C. Bruce Tarter,
University of California
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am the Director of the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Our Laboratory was founded
in 1952 as a nuclear weapons laboratory, and national security continues
to be our central mission.
I am here today to report on the Stockpile Stewardship and Management
Program, which is being implemented by the Department of EnergyÕs
Office of Defense Programs at the three national security laboratories
(Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia), the Nevada Test Site, and the four
production facilities (Kansas City, Pantex, Savannah River, and Y-12).
Through this highly integrated national program, we are maintaining confidence
in the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without
nuclear testing or new weapon development.
I am also here to report on the other major thrust of our national security
workÑpreventing and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. Work in this area is supported primarily by the Department
of EnergyÕs Office of Nonproliferation and National Security. Analysis,
policy support, and technology development activities build on and reinforce
LivermoreÕs expertise in nuclear weapons and weapon technology.
Livermore is committed to maintaining confidence in the U.S. nuclear
stockpile and to stemming and countering the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction. Our goal is to apply the very best science and technology
to enhance the security of the nation and make the world a safer place.
Two critical and linked decisions have now established the course for
the nationÕs nuclear weapons program. The President announced on
August 11, 1995, that the U.S. would pursue a Comprehensive Nuclear Test
Ban Treaty with no permitted nuclear weapon test explosions. In making
that decision, he reaffirmed the importance of maintaining a safe and reliable
nuclear weapons stockpile. Then, on September 25, 1995, the President directed
necessary programmatic activities to ensure stockpile performance. The
Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program was developed and is being
implemented. On September 24, 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
Treaty was opened for signature at the United Nations and signed that day
by the President.
All elements of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program are
focused on the stockpileÑhow we will continue to assure confidence
in it and how we will address any problems that bring its safety or reliability
into question. We must be confident in the nuclear weapons themselves,
in the system that maintains them, and in the judgments of the technical
staff, who will rely on experimental and computation tools to obtain needed
Significant milestones were achieved this year, for the Program as a
whole and at Livermore. On December 19, 1996, the Secretary of Energy signed
the Record of Decision for the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Programmatic
Environmental Impact Statement, which defines the overall architecture
of the Program. The implementation plan is already in its first revision,
specifying roles and responsibilities for Program participants. The comprehensive
effort to provide the first Annual Certification of the U.S. stockpile
under the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program was completed on
February 7, 1997, assuring this year the safety and reliability of the
stockpile without the need for nuclear explosive testing.
Investments are being made in the new experimental and computational
capabilities required for stockpile stewardship and management, and we
thank the Committee for their support in making this possible. At Livermore
for example, we took delivery of the first elements of our next-generation
supercomputer. This new machine, being developed in partnership with IBM,
is enabling us to vastly improve our simulation models and accomplish in
minutes what otherwise would take weeks. Also this year, Livermore was
selected as the site for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and construction
will begin soon. This 192-beam laser facility will provide the means for
investigating the thermonuclear physics of primaries and secondaries in
To succeed stockpile stewardship and management requires effective integration
among the laboratories and the plants of essentially all Program activities.
It also requires strong and continuing support and adequate investmentÑapproximately
$4 billion per year for a decade. Robust support early in the Program is
particularly vital because of the need to bring into operation necessary
scientific capabilities while there remain experienced nuclear designers
to train the next generation of stockpile stewards. The budget request
for FY 1998 provides $4.0 billion for next yearÕs activities. The
request also includes total funding for construction of the NIF so that
we can most efficiently plan and manage the project and complete it in
LivermoreÕs national security responsibilities extend beyond
stewardship of the U.S. stockpile. The proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction (WMD)Ñnuclear, chemical, and biologicalÑis a
growing threat to national security. Instabilities that have resulted from
the break up of the Soviet Union have given rise to new threats, particularly
as related to surpluses in nuclear materials and nuclear weapon know-how.
In addition, we must deal with the increasing threat posed by regional
instabilities and the desire (stated or covert) of nation-states to acquire
weapons of mass destruction. We must also focus on the growing and particularly
worrisome threat of WMD terrorism.
A multipronged approach is needed to counter these WMD threats. The
Department of Energy and its national security laboratories apply the expertise
gained in their nuclear weapons work, together with their extensive experience
in chemical and biological sciences, to support U.S. arms control and nonproliferation
policy and analyze weapons activities worldwide. Livermore is tackling
the proliferation threat at all stagesÑprevention, reversal, response,
and avoiding surprise.
The scientific and technical issues posed by stockpile stewardship and
management and by WMD nonproliferation are extremely challenging. I will
discuss LivermoreÕs work in these vitally important areas and provide
examples of recent accomplishments, partnership activities, and new initiatives.
I will then mention some laboratory management issues and close with a
STOCKPILE STEWARDSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
The DOE Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
The Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs has led the Department
of Energy (DOE), its three national security laboratories, and other facilities
in the weapons complex in the development of the DOE Stockpile Stewardship
and Management Program. The Record of Decision for the Programmatic Environmental
Impact Statement (issued in December 1996) formally defines the architecture
of the Program. In addition, an implementation plan has been developed
by the Department, working closely with the laboratories and the production
plants. Already in its first revision, this plan delineates specific roles
and responsibilities. The ProgramÕs overall architecture and implementation
plan are driven by consideration of existing capabilities and facilities,
scientific and technical requirements that call for new investments, and
the need for cost efficiency.
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program is designed to ensure
the safety and reliability of the U.S. stockpile in an era of no nuclear
testing, no new weapon development, a production complex with reduced capacity
and capability, and an aging stockpile of fewer weapons and fewer types
of weapons. The Program consists of three major elements:
¥ Enhanced surveillance: to predict and detect the effects of aging
and other stockpile problems. An enhanced surveillance program does not
mean simply more surveillance; it means smarter surveillance. With fewer
types of weapons in the stockpile and reduced capabilities and capacity
in the production complex, we must become more proficient at detecting
and predicting potential problems early to provide adequate time for thorough
evaluation and action before problems affect stockpile safety or reliability.
A systematic refurbishment and preventative maintenance program geared
to the capacity of the downsized production complex requires enhanced surveillance
together with predictive capabilities.
Enhanced surveillance calls for research and development in three areas.
First, we must improve databases on the characteristics and behavior of
stockpiled weapons so that we can identify anomalies in aging weapons.
Second, we must improve the sensors and techniques used to inspect stockpiled
weapons. Finally, we must develop a better understanding of how aging alters
the physical characteristics of weapon materials and how these changes
affect weapon reliability and safety. Success in these scientific efforts
enable an affordable manufacturing capability in the production plants.
¥ Assessment: to analyze and evaluate effects of changes on weapon
safety and performance. The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
includes a comprehensive set of activities to address issues that arise
from enhanced surveillance and to evaluate the significance of observed
and predicted aging processes. When modification actions are deemed necessary,
we must assess the viability of options for refurbishing or replacing specific
warhead components and the viability of new production and fabrication
processes and materials.
