in-house
manufacturing capability for some components. To most effectively use these
capabilities, new or improved processes and materials are being developed
to enhance efficiency and minimize wastes, environmental impacts, and cost,
and provide greater worker safety.
In my view, we will someday have to supplant our old weapons with replacement
systems; we cannot extend their service lives indefinitely. But replacing
systems with exact replicas would not be technologically feasible, cost-effective,
or sensible. New designs for components and subsystems will continue to
be needed, and that requirement will demand that we maintain all the original
competencies necessary for component designs, as well as contemporary capabilities
in advancing technology. This can be easily understood by the fact that
electronic components that are available today bear little resemblance
to those used in weapons that are even a few years old. For example, a
substantial portion of the components within the Trident II warhead, our
most modern system, have already become "sunset" technologies
(i.e., they are no longer available from suppliers).
Similarly, scientists and engineers must advance their thinking as the
state-of-the-art in technology advances. Those who suggest that we can
simply remanufacture warheads without any changes have little understanding
of the impossibility of such a quest. While the portions which contain
special nuclear materials are unlikely to be changed from designs previously
tested and proven, the balance of the weapons (which is predominately Sandia's
responsibility) can and should be modernized to achieve even higher levels
of performance in safety, security, use control, and overall system reliability.
The engineers and scientists who must perform the design and production
engineering for nuclear weapons in the next century will not have had the
benefit of experience on full-scale weapon development programs. We must
find ways to qualify these people in the future. They need to work on real
systems. We cannot expect our engineers to acquire critical design skills
merely by performing piecemeal component replacement work and development
simulations. They have to design whole systems with real deliverables to
fully develop their capabilities. Ideally, we would like to train our junior
weapon design engineers alongside experienced engineers, but this will
not be possible during a decades-long hiatus of no weapon developments.
In the past, Congress has noted its concern whether the key skills and
essential knowledge for continuing a strong nuclear weapons program are
being maintained. I want you to know that Sandia has assigned this area
a very high priority. More than three years ago, Sandia began a program
in knowledge preservation as one element of that stewardship. We have now
recorded a few thousand hours of experience from weapons experts, individually
and in teams, who have retired within the past few years or who are planning
to retire soon. These records are maintained in a classified information
network formatted to provide instant query and retrieval. We have also
developed an extensive set of course offerings unique to nuclear weapons
science and engineering, and we are developing a formal process this year
for training and certifying tomorrow's experts. When you consider that
forty years is the extent of an average career, our people and their expertise
are the most limited-life components of the stockpile stewardship effort.
Supply of Radiation-Hardened Microelectronics
This committee should be aware of a serious problem we are facing with
respect to assuring the supply of radiation-hardened microelectronic components
in the long term. This is a critically important issue in stockpile stewardship.
Microelectronic circuits can be damaged or destroyed by radiation. It
is for this reason that electronic components in satellites, for example,
are specially designed to withstand the effects of cosmic radiation. Circuits
in nuclear weapons must be hardened against the much more intense radiation
fluxes that would be encountered in proximity to nuclear blasts of a nuclear
exchange. This design criterion has not gone away with the end of the Cold
War. STRATCOM has revalidated its hardening requirements for strategic
systems. As you know, Russia recently abandoned its previously declared
no-first-use policy for its nuclear weapons.
Similarly, radiation-hardened microelectronic components are important
for many tactical, non-nuclear weapon systems that could encounter radiation
under battle conditions. Consequently, the capability to design and produce
"rad-hard" integrated circuits is of great importance to our
Unfortunately, commercial, off-the-shelf microelectronic technologies
are not designed to withstand radiation, and in most cases they cannot
be shielded effectively to protect them from damage. In fact, as commercial
integrated circuits (ICs) evolve toward ever-smaller feature sizes, they
will become even less suitable for defense or space applications that may
be susceptible to radiation.
The problem is economic: The market for radiation-hardened integrated
circuits has become so small relative to the burgeoning market for commercial
ICs that it holds little interest for industry. Less than one tenth of
one percent of integrated-circuit production is rad-hard. The requirement
for radiation-resistant integrated circuits is expected to remain fairly
constant at roughly $100 million to $150 million per year for the next
decade. This is a drop in the bucket in contrast to the market for commercial
integrated circuits, which is forecast by the Semiconductor Industry Association
to exceed $300 billion by 2000!
Production of radiation-hardened integrated circuits requires special
designs and strictly controlled, nonstandard manufacturing. Most integrated-circuit
manufacturers are simply not interested in diverting highly profitable
resources to nonstandard and limited-volume design and production of radiation-hardened
This reluctance is reflected in the declining number of vendors responding
to Sandia's requests for quotation (RFQs) over the past eight years. Motorola,
LSI Logic, United Technologies, RCA, GE, AT&T, and Texas Instruments
have quit the rad-hard digital IC business. Only Honeywell and Lockheed
Martin Federal Systems (formerly Loral) remain. Only one vendor of rad-hard
non-volatile memories remains: Grumman-Northrop. No vendors exist for new
designs for rad-hard analog circuits needed to interface sensors and actuators
to digital controllers.
The government's fallback position for production of critical radiation-hardened
integrated circuits for nuclear weapons is DOE's Microelectronics Development
Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories. For more than two decades,
Sandia has conducted research to advance rad-hard IC technology. As a general
rule, the results of this research have been made available to the private
sector to support industrial production of government IC requirements.
