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ENABLING MISSION SUCCESS
People: Training a New Generation of Stockpile Stewards
A large number of nuclear weapons personnel at Los Alamos are nearing retirement, and it is critical that we effect the transfer of technical and programmatic knowledge that they embody. We are focusing our efforts to address the following issues:
• Attracting and retaining future stewards who will have no testing experience; Providing these future stewards with the validated predictive tools to qualify their design skills (intellectual responsiveness); and
• Revitalizing our infrastructure in a timeframe that permits us to provide sufficiently hospitable, modern, and well-equipped facilities.
The Role of Advanced Concepts: The Nuclear Posture Review identified a need for a flexible and responsive R&D infrastructure to address the changing threats to U.S. national security. This includes the study of advanced concepts that could meet DoD's weapon requirements in the future. These studies could include new and extended concepts-those that may have been developed and tested in the past, but not deployed. The NNSA's Advanced Concepts Initiative articulates a strategy for providing nuclear options for deterrence, integrating different nuclear warheads into existing nuclear weapon systems, transferring nuclear warhead design knowledge, and exercising design skills. This initiative provides an outstanding opportunity for the nuclear weapons complex to ensure that existing expertise is transferred to a future generation of stockpile stewards, and to extend the front-line weapons lifetimes beyond that of the designers who designed and tested them. We are firmly prepared to support and respond to this proposed initiative, but we will need explicit funding for the study of these advanced concepts if they proceed beyond the paper study phase.
Science: Achieving Program Balance and Scientific Diversity
As I have alluded to earlier, the biggest challenge facing the Stockpile Stewardship Program is developing a balanced stockpile stewardship program within the budgets provided by the Congress. The balance that must be struck is between stockpile surveillance and maintenance, manufacturing involved in life extension programs, infrastructure maintenance and re-capitalization, sustaining a preeminent capability in weapons-relevant science and experimentation, test readiness, and exploration of advanced concepts. The Future Years National Security Plan (FYNSP) that NNSA submitted to Congress this year is a good start toward providing a process for achieving this balance. At present, scientific investments are under stress due to the focus on the refurbishment of three weapons systems in the coming decade. The predictive assessment tools currently available to certify these planned LEPs are not yet adequate for the scope of these refurbishments. The addition of new production facilities, such as a modern pit facility, will add to that stress unless the future year budgets accommodate such large expenditures.
Much of the science and engineering that is critical to maintaining our"stockpile stewardship capability is also the foundation of our efforts in threat reduction-nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, homeland security and defense transformation. Consequently, in the aftermath of September 11, we were positioned to participate with NNSA and its other two laboratories, Sandia and Livermore National Laboratories, in efforts to defend the U.S. against nuclear, chemical, and biological terrorist attacks. NNSA has an important R&D role to play in the ongoing war on terrorism. Congress must ensure that there is adequate and sustained funding available to invest in both short and longer-term research and development for future contingencies with respect to threat reduction activities.
We also conduct use-directed basic research that is funded by our Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program, and by the Department of Energy's other programs, such as the Office of Science programs. This research, which strengthens the technical capabilities needed for our core mission, and for our threat reduction and counter terrorism activities, allows us to maintain important relationships with universities, and serves as an essential tool in our recruitment efforts. Facilities and Infrastructure: Revitalizing for Long-Term Viability
Deterioration of our 50-year old infrastructure and facilities is a serious challenge, which may serve to undermine our long-term ability to fulfill stockpile stewardship objectives. We are working with NNSA as part of the Facilities & Infrastructure Revitalization initiative to develop plans to improve our infrastructure. We have developed a Ten Year Comprehensive Site Plan that NNSA has approved as a guide for prioritizing maintenance and facility replacement at our site. In addition, I have
chartered a strategic review of our facilities and infrastructure to determine where and how we might shrink our footprint for today's mission.
We presently have three major construction projects that either have finished or will finish significantly ahead of schedule and under budget, including the Nicholas C. Metropolis Center for Modeling and Simulation, which was dedicated in May 2002. This Center will serve as an integrating facility to bring the scientists and engineers, computing platforms, and visualization tools together to develop a robust predictive modeling and simulation capability that will be key to helping us gain insight and understanding of the behavior of weapons systems in the stockpile. It will also help attract and retain new scientists and engineers.
Notwithstanding these successes, our challenges in sustaining a dedicated revitalization effort are substantial. In particular, we need your support for the replacement of our 50-year-old Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) building. This reduced-scale replacement will be located within an Integrated Nuclear Complex at our TA-55 site. We strongly support General Gordon's 10-year Facilities and Infrastructure Revitalization Initiative. Congress provided an initial investment last year, but this will continue to be a critical issue in FY03 and the out years. Without your continuing and strong support of this initiative, we will not be able to sustain either the manufacturing or certification efforts for the stockpile.
Leadership: Managing our Future
NNSA has taken a number of steps to streamline and reorganize its internal operations in order to better meet mission requirements, to focus on achieving results, and to eliminate excessive micro-management. It has established an integrated program planning, budgeting and evaluation system (PPBES) to ensure links between long-range planning, budgeting and evaluation of results. This system allows for multi-year program plans that will be the basis of NNSA's implementation_plans and metrics for program evaluation and contract performance agreements. To ensure consistency with NNSA, and to achieve maximal efficiency, Los Alamos has begun to implement a PPBES, closely aligned with the NNSA system.