To the extent possible, our assessments must be based on scientific
and engineering demonstration. We must rely on aboveground nonnuclear testing
in more capable experimental facilities and numerical simulation with advanced
computer models. Demonstration-based assessmentsÑnow no longer including
nuclear testing as a toolÑprovide the foundation for formal validation
and certification of stockpile safety, reliability, and performance.
Essential components of this demonstration basis include new experimental
facilities such as the National Ignition Facility, subcritical experiments
at the Nevada Test Site, and enhanced computational tools developed through
the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative. These investments will
provide essential data for stockpile stewardship and management. They also
enable the retention of nuclear weapons expertise in a staff that will
increasingly have no nuclear test experience. We must nurture and exercise
the scientific judgment of the next generation of stockpile stewards.
¥ Manufacturing: to refurbish stockpile weapons and recertify new
parts, materials, and processes. Production facilitiesÑincluding
those for tritiumÑmust be flexible, highly capable, yet affordable.
Cost constraints and the planned much smaller stockpile of the future set
our focus on capability, not capacity. Choices of production technologies
will emphasize flexibility and quality (free of defects) and will utilize
modern commercial methods wherever possible. Manufacturing is a particularly
demanding challenge because the plants must contend with extensive infrastructure
and operational problems as well as production technologies that are badly
in need of modernization.
The laboratories and plants are working closely together to integrate
the development of replacement parts with the development of new materials
and manufacturing processes. This concurrent engineering approach reduces
costs and provides flexibility to respond to potential needs rapidly. Success
in this area depends on our ability to develop computational models of
the performance of replacement weapon components and materials and our
ability to simulate manufacturing processes so that we can evaluate production
options efficiently and accurately.
Integrated Program Management and Validation
The three major elements of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management
ProgramÑenhanced surveillance, assessment, and manufacturingÑare
tightly interconnected through integrated program management. The stewardship
and management process is continual, with no clear ending of one phase
before the beginning of another. The laboratories and plants are developing
comprehensive life-extension plans for each weapon system in the enduring
stockpile. These plans integrate surveillance, assessment, life-extension
manufacturing activities on a weapons system by weapons system basis, and
time-phase all activities (to the extent possible) to balance the workload.
Each major program element entails substantial partnerships among the laboratories
and between the laboratories and the production plants. It is a shared
effort requiring the special capabilities and the unique facilities at
each site in the complex.
These program integration efforts are tied to formal processes with
the Department of Defense (DoD) for validating assessments of stockpile
performance and modification actions. The ultimate measure of Program success
will be our continuing ability to assure the President on a yearly basis
the safety and reliability of the stockpile without nuclear testing. As
one of the two nuclear design laboratories, Livermore has essential responsibilities
in formal validation and certification activities. In the past, validation
and certification was greatly assisted by nuclear testingÑthe final
arbiter. Now it depends on formal review of the technical assessments of
personnel in the Program. The process is greatly strengthened through the
use of expertise and capabilities at each of the laboratories and independent
evaluationsÑwidely referred to as Òpeer review.Ó
Validation requires expert judgments about nuclear weapons issues and
the technical evidence gathered. This is particularly complicated because
of the uniqueness of the enterprise. For security reasons, only a small
community of people have the necessary expertise and access to tools to
deal with the intricate classified details of modern nuclear weapons. In
addition, many physics and engineering issues are special to the discipline,
such as material properties at extreme pressures and temperatures.
Two formal validation processes have been established: Dual Revalidation
and Annual Certification. Dual Revalidation is a formalized peer review
process, developed in consultation with the DoD, to assess the condition
of U.S. stockpiled weapons. Two teams perform the evaluation, one with
personnel from the laboratory that originally designed the weapon and the
other with experts from the second nuclear design laboratory. Sandia participates
on both teams. Each Dual Revalidation is managed by a DoD/DOE Project Officers
Group and is expected to take two to three years to complete. The W76 warhead
is the first system undergoing Dual Revalidation.
Annual Certification was established in response to Presidential direction
for a yearly assessment from the Secretaries of Defense and Energy on the
safety and reliability of the stockpile under a Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty and on the need to conduct a nuclear explosive test. This certification
is based on technical evaluations made by the laboratories and on advice
from the three laboratory Directors, the Commander in Chief of the Strategic
Command (CINCSTRAT), the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, and the
Nuclear Weapons Council. On February 7, 1997, the two Secretaries reported
to the President that the stockpile remains safe and reliable and that
nuclear testing is not required to certify weapon performance this year.
Livermore devoted significant effort to prepare for this first Annual
Certification, and we found the process to be extremely valuable. Most
important, it provided a focus for our stockpile stewardship and life extension
activities and strongly reinforced their crucial contribution to national
security. It also fostered considerable inter-laboratory consultation and
cooperation. To prepare for the Annual Certification, we collected and
analyzed all available information about each stockpile weapon system,
including physics, engineering, and chemistry and materials science data.
This work was subjected to rigorous, in-depth intra-laboratory review and
summarized in Technical Certification Reports for the DOE. As Director
of our Laboratory, I approved those reports for LivermoreÕs weapon
systems after an intense series of reviews last July.
Our preparations for the Annual Certification were also scrutinized
by a team of experts assembled by CINCSTRAT (the so-called ÒGreen
TeamÓ). As part of DoDÕs active and important role in certification,
STRATCOM hosted two three-day meetings in June and July to review presentations
made by the laboratories and the services. The Green Team report to CINCSTRAT
provided an important basis for DoDÕs assessment of the stockpile.
An important byproduct of this formal, structured evaluation of the
stockpile is the recognition that there are opportunities to enhance the
performance margin of some systems as required modifications are made to
extend their lifetime. We intend to make this evaluation of enhanced performance
margins a part of our stockpile life extension activities.
Our stockpile surveillance efforts focus on Livermore designs in the
enduring stockpile: the W87 and W62 ICBM warheads, B83 bomb, and the W84
cruise missile. Three of these weapons are the only systems in the inventory
with all the modern safety features. We are responsible for weapons in
two legs of the strategic triad and, overall, three of the eight weapon
systems scheduled to be deployed at the turn of the century. Moreover,
our stockpile surveillance activities also build the scientific base and
develop monitoring capabilities to better understand aging effects in all
weapons in the stockpile.
Aging is a critical issue. It affects the physical characteristics of
materials, and we must determine how these changes impact weapon reliability
and safety. With a better understanding of aging, our stockpile surveillance
can be more predictive, making possible systematic refurbishment and preventative
maintenance activities (rather than crash production programs) to correct
problems that threaten weapon safety or reliability.