In addition, Sandia has produced rad-hard microelectronics parts in-house
for special government applications where production lots were too small
to be economic for industry.
DOE and Sandia have proposed a National Defense Electronics Partnership
with DoD for the purpose of preserving the R&D base and industrial
production capability for radiation-hardened integrated circuits. It is
too early to tell whether this proposal will come to fruition. In any case,
it is important to adequately maintain the rad-hard capability at Sandia.
Bear in mind that radiation-hardened microelectronics must also constantly
play catch-up with the rapid pace of development in commercial microelectronic
components (see the discussion in the previous section about the necessity
to modernize components). This task requires a robust R&D capability
and a modest production capability in the national laboratory system, and
Sandia is the only place where such capability exists. We continue to work
with DOE and DoD to ensure that a minimum level of funding is provided
to maintain this capability.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
I have described some very significant achievements that Sandia has
realized during the last year, particularly our world records in pulsed
power and computing. However, our overarching mission is to support the
Nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, both in its current requirements and
for the long term. Our scientific achievements are always performed with
that mission in mind, and not for their own sake.
I have also described some of the highlights of our ongoing stockpile
stewardship work and our interactions with the former Soviet Union. This
work stems from the engineering technology base that maintains and ensures
the safety, security, and long-term reliability of the enduring stockpile.
As we augment the Stockpile Stewardship program with new capabilities and
facilities for science-based stewardship, it will be important not to diminish
the engineering technology base that supports component design and production
now and for the future.
I discussed a number of the major issues that we face as significant
challenges. Sandia's cradle-to-grave responsibilities require stable funding
for a robust engineering technology base, a modern and efficient laboratory
infrastructure, and the essential human talent that can maintain competency
in both established and emerging weapon technologies.
While I support the approach and structure of the Science-Based Stockpile
Stewardship Plan, the currently proposed budget presents significant challenges
for our laboratory. I believe that with proper funding, the Science-Based
Stockpile Stewardship Plan is the route to success in maintaining a stockpile
whose quality is second to none. However, without proper funding, we will
ultimately face a tough choice: Shall we adequately support the people
and skills that are essential to sustained stewardship, or those that are
required for developing and operating the new initiatives in science-based
It would be regrettable to have to once again rebalance the objectives
in the overall program between the core weapons activities and the new
initiatives to find substitutes for testing; but a tradeoff between preserving
irreplaceable expertise or "bricks and mortar" for the future
would indeed be a Hobson's choice. The Stockpile Stewardship Program must
be prudently managed to provide for our technology base needs; and we must
also find a way to fund the strategic investments required for science-based
stockpile stewardship at a pace that will bring them into useful service
to support the program before we face a crisis within a critical weapon
system in the existing stockpile. I fear that time is not on our side.
WITNESS DISCLOSURE FORM
Witness name: C. Paul Robinson
Capacity in which appearing: Representative
Name of entity being represented: Sandia National Laboratories
C. Paul Robinson serves as President of Sandia Corporation and Laboratory
Director of Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed
Martin company, operates Sandia National Laboratories for the U. S. Department
Dr. Robinson served as Vice President for Laboratory Development at
Sandia from August 1991 through August 1995, having previously served as
Director for Systems Analysis. During this period, he was responsible for
strategic and operational planning, systems studies and analysis, information
architectures, and new program initiatives.
From February 1988 to October 1990, Ambassador Robinson served as the
Chief Negotiator and Head of the U.S. delegation to the nuclear testing
talks between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in Geneva, Switzerland. He was
appointed by President Ronald Reagan, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and
subsequently reappointed by President George Bush. Those negotiations produced
two major agreements: protocols to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the
Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty.
From December 1985 to February 1988, Dr. Robinson served as Senior Vice
President and Principal Scientist of Ebasco Services, Inc., a major engineering
and construction firm headquartered in New York. He was responsible for
the advanced technology sector of the company, with major contracts in
nuclear power, advanced power systems for defense and commercial energy
needs, and support activities for major U.S. and international research
Dr. Robinson spent most of his early career (1967-1985) at the Los Alamos
National Laboratory, operated by the University of California for the U.S.
Department of Energy. Initially he served as a physicist in the Nuclear
Test Division, then became a member of the advanced concepts group. He
started the laboratory's efforts in laser spectroscopy, explosives-driven
lasers, laser-induced chemistry and isotope separation. Dr. Robinson led
the laboratory's defense programs, with responsibility for nuclear weapons
research, development, testing and stockpile maintenance, strategic defense
initiatives, inertial fusion, nuclear materials and safeguards, advanced
conventional weapons, as well as arms control and verification activities.
Dr. Robinson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Christian
Brothers College in 1963 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Florida State University
in 1967. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate from Christian Brothers
University in 1989.
He is presently a member of the Strategic Advisory Group for the Commander-in-Chief,
U.S. Strategic Command, where he also serves as the Chairman of the Policy
Group, which is helping to develop new nuclear weapons policy for the post-Cold
War period. In 1991, he served as chairman for the Presidential Technical
Advisory Group on Verification of Warhead Dismantlement and Special Nuclear
Materials Controls. He previously served on the Scientific Advisory Group
on Effects for the Defense Nuclear Agency, as well as an advisor for other