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ceed expeditiously with studies of plutonium aging and the W88 Pit Manufacturing and Certification Integrated Project. These efforts will provide an informed basis for future decisions about a plutonium pit production capability.

We also must be responsive to new requirements and prepared to deal with surprises. DoD requires that NNSA retain the capability to design, develop, and produce new-design nuclear warheads. By engaging in studies and exploratory research and development for advanced weapon concepts, we can exercise weapon development capabilities, help to avoid surprise and understand threats, and become better positioned to respond to new weapon requirements should they emerge. In addition, these activities will serve to train new designers and engineers, and they will reinforce ties to DoD and its contractors. Interactions with the plants about manufacturing issues will also be beneficial.

Since the future is uncertain and surprises do occur, we need nuclear-test readiness. In conjunction with the other laboratories and the Nevada Test Site, Livermore is participating in NNSA's examination of measures that can be taken to shorten the time between a decision to conduct a nuclear test and the event. Together, we need to determine the longest lead-time items and costs to shorten them in order to make reasonable trade-off decisions to cost-consciously improve readi

The nation must be confident in the results of Annual Certification and our assessments of the performance of aging and refurbished warheads as well as any new weapons that are developed. Expert judgment is required, backed by experimental data, the results of validated simulation models, and application of a rigorous, quantitative certification methodology. We need to press ahead to further refine and fully implement the QMU certification methodology together with acquisition of advanced computation and experimental facilities: more powerful ASCI computers, modern laboratory experimental facilities, NIF and DARHT, and then an advanced hydrotest facility. These capabilities are essential elements of the Stockpile Stewardship Program's Campaigns and efforts to improve our fundamental understanding of nuclear weapons, which are essential for assessments and certification.

Finally, acquisition of this spectrum of capabilities is time urgent to meet existing requirements for weapon refurbishment and to deal with other weapon performance issues as they arise. At the same time, the LEP workload is substantial, and the program needs to become more flexible and agile so that it will be able to deal with surprises, which are sure to come. There are currently many competing demands on the Stockpile Stewardship Program that must be balanced in order to succeed.

Program balance depends on having strong, sustained support for the Stockpile Stewardship Program, and we are benefiting from this committee's continuing support. Program balance also depends on having quality leadership by the NNSA management team, effective systems and tools for comprehensive program planning, and efficient program execution. We are pleased with General Gordon's actions to provide NNA clear direction, make necessary organizational changes, improve longterm planning and budgeting, and make NNSA a more effective and efficient organization. We are already seeing some benefits from these actions and expect to see more in coming years.

CLOSING REMARKS The Stockpile Stewardship Program continues to make excellent technical progress in many areas, some of which I have highlighted here: notably, the W87 ICBM warhead life extension, completion of the Contained Firing Facility, progress on construction of the National Ignition Facility, use of the ASCI White supercomputer and future ASCI plans at Livermore, and selected scientific and technical achievements that are improving our understanding of the aging of nuclear weapons and weapon performance. However, many diflicult challenges lie ahead. There are many competing demands on the program that must be balanced in order to succeed. Stockpile stewardship continues to be an ambitious, extremely demanding program from both technical and managerial perspectives. Nevertheless, I believe that a strong, sustained Stockpile Stewardship Program will succeed in maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent over the long term. Achieving that goal depends on your strong, sustained support for the program, effective and efficient management of it by NNSA, flexible and agile production capabilities, and continuing scientific and technical excellence in pursuit of stockpile stewardship at the NNŠA laboratories.

Finally, as you are aware, I will be leaving my position as laboratory director soon. I appreciate the support that this committee has provided to Lawrence Livermore and to me during my tenure. I also appreciate having had the opportunity to serve our nation in this manner. I look forward to the very positive future that I believe Lawrence Livermore will have with your continued support.




JUNE 12, 2002

Mr. Chairman, my name is Dennis Ruddy. I am President and General Manager of BWXT Pantex, which manages the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas.

