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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 suf
ficiently 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.
CONCLUSION 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.
APPENDIX Recent Progress and Accomplishments: Highlights Certification • We have reached agreement with LLNL on a quantitative approach for certifi
cation that utilizes similar methodologies while maintaining independence for peer review purposes. We have begun to apply this methodology to this year's certification process.
• Consistent with recommendations from the Foster Panel report, we have been
phasing in “red teams” or “fresh-eye” teams to look for issues that might have been overlooked by the responsible warhead design/refurbishment team. A “red team” of LANL senior scientists, reporting directly to the Laboratory Director, was established last year to review our annual assessment and will do so again
Pit Manufacturing • We are well along in establishing a limited manufacturing capacity for pits. To
date, Los Alamos has fabricated a total of 13 pits, well exceeding its planned tar
get of 7. Of those thirteen, 8 were developmental and 5 were standard. • We are on schedule to deliver a certifiable W88 pit by April 2003. Our pit manu
facturing baseline has now been documented and approved. • Based on improved planning and better certification methodology we have been
able to accelerate our schedule for certifying these pits for stockpile deployment
use from the previously scheduled date of 2009 to 2007. • We are beginning to develop advanced manufacturing technologies in order to es
tablish our capability to remanufacture stockpile pit designs other than the W88. Directed Stockpile Work • The life extension of the Navy's W76 system is proceeding on schedule toward a
first production unit in 2007 with an estimated initial operational capability of
April 2008. The warhead refurbishment will extend the lifetime of this system for • We have finalized plans with NNSA, Pantex, and Y-12 to begin refurbishing
canned secondary subassemblies of the B61 Mod 7 and 11 in 2006. External peer reviews are being conducted, and final decisions to remake or reuse certain com
ponents are being made. • In support of the W80 life extension program conducted by LLNL, we are develop
ing the Acorn gas transfer system with Sandia National Laboratories. We have also completed the W80 baseline program and continue to support knowledge
transfer to Livermore for their use in the life extension of this system. • Through an enhanced surveillance program, we have several promising tech
nologies and techniques that have the potential to provide advanced warning of stockpile issues resulting from manufacturing or aging defects prior to their occurring in the field. For example, we have prepared our first alloy containing Plutonium-238 to study the effects of accelerated aging. Within four years, this material will reach an equivalent age of 60 years. At that time we will undertake extensive measurements to confirm our models of plutonium aging. This information
is critical in the assessment of pit lifetimes. • We are also working with rest of the DOE Weapons Complex to develop an inte
grated surveillance program, one that contains increased technical rigor and consistency to support assessments regarding the safety, reliability, and/or performance of our aging stockpile. This more formalized approach will also include a way of communicating the seriousness of the potential impact of SFI's while they are
still under investigation. Predictive Science • During this past year, we completed the first three-dimensional simulation of a
full W76 nuclear weapon system explosion using the LLNL 12 Teraops White computer. This calculation represents the first time that we have been able to compute a fully coupled primary and secondary explosion to analyze weapon per
formance. • We are installing the first phase of 10 Teraops of a 30 Teraops computer, called
the “Q” computer, purchased for the Advanced Simulation Computing Program. The Q computer will provide the next increment in the computing power required
to run the new computational tools to support the stockpile stewardship mission. • In May 2002 we dedicated the Nicholas C. Metropolis Center for Modeling and
Simulation. The center was finished significantly ahead of schedule and under its
budget of $106M by $13M. • Los Alamos has completed the first axis of the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydro-test
(DARHT) facility. Since mid-FY01, we have performed seven major hydro-tests, four at DARHT, directly related to stockpile systems and in support of certifi
cation activities. Threat Reduction • Our pioneering work on sequencing the Human Genome helped grow a unique
bioscience base that allowed us, in the aftermath of September 11, to play a key role in analyzing DNA of anthrax samples from the mail attacks.
• With Livermore, we deployed a biological agent detection system at the Salt Lake
City Olympics. • Thé Múlti-spectral Thermal Imager (MTI) satellite, developed by Los Alamos in
a joint project with Sandia National Laboratories, was re-deployed to help analyze the destruction and the dispersal of potentially harmful debris from the attacks
on the World Trade Center. • We currently are working with Sandia to develop a critical infrastructure analysis
capability, which derives from an innovative simulation and modeling approach originally developed for understanding and improving large-scale transportation networks. The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) will use this approach for government planning and analysis of vulnerabilities
and responses to terrorist attacks. • We continue to provide the nation, and have done for over 25 years, with special
equipment and expertise in addressing threats of stolen or improvised nuclear de
vices. • We are working, and have been since the early 90's, to help secure vulnerable nu
clear materials in Russia. For decades we have supplied technologies to help the International Atomic Energy Agency and other governments control nuclear materials.
THE STOCKPILE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
C. BRUCE TARTER, DIRECTOR
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
JUNE 12, 2002
INTRODUCTION Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide a statement on the status and future of the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Dr. Michael Anastasio is appearing before the committee today in my absence. He is currently Deputy Director for Strategic Operations and was recently appointed to succeed me as Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, effective July 1, 2002.
Livermore is committed to maintaining confidence in the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile as a principal participant in the nation's Stockpile Stewardship Program. The Laboratory is also engaged in vital national programs to reduce the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to provide for homeland security. My message to you about the status and future of the nation's Stockpile Stewardship Program is consistent with my previous testimonies before this committee: • A strongly supported, sustained Stockpile Stewardship Program has an excel
lent chance of ensuring that the U.S. can maintain the safety, security, and reliability of the stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing. It is an extremely demanding program from both technical and managerial perspectives with ambi
tious goals and risks yet to be faced. • So far stockpile stewardship has achieved many successes: certification of the
W87 ICBM warhead, which was refurbished through a Stockpile Life Extension Program that has been an exemplary laboratory-plant partnership; ongoing development of a quantitative methodology to provide the basis for weapon certification and program decisions; the development and use of increasingly sophisticated stockpile surveillance capabilities; greatly improved understanding of many aspects of nuclear weapon performance as a result of an aggressive program of simulations and nonnuclear experiments; and substantial progress in
acquiring the capabilities needed for the program to succeed in the long run. • However, the toughest challenges lie ahead as weapons continue to age and
other issues and requirements for the stockpile arise. There are currently many competing demands on the Stockpile Stewardship Program that must be balanced in order to succeed. At the same time, the program needs to become more 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, NNSĂ 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 stre 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.
PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS To date, the Stockpile Stewardship Program has many accomplishments—we are largely on track. 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.