The Aging Effects of Materials in Weapons
Modern nuclear weapons consist of precision manufactured components
made from many different types of materials. These include highly reactive
metals such as plutonium and uranium as well as organic materials. Organic
materials play many important roles in weapons operation. They comprise
the high explosives that compress the fissile materials to initiate the
chain reaction. Some organics are structural materials and adhesives that
maintain precise alignment during high-stress conditions, especially during
Many of the organic materials used in nuclear weapons are very stable
under benign conditions. However, in a weapon environment these materials
outgas at significant levels because they remain hermetically sealed for
many years, experience high temperatures, and are exposed to radiation.
The released compounds are indicators of aging, which can affect performance.
In addition, they can corrode the highly reactive metals or affect the
integrity of other organic materials. Understanding the evolution of the
gases in the free volume of a complex nuclear weapon and extrapolating
the long-term consequences present severe challenges to our materials scientists.
We have developed a technique for sampling evolved gases within stockpile
weapons that is extremely efficient and does not require collecting a bulk
gas sample. In a non-intrusive way, the outgassed chemicals are collected
and concentrated onto a Òmicroextraction fiber.Ó The fiber
is then examined in LivermoreÕs Forensic Science Center, where we
are able to detect and analyze minute, complex chemical samples.
We have applied this technique to sample a W87 high explosives surveillance
ÒcoreÓ at the Pantex plant. This sealed surveillance core
contains samples of the materials in the actual weapon and is periodically
examined for evidence of degradation. More recently, we very successfully
applied the microextraction technology to sample the free volume in a B83
unit being subjected to routine nondestructive surveillance at Pantex.
The technique was well received at the plant because no external energy
is applied to the system and the procedure is therefore inherently safe.
We are currently analyzing the complex mix of gases obtained. This work
is being conducted in close cooperation with Pantex as well as Y-12 staff.
Results are being shared with Sandia and Los Alamos.
We are also devoting considerable effort to understand aging in plutonium
and the effect of aging-related changes on the performance of an imploding
pit of a stockpiled weapon. Plutonium is a comparatively stable material
in weapons; however, its properties are among the most complex of all the
elements. In addition, if remanufacture of plutonium parts is required,
we must provide long lead times because of the complexÕs limited
capacity for plutonium operations. We are studying the effects of aging
on the microstructure of plutonium in laboratory experiments using minute
quantities of material under highly controlled conditions. Activities to
assess the impact of changes in plutonium microstructure on performance
need to be conducted at NTS. We are working with NTS and Los Alamos to
execute a series of subcritical experiments to study the properties of
plutonium shocked and accelerated by high explosives. We hope to field
the first experiments later this year. Other initiatives which will fully
utilize NTS capabilities for the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program
are in the planning stage. These joint laboratory-NTS initiatives will
emphasize construction of additional scientific capabilities to expand
our understanding of plutonium and research and development leading to
the construction of an advanced hydrodynamic testing facility.
Assessments of the performance of stockpiled weapons and modification
actions must be demonstration-basedÑthat is, grounded on experimental
reality and simulations using detailed, calibrated computer models. We
are pursuing a balanced and integrated program of computational simulation,
fundamental scientific research, and experiments. Nonnuclear testing and
fundamental scientific research provide detailed data, which we strive
to reproduce in the sophisticated computational models we are building.
Once validated to the extent possible, these weapon physics simulations
are then used together with the experiments and archival data to guide
our judgment about integral stockpile issues.
At Livermore we operate state-of-the-art experimental and computer facilities
for the integrated complex. In addition to a number of important but smaller
science and engineering facilities, these include:
¥ The High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF). HEAF is the
most modern facility for high explosives research in the world.
¥ The Nova Laser Facility. Until construction of the National Ignition
Facility, Nova remains the worldÕs premier facility for high-energy
density physics experiments to evaluate important nuclear weapons issues.
¥ The Flash X-Ray Facility at Site 300, and its upgrade to a Contained
Firing Facility. The Flash X-Ray Facility is currently the most capable
hydrodynamic test facility in the world. The ongoing upgrade to contain
debris from high-explosive experiments will allow us to conduct critically
important experiments even if more stringent environmental restrictions
are imposed in the future.
¥ The Secure and Open Computing Facilities at LLNL. These facilities
meet our core program needs for stockpile stewardship and management and
serve as a testbed for the development of high-performance computing hardware
¥ The AVLIS Facility and Program. LLNL has the most advanced capabilities
in the world for research and development on key industrial-scale processes
¥ The Superblock. The Superblock includes small but modern facilities
for research and engineering tests involving special nuclear materials.
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program identifies new experimental
facilities and computational capabilities needed to provide continued confidence
in the safety and reliability of the U.S. stockpile, now that the nation
is no longer conducting nuclear tests. Major investments at Livermore include
our next-generation supercomputer as part of the Accelerated Strategic
Computing Initiative and the National Ignition Facility.
The Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative
The Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) is a tri-laboratory
program to dramatically advance our ability to computationally simulate
the performance of an aging stockpile and conditions affecting weapon safety.
It is a vital component of the Stockpile Stewardship Management Program.
We must make major advances in weapons science and weapons simulation code
technology, which in turn require major advances in computer performance
and information management technologies. Although it will take more than
a decade to achieve ASCIÕs long term goalsÑup to a million-fold
increase in computer speed and data storage capacityÑeach year the
initiative will deliver major new capabilities to support stockpile stewardship.
A central component of ASCI is the accelerated development of highly-parallel,
Òtera-scaleÓ computers in partnership with the U.S. computer
industry. A tera-scale computer performs a trillion operations per second,
which, at modest operating efficiency, is a thousand-fold improvement over
current capability. The ÒacceleratedÓ pace of ASCI was demonstrated
by the rapid installation of the IBM Initial Delivery system at Livermore
and its almost immediate application to real problems. The 512-node SP2
(the largest machine currently available from IBM) was delivered 30 days
early, was up and running three days later, and was applied to stockpile
problems two weeks after that. The speed with which boxes of components
were transformed into a working supercomputer was a direct result of the
dedication and close collaboration of the Livermore and IBM personnel involved.
Although we are only in the early stages of developing advanced ASCI
weapons simulation codes, the improvements made to date are providing unprecedented
capabilities to our weapons experts. For example, we conducted the first
3D calculations of the behavior of actual weapons systems under the combined
effect of hydrodynamics and radiation flow. The code was tested out with
experiments on the Nova laser system and then used for predicting the ignition
characteristics of fusion target designs and for calculations to increase
our confidence in the stockpile. In addition, we completed the most highly
resolved 3D calculations of the hydrodynamic behavior of weapon systems
yet carried out. The ability to simulate in 3D the coupled thermal-chemical-mechanical-hydrodynamic
behavior of weapons in abnormal environments (e.g., a weapon in a fire)
is also now available for the first time. Although the power of our current
computer/code combinations is only a small fraction of the ASCI goal, it
far surpasses all previously available capabilities.
Developing algorithms and simulation codes that can exploit large-scale
parallelism of these new computers is one of the major challenges facing
the ASCI code teams. Significant progress was made this year at Livermore.