Since BWXT Pantex assumed operations of the plant a little more than a year ago, we have made significant progress in fulfilling the site's important national security missions:

• Evaluate, retrofit and repair weapons in support of both life extension pro

grams and certification of weapon safety and reliability; • Dismantle weapons that are surplus to the strategic stockpile; • Sanitize components from dismantled weapons; • Develop, test and fabricate chemical and explosive components; and

• Provide interim storage and surveillance of plutonium components. BWXT Pantex is preparing to accomplish future work that will provide a safe and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile for many years to come. That preparation involves improving our infrastructure and technology within a new security environment to ensure our ability to meet Stockpile Life Extension Program (SLEP) objectives.

I believe we all recognize the challenge of providing for the security of our facilities and our personnel in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001. Immediately after the tragic events of that day, we implemented a contingency plan to ensure the security of the site and our personnel. Since that time, we have enhanced security in a wide variety of areas. We increased security patrols around the site, tightened our requirements to access the facility, improved our physical security systems and replaced equipment that was beginning to show its age. While our workforce, and particularly our security force, has responded admirably, these enhancements have not come without costs. This fiscal year, more than $16 million in supplemental funding has been given to Pantex to cover these expenses. This amount is over and above the $68 million originally earmarked for Pantex security.

Much of this funding has been used to cover overtime for our security force. Before September 11, our security guards normally worked 12 hours a day, on four consecutive days. Then, they had four days off. Since September 11, they have worked six consecutive 12-hour days, then been given two days off. In order to meet the NNSA's new security requirements, reduce our overtime, and put our guards back on a more reasonable work schedule, we established a target to hire 140 additional security officers by the end of this fiscal year. Through operational efficiencies and other security enhancements, we are seeking to reduce this new staffing to 109 additional officers. Either number will be a significant increase in security personnel compared to our staffing before the terrorist attacks. In addition to personnel additions, we are currently considering other security enhancements and their associated costs. In order to develop these security improvements and retain our new personnel, permanent increases in security funding with have to be made a priority.

Despite the increased attention that we have given to security, our mission to support Stockpile Stewardship remains our primary focus. The Nation still depends on a reliable nuclear deterrent to protect our country and our allies, and BWXT Pantex is committed to safely providing weapons of the highest quality to our customer. As we look ahead, we see that the majority of our authorized weapons dismantlement workload is scheduled to be complete by 2008. It should be noted that the recent arms reduction agreement between the United States and Russia has not been factored into this schedule. Our weapons evaluation workload remains steady for the future. Beginning in 2005, we are planning for a surge in work to support ŠLEP effort. The additional SLEP workload will involve modifications to weapon systems and will bring with it additional evaluation requirements.

We are now working with the NNSA to ensure that this work is property funded There are currently budget shortfalls in FY2003 and FY2004 that cause concern in the areas of Campaigns and Readiness in Technical Base and Faalities RTBF) Re ductions in Campaigns and RTBF funding in FY2003 and FY2004 could delar technological and facility improvements needed to implement the SLEP schedule on time. NNSA is well aware of these issues, and we are working together to assure that we can meet the military's future requirements for the stockpile.

As I have testified to this group before, we have significant infrastructure needs at Pantex I am happy to report that thanks to the increased funding that we have received, we have made progress in improving our infrastructure. The FY2001 plusup and supplemental funding of approximately $15 million allowed us to make roof repairs to prevent leaks in weapons production facilities and replace some aging equipment necessary for our work. In FY2002, we are receiving $22 million in Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program (FIRP) funds and a plus-up of at least $20 million. These monies will be carefully used to make additional roof repairs, replace obsolete fire alarm systems and carry out much-needed maintenance in a wide variety of areas.

Still, there is much to be done. We had a $218 million backlog in infrastructure needs in FY2000. That number increased to $262 million in FY2001. The FIRP funds mentioned earlier will allow the FY2002 infrastructure backlog to decrease to approximately $248 million. (See Figure 1.) As this chart shows, we have turned the corner and are beginning to decrease the deferred maintenance backlog. While we are spending our infrastructure funds on the highest-priority items, the fact remains that more than 50 percent of the plant's square footage is over 25 years old, and many building elements are at the end of their service life and require restoration.

