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My recommendation would be that the Congress task the Executive branch to work through the Nuclear Weapons Council to perform an end-to-end systems analysis of the annual assessment and certification process and to recommend one or more legislative options. The Nuclear Weapons Council is the cognizant body invested by Congress with authority over stockpile policy matters, and it forms the junction between the NNSA and the Department of Defense. It also possesses current operational knowledge of stockpile management and stewardship. Certainly the Foster Report's recommendations should be important considerations in their delib
I have expressed my concern before this committee (and its counterpart in the Senate) in hearings going back to 1997 over the matter of balance in the Stockpile Stewardship Program. The essential question has always been how to balance the resources needed to support and maintain the deployed stockpile, while also creating new laboratory facilities to partially substitute for the loss of nuclear testing. I believe the Foster Panel is correct with its assessment that:
The weapons program must be transformed from a decade focused on the scientific building blocks of stockpile stewardship to a focus on meeting DoD's stockpile requirements and restoring the infrastructure necessary to sustain and refurbish the stockpile.7
Several studies 8 have concluded that the infrastructure of the nuclear weapons complex has eroded significantly and needs refurbishment. After a decade of aggressive investment in large scientific facilities for science-based stockpile stewardship, it has now become urgent to assess that part of the infrastructure of the nuclear weapons complex that directly supports the stockpile maintenance mission and to make appropriate changes and investments. Specifically, the engineering design and production capabilities of the complex need to be addressed with a prudent plan for realignment and refurbishment. The life extension programs for the W76, W80, and B61 depend on this.
At Sandia, the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) complex is crucial to our ability to design, develop, and, if necessary, produce microelectronics and integrated microsystems to support a certifiable stockpile for the future. We are being very careful to phase the development of that facility in a way that it can provide the needed support for various stockpile refurbishments in a timely manner, so that from the start its capabilities will be supportive of the stockpile lifeextension schedule.
Like other sites across the NNSA complex, Sandia has a number of aging facilities in need of refurbishment that fall below the level of line-item construction and have been insufficiently supported by general plant projects (GPP) or other infrastructure funding programs. Infrastructure problems at this level are chronically understated and deferred, and they accumulate with the passage of years. Ultimately, this can lead to capability limitations that impair the mission.
NNSA addressed this problem through a Facilities and Infrastructure Initiative that inventoried infrastructure repair and improvement projects across the complex. Congress approved an appropriation request of $200 million in fiscal year 2002 to help bridge the gap for essential infrastructure repairs that were unfunded. However, the effort to restore the NNSA weapons complex will take many years and the total costs are not yet well defined. It will be important to assign highest priority to those facilities that are essential for the scheduled stockpile refurbishments over the next decades.
At Sandia, we identified approximately $300 million in infrastructure revitalization projects that would be carried out during the course of the next few years. The top priority items on our inventory are sufficiently urgent that failure to fund them would impact weapon program deliverables. A specific example is Sandia's Electromagnetic Test Facility. Its twenty-year-old diagnostic equipment has limited capability to support data acquisition for the development and validation of simulation codes. This modernization project will improve our capability to perform electromagnetic tests to qualify the W76 and W80 in accordance with their life extension plans.
NNSA's Facilities and Infrastructure Initiative will perform a very important service to the Defense Programs mission if it succeeds in restoring the appropriate balance in funding for infrastructure improvements that are critical to sustaining mission capabilities. As currently planned, the initiative will help the nuclear weapons complex deal with longstanding infrastructure challenges. NNSA also needs a more viable decontamination and demolition program to dispose of obsolete facilities. The program must also make a long-term commitment to major renovations
and deferred maintenance. Typically, much of this work is deferred to the out-years, usually with no guarantee that adequate funding will be available when it is needed.
It is essential that NNSA's infrastructure initiative be fully funded over many years if we are to restore the capability to adequately support the maintenance and production missions of the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Adequate infrastructure is also a factor in recruiting and retaining the technical talent that is essential for stockpile stewardship.
