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same level of experimental quality that they were provided durhe active period of underground testing 10 years ago and be
owever, there is a variety of assessments that indicate that the ural effective time has taken its toll and that our capabilities his area are gradually and continually coming under pressure. will soon be necessary to address the training of a new generan of personnel to support potential nuclear testing.
So, in summary, the NTS is a broad-based, user facility that suprts customers nationwide, with our primary mission being to pport the NNSA and national laboratories. That concludes my rearks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dr. Tarantino.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Tarantino can be found in the ppendix on page 98.]
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Mitchell.
STATEMENT OF JOHN T. MITCHELL,
Mr. MITCHELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, the committee members. We thank you again very much for the opportunity to be here today.
At Y-12 we made a great deal of progress over the last year or two but we still face many significant challenges in meeting the long-term needs for the Nation. Y-12 can and will meet the nearterm stockpile needs for the stockpile life extension programs. In order to do that we have had to reactivate many capabilities and processes that have been inactive for more than two decades. In doing so, of course, we are going into a situation where the safety and security standards now are somewhat different than they were before. But we have in place detailed plans that will allow us to do that to support these national needs in the near term.
The issues at Y-12 are our ability to meet the long-term needs to support our aging infrastructure and replace it where necessary, to be able to take that infrastructure and increase the technology in it, and to provide the very long-term needs that we have.
We are in the initial phases of doing much about that. Right now we have a major capital reinvestment program under way at Y-12. We currently have two capital projects under way, one of which is a new, modern, very secure storage facility for highly enriched uranium which will be the largest in the Nation when we are through. We have two others, beryllium manufacturing and highly enriched uranium manufacturing that are in this 5-year planning that we have now in NNSA. So I believe we have the basis for that capitalization program for our manufacturing capabilities.
We have been greatly aided by the facilities infrastructure funding. We have been able to make significant headway in reducing our maintenance backlog and we have also embarked on a program designed to reduce the active footprint of Y-12.
Y-12 is a plant designed in the Manhattan Project time, expanded greatly over time. And the part we actually need for the long term is probably a third or quarter of the footprint we actually have. Yet we still have the landlord expenses of maintaining all the infrastructure and capabilities. So our ability to reduce that foot
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backlog could be as high as $270 million this year, but with ditional monies we have received in the facilities and infrastra initiatives and some of the other monies that Congress has se to pass along to us, that number is now under $220 millia it is headed in the right direction.
So we feel pretty good about what we are doing and the dire that we are going in, and we can conceive of almost no sca now that we can't be prepared to meet in the nuclear weapons plex. So thank you very much.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you for your statement and thank y your service.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ruddy can be found in the pendix on page 96.]
Mr. WELDON. I didn't mention this, but all your statements be entered as a part of the record. You can make whatever ments you would like to make. Dr. Tarantino.
STATEMENT OF DR. FREDRICK A. TARANTINO,
Dr. TARANTINO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and the commit for this opportunity to comment on this very important topic would like to quickly just make three key points:
First, I am a relative newcomer to NNSA, returning after a ra er lengthy sabbatical. I am very much aware of the importance the Nevada Test Site, the NTS, to our national security. NTS unique and vital. Without it the country loses its ability to condu underground testing of nuclear weapons.
Second, although underground testing at NTS ceased in the early 1990s, we returned to the testing of special nuclear materials with high explosives in 1997 with the initiation of subcriticals program Unleashing an underground test, subcritical test, does not involve a nuclear explosion or a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. We have conducted 17 subcritical tests since 1997. The latest of these, Oboe 9, was conducted last Friday. We have two more planned for this year. The tests have been providing vital information on the behav ior of nuclear materials under high explosive shock loading.
The current Stockpile Stewardship Program plan continues these for the foreseeable future, and these subcritical tests and the other stockpile stewardship activities we participate in are key lever activities for maintaining the level of underground test read that we currently have.. You: Ja Sa
customers nationwide. wir For TSSION WE :
WELDON Thank you. Or Taranicno.
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WELDON. Mr. Mitchell.
STATEMENT OF JOHN Z MIACH
ir. MITCHELL. Thank you. Mr armar de
At Y-12 we made a great deal of progester but we still face many significant chalegs I g-term needs for the Nation Y-12 can and wil rm stockpile needs for the stockpile in en Forder to do that we have had to reactivate
rocesses that have been inactive for nave fou poing so, of course, we are going into a sing 22nd security standards now are someter
before. But we have in place detailed pie dar Kdo that to support these national need
The issues at Y-12 are our ability a
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egun to existed le; howI needed ontinues, s, 80 perof this dec
ndicates that ly reinvesting nt to sustain a hat level is $40 ogress but we are
itted to bringing our y Plant and NNSA. In transitioning away from year we delivered over $20 our Six Sigma productivity NSA employees on the use of ools.
zation or new information techour business processes. Through procurement technologies alone, we So today I am cautiously optimistic steps we have taken to address critiinfrastructure, our ongoing efforts to r plant and enhance operational effiNSA's new 5-year budget and planning idence to say that the Kansas City Plant port the stockpile requirements of the fu
print-it is a major initiative to reduce the long-term cost of ownership for the government. We have taken a very active mood in trying to put together an active technology insertion program. Y-12 went through a number of years with the technology that had been invested in the 1960's and 1970's. We now have taken every part of our manufacturing processes and put together a detailed technology road map and identified whether we either need to remechanize an old process or in fact bring in new technologies, and we are executing these plans.