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Reported Deferred Maintenance Estimated DM DM Trend Another key factor in our ability to support Stockpile Stewardship in the long term is the recruiting and retention of employees with critical skills. BWXT Pantex has taken a proactive approach to recruiting, retaining and developing the critical skills necessary to accomplish future weapons work. We have identified the critical skills in engineering, science and other areas necessary for us to maintain and grow our technical basis for weapons work. Of the 1,174 positions we consider to be critical, we have only 84 vacancies. This is an improvement over the 200 critical skill vacancies we had one year ago. We have also eliminated 33 exempt critical skills positions through the streamlining and reorganization of our Manufacturing Division. In addition to outside hiring, we have initiated two new programs to develop our employees from within. Late last year, BWXT Pantex announced the development of an Engineering Graduate Studies Program in conjunction with Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. This program is allowing our employees and other workers in the community to earn advanced engineering degrees locally. We also worked with West Texas A&M to develop an Employee MBA program to allow our workers to receive advanced instruction in business. Both of these programs have been very well received by our employees and will provide us with a higher quality workforce in the years to come. As long as our budgets remain stable, we will be able to offer a working environment that helps attract and retain people with the key skills that we need.

As our workload at Pantex increases, so does the amount of oversight at our plant and other sites around the Complex. While we recognize and agree with the need for independent evaluation of our results, the growing oversight into our processes and activities detracts from the attention we are able to give to the day-to-day work that the NNSA requires of us. In this fiscal year alone, we have already had 27 audits from the Inspector General, DOE/NNSA, General Accounting Office and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. This trend is sharply up from FY2000 and FY2001.

Looking to the future, we believe that positive gains will be realized as the reorganization of the NNSA continues. A streamlined path of communication will improve our business and make us more agile in responding to requests. The ability of NNSA to use its resources to better support the sites will increase efficiency. Movement of more decision-making responsibility to the field offices will also lead to more efficient operations. We fully support these changes and look forward to the reorganization being implemented as soon as possible.

As I said at the outset, BWXT Pantex is laying the groundwork for important Stockpile Stewardship work to extend the life of our nuclear weapons stockpile. Improvements in technology and infrastructure will prepare the site to meet NNSA's SLEP goals. In the interim, we will work with NŃSA and Congress to address the challenges that we currently face.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present these views to you today. I look forward to continuing to work with you and the members of this committee to ensure the safety and reliability of the stockpile in the future. I will be happy to answer any questions the Committee may have.

Biography of Dennis R. (Denny) Ruddy,

President and General Manager, BWXT Pantex Denny Ruddy has 30 years of experience managing complex nuclear and non-nuclear manufacturing operations. In 25 years at DOE's Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, he held staff level positions in Quality Assurance and Manufacturing. As Manager of Quality Assurance, he had oversight of design, testing, manufacturing, and prototype reactor operations. As Manager of Core Manufacturing, he was responsible for the production of nuclear reactor cores, fuels, components and test hardware, special nuclear material control, R & D, and design/production interface. With Tenneco, he was responsible for the total Quality Program for the international packaging operations. In his last assignment as head of global manufacturing for Tenneco Automotive, he managed 70 plants in 23 countries, a workforce of 20,000, and an operations budget of $3.2B. In both the DOE and commercial arenas, he has a proven record of guiding change and improving performance and safety.



JUNE 12, 2002

Mr. Chairman and Committee Members:

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the Safety, Security, Reliability, and Performance of the United States Nuclear Stockpile. My name is Fred Tarantino and I am the president and general manager of Bechtel Nevada, the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) management and operations contractor for the Nevada Test Site (NTS).