For example, we achieved hundred-fold speedups (relative to a Cray YMP)
for 3D hydrodynamics calculations on our new IBM machine. We have developed
and demonstrated a deterministic radiation transport algorithm with excellent
parallel scaling propertiesÑa success that allayed a major source
of concern about our ability to effectively use massively parallel processors.
In addition, using a new parallel mesh generator, we created a 900 million
zone 3D mesh in less than ten minutes, a task that previously would have
taken weeks to accomplish.
More accurate simulations of weapons performance require a better understanding
of material properties. Taking a Òmulti-scaleÓ approach,
we are conducting atomic-scale materials simulations on our new IBM machine
to develop more accurate models of material properties for use in larger-scale
simulation codes. We have already achieved breakthroughs in our understanding
of the behavior of key materials. For example, we have greatly improved
our understanding of phase changes in actinides (e.g., plutonium) through
first-principles modeling. We have also improved our understanding of conditions
leading to materials failure under shock-loading conditions from our atomic-level
simulations. Further use of this Òmulti-scaleÓ approach to
predicting material behavior is vital to stockpile stewardshipÕs
long term success.
We are also making major strides in creating the Òtera-scaleÓ
problem solving environment needed to take full advantage of the power
of ASCI computers. For example, a critical Òchoke pointÓ
in using tera-scale computers is the availability of very-high-speed archival
storage for rapid storage and retrieval of the massive amounts of data
these computers produce. Livermore led the formation of a consortium of
hardware vendors, other government laboratories, and academia to develop
the High Speed Storage System (HPSS) and meet this critical need. The first
production version of HPSS is now available and has been installed at Livermore
and at other supercomputing sites sponsored by DOE, NSF, and NASA.
In addition, Livermore is leading ASCIÕs Academic Strategic Alliances
Program (ASAP), aimed at developing long-term partnerships with the academic
community to meet the challenges of stockpile stewardship. The goal is
to establish large-scale computational simulation as a viable methodology
in science and engineering and to accelerate advances in key technology
areas. The largest component of ASAP is a multi-million dollar, multi-year
program to create university Centers of Excellence where large-scale simulation
will be applied to complex, multi-disciplinary problems relevant to stockpile
stewardship. Over forty preliminary proposals to participate have been
reviewed. Final proposals will be evaluated and the first Centers will
be established in the next few months. Rapid expansion of these collaborations
with the academic community will require additional Program support.
The National Ignition Facility
Livermore has the lead role in the development of the National Ignition
Facility (NIF), a cornerstone of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management
Program. It will be the only facility capable of well-diagnosed experiments
to examine fusion burn and study weapon processes at nuclear-weapons relevant
temperatures and pressures. Advanced computer models being developed for
stockpile stewardship must be tested in the physical conditions that only
the NIF can provide. The NIF project continues to receive positive recommendations
from every independent expert group that closely examines its technical
and policy merit and/or its readiness to proceed.
A multilaboratory design team from Livermore, Los Alamos, Sandia and
the University of Rochester completed Title I engineering design of the
NIF this year. As a result of this work, DOE refined the baseline NIF design
to enhance the experimental capabilities of the facility. The new baseline
design provides options for greatly increasing the experiment rate, higher
laser intensities (for higher temperatures), a direct drive capability,
and an enhanced capability for radiation effects experiments that support
a 1996 Memorandum of Understanding between DOEÕs Defense Programs
and DoDÕs Defense Special Weapons Agency. It also includes a clean
optics assembly capability that had been identified at the time of the
conceptual design but not included or costed in the non-site-specific design.
In addition, the new baseline design allows weapons physics experiments
to begin two years before the end of project construction by utilizing
the first bundle of laser beams to be installed. This initial capability
(equivalent to approximately twice NovaÕs capability) can be available
by the end of 2001, with project completion now scheduled for the end of
These important project improvements result in a modest 10% cost increase,
including a one year stretchout of the project. The DOE selected this spending
profile to most efficiently manage the project within existing budget constraints.
The Total Project Cost is now $1.199 billion (compared to $1.074 billion
for the conceptual design in 1994). The new project baseline has been validated
by an independent industrial evaluation team commissioned by the DOE.
To keep the NIF on schedule, $197.8 million in construction funds needs
to be obligated in FY 1998. In addition, $31.3 million in operating funds
(included in the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program request) are needed.
The Administration has requested $876.4 million for NIF construction in
FY 1998, which represents the entire remainder of the construction budget.
The funds would, of course, be spent over the six-year time period from
FY 1998 through FY 2003.
We are partnering with U.S. industry to design and build the NIF. In
1996, 25% of the project funds costed were with industrial partners, including
architect-engineering and construction management firms, engineering design
companies, and optics manufacturers. In 1997 we expect to contract to industry
more than $150 million in NIF-related work. Overall, about three-fourths
of the NIF funds will be committed to industrial contracts. The impact
of NIF construction was recently studied by Bay Area Economics, in association
with the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy and the Institute
of Urban and Regional Development, both at the University of California,
Berkeley. The study concluded that the new technologies and manufacturing
processes acquired in building the NIF will have far-reaching benefits
to industry. These new technologies and processes will be available to
our industrial partners for a wide range of commercial uses after NIF needs
We are also partnering with the French CEA-Division Applications Militaire
and the British AWE-Ministry of Defence on the NIF project. The French
have paid more than $50 million directly and are also supplying a share
of the laser development necessary for both our NIF and their mega-joule
laser project. The British are considering the construction of a smaller
facility (32 beamlines instead of the NIFÕs 192) and they are helping
with some aspects of component development. Both France and the U.K. have
strong commitments to stockpile stewardship programs in which laser facilities
play important roles.
Our appreciation of the value of the NIF for stockpile stewardship continues
to grow. Because of the capability for extremely precise measurements in
laser experiments, the NIF will be important for studies of the physics
of nuclear weapon primaries as well as secondaries. Experiments conducted
this year with Nova indicate that the NIF will be able to obtain data relevant
to the performance of primaries. In addition, in other Nova experiments
we achieved much higher radiation temperatures than previously attained
with Nova, leading us to expect that the NIF will reach very much higher
temperatures. Also, we are conducting experiments to better estimate and
to improve the gain of targets in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiments
with NIF. The ICF Program has achieved its principal goals to demonstrate
sufficient confidence that the targets on the NIF will ignite. Current
experiments are further increasing this confidence.
We are also encouraging increased use of our Nova laser by academic
investigators. In 1996, 10% of the shots on Nova were allotted to university
users. Nineteen proposals were submitted from universities and time was
granted to nine investigators in a broad range of scientific fields. In
1997, the number of university proposals increased to 29 and again nine
Livermore is the design laboratory for four weapon systems in the enduring
stockpile. For the Livermore-designed weapon systems being retired we have
a continuing active responsibility to ensure safe and timely dismantlement
and disposition of excess materials. Dismantlement of the W68 SLBM warheads
and the W71 ABM warheads was completed in 1995. In 1996, we completed dismantlement
of the W48 artillery projectiles, the W55 SUBROCs, and the W70 Lance warheads.