We have also taken steps to take our most important resource, our people, and renew that resource. We have a very dedicated work force at Y-12. You know, they are honorably committed to national energy, national support. One of the things we have tried to do is to provide them a place so they can pass on the heritage for the future. We have brought in a 100 new college hire students in Y-12 in the past 18 months. That is about 95 more than have been done in the past five years. We have reopened college intern programs. We have reopened cooperative education programs to revitalize that work force. It is not only adding us the skills and new people, it is revitalizing our existing work force as they have the opportunity to transfer their knowledge to the future.
We have also tried to refocus Y-12 to a broader scope. In addition to our need to support the nuclear program, nuclear weapons program, we have also tried to increase our ability to support the enabled reactors program and the nonproliferation programs, the full range of programs that General Gordon has responsibility for. We have made major steps. We have a very long way to go. We need your support, we appreciate the support we have had. We are fully committed to supporting the national needs and we look forward to continuing our action with the committee.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you for your statement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Mitchell can be found in the Appendix on page 102.]
Mr. WELDON. The $64,000 question: Why is it called Y-12?
Mr. MITCHELL. In the beginning of the Manhattan Project there were three physical locations at Y-12 which were the basis of that project. A decision was made to protect the location of each. Each was given an odd name. And we have been unable to find any systematic way of how you could distinguish why the names X-10, K25 and Y-12 were chosen. I actually have never been able to find how or why they were chosen, but they were chosen mainly for security at the beginning of the Manhattan Project. It is a proud name and people have chosen to continue it for all this time.
Mr. WELDON. So we don't know why it is called Y-12.
Mr. MITCHELL. Correct. Probably General Groves knows, but I don't think we can ask him anymore.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Douglass.
STATEMENT OF DAVID S. DOUGLASS,
Mr. DOUGLASS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Honeywell operates in Kansas City Plant for NNSA and actually includes operations both in Kansas City, Missouri and Albuquerque, New Mexico. We are the primary nonnuclear production facility for NNSA, supporting
42 product lines, maintaining a supply chain of over 300 commercial suppliers, and shipping over 60,000 packages annually. Today we are producing and procuring components for every weapon in the stockpile and we are actively preparing for a sizable workload increase beginning in 2004 associated with life extension programs on the 76 and 80. Successful and timely execution of those life extension programs is important. It is important to demonstrate that a critical element of the Stockpile Stewardship Program is working and that the investments you are making today in the production infrastructure are paying off. It is the lack of that investment in the 1990s that created issues brought before this committee in the past.
I am pleased to say, thanks to Congress, General Gordon, and NNSA that Kansas City Plant is making progress on many of those critical issues; namely, the retention and recruiting of critical skills and revitalizing our infrastructure.
In the last 18 months we have hired over 300 new associates at the Kansas City Plant, keeping over 99 percent of our critical skill positions staffed.
Thanks to the facilities infrastructure program we have begun to reduce the levels of deferred maintenance backlog that has existed over the last several years. So, yes, progress is being made; however, the continued support of Congress and NNSA is still needed to sustain the gains we have made and assure progress continues, because I still have a work force of over 3,000 associates, 80 percent of which become retirement eligible during the rest of this decade, and that is right on top of the most intense period of development and production associated with life extension programs.
Furthermore, good commercial business practices indicates that at the Kansas City Plant we ought to be annually reinvesting about $65 million of plant property and equipment to sustain a long-term viable production capability. In 2002 that level is $40 million but it is improving; so we are making progress but we are far from finished.
So to that end, Honeywell remains committed to bringing our commercial practices to both the Kansas City Plant and NNSA. In the past we streamlined our operations by transitioning away from DOE orders to industry standards. Last year we delivered over $20 million of efficiency improvements using our Six Sigma productivity tools, and in fact trained over 200 NNSA employees on the use of those same Six Sigma productivity tools.
Today Honeywell is using digitization or new information technology tools to further streamline our business processes. Through the use of new contemporary e-procurement technologies alone, we saved over $7 million this year. So today I am cautiously optimistic about our future. The recent steps we have taken to address critical skills and revitalize our infrastructure, our ongoing efforts to shrink the footprint of our plant and enhance operational efficiencies, combined with NNSA's new 5-year budget and planning process, gives me the confidence to say that the Kansas City Plant is well positioned to support the stockpile requirements of the future.