1 In accordance with Rule XI, Clause 2(g) of the Rules of the House of Representative, Contract DEAC08–96-NV-11718 with the U.S. Department of Energy, was awarded to Bechtel Nevada with an effective start date of January 1, 1996 for a five-year term at an estimated value of $1.5 billion. The option to extend the contract was exercised for a term of four years and nine months, extending the contract to September 30, 2005, at an estimated value of $1.425 billion.

Executive Summary

The Nevada Test Site was established in 1951 as the United States on-continent proving ground for nuclear weapons testing. Today, the NTS remains the nation's sole capability to conduct nuclear testing and provides a test range for a wide variety of other dynamic and high hazard experiments. In the absence of nuclear testing, the NTS has continued to provide unique and vital capabilities for assuring the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the nuclear stockpile through participation in the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Prominent examples of our work in the Stockpile Stewardship Program include subcritical experiments conducted at the NTS, diagnostics development and operational support of experiments at the National Weapons Laboratories, and construction of new experimental facilities at the NTS for testing aging weapons materials.

The NTS is committed to maintaining underground nuclear test readiness. NTS annual assessments and national studies have confirmed our ability to return to nuclear testing within the Presidential Decision Directive mandated 2-3 year timeframe. However, these assessments indicate a continued decline in critical personnel skills, facilities, infrastructure and equipment as well as the lack of an established authorization basis for nuclear testing within today's regulatory and procedural requirements. We are supporting the NNSA in a current study to determine the cost to achieve and maintain 18-month test readiness, should national policy require it. Capital investment at the NTS has declined considerably over the past 15 years, leading to deterioration of critical facilities and infrastructure. The NTS also has a significant amount of legacy compliance issues resulting from 40 years of nuclear testing that are borne by the Stockpile Stewardship Program. The recently enacted Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program will begin to revitalize sitewide infrastructure, but continued attention will be needed to maintain the NTS as an effective asset for conducting high hazard national security programs.


The Nevada Test Site was established in 1951 as the United States on-continent proving ground for nuclear weapons testing. Today, the NTS remains the United States sole capability to conduct nuclear testing and other major experiments that involve special nuclear materials. The NTS provides the NNSA a test range for a wide variety of other dynamic and high hazard experiments that require a controlled remote location and skilled technical workforce. In the absence of nuclear testing, the NTS has continued to provide unique and vital capabilities for assuring the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the nuclear stockpile through participation in the Stockpile Stewardship Program.

Efficacy of the Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship Program

Since July 1997, seventeen large-scale subcritical experiments have been successfully conducted at the NTS. Subcritical experiments use chemical high explosives to generate high pressures that are applied to nuclear materials. These experiments result in no nuclear explosion or self-sustaining nuclear reaction. These complex hydrodynamic experiments provide vital information on the behavior and performance of aging nuclear materials. The most recent of these tests, Oboe-9, was conducted last week. Two additional subcritical experiments are scheduled later this year. NTS and National Weapons Laboratory (Los Alamos, Livermore, and Sandia) personnel skilled in experiment design, test bed engineering and construction, diagnostics development and fielding, and experiment controls have achieved excellent data recovery on all subcritical experiments. Series of subcritical experiments have been developed to optimize experiment productivity and reuse facilities and equipment. These optimized experiments allow quicker collection and analysis of data that is used to understand and predict nuclear weapons behavior. Current Stockpile Stewardship Program plans describe a continuing need for subcritical experiments as part of future weapons certification activities and therefore NTS critical facilities and specialized personnel.

NTS capability to acquire high quality performance data for weapons materials is also being enhanced by the addition of the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experiment Research (JASPER) facility and the Atlas experiment facility. JASPER is a high velocity gas gun designed for shock physics experiments of nuclear and surrogate materials. JASPER will provide equation-of-state data to better understand phase change relationships of weapons materials under varying pressure and temperature. The JASPER facility construction was recently completed on schedule and within budget. The project has received NNSA Defense Programs Excellence and DOE Project Management Awards.

Atlas is a pulsed power experimental facility that will test the hydrodynamic implosion behavior of non-nuclear and surrogate nuclear materials. Atlas will provide

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