Plans call for dismantlement to begin soon on the W79 artillery projectiles
and the W56 ICBM warheads.
LivermoreÕs responsibilities for the enduring stockpile include
the B83 bomb, the W84 cruise missile warhead, and the W87 ICBM warhead.
These systems are expected to remain in the stockpile well past their originally
anticipated lifetimes. In addition, we are responsible for the W62 ICBM
warhead, which is to remain in the active inventory past the end of the
We are developing comprehensive plans to extend the stockpile life of
all four of these systems. To this end, significant effort is being expended
on their surveillance, maintenance, and selective refurbishment. In particular,
Livermore is teaming with the plants to develop and provide greatly improved
manufacturing technologies for stockpile life extension of weapon systems.
As part of our commitment, we have signed a cooperative agreement with
Savannah River, we have nearly completed a similar agreement with Pantex,
and we have begun discussions with the Y-12 and Kansas City plants.
At present, extensive infrastructure and operational issues exist at
the plants. We face the prospect of widespread degradation of production
capability in aging facilities with outmoded equipment. But we also see
a major opportunity to introduce advanced manufacturing technology, improve
production yields, and greatly lower costs in the long run. The four plants
and three laboratories are formulating an initiative to take advantage
of this opportunity.
W87 Stockpile Life Extension
We have ongoing activities to extend the life of the W87. The objective
is to enhance the structural integrity of the W87 so that it may remain
part of the enduring stockpile beyond the year 2025 and will meet anticipated
future requirements for the system. The W87 warhead/Mk21 reentry vehicle
(RV) is the leading candidate for a single RV option for the Minuteman
III ICBM. It is the most modern and safe U.S. nuclear warhead. It incorporates
all ÒDrellÓ safety features: Insensitive High Explosive,
a Fire Resistant Pit, and an Enhanced Nuclear Detonation Safety.
The W87 Stockpile Life Extension Program (SLEP) is exercising many aspects
of the nuclear weapons complex and providing a model for stockpile stewardship
and management in action. Livermore has worked closely with the Air Force,
the DOE production agencies and plants, and the other weapons laboratories
to ensure that the designed warhead alterations can be made at the plants
and that the resultant product meets the customerÕs requirements.
Interactions with the DoD include a detailed examination of the current
operating environment of the W87/Mk21 and projections of how that environment
might change in the future. W87 SLEP activities have included flight testing,
ground testing, and physics and engineering analysis. We have worked with
Space Command and defense contractors to interpret and apply the data obtained.
These activities have been coordinated by a Joint DoD/DOE Working Group
under the direction of the Nuclear Weapons Council.
W87 refurbishment activities involve the Pantex, Kansas City, and Y-12
plants. We involved the plants early in the design phase of the SLEP to
ensure that the developed design meets performance requirements and can
be produced efficiently, cost effectively, and with high quality. Operations
at the Y-12 plant have provided the greatest challenge for the W87 SLEP
because of the suspension of many operations at that facility.
In consultation with Y-12 engineers and facility managers, we developed
a proof-of-principle system for the laser cutting of high value components.
The demonstration system used an ultra-short-pulse (one femtosecond or
10-15 sec) laser technology that was originally developed as a Laboratory-Directed
Research and Development (LDRD) activity within the ICF program at Livermore.
The laser used in the proof-of-principle demonstration holds the world
record for highest average power (one petawatt or 1015 watts) for the ultra-short
pulse duration. These pulse characteristics minimize the amount of material
lost and damage to surrounding material in the cutting operation.
The demonstration was conducted in an environmentally controlled workstation
designed and built at Livermore in cooperation with Y-12 personnel. The
system was designed, fabricated and operated within six months. This team
is leading the development of an even higher power system for installation
in the Y-12 plant by the end of FY 1997.
Development of the production laser cutting workstation has involved
U.S. industry, universities, and other DOE laboratories. In the process,
many new applications of femtosecond laser cutting technology have been
identified for development. Commercial and DoD organizations are interested
in using this technology where conventional cutting technologies will not
work. Potential applications include precision slicing for the microelectronics
industry, precision hole-drilling for the automotive and aerospace industry,
and the demilitarization of mines and chemical and biological warheads.
A unique feature of the laser cutting workstation is the control system,
which is being designed to have nested levels of diagnostic capability.
An operator need only access a simple main control panel to conduct the
laser cutting, whereas a laser scientist can access diagnostics deep within
the workstation to examine the performance of various laser subsystems.
The controls are also being designed so that the workstation laser can
be monitored from Livermore via a ÒSecure Internet.Ó Secure
Internet connections between the laboratory and the Y-12 plant have already
been used to exchange draft design information for the workstation. This
remote monitoring capability will enable Livermore scientists and engineers
to observe cutting operations, monitor the performance of the various laser
subsystems, and ensure that the system is operating reliably. Such technologies
are helping to bridge the geographical distance between the laboratories
and the plants.
STEMMING THE PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The proliferation and potential use of nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons, collectively referred to as weapons of mass destruction (WMD),
threatens the security of the nation and indeed the world. As Senator Sam
Nunn stated, Òthe number-one security challenge in the United States,
now and probably for years ahead, is to prevent these weapons of mass destruction,
whether chemical, biological, or nuclearÑand the scientific knowledge
of how to make themÑfrom going all over the world, to rogue groups,
to terrorist groups, to rogue nations.Ó
The breakup of the Soviet Union signaled the end of the Cold War and
brought an end to the bilateral tensions that dominated U.S. national security
policy for decades. The revelations of IraqÕs extensive and previously
undetected efforts to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
brought the threat of WMD proliferation to center stage in the global security
arena. At least 20 countries, some of them hostile to the U.S., are suspected
of or known to be developing WMD. In addition, the increasing potential
availability of WMD materials (for example, nuclear materials from dismantled
Soviet weapons) and WMD know-how (for example, through the Internet) makes
terrorist acquisition of such weapons frighteningly possible.
National security rests on the twin pillars of (1) deterring aggression
against the U.S.Ñthrough diplomacy, treaties, and military strengthÑ
and (2) reducing the threats posed by othersÑby stemming and countering
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Both national security
thrusts involve a complex combination of policy and technology. Livermore
is applying its nuclear expertise, developed through its past work in nuclear
weapon development and testing and through its continuing stockpile responsibilities,
to the challenge of nonproliferation. Because the threat of proliferation
is not restricted to nuclear weapons and in response to recent legislation
calling for enhanced U.S. capabilities against WMD proliferation, we are
also developing the technologies, analysis, and expertise needed to help
stem the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. These activities
build on our LaboratoryÕs large investment in chemical and biological
sciences. In addition, we have established a Center for Global Security
Research to bridge the gap between the technology and policy communities
and explore ways in which technology can enhance international security.