STOCKPILE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM PLANNING The Foster Report criticizes NNSA's long-range planning and budgeting performance, but I believe that significant progress has been achieved. The Defense Programs laboratory directors have worked closely with the NNSA leadership during the last several months to create a multi-year plan to prioritize and integrate programmatic needs within a defensible appropriations profile. The funding levels of the multi-year estimates in this “Future-Years National Security Plan” reflect our consensus estimate of resource requirements under the guidance provided by Presidential directives, DoD requirements, and the Nuclear Posture Review. The plan is a significant milestone inasmuch as NNSA has for the first time achieved a multiyear planning basis agreement with the Administration. With careful management, we believe that NNSA's major deliverables can be completed within the FutureYears National Security Plan schedule and budget profile.
The difficulty of long-range planning and budgeting is compounded by uncertainties that are not under the control of NNSA. The recent Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and the Treaty of Moscow will reduce operationally deployed nuclear weapons to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads over the next decade. However, the precise force structure (in terms of warhead types and their readiness status) that we must work toward under the NPR has not yet been defined in detail.
It has been stated that many of the warheads to be removed from the operationally deployed stockpile will be maintained as a “responsive force” in case of a major change in the global threat environment. The intent is to maintain the warheads of the responsive force in a condition that would permit them to be redeployed in a matter of weeks or months but not within days or hours. Consequently, the stewardship requirements for the responsive force are not yet fully defined, although I expect that the warheads will require a level of maintenance and surveillance by the NNSA that is not substantially different from what is required for the active, deployed stockpile.
It is certainly appropriate, as required by Section 1014 of the Defense Authorization Bill, that the Secretaries of Defense and Energy (through the Nuclear Weapons Council) define a Strategic Force Structure Plan that will specify the makeup of the enduring stockpile under the NPR and the Treaty of Moscow, as well as the stewardship expectations of the responsive force. As part of that plan, it will be important to validate the NNSA life extension program schedule against future DoD mission requirements and delivery systems. Under almost any scenario for the NPR implementation, the NNSA laboratories will have a substantial workload of life extension programs for systems that require refurbishment or complete redesign of electronic subsystems and other components. NNSA needs reliable strategic guidance to adequately plan its life extension program schedule and resources. The Defense Programs laboratories will work closely with NNSA to adjust the Future-Years National Security Plan as necessary to prioritize and integrate programmatic needs within a defensible budget.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION With respect to Sandia's stockpile responsibilities, it is my judgment that sciencebased stockpile stewardship has met expectations during the last decade. The program has succeeded in stimulating the development of powerful new tools and simulation capabilities that are extending our ability to maintain and certify the stockpile. These tools will undoubtedly continue to improve in the years ahead as sciencebased stockpile stewardship campaigns mature. I fully expect that we will be able to meet our stewardship responsibilities with the tools that we have developed and are improving under science-based stockpile stewardship as we proceed with our system life-extension responsibilities. More definitive evidence of the efficacy of science-based stockpile stewardship should be available when we complete our first full-scale life extension program for a major warhead system.
I commend the Foster Panel for focusing attention on the importance of the annual certification process. It may be appropriate to establish annual certification as a statutory requirement with responsibilities carefully defined in law. However, Sec
tion 3144 of the Defense Authorization Bill is flawed in many respects and has not been evaluated from a systems perspective or red-teamed for possible unintended consequences.
My recommendation would be that the Congress task the Executive branch to work through the Nuclear Weapons Council to perform an end-to-end systems analysis of the annual assessment and certification process and to recommend one or more legislative options that can be considered next year. The Nuclear Weapons Council is the body invested by Congress with authority over stockpile policy matters, and it possesses current operational knowledge of stockpile management and stewardship. The recommendations of the Foster Panel should be important considerations in that process.
I strongly concur with the Foster Panel that it is now time to seek a better balance of the programmatic investment in stockpile stewardship to provide stronger support for the engineering design and production missions of NNSA. NNSA faces a series of system life extension programs that will challenge the engineering design and production sectors of the complex in a way that they have not been exercised in the last ten years. With prudent leadership and management, and with your strong support, I believe we can succeed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Highlights Of Sandia Accomplishments
Major Accomplishments in Weapons Activities
• Sandia completed work to qualify the B61-11 earth-penetrating bomb as meeting all requirements, resulting in its acceptance as a standard stockpile item. We made alterations to enhance the safety and security of all B61 bombs at field locations. In recognizing the efforts of the B61-11 certification team, the Commanderin-Chief of Strategic Command cited the weapon's many advantages over the retired B53-1 bomb.