In concert with these changes, NNSA has begun to clarify the roles and responsibilities of all segments of the organization and to develop initiatives to reduce the administrative burden on the program. NNSA also has articulated a new basic principle for contractor management and one that should serve to create positive and systemic change in the nature of the relationship between NNSA and its contractors. That principle, described in NNSA's February 25, 2002 Report to Congress, states that the fundamental role of NNSA is to define "what" is required and the fundamental role of the contractor is to develop "how" best to achieve NNSA's expectations. On the basis of that principle, and in accordance with an agreement reached by senior leadership at NNSA, the University of California (UC) and its two NNSA Laboratories are working together to develop a framework for a new governance model that NNSA can use to evaluate the corporate performance of UC and the Laboratories. NNSA, UC and the Laboratories have agreed on the need to improve the current contract performance process and to focus on a set of critical high-level goals, with specific objectives and measurable deliverables, to be agreed on by senior officials at NNSA and UC. We are optimistic about these changes and are anxious to work with the NNSA to accomplish our critical national security missions.
For more than a half a century, the nation's investments in Los Alamos have helped ensure our nation's security. Our country faces ongoing and new challenges-global terrorism, evolution of nuclear deterrence with fewer deployed nuclear weapons, and certification of an aging stockpile without nuclear testing. Our Laboratory is committed to meeting these challenges to our nation's security.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for your past support. Your continued support is critical to our ability to meet the technically demanding and vital national security challenges we face today and in the future.
Recent Progress and Accomplishments: Highlights
• We have reached agreement with LLNL on a quantitative approach for certification that utilizes similar methodologies while maintaining independence for peer review purposes. We have begun to apply this methodology to this year's certification process.
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 materials 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 bilateral verification regime.
• Sandia is responsible for satellite-based sensors for detecting nuclear detonations 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• Sandia engineers worked around-the-clock to modify the "Steel Eagle," airdropped, 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
• An array of devices invented by explosives experts at Sandia have proved to be
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.
flexible and agile so that it will be able to deal with surprises, which are sure to come.
My testimony amplifies on these points. First, I discuss the need for a sustained, balanced Stockpile Stewardship Program and efforts under way to enhance NNSA's capabilities to develop and execute a balanced program. Second, I highlight selective accomplishments of the program to illustrate that considerable progress is being made on many fronts. Finally, I discuss the challenges that lie ahead.
A SUSTAINED, BALANCED PROGRAM EFFORT
The Stockpile Stewardship Program continues to be extremely challenging. It needs both strongly sustained support and balance for continued success in the long term. There are competing demands on the program. The central focus of the Stockpile Stewardship Program is on stockpile readiness-maintaining the weapons, monitoring their condition, and refurbishing or replacing weapon components as necessary. To meet these needs, the program is expeditiously putting into place a set of vastly improved scientific tools and modern manufacturing capabilities, which are crucial for stockpile readiness in the near- and long-term. These capabilities include 100-teraops supercomputers, advanced radiography capabilities to take three-dimensional images of imploding mock primaries, a high-energy-density experimental facility (the National Ignition Facility) to study the thermonuclear physics of primaries and secondaries, and efficient and flexible manufacturing facilities.
These investments in the capabilities for stockpile stewardship are very demanding of resources. So is the need to meet the near-term requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD) through stockpile life extension programs. In addition, as pointed out in the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, new weapons capabilities, not present in the current stockpile, may be needed to meet future post-Cold War threats. Accordingly, exploratory work on advanced weapons concepts should be part of the overall program. Finally, on top of all these specific demands on the program, we need some flexibility in the Stockpile Stewardship Program to respond to surprises. The history of the weapons programs is that every so often something unanticipated arises that puts an extra demand on resources.
General John Gordon, Administrator of NNSA, is taking a number of actions to enhance NNSA's performance and improve processes for long-term planning and budgeting, which are critically important to the development and execution of a balanced Stockpile Stewardship Program. One key change is the annual development of the integrated Future-Year Nuclear Security Plan (FYNSP). With this five-year plan, NNSA is better able to make program trade-offs, which involve adjustments to future-year budgets, and it helps our Laboratory in resource, workload, and facility planning by providing a more reliable future program base. In addition, we expect that the organization changes in NNSA, clarification of lines of authority and responsibility, and steps to reduce inefficiencies and excessive administrative workload will improve the effectiveness of programmatic efforts.
As the two nuclear design laboratories, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos are working with our contractor, the University of California, to strengthen management accountability, institute more uniform best practices in operations at the two laboratories, and better integrate our efforts in the Stockpile Stewardship Program. While it is essential to preserve the independent assessment capability of a two-laboratory system, there are many aspects of stockpile stewardship where we share capabilities and load-level the work. It is our joint responsibility to ensure that there are no significant gaps in nuclear design capabilities and expertise, that important program milestones are met, and that inefficiencies in effort are minimized.
To date, the Stockpile Stewardship Program has many accomplishments—we are largely on track. It has been a team effort that has benefited from capabilities, expertise, and hard work across the NNSA complex-headquarters and the field, the three laboratories, the production facilities, and the Nevada Test Site. My testimony describes several example accomplishments where the Laboratory's efforts were directly involved.
The W87 Life Extension Program
In April 2001, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories completed formal certification of the W87 ICBM warhead, which is undergoing a life-extension program (LEP) so that it may remain part of the enduring stockpile beyond the year 2025 and meet anticipated future requirements for the system. The W87 in the Mk21 reentry vehicle is planned as a single RV option for the Minuteman III ICBM.