LivermoreÕs Nonproliferation Program
LivermoreÕs program in nonproliferation, arms control, and international
security (NAI) is tackling the increasingly serious problem of WMD proliferation
across the entire spectrum of the threatÑprevention, reversal, response,
and avoiding surprise. Recent accomplishments in these areas are highlighted
¥ Proliferation Prevention and Arms Control. This program element
focuses on the prevention stage. It integrates our activities, capabilities,
and technologies for nuclear material protection, control, and accountability.
It also combines our treaty verification technology R&D with policy
analysis and support for U.S. arms control activities. International cooperative
efforts, particularly with Russia and China, are an important aspect of
¥ Proliferation Detection and Defense Systems. This program element
concentrates on proliferation reversal. Here, our work to develop detection
technologies is integrated with critical systems analysis so that advanced
technology can be optimized for operational settings. Technologies and
analyses to identify, assess, and counter proliferant activities are central
to this program.
¥ Counterterrorism and Incident Response. This program element deals
with the response phase. Long-standing Livermore capabilities in nuclear
emergency response are augmented with similar capabilities for chemical
and biological weapon emergencies. The program focuses on the application
of technologies and operational capabilities to respond to WMD emergencies
or terrorist incidents.
¥ International Assessments. This program element addresses the
need to avoid surprise regarding foreign WMD activities. Livermore expertise
in nuclear weapons science and technology is central to this work. Multifaceted
analyses incorporating technical, economic, political, and other drivers
are conducted in collaboration with the U.S. intelligence community to
evaluate foreign weapons programs.
Proliferation Prevention and Arms Control
Clearly, the U.S. wants to be proactive, not reactive, in dealing with
the threat of proliferation and wherever possible stop proliferation at
its source. Although the ubiquitous nature of chemical and biological weapon
materials presents special challenges, technologies and protocols for tracking,
control, and accountability of nuclear materials can provide effective
means for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear Materials Tracking and Accountability
We continue to collaborate with research and manufacturing facilities
in the former Soviet Union to improve the protection, control, and accounting
of nuclear weapons materials stored or processed at those sites. This work,
part of the DOEÕs Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Program,
represents a major U.S. effort to reduce the potential for unauthorized
transfer or theft of nuclear materials from the numerous stockpile sites
within the former Soviet Union. We are currently involved in activities
at more than 40 sites and have recently begun working with the Russian
navy and the Murmansk Shipping Company to enhance the protection of fuel
for their nuclear-powered vessels.
We are also working with our Russian counterparts to reduce the inventories
of nuclear weapons materials of both countries. Mutual reciprocal inspections
are an essential first step. The official Mutual Reciprocal Inspection
(MRI) Agreement was signed in March 1994 by U.S. Secretary of Energy OÕLeary
and Minister of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy Mikhailov. The
agreement commits the two countries to develop methods to confirm each
otherÕs inventory of fissile material created by the dismantlement
of nuclear weapons and to carry out inspections of both inventories using
those methods. This agreement is part of the Safeguards, Transparency,
and Irreversibility effort, backed by U.S.ÐRussian summit declarations,
to increase both governmentsÕ confidence in their knowledge of each
otherÕs nuclear weapons and fissile material stockpiles.
When the MRI Agreement was signed, mutually acceptable inspection methods
had to be developed that could verify the weapon origin of inspected nuclear
components without compromising sensitive information. In November 1996,
we hosted a delegation of Russian technical experts to carry out joint
measurement experiments on unclassified plutonium components in Russian
and U.S. storage containers. Also present were scientists from Los Alamos
as well as representatives of DoD, DOE, and other U.S. government agencies.
The measurement methods evaluated were passive neutron detection and gamma-ray
imaging. As a result of this exercise and an earlier exchange in 1994 (also
held at Livermore), the technical concerns about mutual reciprocal inspections
have been evaluated, preparing the way for a political decision about implementation
of the MRI Agreement.
Large quantities of surplus nuclear materials are resulting from the
dismantlement of thousands of nuclear weapons by both the U.S. and Russia.
The enormous amount of material that must be stored or disposed of, as
well as the rapid changes that are occurring in the former Soviet Union,
cast doubt on the ability of existing controls to keep nuclear material
from falling into the hands of potential proliferants. We are participating
in a major DOE program to upgrade nuclear material protection, control,
and accountability in the former Soviet Union.
The wide availability of nuclear weapon information, together with the
potential availability of nuclear materials through illicit trafficking,
makes it all too possible that nuclear materials or devices could find
their way into the hands of rogue states or terrorists. Indeed, in 1995,
2.7 kilograms of highly enriched uranium was intercepted in Prague. In
the event that facility-based material protections are circumvented, interdiction,
assessment, and attribution capabilities must be brought to bear.
The first-ever counter-nuclear smuggling exercise, coordinated by Livermore,
was held in July 1996 to assess existing domestic capabilities in nuclear
forensics. Eight DOE laboratories participated, together with other government
agencies that would be involved in such an incident. According to the scenario
chosen for this exercise, U.S. Customs has intercepted a package containing
radioactive material. The laboratories are called upon to analyze and characterize
the confiscated materials and provide results to help guide further law-enforcement
and diplomatic activities.
A mock contraband package, containing a variety of residues, particles,
and actual nuclear materials, was prepared at Livermore for forensic analysis.
The package was treated as if it were actual evidence associated with a
law-enforcement investigation. The participating laboratories subjected
samples of the ÒcontrabandÓ to various analyses to determine
the type of nuclear material, the possible source of the material, and
any other information about the sample or the persons involved.
From the sum of the laboratoriesÕ results, the package was correctly
identified to contain highly enriched uranium coated with the insensitive
high explosive TATB. The exact composition and combination of materials
provided indications as to the origin and function of the weapons material.
Other identifications provided information that law-enforcement and intelligence
agencies could use in their efforts to trace the source of the contraband
and identify the perpetrators.
This exercise was extremely valuable. It helped establish a technical
baseline among the U.S. nuclear forensics community, and it demonstrated
our ability to make timely analyses of suspect material and reasonable
assessments of the materialÕs origin. The results of this exercise
will help guide future efforts to counter nuclear smuggling, both by the
technical community and by the policy organizations concerned with the
assessment of the possible sources and routes associated with confiscated
Proliferation Detection and Defense Systems
The second phase in countering WMD proliferation is to detect weapons-related
activities and to evaluate options for denying WMD to the potential proliferant.
Livermore strengths in advanced instrumentation and computational simulation
are particularly valuable here. Our achievements in detection and monitoring
instrumentation have been well reported in recent years. We have developed
and fielded various sensor systems, including a passive system called INSENS
that is being developed for the U.S. Naturalization and Immigration Service.
We also have a number of other systemsÑpassive and active, on-site
and remote, ground-based and airborneÑin various stages of research
In the area of evaluating options for deterring or reversing WMD proliferation,
we make heavy use of computational simulation. For example, we have developed
a versatile and powerful modeling system for analyzing the proliferation
activities of foreign countries and evaluating the consequences of possible
interdiction options, including environmental and socio-economic effects.