• Similarly, we concluded a three-year testing and evaluation program resulting in acceptance of the Alt. 342 W87 Life Extension Program warhead for the Air Force by the Nuclear Weapons Council as a standard stockpile item.
• A significant milestone in directed stockpile work in fiscal year 2001 was our progress in redesigning the integrated arming, fuzing, and firing system (AF&F) for the W76 warhead for the Trident missile. We recently completed the redesign of a Joint Test Assembly for the W76, which will be used to periodically assess the conformance of the de-nuclearized version of the actual war-reserve warhead. Sandia played a major role on the NNSA's B83 Systems Engineering Group, which completed development of Alt. 355 for the B83 modem strategic bomb. Ast. 355 is a near-term field retrofit kit that incorporates design modifications to certain hardware.
• We completed the Warhead Simulator Package for the Type 3E Trainer for the B61-4 bomb. The Warhead Simulator Package simulates the electrical functionality of the real war-reserve weapon. The new trainer allows military personnel to realistically practice lock/unlock and arming/safing operations without exposing a real nuclear weapon to vulnerabilities. The first production unit of the trainer has been delivered.
• Sandia has major responsibility in nuclear weapon use-control systems, which are designed to allow arming of the warhead by national command authority only. We completed a four-year, full-scale, code management system engineering project, which delivers a significant security enhancement to weapon code operations in Europe. The system enables recoding of nuclear weapons in a fully encrypted manner and greatly simplifies use and logistics.
• We have also achieved many important advances in the science and engineering campaigns that enable our successes in directed stockpile work, including radiation-hardened microelectronics, aboveground experimental physics, and advanced simulation and computation.
Accomplishments in Nuclear Nonproliferation
Preventing the proliferation of nuclear materials or weapons to dangerous regimes or terror groups has become a matter of great urgency. NÑSA's role in nonproliferation is acknowledged in its mission statement: "To strengthen United States secu
rity through the military application of nuclear energy and by reducing the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.” Sandia's recent contributions have strengthened this effort. • As nuclear fuel reprocessing is adopted by more nations, the proliferation risk
associated with fissile materials increases. To evaluate the risk, Sandia developed a proliferation analysis methodology for quantifying the proliferation resistance of nuclear power production fuel cycles. The methodology uses the tools of probabilistic risk assessment to identify proliferation pathways for various
definitions of proliferators. • NNSA's “Second Line of Defense” (SLD) program for the security of fissile mate
rials provides consultation to customs agencies to combat trafficking of nuclear material across international borders. In 2001 we assisted twenty-six site surveys performed at Russian airports, seaports, railroad checkpoints, and border crossings to evaluate strategies for minimizing the risk of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. These site surveys included the deployment and acceptance of systems installed at eight Russian Federation State Customs Committee facilities to detect and deter illicit movements of nuclear materials out of Russia. The
program has been successful and is growing to include other countries. • Also with Russia, after four years of negotiation and collaboration with the All
Russian Institute of Experimental Physics (VNIIEF), we kicked off a joint facility-to-facility remote monitoring project in June 2001. The project will evaluate advanced fissile material monitoring and communications technologies in a bi
lateral verification regime. • Sandia is responsible for satellite-based sensors for detecting nuclear detona
tions in the atmosphere. We developed a new space-to-ground communication path for monitoring Nuclear Detection System sensors onboard the Department of Defense Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The launch of a GPS satellite equipped with the Nuclear Detonation Detection System Analysis Package in January 2001 significantly enhanced the nation's ability to detect nuclear detonations occurring anywhere in the earth's atmosphere.
Contributions to Homeland Security
and the War Against Terrorism Like most Americans, the people of Sandia National Laboratories responded to the atrocities of September 11, 2001, with newfound resolve on both a personal and professional level. As a result of our own strategic planning and the foresight of many sponsors to invest resources toward emerging threats, Sandia was in a position to immediately address some urgent needs. A few examples follow:
By September 15, a small Sandia team had instrumented the K-9 rescue units at the World Trade Center site to allow the dogs to enter spaces inaccessible to humans while transmitting live video and audio to their handlers. This relatively low-tech but timely adaptation was possible because of previous work we had done for the National Institute of Justice on instrumenting K-9 units for
SWAT situations. • A decontamination formulation developed by Sandia chemists was one of the
processes used to help eliminate anthrax in the Hart, Dirksen, and Ford buildings on Capitol Hill, and at contaminated sites in New York and in the Postal Service. Sandia developed the non-toxic formulation as both a foam and a decontamination solution, and we licensed it to two firms for industrial produc
tion. • Sandia engineers worked around-the-clock to modify the “Steel Eagle," air
dropped, unattended ground sensor for deployment in Afghanistan. Originally designed under sponsorship of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the 1990s to identify mobile missile launchers, we modified the system to detect light trucks and armored vehicles. The sensors can be deployed from F-15E, F-16, and
Predator unmanned aircraft. • The Predator unmanned aerial vehicle gained recognition in Afghanistan for its
ability to capture and transmit in real time high-quality radar images of terrain, structures, and moving vehicles through clouds and in day or night conditions. The advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability on the Predator was substantially developed by Sandia National Laboratories. We began working on miniature radars based on synthetic aperture concepts in 1983 in the nuclear weapons program. In 1985 we became involved in a special-access program for the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a one-foot-resolution, real-time SAR suitable for use in unmanned aircraft. Sandia flew the first real-time, onefoot-resolution, SAR prototype in 1990. Follow-on work sponsored by DoD con
tinued to improve the system, and a partnership with an industrial firm, which shared program costs, transitioned the technology into the field-deployable systems used in Afghanistan.
• An array of devices invented by explosives experts at Sandia have proved to be effective for safely disarming several types of terrorist bombs. For the past several years, Sandia experts in conventional explosive devices have conducted training for police bomb squads around the country in the techniques for using these devices for safe bomb disablement. The shoe bombs that Richard Reid allegedly tried to detonate onboard a trans-Atlantic flight from Paris to Miami were surgically disabled with one of these advanced bomb-squad tools originally developed at Sandia. That device, which we licensed to industry, has become the primary tool used by bomb squads nationwide to remotely disable handmade terrorist bombs while preserving them for forensic analysis.
• Detecting explosives in vehicles is a major concern at airports, military bases, government facilities, and border crossings. We have developed and successfully tested a prototype vehicle portal that detects minute amounts of common explosives. The system uses a Sandia-patented sample collection and preconcentrator technology that had previously been licensed to industry for use in screening airline passengers for trace amounts of explosives. The Technical Support Working Group and DOE's Office of Safeguards and Security funded this research. • Sandia is a partner with Argonne National Laboratory in the PROTECT program (Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism), jointly funded by DOE and the Department of Justice. PROTECT's goal is to demonstrate systems to protect against chemical attacks in public facilities, such as subways and airports. For more than a year, a Sandia-designed chemical detector test bed has been operating in the Washington D.C. Metro. The system can rapidly detect the presence of a chemical agent and transmit readings to an emergency management information system. We successfully completed a demonstration of the PROTECT system at a single station on the Washington Metro. The program has since been funded to accelerate deployment in multiple metro stations. DOE has also been requested to implement a PROTECT system for the Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority.
• Another major worry for homeland security is the potential for acts of sabotage against municipal water supplies. In cooperation with the American Water Works Association Research Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, Sandia developed a security risk assessment methodology for city water utilities. This tool has been employed to evaluate security and mitigate risks at several large water utilities. We have used similar methodologies to evaluate risks for other critical infrastructures such as nuclear power-generation plants and chemical storage sites.
WITNESS DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Witness name: C. Paul Robinson
Capacity in which appearing: Representative of a non-government entity
Parent organization (managing contractor): Lockheed Martin Corporation
Dr. C. Paul Robinson is President of Sandia Corporation and Director of Sandia National Laboratories, with principal sites in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Livermore, California.
Joining Sandia in 1990, Robinson was Director and Vice President before becoming President in 1995.
Ambassador Robinson served as Chief Arms Control Negotiator from 1988-90 and headed the U.S. Delegation to the Nuclear Testing Talks in Geneva. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and reappointed by President George Bush. These negotiations produced protocols to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, which were ratified unanimously by the Senate.
From 1985-88, Robinson was Senior Vice President, Principal Scientist, and Board Member of Ebasco Services, Inc., a major engineering and construction firm.