These analyses provide valuable technical input to the decision makers
who must determine the U.S. response to such activities. With this Counterproliferation
Analysis and Planning System, we can model the various processes (chemical,
biological, metallurgical, etc.) which others use to build weapons of mass
destruction and their delivery systems.
Drawing upon information from many sources (e.g., the U.S. intelligence
community, international commercial databanks, private industry), we can
generate models of a specific countryÕs proliferation activities.
We can identify the function and location of suspected production sites;
in some cases, we can even model the layout of individual facilities. By
modeling proliferation activities at this level of detail, we can analyze
the countryÕs specific approach to weapons production. We can then
identify critical processing steps or production facilities which, if denied,
would prevent that country from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
We are augmenting this analysis system with demographic data and atmospheric
plume models developed for LivermoreÕs National Atmospheric Release
Advisory Capability. This upgrade will allow us to analyze collateral damage
resulting from possible interdiction actions, including such socioeconomic
and environmental consequences as civilian injuries, crop loss, and damage
to water aquifers. We are also building a suite of chemical databases that
will allow us to evaluate the effects of industrial chemicals that could
be released into the environment as the result of interdiction actions
against proliferant sites.
These counterproliferation analyses are an important contribution to
the U.S. Strategic Command in its role as a support command in counterproliferation.
We also support counterproliferation exercises and planning by the U.S.
Special Operations Command, the Air Force, the Department of State, the
Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Counterterrorism and Incident Response
The third phase in dealing with the threat of WMD proliferation is to
counter and respond to actual WMD use or threats of use. Effective response
requires the integration of analysis, technologies, and operations. We
are working with DOE, Los Alamos and Sandia, and the other government agencies
that would be involved in responding to a WMD incident.
Chemical and Biological Weapons
The threat posed by chemical and biological weapons is real and growing.
DOE initiated the Chem/Bio Nonproliferation Program to exploit the national
laboratoriesÕ unique technical expertise to develop effective capabilities
for dealing with a chemical or biological weapon threat. Livermore is contributing
in six areas: bioinformation, point detection, standoff detection, transport
and fate, decontamination, and systems analysis. Although this program
has just begun, we have already demonstrated significant advances in field
detection and identification of simulants.
In October 1996, a team of LLNL scientists and engineers took part in
a Joint Field Trial held at Dugway, Utah. In this exercise, participating
teams analyzed 1600 samples over a period of ten days in a field laboratory
setting. Four simulant materials were used, representing typical biological
weapon materials. We tested two instruments, a mini-flow cytometer and
a mini-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) instrument. We were extremely pleased
with our results, particularly since this was the first use of a mini-PCR
instrument in a field test.
Our mini-flow cytometer achieved a positive identification for 87% of
the samples, with an exceptionally low Òfalse positiveÓ rate
of only 0.4%. This level of successful identification was achieved for
samples ranging over a factor of 1000 in concentration and at a very high
rate of analysis (less than one minute per sample for flow cytometry, for
a throughput of 160 samples per day). Despite the outstanding performance
of this instrument, we are modifying it to further increase sensitivity,
accuracy, speed, and throughput.
Our mini-PCR instrument was demonstrated for the first time at the Dugway
test. PCR instruments use DNA replication techniques (specifically, PCR)
to amplify minute samples of DNA and provide specific identification of
individual organisms. Unlike typical laboratory PCR instruments, which
are bulky and require large power sources, our mini-PCR fits inside a large
suitcase, runs on batteries, and can be carried into the field and used
for in-situ analyses. At the time of the Dugway test, this particular instrument
had been in development for only a few months. It was able to process 40
samples a day. Although the accuracy of detection and false positive rate
for this instrument are not yet acceptable, our mini-PCR holds definite
promise for high-speed, high-specificity field analysis of biological weapon
A prototype instrument, identical to the one tested at the Dugway trials,
has been delivered to the DoD. New mini-PCR instrumentation is being designed
and developed at Livermore in collaboration with the DoD and other government
agencies. We plan to return to Dugway in the fall of 1997 to test the improved
Also this past year, we contributed to a study of the threat of terrorist
use of WMD against the U.S. Although the U.S. has not yet been the target
of a terrorist attack using WMD, the threat is real and increasing. The
World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings demonstrate an apparent willingness
or desire on the part of terrorists to cause mass casualties. A dangerous
precedent for terrorist use of WMD was set by the March 1995 nerve-gas
attacks in the Tokyo subways. Preparing for and responding to the threat
of WMD terrorism should be one of our highest national security priorities.
An end-to-end strategy is needed for detecting, defending against, and
responding to the WMD terrorism threat. It is a very complex threat, and
a number of enhanced technologies and operational measures should be developed
and deployed. These run the gamut from indicators of biological or chemical
signatures of weapons development (as has been done for nuclear weapons)
to technologies for dealing with the weapons once found.
Livermore and the other DOE laboratories have relevant expertise and
capabilities in many of these areas. For example, the laboratories are
developing technologies for rapidly identifying biological pathogens, which
would enable early detection of a biological attack and the possibility
of taking significant protective measures. In addition, advanced forensics
capabilities at the laboratories could identify the perpetrator, which
helps deter acts of WMD terrorism or respond if an act is committed. These
and other examples illustrate how Livermore can contribute to national
efforts responsive to this serious threat to U.S. security.
For decades, Livermore has applied its in-depth technical knowledge
of the design and testing of nuclear explosive devices to assess foreign
nuclear weapons programs. The goal of these efforts is to avoid WMD-related
surprise while the U.S. seeks to prevent, reverse, and respond to weapons
proliferation threats worldwide.
At Livermore, we are assessing nuclear proliferation risks in key areas
of the globeÑthe Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and East
Asia. In addition, we analyze the status of stockpiles of nuclear weapons
and weapons materials of the declared nuclear weapon states.
Our assessment capabilities proved particularly valuable in 1995Ð1996,
as the CTBT was being finalized. During this period, France and China conducted
a series of nuclear tests. We were also concerned about nuclear activities
of ÒthresholdÓ states. (Threshold states are those countries
that are believed to have a nuclear weapons capability but are not conducting
an active nuclear test program.) In this same time period, we intensified
our assessment effort of the Indian test site to search for indicators
that would clarify IndiaÕs nuclear test intentions. Our findings
and analysis were provided to policy makers as input to their subsequent
In all of our international assessments, we draw on our general technical
knowledge about nuclear testing, specifics about each countryÕs
nuclear capabilities, and our understanding of nontechnical issues that
motivate nuclear programs. In this way, Livermore analysts support the
U.S. intelligence and policy communities and provide technical assistance
to policy makers and diplomats as they developed strategies for the U.S.
response to international activities.
Center for Global Security Research
In recognition of the fact that technical issues comprise only a portion
of the nonproliferation and counterterrorism picture, we established the
Center for Global Security Research. Our objective through this center
is to bridge the gap between the technology and policy communities by analyzing
and understanding factors that can reduce the threat of weapons of mass
destruction and by evaluating how technology can enhance the international
security framework. Topics are chosen for study which leverage the talents
and resources at Livermore, while utilizing unique capabilities brought
to the Center by visiting scholars.
Our Center for Global Security Reseach collaborates with a broad spectrum
of organizations engaged in similar work, including others within the University
of California, other security research centers in academia, U.S. government
agencies, and private institutions worldwide.
The Center sponsors research in areas such as the security implications
of emerging technologies, technical options for reducing the WMD threat,
threat anticipation and management, and the future role of military forces.
For example, technology and policy are inextricably intertwined in international
peacekeeping operations. Military forces of the U.S. and its allies are
routinely asked to support the United Nations in various peacekeeping operations,
and laboratories like LLNL have a potentially important role to play in
enhancing the peacekeeping capabilities of U.S. and allied forces. In September
1996, the Center sponsored a conference, attended by key operational, policy,
technical, and military personnel from around the world, on ÒMeeting
the Challenge of International Peace Operations: Assessing and Contribution
of Technology.Ó Another Center-sponsored conference, held in March
1997 at Stanford University, focused on policy and technology implications
in ÒProtecting and Assuring Critical National Infrastructure.Ó
The Center is also supporting studies of the technical and political inhibitions
that deter countries from developing nuclear weapons and the technical
and political issues involved in humanitarian de-mining.
INSTITUTIONAL AND MANAGEMENT ISSUES
We have taken major steps to improve the way we conduct laboratory business,
reduce costs, and shape our workforce to meet existing and anticipated
programmatic needs. These efforts continue, full force. In addition, we
are working on management and oversight issues through Department-wide
efforts and various pilot projects aimed at streamlining excessive DOE
rules and regulations and consolidating laboratory audits and reviews.
We have made significant progress on a broad range of initiatives. Highlights
¥ Decreased infrastructure and operational costs. Over the last
five years, we have reduced operational costs by 23%. We began by reengineering
a number of operations (for example, procurement). We also developed more
accurate information about program costs for laboratory managers, and we
chartered and acted on the recommendations of a Cost-Cutting Initiative
(CCI) Task Force. This past year alone we reduced the cost to programs
by 10% and are now delivering more program value to our customers. We have
set the goal of an additional 10% reduction over the next two years.
¥ Improved performance. We have dramatically increased performance
in operational activities as we reduced costs. For example, in the area
of procurement our performance rating has increased in the last four years
from ÒunsatisfactoryÓ to Òfar exceeds expectations,Ó
even as we cut staff size by more than 25%.
¥ Workforce restructuring. In response to the CCI Task Force, laboratory
programs developed detailed information about workforce skills and capabilities
and projections of future needs. On the basis of this information, we undertook
a workforce restructuring under Section 3161 of the National Defense Authorization
Act. More than 500 employees took advantage of a Voluntary Separation Incentive
Program. As a result, we have been able to adjust to the skill mix we need
with no layoffs. Overall, over the past five years, we have reduced the
laboratory workforce by 2700 heads without layoffs.
University of California Management of the Laboratory
The University of California (UC) has been the contractor operating
LivermoreÑas well as Los Alamos and BerkeleyÑsince our beginning.
This arrangement has provided great benefit to our Laboratory and the nation.
It has been a major factor in attracting and maintaining a high-quality
workforce, it has provided an atmosphere in which independent views and
technical honesty are treated as core values, and it has led to an array
of scientific and technical associations that would have not been achievable
otherwise. These are very important qualities to preserve as we face new
technical challenges. Negotiations are ongoing to renew the UC-DOE contract.
We hope that the relationship will continue.
An exceedingly important part of UCÕs management role is its
PresidentÕs Council on the National Laboratories. This council oversees
all of the scientific work performed at the three national laboratories
UC manages. In particular, the National Security Panel of the PresidentÕs
Council provides outstanding service to the nation. The Panel has a very
strong influence on the national security activities at the laboratories
through its effective reviews of our programs. Its constructive criticism
of our scientific work, its probing questions, and its recommendations
on how the laboratories can better integrate their efforts are having a
major impact on implementation of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management
The DOE Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program is a very challenging
undertaking for the national security laboratories and other elements of
the nuclear weapons complex. It represents a major change from the design
and testing of weapons to a program in which enhanced surveillance of the
stockpile, nonnuclear experiments, and computations provide the principle
basis for judgments about the safety and reliability of weapons. In addition,
the Program demands a smaller but revitalized manufacturing capability.
All our activities rely on strong partnerships among the laboratories,
the production facilities, the Nevada Test Site, and U.S. industry.
The Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program is off to a good start.
We have defined the Program architecture and begun executing detailed implementation
plans. We are already beginning to reap significant benefits from the new
supercomputers being developed and acquired as part of the Program. We
are proceeding with the design and construction of the new experimental
facilities which will allow us to pursue the cutting-edge science we need
to assess weapon performance and train the next generation of stockpile
stewards. Most important, the Secretaries of Energy and Defense were able
to assure the nation in the first Annual Certification that the stockpile
presently is safe and reliable.
The greatest challenges lie ahead. The demands on the Stockpile Stewardship
and Management Program will grow as weapons in the enduring stockpile continue
to age. The U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is now older on average than
it has ever been. And, the reservoir of nuclear test and design experience
at the laboratories continues to diminish. Program success depends on bringing
into operation necessary scientific capabilities while there remain experienced
nuclear designers to train the next generation of stockpile stewards. This
requires a continuing public investment of approximately $4 billion per
year for a decade. It can only happen if there is sustained bipartisan
support for the Program from Congress and the Administration. Accordingly,
I urge your strong support of the FY 1998 budget submission for Defense
Programs. It is imperative that we lay a solid foundation early in the
effort to ensure the ProgramÕs success. We also must be prepared
to increase funding for stockpile stewardship and management should major
difficulties arise or opportunities to significantly reduce overall Program
I also urge your vigorous support for the program proposed by the Office
of Nonproliferation and National Security and for the programs and initiatives
of other agencies in the area of WMD nonproliferation and counterterrorism.
The enormity of the challenge cannot be overstated. As Defense Secretary
William Cohen has said, Òthe proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
presents the gravest threat that the world has ever known.Ó
Addressing the problem of WMD proliferation requires a complex integration
of technology and policy across the entire spectrum of the threatÑfrom
prevention and reversal to response and avoiding surprise. As I have highlighted,
Livermore is making significant contributions, through nuclear weapons
and nuclear test expertise, technical assistance to the former Soviet Union
on nuclear materials control, advanced technology development, intelligence
analyses, and policy assessments and support, that are enhancing national
and global security. As funding permits, we are prepared to make even greater
contributions to national WMD nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts.