[Senate Hearing 107-776]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 107-776
ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
PRESENT AND FUTURE ROLES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/NATIONAL NUCLEAR
SECURITY ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL LABORATORIES IN PROTECTING OUR
JULY 10, 2002
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Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
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COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
JEFF BINGAMAN, New Mexico, Chairman
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii FRANK H. MURKOWSKI, Alaska
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico
BOB GRAHAM, Florida DON NICKLES, Oklahoma
RON WYDEN, Oregon LARRY E. CRAIG, Idaho
TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming
EVAN BAYH, Indiana RICHARD C. SHELBY, Alabama
DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California CONRAD BURNS, Montana
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York JON KYL, Arizona
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware GORDON SMITH, Oregon
Robert M. Simon, Staff Director
Sam E. Fowler, Chief Counsel
Brian P. Malnak, Republican Staff Director
James P. Beirne, Republican Chief Counsel
John Kotek, Legislative Fellow
Howard Useem, Senior Professional Staff member
C O N T E N T S
Akaka, Hon. Daniel K., U.S. Senator from Hawaii.................. 4
Anastasio, Michael R., Ph.D., Director, Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory............................................ 35
Bingaman, Hon. Jeff, U.S. Senator from New Mexico................ 1
Brooks, Ambassador Linton F., Acting Administrator, National
Nuclear Security Administration................................ 11
Cantwell, Hon. Maria, U.S. Senator from Washington............... 6, 9
Cobb, Don, Ph.D., Associate Director, Threat Reduction, Los
Alamos National Laboratory..................................... 58
Domenici, Hon. Pete V., U.S. Senator from New Mexico............. 3
Drucker, Harvey, Ph.D., Associate Laboratory Director, Argonne
National Laboratory............................................ 71
Feinstein, Hon. Dianne, U.S. Senator from California............. 10
Happer, William, Ph.D., Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and
Chair, University Research Board, Princeton University......... 31
Kyl, Hon. Jon, U.S. Senator from Arizona......................... 5
Murkowski, Hon. Frank H., U.S. Senator from Alaska............... 2
Orbach, Dr. Raymond, Director, Office of Science, Department of
Powell, Dr. Lura J., Director, Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, Department of Energy............................... 6
Robinson, Ambassador C. Paul, Director, Sandia National
Shipp, Billy D., Ph.D., President and Laboratory Director, Idaho
National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.............. 67
Responses to additional questions................................ 83
WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, 2002
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:30 p.m. in room
SD-366, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JEFF BINGAMAN,
U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO
The Chairman. Why don't we go ahead and start. We're all
ready to proceed here.
The administration has recently proposed a move that
various Senators and Congressmen had been advocating, and that
is the creation of a Cabinet-level agency responsible for
addressing threats to our homeland security. To the
administration's credit, it's proposal to create a Department
of Homeland Security gives a nod to the important role of the
Department of Energy, and also the important role of the
National Security--National Nuclear Security Administration,
NNSA, national laboratories and the role they can play in
protecting homeland security. These roles are many. They
include developing new technologies to detect and deter
terrorist threats and provide the skilled manpower to help
mitigate the consequences of actual terrorist attacks.
I'm concerned that the administration's proposal does not
recognize the full depth and breadth of the capabilities at our
national laboratories, and particularly those laboratories that
do not have national security as their overriding mission. I
believe the new department needs to be encouraged to draw on
needed capabilities wherever they exist, be that in our
national laboratories, in industry, or in our universities. I'm
also concerned that the administration's proposal does not
recognize that the programs to be transferred from the
Department of Energy and from NNSA to the new Department of
Homeland Security will lack substantial vitality if they are
cut off from the larger intellectual institutional context
which now supports them. The best scientists want to work in
institutions and environments that are pushing up against the
frontiers of their field, not in areas that look more like
technical service organizations.
Finally, I'm concerned that the organizational structure
proposed for the new department may result in a disconnect
between the people developing new technology to combat
terrorism and the people who will ultimately employ the new
technology. I believe we need to look seriously at creating a
position in the new department that would stand above the
various undersecretaries and have some responsibility for
developing and integrating research and development programs to
address a priority list of technologies.
We have with us an excellent group of witnesses, starting
with Ambassador Linton Brooks, Acting Administrator of the
NNSA, Dr. Ray Orbach, who is the Director of the Department of
Energy's Office of Science. We will then have a second panel of
senior leaders from our national laboratories and a
representative from the National Research Council's Committee
on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism.
I look forward to the testimony and hope that through this
hearing we can gain some insights that will help in the
upcoming debate here in the Senate on legislation to establish
a Department of Homeland Security.
Let me defer to Senator Murkowski and then Senator Domenici
for any opening statements they have.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK H. MURKOWSKI, U.S. SENATOR
Senator Murkowski. Thank you very much, Senator Bingaman,
Senator Domenici. I think the hearing is well in hand with my
two friends from New Mexico.
I think it's appropriate that this committee maintain its
jurisdiction and role in the issue of homeland security. I want
to compliment the staff of the majority and of the minority for
scheduling a hearing on the role of the Department of Energy's
National Laboratories in the proposed development of the
Let me first comment, I think our President deserves
recognition for his bold initiative on this. Defending the
Nation, whether at home or abroad, is one of the highest
priorities of our government. It's part of our constitutional
commitment. And, of course, we saw on September 11 that our
enemies are real, they're unscrupulous, and they are very, very
I'm certainly open as to how the new department should be
organized, but there is no question it should be created.
Establishment of the Department of Homeland Security is
certainly going to be a priority for the 107th Congress.
I wanted to remind everyone that our growing dependence on
foreign energy is an equal threat to our national security.
Some have been around here long enough to recall, in 1973, we
had the Arab oil embargo. It brought our economy to its knees
when we were 36-percent dependent at that time on foreign oil.
Now we are 57-percent dependent, and the Department of Energy
indicates we'll be in the 1960s within a few years.
As some of you recall, in 1973 we had gas lines around the
block. People were outraged, ``How could this happen in the
United States,'' and they were blaming everybody and
particularly pointing a finger at the Federal Government. But
we oftentimes forget the lessons of history. But it's quite
clear that energy is the difference, in many cases, between the
victor and the vanquished. We've seen that in many areas of
history and in warfare, as well.
And we can never, of course, be entirely independent, but
we can buy a lot of insurance through increased domestic energy
production, whether it be oil, natural gas, nuclear, coal and
renewables. Thus, we must complete action on the energy
legislation that is now in the conference. As far as I am
concerned, that's what should be covered under our homeland
With that, I look forward to hearing the witnesses and the
input of this process in the development of homeland security.
Thank you, Senator Bingaman.
The Chairman. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF HON. PETE V. DOMENICI, U.S. SENATOR
FROM NEW MEXICO
Senator Domenici. Mr. Chairman, I do believe I will make a
little opening statement, and I will try to help you this
afternoon by being here part of the time. If it will
accommodate you, you can leave, and leave me. I might do that
once in the session.
The Chairman. Thank you.
Senator Domenici. First of all, I've had an opportunity to
review the President's proposal for homeland security,
particularly as it relates to science and technology and the
mission of the department and how our national laboratories
should contribute to the cause of homeland security. And,
obviously, one needs to know very little about them to know
that they have a chance to contribute a great deal to this
The proposal submitted by the President certainly
recognizes the capability of the national laboratories, but the
manner in which the initial plan was developed and announced
and communicated to Congress led to a bit of confusion. So let
me see if I can state quickly what I think it is.
Before I do that, let me say to Ambassador Linton Brooks,
you're now the Acting Director of the NNSA. I don't know that
we always are congratulatory when somebody moves up to a higher
office, and I was wondering why he had taken our general that
had just started putting this together, but I assume he needs
him. And fortunately, we have somebody there that I feel very
comfortable with in serving as an Acting Director. And so good
luck to you. You have a very difficult job.
The President proposed an undersecretary to address the
science, technology, and operational issues associated with
chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological threats. I
would argue that under the Secretary's mission should be a--
that that should be broadened to cover the entire science and
technology mission for the whole department, and the
operational mission should be run by other operational parts of
the department. Certainly much of the focus will be on the
chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats,
because they currently make up some of the threat potential.
The undersecretary for the science and technology should be
responsible for a number of things--utilizing R&D base for
homeland security, as the President suggested, in that they are
performing Ag and related R&D, as the President suggests. But
there are several ideas that are left out. The undersecretary
needs a mechanism to tap into the capabilities of the national
laboratories. He also needs a DARPA-like organization that can
rapidly procure technology for homeland security, and I think
he needs a RAND-like think tank, which has just been recently
suggested by Science Council, and it's a very prestigious
group. So they were there before we came to that conclusion. We
might have borrowed it from them.
I think we should build upon the ideas that the President
has suggested to really support the importance of S&T missions
of this new department as it relates to these national
Let me make just a few more comments. Tremendous
capabilities exist at all the labs, much of it at Sandia, Los
Alamos, and Livermore; but Oakridge, Idaho, Pacific Northwest
have unique capabilities also. These capabilities should be
fully utilized and managed by DHS or at--from a location that
is certainly located among these laboratories. That's how I
understand the proposal.
For the labs to work for the DHS, they should be governed
by a few principles. The HHS should be able to task and fund
the labs directly. Homeland security work should be done on an
equal basis with other important security work at the
laboratories, not on a work-for-others or a non-interference
basis. DHS should be able to access all parts of the laboratory
for expertise, not just a carve-out for homeland science.
In conclusion, the principles that I've just stated should
be the basis on which the science and technology missions of
the homeland department should be carried out.
I look forward to working with the administration and you,
Mr. Chairman, and with those who run our laboratories to see
that we present through the Government Operations Committee,
the best possible proposal that we can put forth.
Thank you very much.
The Chairman. Thank you very much. Let me see if any of the
other senators wish to make opening statements. Senator Akaka,
did you wish to make a statement?
Senator Akaka. Yes.
The Chairman. Go right ahead.
STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL K. AKAKA, U.S. SENATOR
Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would
like to add my welcome to the witnesses today.
The administration's proposal for the Department of
Homeland Security includes contributions from the Department of
Energy's National Energy Laboratories. However, the President's
blueprint contains few details as to why these labs should be
reorganized and few guarantees of security for Federal
In the past month, I have participated in several hearings
on the proposed functions of the Department of Homeland
Security. Unfortunately, the administration has not yet given
us a national strategy for homeland security. I am concerned
about some of the President's recommendations pertaining to the
national labs. For example, the administration proposes moving
components of the International Materials Protection and
Cooperation Program within the Department of Energy's Nuclear
Security Administration into the new Department of Homeland
Security. This program's core mission is to reduce the threat
of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism by improving
security of weapons-usable material worldwide. This office
directs cooperative nonproliferation efforts in Russia,
although it also assesses nuclear threats and hoaxes in the
United States. These programs have primarily a foreign focus,
not a domestic one, and are similar to international efforts
managed by the State Department.
These nuclear security activities have been successful
because of the relationships built between Russian and American
scientists. By putting these functions in the Department of
Homeland Security, American participants may be seen as
security or intelligence personnel by their Russian
counterparts rather than American scientists. I fear, as a
result, that the success of our nonproliferation programs in
the former Soviet Union could suffer.
The administration also would transfer DOE's intelligence
program at Lawrence Livermore to the proposed department. I'm
concerned that a new focus on homeland security would mean that
analysis of nonproliferation intelligence on Russian, Chinese,
and North Korean weapons of mass destruction will become less
of a priority.
President Bush told Congress on June 18 that the
accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile
material in the territory of the Russian Federation continues
to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national
security and foreign policy of the United States. He is right.
And, for this reason, the administration needs to justify why
changes to the organization of our current nonproliferation
programs are necessary and how such changes will improve our
Mr. Chairman, it is interesting to note that while we hold
this hearing on the contributions of the Department of Energy's
labs to the proposed Department of Homeland Security, earlier
today President Bush addressed thousands of Federal employees
to reassure them that their agencies and jobs would not be
threatened by the creation of a new department. In the
President's proposal, I see few guarantees of security for the
Federal employees or for the continuity of mission of their
I look forward to the testimonies of our witnesses. Mr.
Chairman, thank you very much.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
Senator Kyl, did you have some comments?
STATEMENT OF HON. JON KYL, U.S. SENATOR FROM ARIZONA
Senator Kyl. Thank you, just a brief comment, Mr. Chairman,
since I'm not sure I'm going to be here for all of the
testimony of all of the witnesses, just to indicate that I
would like to have the witnesses, either in their oral
presentations or in writing later, address at least the role of
the Department of Homeland Security with regard to the physical
protection of our energy infrastructure, number one; number
two, the cooperation and coordination with the governments of
Canada and Mexico as we develop our homeland security program;
and, three, a significant role in assuring cyber protection of
our energy infrastructure.
The Chairman. What was the last one?
Senator Kyl. Cyber security, since computers operate so
much of our generation and grid as well as hydro systems,
that's important. And then, finally, to just indicate general
agreement with Senator Domenici in the view that all of our
national laboratories have a significant role to play in
homeland security, and I'm interested in ensuring that they
have an opportunity to play that role.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HON. MARIA CANTWELL, U.S. SENATOR
Senator Cantwell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you
for holding this important hearing on the Department of
Energy's laboratories in our nation's effort to make our
homeland more secure.
This is a big step and an enormous undertaking. I'm sure
we'll hear from some of those testifying today about some of
those challenges. But I believe it is important that, while
we're looking through their testimony, we think of the
important issues that are involved in creating a new
My primary concern is that, given that we have a very
urgent need to improve our domestic security, how do we
undertake a massive bureaucratic reshuffling in a way that will
not slow our efforts and our ability to improve our defenses?
And specifically, when it comes to the national labs, how do we
ensure that we maximize and enhance the benefits of the
research and development efforts already underway at the labs
in a manner that ensures that DOE labs can continue to fill
their multipurpose mission while still operating in conjunction
with the Department of Homeland Security?
For us, in the Northwest, with the Pacific Northwest
Laboratory, PNNL, where about 40 percent of the activities are
related in some way to national security, we definitely see an
overlap of issues. But yet I think it's important that we
understand how those missions might be challenged in a new
I would like to take this opportunity, if I could, Mr.
Chairman, to submit for the record the testimony of Dr. Laura
Powell, the PNNL's director.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Powell follows:]
Prepared Statement of Dr. Lura J. Powell, Director, Pacific Northwest
National Laboratory, Department of Energy
As Director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in
Richland, Washington, I am pleased to provide this statement regarding
the present and future roles of the Department of Energy (DOE) and
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) laboratories in
protecting our homeland.
The DOE and NNSA national laboratories have attracted and developed
many of our nations finest scientists and engineers. Their capabilities
and assets have been applied toward homeland security and counter
terrorism challenges long before September 11 as well as since then. I
believe these capabilities and assets can continue to add significant
value to the new Department of Homeland Security.
Specifically, PNNL, as a DOE Office of Science multi-program
national laboratory, is prepared to continue supporting the nation's
effort to secure the U.S. homeland. Since 1965, the Pacific Northwest
Division of Battelle, a not-for-profit entity based in Columbus, Ohio,
has operated PNNL for the DOE. PNNL employs approximately 3,500 staff
and maintains a business volume in excess of $500M annually, $230M of
which is related to national security work for a number of government
clients in areas such as combating terrorism, homeland security,
proliferation detection and monitoring, underground nuclear test
detection, nuclear weapon dismantlement, nuclear materials safeguards
and security, environmental and waste characterization, and fundamental
our homeland security challenges
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon and for decades PNNL has
performed work for government agencies with missions designed to combat
terrorism. Recent events serve to remind us of the vulnerabilities to
the security of our homeland and it is becoming even more evident that
there are terrorist elements with a willingness to deploy weapons of
mass destruction against U.S. interests--both abroad and at home.
The threat we face is dynamic and complex. We need to be as
flexible and adaptable as are the adversaries who would threaten us. As
we organize around the need to manage the risks associated with the
threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we must do so in a
reasonable and systematic manner. The actual financial costs of
developing and implementing mitigating strategies and counter-measures
are only one consideration of a comprehensive risk management strategy.
We must also ensure that the solution is implemented in a manner that
considers negative consequences such as reduced operational
efficiencies or productivity that currently give U.S. industry and the
U.S. economy a competitive advantage.
Finally, it is imperative that organizational and technological
standards evolve that ensure solutions can be integrated across the
various functions and responsibilities outlined for the new Department
of Homeland Security (DHS). Solutions must facilitate integration of
operations and functions, information sharing, and interoperability.
pnnl contributions to homeland security
I'd like to offer a few examples of PNNL programs, technologies and
capabilities that span the entire WMD threat spectrum.
Millimeter Wave Holographic Imaging System: This system,
developed for the FAA for personal security checkpoint
screening, is capable of detecting specific threats and
Acoustic Inspection Device: This handheld system was
originally developed by PNNL for inspection of chemical weapon
stockpiles in Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War. It can be used
by Law Enforcement Officials to detect concealments, hidden
compartments or anomalies in liquid-filled containers and solid
form commodities; sort material types into groups of like and
unlike, and identify liquids and solid materials over a wide
range of temperatures. It has recently been commercialized by a
private manufacturer and is being used by U.S. Customs and
other organizations as an inspection and screening tool.
Biodetection Enabling Analyte Delivery System (BEADS): It is
necessary to process large environmental samples to obtain
traces of threat biomaterial and deliver that material in a
small volume to a sensor. BEADS enables automated sample
preparation for biodetection systems.
Plutonium Measurement and Analysis (PUMA): A radiation
monitoring system that uses glass fibers to detect the presence
of radionuclides, such as plutonium. This technology offers
flexible, lightweight, low-power detection capability.
Hazardous Material Chemical Agent Detector (HAZMATCAD): This
commercially available tool takes advantage of special
(sensitive and selective) polymers developed by PNNL and allows
faster response times to lower concentrations of hazardous
chemicals and agents.
WMD Interdiction Training for International and Domestic
Border Security Officials: In 1997, Congress provided for the
U.S. training of international border security officers in
detecting, identifying, and interdicting the smuggling of WMD
materials and items. Since then, Border Officers from 17
nations have been trained as part of the International Border
Security Training Program. PNNL is responsible for conducting
this highly successful training known as Interdict/RADACAD at
the Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response
(HAMMER) Training Center, a $30M DOE facility located near PNNL
at the Hanford Site. The value of this program has been
demonstrated by seizures of sensitive materials in Eastern
Europe, including nuclear reactor components destined for Iran
and a quantity of Uranium-235. The border security officials
responsible for both of these seizures attribute their success
to the training they received in this program from PNNL at
HAMMER. PNNL initiated the training of U.S. Customs Officers
this year. Thus far, two 3-day courses in radiation detection
and protection and the use of advanced detection equipment have
been completed. For the foreseeable future, one U.S. Customs
class per month is scheduled.
International Emergency Preparedness for WMD: PNNL supports
a U.S. government-sponsored training program that teaches
international first responders how to recognize, respond to and
manage an incident involving a WMD. In addition to the
operations training at HAMMER, PNNL also supports a course for
international mail handlers on Postal Chemical/Biological
Incident Management. In the same way the international WMD
interdiction training eventually expanded to accommodate U.S.
Customs Officers, consideration should be given to leveraging
this training capability and facility to accommodate the
government's articulated desire to train U.S. first responders
to handle WMD incidents.
Federal Emergency Management Information System and
Emergency Management Advantage (EMADVANTAGE): Decision support
and command and control tools have been developed for both
emergency managers and emergency responders. These tools
provide an automated decision support architecture that applies
to situation planning and response capabilities for large
National Counterdrug Center (NCC): Operational coordination
(or interoperability) across multiple agencies, missions, or
functions is a known limiting factor impacting interdiction
efforts. PNNL is one of several organizations developing the
NCC for the Department of Defense. The NCC is a simulation-
based interoperability training system that can improve multi-
agency operational planning and execution in a virtual
environment. While the current focus is drug interdiction, this
national capability can be readily leveraged to accommodate
training and planning capability for all-threat interdiction to
include weapons of mass destruction. In addition, since the
underlying objectives are to support interoperability, it is
plausible that the capability and concept of simulation-based
interactive environments can support the needs of first
responders (police, fire, and emergency medical) as well. One
of several folks, not just PNNL. supporting.
Information visualization and knowledge management: For over
a decade PNNL has been conducting research that helps
government analysts deal with the overwhelming amount of
information they must process. PNNL has developed and
successfully deployed software tools for exploiting large and
diverse sets of information. Analysts within a number of
government agencies are currently taking advantage of PNNL
tools like SPIRE and Starlight to help them to ``connect the
Critical Infrastructure Protection: PNNL is one of several
DOE laboratories tasked to assure the integrity of energy
infrastructures by conducting vulnerability assessments and
recommending risk-mitigating strategies. The bulk of this work
has focused on the electrical power infrastructure, an area in
which PNNL has recognized capability.
Radiological Detection Expertise: Even though PNNL has
existed for nearly four decades, there are over 50 years of
history related to radiation detection technology development
and deployment as a result of the legacy from the Hanford
site's involvement in the Manhattan project. Instruments
incorporating PNNL radiation detection technologies have been
fielded in a number of locations, including: outer space, deep
undersea, within the core of both naval and civilian reactors,
border crossings, international nuclear test detection
networks, high altitude aircraft, nuclear accident sites such
as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, U.S. nuclear complex sites,
and deep underground. In addition, PNNL staff participate in a
number of U.S. Government or international policy working
groups including the Radiation Detection Panel (DOE), the
Nuclear Smuggling Working group (IAEA), and the Radiation
Instrumentation Steering Committee (IEEE.) PNNL currently holds
leadership positions in the International Nuclear Materials
Radiation Portal Monitoring Support to U.S. Customs: The
U.S. Customs Service, Office of Information and Technology
(OIT), Applied Technology Division (ATD), working with the
Department of Energy (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory-
PNNL), has established a terrorist radiation/nuclear detection
project to investigate systems and technologies to augment and
enhance their existing radiological detection capabilities.
This project addresses the maritime, aviation, land crossing,
and rail USCS inspection environments.
the role of science and technology and our national laboratories
The science and technology response to our homeland security
challenges must draw broadly on the talent and expertise resident in
our research universities, our industry, and in all the government
laboratories managed by multiple agencies. The national laboratories
managed by DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration will
play a very substantial role, particularly on weapons of mass
destruction issues. These laboratories have specialized capabilities in
several areas of science and technology, such as the control and
detection of nuclear materials, and expertise pertinent to
radiological, chemical and biological threats. The national
laboratories maintain the interdisciplinary approach and scientific and
engineering breadth necessary to take a broad systems view of these
problems, and have the ability to deliver solutions in a secure
I very much appreciate the opportunity to provide this statement
for the record.
Senator Cantwell. And while she was unable to join us today
because of a conflict, her testimony details many of the
contributions that PNNL is already making to homeland security.
For example, PNNL is developing or has developed a holographic
imaging system for the FAA, and they use that for personal
security checkpoints. They've developed radiation detection
technology, the legacy of which goes back to Hanford's
involvement in the Manhattan project. They've been involved in
training and border security, both with programs developed at
the PNNL lab and the Hammer facility, which is located in
Richland, Washington. So they've already trained, many people,
I think, from 17 different nations in how to do border
So these are just some of the many examples, but there are
other issues. For example, last spring I attended the
dedication of the world's most advanced nuclear magnetic
resonance spectrometer, which is at the PNNL Environmental and
Molecular Science Lab, and is poised to play a central role in
the fast-growing revolution in systems biology. And, while I
can say that that would have some benefit for us in the area of
bioterrorism, it has many other missions besides that. How will
we make sure that those missions, whether it's helping us look
at new sources of hydrogen necessary for distributed generation
or looking at new ways to remediate nuclear waste are
presented? There are so many things that that particular
science and technology will allow us to do, and if its mission
were moved to Homeland Security, how will we keep the key focus
on those other projects?
So all of these, I believe, are important issues at the
core of the Department of Energy, and I believe that our
efforts in these areas should be redoubled and certainly not
inadvertently undermined by moving part or some of them to the
Department of Homeland Security.
And, Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding the hearing
and allowing us to give opening statements.
[The prepared statement of Senator Cantwell follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator From Washington
homeland security and national labs
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this important hearing on the
role of our Department of Energy laboratories in our nation's effort to
enhance our homeland security. I applaud the Administration for
stepping forward to propose a new Department of Homeland Security. This
is a big step and an enormous undertaking. But I also believe it is
Congress' duty to raise some very important questions, which I believe
must be answered before moving toward creating this new Department.
I recently had the opportunity to question Governor Ridge regarding
the specifics of the Administration's proposal as a member of the
Judiciary Committee. My primary concern in that context is, I believe,
quite relevant here: Given that we have a very urgent need to improve
our domestic security, how do we undertake a massive bureaucratic re-
shuffling in a way that will not further slow our ability to improve
our defenses? And specifically when it comes to our national labs, how
do we ensure that we maximize and enhance the benefits of the research
and development efforts already underway in a manner that ensures our
DOE labs continue to fulfill their multiple important missions, while
bolstering the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security?
As I mentioned, substantial effort is already being devoted to
homeland security issues at many of our national labs--including
Washington state's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where
about 40 percent of the activities are in some way national security-
I would like to take this opportunity to submit for the record the
testimony of Dr. Lura Powell, PNNL's Director. While Doctor Powell was
unable to join us here today due to a conflict, her testimony details
many of the contributions PNNL is poised to make to our homeland
security. For example, PNNL is developing or has developed: a
holographic imaging system for the FAA's use at personal security
checkpoints; radiation detection technology, the legacy of which dates
back to the Hanford site's involvement in the Manhattan Project; and
training for border security agents in the interdiction of weapons of
mass destruction. This last training program--developed by PNNL and the
HAMMER facility also located in Richland, Washington--has already
educated boarder officers from 17 nations and resulted in the seizure
of materials in Eastern Europe, including nuclear reactor components
and Uranium-235 destined for Iran.
This is just a sampling of PNNL's activities, which makes clear
that our national labs can and must make a crucial contribution to the
effort to improve our homeland security. But I also want to add one
important note. As Congress continues to refine the President's
proposal, we must remain vigilant about unintended consequences. That
is, certain ongoing multidisciplinary programs may contribute to the
homeland security effort, but must continue to serve the independent
objectives that remain part of DOE's core mission.
For example, this spring I had the opportunity to attend the
dedication of the world's most advanced NMR (nuclear magnetic
resonance) spectrometer at PNNL's Environmental and Molecular Sciences
Lab, which is poised to play a central role in the fast-approaching
revolution in systems biology, the seeds for which were sown by the
amazing success of the Human Genome Project. While it's true that
systems biology and proteomics (PRO-TEE-OHM-ICS) research will have an
important role in quelling the bioterrorist threat, it will also lead
to new and innovative strategies to address climate change,
technologies allowing us to more efficiently tap our nation's abundant
renewable energy resources, ways to more efficiently produce the
hydrogen necessary to power certain sources of distributed generation
such as fuel cells, and even innovations in the remediation of our
nation's nuclear waste sites.
All of these are important, core missions of the Department of
Energy and I believe our efforts in these areas should be redoubled--
and certainly not inadvertently undermined as we move forward with the
proposed Department of Homeland Security. In fact, I believe a clear
legislative mandate for the Department of Energy's biological research
programs would likely be beneficial for our overall federal research
initiatives--creating a more transparent R&D structure among and
between the various departments.
So I look forward to today's testimony, and thank you again, Mr.
Chairman, for holding this important hearing.
The Chairman. Thank you. Senator Feinstein, did you have
any opening comments?
STATEMENT OF HON. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, U.S. SENATOR
Senator Feinstein. Just briefly, Mr. Chairman, if I might.
I'm delighted to see Chancellor Orbach again. He was the
distinguished chancellor at the University of California at
Riverside and did some very important work in that capacity, so
it's good to see you again, Doctor.
I am really delighted that Lawrence Livermore was chosen as
a center of excellence in this program. Originally, there was a
great deal of concern that the entire $1.2 billion budget at
Livermore would be shifted to the new department. Now I
understand that just about $40 to $50 million of program areas
will shift over, and I believe this represents about one-third
of the Department of Energy's lab spending at Livermore that
will be transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security.
I have some concern about the size of the Department of
Homeland Security, but I think the administration is moving in
the right direction here by targeting the DOE lab programs most
directly related to homeland security for inclusion in the new
I have a couple of concerns. And maybe the witnesses can
address these concerns in their comments. And I'd just like to
quickly spell out two. I'd like to get a better understanding
of how the transition of these lab programs would work. For
example, when the administration says it's moving Livermore's
chemical and biological programs to the Department of Homeland
Security, how will that be reflected in the day-to-day work of
lab personnel? Do they stay in the same lab? Do they go to a
different place? Will scientists and others be relocated? Would
a scientist that worked on homeland security at Livermore also
be able to do research for the Department of Energy? That's one
area of concern.
The other is in the--Livermore's intelligence programs.
Livermore has important intel programs, and my understanding--
they're proposed for transfer to the Department of Homeland
Security. Now, they also provide important support to our
country's strategic nuclear defense posture, and so I would
like to know how this program ensures that both intel goals are
met by this transfer.
With that, I'm anxious to hear from the witnesses.
The Chairman. Well, thank you very much.
Why don't we go ahead and hear from the witnesses?
Ambassador Brooks, why don't you go first, and Dr. Orbach
follow him, and then we'll have some questions.
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR LINTON F. BROOKS, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR,
NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Ambassador Brooks. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I
have a prepared statement. I'd just like to summarize----
The Chairman. We'll include the full statement in the
record of both witnesses.
Ambassador Brooks. I'm very pleased to be here to talk
about the DOE and NNSA and the national labs contribution to
homeland security. And the focus of this hearing on the
national laboratories is apt, because the national
laboratories, from the technology side, are the key to making
all of this work.
The first and most important message that I want to leave
with the committee is that the Secretary of Energy and the
whole department, the National Nuclear Security Administration,
are fully committed to the homeland security mission. We're
fully committed to the successful establishment of the
Department of Homeland Security, and we're fully convinced that
the President's approach does not represent any reduction in
our ability to carry out our core mission. And, in the question
period, I can amplify on that if you wish.
I think the new department will let us respond more
effectively to today's threats. Now, to do that, the new
department will require some capabilities, as the opening
statements have made clear, that are now under my stewardship.
The details of what will be transferred were worked out
directly with our office, and they were worked out collegially.
And so we are both satisfied that we're going to be able to
continue to carry out our mission, and we're committed to
making the transfer of responsibilities both smooth and
I want to talk briefly about the functions first, in title
III, which is the technology area, and then very briefly in
title V. With respect to title III, the capabilities that are
being proposed for transfer are now within my Nonproliferation
and Verification Research and Development Program. Now, that
program has three elements. It has an element, about a third of
it--the whole program is about $286 million--somewhere around a
third of it is nuclear explosion monitoring, and that will
remain in the Department of Energy and is not at issue.
Somewhere around $70 million is chemical and biological
national security, and that will all be transferred to the new
department. And I'll say a word or two about that in a minute.
And then the third and largest area is called proliferation
detection. Proliferation detection sponsors a number of
technologies that have both nonproliferation and homeland
security application. Where we can disaggregate and show that
something is primarily one or the other, that's where it'll go.
And, at a minimum, our efforts to counter nuclear smuggling are
clearly homeland-security related, and they'll be transferred
to the new department.
Where the programs are so intertwined that they must
continue to support both departments, the President's
legislation authorizes--the President's proposed legislation
authorizes us to look at joint programs. This is illustrative
of a basic principle. We understand that the Department of
Energy and the new department, in this area, are going to have
to work together very closely, because we're going to be
sharing the resources of the national laboratories.
The chemical and biological functions to be transferred
develop technologies primarily to detect and respond to
domestic attacks against civilian targets, so it complements
the work done by the Department of Defense. An example is the
so-called PROTECT system, which was demonstrated in December in
the Washington metro to detect against chemical attack, or the
so-called BASIS system, which is a biological detector which
was deployed at the Winter Olympics.
In proliferation detection, nuclear smuggling, which is
about $10 million, clearly is relevant to the new department
and will be transferred. That program grew from the work to
determine nuclear-weapons signature, and that's illustrative of
the point that several of the senators made in their opening
statements that the capabilities of the national laboratories
are going to be involved in both my world and the homeland-
security world in the future, just as they have been in the
In addition, we propose to transfer the department's
Nuclear Assessment Program. I need to make it clear, because
there have been several conflicting reports. The Nuclear
Assessment Program is administratively located within the
Material Protection Control and Accounting Program, which, as
the Senator mentioned, is primarily a program that involves
upgrading facilities in Russia.
The facilities in the work in Russia will remain with me
and are not proposed for transfer. There's a very small $6
million effort which is administratively located within this
program which evaluates nuclear threats. It evaluates claims of
nuclear extortion. And that seems to us to be more
appropriately a homeland-security function. Basically what this
program does is it reaches into the national laboratories for
experts so that when a threat is received, we can help law
enforcement assess the credibility. That's the only part of
what you might think of as nonproliferation operational work
that is being transferred. Our nonproliferation programs will
remain in the department.
Under title V, we propose to transfer operational
responsibility for responding to nuclear incidents. We are, as
you know, prepared to respond anywhere in the world to nuclear
and radiological incidents in emergencies. We have about 900
people, the overwhelming majority of whom are at the
laboratories and are part-time, and they derive their expertise
in incident response from what they do in their regular jobs.
The way the President's proposal would work, we would
continue to be responsible for maintaining that capability, for
training and equipping them, but, just as the National Guard or
the volunteer fire department can be called up in time of
emergency, they could be called in time of emergency and would
operate under the direction of the office of homeland security.
Under the approach that the President has proposed, we will
be establishing--or the Office of Homeland Security will be
establishing--centers of excellence at several of the national
laboratories. At the moment, we envision the three weapons
laboratories, Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Oakridge, but
that obviously can be adjusted, depending on need. And the
notion here is to make certain that the new department can tap
all of the capability of all of the national laboratories.
Let me conclude with a couple of observations.
The Chairman. Is that last statement on your part, the
centers of excellence, is that a substitute for what has been
bantered around as a new headquarters at Livermore?
Ambassador Brooks. It's not a substitute, sir. It's
something different. The notion----
The Chairman. Do you need both?
Ambassador Brooks. What is now being proposed is that the
Office of Homeland Security would have a Federal facility,
Federal employees to do the oversight and management. That
facility will, keeping in mind that many of these decisions are
not yet made, probably be located at Livermore. But it's
important that the department be able to reach into all of the
laboratories, and so there would be a mechanism created at each
of the laboratories to make sure that all of the capability is
made available to the new department.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
Ambassador Brooks. A couple of concluding points, if I may,
Mr. Chairman. It seems to me that it is going to be critically
important for the new department and for the congressional
committees that oversee it to join with us in maintaining the
technology base at the national laboratories. The reason we
could provide some capabilities quickly after September 11 is
that the laboratories and the department had invested, over the
years, in the technology base. And it will be very important
that both departments continue to regard that technology as
Second, and particularly with regard to proliferation
protection programs, no matter how we do the split, there will
be things in each department's area of responsibility that also
benefit the other department. And, therefore, it is going to be
particularly important that the Department of Energy and the
Department of Homeland Security work together closely. We are
starting that effort by trying to work very closely in the
development of the president's proposal with the Office of
Homeland Security, and we are completely committed to that
Finally, I want to conclude where I began. The Secretary
and I fully support the establishment of a new the Department
of Homeland Security. We're fully comfortable with the transfer
of the programs that have been proposed by the President. And
we think that this will help us meet our fundamental obligation
to ensure that all Americans are safe.
And, with that, sir, I look forward to your questions after
you've heard from Dr. Orbach.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Brooks follows:]
Prepared Statement of Linton F. Brooks, Acting Administrator,
National Nuclear Security Administration
Thank you, Mr. Chairman for having me here today. This is an
exciting time: the United States is on the verge of establishing a new
Government Agency that will have sweeping responsibilities. It will
enable us to more effectively respond to today's threats, through a
streamlined and dynamic institution that will greatly enhance our
ability to respond quickly, decisively, and where necessary, before
threats against our homeland materialize. In short, we are on the verge
of making history. It's critical that we get it right.
The Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security
Administration are fully committed to the homeland security mission,
and the successful establishment of the Department of Homeland
Security. We recognize that this will require some restructuring and
relocation of critical assets now under the stewardship of the NNSA. We
are prepared to support these shifts in responsibilities, and indeed,
to do what is necessary to make any transfer of responsibilities as
smooth and painless as possible.
There is an enormous amount of experience and expertise now
residing in DOE/NNSA that will be vital to the success of the new
Department. Our Technology Research and Engineering assets have been
applied to homeland security problems long before last September; since
then, such contributions became even more focused and accelerated.
We've conducted the PROTECT subway demonstration, which will help
provide chemical protection to the U.S. population. We deployed a
prototype biodetection capability at the winter Olympics. We have
greatly increased our work with the U.S. Customs and Coast Guard with
radiation and nuclear technology--specific areas that will directly
benefit the new Department. DOE/NNSA is committed to ensuring that its
assets can continue to provide enabling science and technology to
support homeland security and counter-terrorism mission needs.
There are a number of capabilities currently residing in the
Department of Energy that will support or be transferred to the new
Department. Today I want initially to focus on those relevant to Title
III of the legislation, that is, those germane to technology research
and development in support of the Homeland Security mission.
We currently support the FBI in its role as ``lead agency'' in
responding to an emergency within the United States, including a
potential nuclear emergency. We expect that these emergency response
functions will play a major role in supporting the Homeland Security
mission, as stipulated in Title V of the bill. I want to discuss these
functions as well.
Before turning to those topics, let me briefly mention a few things
that the Homeland Security Act does not do. It will not affect our
ability to conduct our principle missions of stockpile stewardship,
nuclear nonproliferation, naval reactors, and, just coming to NNSA,
emergency response. NNSA will retain all of its programs and
responsibilities that contribute to our ability to assure the safety,
security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.
With respect to nuclear nonproliferation, the Administration
proposes to transfer the core of our chemical-biological WMD work and
certain nuclear programs related to the domestic threat. This is
largely self-contained work and almost exclusively supports domestic
NNSA has unique assets and capabilities, developed primarily from
our work with nuclear weapons and with nonproliferation, that have been
applied to homeland security problems long before last September.
Some of these initiatives have long timelines. Long before 9/11,
DOE has led USG efforts to support ``first responders'' with our
chemical, biological, and nuclear research programs. We've worked
closely with the FBI and other agencies to ensure that cutting edge
detection and identification technologies are available to those that
would need them first. And we began this work long before there was a
recognized need to do so--we took the initiative because we anticipated
the requirement. It is as good an example as any of why long-range
research is so critical to the security of this country.
We have aggressively pursued these efforts since last 9/11. But
it's time for a more focused organization and we are committed to that
change and to continuing to provide enabling science and technology in
support of homeland security and counter-terrorism mission needs.
title iii issues
The NNSA Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development
Program conducts applied research, development, testing, and evaluation
of technologies that lead to prototype demonstrations and resultant
detection systems. As such, the program strengthens the U.S. response
to current and projected threats to national security worldwide posed
by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and
the diversion of special nuclear material. The R&D program provides
operational organizations with innovative systems and technologies to
satisfy their nonproliferation and counter-terrorism mission
responsibilities. The program's four main elements are:
Nuclear explosion monitoring, which will remain within the
Department of Energy;
Chemical and Biological National Security, which will be
transferred in its entirety to the Department of Homeland
Proliferation Detection; and
Within the proliferation detection program is an element on nuclear
smuggling that will be transferred to the Department of Homeland
Security. Proliferation detection has aspects that support both
nonproliferation and homeland security. Those elements that can be
disaggregated and identified as supporting homeland security will be
transferred to the new Department. Where the activity supports both the
homeland security and non-proliferation functions, we will examine such
arrangements as joint programs. The Administration's proposed
legislation gives the President the necessary flexibility to provide
for joint operation.
Let me describe those functions that will be transferred, after
which I will return to the subject of long-term coordination.
Major Activities Identified for Transfer
Within, the Nonproliferation and Verification Research and
Development Program, the Chemical and Biological National Security
Program and the nuclear smuggling detection activity fall squarely into
the Homeland Security mission and thus have been designated for
transfer in their entirety.
The Chemical and Biological National Security Program develops and
applies detection technologies entirely for domestic homeland mission
requirements, such as a prototype biological detection system used at
the Salt Lake City Olympics and a prototype chemical detection system
currently being installed in Washington D.C.'s metro system. The
nuclear smuggling detection directly supports U.S. homeland nuclear
detection requirements, such as a nuclear detection system designed for
regional deployment, for example around a major city. I wish to
describe each program briefly, and then also discuss our nuclear
assessments program, which is also to be transferred.
Chemical and Biological National Security Program
The Chemical and Biological National Security Program works to
develop technologies and systems to improve the U.S. capability to
prepare for and respond to domestic chemical and biological threats
against civilian populations, complementing DOD's focus on the
battlefield and military installations. As part of its primary nuclear
science and technology mission, NNSA and the National Laboratories have
developed extensive capabilities in chemistry, biology, and materials
and engineering sciences that form the basis for the NNSA chemical and
biological national security program. We have conducted research on the
biological foundations necessary to establish signatures of biological
threat agents and develop assays certified by the Centers for Disease
Control for those agents, which are applied to develop detectors.
NNSA has conducted demonstration projects of prototype detector
capabilities in partnership with other agencies to support their
operational missions, such as the systems I just mentioned that have
been developed and applied for the Olympics and the Washington Metro,
to illustrate possible system approaches for population protection. We
are now working to expand the number of signatures and assays of
biological agents that we can detect with increased sensitivity, and to
improve public health response through the CDC. The next generation of
bio-detectors will detect a much wider range of agents, which will
enable public health agencies to more rapidly treat affected people.
Homeland Security Nuclear Smuggling Activities
The nuclear smuggling component of our proliferation detection
program also squarely fits within homeland security and will be
transferred. NNSA and the National Laboratories have unique insight
into nuclear proliferation activities--the facilities and
infrastructure, as well as the observable signatures of nuclear weapon
development activity. We also have the capability to develop technical
solutions for the U.S. government to detect and characterize such
proliferation activities in their early stages. NNSA has worked closely
with homeland security agencies, including U.S. Customs, U.S. Coast
Guard, and the Departments of Transportation and Justice to apply this
technical base to detection of nuclear weapons and materials at U.S.
borders. We have previously conducted demonstrations with these
agencies of radiation detection methods at an international border
station, a port, a rail yard, and airport personnel and baggage
handling facilities. With many of these agencies becoming part of the
new Department, it is a good fit for the R&D applications to counter
nuclear smuggling to be transferred to the Department of Homeland
Nuclear Threat Assessment and Trafficking in Nuclear Materials
The Department of Energy's Nuclear Assessment Program provides a
national capability to assess accurately and swiftly the credibility of
communicated threats of nuclear terrorism. The Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory (LLNL) leads this unique effort. Since September
1978, the Nuclear Assessment Program has been used to assess the
credibility of over 60 nuclear extortion threats, 25 nuclear reactor
threats, 20 non nuclear extortion threats and approximately 650 cases
involving the reported or attempted illicit sale of nuclear materials.
When activated, DOE-based threat credibility assessment teams
perform comprehensive technical, operational and behavioral assessments
of communicated nuclear threats at the start of an actual or perceived
emergency. Since communicated nuclear threats are a serious violation
of federal law, the FBI is the lead federal agency. Since the Program's
inception in 1977, the Nuclear Assessment Program has developed close
and working relationships with its counter-terrorism counterparts in
Customs, State, FBI, DIA, CIA, and others in the nonproliferation
community. The Program also provides expert technical support to law
enforcement and others for Special Event Preparedness, on-scene
technical support, and national and international training.
Since 9/11 the Nuclear Assessment Program has performed
approximately 70 assessments involving communicated nuclear threats,
reports of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials, and special
analysis reports for law enforcement and intelligence components. This
national asset provided immeasurable support to all government agencies
tasked with separating critical from non-critical information in the
aftermath of 9/11.
title v issues
I want to now turn to emergency response, and Title V of the
The Department is prepared to respond immediately, anywhere in the
world, to discrete and specific nuclear-radiological incidences and
emergencies. People and equipment are trained, and they are ready to
respond right now.
There are seven basic teams that make up this nuclear-radiological
incident response capability, which includes nuclear emergency support
activities. These include aerial measurement teams, accident response
groups, and a radiological assistance program that works closely with
state and local agencies. Through these tailored and responsive teams,
NNSA marshals highly trained and unique scientific and technical
expertise, drawing across the NNSA resources and the Department as a
There are more than 900 individuals on call to respond in the event
of a nuclear-radiological incident or emergency. Only a handful of
these about 70 are full time. It is the ability to call upon a broad
range of professionals from across the weapons complex that brings this
program its depth and ability to respond to a wide range of crises or
Comparisons to volunteer fire departments or National Guard units
have been made; these teams are staffed with nuclear professionals who
take this work on as additional duty. Day-to-day, they are the
individuals who ensure the safety, the security, and the reliability of
our nuclear weapons stockpile. It is this everyday work that qualifies
them for serving in an emergency.
To support the new Department, we envisage that these teams would,
when requested, be activated and deployed to help manage a crisis; in
other words, current practices would prevail. The team members would
continue to work in their current jobs in the Department of Energy and
the NNSA. In response to a WMD incident, our teams would deploy under
the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. We do not
anticipate that the DOE-NNSA capabilities or response to a nuclear-
radiological accident or incident would be compromised in any way by
this transfer of operational control for specific domestic responses.
With the transfer of Title III programmatic responsibilities to the
Department of Homeland Security, it will be critically important that
the new Department maintain the technical base at the National
Laboratories, so that the capability and the scientific atmosphere to
pursue high risk, long-term research be encouraged in spite of the need
to focus on short-term requirements for homeland security. It is the
ability to pursue such research that makes our national laboratories a
national treasure--and a unique asset with unmatched capabilities. Only
through such investment will the scientific and technical capability
exist to meet the needs for innovative solutions to future homeland
With respect to the remainder of the proliferation detection
program, no matter how the responsibilities are finally apportioned,
the research will be of value to both departments. For that reason, it
is critical that we work together closely. By so doing, our
nonproliferation and homeland security efforts will continue to benefit
from the unparalleled capabilities of the National Laboratories.
I support fully the concept of locating the new Department's main
research facility at Lawrence Livermore, with satellite centers of
excellence located at other national laboratories. It will create a
campus-like environment where scientists will be dedicated, full-time,
to thinking about homeland security, and it will allow for direct
interaction with the expertise that resides at the other DOE labs as
well as other labs throughout the federal government. It's good for DOE
and it's good for the Department of Homeland Security.
Just as DOE and NNSA fully support the transfer of programs as
stipulated in Section 302 of the bill, we also believe that Title V of
the bill is the right way to incorporate the NNSA nuclear emergency
response assets into the operations of the new department.
I want to reiterate in no uncertain terms: The National Nuclear
Security Administration supports fully the transfer of the programs
noted in Section 302(2) of the bill under discussion. The details of
what would be included in the legislative package were worked out
directly with my office. These programs are a natural fit for the
Department of Homeland Security, whose primary mission is the critical
task of protecting the United States from catastrophic terrorism. DOE/
NNSA will also work to ensure that its assets can continue to
contribute enabling science and technology in support of DHS mission
Obviously, that is a goal that I am pleased to support
wholeheartedly. I believe that the bill as being discussed goes a long
way toward its realization.
Thank you, and I look forward to any questions you may have.
The Chairman. Dr. Orbach, why don't you go right ahead, and
then we'll have some questions.
STATEMENT OF DR. RAYMOND ORBACH, DIRECTOR,
OFFICE OF SCIENCE, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Dr. Orbach. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I, too, would like to submit my testimony for the record,
if I may, and then give a few comments.
The Chairman. Very good.
Dr. Orbach. Thank you.
First of all, it's a pleasure to be here again and to
discuss title III of the Homeland Security Act as it applies to
the Office of Science in the Department of Energy. We believe
that the President's plan makes good sense.
Each of you has brought up some important issues associated
with the strength of the laboratories and, if I may, the
strength of our research program in the United States, because,
in my ten laboratories, about half of the research that is
carried out that is funded by the laboratories--or, I should
say, by my office--goes to universities, the other half to the
And what we have done in order to meet some of the issues
you raise--namely not leaving the Department of Homeland
Security isolated, but rather coupling it to the entire
research base of the Nation--is to appoint a point of contact
within each of the ten laboratories that are a part of the
Office of Science. Those laboratories have a single point of
contact. And as we go around the country with our site visits,
we are inviting the vice provost or vice presidents for
research from all of the universities in the geographic area
associated with the laboratory to attend and become part of a
national program to assist the new Department of Homeland
Security. So we are using the laboratories as a means of
outreach to the research community, both in the private and in
the public sector. We hope this will, as I say in my testimony,
enrich and nourish the research and development programs which
are so essential to the new department.
We have also transferred programs from the Office of
Science; in particular, in the area of genomics dealing with
both pathogens which are lethal and those which are related to
them for the purpose of identification of dangerous pathogens,
but also to avoid false positives. What we have done is to put
together a package that will give a core competency to the
Department of Homeland Security in the biological-threat area.
It is certainly not sufficient to cover every area and all
aspects of biological security. And, indeed, as all of you have
pointed out, it's important to use a national research base.
But it is also essential for the department to have a
competency and its own laboratories to be able to experiment,
to be able to match the information that it will receive, and
also to inform the research community of the opportunities that
are present for contribution to homeland security.
One of my experiences, as I've gone around the country, is
one of great patriotism. This entire Nation is committed to the
fight against terrorism, and scientists want to contribute to
that fight. The creation of this department will give them a
targeted vehicle for input, in terms of their own ideas and
also information from the department that they can use for
their own information and direction.
Now, the area of dual-use came up with both Senators
Cantwell and Senator Feinstein, and this is a tricky issue,
because we are dealing with the health and strength of the
laboratories as well as the needs for homeland security. And
this is one where we believe the Department of Homeland
Security has to have its own core--as I called it, a core
competency--but it must rely, ultimately, on the laboratories,
their strengths, and the university communities.
So in the case, for example, of the 900 megahertz
spectrometer at PNNL, that is a device which will be used for
both, and, for structural determinations of pathogens, for
example, would be available to the Department of Homeland
Security. And its very existence, which is based on the entire
spread of science that it will accomplish, will be available
for homeland-security purposes.
In the programs we have transferred in the biological
areas, it is clearly not all of the biological programs,
because, within the Department of Energy, we have a mission, as
well, using biological approaches. Nevertheless, the
relationship between our laboratory programs and the core
competency of the Department of Homeland Security ensures that
there will be exchange of ideas. There will not be an isolation
which would lead to a decay of that competency within the
Finally, let me say that I believe we have a important
mission. I believe that the creation of the Department of
Homeland Security gives us a way to bring science and
technology directly into the national arsenal to deal with the
threat of terrorism. And, as Ambassador Brooks said, our Office
of Science is fully committed to working with the new
department and making available to it all the resources that we
can provide to assist it in its pursuits.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my remarks, and I, too, would
be pleased to answer any further questions.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Orbach follows:]
Prepared Statement of Dr. Raymond Orbach, Director, Office of Science,
Department of Energy
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of Secretary Abraham it is a
pleasure to be here today with Ambassador Linton Brooks to discuss
Title lll of the Homeland Security Act as it applies to the Office of
Science and the Department of Energy.
The President's proposal to organize the Department of Homeland
Security will significantly improve the way the Government responds to
threats against the United States. The President's plan simply makes
good sense. We at the Department of Energy are proud of our role in the
fight against terrorism and we look forward to working with Congress
and the Administration to make a smooth transition to a new department.
As the President has said, there are dozens of international
terrorist organizations capable of doing harm to the United States. But
if we wait for threats to full materialize, we have waited too long. It
is clearly in the interest of all Americans to create a new Department
of Homeland Security.
The federal agencies with the best access to the nation's sources
of scientific, engineering and medical research lie outside the
proposed department, and close cooperation will be needed to allow the
new department to produce the best to counter terrorism.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the
Executive Office of the President (EOP) has a critical role with the
capability to interact with the science and technology community in
support of the Department of Homeland Security.
The present OSTP director has given homeland security a top
priority and he has asked the President's Council of Advisors on
Science and Technology to give these issues priority as well.
The Office of Science is responsible for some of this nation's most
critical and most farsighted scientific research. Our capabilities and
assets are currently being applied toward a host of homeland security
and counter-terrorism challenges. Several DOE Science-related
activities will be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security,
DNA SEQUENCING--High throughput DNA sequencing is used to determine
the sequences of pathogenic microbes that can be used by bio-terrorists
and related microbes. Each pathogen has many close genetic relatives
that do not cause disease but that need to be characterized so that
more accurate detection methodologies can be developed that avoid
unnecessary and alarming false positives.
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT--We are now using computational tools to
compare the gene sequence from an organism to the database of existing
gene sequence. This research can be redirected to aid in anti-terrorism
research and development.
COMPUTATIONAL TOOLS AND DATABASES--Faster, more robust
computational tools are being developed for searching the rapidly
expanding databases of microbial (and other) DNA sequence data. In
addition, dedicated, secure databases may be needed in some cases to
prevent sensitive information on potential bio-threat agents or on
methods for their detection from falling into the hands of terrorists.
ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING AT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE--The Advanced
Scientific Computing Research program supports researchers at LLNL in
applied mathematics and computer science to achieve optimal
efficiencies from large scale computing systems.
The transfer of these activities to the Department of Homeland
Security makes sense because it will provide the new Department with a
critical core competence is several area of science that will be
necessary for DHS to set the research direction for the Department.
It will allow for the Department of Homeland Security to reach out
broadly, to the unclassified, fundamental research community that
exists at other laboratories, at our nation's universities and in
industry to tap the intellect and patriotism of the entire U.S.
I believe this is vitally important--no single agency or research
group will provide all the answers we will need to fight terrorism and
protect our country. Instead, we need a strong research arm within the
new agency that can work with the full spectrum of research being
performed in this country to get the best from the best, and in doing
this maintain the vitality of science to counter terrorism.
Time and again, we have learned that science conducted in a vacuum
suffers, while science subjected to the pollination, and pruning, from
a larger community thrives. Further, we have identified a point of
contact within each Office of Science laboratory to act as the vehicle
for transmitting anti-terrorist research and development needs of DHS
to the laboratory, and opportunities within the laboratory to DHS.
To maximize involvement in research technologies a broad dialogue
on a variety of topics is needed. An effective approach is to attract
the private sector in a dual-use strategy in which security uses and
commercial applications rest on a common base of investment.
In addition to providing for creative research, universities also
play vital role between federal programs and the needs of state and
Again, it's a pleasure to be here with you today and I look forward
to answering any of the questions you or other Members of the Committee
The Chairman. Well, thank you very much. Let me start with
a few questions.
One concern which I have is that I don't really understand
what is meant by this phrase, ``proposed transfer.'' Ambassador
Brooks, you've indicated you propose--or ``the administration
proposes to transfer.'' Does that mean that the individuals who
are working in one wing or one hallway of a particular
laboratory somewhere in the country will be physically moved,
or does it mean that they just will told they no longer report
to the people they used to report to, or what will we be doing
with them when once they've been transferred?
Ambassador Brooks. Mr. Chairman, the individuals working on
specific projects, the scientists, quite possibly won't know
that they've been transferred. The laboratories function as
intellectual and technological scientific research
establishments, and people work on particular projects that are
assigned them by--or that are assigned to the laboratories by
the Department of Energy.
What will happen is that the responsibility and the budget
associated with those projects and the relatively small--in the
case of chem-bio, less than ten--Federal employees or Federal
positions who supervise them will be moved to the new
department. But the strength of the national laboratories and
of the President's proposal is that the laboratories are a
synergistic organization, and we don't propose to build any
walls within the laboratories or to paint some of the
laboratory employees green and some of them blue. So the
laboratory directors will retain the flexibility to assign
people to projects as they need.
So what will be happening is the scientists will still be
doing the same work, but that work will be for a different
Cabinet department and ultimately, as we go on, someone other
than me will be setting relative priorities for them.
The Chairman. Well, given that understanding, then, my
impression, as I visited our laboratories, particularly in New
Mexico, but also Livermore over many years now, is that they do
a great deal of what they call ``work for others,'' where they
don't--they're not working for the Department of Energy;
they're working for the Navy or they're working for the CIA or
they're working for some other Federal agency. And that
generally works pretty well. They do the work that the--
presumably the laboratory administration contracts to do a
certain project or certain research, technology development for
one of these other agencies, and that is work for others, and
they do it, and everything works fine. Isn't that what you're
Ambassador Brooks. Almost, but there are a couple of
differences. One is philosophical. The laboratories now see
their role--well, let me speak of the NNSA weapons
laboratories--as being responsive to the National Nuclear
Security Administration. And ``work for others'' is as
available. It's a second priority.
The notion that we have is that the Secretary of Homeland
Security and the Secretary of Energy would both be tasking the
laboratories. The laboratories have two primary customers. That
has both a philosophical aspect--that is, we want to emphasize
that this new mission is important--and it also has an
administrative aspect that some find the current procedures for
``work for others'' to be somewhat cumbersome, and the intent
is not to adopt those procedures, but to have the work that is
done by the--under the auspices of the Department of Homeland
Security managed and tasked in a comparable way that the work
that's done under the Department of Energy. But, once again, if
you're the engineer or the scientists, it's not clear to me
that you would see huge differences.
Dr. Orbach. If I could add to the comments of Ambassador
The Chairman. Dr. Orbach.
Dr. Orbach. There is also the speed of response. This new
department has a tremendous responsibility, and it has to act,
and act quickly. It's not a time to go looking for those who
may be available to assist it. So having some core
competencies, some strengths of its own in research and
development to be able to respond quickly is essential, I
believe, for the function of that--the new department. So these
programs that we have transferred--and sometimes it's money,
most--sometimes it's people; it'll be a combination, as
Ambassador Brooks has said--are, in fact, committed to the
department and its responsible--or its responsibilities. I
think this is the reason why there has to be some element of
rapid response associated with the transfer of technologies.
The Chairman. Well, it still strikes me, frankly, as
potentially very confusing. If I'm an engineer, and I've just
been transferred to a new department, and the director of the
laboratory, who's still working for the Department of Energy,
calls me up and says, ``Hey, I've got something I want you to
do.'' Is my response supposed to be, ``Fine, I'll do whatever
you say,'' which is presumably my response today, or is the new
response supposed to be, ``Wait a minute. I'm not working for
you anymore. I'm working for the new Secretary of Homeland
Security, and if you want me to do anything for you, you'd
better talk to him or her''?
Ambassador Brooks. Yes, sir. I didn't make myself clear.
There is nothing in the President's proposal that alters the
fundamental structure of the laboratories, which are unique
entities, but they are private corporations, the weapons
laboratories, the people will work for Paul Robinson or John
Brown or Mike Anastasio, just like they do now. What is altered
is the source of funding and direction to the laboratories. So
you shouldn't think of it in terms of individual scientists
being transferred to another department. You should think of it
as the laboratory, as a whole, having a responsibility to
another department that is equal in importance with the
responsibility that it has to my department.
The Chairman. But that is not the--that's not what they're
doing now when they do work for others. I mean, they--
presumably when they agree to do a project for the Navy or
they're requested to something for the CIA or whoever, or the
Customs Department, they presumably----
Ambassador Brooks. That's correct, sir.
The Chairman [continuing]. Have responsibilities to them
and--you know, commit the resources and do that work. But
you're saying this is a different situation?
Ambassador Brooks. I am saying this is different in two
respects. One is the philosophic one that that's at least
conceptually an ``as available.'' And we are looking to have
equal priority for homeland security. And the second is the
administrative one that the procedures for getting ``work for
others'' started are believed, by some, to be more cumbersome
than is appropriate to the new Department of Homeland Security.
The Chairman. But they'll still get their paycheck, even
this group--the paycheck still comes from that laboratory.
Ambassador Brooks. Yes, sir, it will.
The Chairman. It does not come from new department.
Ambassador Brooks. Yes, sir, that's correct.
The Chairman. I've used all my time here. Let me defer to
Senator Domenici. There's a vote up, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. That's correct, we've started a vote. Do you
want to go with your questions, and then we'll break?
Senator Domenici. [Inaudible.]
The Chairman. Okay, why don't you ask your questions, and
then we'll go vote, and members may want to vote early,
Senator Domenici. Well, Mr. Chairman and fellow Senators
and witnesses, not only the two that are there, but those who
are waiting, there aren't a lot of us in this room that
remember the last major reorganization. We had a minor one, but
the major one created the Department of Energy. It had a
predecessor named ERDA. I'm old enough to have been here for
both of them.
The truth of the matter is, from any standpoint whatsoever,
what we reorganized turned out worse than what we organized.
And there is no doubt about it. You can go ask anybody that
knows. If what I'm seeing around here has any carryover, that
will hold true this time, too.
I recall, when you'd go to a room, there would be a few
members of Congress, but this room wouldn't hold the staff that
wanted to go to every meeting. Well, when you see a note that
says, ``Staff invited for meeting on new department,'' peak in.
You need to open the air vents. It'll be jammed full. The last
one I sent somebody to count, there were 120, Mr. Chairman,
staff from probably every committee around. They're wonderful,
they're bright. Hopefully we can get it all organized where we
can get something out of it.
But let me say, if we make it too complicated, we're going
to be inviting tentacles that are going to be all over the
place, and you're going to get one senator with all his
admiration for this President. I'm going to be trying to find
out how we make it not work or how we don't do it, unless we
can make it rather simple.
Second point, you know, I have been appropriating the money
for now on 6 years as the principal appropriator for all these
laboratories, including Lawrence Livermore. And, for the life
of me I cannot see why Lawrence Livermore is offered the lead
in any respect over the two labs that are its brother labs.
None. They had to get this NIF program, which we had to pay
for, or they would have fallen off the ladder and been second
rate in total when we put that program in--$4 billion NIF.
So for those who are wandering around, they ought to get
their marbles straight with reference to this. They did less of
the work for the nuclear weapons; thus, more biological
research, and somebody looks at it and says, ``Woo, biology
research, that's what we need for the war--for this new war.''
So somebody says they're going to lead something. And they're
going to lead something just like the other laboratories, it
would appear to me. And they may have some particular area
where they'll have a lead. And we ought to forget about arguing
over that, and we ought to decide how we're going to manage
this thing and who is in charge of what.
From what I can tell--from what I can tell, it can be done.
And, from what I can tell, everything that I've looked at that
you all have put down, there's some interpreting and some
working together, I think it will work. It's not going to be
easy, because you can have a mixture of the kinds of
departments. You're going to have nuclear weapons makers,
designers, developers--although they don't do that now, in
terms of building new ones--but we have those mixed in this
time not only with all the rest of the research, but now we
have it in with the homeland--the homeland terrorism--the anti-
terrorism work. So it's not going to be so easy, in my opinion,
to do it.
I would hope that we could streamline a suggestion from the
laboratories through the Secretary, through you for your share,
and just give us what you would recommend as a streamlined way
of--coming out of this Department of Energy, what are we going
to come out with after we do this, and what's going to be--
that's going into the new homeland management episode, whatever
I don't want to prejudice anyone in my discussions, but,
frankly, I think I know a little bit about this, not that I
will get my way; I don't intend to. But you work awful hard on
a laboratory like Sandia National Laboratory, which manages
tremendous programs, has no nuclear weapons there, and it
seems--talking about the other two laboratories, versus it--and
they come along and say Lawrence Livermore is going to
``manage'' this episode or be the home office or something.
Now, that's been mellowed down, and I guess it's not really
that anymore. Let's hope it borders on equality when we're
finished, and not this other business.
So I didn't have any questions. I'm sorry you----
Ambassador Brooks. But may I just make one--there's nobody
in the Department of Energy who thinks we're going to put one
lab in a position of primacy over another lab, and I don't
think that's where the homeland security folks are going now.
There was some early confusion.
Senator Domenici. I thank you very much.
The Chairman. We'll take about a 15-minute recess and then
come back. Thank you very much.
The Chairman. The gentleman from Hawaii is recognized.
Senator Akaka. Yes, I do have some questions for Ambassador
Does the NNSA currently have the personnel needed to
properly manage the various research programs in NNSA?
Ambassador Brooks. Yes, sir.
Senator Akaka. Will the creation of a new set of programs
through the Department of Homeland Security potentially drain
away managers currently dedicated to run NNSA's research
Ambassador Brooks. I don't think it will drain away. I do
think that those managers who supervise programs to be
transferred will be logical candidates to be transferred. For
example, the people who supervise the chemical and biological
work, I would think it would make the greatest sense if they
were to continue to supervise that work in the new department.
But that's a decision that has not been made. But I don't
expect to lose talent that I can't--by this--the standing up of
this new department.
Senator Akaka. Dr. Orbach, the President proposes to move
the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program in the
Office of Science to the new department. Does this office work
with other agencies and non-Federal agencies? If so, will these
relationships be maintained over the next 5 or 10 years, or
will the facility become more and more focused on homeland
Dr. Orbach. The actual transfer in the Advanced Scientific
Computing Research Program is the component that was invested
at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I amounts to about
$3 million, whereas, the full program is of the order of $200
million. This particular component is one that we think will
give the new department the core competency in advanced
scientific computation, which it will need. It will mean that
some of the programs that we were supporting at Livermore will
be transferred to the new department, in terms of their
capacity--computational capacity--but it will not affect the
vast majority of the program, which, as you say, is focused in
Senator Akaka. Ambassador Brooks, the Nuclear Assessment
Program provides technical assistance and training support to
help our international partners improve tracking of nuclear
threats. Should a domestic security department train and assist
foreign law enforcement officials?
Ambassador Brooks. Probably it should not, but the part
that we propose to transfer is not involved in working with
foreign officials. The part that we propose to transfer
assesses the credibility of extortion and other nuclear
threats, and it works with domestic law enforcement officials,
domestic--or with intelligence agencies and then with the
national laboratories. So it won't affect my continued ability
to improve border security in the former Soviet Union.
Senator Akaka. Dr. Orbach, I have met with scientists and
inventors from Hawaii who are confused about who they should
approach within the Government with their ideas for homeland
security. In their testimony, many of the lab directors state
what their facilities are doing to build partnerships with
local industry and academia. My question is, how does the
office reach out to the private sector, especially smaller
businesses, on developing new tools and techniques?
Dr. Orbach. Well, the proposed structure that I have been
discussing is actually set up for that. And, indeed, when I
visited Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the first
site visit, where we had already a single point of contact, the
vice president for research at the University of Hawaii came
and was represented there. And we gave him the responsibility
to provide the input from the private sector and from the
university in Hawaii into the laboratories for--then
transformed or transmitted to the new department. So this is
our form of outreach to accomplish precisely that.
And I must say that the enthusiasm that we found was quite
significant. I think that will work.
Senator Akaka. Well, thank you for that. I was looking for
that point of contact, and I'm glad you mentioned him.
Ambassador Brooks, I'd like to ask you a question about the
intelligence program. In his written testimony, the Director of
Lawrence Livermore states that the intelligence program needs
to maintain its access to raw intelligence and its ability to
use nuclear weapons design tools. The question is, will the
intelligence program lose these abilities if removed from DOE
and, therefore, no longer designated as a ``field intelligence
Ambassador Brooks. I don't expect that it will lose its
designation as a field intelligence element. My interpretation
of the President's proposed legislation is to transfer the
funding that we are now applying from our Department to the
intelligence efforts at Livermore so that the new director will
have dedicated funding and unambiguous access to that
intelligence capability. I expect that, as I look at future
budgets, I will find that I'll move money around so I, too,
continue to fund that capability. And if this suggests that the
intelligence function at Livermore may grow, that's quite
What's crucial, as the Director's testimony makes it clear,
is that this asset and comparable assets at other labs have to
have access both to the technology and science of the labs and
the knowledge of the intelligence community. By doing that,
they can produce unique analyses, which are valuable to me in
nonproliferation and in other areas, and are valuable to the
Director--or the Secretary of Homeland Security.
So I don't expect that I will be--that the field-
intelligence element status will be lost, and I don't expect to
lose my access. I do expect to lose a certain amount of money
in order that the--remember, this whole thing is going to be
totally budget-neutral--that the new Secretary has comparable
Senator Akaka. Ambassador Brooks, the Federal Government
has a Federal Response Plan to designate lead and support
agencies during emergencies and provide an all-hazards approach
to disaster preparedness and response. The President has stated
that he supports an all-hazards approach, yet the President
proposes to legislate a special relationship between the
Department of Homeland Security and the Nuclear Incident
Response Team, which conflicts with the all-hazards approach.
The question is, in order to maintain an all-hazard approach,
shouldn't the relationship between the proposed department and
the Nuclear Incident Response Team be developed in the Federal
Ambassador Brooks. Senator, with regard to the specific
question of what should be in or out of the Federal Response
Plan, I'd like to take that for the record.
With regard to the broader, I don't know whether it's
broader or just separate question of our capability for
response, we think that the legislation will not hamper, and,
indeed, in many ways, will improve our ability to respond. Our
forces will continue to be organized, trained, equipped, and
manned from within the Department of Energy, but they'll now be
responding to the same person who is responsible for all other
aspects of response to accidents and incidents in terrorism. So
it seems to us that this is a sensible solution.
The training responsibility needs to stay with us, because
most of these people are part-time, and they gain their
expertise from what they do in their full-time jobs. So I'm
With regard to the specific question of the Federal
Response Plan, I'll have to give you an answer for the record.
I'm not knowledgeable.
[The information follows:]
As we understand it, the ``special relationship'' referred to in
the Senator's question refers to the proposal that the Department of
Energy's Nuclear Incident Response Teams will be transferred to the
operational control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) when
deployed in support of the Homeland Security mission. We do not see
this as being in conflict with an all-hazard approach, but as an
operational necessity based on the unique nature of our response
infrastructure. The fact that our response assets are predominantly
composed of part time volunteers precludes transferring those personnel
to DHS as full time employees.
Under the current Terrorism Incident Annex of the Federal Response
Plan (FRP), DOE assets respond in a supporting role to the FBI as the
Lead Agency for Crisis Response (CR) and to FEMA as the Lead Agency for
Consequence Management (CM). These agencies have the overall lead for
management and coordination of the Federal response. Although the
specific operational role of DHS has not yet been promulgated, we
envision that they will assume the role as the lead agency for both CR
and CM (particularly with the absorption of FEMA) and DOE will still be
in a supporting role to the designated lead agency. DOE feels that it
would be imperative for the roles of all supporting agencies be fully
addressed in the new Federal all-hazards response plan.
Senator Akaka. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
Senator Craig. Mr. Chairman, thank you. And, gentlemen, I
apologize for being late to this hearing. It's an important
one. And, Mr. Chairman, I'm pleased you're holding it. And
we're examining roles to be played and opportunities to be
effectively utilized within DOE.
I think, Director Orbach, this question would be
appropriately addressed to you. The United States has,
obviously, a large energy infrastructure that is generally not
well protected through physical security, such as refineries
and petrochemical facilities, oil and natural gas pipelines,
and our electrical transmission lines. What role will the
Department of Homeland Security play in assuring the physical
protection of our energy infrastructure, as you see it?
Dr. Orbach. I don't know all of the technical details of
how we will carry out that mission, but it will have the
responsibility of defining the problem and the approach to the
solution. I believe the next panel may have more information,
in terms of the details.
Senator Craig. Yeah.
Dr. Orbach. For example, in terms of the electrical grid,
it is, right now, very vulnerable, as you point out, and there
are ways of making it smart and handling distribution in a
reactive way that would be self sustaining. And these would be
responsibilities of the new department. The Department of
Energy will assist, in that regard, very closely.
Senator Craig. Well, Dr. Shipp is with us today, who is
director of our lab in Idaho, the Idaho National Engineering
and Environmental Lab, and I'll be making a pitch later on to
the administration as it relates to the role I think we can
play in critical infrastructure testing. We have some unique
capabilities at that lab that provide us with an opportunity.
But, in that context, let me ask this next question, then.
Part of our problem, I sense, in visiting with utilities,
are the free flow of information between the private sector and
the Government sector is going to be critical in the protection
of this energy infrastructure. But industry appears to be
reluctant to provide sensitive information to government,
because it may become subject to release under the Freedom of
Information Act. And government has difficulty providing threat
information to industry because much is classified.
Do you think that the Freedom of Information Act should be
modified to assure the non-disclosure of critical and sensitive
industrial information or industry information?
Dr. Orbach. Senator, I would prefer to respond on the
record on that. I don't have sufficient information to respond
[The information follows:]
I believe the current Freedom of Information Act provides for the
protection of proprietary information that has been provided to the
Federal government by the private sector. This protection has allowed
our laboratories to successfully partner with the private sector to
assist in resolving difficult and critical technical questions facing
an industry sector or individual firm. In light of the many changes
occurring as a result of the events on September 11, it might be
beneficial to carry out a review of this law to determine whether some
changes could provide our nation and ourselves better protection from
these new and ever changing threats.
Senator Craig. I think it's an important question that
deserves to be responded to, and if you would do that, I would
appreciate it, because that's part of our problem in this
interrelationship that we're attempting to develop in the
context of homeland security. So do you think that security
clearances should be granted to personnel in critical
infrastructure industries so that the Government threat
information could be provided to industry?
Dr. Orbach. That, I can answer. We have asked the heads of
each of our laboratories, even though they do not do classified
work, in many cases, to have a clearance sufficient to be able
to be briefed by counterintelligence if there is a threat
against the laboratories. And I assume that in the private
sector a very comparable situation would be present, and they
would be allowed to apply and, if successful, receive
Senator Craig. Okay. Well, it is an issue that, Mr.
Chairman, we're going to have to deal with. One of the
uniquenesses I've discovered of recent, a colleague--a former
colleague that we all know well, my former colleagues, now the
governor of Idaho, Dirk Kempthorne, when he was capable of
sitting at this dias, he had certain levels of clearance and
access to information that today he is prohibited from having
because he's not a U.S. Senator; he's a Governor. He hasn't
changed. But the character of his role has changed; and,
therefore, his clearance has changed; and, therefore, his flow
of information has changed.
Now, I'm not quite sure we can have an effective seamless
homeland security system if we don't understand that kind of
difficulty and correct it, and it is a problem that will play
against the private sector or the public sector as it relates
to this, if you will, ``seamless relationship,'' hopefully,
that builds a better security system for this country.
Thank you. Gentlemen, thank you.
The Chairman. Thank you.
Senator Feinstein. Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman.
I wanted to ask a question, if I might, on the issue of
nuclear powerplants and their safety and what role you envision
for the Energy Department in this regard, because now that
Yucca Mountain is going to become the waste repository, as far
as I know there is no real transportation plan that offers the
protection that might prevent sabotage. As far as I know, we
have no real way of really deterring a plane from crashing into
a nuclear powerplant. And I'd like to know if you--either of
you have any thoughts in this direction of how your department
is going to proceed in that regard.
Ambassador Brooks. Senator, it's my understanding that the
narrowly defined safety at nuclear powerplants is primarily
under the jurisdiction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
With regard to transportation, now that the Yucca Mountain
decision has been made, I'm not sure that all of those issues
have been worked out. I know if they have, I don't know them,
and I think I'd be safer providing you a more complete answer
for the record.
Senator Feinstein. But will that be part of the
responsibility of this agency?
Ambassador Brooks. That's an excellent question to which,
I'm sorry, I can't answer.
Senator Feinstein. All right.
Ambassador Brooks. I'll get you an answer for the record.
Senator Feinstein. Okay. I don't want to get into a
disagreement with Senator Domenici. I heard, while I was out of
the room, he made some disparaging comments about what I regard
as a premier laboratory, and I've read your written comments
with respect to them--with respect to it. Do your comments
reflect the policy of the administration?
Ambassador Brooks. The policy of the administration with
regard to the three weapons laboratories is that they're all
priceless national assets and it is----
Senator Feinstein. Are you running for public office?
Ambassador Brooks [continuing]. And it is quite possible
that there are people dumb enough to try and sit here and rank
them relatively, but I'm not one of them, Senator.
Senator Feinstein. All right. Then I guess we'll just have
to wait and see how this all turns out.
Ambassador Brooks. No, but I do need to make an important
point. It is important for the Department of Homeland Security
to have access to all of the capabilities of all of the
laboratories. That's one point. It's important that we not
build walls within the laboratories. The strength of the
laboratories, in part, lies from their ability to work
synergistically across disciplines and to draw in different
The reason that the President's proposal keeps the
laboratories as discrete units under their present management
is precisely so that we don't lose that synergy. So we see that
all of the capabilities of--in my case, the weapons
laboratories; in Dr. Orbach's case, the other laboratories--are
going to need to be brought to bear, and we see this done the
same way it's done for me, which is to say with the values of
intellectual competition and the benefits of management
cooperation. And I would assume that's the culture that we
assume will be passed on to the relationship with homeland
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much. Just one other
quick question, on my intel question with respect to how you're
going to utilize the intelligence function there. I'm a member
on the Intelligence Committee, as is Senator Kyl, and one of
the things that we've been looking at is whether the community,
as set up, is best able to function in this new milieu of
terrorism. And so I am curious how the present intelligence
programs will be carried out, as well as how this would fit
into homeland defense, what you would take and what you would
leave for strategic nuclear defense intelligence for--related
Ambassador Brooks. I think part of the problem is that
we're using the language of programs and entities to talk about
what is really budgets, at least in this area. Here is our
understanding, both of what's important and what's planned.
What's important is that the intelligence units, the field-
intelligence elements at the labs, continue to have access both
to the intelligence community--hence, being field-intelligence
elements--and to the rest of the labs in the technology
community, because that's their source of leverage. It's the
interaction between technology knowledge and intelligence
My understanding--my interpretation of the transfer of the
intelligence function at Livermore is that the funding that is
now going from the Department of Energy to that function will
be transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security. And that
will make it clear that the Secretary has the ability to get
the same kind of support that I am getting.
I anticipate that, as future NNSA budgets are developed,
future DOE budgets are developed, we will find it necessary to
put some money against that function, as well. And so the net
result will be that both of us will benefit from the resource
represented--in the case of Livermore, by Z Division; in the
case of the other labs, by comparable elements.
So I am not--if I thought I wasn't going to be able to draw
on that capability, I'd be worried. I think I am going to be
able to draw on that capability. So is the Secretary of
Homeland Security. And I think that this, once again, is a
specific example of my point about not building walls within
the laboratories. We're not trying to fence off any part of the
laboratory from either of the departments.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you very much.
Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
We have six additional witnesses scheduled on panel two.
Let me just ask Senator Carper, did you want to ask this panel
questions, or would you be willing to wait for the next six
Senator Carper. I'm willing. I'm a willing member of this
committee, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Senator Domenici. Mr. Chairman?
The Chairman. Yes?
Senator Domenici. Very briefly, I would like to address
what Senator Feinstein has expressed in her concern about
We sit on this committee--it really will be the
responsibility of this committee to oversight that new
licensure process, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as a
component of that process, and licensing should be a highly
integrated directed-transportation system. And that is our
responsibility. It isn't in place now, and it shouldn't be
until we determine licence.
Lastly, what the Admiral has just said about the
department, the new department owning certain capabilities,
certain assets, and having access to other assets and not
building walls, I think is critically important because of the
talent that is spread out across all of these laboratories. And
not that the new department should take ownership of them, but
have access to them, although a new department has to have
ownership of something or it wouldn't exist. And I think that's
the role that has to get played out here.
Senator Feinstein. Thank you.
The Chairman. I thank both witnesses very much.
And let me call panel two to the witness stand, please.
This panel will start with Dr. William Happer, who is the
Eugene Higgins professor of physics and chair at the University
Research Board at Princeton University, and a member of the
National Research Council's Committee on Science and Technology
for Counter-Terrorism. Following his testimony, we can just go
across the line here--Dr. Anastasio, who is the newly appointed
head of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Ambassador
Robinson, who is the longstanding Director of Sandia National
Laboratory; Don Cobb, who is the Associate Director for Threat
Reduction at Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. Bill Shipp,
who is the director of the Idaho National Engineering and
Environmental Laboratory; and Dr. Harvey Drucker, who is the
associate laboratory director for Energy and Environmental
Science and Technology at Argonne. We're very pleased to have
all of you here.
We will include all of your statements in the record, of
course, so if you could take 5 minutes and give us the main
points you think we need to be focused on as we consider how to
have input into this issue about establishing a new Department
of Homeland Security, we would appreciate it, and then we'll
have a few questions.
Dr. Happer, why don't you start?
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM HAPPER, Ph.D., EUGENE HIGGINS PROFESSOR OF
PHYSICS AND CHAIR, UNIVERSITY RESEARCH BOARD, PRINCETON
Dr. Happer. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm honored to
I was the chair on the panel of Nuclear and Radiological
Terrorism for the National Research Council Academy's report.
Actually, one of the members of the panel was Mike Anastasio,
who is right here beside me. And I want to thank many of the
labs who briefed us during that time.
I have a few observations I'd like to make based on the
work of this panel and also on my own experience as director of
the Office of Energy Research, the job that Dr. Orbach has now.
So the first point is that, if you look at the academy's
report, the first serious chapter is Nuclear and Radiological
Terrorism, and I think that represents the consensus that if
you really rank potential terrorism, the thing that is most
worrisome of all is a nuclear weapon in a U.S. city. And when I
look at this country and I say, ``Where do I get the capability
to counter that,'' it's clear it's the national laboratories of
the Department of Energy and the NNSA. So that's where we have
to turn. There are no other organizations that have the hands-
on experience and understanding of nuclear weapons, all
aspects--production, maintenance, security, and safeguards. And
so we really need them badly for our new agency.
I would point out that the labs also have capabilities that
go well beyond the nuclear role. They have played an important
role in bioterrorism. It's not by accident that the DOE has
been involved in the human genome project, because recognition
of the effects of radiation on the human genome started even
during World War II, so that it really started at the DOE.
My third observation is that there's a tradition of quality
control at the laboratories which is strengthened by the fact
that there are competing laboratories. I think it's wonderful
that there is Livermore and Los Alamos and Sandia and Oakridge.
It's very hard to pull a fast one with that kind of scrutiny on
all sides. So if you get work done at the labs, you're likely
to get very good work done.
So I have a couple of recommendations that come from our
panel. One is that--certainly for radiological and nuclear
issues, that the DOE/NNSA laboratories should have the lead
role. You know, we don't take a strong position as how you
should organize that, but it's clear that it ought to be front
and center of that problem.
And then I have a second recommendation goes back to some
of my experiences as a Federal bureaucrat here, and that is
that the time to get the management straight on this is now.
It's very hard to manage organizations like this. If you
look at the chain of bureaucracies involved, it's pretty
frightening. There are headquarters here in Washington, there
are field organizations, there are management organizations at
the lab, the--Mr. Anastasio's paycheck is not from the
Department of Energy; it's from the University of California.
So this is a very complicated thing. It doesn't necessarily
When I was a bureaucrat, I had a lot of trouble getting
other Federal agencies to pay their fair share of overhead
charges at some of the labs. So it would be nice to be sure
that that is clear right from the start.
So, thank you. I'll stop my testimony here.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Happer follows:]
Prepared Statement of William Happer, Ph.D., Eugene Higgens Professor
of Physics, and Chair, University Research Board, Princeton University
Chairman Bingaman and members, thank you for the opportunity to
appear before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to testify
on the role of the Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA) Laboratories in protecting the homeland security
of the United States. My name is William Happer, and I am the Eugene
Higgens Professor of Physics and chair of the University Research Board
at Princeton University. I also served as chair of The National
Academies' panel that examined the role of science and technology for
countering nuclear and radiological terrorism. I am here today to
discuss some of the conclusions of that panel's report, an unclassified
extract of which appears as chapter 2 in The National Academies Report
entitled Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in
Countering Terrorism, which was released on June 13, 2002. I also want
to share some personal views based on my experience as director of
DOE's Office of Energy Research (now the Office of Science) from 1991-
In this testimony I offer three observations and two
recommendations for the committee's consideration. Except where noted,
these represent my personal views, and not necessarily the views of The
Observation 1: The DOE/NNSA laboratories have an important and
unique role to play in protecting homeland security, especially from
acts of nuclear and radiological terrorism. During the course of its
deliberations, The National Academies panel I chaired received over a
dozen briefings on national laboratory research and development (R&D)
projects related to nuclear and radiological counter-terrorism. This
work is extensive in scope and appears to be of high quality. The
examples given below illustrate the diverse portfolio of work on
nuclear and radiological counter-terrorism underway principally at
three national laboratories--Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories:
Deployment of materials protection, control, and accounting
technologies to protect nuclear weapons and special nuclear
materials in Russia.
Research to understand current and likely future patterns of
terrorist-state cooperation to obtain or develop technologies
and special nuclear material (highly enriched uranium and
plutonium) for improvised nuclear devices.
Research, development, and deployment of sensor systems to
detect illicit nuclear materials in commerce.
Modeling studies to understand the consequences of attacks
on nuclear power plants using civilian airliners.
Modeling studies to understand the dispersion of
radioactivity from terrorist use of radiological weapons, also
known as ``dirty bombs.''
No other organization in the world has more hands-on experience or
understanding of nuclear weapons production, maintenance, security, and
safeguards. This knowledge can readily be brought to bear on the
homeland defense mission. Other federal agencies appear to recognize
these unique capabilities of the national laboratories as well: The
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for example, has contracted with
Sandia National Laboratories for some of its nuclear safety and
security R&D work.
Observation 2: The DOE/NNSA laboratories have capabilities and
expertise that go well beyond nuclear weapons and radioactive
materials. The labs have unique expertise in building sensors and
sensor systems. For example, the development of space-deployed ``bang-
meters'' by the national laboratories has given the United States great
confidence that clandestine tests of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere
are likely to be detected. Both the weapons laboratories and the non-
weapons DOE laboratories have a great deal of experience in remote
sensing of the atmosphere and oceans, as well as seismic signals that
could reveal underground tests of nuclear weapons. They also have
strong capabilities for sensing biological, chemical, and explosive
Observation 3: There is a tradition of internal quality control at
DOE laboratories that keeps flawed science and technology to a minimum.
The DOE/NNSA laboratories have a strong tradition of intellectual
independence and freedom to pursue research ideas wherever they lead.
The labs also expose the work of their researchers to rigorous review
by peers to improve its quality, both at the front end (project
conception) and the back end (publication of results) of the R&D cycle.
The federal government's practice of providing funding to multiple
laboratories has proven to be a good way to increase the competition
among research ideas, develop a deep pool of research talent, and
thereby promote high-quality work.
The private sector also has much science and technology to
contribute to the goal of countering terrorism. But some private-sector
proposals violate well-established scientific principles, since there
is not the depth of internal quality control that is standard operating
procedure at the national laboratories. Additionally, the review of
private-sector proposals can be complicated by the need to protect
Mr. Chairman, it is my strong personal opinion that the DOE/NNSA
labs should play a pre-eminent role in homeland defense R&D, regardless
of the organizational form of the new agency that is ultimately created
by the Congress. As your committee considers changes to the national
laboratory system to improve its capabilities to support the homeland
defense effort, I offer the following two recommendations for its
Recommendation 1: The DOE/NNSA laboratories should be given the
lead role for homeland defense R&D. Quite clearly, science and
technology are key weapons in the nation's counter-terrorism arsenal,
but new organizational approaches will be needed to deploy these
weapons effectively in the nation's service. In fact, the National
Academies' panel on countering nuclear and radiological terrorism that
I chaired noted that, to be effective, the nation's efforts to counter
nuclear and radiological terrorism
must bring to bear the best scientific and technological
resources available to the federal government and must be well
coordinated with other federal R&D and counter-terrorism
The panel also noted that
important progress is already being made by the R&D and policy
communities to reduce the nation's vulnerability to nuclear and
radiological terrorism. There is not much evidence, however,
that the R&D activities are being coordinated, that thought is
being given to prioritizing the activities against other
national counter-terrorism needs, or that effective mechanisms
are in place to transfer the results of these activities into
The panel concluded that the
effectiveness of the nation's counter-terrorism efforts could
be improved if one agency were given the lead responsibility
for coordinating and prioritizing, in consultation with other
interested agencies, nuclear and radiological counter-terrorism
Accordingly, the panel recommended that
A single federal agency, possibly the Department of Energy's
National Nuclear Security Administration, should be designated
as the nation's lead research and development agency for
nuclear and radiological counter-terrorism. This agency should
develop a focused and adequately funded research and
development program to fulfill this mission and should work
with other federal agencies, the President's science advisor,
and the director of the Office of Homeland Security to
coordinate this work and ensure that effective mechanisms are
in place for the timely transfer of results to the homeland
The panel's recommendation that an agency like NNSA should take the
lead role for counter-terrorism R&D was based primarily on the
recognition that DOE/NNSA national laboratories have scientific and
technological talents and capabilities that are unmatched elsewhere in
the federal government. Simply put, no other agency has the breadth or
depth of scientific and technological capabilities required to execute
Recommendation 2: New funding and management arrangements should be
established to help ensure the ultimate success of the counter-
terrorism R&D effort. As noted elsewhere in my testimony, the federal
government's practice of providing funding to multiple laboratories has
worked well to foster competition and improve quality, positive
attributes that I hope will be carried over to the counter-terrorism
R&D effort. This practice has, however, produced a ``not invented
here'' attitude among some lab personnel that has hampered the
effective transfer of R&D ideas and results across and outside of the
national laboratory system.
The National Academies' panel on countering nuclear and
radiological terrorism recognized that the centralization of R&D
responsibilities was not, in itself, sufficient to ensure the success
of the counter-terrorism effort:
The centralization of lead R&D responsibilities into a single
federal agency is no guarantee of success absent commitments to
certain operating principles. Among these are commitments to
appoint technically capable staff to manage the R&D work; to
provide sufficient and sustained funding to carry out an
adequate program; and to reach across agency boundaries and
outside government to obtain the expertise needed to execute
the work and to ensure that results are moved expeditiously
into application. While the events of September 11 appear to
have produced a renewed sense of cooperation among federal
agencies, the challenge for whichever agency is selected to
lead this important R&D effort will be to nurture and sustain
Mr. Chairman, as the Congress considers the future roles of the
DOE/NNSA laboratories in the counter-terrorism effort, it will be
vitally important to organize the R&D effort in a way that serves to
break down walls between the national laboratories to encourage
coordination of cross-laboratory R&D work. One key way this objective
might be achieved would be to organize the R&D effort into a few key
topical areas and to establish cross-laboratory steering groups
comprised of researchers and administrators to keep the work focused
Another key issue that needs to be addressed is the appropriate
management relationship between the DOE/NNSA laboratories and DOE
headquarters. Speaking from my personal experiences as director of the
Office of Energy Research, I have observed a penchant among Washington
agencies to micromanage contractors. This is very wasteful of resources
and results in much less performance per dollar spent than we should
expect. Too little management also can be a problem, but to judge by
the mood of recent years, the big worry will be too much management.
Since the DOE/NNSA owns the laboratories, and the laboratories are
managed (in principle) by contractors like the University of California
and Lockheed-Martin, there is a long gauntlet of bureaucracies that can
greatly diminish the labs' effectiveness. The time to optimize
management strategies is now--before bad precedents are set.
I believe that DOE headquarters has a legitimate role to play in
oversight of R&D work at the DOE/NNSA laboratories to ensure that
taxpayer funds are being used effectively. DOE headquarters can best
play this role by establishing, in consultation with the laboratories,
directions and goals for the R&D work, and also in arranging for
periodic programmatic reviews of the effectiveness of the R&D
activities so that deficiencies can be identified and corrected. The
national laboratories and their contractor management organizations
should be left to the day-to-day management of this work and should not
have to waste time and resources responding to demands for information
from headquarters beyond the activities enumerated above.
Finally, the effectiveness of the homeland defense R&D effort will
depend to a large extent on the adequacy, both in terms of magnitude
and constancy, of the funding provided to undertake the work deemed to
be important to homeland security. The new homeland security agency
should recognize that the R&D effort will never end--technological
capabilities to inflict massive harm on U.S. populations are becoming
increasingly widespread and accessible to terrorists worldwide. It will
be necessary for the United States to mount an aggressive, long-term
counter-terrorism R&D effort to stay at least one step ahead of
It may prove difficult to maintain funding for an effective R&D
effort precisely because it will have improved the nation's success in
preventing terrorist acts. As terrorist threats become less visible in
the public consciousness, there will likely be less willingness to
support the counter-terrorism R&D effort in the face of other national
priorities. As an analogy, consider the progressive erosion of support
for the Federal Aviation Administration's federal marshals program as
the number of airliner hijackings decreased in the 1970s and 1980s.
The funding pressures are likely to be manifested in at least two
ways: Outright cutbacks in funding for the R&D work by the contracting
agency (presumably the new homeland security agency), or an attempt to
shift more of the R&D costs directly to the national laboratories by
reducing reimbursements for overhead. I believe that the new homeland
security agency should expect to pay its fair share of the costs of the
R&D work undertaken for national benefit, including its fair share of
the overhead costs.
Whatever the form of this new agency, I personally believe that it
should have in its charter an explicit charge to undertake an
adequately funded R&D effort through the DOE/NNSA national laboratories
to support the homeland defense mission, and that it be required to
seek advice periodically from independent advisory groups on both the
scope and size of an adequate effort. While this will not ensure that
such support is provided, it will provide the agency and the Congress
with an independent assessment of the resources needed to sustain an
effective national effort.
This concludes my testimony to the committee. I would be happy to
clarify my comments or answer committee members' questions. Again,
thank you for the opportunity to testify.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL R. ANASTASIO, Ph.D., DIRECTOR, LAWRENCE
LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY
Dr. Anastasio. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee, for the opportunity to testify on this very
I support the bold undertaking of the Congress and the
administration to form this Department of Homeland Security,
and I'd like to make just a few comments in my oral testimony
from a technical perspective, especially regarding the science
and technology capabilities that were required for this
Defending the Nation from terrorism, especially from
weapons of mass destruction, as Will Happer alluded to, is a
very daunting challenge, and science and technology will be a
key weapon in this defense. Now, the success of this endeavor,
I believe, requires, as many of us have said, the access to the
full spectrum of capabilities across the country, as
represented by all of the organizations here in this panel as
well as the universities and industry. And success will also
require a sustained investment to meet the country's goals in
these areas while we leverage the other investments in these
outstanding institutions that have been made by the Government,
as we've heard from some of the senators. And also, as Linton
Brooks alluded to, it's important that this investment from
homeland security also is there to enhance the science base at
the institution to best achieve the goals.
But the Department of Homeland Security will be primarily
focused on operations and require real products to get put in
the hands of the end users. So I think for this organization to
be a success, there must be a set of clear goals that are
established for the science and technology. And then successful
products will result from the integration of an analysis of the
threats, the operational needs of the end users, whether they
be the State of California or Washington or some local
community or a national context of a border, and the science
and technology and industrial capabilities of the nation. And
then potential components or overall systems that come out of
this process must be evaluated against standards in the
community-wide set of standards that lead to the ultimate
procurement of these products.
When we think about the science and technology, I think
it's also important to realize that we need some kind of
essential--centralized function that's really directly coupled
to the technologists that allows an integration, a focus, and a
prioritization of the research development, testing, and
evaluation--investments for both the near-term and the long-
term, of course, within the context, always, of a finite
budget. And if the Department of Homeland Security chooses to
locate some of their functions at Livermore, as Linton Brooks
alluded to, we would certainly be honored and welcome to have
Well, let me illustrate what I mean by this operational
approach with a specific example. And I chose the example of
BASIS that Linton Brooks alluded to, the Biological Aerosol
Sentry and Information System. And here, a clear goal was
established--that is, to have a biological detection and
monitoring system that was deployed for the Salt Lake City
Olympics. Close interactions of the end users with the
technology developers took place, where they considered things
like the false alarm rates, response times to any signal they
might get, the integration of operations with the federal,
regional, and local emergency responders and public-health
system. And this was done from the very conception of the ideas
all the way through the implementation and ultimate operation
of this capability.
And then with an understanding of the requirements, in this
case, Livermore and Los Alamos, teamed together in a
partnership on the science and technology to develop a system-
level solution taking advantage of the best biological
detection technology that was available. This happened to be,
at the time, PCR technology that was developed at Livermore and
already licensed to industry.
And then after we had a product we thought was going to
serve our needs, tests and evaluations were done against
standards. And then, as an example, the biological assays that
were developed were done in cooperation and collaboration with
the Center for Disease Control. And the overall system was
tested with local law enforcement and public-health officials
to make sure it was well integrated into their system. So, as a
result of this process, the deployed system worked exactly as
designed and was a successful part of the overall security
strategy for the Olympics.
In my written testimony, there's a number of other
contributions, capabilities, and assets of Livermore that are
appropriate for homeland security and describe some of the
connectivity that we've made with both the State of California
and other States and local organizations to try to apply this
capability, and I won't discuss any more of that detail, to
same some time, but to say that, of course, we're, as we've
heard many times, also endorsing the notion that this
capability that's there for homeland security is also important
to be available for our other important missions, and that
there needs to be a free flow of access for the people and for
the physical assets of the institution to go back and forth.
So let me conclude by saying that we, at Livermore, are
fully committed to supporting the Congress and the
administration in this difficult and long-term national-
security challenge and feel that we, at Livermore, are well
positioned to provide effective, development, testing, and
evaluation capabilities for the new department.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Anastasio follows:]
Prepared Statement of Michael R. Anastasio, Ph.D., Director,
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the
opportunity to appear before you today. I am the Director of the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a position I assumed on
July 1, 2002. It is an honor and immense responsibility to lead one of
the nation's national security laboratories, particularly in the wake
of September 11. The events of that day tragically make clear that the
United States is not immune to the scourge of terrorism, and they call
for the nation's leaders and technical community to take dramatic steps
to improve homeland security.
Enactment of legislation to form a Department of Homeland Security
an idea supported by the President and the Congress will fundamentally
change for the better the nation's approach to preventing terrorist
attacks on the United States, reducing the nation's vulnerability to
terrorism, and managing the aftermath of any attack. The mission is
complex and daunting in scope. One major challenge for the new
department will be effective integration of relevant activities, which
are currently dispersed among many government organizations. Another
challenge will be focusing the unsurpassed scientific and technical
talent of this nation to improve capabilities to deal effectively with
threats, those most critical today and as well as those emerging in the
I support formation of a Department of Homeland Security and I am
here to comment from a technical perspective on both the needs of the
new department to pursue a sustained research, development, testing,
and evaluation (RDT&E) program and the capabilities available to it to
do so. Currently, RDT&E capabilities are dispersed, but there is an
important concentration of them particularly related to chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear threats in the Department of
Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and its
laboratories and other sites. I will discuss relevant capabilities at
LLNL and some of the important programs and partnerships we have in
place. They illustrate LLNL's approach to developing and deploying
technologies and systems to strengthen homeland security and the
success we are having in placing the right tools in the hands of the
Effective partnerships among the various sources of expertise and
with the users of new capabilities are required to make necessary
improvements in homeland defense to cope with today's dangers and
prepare for the threats of tomorrow. Focus on the most effective
approaches to the highest priority issues is also required. To that
end, the Administration's proposal prudently includes the formation of
a ``center'' to ensure that all needed science and technology elements
are being addressed to deal in particular with the weapons of mass
destruction threats, without unnecessary duplication of effort, and
that the best use is made of the nation's technical and fiscal
resources. As Governor Ridge has testified (June 25, 2002), there needs
to be ``one unit . . . that deals with research and development,
science and technology'' and provides ``strategic direction for
homeland security research and development.''
The Administration has made clear that they would like to locate a
center of excellence at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and
use as well other national labs and other research facilities around
the country. General John Gordon, testifying before Congress as NNSA
administrator, voiced support for the concept of locating the
Department of Homeland Security's main research facility at LLNL with
satellite centers of excellence elsewhere. A center at Livermore would
not only benefit from the Laboratory's multidisciplinary capabilities
and those at Sandia National Laboratories (California), it would be
advantageous for the homeland security mission and facilitate
partnerships because of the Laboratory's location in the San Francisco
Bay/West Coast area, which has many intellectual resources and homeland
defense challenges. At LLNL, we are honored by the Administration's
proposal, we are anxious to contribute to homeland security to the best
of our abilities, and we are confident that we can help make the
Department of Homeland Security a success.
llnl's contributions to homeland security
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was established 50 years ago
to pursue innovative solutions to the nation's pressing needs to
advance nuclear weapons science and technology. Since then, the
Laboratory has continually adapted to address the evolving challenges
of the day and anticipate future needs, keeping a central focus on
national security. As one of NNSA's three national laboratories, LLNL
is a principal participant in the Stockpile Stewardship Program to
maintain and enhance the safety, security, and reliability of the
nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. The Laboratory is also engaged in
vital national programs to reduce the threat posed by the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to provide for homeland
security. These complementary missions--stockpile stewardship and
countering WMD threats--are integrally connected in terms of their
overarching goal of enhancing security, and the research activities
largely draw on the same base of scientific and technical capabilities
Because Livermore and our sister NNSA laboratories (Los Alamos and
Sandia) have long been working to develop technical capabilities to
detect, counter, and mitigate WMD proliferation and terrorism, we were
able to respond rapidly and effectively to the events of September 11
and its aftermath. Although those investments are paying great
dividends in the newly declared war on terrorism, substantial sustained
investment is needed to develop vastly improved warning and response
capabilities to protect the U.S. against these threats, now and in the
future. We are fully committed to this long-term national security
endeavor and are well positioned to provide RDT&E support to the
Department of Homeland Security.
Lawrence Livermore is contributing widely and effectively to the
war against terrorism with capabilities and partnerships and through
RDT&E programs directly relevant to the Department of Homeland
Security's mission. The provided examples illustrate three major points
about the Laboratory:
LLNL has demonstrated the capability to work problems from
end-to-end--starting with an understanding of the threat and
the users' needs, devising a systems solution, developing the
enabling technology advances, testing both the component
technologies and systems solution in cooperation with users,
moving the new technologies to U.S. industry, and working with
the user community to ensure effective deployment and training.
LLNL has strong capabilities and active programs in each of
the WMD areas--chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear.
In addition, the Laboratory has major programmatic activities
in threat assessment and intelligence support as well superb
supercomputing capabilities. Accordingly, we have a ``critical
mass'' of programs and capabilities that provides the
Laboratory an excellent overall perspective of threats,
technical opportunities, and user needs.
LLNL has many strong ties to research partners and the user
community--including sister laboratories, the Nevada Test Site
for remote testing, a wide range of universities, and many ties
at the local- and state-government level.
The Capability to Work Problems from End-To-End--BASIS as an Example
A research and development program particularly focused on the area
of WMD terrorist threats is an integral part the legislative proposal
for a Department of Homeland Security for good reason--the nation faces
a dire immediate threat that unquestionably will grow more
sophisticated over time. The nation's vulnerabilities vary widely in
their significance and their potential for being ameliorated by new
capabilities and/or changes in operations. What is needed is a
comprehensive perspective of the issues, a vision where one wants to
go, and a pragmatic approach to problem solving to put products in the
At LLNL, we take a systems approach to the overall problem and
determine what priority items can be dealt with expeditiously with
existing equipment or modest improvements in technology and where
investments in longer-term research and development will be necessary.
In those areas where a new system based on existing or emerging
technologies can make a substantial difference, it is important to work
the problem comprehensively with the end user in mind.
The development of the Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information
System (BASIS) by Livermore and Los Alamos exemplifies this approach
and serves as model of how the Department of Homeland Security could
most rapidly and effectively take technology from the conceptual stage
through to actual deployment. The process is more than R&D, it is
RDT&E--research, development, testing, and evaluation.
In late 1999 we were challenged by the Secretary of Energy to
develop and field a biological detection system in time for the 2002
Salt Lake City Olympics. At the time, there was no system suitable for
civilian use for broad-scale biological environmental detection and
monitoring. Early detection and rapid response are the keys to reducing
the human health consequences of a biological agent attack. Over the
next three years, we and our colleagues at Los Alamos developed and
demonstrated a successful system to meet this challenge. BASIS was
fielded at Salt Lake City in February 2002 as part of the overall
security strategy for the Olympic Games where it performed exactly as
designed. The goal-oriented approach used in this program greatly
contributed to its outstanding achievement. In particular, BASIS
A Clear Objective at the Outset. For BASIS, clear, top-level
objective was established at the beginning of the project with
respect to the desired cost and performance attributes of the
system. The objective was based on an understanding of the
threat, technical possibilities, and user needs. After this,
the management of the program and the technical details were
left to the technical team.
Close Interactions between Users and Technology Developers.
There were extensive direct interactions with the Salt Lake
Olympic Committee, local, state, and federal response agencies,
the public health system, and the technology developers from
conception through implementation and operation.
Problem-Solving Systems Approach. The sponsors, users, and
technologists recognized the need for a system-level solution,
not a single technological widget, and for the system to work
in conjunction with other equipment (e.g., medical surveillance
systems). LLNL and LANL brought together a team of engineers,
biologists, computer scientists, and operations specialists to
execute the program.
Advanced Technology Developed by Labs, Transferred to and
then Procured from Industry. The system used the most advanced
biological detection technologies available (i.e., PCR). The
best biological detection instrument for this application was
from a commercial entity (Cepheid) that had earlier licensed
the technology from LLNL.
Testing and Evaluation against Standards by Recognized
Authority. The biological assays were co-developed by LLNL and
the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Bioterrorism Laboratory.
The testing regimen was established with law enforcement and
public health, assuring a high level of confidence in the
Transfer of Operations to Contractors. Local contractors
provided the bulk of the staff for all aspects of the system
operations at the Olympics. LLNL/LANL staff were used in
supervisory roles and for technical support.
Strong Capabilities and Active Programs Nuclear and Radiological
As one of NNSA's three national laboratories, LLNL is fully engaged
in the Stockpile Stewardship Program and has a very large science and
technology base supportive of work on nuclear weapons, nuclear
materials, and nonproliferation that can be leveraged to support
homeland security. The Laboratory is home to one of the nation's two
research facilities for special nuclear materials. It operates a remote
test site and has a close working relationship with the Nevada Test
Site where work that requires even greater isolation is carried out.
Several activities that contribute to homeland security merit special
Nuclear Threat Assessment Program. The NNSA's Nuclear Assessment
Program was established in 1977 to provide a national capability for
correctly and expeditiously assessing the credibility of communicated
nuclear threats. Shortly after its inception, the Nuclear Assessment
Program became the central point of contact and action office within
the NNSA for assessing and monitoring illicit nuclear material
trafficking incidents worldwide. Selected elements of the program are
routinely used to provide NNSA technical support to the law
enforcement, diplomatic and intelligence communities. The major support
activities include real-time assessments of nuclear threats and black
market transactions, participation in FBI designated Special Events,
and providing NNSA courses on nuclear crime at various national and
international training venues. Since the terrorist attack on September
11, there has been dramatic increase in requests for our services; we
have assessed 25 nuclear threats, 90 illicit trafficking cases, and 51
other nuclear related incidents.
The operational capability consists of a small group of
professionals who are collectively knowledgeable in nuclear explosives
design and fabrication, nuclear reactor operations and safeguards,
radioactive materials and hazards, linguistics analysis, behavioral
analysis and profiling, as well as terrorist tactics and operations.
The assessor teams are organized into specialty teams and operate in
secure facilities at the three participating NNSA contractor sites. An
Assessment Coordinating Center at LLNL directs credibility assessment
operations for the NNSA and provides a single point of contact for
federal crisis managers during emergency operations.
Nuclear Incident Response. The Laboratory is a key participant in
the national nuclear incident response groups, including the Joint
Technical Operations Team (which deals with nuclear terrorism or
extortion threats), the Accident Response Group (which responds in the
event of an accident involving U.S. nuclear weapons) and the
Radiological Assessment Program (which assists state and local
agencies). Livermore maintains a deployable response capability, called
HOTSPOT, which can be transported to any location by military aircraft
to provide local radiological field support.
Specifically, the Radiological Assessment Program (RAP) provides
technical and operational expertise to state and local agencies to
mitigate the consequences of a radiological incident or emergency. It
uses DOE and national laboratory experts with skills in assessing
radiological and toxic contamination and the attendant risks to human
health. The Livermore RAP teams have primary responsibility for
California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the U.S. Pacific Rim territories. They
are called upon, on average, three to five times per year. In 2001,
they responded to three requests for assistance along with normal
exercises and training. Typically, RAP investigates containers
suspected of housing radioactive materials, seeks the location of lost
industrial or medical radioactive sources, and advises federal, state,
and local authorities on the consequences of a radioactive release or
personnel contamination. RAP regularly drills with similar teams from
other federal agencies, state, local, and tribal governments as well as
private companies and organizations.
To deal with the latest emerging threats, LLNL now maintains a home
team capability to assist response workers at all levels. The home team
is trained to recognize and respond to nuclear terrorism. Included
within this umbrella is the ability to supply timely interpretation of
signals from field instruments (the so-called ``nuclear triage''
program being developed at NNSA headquarters).
Search and Inspection Technologies. There is a pressing need for
technologies to improve the screening of passengers, baggage, and
cargo. Candidate technologies, in various stages of development at
Livermore, include computed tomography (CT), x-ray scanning, gamma-ray
imaging, neutron interrogation, and ultrasonic and thermal imaging.
These efforts build on projects and expertise in the Stockpile
Stewardship Program to develop improved sensors for non-destructive
evaluation of the condition of weapons and weapon components in the
stockpile. NNSA has assigned LLNL the responsibility to establish a
national test bed for the inspection of cargo containers (discussed
Two Laboratory-developed search technologies demonstrated their
applicability to counter-terrorism response when they were deployed to
the World Trade Center. The first, a micropower radar, can ``see'' many
feet into concrete rubble and could be a valuable tool for search and
rescue operations. The other, a remote monitoring instrument that uses
hyperspectral data to detect and identify trace gas emissions, was
flown over Ground Zero to characterize hazardous gases emanating from
Sensor Networks. Livermore has developed a concept for correlated
sensor networks for detecting and tracking ground-delivered nuclear
devices or nuclear materials, the Detection and Tracking System (DTS).
A novel algorithm integrates data from the various sensors, together
with information from other sources (e.g., an intelligent traffic
system) to identify sources of concern, track their movement through
the road network, and guide responders in intercepting the suspect
vehicle. Since September 11, DTS development was accelerated and a
prototype system was demonstrated in an urban environment. We are
preparing for further, larger scaled demonstrations of this system with
Strong Capabilities and Active Programs Biological and Chemical Threats
Bioscience research at the Laboratory traces its root to 1963, when
a program was established to study how radiation and chemicals interact
to produce adverse consequences to humans. Research activities at LLNL
and LANL led to a focus on DNA and technology development that led to
DOE's decision to launch its Human Genome Initiative in 1987. Both
laboratories are part of DOE's Joint Genome Institute, which includes
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is located in nearby Walnut
Creek, California, and have contributed to deciphering the human
genetic code. We are applying our expertise in genomics to counter the
threat of bioterrorism. In addition, in support of Livermore's national
security and other programs, the Laboratory also has outstanding
capabilities in chemistry and materials science.
Biological Agent Detectors. The biodefense capabilities that have
been deployed in the wake of September 11 have, at their core, advances
in biological detection instrumentation developed at Livermore. We have
made technology breakthroughs in biodetection instrumentation,
pioneering the miniaturization and ruggedization of both flow cytometry
and DNA identification devices. Our miniature thermal cycler unit makes
possible DNA amplification via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and
identification in minutes rather than the hours and days previously
required. Livermore's miniaturized PCR technology has been licensed to
private industry and forms the basis of today's most advanced
commercial biodetection instruments (e.g., Cepheid's Smart Cycler,
Environmental Technology Group's hand-held biodetector).
Cepheid Smart Cyclers are the heart of the field laboratory of the
Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information System (BASIS), developed
jointly by Livermore and Los Alamos and previously discussed. In
developing BASIS, the two laboratories worked closely with the many law
enforcement, emergency response, and public health agencies that would
be involved in dealing with a bioterrorism event to develop appropriate
sample handling (chain of custody), communications, and response
DNA Signatures. Biodetectors depend on unique antibodies or DNA
sequences to identify and characterize biological pathogens. Livermore
is developing gold-standard DNA signatures of top-priority threat
pathogens (anthrax, plague, etc.) and are working with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to validate these signatures and
distribute them to public health agencies nationwide. We are also
working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, CDC, Department of
Defense, and U.S. intelligence agencies to develop detailed biological
``fingerprints'' and data to support forensic analysis of any act of
Chemical Analysis for Forensic Attribution. Timely and complete
analysis of suspect chemicals can answer important questions related to
nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, and law enforcement. Our Forensic
Science Center has assembled a unique capability for detecting and
characterizing ultra-trace levels of virtually any compound in any
sample matrix. Expertise and instrumentation are available for complete
chemical and isotopic analysis of nuclear materials, inorganic
materials, organic materials (e.g., chemical warfare agents, illegal
drugs), and biological materials (e.g., toxins, DNA). The Forensic
Science Center also develops advanced laboratory and field capabilities
for ultra-trace analysis, including a portable (55-pound) gas
chromatograph/mass spectrometer, field kits for thin-layer
chromatography, and novel sample collectors using solid-phase
The Forensic Science Center has begun the rigorous testing required
to become the second U.S. laboratory certified by the Organization for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is responsible for
implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Under the terms of
the CWC, all samples collected from inspected facilities must be
analyzed at two OPCW-designated laboratories. The U.S. Congress
mandates that all U.S. samples be tested in the U.S. Currently, the
U.S. has only one designated laboratory, the Edgewood Chemical and
Biological Forensic Analytical Center. Livermore will provide the
second required facility.
Strong Capabilities and Active Programs--Underpinning Capabilities and
Several special capabilities at Livermore merit special mention
because they provide broad yet critical support to homeland security:
our International Assessments Program, the National Atmospheric Release
Advisory Center (NARAC), the Counterproliferation Analysis and Planning
System (CAPS), high-performance computations, and the Computer Incident
Intelligence Analysis and Threat Assessment. One of the most
critical, yet difficult, elements of homeland security and counter-
terrorism is gaining insight into the capabilities, intentions, and
plans of persons, groups, or states hostile to the U.S. Our
International Assessments Program (Z Division) is one of the strongest
capabilities in the country for analysis and research related to
foreign nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction,
including early-stage foreign technology development and acquisition,
patterns of cooperation, and foreign cyber threats. Such intelligence
analyses serve as the foundation for homeland defense against WMD
threats. Intelligence provides an essential input to threat analyses
that, in turn, provide the basis for defining functional requirements
for technical homeland security systems. Furthermore, intelligence can
provide ``indications and warning'' of an imminent attack, thus guiding
further deployment of defensive assets. Thus there is a critical need
for both long-term, in-depth intelligence analysis and timely,
responsive indications and warning.
Z Division regularly provides analysis products to our
intelligence, defense and policy-making customers. Our assessments of
foreign weapons programs and activities provide important input to
policy makers and diplomats as they develop strategies for U.S.
responses to events affecting national security. The capabilities in Z
Division also support our Nuclear Threat Assessment Program (previously
discussed), which analyzes nuclear terrorist threats and smuggling
In addition to filling a critical niche by providing all-source
intelligence analyses of foreign nation-state programs to acquire WMD,
we develop data analysis tools and data integration methods to aid
intelligence collection and assessment and avoid the pitfalls of
information stovepiping. Some of these tools are currently being
evaluated by our analysts as well as end-users across the Intelligence
Community, while many others are under intense development and will be
applied to the counter-terrorism problem. In the aftermath of September
11, we provided intelligence analysts and assessments as well as
information-operations tools and expert personnel to the U.S.
There is tremendous potential for the knowledge and capabilities of
Z Division to support Department of Homeland Security needs for threat
analyses, and for new analysis tools. However, I want to emphasize that
this expansion of scope needs to be accomplished in a way that
preserves Z Division's access to raw intelligence, and its ability to
use nuclear weapons design tools in its analyses, both of which have
historically been enabled by our designation as a Field Intelligence
Element of DOE.
Atmospheric Modeling for Consequence Management. The National
Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC), located and operated at
the Laboratory, is a national emergency response service for real-time
assessment of incidents involving nuclear, chemical, biological, or
natural hazardous material. NARAC can map the probable atmospheric
spread of contamination in time for an emergency manager to decide
whether protective actions are necessary. NARAC is on call to respond
to real incidents and can also be used to evaluate specific scenarios
for emergency response planning, such as optimizing the siting of
bioaerosol samplers or determining evacuation routes.
Since it was established in 1979, NARAC has responded to more than
70 alerts, accidents, and disasters and has supported more than 800
exercises. In addition to accidental radiological releases (e.g.,
Chernobyl, 1986; Three Mile Island, 1979), NARAC has assessed natural
and manmade disasters (Mt. Pinatubo volcanic ash cloud, 1991; Kuwaiti
oil fires, 1991). NARAC has also provided assessments to state and
local responders to toxic chemical accidents (e.g., Richmond sulfuric
acid cloud, 1993; Sacramento River Spill, 1991). State and local
agencies can request NARAC support for actual releases or planning by
contacting DOE's Office of Emergency Response or the NARAC program
office at Livermore.
The Counterproliferation Analysis and Planning System (CAPS).
Developed continually updated by LLNL, Counterproliferation Analysis
and Planning System (CAPS) is a versatile and powerful modeling system
for analyzing, end-to-end, a proliferator's WMD production processes
and for assessing interdiction options and their corresponding
consequences. CAPS is as easy to use as a Web browser, with its
powerful and complex science (spectral analysis, toxic release
modeling, etc.) invisible to the user. CAPS is widely accepted by the
military's mission planners and is the Department of Defense's
preferred counterproliferation planning tool.
High-Performance Computing. With supercomputers acquired as part of
NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASCI) program and additional
institutional investments in massively parallel computers, Livermore is
an international leader in high-performance computing. Many
groundbreaking applications are being developed. An example directly
relevant to homeland security is our computational biology work
directed at genomics--the development and use of bioinformatics tools
We have developed computational tools to automatically identify
regions of bacterial and viral pathogen genomes that have a high
probability of being unique to that genome. We can now process any
draft or finished pathogen genome in a few hours and confidently detect
all regions that are not ``matched'' in any other known sequenced
genome. This capability has been tested on numerous bacterial and viral
pathogens both at LLNL and with collaborators such as the Centers for
Disease Control, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious
Diseases, and the Department of Agriculture. We are currently using
this unique computational capability to satisfy pathogen detection
needs of these and other federal and state agencies.
Building on the approach we are taking, we will attempt to tackle
more complex problems such as automatically determining all protein
signature targets in a genome and determining the ``pathomics'' of
virulence across all pathogens (i.e., the molecular mechanisms of
virulence itself). The computational needs to address these problems
will require use of cutting-edge supercomputer resources such as those
Computer Incident Response. LLNL is home to DOE's Computer Incident
Advisory Capability (CIAC), which was formed in 1989. We assist any DOE
facility that experiences a computer security incident with analysis,
response, and restoration of operations. CIAC serves as DOE's watch and
warning center, notifying the complex of vulnerabilities that are being
exploited, specifying countermeasures to apply, and providing a picture
of the attack profile. The center also develops science and technology
solutions in support of computer network defense and products such as
SafePatch, which earned its developers a Government Technology
Leadership Award. CIAC's list of clients has grown to encompass other
government agencies, and there have been several incidents where the
team worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Strong Ties to Research Partners and the User Community
Many of our various research partners are cited throughout my
testimony, and I discuss the vital need for partnerships later. An
often overlooked--yet important--aspect of a successful research and
development program is understanding the users' needs. Additional
examples of our connections and work with the user community follow.
Expert Personnel Assisting in Homeland Security. Livermore
scientists serve on various task forces, committees, and advisory
groups dealing with aspects of homeland security and counterterrorism.
For example, a Livermore expert on x-ray imaging is a member of the
National Academy of Science Committee on Assessment of Technology
Deployed to Improve Commercial Aviation Security. Other Laboratory
scientists serve as technical advisors to the U.S. Customs Service, the
National Guard, and the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center, and as
members or advisors to various Defense Science Board task forces
addressing homeland defense. Still others are assisting the California
Highway Patrol and the California State Office of Emergency Services
(OES) with training related to weapons of mass destruction and serving
as members of the California Council on Science and Technology, which
is providing technical advice to the OES's State Strategic Committee on
Forensic Science Support to Law Enforcement. Over the years,
Livermore's Forensic Science Center (previously discussed) has
responded to many requests from law enforcement for assistance in
forensic analysis of unique samples. Since September 11 and the
subsequent anthrax scare, hundreds of samples of concern have been
analyzed for local and federal law enforcement and government
officials. Previously, the Center has been brought in to analyze
Supernote counterfeit bills, methamphetamine samples, biotoxins,
suspect chemical-warfare specimens, and nuclear contraband. It has
characterized explosive traces from the 1993 World Trade Center
bombing, the Unabomber case, and the Fremont serial bomber; performed
forensic sleuthing related to the Riverside ``mystery fumes'' case;
analyzed samples for the Glendale ``Angel of Death'' case; and analyzed
Capitol Hill offices as requested following anthrax decontamination.
Locally, the Center assisted Livermore police by rapidly identifying a
vapor that sickened response personnel at the scene of a suicide; once
the chemical was identified (malathion), law enforcement agencies were
able to take appropriate personnel-protection measures and complete
LINC for Improved Emergency Preparedness. Through the LINC program
(Local Integration of the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center
with Cities), we are currently working with local agencies in the
Seattle area. A LINC pilot project is testing and evaluating the
effectiveness of an approach to emergency preparedness that offers the
potential for dramatic improvements. Sponsored by NNSA's Chemical and
Biological National Security Program, LINC integrates capabilities at
LLNL's NARAC (previously discussed) with local emergency management and
response centers. Ultimately, LINC's goal is to provide continuous
operation of an integrated, nationalwide system that aids emergency
preparedness and response at all levels of government.
A National Test Bed for Standards, Test, and Evaluation. One key
function of the Department of Homeland Security will be the setting of
standards for technical homeland security systems. To set such
standards will require practical, technical judgment, with
consideration of the threats that the technology is intended to
address, a concept of operations for its use, and the infrastructure
necessary to use it effectively. This process must involve the
Intelligence Community, end users in federal, state and local
government, and technical experts. Candidate technologies must undergo
objective testing and evaluation to determine how well they satisfy the
standards, as input to acquisition decisions by those with operational
NNSA has assigned LLNL the responsibility to establish a national
test bed for the inspection of cargo containers for chemical,
biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons and materials. To meet
this responsibility, we have initiated threat analyses to establish the
range of threat scenarios that such inspection systems should address.
We have also begun a research program, based on calculations and
experiments, to characterize the relevant ``observables'' for
successful detection. We have engaged federal, state and local
organizations with operational responsibilities in this area to factor
in their practical, operational constraints. We have set up a test
facility where exemplar containers are loaded with surrogate materials,
as well as typical cargo, so that commercial equipment and research
prototypes can be tested in meaningful scenarios. We believe that this
methodology should be extended to other terrorist scenarios of concern.
Risk and Vulnerability Assessments of Critical Facilities. Through
our participation in DOE's Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Program,
we have made systematic assessments of the threat environment, cyber
architecture, physical and operational security, policies and
procedures, interdependencies, impact analysis, risk characterization,
and possible mitigation measures for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in
Salt Lake City, eleven electric and gas infrastructures, and several
independent service operators (ISOs), including the California ISO
during the electrical energy crisis. We have also analyzed the
vulnerability of buildings, dams, and other structures to catastrophic
damage from earthquakes and explosive events. Projects have included
evaluation of the earthquake vulnerability of major bridge structures
(including the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges), the
structural integrity of nuclear material shipping containers for a
variety of impact scenarios, and the likely damage resulting from the
explosion of natural gas storage tanks in a suburban environment.
More generally, LLNL has applied risk and decision theoretic
methodologies to a wide range of hazardous endeavors, both internal to
the Laboratory and for the public sector, and we can be considered a
major scientific contributor to the discipline of risk assessment and
risk management. We have developed methodologies for and conducted risk
assessments of nuclear power generation, nuclear explosive operations,
information systems, transportation systems and hazardous material
protection (called vulnerability analyses) to identify and enhance
safety, safeguards and security. In addition, LLNL has assisted other
federal agencies in the application of risk management.
Engineering a Novel Truck-Stopping Device. In October 2001, the
Governor of California contacted Livermore requesting assistance to
develop a means of stopping tanker trucks, to keep hijacked trucks from
becoming motorized missiles. The objective was to make it possible to
stop these large trucks using equipment readily available to peace
officers, namely their vehicles and their weapons. A retired Livermore
engineer and consultant teamed with Laboratory engineers, technicians,
and heavy equipment operators to develop a simple mechanical device to
accomplish this. It can be readily attached to the back of a tanker
truck. When bumped from the rear by the patrol vehicle, the device
would cause the trailer braking system to lose air pressure
automatically locking the trailer brakes. A prototype was demonstrated
in Oakland in late November 2001, and testing at high speeds was
conducted at the Nevada Test Site in February and March 2002. We are
currently developing a portable remote-controlled system and working
with the California Highway Patrol and a major California trucking
company on implementing a field trial program.
rdt&e within the department of homeland security
Securing the U.S. homeland is a formidable undertaking,
particularly in light of declared terrorist intentions to acquire and
potentially to use weapons of mass destruction against us. Bold steps
by the nation are needed including the creation of a Department of
Homeland Security. Bold steps are also needed to effectively align
RDT&E to meet today's WMD challenges and tomorrow's threats. As the
President recently said, ``History . . . teaches us that critical
security challenges require clear lines of responsibility and the
unified effort of the U.S. Government.'' To this end, I offer the
following observations about the science and technology (S&T) element
of the Department of Homeland Security.
Science and technology is a key ``weapon'' in the U.S. arsenal
against terrorism--it is critical to this effort. However, many of the
S&T challenges that must be met--whether to protect U.S. borders,
counter a WMD terrorist attack, protect critical U.S. infrastructure,
or improve data mining and analysis of intelligence information--are
extremely difficult. They require the efforts of the nation's best
technical talent and the involvement of the entire relevant national
S&T community. Since the problem space is large and fiscal resources
are always limited, thoughtful prioritization of threats, potential
solutions, and RDT&E investments are necessary.
A Center for Homeland Security RDT&E. An appropriate degree of
central coordination is essential to ensure that all the needed WMD S&T
elements are being addressed, without unnecessary duplication of
effort, and that best use is made of the nation's technical and fiscal
resources. As Governor Ridge recently testified (June 25), there needs
to be ``one unit . . . that deals with research and development,
science and technology'' and provides ``strategic direction for
homeland security research and development.''
As we understand it, this unit would provide overall RDT&E program
management and facilitate interagency coordination. It would assist
users in implementing new capabilities and evaluating their
effectiveness. In addition, it would work with experts, whether located
at government laboratories, universities, or industry, to define the
appropriate portfolio of advanced technologies and concepts for the
department to pursue. These efforts would include defining systems
architectures and requirements for development programs based on threat
assessments, vulnerabilities, and user needs and, from these, component
specifications. Clearly such a function would need a sustained level of
funding for adequate staff with required expertise and facilities to
carry out these activities as well as some portion of the technical
The highly successful BASIS program that I discussed provides an
example how such a unit or center would be expected to structure a
major program effort for the Department of Homeland Security--first
establishing a clear top-level objective; ensuring that a systems-level
approach is taken; fostering close interactions between technology
developers, commercial producers, and users; testing and evaluating new
systems; and helping in the transfer of operations to customers or
Our experience is that to succeed the center should:
Have a mission-oriented, problem-solving focus and
structure, with technical and organizational agility and the
ability to integrate multiple technical disciplines.
Work closely with the end users at the national, regional
and local levels.
Be a recognized leader in RDT&E, prototyping, and
implementation of technologies and systems to counter WMD
Be managed by leaders with the ability and credibility to
interact effectively at top levels of government.
Provide a ``critical mass'' of top scientists and engineers,
with long-term ability to attract, retain, and effectively use
Have extensive and effective connectivity with the broad
homeland security community (Intelligence Community, other
national labs, government agencies, industry, universities,
Center Location. The Administration has made clear that they would
like to develop a center at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
As stated in the White House press release on June 18, 2002, ``The
President's legislation . . . has in mind a system where there will be
a substantial facility based at Lawrence Livermore that will be a
Department of Homeland Security facility, and it will manage a R&D and
science and technology program related to homeland security that will
occur in many different places, in many different national
laboratories.'' General John Gordon, testifying before Congress as NNSA
Administrator, voiced support for the concept of locating the
Department of Homeland Security's main research facility at LLNL with
satellite centers of excellence elsewhere.
A center at Livermore would benefit from Lawrence Livermore's
multidisciplinary capabilities and those at the adjacent Sandia
National Laboratories (California). Our existing mission
responsibilities and demonstrated track record of working with a wide
range of partners and bringing technologies from concept to prototype
development make Lawrence Livermore a suitable choice for the center's
location. We are honored to have the designated center here and we will
manage whatever implementation hurdles emerge. Also, very importantly,
I believe Livermore has the ability to meet its homeland security
objectives while continuing to meet its many other important
programmatic commitments, especially those relating to the nuclear
defense posture of the nation.
One strong advantage of locating the center at Livermore is the
Laboratory's proximity to important assets--potential major partners in
RDT&E and commercialization as well as key customers for homeland
security. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to three international
airports, two seaports, an FBI field office, Customs and INS
headquarters, Silicon Valley, area biotechnology firms and health-care
providers, mass transit and rail systems, and high-visibility targets
(e.g., Golden Gate Bridge). In addition, as part of University of
California, LLNL has close ties with the many UC campuses in the area
(Berkeley, San Francisco, Davis, and Santa Cruz) as well as Stanford
University (and associated medical schools). Examples of almost every
aspect of the homeland security equation are just minutes away from
The Need for Partnerships. I firmly support Governor Ridge and Dr.
Marburger as to the need for a center for homeland security S&T.
According to Dr. John Marburger, the President's Science Advisor, one
of the functions of this center would be to represent science to the
rest of the department. Very important will be the need for effective
partnerships between this center and other key members of the homeland
security RDT&E community with satellite centers of excellence. The
long-standing partnership of the three NNSA laboratories--LLNL, LANL,
and SNL--and the Nevada Test Site, which has successfully focused for
decades on national security issues, can be extraordinarily useful to
homeland security. There are other DOE national laboratories and
research facilities as well with special expertise and capabilities
that should be part of the team.
The center for homeland security RDT&E would also need to
facilitate effective partnerships with the Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS) and its system of laboratories, especially to
feed in new DNA signatures, assay protocols, and detection technologies
developed by the NNSA laboratories and others for DHHS validation and
dissemination to the public health community. Likewise, the center
would need to draw on private industry, especially in the field of
information technology, and on universities for their special
expertise, integrating these S&T contributions into robust, responsive
system architectures for homeland security.
In its efforts to combat terrorism and ensure homeland security,
the nation can build on an attribute that has made the United States
the world leader that it is the remarkable capability of the American
people to focus extraordinary energy on achieving important objectives
in a time of need. Establishing a Department of Homeland Security can
fundamentally change for the better the nation's approach to preventing
terrorist attacks on the United States, reducing the nation's
vulnerability to terrorism, and managing the aftermath of any attack.
As the Administration and many leaders in Congress have already
stated, to succeed the new department will need to pursue a sustained
RDT&E program particularly related to chemical, biological,
radiological and nuclear threats that is prioritized to meet prudently
established objectives. These threats are significant and will grow
more sophisticated over time. At Livermore, we are fully committed to
this long-term national security endeavor to improve homeland security
and are well positioned to provide effective RDT&E support to the
department. LLNL brings to the Department of Homeland Security relevant
existing mission responsibilities and programs, experience working with
a wide range of research partners and users, and a track record of
taking technologies from concept to prototype development and
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
Ambassador Robinson, we're glad to have you here.
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR C. PAUL ROBINSON, DIRECTOR, SANDIA
Ambassador Robinson. Thank you very much, Senator. Members
of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity to
In my written statement I focused on three areas, the
contributions we've made to countering terrorism prior to
September 11 and some of the efforts since then. The question
of how best to allow the national labs to participate with the
new homeland security Department, and then a very few thoughts
on organizing the government in the best way to take on this
Some of the contributions I wanted to mention are for the
purpose of your realizing that the work the labs have done is
not new and is not just theoretical. We started a lot of these
efforts several years ago, or the technology would not have
been available when it was needed.
First, if the decontaminant foam which kills biological
weapon agents and chemical-warfare agents in minutes. It was
developed at Sandia by the Army, and they carried out a
competition head to head with a lot of technologies for doing
either chemical or biology weapons in the year 2000. We then
licensed the formulation to U.S. firms. And when it was needed
to decontaminate both the buildings here in Washington, the
post offices, and several private offices, our scientists
suited up and went into harm's way themselves with the material
to effect the clean up.
Bomb disablement technology, now the primary tools which
bomb squads use in the United States and allied countries, was
developed in our lab. These tools disrupt and render safe bombs
of all sizes and types--backpacks, truck bombs, car bombs, even
large truck bombs as were applied Oklahoma City. It does this
without initiating the explosive itself or destroying forensic
We've developed a lot of detectors for explosives for
nuclear devises and materials, for chemical warfare and
biological warfare agents, also under a variety of
circumstances. And we've deployed these systems not as
individual scientific items, but as full warning systems, and
they're deployed in the metro system here, in subways in other
cities, and in major airports. And each month more and more of
those system go up.
We developed a synthetic-aperture radar imager, which has
exceptional clarity and special capabilities--for example, to
tell you if a change has taken place from any previous time.
The system is all-weather, works day and night from a great
variety of platforms, either manned or unmanned platforms, and
had just tremendous use in Afghanistan.
Partnering with Los Alamos, we developed the National
Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center to analyze and
assess the risk to the critical infrastructures, which Senator
Craig had just mentioned, both the electrical grids, now
pipeline grids, transportation systems, as well as beginning to
model what are the linkages and interactions between those two,
which will be an important part for us to understand.
We've always been active in cyber-defense systems, because
of the responsibility to protect nuclear-weapon codes, but our
own important government networks, including classified
networks between our laboratories, have to be protected. We've
done this work now for many agencies of the Government,
including the systems that control major utilities--power,
water, et cetera.
We've continued the work in water systems security and have
worked increasingly with the Department of the Interior to
protect reservoirs and dams as well as State and local
municipalities, their water systems, against attack.
The next major area of focus in the testimony is, how can
we ensure that we can make our best contributions to solving
this homeland security challenge and thwarting the terrorism we
face as a nation? I must echo the statements that Dr. Happer
made. I've been around this community a long time, and I think
there are enormous hurdles to surmount. Many different ways of
bringing science to bear on government problems have been
tried. And, unfortunately, the record of failure is far greater
than the record of successes in the past. Government R&D
generally has been characterized as overly bureaucratic and
stifling of new ideas.
On the heels of the Manhattan Project, which was one of the
great triumphs of science for the national interest, President
Truman tasked Vandever Bush to establish a science and
technology infrastructure and plan that might keep the United
States ahead in these critical areas and be sure that science
was being applied to national needs. One conclusion he made was
that, quote, ``There are few things the American citizenry can
do to further the cause of science other than to pick men and
women of brilliance, back them heavily, and leave them alone to
do their work.''
Now, unfortunately, I think you would find little evidence
today that any government agency has chosen that route. On the
whole, things have become very bureaucratic. It's that red tape
that slows down the process the most of getting from idea to
fielded application. We need new processes to successfully move
from prototypes to manufactured hardware. And I think science
and technology in this new agency will not be successful unless
you are willing to give them great powers of simplifying and
streamlining and cutting through a lot of the red tape that's
plagued so many attempts in the past.
I would suggest some routes for consideration. First, is
giving mission assignments to laboratories, to different
laboratories, not just task orders to the scientists and
engineers. When people have a missions, they try and solve the
whole problem and give you a system solution.
Hold competitions for ideas, not just competitions for
money. And when you've gotten the best ideas--we're all in this
Nation together--assign them to the labs as you need to and
keep things moving instead of stalling.
I strongly believe in the principle of end-to-end
responsibility. Cradle-to-grave is what we've often referred to
the phrase--an obligation to make sure that the ideas you come
up with successfully operate in the field and meet the needs of
Lastly, I give a few thoughts on how to organize the
homeland security department for science and technology, but I
would draw your attention to what I think is the most important
sentence in my statement. It's at the top of page two. Our
experience is that any thoughtful organizational structure can
work if well-meaning and empowered people carry out that work.
It's our intention to do everything we can, whatever the
organizational structure is, to be sure and make the homeland-
security mission successful.
I thank you for your attention.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Robinson follows:]
Prepared Statement of C. Paul Robinson, Director,
Sandia National Laboratories
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, thank you
for the opportunity to testify on the present and future roles of the
National Nuclear Security Administration's national laboratories in
homeland security. I am Paul Robinson, director of Sandia National
Sandia National Laboratories is managed and operated for the
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE) by Sandia Corporation, a subsidiary of the Lockheed
Martin Corporation. Sandia's unique role in the nation's nuclear
weapons program is the design, development, qualification, and
certification of nearly all of the nonnuclear subsystems of nuclear
warheads. We perform substantial work in programs closely related to
nuclear weapons, including intelligence, nonproliferation, and treaty
verification technologies. As a multiprogram national laboratory,
Sandia also conducts research and development for other national
security agencies when our special capabilities can make significant
At Sandia National Laboratories, we perform scientific and
engineering work with our missions in mind--never solely for its own
sake. Even the fundamental scientific work that we do and we do a great
deal of it--is strategic for the mission needs of our sponsors.
Sandia's management philosophy has always stressed the ultimate linkage
of research to application. When someone refers to Sandia as ``the
nation's premier engineering laboratory,'' that statement does not tell
the whole story: We are an applied science and engineering laboratory
with a focus on developing technical solutions to the most challenging
problems that threaten peace and freedom.
My statement will give an overview of Sandia's contributions to
homeland security in recent months, followed by a discussion of the
major laboratory capabilities of importance to the homeland security
mission in the future. I will also share my thoughts on how best to
structure a science and technology capability for homeland security in
order to have maximum success, including suggestions for how
legislation can ensure access to the research and development (R&D)
resources that the new Department of Homeland Security will require to
support its missions. Let me stress at the outset, however, that our
experience has been that almost any thoughtful organizational structure
can work, if well-meaning and empowered people carry out the work of
\1\ This conclusion is one of the observations made by the authors
of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, by James C.
Collins and Jerry I. Porras, who made a landmark study of America's
most successful companies.
sandia's contributions to homeland security and the war against
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 sponsors to invest
resources toward emerging threats, Sandia was in a position to
immediately address some urgent needs.
For example, by September 15, a small Sandia team had instrumented
the K-9 rescue units at the World Trade Center site to allow the search
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
You may perhaps be aware that a formulation developed by Sandia
chemists was one of the processes used to help eliminate anthrax in
this very building (Dirksen), as well as in the Hart and Ford buildings
here on Capitol Hill and at contaminated sites in New York City and in
the Postal Service. We developed the non-toxic formulation as a foam
several years ago and licensed it to two firms for industrial
production in 2000. The formulation neutralizes both chemical and
biological agents in minutes.
Special 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, our experts 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 attempted to detonate onboard a trans-Atlantic flight
from Paris to Miami were surgically disabled with an advanced bomb-
squad tool 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.
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 subway
stations 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 chemical agents 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
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,
chemical storage sites, and dams.
As a result of our sustained program of research and development on
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), several state-of-the-art systems have
recently been provided to various DoD operational units, either through
Sandia directly or by a corporate partner. These systems are deployed
in various critical and time-urgent national security missions,
including direct support of Joint Forge, Enduring Freedom, and homeland
defense activities, and they have earned recognition for their
exceptional performance and utility. Unlike more conventional electro-
optical systems, SAR provides a day/night, all-weather imaging
capability. Sandia has performed research and development on SARs since
the early 1980s, an activity that grew from roots in nuclear weapon
radar fuzing and has continued under the sponsorship of both DOE and
DoD and some corporate partners.
These and other contributions to homeland security and the war
against terror are possible because of strategic planning we conducted
years ago and early investment in the capabilities that were needed to
respond to emerging threats. The outstanding technology base supported
by NNSA for its core missions is the primary source of this capability.
We also made strategic decisions to invest Laboratory-Directed Research
and Development (LDRD) funds in the very things that we judged were
likely to become future needs: items to the Afghanistan theater, the
decontamination foam, the sensors we have deployed, and special-purpose
robotics we developed. In recent months, requests for Sandia's services
from federal agencies other than DOE for work in emerging areas of need
have increased. Approximately twenty-eight percent of our total
laboratory operating budget is now provided by federal agencies other
sandia's capabilities for homeland security
Sandia National Laboratories and the other NNSA laboratories
constitute a broad, multidisciplinary technology base in nearly all the
physical sciences and engineering disciplines. We are eager to leverage
those capabilities to support other national security needs germane to
our missions, including homeland security, when our capabilities can
make significant contributions. Following are a few areas of expertise
at Sandia that are directly applicable to the homeland security
As part of Sandia's mission for stockpile stewardship, we have long
been committed to safeguarding nuclear weapons from terrorists and
actively supporting nonproliferation. The terrorist attack at the 1972
Munich Olympics focused our awareness on vulnerabilities to terrorist
attacks abroad and, in particular, on the need to protect our stored
nuclear weapons. This led to our work on access delay and denial
systems at weapons storage sites and improving the security of weapon
storage vaults. More recently, we have turned our physical protection
expertise to protection and control of nuclear materials in Russia and
the former Soviet Union.
One important tool in the war against nuclear terrorism is the
Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program. Its
purpose is to minimize the risk of nuclear proliferation and terrorism
through cooperative efforts with foreign governments to strengthen
their capability to detect and deter illicit trafficking of nuclear
material across their borders. The NNSA laboratories' expertise has
been essential in this program. Short-term, the Second Line of Defense
program has adapted commercially available radiation detection
equipment, security systems, and communications equipment to work
comprehensively with Russian Customs and other foreign agencies to stop
nuclear smuggling. It is effective in detecting both weapons material
and radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) or so-called ``dirty bombs.''
Long-term, the Second Line of Defense program will deploy radiation
detection equipment optimized for border use, integrate it with local,
regional, and national-level communication systems geared for quick
response, and cooperatively train foreign officials in use of the
Sandia National Laboratories produces radiation sensors for a
variety of government customers. One of our specialties is spectral
sensor systems that provide automatic radioactive material
identification using special algorithms developed by Sandia. These
systems detect and analyze nuclear materials quickly, in real time, in
indoor or outdoor environments, and with a high degree of precision
that provides high confidence. We have produced a wide variety of
sensor systems, from very large, fixed installations to small, rugged,
portable battery-powered units.
Sandia's Radiation Assessment Identification and Detection (RAID)
System was originally conceived, built, and tested before the tragic
events of September 11, 2001. However, it meets the post 9/11 need to
help safeguard our nation from nuclear terrorism. This system is
designed to detect and identify radioactive materials transported
through portals at passenger and package terminals at international
ports of entry. RAID uses a commercial sodium iodide scintillation
spectrometer and associated electronics, along with Sandia-developed
analysis algorithms, to detect and identify radioactive materials
passing within several meters of the sensor. A video image of the
detection scene is displayed on a base-station computer. The system
automatically and continuously updates and recalibrates for background
phenomena and can identify a radioactive source even if the source is
Based on our experience with RAID and other more advanced nuclear
sensing systems, we believe the state of development of our nuclear
sensors is such that the technology could be quickly transferred to
commercial producers and widely and rapidly deployed at a cost of less
than $50,000 per unit. These deployed systems would have a very high
probability of detecting a smuggled nuclear weapon or an RDD if
properly deployed. Nuclear sensing systems could be placed at ports of
entry, around likely targets, or even scattered throughout a city to
scan people, packages, and vehicles. Since these sensors are passive
devices, they don't emit a signal and, consequently, are very difficult
to detect. In other words, a terrorist can't use a radar detector to
determine if one of these sensors is present. Unbeknownst to a
terrorist, an alarm from one of these sensors could alert law
enforcement personnel to the presence or movement of a weapon that
employs radioactive material.
Of course, significant challenges exist in transitioning any
technology from the laboratory to mass-produced industrial products.
However, as we have demonstrated many times with technologies that we
have transferred to industry in the past, Sandia works closely with
industrial partners to work through the design challenges associated
with manufacturing engineering and commercialization.
Chemical and Biological Agent Sensing
Sandia is researching a variety of technical solutions to counter
the threat posed by chemical and biological agents. This activity is
supported by the DOE Chemical/Biological Nonproliferation Program
(CBNP) and the Department of Defense and includes threat and response
analysis, environmental sensing and monitoring, facility protection,
advance chem/bio-terror warning systems, reagent design, and
Sandia is developing a portable bio-sensor called ``microChemlab''
to put into the hands of first responders. Configured to detect toxins
such as ricin and botulinum, the device uses micro-fabricated ``chips''
as a miniature chemical analysis lab to isolate and identify biological
agents. This system has been demonstrated to also reliably and rapidly
detect a variety of chemical weapon agents in realistic situations
where obscurants to mask the signature are present. The system is being
modified to analyze viruses and bacteria.
We are identifying commercial partners to produce and market the
unit. We are also exploring a process for identifying anthrax in a
period of minutes, rather than hours. In the laboratory, we are
analyzing fatty acid esters vaporized from the cell walls of bacteria
and comparing them to cataloged signatures indicative of anthrax or
other pathogens. If successful, these signatures can be incorporated
into the hand-held microChemlab unit described above. The ability to
identify a biological agent quickly is a crucial step toward developing
bio-attack warning systems and defenses. Sandia's Laboratory-Directed
Research and Development (LDRD) program supports this work.
Sandia is engaged in an accelerated development effort for a
standoff biological weapons detection system to provide advance warning
of a biological weapon threat. The system will employ ultraviolet
laser-induced fluorescence to scan for and to discriminate clouds of
biological agents over a broad field of view. Prototypes of this system
have been demonstrated on various mobile and fixed platforms and have
demonstrated excellent standoff range and sensitivity. Under NNSA
sponsorship, we are moving toward the demonstration phase of the system
development in the next several months.
As critical as sensor technology is to an effective biodefense, an
even more overriding question is, What should an integrated biodefense
system look like? For the past several years, Sandia has been working
with partners to understand the issues associated with defending cities
against biological attack. Starting with the basic objectives of
limiting casualties and minimizing the impact of an attack on the
health care system, we have evolved system concepts that combine early
medical surveillance with environmental monitoring. Early medical
surveillance looks for patterns in the population for earlier
indications of an attack than would be possible if we waited for
definitive patient diagnoses. Environmental monitoring aims for still
earlier detection by using sensors, such as those described above, to
detect dispersal of a disease agent. An urban environmental monitoring
system would likely consist of a wide-area monitoring component in
combination with facility monitoring for high-value facilities such as
government buildings, subways, and airports.
Even with a good defensive system, knowing what to do in the
``fog'' of a biological attack is extremely difficult, especially when
information may trickle in over the course of days, where ``no action''
may be a decision with serious consequences, and where multiple
jurisdictions complicate decision making. To better understand the
real-world factors affecting such decisions and to help prepare
decision makers, Sandia has developed a multi-player interactive
simulation that we call, ``Weapons of Mass Destruction--Decision
Analysis Center'' (WMD-DAC). We are currently applying this simulation
capability to both biological and nuclear defense scenarios.
Today, a commercially produced, walk-through portal for detecting
trace amounts of explosive compounds on a person is available for
purchase and installation at airports and other public facilities. The
technology for this device was developed, prototyped, and demonstrated
by Sandia National Laboratories over a period of several years and
licensed to Barringer Instruments of Warren, New Jersey, for
commercialization and manufacture. The instrument is so sensitive that
microscopic quantities of explosive compounds are detected in a few
Using similar technology, we have developed and successfully tested
a prototype vehicle portal that detects minute amounts of common
explosives in cars and trucks. Detecting explosives in vehicles is a
major concern at airports, military bases, government facilities, and
border crossings. The system uses Sandia's patented sample collection
and preconcentrator technology that has previously been licensed to
Barringer for use in screening airline passengers. The same technology
has been incorporated into Sandia's line of ``Hound'' portable and
hand-held sensors, capable of detecting parts-per-trillion explosives
and other compounds.
These devices could be of great value to customs and border agents
at ports of entry. You will recall the incident in December 1999 when a
terrorist attempted to cross into the United States from Canada at Port
Angeles in Washington State. An alert border agent noticed his
suspicious behavior and inspected the trunk of the vehicle, which was
packed with explosives. A less alert agent might easily have allowed
the vehicle to proceed. If we could install vehicle inspection portals
at ports of entry to scan for explosives and radiological materials
quickly and efficiently, we would greatly improve our homeland
Bomb Disablement Technology and Training
As first responders, American firefighters, police, and emergency
personnel will be called upon to be America's first line of defense
against terrorist attacks. These men and women must be prepared for the
full range of terrorist threats, from improvised explosive devices to
chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons of mass
destruction. It will be the responsibility of the Department of
Homeland Security to ensure they have access to the training and tools
they need to do their jobs.
Sandia National Laboratories began holding advanced bomb-
disablement technology workshops for bomb squad technicians in 1994.
Since then, Sandia has transferred advanced bomb-disablement technology
to more than 750 workshop participants through Operation America and
its predecessors, Operation Riverside and Operation Albuquerque.
Operation America is a series of ongoing regional workshops hosted by a
local police department in the state where the event is held and
supported by regional FBI offices. Participants come from bomb squads,
police and fire departments, and emergency response organizations
throughout the United States, including most of our major metropolitan
cities and the U.S. Capitol Police. They also come from other
government agencies, all branches of the U.S. military, and,
internationally, from our allies in some of the world's terrorism hot
spots. Participants learn applied explosives technology and advanced
bomb-disablement logic, tools, and techniques. Technical classroom
presentations, live-range demonstrations, hands-on training, and
special high-risk scenarios give them the knowledge and technology they
need to respond to terrorist threats involving explosives.
Most of the bomb-disablement technologies demonstrated in Operation
America were developed by Sandia National Laboratories as part of the
DOE Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program and our
work for other federal agencies. These tools include the Percussion-
Actuated Nonelectric (PAN) Disrupter used to dismantle suspected
explosive devices and preserve forensic evidence. The device was used
at the Unabomber's cabin in Montana and was available at the 1996
Summer and 2002 Winter Olympic Games. More recently, Massachusetts
State Police, with the assistance of the FBI, used the Sandia-developed
PAN Disrupter to disable the alleged shoe bombs removed from an
American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami.
The PAN disrupter, as well as other advanced disablement tools
developed by Sandia, are currently in use by local bomb squads and
could be used against terrorist threats such as radiological dispersal
devices (RDDs) and other weapons of mass destruction. Most of these
bomb-disablement tools are relatively simple to assemble in the field,
can be used safely from a distance, and are affordable, and they are
currently in use throughout the bomb-disablement community. These tools
disrupt and ``render-safe'' explosive packages without initiating the
explosives or destroying forensic evidence.
Once Sandia has researched, developed, and tested a bomb-
disablement tool, it begins the process of transferring the technology
to the first-responders community, putting the technology in the hands
of the men and women who need it. Operation America sponsors include
Sandia National Laboratories, the National Institute of Justice, and
Critical Infrastructure Protection
National security and the quality of life in the United States
depend on the continuous, reliable operation of a complex set of
interdependent infrastructures consisting of electric power, oil and
gas, transportation, water, communications, banking and finance,
emergency services, law enforcement, government continuity,
agriculture, health services, and others. Today, they are heavily
dependent on one another and becoming more so. Disruptions in any one
of them could jeopardize the continued operation of the entire
infrastructure system. Many of these systems are known to be vulnerable
to physical and cyber threats and to failures induced by system
In the past, the nation's critical infrastructures operated fairly
independently. Today, however, they are increasingly linked, automated,
and interdependent. What previously would have been an isolated
failure, today could cascade into a widespread, crippling, multi-
infrastructure disruption. As the documented cases of attacks on vital
portions of the nation's infrastructure grow, there is a sense of
urgency within industry and government to understand the
The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC),
which would be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security under
the Administration's bill, is a comprehensive capability to assess the
nation's system of infrastructures and their interdependencies. NISAC's
partners are Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National
Laboratory, both of which possess extensive supercomputer resources and
software expertise. NISAC will provide reliable decision support
analysis for policy makers, government leaders, and infrastructure
operators. It will perform modeling, simulation, and analysis of the
nation's infrastructures, with emphasis on the interdependencies.
Sandia pioneered Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) as a tool for
evaluating the risks associated with high-consequence systems such as
nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation plants. We apply this tool
to risk assessments for critical infrastructures such as dams, water
utilities, chemical plants, and power plants. Combined with our
expertise in security systems for nuclear facilities, we have helped
utilities and industrial associations create security assessment
methodologies that can guide owners and operators through the
assessment process to determine vulnerabilities and identify mitigation
options. Methodologies have been developed for water utilities,
chemical storage facilities, dams, power plants, and electrical power
Computer systems and networks are attractive targets of attack for
high-tech criminals, foreign governments, and, increasingly,
terrorists. Government, commerce, and the military increasingly rely on
cyber networks in their operations. Computerized Supervisory Control
And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems often control the operations of
critical infrastructure systems such as power utilities and
distribution networks and municipal water supplies.
Sandia conducts significant research in the technologies intended
to protect cyber and network resources and the information that resides
on such systems. Programs that assess the vulnerabilities associated
with these systems are in place for our own resources as well as for
those at other federal government agencies. Sandia operates a SCADA
laboratory to study such cyber control systems and to determine
effective protection strategies. We conduct red-teaming to challenge
cyber and information systems and identify and remove vulnerabilities.
Our objectives are to enhance the resistance of cyber systems and
critical information systems to attack and to develop solutions for
survivability and response options. Our understanding of the issues
associated with computer and network vulnerabilities is enhanced by the
microelectronic design and fabrication capability resident at Sandia as
well as the state-of-the-art work performed as part of NNSA's Advanced
Simulation and Computing (ASC) campaign.
Nuclear Incident Response
The President's bill to establish a Department of Homeland Security
defines a Nuclear Incident Response Team that includes entities of the
Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency that
perform nuclear and/or radiological emergency support functions
NNSA plays a vital support role in combating acts of nuclear
terrorism through its Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST). NEST
provides the FBI and other federal and state agencies with technical
assistance in response to terrorist use or threat of use of a nuclear
or radiological device in the United States. NEST also supports the
Department of State in a similar role for incidents overseas. Another
NNSA team, the Accident Response Group (ARG), has the different mission
of providing technical support in response to accidents involving U.S.
nuclear weapons while they are either in the custody of DOE or the
military services. The ARG and NEST teams draw from the same pool of
experts at the NNSA laboratories, all of whom are volunteers.
NEST maintains a fast-response capability for a radiological
emergency involving dispersal of radioactive debris--for example, from
the detonation of a so-called ``dirty bomb'' or radiological dispersal
device (RDD). NNSA's Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) provides
initial responders who can be on the scene in a matter of hours. Their
support role is to characterize the radiological environment, provide
technical advice to the FBI, FEMA, and other emergency response
agencies, and to assist with decontamination and material recovery.
NNSA is in the process of enhancing the Radiological Assistance Program
to perform radiological weapons detection and device characterization
missions on a regional basis consistent with the FEMA response regions.
The Joint Technical Operations Teams (JTOTs) are major operational
elements of NEST that directly assist military units and crisis
response operations. These teams are trained and equipped to support
render-safe operations and advise on stabilization, packaging, and
In addition to the NEST and ARG capabilities, NNSA maintains
Consequence Management Teams that are available to provide assistance
to federal and state agencies that require radiological emergency
assistance after a detonation has occurred. The teams are trained and
equipped to support assessment, monitoring and sampling activities,
laboratory analysis, and health and safety support to incident
Sandia National Laboratories contributes more than one hundred team
members to the various elements of NEST, ARG, RAP, and Consequence
Management. Sandia's role focuses largely on RAP incident response,
device characterization, render-safe techniques, assessment and
prediction of consequences from radiological incidents and accidents,
and methods for containment of radiological materials. Sandia is the
only NNSA laboratory that maintains the capability for containment of
particulates that would be released in an RDD explosion.
U.S./Russian Nuclear Security Programs
Sandia supports a broad range of cooperative programs with Russia
in nuclear security. These programs, funded by NNSA, DoD's Cooperative
Threat Reduction program, and the Department of State, address the
safety and security of nuclear weapons, the security of fissile
materials, verification of fissile materials, and defense conversion.
I want to make special note of the importance of the activities
with Russia. The terrorist attacks last September have made us all
acutely aware of the catastrophic potential of weapons of mass
destruction should they end up in the wrong hands. The cooperative
efforts to protect nuclear materials and maintain state control over
nuclear capabilities and assets in Russia are important initiatives
that must continue.
We promote a vision called ``Global Nuclear Management'' that, if
realized, would systematize the control of all nuclear materials in the
world. However, the current state of protection for nuclear materials
in Russia, while improved through the past efforts of this program, is
an important indication of the potential for nuclear material
proliferation. We must continue these efforts with Russia.
ensuring access to the nnsa and doe laboratories for
homeland security missions
The national laboratories of the NNSA and DOE are widely regarded
as the premier science and technology laboratories in the federal
government. These institutions have a long history of excellence in
research and development for nuclear weapons and other national
security applications. They are uniquely able to deploy
multidisciplinary teams on complex problems in a way that integrates
science, engineering, and design with product realization. These labs
already have the scientists and engineers in place to contribute to the
counterterrorism program, and most of them already handle classified
research projects, which will be a requirement in dealing with
terrorism threats issues and responses.
In a world where threats are increasingly insidious--with worrisome
developments in chemical and biological weapons, cyber warfare, and
proliferation of radiological and nuclear capabilities--it is important
that the NNSA and DOE laboratories be major contributors in the
national effort to address these threats. These national laboratories
can provide enormous value to homeland security challenges. They are
also the logical entities to perform technology evaluation on the many
products and proposals that will inevitably be advocated to the
Department of Homeland Security from countless vendors.
I would recommend that the new Homeland Security Department operate
initially with the nation's existing research and development centers.
It is unlikely that a new ``stand-alone'' science and technology
laboratory could be created from scratch in time to make significant
contributions. The United States is at war, and we must be bring
technology to bear as rapidly as possible. There is no luxury of time
to organize, build, or bring a new laboratory into successful
The natural desire for a new agency to have organic laboratory
assets that it ``owns'' can be addressed in the longer term. However,
it makes eminent sense to begin with the assets that exist now at
national laboratories and other appropriate research providers, then
evolve over time to a future state where separate labs could be pulled
out and designated as homeland security laboratories. Ultimately, it
may prove desirable for existing elements of the national laboratories
(at least those which demonstrate that they are particularly important
for homeland security) to be spun-off into independent Federally Funded
Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) for homeland security.
Any new FFRDCs that might be created at some future time should
always have ``permeable membranes'' that allow sharing of expertise
from other parts and programs of sister laboratories in the NNSA, DOE,
or other research centers. Placing a bureaucratic wall around a
homeland security laboratory would reduce rather than enhance its
It has long been my opinion that the nation would be better served
if the national laboratories that were created by acts of Congress
could in fact become true national laboratories, with simplified
procedures in place to allow their unique resources to be rapidly and
efficiently applied to support any agency of the federal government
with responsibility for important national missions. The current
homeland security crisis easily qualifies as an appropriate case for
Unfortunately, established bureaucratic structures and regulations
that keep agencies at arm's length from one another will stand in the
way of effective utilization of the NNSA or other DOE laboratories for
homeland security unless legislative action is taken to remove the
barriers. As a first step, it would be helpful to explicitly authorize
NNSA to carry out research and development for homeland security by
adding that activity to the NNSA's list of authorized activities at
Title 42, Section 2121, of the United States Code. Similar action was
taken by the 101st Congress when it added technology transfer to the
NNSA's authorized activities with the Department of Energy National
Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act of 1989.\2\
\2\ Pub. L. 101-189, div. C, title XXXI, Sec. 3157, Nov. 29, 1989,
103 Stat. 1684.
Next, the Homeland Security Act should give the Department of
Homeland Security the power to task the NNSA laboratories directly,
just as the Science, Energy, Environmental, and other non-NNSA offices
of DOE are able to do. Similarly, using the Joint Sponsorship
provisions already within the Federal Acquisition Regulations would
allow NNSA and the Homeland Security Department to embrace these
missions and to jointly undertake research and development activities
under mutual agreement. These authorities would eliminate the
bureaucratic red tape and additional costs associated with the Work-
for-Others (WFO) process that could otherwise inhibit access and
utilization of the laboratories by non-DOE sponsors.
organizing the research and development function in the department of
It will be important for the Homeland Security Department to have
the authority to determine for itself how and where to make its
research and development (R&D) investments to support its mission
goals. There will be some laboratories and institutions that will lobby
to be designated as homeland security laboratories or as centers of
excellence for this or that homeland security mission area. The
Department will need to look beyond labels to demonstrated capabilities
and a track record of deliverables. Its R&D program should encourage a
competition of ideas among many performers, including industrial firms,
universities, and federal laboratories, and then fund the development
of the best ideas based on considerations of technical merit and not on
who the performer is.
The Department of Homeland Security must adopt a two-track strategy
for R&D that addresses both near-term and long-term needs. DHS must
quickly demonstrate and deploy applied technology for threats that
exist now. In the near term, the Department's R&D program must stress
deployment of technologies for which a research base already exists. It
will need to rely on laboratories that can work effectively with
industry and perform Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstrations in an
expedited fashion under programs managed at the Under Secretary level.
DHS will also require a strategic research program to address
longer-term issues. This program should commission research in areas
that hold potential for breakthrough technologies of importance to
homeland security. It may perhaps function like the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) or be staffed as a small Federally
Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) reporting to the Office
of the Secretary, as recommended by the National Research Council
\3\ Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in
Countering Terrorism, National Research Council, June 25, 2002, p 12-7.
I believe it will also be important to establish some research
programs that are funded at the mission level, not just at the task
level, within key laboratories. Our experience is that laboratory staff
become far more likely to produce important results in support of their
missions when they can devote themselves in a streamlined and focused
way with the most knowledgeable and most qualified individuals having
the freedom to pursue new ideas, choose the best approaches, and act on
new research results with a minimum of bureaucracy. What has made this
model so successful in the past for both our military and other
sponsors has been the way in which we have integrated new technologies
by placing the emphasis on technology solutions. Whenever we have been
given cradle-to-grave responsibility for bringing ``leap-frog science''
to bear in the shortest possible time, our technical staff have worked
in close teamwork with the end users of the technology to assure that
what is delivered to the field will be successful. This unique approach
to marrying ``technology-push'' with ``requirements-pull'' is a
hallmark of Sandia's R&D philosophy.
Each Under Secretary of Homeland Security will have unique R&D
requirements. Clearly, the Under Secretary for Chemical, Biological,
Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures will need access to a
substantially different set of R&D resources than the Under Secretary
for Border and Transportation Security. But the needs for improved
technology are widespread.
We recommend that each Under Secretary create a laboratory network
tailored for his or her missions by directly tasking existing
institutions that possess the competencies required. We call this
entity a ``virtual national laboratory,'' and it has already been tried
and proven in the NNSA laboratory system and elsewhere as an effective
model for multi-institutional programs involving research and
technology development. Virtual national laboratories may be of
permanent or limited duration and can be reconfigured as necessary for
To illustrate, the Under Secretary for Chemical, Biological,
Radiologcial, and Nuclear Countermeasures may design one or more
matrixed laboratory systems that include representation from the
National Institutes of Health, some DOE/NNSA labs, leading research
universities, and the pharmaceutical industry. The Under Secretary for
Border and Transportation Security may design one or more matrixed
laboratory systems for his or her needs that include representation
from the Naval Research Laboratory and other DoD labs, DOE/NNSA,
industry, and universities.
Each of these ``virtual national laboratories'' would have a
defined organizational structure with a laboratory director and program
directors, although it would own no real property. The laboratory
director would manage a Laboratory Liaison Council (LLC) with
representation from the constituent institutions. The LLC would be the
Under Secretary's vehicle for direct access to the national laboratory
system. There would be no requirement to go through each institution's
sponsoring federal agency in a ``work-for-others'' procurement process.
A significant advantage of this concept is that it encourages
competition of the right sort--competition of ideas (not direct
competition of labs for money)--and cooperation on results, pulling
together the right resources for a particular mission focus. It
encourages rapid transition of the fruits of research into development
and application and helps avoid the ``valley of death'' that often
prevents promising research from moving from development to deployment.
Specific recommendations to implement this concept in the DHS
legislation are attached in the appendix to my statement.
summary and conclusion
Sandia National Laboratories and the other NNSA and DOE
laboratories constitute a broad, multidisciplinary technology base in
nearly all the physical sciences and engineering disciplines. We are
eager to leverage our capabilities to support the science and
technology needs of the new Department of Homeland Security.
Sandia possesses strong competencies in nuclear, chemical, and
biological sensors and engineered systems suitable for transfer to
industry and deployment in homeland security applications. We have been
proactive in supporting our nation's first responders and addressing
the challenges of infrastructure protection. We have a track record of
anticipating emerging homeland security threats and investing in
technology development to counter them through our Laboratory-Directed
Research and Development (LDRD) program and sponsor-directed programs.
We are the premier national laboratory for working with industry to
transition technologies into deployable commercial applications.
Bureaucratic and regulatory roadblocks exist that limit access to
the DOE/NNSA national laboratories by other federal agencies, and those
obstacles should be removed by the homeland security legislation in
order to facilitate direct access to those resources. The Homeland
Security Department needs the authority to manage a research and
development program that encourages competition of ideas among many
performers--including industrial firms, universities, and federal
laboratories--and then fund the development of the best ideas based on
technical merit and applicability to mission needs.
On behalf of the dedicated and talented people who constitute
Sandia National Laboratories, I want to emphasize our commitment to
strengthening United States security and combating the threat to our
homeland from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. It is our
highest goal to be a national laboratory that delivers technology
solutions to the most challenging problems that threaten peace and
Recommendations for Structuring Research and Development in the
Department of Homeland Security
Each Under Secretary should have authority for ``conducting
a national scientific research and development program to
support the missions of the Department'' for which he or she is
responsible, ``. . . including directing, funding, and
conducting research and development relating to the same'' (as
per Sec. 301 (2) of the President's bill).
In addition, each Under Secretary should appoint a Director
of Research and Development with authority to immediately
create networked laboratory systems (virtual national
laboratories) through cooperative arrangements with federal,
academic, and private research institutions. Appropriate
funding will be required.
Directors of Research and Development will be assisted by
Laboratory Liaison Councils with representation from the
institutions of the virtual national laboratory.
Directors of Research and Development should have authority
and appropriated funding to originate and award Cooperative R&D
Agreements (CRADAs) and other technology transfer mechanisms
between virtual national laboratories and industry on an
DHS legislation should authorize all relevant federally
funded R&D institutions to accept direct tasking from the DHS
and should instruct ``landlord'' agencies to facilitate DHS
taskings of institutions under their sponsorship.
At least initially, DHS should rely on the established great
laboratories of the nation, rather than creating new ones for
its science and technology (S&T) program. There is insufficient
time to establish a ``green field'' laboratory that can make
contributions on the scale required in a timely manner.
Congress should add homeland security to the NNSA's list of
authorized activities at Title 42, Section 2121 of the United
Thought must be given to ensuring that S&T activities are
not encumbered with bureaucratic processes that stifle the
imaginative and innovative work required if we are to be
successful. New processes will be required in some cases,
rather than importing existing ones from organizations brought
into the new department.
As recommended by the National Research Council,\4\ an
office of ``Under Secretary for Technology'' should be created,
reporting to the Secretary of Homeland Security. This office
will manage a strategic, peer-reviewed research program with
universities, national laboratories, and industry. Sustained
funding at the mission level will be required.
\4\ Ibid., p. 12-6.
Also as recommended by the National Research Council,\5\ a
Homeland Security Institute should be established as a
Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) under
the direction of the Under Secretary for Technology. This
entity should perform policy and systems analysis, help define
standards and metrics, and assist agencies with evaluating
technologies for deployment.
\5\ Ibid., p. 12-7.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
Dr. Cobb, go right ahead.
STATEMENT OF DON COBB, Ph.D., ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, THREAT
REDUCTION, LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY
Dr. Cobb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members
of the committee, for inviting me here today. It's a privilege
for me to appear here with my colleagues from the other
laboratories and to discuss an opportunity that I think is
really historic, creating a new department to carry on a
mission of protecting our homeland. It's also a special honor
for me to represent not only Los Alamos, but also my boss, John
I'm Don Cobb. I'm the Associate Director for Threat
Reduction. My responsibilities include the science and
technology programs we carry out at the laboratory that are
primarily geared toward reducing threats associated with the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction--nuclear,
chemical, and biological.
Threat reduction at Los Alamos is one of the three major
mission areas of the laboratory, and it's about one-fifth of
the laboratory's work. I bring that up because it was based on
several decades of research in these areas that we were able to
respond to the call after 9/11 with our fellow laboratories.
So I would maintain that the national labs, including Los
Alamos, are already committed and contributing important
research and technology products in the fields to protect our
homeland. We're building on decades of experience countering
the threats of weapons of mass destruction to do that.
So it's important not to separate these missions so
terribly apart that we lose in one area at the expense of the
other. I think we need to look at a balanced approach that
fosters homeland security, but, at the same time, we don't lose
the work that we've been doing in proliferation and counter-
terrorism in the past.
I believe that the national labs will and have to play an
important role in reducing the danger of terrorism, because we
have the multiple capabilities, and we also have the classified
secure environment to handle the kinds of information that it's
going to take to meet this challenge.
Now, my written testimony has a lot of examples. I hope you
will see from the written testimony that the people at Los
Alamos, and I know at the other labs, are very dedicated to
this new mission. I mean, we really care about it. Since 9/11,
people want to engage, and we're eager to do more.
I want to talk about a couple of the areas where we're
involved, and it's not just Los Alamos, but it's areas where we
contribute in working with universities and industry and the
other labs. The first one I wanted to talk about, and I think
Dr. Orbach talked about it in his testimony, Los Alamos and
Livermore labs are charter members of the original effort to
sequence the human genome. And recently we've embarked on an
effort to sequence the DNA from pathogens that are believed to
be of the greatest concern from a bioterrorism perspective.
We're doing that with the Office of Science support, as well as
from the NNSA. And the sequencing effort is really important in
the fact that it provides the data that you're going to need in
order to go to the field and get early warning against
bioterrorism attack. So it's a combination of the biosciences
and then the technology that goes to the field to provide early
warning, which I think is the signal capability of the kinds of
work that the labs bring. For example, this will be important
in expanding the BASIS capability that was discussed--that was
The second one is--I want to just say a few words about
controlling and monitoring our borders for the passage of
nuclear materials and in terms of packages and cargo and so on
entering the country. This is an area where we have a great
deal of capability yet to be brought to bear, and I believe
it's one of the areas where before we can claim that we have
done what is needed to do, we need to engage our collective
capabilities at the labs and industry, because many of these
technologies for radiation detection have already been
commercialized, and we need to get these out into the field. So
I wanted to mention that one as one that I think is
And then the last one, I won't say too much about,
because--actually Ambassador Robinson mentioned, the joint Los
Alamos, Sandia, NISAC work, but I would like to say that this
is really based on 10 years of development of advanced modeling
and simulation. The U.S. Government has invested $150 million
at these two labs to put these capabilities together. It's time
now to pull this together and apply this to critical
infrastructure. And division--and the reality of NISAC is
you'll be able to look at the operations with valid models of
the operations of each element of our critical infrastructure
and the interdependencies that they have amongst themselves, so
we can look at vulnerabilities and then help guide decision
makers on the investments that they'll be making in the future.
So, with that, I would--I'll stop and am happy to answer
[The prepared statement of Dr. Cobb follows:]
Prepared Statement of Don Cobb, Ph.D., Associate Director, Threat
Reduction, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Thank you Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Senate
Energy and Natural Resources Committee for inviting me here today to
discuss the present and future roles of the Department of Energy/
National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) national
laboratories in protecting our homeland security. I am Don Cobb,
Associate Director for Threat Reduction at Los Alamos National
Laboratory. At Los Alamos, I am responsible for all programs directed
at reducing threats associated with weapons of mass destruction. I
personally have more than 30 years experience working to reduce these
Los Alamos is operated by the University of California for the DOE/
NNSA and is one of three NNSA laboratories, along with Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories,
responsible for maintaining the nation's nuclear stockpile. In addition
to our stockpile responsibilities, the three NNSA laboratories have
been involved for decades in technology development and problem solving
in the realm of arms control and nonproliferation. Through our work in
these areas, Los Alamos has developed a skill and technology base that
enabled us to respond immediately following the September 11 attacks,
to calls for assistance in counter terrorism and homeland security.
With the President's call for a new Department of Homeland Security,
Los Alamos stands ready to focus its capabilities in support of this
Today, I would like to discuss with you the broad set of
capabilities that Los Alamos brings to U.S. efforts to protect our
homeland from future terrorist attacks. While my testimony is Los
Alamos centric, progress in science and technology depends on
collaboration among the national laboratories, government, industry and
Los Alamos National Laboratory firmly supports the creation of a
Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Consolidation of federal
homeland security agencies has the potential to protect the nation
The President's proposal would give the Department four divisions:
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection; Chemical,
Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures; Border and
Transportation Security; and Emergency Preparedness and Response. Each
of these mission areas will require focused research and development
(R&D). My statement will describe some of the key contributions Los
Alamos and the other national laboratories can make to homeland
security in each of these areas.
engaging the science and technology (s&t) community
``The government will need mechanisms to engage the technical
capabilities of the government and the nation's scientific,
engineering, and medical communities in pursuit of homeland security
goals,'' says a new National Academies report.\1\ Every division of the
DHS will require research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E)
to solve the technical challenges it will face. At Los Alamos, we have
asked the question, ``How can a newly formed DHS best engage with the
S&T community, including the national laboratories, universities and
industry?'' I believe that in order to succeed, DHS requires a single,
focused S&T office that serves as the central R&D organization for the
Department. As suggested by the House and Senate bills, this office
could be placed under a separate Director of Science and Technology.
The best and brightest human resources, including federal staff
augmented by scientists and engineers assigned from national
laboratories, industry and academia, must staff this S&T office.
Boundaries with other organizations must be ``permeable,'' enabling
people to move back and forth easily.
\1\ National Research Council Committee on Science and Technology
for Countering Terrorism, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science
and Technology in Countering Terrorism (Washington, DC: National
Academy Press, June 2002).
The S&T office would be responsible for the planning and oversight
of focused RDT&E, including both rapid technology acquisition and long-
term, high-risk, high-payoff research. Functional responsibilities for
the agency would therefore include:
Threat and vulnerability assessment;
Identification of needs through interactions with other
agencies, and with state and local governments;
Strategic planning and prioritization for RDT&E investments;
Program planning, budgeting, funding and oversight;
Science and technology acquisition from universities,
industry and national laboratories;
Evaluation of technologies and systems effectiveness; and
Close coordination with end-users during initial system
The office should be established quickly, in place and functioning
concurrently with the establishment of the DHS--we want to maintain,
and even accelerate, the momentum which has built since September 11. I
now will describe some of the key contributions Los Alamos is making to
information analysis and infrastructure protection
National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC). Los
Alamos is partnering with Sandia National Laboratories to establish
NISAC. NISAC is intended to provide improved technical planning,
simulation, and decision support for the analysis of critical
infrastructures, their interdependencies, and vulnerabilities for
policy analysis and emergency planning. This technology is based on a
decade long, $150M investment in basic research and software
development, supported by the world's largest secure, scientific
computing environment. NISAC will provide the type, scale, and
comprehensive level of information that will enable the nation's senior
leadership proactively to deny terrorist attack options against
potentially high-value targets, instead of simply reacting to the
latest threat scenarios. NISAC will provide essential analytic support
for discovering and overcoming gaps in our homeland security.
NISAC was created as part of the U.S.A. Patriot Act of 2001 (P.L.
107-56). The President's proposal calls for the transfer of NISAC to
the DHS. Because NISAC has responsibility across all infrastructure
sectors, it is appropriate that NISAC should directly support the
agency charged with cross-infrastructure responsibilities. NISAC is
part of a broader portfolio of infrastructure modeling and simulation
work at the two laboratories. This is significant. The technical and
programmatic synergies that accrue to NISAC as a result of this
association allow for immediate application of the R&D efforts to real
problems today. From vulnerability assessments of actual
infrastructures to ``what if'' simulations of biological event
scenarios, NISAC is providing insights and information to senior
decision makers now. As this capability matures, we will do more.
National Transportation Modeling and Analysis Program (NATMAP).
NATMAP, currently being developed for the Department of Transportation,
builds on Los Alamos' transportation modeling technology developed over
the past decade. NATMAP simulates individual carriers--trucks, trains,
planes, and waterborne vessels--and the transportation infrastructures
used by these carriers to simulate freight commodity shipments of the
U.S. transportation network. It moves individual freight shipments from
production areas, through intermodal transfer facilities and
distribution centers, to points of consumption. The advantage of the
NATMAP is that the nation's system can be represented at any level of
detail--from trucks and goods moving among counties and within regions,
to national multi-modal traffic flows including cross border trade with
Mexico and Canada. This strength can be exploited for transportation
policy, security and infrastructure investment purposes.
Vulnerability/Threat Assessments: Nuclear Facilities. Over the last
20 years, Los Alamos and Sandia have analyzed physical security and
identified vulnerabilities at numerous nuclear facilities throughout
DOE, DoD, and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) facilities.
These facilities include nuclear reactors, plutonium-handling
facilities, nuclear weapons storage facilities, commercial nuclear
power plants, and spent nuclear fuel facilities. We routinely train
external agencies on developing protection strategies for low-
probability/high-consequence scenarios, such as aircraft crash,
sabotage, and fire. Fundamental to these activities are the unique
facilities and capabilities that Los Alamos brings to these analyses.
We are the only site where highly radioactive materials can be studied
experimentally for their response to postulated threat scenarios. Such
an understanding is essential for analyzing threats and their potential
Threat Analysis and Warning. Following the September 11 attacks, we
established a multidisciplinary team of analysts searching for evidence
of terrorist activity. Such analysis requires the latest information
management technologies, advanced computational methods, and automated
pattern identification to search enormous amounts of electronic
information. This tremendous task is complicated by the fact that the
vast majority of data represents completely innocent activity. Under
the new Department, a major effort will be needed to develop the tools
that will provide the ability to accurately synthesize information from
intelligence, law enforcement, and open sources. Using our experience
in solving related problems over the years, for example in identifying
activities indicating WMD proliferation, Los Alamos will continue to
provide analytic capability in this area.
Immigration and Naturalization Service: Entry/Exit System. The
Immigration and Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act
(DMIA) of 2000 (P.L 106-215) created a Task Force to evaluate how the
flow of traffic at United States ports of entry can be improved while
enhancing security and implementing systems for data collection and
data sharing. The Task Force is advisory in nature, and as such, will
develop recommendations regarding the development and deployment of an
integrated, automated entry/exit system. A team of experts from Los
Alamos is working with the Task Force to provide advice and objective
recommendations regarding the design and development of the system.
GENetic Imagery Exploitation (GENIE). Los Alamos has developed a
sophisticated image analysis technology called GENIE to create high-
resolution maps. Current sensor platforms collect a flood of high-
quality imagery. Automatic feature extraction is key to enabling human
analysts to keep up with the flow. Machine learning tools, such as the
genetic algorithm-based GENIE, have been successfully used in military
and intelligence applications of broad area search and object
detection, evaluation of environmental disasters, space imaging, and
diagnosis from medical imagery. GENIE has been quickly deployed on a
wide range of processing systems across the nation, and was recently
recognized with an R&D 100 award.
Gigabit Computer Network Traffic Monitoring. Los Alamos has
recently developed technology that can monitor computer network traffic
at gigabit/gigabyte rates, which could be applied to the problem of
terrorist activity detection. By being able to scan network traffic at
gigabit rates, both for trends as well as between specific sources and
destinations, our tools can be used to provide indicators or early
warning of suspicious communications. While many of these traffic
analysis techniques are well known, they have been limited until now by
the inability to collect and process data at gigabit rates.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Los Alamos has high-end
computer systems capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and
displaying geographically referenced information. Our GIS make it
possible to link, or integrate, information that is difficult to
associate through any other means. For example, a GIS might allow
emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the
event of a disaster; we can predict water quality, air quality,
contaminant transport, wildfires and other natural hazards based on
defined threat scenarios. A critical component of Los Alamos' GIS is
our 3D modeling and visualization capability. We can produce wall maps
and other graphics, allowing the viewer to visualize and thereby
understand the results of analyses or simulations of potential events.
chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures
The response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear
threats necessarily take very different approaches. The dual-use nature
of chemical and biological materials makes them easily accessible. For
instance, feritlizer can be used to help plants grow, but the same
chemicals can also be used in the construction of a bomb. In addition,
hazardous microorganisms can be grown from very small starting samples.
Given the prevalence of these materials, the primary focus in
countering chemical and biological threats is on early detection of
attack, early warning to authorities and first responders, and rapid
characterization of the agent to guide response. Radiological and
nuclear materials, on the other hand, have a much longer history of
being regulated and safeguarded at their source. Consequently, the best
way to respond to this variety of threat is to prevent terrorists from
ever acquiring the necessary materials, protecting them at their
source. Thus, we have an opportunity for a layered protection strategy
to counter nuclear terrorism.
Chemical and Biological Countermeasures
Los Alamos has a long history of working in the biological
sciences, born out of initial work done on the effects of radiation on
humans. Over the years, this has developed into a significant
expertise, including leadership in the international Human Genome
Project and the development of now widely used biomedical technologies,
based on our expertise in lasers and isotope chemistry. For example,
Los Alamos created the field of flow cytometry, which allows
researchers to flow objects past a laser that can rapidly answer
questions about individual cells or molecules, like DNA. Thanks to this
strong foundation in the biosciences, Los Alamos was able to make
contributions during the recent anthrax attacks, as well as in the
broader area of biothreat reduction, primarily through our work for
NNSA's Chemical and Biological National Security Program (CBNP).
Field Detection and Early Identification of Pathogens
The Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information System (BASIS), a
joint Los Alamos-Livermore project, provides early warning of airborne
biological weapons attacks for special events such as the Olympics.
Planned for use in civilian settings, BASIS can detect a biological
attack within a few hours, early enough to treat exposed victims and
limit casualties significantly. It was deployed at the 2002 Winter
Olympics in Salt Lake City. The BASIS system incorporates distributed
sampling units (sensors), a re-locatable field laboratory, and an
operations center that employs a secure web-based communications
Advanced BASIS technology is currently being integrated into the
Biosurveillance Defense Initiative. The Initiative, which is sponsored
by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense and
the NNSA, is a joint Los Alamos, Livermore, and Sandia program. The
tri-lab effort will establish an urban test bed for biosurveillance in
a U.S. metropolitan area this fall. Technologies developed by the three
NNSA laboratories for early detection of biological incidents, as well
as Department of Defense systems, will be included in the test bed.
Pathogen Characterization for Forensics, Attribution and Response
Once an attack has occurred, it is up to the biological science and
medical communities to respond to the aftermath. These communities, Los
Alamos included, responded to the challenge posed by the fall 2001
anthrax attacks. Los Alamos assisted the federal response to the
attacks from the beginning, providing DNA forensics expertise to the
investigation, determining what strain of anthrax was used, as well as
other characteristics important for response (e.g., antibiotic
resistance or genetic manipulation).
Los Alamos was able to respond to the attacks as we did because we
have been working for the past ten years on analyzing the DNA of
anthrax and building a comprehensive database of strains from around
the world. Beyond just anthrax, the Laboratory is working on a variety
of pathogen strain analysis approaches for detection, characterization
and attribution of threat pathogens. This work, along with that of our
colleagues at Livermore and Northern Arizona University, has provided
the assays being used in BASIS. Sophisticated analysis capability
resides at Los Alamos for more comprehensive pathogen characterization
and, importantly, for the identification of unknown microbes.
Los Alamos works with a broad range of characterization and
identification technologies. For instance, Los Alamos has established a
DNA fingerprinting method for rapidly identifying the ``genetic
barcode'' for each threat agent species. We have established an archive
of such ``barcodes'' so that, when we conduct an analysis on a new
sample, we can rapidly compare its signature to all those in the
database. Additionally, if a threat pathogen is known, Los Alamos can
use our DNA analysis methods to detect a broad range of agent
properties that are important for understanding the attack and guiding
prophylaxis and treatment; including evidence of genetic manipulation
and antibiotic resistance. We can also differentiate strains of the
known threat agents and can, for some species, determine their original
Biological Demonstration and Application Program. The forensic
technologies described above, as well as routine analytical techniques,
are being evaluated and standardized in the Biological Demonstration
and Application Program (BDAP). BDAP is a collaborative NNSA-sponsored
effort between Los Alamos, Livermore and the Northern Arizona
University. The BDAP will facilitate rapid transition of NNSA-developed
forensic technology into use by the public health, law enforcement and
Biological Toxin Detection. We have developed a prototype of a
simple, compact sensor system for detection of biological toxins,
viruses, and bacteria. The prototype has been sent to a customer for
use and evaluation. Our initial efforts have been focused on the
development of a single-channel, hand-held, battery operated instrument
for detection of cholera and ricin toxins within environmental samples.
This sensor approach offers high sensitivity and specificity,
simplicity of use, and rapid response time (5-10 minutes).
Chemical Detection. Los Alamos has also developed sensors for
detecting chemical threats. For instance, the Swept Frequency Acoustic
Interferometer (SFAI) can be used to determine the composition of
suspected chemical weapons without opening up the weapon or disturbing
it. These devices are hand-carried and have been tested extensively.
The technology is so sensitive that it can easily distinguish between
the contents of cans of Coke and Diet Coke.
Research is also moving forward employing fuel cell technology for
development of an inexpensive, small and highly sensitive chemical
agent vapor detector.
Nuclear and Radiological Countermeasures
As described earlier, the radiological and nuclear threat must be
dealt with in marked contrast to how the chemical and biological threat
is managed. For example, if you wait to detect the use of a
radiological or nuclear device, in most cases, it's too late. Instead,
what is critical in this area is making every effort possible to secure
materials at their source and ensure that terrorists cannot access
Securing Materials at Their Source
The DOE/NNSA Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A)
program is the first line of defense against nuclear terrorism. With
the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NNSA/DOE estimates that Russia
inherited approximately 850 tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and
plutonium. Considering the International Atomic Energy Agency
definition of significant quantities, this is enough material to make
more than 50,000 nuclear explosive devices. MPC&A security upgrades are
complete for about 1/3 of the fissile material identified as being at
risk of theft or diversion in Russia. Rapid progress is being made to
increase the security of the remaining materials, but completing the
effort will take several more years of intensive work.
Whereas in the past nonproliferation efforts were focused on
weapons-usable materials, today there is a recognition that other
radiological materials (used for industrial, medical and research
purposes) pose a threat in the form of radiological dispersal devices
(RDDs), or ``dirty bombs.'' Los Alamos is actively working with DOE/
NNSA and counterparts in Russia to develop strategies to secure
radiological sources that pose a threat in the form of a dirty bomb.
Thousands of radiological sources are used in the U.S. for
research, medical and industrial applications. The Nuclear Regulatory
Commission plans to strengthen control of the sources it licenses for
these uses. The DOE and its predecessor agencies originally produced
radiological sources for a variety of defense and civilian
applications. These so-called ``orphan sources'' are being recovered by
Los Alamos and repackaged as transuranic waste. More than 3,000 sources
have been recovered to date. The pace of this recovery effort will
likely increase to cover the more than 5,000 sources remaining.
Second Line of Defense
The Second Line of Defense (SLD) program has the mission to detect
and recover any nuclear material that may slip through the first line
of defense described above. The program works to strengthen Russia's
overall capability to prevent the illegal transfer of nuclear
materials, equipment, and technology to would-be proliferators. The
immediate goal of the program is to equip Russia's most vulnerable
border sites with nuclear detection equipment. A future goal is to
establish a sustainable counter-nuclear smuggling capability in Russia.
SLD provides training programs for front-line inspectors, and purchases
detection equipment that can ``sniff'' out nuclear materials.
Protecting U.S. Borders, Bases and Cities
This area, in effect the third line of defense, strives to detect
radiological or nuclear materials at U.S. ports of entry. For several
federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs
Service, we are providing information on handheld radiation detectors
and isotope identifiers. We are providing advice on what instruments to
buy, and instructing operators in their use. Los Alamos is actively
involved in a maritime surveillance study that analyzes potential
vulnerabilities of commercial shipping.
Los Alamos is also playing a role in helping to protect U.S.
military bases. One example of this is a joint NNSA and Defense Threat
Reduction Agency effort. Its goal is to improve the Department of
Defense's ability to detect, identify, respond, and prevent
unconventional nuclear attacks by national, sub-national, or terrorist
entities. The project combines technology and resources from both
agencies to develop, deploy, test and demonstrate nuclear protection
systems and networks at four different U.S. military installations.
This effort is currently underway and involves Los Alamos and several
other NNSA and DOE laboratories. If successful, the systems will be
applicable to civilian urban areas.
Radiation Sensors and Detection Systems
Handheld Search Instruments. Handheld instruments are those that a
police officer, customs inspector, or similar official can use to
search for radioactive material on a person or in a suspicious package.
They can identify the isotope emitting the radiation--an enhancement
that allows a user to distinguish between benign radiation emitters
such as radiopharmaceuticals or smoke alarms, and the weapons-usable
material that we want to interdict. Los Alamos has developed a new
handheld instrument with a Palm interface that enables users to
distinguish between radiation sources within seconds. The Palm unit can
provide data about the nature of the nuclear source at hand and the
isotopes present. Los Alamos is exploring commercial licensing and
production for this handheld search instrument. Earlier versions, the
so-called GN (gamma-neutron) series of handheld instruments have
already been commercialized.
Package Monitor. The Laboratory has developed systems to detect
nuclear materials, particularly hard-to-detect ones such as uranium-
235, which might be missed by regular search instruments. An example of
this is a newly developed package monitor that detects nuclear material
in parcels via neutron interrogation. A prototype of the package
monitor is currently being field-tested at a U.S. Customs facility.
Portal Monitors. Portal monitors are specialized radiation sensors
in physical packages that are optimized for detecting radiation from
nuclear materials as a pedestrian or vehicle passes through a choke
point. Los Alamos is the DOE repository of portal-monitoring expertise
and has helped developed the technical standards for portal monitor
performance. LANL has placed portal monitors around the world in
support of the nuclear Second Line of Defense program as well as
domestic and international safeguards programs. Currently, LANL is
involved in the technical evaluation of portal monitors from all U.S.
vendors against the technical standards.
Active Interrogation of Cargo Containers. Los Alamos is working
with Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory and
commercial partner ARACOR to develop and test a system that actively
interrogates large cargo containers (air, sea, rail, and road) to
determine if there is any nuclear material present. The system, a large
U-shaped structure with a linear accelerator on one side and x-ray
detectors on the other, can be driven over a cargo container to produce
an x-ray image. The image shows neutron emissions, which are a
signature of nuclear material.
Long-Range Alpha Detector. The LRAD is potentially valuable for
sampling volumes of air or extensive surfaces where an alpha emitter
may have been dispersed, and thus might be used in response to
radiation-dispersal attacks. LRADs have been used for environmental
monitoring at places where dispersed uranium is a problem. An LRAD
implementation for radon monitoring has been commercialized by Eberline
and could be rapidly adapted to the contamination-monitoring role.
emergency preparedness and response
Los Alamos plays an important role within the area of nuclear
emergency response. The largest and the most well-known team in this
area is the DOE-managed NEST team. NEST was created in 1975 in response
to concerns over nuclear terrorism activity. Its effectiveness is due
to well-established interagency relationships including significant
Department of Defense and FBI collaboration. NEST is focused on
responding to a threatened act involving radiological or nuclear
materials or devices. Among the range of potential terrorist threats
involving weapons of mass destruction, the nuclear response
infrastructure and capabilities are the most mature and capable of
addressing the threat. NEST includes the capabilities to search for,
diagnose, and disable an improvised nuclear device.
NEST depends on a team of highly dedicated individuals at the
national laboratories and facilities throughout the DOE-complex who
volunteer their expertise to this program. Los Alamos' NEST and related
activities are funded at approximately $10 million in fiscal year 2002.
More than 100 Los Alamos scientists and engineers are involved in
various aspects of the NEST program. Nearly all are involved in other
parts of the Laboratory's research in nuclear weapons or threat
reduction. Many of the employees who work part-time on NEST are
involved with more than one team within the NEST program.
It is important to note that NEST is more than a group of
scientists who stand at the ready with pagers on their belts, waiting
to be contacted to respond to a crisis. NEST team members at the DOE
and NNSA laboratories, including Los Alamos, are involved in a wide
range of related activities including research and development into
diagnostic tools, disablement techniques, and computer simulations and
modeling; working with the intelligence and law enforcement communities
on the analysis of threats and the development of analytical tools;
training of employees from other government agencies in environments
that allow hands-on work with the actual nuclear materials that they
might encounter in the field; and providing subject-matter experts when
required. Los Alamos has the lead within NEST for development of
nuclear diagnostic tools to help determine the nature of the suspected
threat device and for maintenance of what is called the ``home team,''
a group of experts parallel to those that would be deployed in the
field who can provide analysis, advice and technical support.
Los Alamos is involved to varying degrees in all aspects of the
national NEST program. The activities of the national team, and Los
Alamos' role, are as follows.
Search Activities. Los Alamos is primarily involved in research and
evaluation of detectors used for search.
Joint Tactical Operations Team (JTOT). JTOT is a partnering of DOE
and DoD expertise that provides advice or direct assistance to render
safe a suspect malevolent employment of a nuclear device by terrorists
or others and to perform a nuclear safety assessment for the eventual
safe disposition of the device. Los Alamos plays a major role in the
JTOT mission and is involved in maintaining management oversight,
render-safe capability, diagnostics capability, emergency response
home-team capability, a watchbill (a group of experts who are on call
24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, year-round), communications support
and deployable equipment, and contingency planning.
Real Time Radiography. This system uses a portable source of x-rays
to look at a suspect object in real time, without moving or disturbing
the object. Using this technique, we can identify electronic components
within the object, yielding important data for action decisions. Just
as a dentist uses an x-ray to locate a cavity, we can use this system
to locate where to drill a suspect object, disrupting its electronics
and disabling other components. This system was adapted from
commercially available equipment and enhances what is available to most
emergency responder units.
Accident Response Group (ARG). ARG is responsible for dealing with
incidents involving a U.S. weapon, commonly referred to as a ``Broken
Arrow.'' Los Alamos has experts on the ARG roster that may be called
upon if their particular set of knowledge is necessary to deal with the
Disposition. These assets support both the JTOT and the ARG team,
making decisions about the ultimate disassembly and disposition of a
device after it has been made safe to move and ship to a remote
Consequence Management. Following an incident, this team is
involved in the immediate monitoring of any potential radiological
dispersal and in monitoring and forecasting that can advise responders
on issues of evacuation and treatment.
Attribution. This area involves drawing upon capabilities from the
U.S. weapons testing program to analyze samples and draw forensic
inferences about a threat device. In the case of a nuclear detonation
or seizure of a weapon (or precursor material) it will be necessary to
attribute quickly and accurately the material/item/incident to the
perpetrators through an understanding of the materials used, type of
device, yield produced or anticipated, the source of the technology and
the pathway(s) that lead to the event. This requires an integrated
national security program that draws on the broad based technical
expertise available in NNSA as well as key NNSA facilities and
Radiological Assistance Program (RAP). Related to but separate from
NEST, DOE and Los Alamos maintain response plans and resources to
provide radiological assistance to other federal agencies; state local,
and tribal governments; and private groups requesting such assistance
in the event of a real or potential radiological emergency. The Los
Alamos RAP organization provides trained personnel and equipment to
evaluate, assess, advise, and assist in the mitigation of actual or
perceived radiological hazards or risks to workers, the public, and the
environment. This Los Alamos capability supports associated activities
throughout RAP Region Four: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New
Los Alamos is a national laboratory with a broad set of
capabilities in the area of homeland security and a long history of
serving the nation in this area. As President Bush stated in his June
6, 2002, address to the nation, ``In the war against terrorism,
America's vast science and technology base provides us with a key
advantage.'' Our capabilities will continue to be at the service of the
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF BILLY D. SHIPP, Ph.D., PRESIDENT AND LABORATORY
DIRECTOR, IDAHO NATIONAL ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL
Dr. Shipp. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members
of the committee. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be
able to address you today on this very important item.
Before I go on, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to acknowledge and
thank you and the committee for your longstanding support for
the national laboratories and recognize the senior Senator from
Idaho, Mr. Larry Craig, for his longstanding support, as well.
I'd like to take just a slightly different approach, and
back up and look at what I consider as the three overarching
roles for the national laboratory system and the national
laboratories individually, as well. And those being to
innovate; the second is to integrate; and the third is to
Let me deal first with innovation, because that's certainly
the hallmark of the national laboratory system. We've heard Dr.
Orbach and a number of the colleagues across the table already
speak to the many accomplishments that their laboratories and
the laboratory systems have created. If you want to look at a
quantitative kind of approach to that, all we have to do is
look at the recent DOE's Energy 100 list, the annual R&D 100
list, MIT's technology review 100 list, and you'll find that
those are populated--perhaps dominated, but certainly populated
substantially with scientists and scientific contributions from
the national laboratory systems. This powerhouse of innovation
is now being brought to bear on our national security and
homeland-security issues, as well, here.
Now, I'd like to just recognize what's happened over our
history of 50 years. Senator Domenici talked about the
evolution from the AEC to ERDA to DOE. A number of us have
lived through that, Senator, as well. But recognizing, during
that time, the national laboratories have evolved to meet the
needs of the public, to meet the needs of the United States.
And certainly that's what the case is today. The needs of the
public and the country has evolved to the point that bringing
to bear the innovation capabilities of the national
laboratories is very appropriate.
Back in mid-November of this past year, the DOE
laboratories showcased a number of their innovations to the
Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge in D.C. And, of course,
the INEL was among those. And I certainly won't list all of the
things that we have talked about, but I would like to highlight
just a couple of them. One of them was what we call PINS,
Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy system. It's a field-
deployable system that allows you to determine the contents of
unmarked containers. Even chemical weapons can be identified in
A second is the weapons-detection system. It's developed
for the National Institute of Justice. The technology can be
built into doorways and frames and so forth to identify weapons
on individuals and can actually project those onto a security
agent's monitor and tell, not only what it is, but where it is
on the person.
And, finally, as an example, the highly enriched uranium
system that we've been working with colleagues from Los Alamos
National Laboratory, to look at highly enriched uranium that
could be contained in cargo containers, a very difficult
technical task itself.
The second key role that's inherent to the national
laboratories is integration. And in homeland security,
integration becomes very, very important. And this really deals
with the issue of bringing the best and brightest to bear on
the most difficult and intractable problems that we have. And
integration, in effect, does just that. It means leveraging the
physical and human assets from the locations, wherever they may
be. And I can just echo what my colleagues have said, and the
panel previous to us, as well, as a number of the committee
members have acknowledged--to be able to integrate, you've got
to be able to draw up on all of the assets, whether they be in
the universities, whether they be in the national laboratories,
and certainly across our whole system to be able to effect
solutions to those very intractable problems. The DOE
laboratories and the NNSA laboratories all have relationships
with the universities, private industry, and so forth. They can
facilitate that. It's a routine part of our business.
Finally, I'd like to deal with the issue of evaluation,
because the DOE laboratories and national laboratories have
unique systems out there, and we have the ability to deal with
the complexity of issues that private industry simply cannot
And if I can turn just a bit parochial for a moment with
the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, we
are the largest continuous geographic laboratory, occupying
some 890 square miles, about 85 percent of the size of the
State of Rhode Island. We have a completely secure and
isolatable power and communications systems. We have many other
considerations, acknowledging what Mr. Craig--Senator Craig
said earlier about the--our view that it would be a wonderful
choice as--for a critical infrastructure test range that we've
been working with Sandia and the Pacific Northwest Laboratory
on, as well. With our existing infracture as a secure, remote
location and the workforce that we have, we believe it would be
a natural candidate for a center of excellence in the proposed
Homeland Security Department.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, it is my belief that DOE's and
NNSA national laboratories have and certainly will continue to
provide the kind of support to this country that we have in the
past in securing both our security--our energy security as well
as our national security. And, as one of the laboratory
directors, I can assure you that we will bring those to bear,
and we'll bring them to bear in a seamless kind of
organization. And, as you consider the new legislation, I hope
you will continue as you have to consider the role of the
national laboratories and the direct accountability and the
direct access from this new department into them.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Shipp follows:]
Prepared Statement of Billy D. Shipp, Ph.D., President and Laboratory
Director, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, good
afternoon and thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you
on a subject of such great importance to our nation--the present and
future roles of U.S. Department of Energy and NNSA (National Nuclear
Security Administration) national laboratories in protecting homeland
As the director of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental
Laboratory, the former associate director of Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory and as the state of Idaho's Science Advisor, I've committed
most of my adult life to the advancement of science and feel personally
responsible for helping chart a prudent course into a safer, more
technologically assured future.
As I seek to fulfill that responsibility, I thank you, Mr.
Chairman, for the support we receive from this committee and Idaho's
senior senator, Larry Craig.
Before I get into the core of my remarks today, I would like to add
my voice to the chorus of those who champion the overall Department of
Energy National Lab System. Whether focusing on national security,
energy security, environmental quality or the basic science that
underpins life itself, the national labs are a national treasure of
nearly incalculable value. The lab system is home to a critical mass of
unique facilities and unparalleled human resources that is the envy of
the world, and must be preserved and strengthened. The investment this
nation has made in its lab system must be leveraged now, as never
before, to both maximize return on taxpayers' hard-earned dollars and
to improve the safety and quality of all of our lives.
That said, let me now share my view on the roles of the DOE's and
NNSA's national labs in the specific area of protecting homeland
security. From where I sit, I see three overarching roles that our labs
are uniquely suited to fulfill. The first is to INNOVATE. The second is
to INTEGRATE. And the third is to EVALUATE.
The national lab system is a powerhouse of innovation, as has been
proven over many years and verified by a multitude of external
entities. The Energy 100 list compiled last year by the Department of
Energy and judged by an outside panel of experts offers an excellent
example of the breadth of innovation resident in the DOE system of
labs. From energy-efficient electronic ballasts for fluorescent
lighting to development of advanced cancer radiotherapy treatment
systems, the contributions of the labs have been life-enhancing and
expansive. The annual Research and Development 100 competition that
seeks to identify the world's 100 most significant technological
developments of the year is routinely populated with the work of DOE/
NNSA and INEEL scientists. And MIT's Technology Review 100--assessing
our nation's best and brightest young scientists under age 35--this
year acknowledged more DOE lab scientists, including one from the
And this innovative powerhouse that is the national lab system has
focused on the new national challenge of enhancing homeland security.
In mid-November of last year, the DOE labs showcased their national
security tool chests for Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge . . . and
many of you.
My lab, the INEEL, was among the research centers displaying wares
at the event. We showcased our Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy
system. PINS is a mobile, readily field-deployable system for the
identification of the contents of unmarked or unknown objects. In fact,
PINS was used extensively here in Spring Valley, when abandoned and
buried World War I-era chemical weapons were discovered in suburban
yards. The U.S. Army has integrated PINS with other technologies into a
complete system to identify or verify the contents of chemical weapons
that are being prepared for destruction. The system also has been used
numerous times throughout the United States to identify the contents of
unknown objects uncovered at construction or demolition sites or at
industrial plants. The Army has ably demonstrated its use for homeland
Though not showcased last November, the INEEL's labs have developed
and continue to develop a wealth of other homeland security-enhancing
technologies. Notable among these is a weapons detection system--
developed with the support of the National Institute of Justice--that
can be built into existing doorways, can find and measure weapons on a
person and then display the locations of those weapons on a security
guard's TV screen. The technology has already been licensed to the
private sector, creating jobs and getting an important technology out
into the field. But more importantly, our concealed weapons detector
offers greater protection for children and adults wherever it is
installed--schools, courthouses or public buildings.
Another significant technology addressing a national issue is our
unique solution to detect smuggled weapons-grade uranium buried in
cargo containers. Our scientists--working with researchers at Los
Alamos--have proven that electron accelerators cannot only identify
small amounts of special nuclear material, they can differentiate
between HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) and legally shipped medical or
A key role and inherent capability of the national lab system is
INTEGRATION. In homeland security, rapid progress depends on putting
our best and brightest to work in a collaborative environment . . . to
encourage synergy and avoid redundancy.
Integration means leveraging physical and human assets in multiple
locations and from the public and private sectors. The DOE labs have
strong pre-existing relationships with non-DOE federal and private-
sector organizations and universities.
At the INEEL, we are co-managed by the Inland Northwest Research
Alliance--a consortium of eight universities stretching from Alaska to
Utah--with significant capabilities in homeland security-enhancing
research. Specific centers or specialties include Utah State's Center
for Microbe Detection and Physiology, University of Idaho's Center for
Secure and Dependable Software and Idaho State University's Idaho
We are collaborating with Sandia National Laboratories on SCADA
(supervisory control and data acquisition) systems research and
testing, using INEEL's secure and isolatable power generation and
We do integration work for not only DOE but also other agencies,
such as command and control systems for the Air Force and munitions
assessment systems for the Army. The AN/TSQ-209 Communication Central
was designed and deployed by the INEEL to automate requests for air
support. It incorporated defense-wide communication software developed
by Lockheed Martin. We are analyzing its considerable potential for
emergency response communications.
Finally, DOE labs have unique facilities needed to put promising
homeland security-enhancing technologies to the test. The private
sector simply doesn't have anything in scale and capability close to
what the DOE labs offer the nation.
At the INEEL, we excel in this area of evaluation. That's why the
Navy depends on us so heavily to support its nuclear propulsion
program. It is why the Air Force has come to us for everything from the
nuclear-powered airplane in the 1950's to precision measuring systems
We, at the INEEL, offer the largest continuous geographic area of
any of the national labs. We have completely secure and isolatable
power and communications systems, and many other considerations that
make us the nation's top choice for a CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE TEST
As new protective technologies are developed, we must conduct an
extensive independent test and evaluation process to validate the
capabilities and, ultimately, to define standards by which
infrastructure protection technologies are certified. Computer modeling
and simulation alone are not enough. The interdependencies of complex
systems must be tested and validated on a scalable basis from bench-top
to full-scale real-world conditions.
The INEEL proved this concept in the nuclear industry when we
conducted the Loss of Fluid Test and the Semi-Scale programs that
helped define nuclear safety codes. The Critical Infrastructure Test
Range will complement efforts to model equipment, systems, and
interdependencies with numerical simulations.
Critical infrastructure ``consequence management'' is as
significant a homeland security tool as any sensor or detector. Much
effort is being placed on the development of mitigating actions to
protect our people from attacks involving chemical, biological, or
nuclear weapons. I would suggest it is imperative that we have a
`consequences control' program to mitigate the impacts of these kinds
of attacks on our critical infrastructures. The INEEL is addressing
this issue within its Test Range program.
With its existing complex infrastructure, secure and remote
location, and experienced work force, the INEEL Critical Infrastructure
Test Range is a key element of the nation's homeland security and a
natural candidate for consideration as a Center of Excellence for the
proposed Homeland Security Department.
Today, we are major contributors, but even more so tomorrow, DOE's
and NNSA's national labs will play essential roles in enhancing
homeland security. Combating those who harbor ill will toward the
United States will require constant vigilance and considerable
investment. Our foes are, right now, seeking new technologies and
avenues to assault us. We must press on in our efforts to stay ahead of
them. As laboratory director of the INEEL, I assure you that my
facility is on the job today, as it has been for over a half-century .
. . and we're up to the challenges of tomorrow. We will innovate,
integrate and evaluate technology-based solutions that will advance our
common national interest in enhanced homeland security.
As you respond to the call to create the Department of Homeland
Security, it is vital that this new Department access the great
strengths of the national laboratories. Thank you.
The Chairman. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HARVEY DRUCKER, Ph.D., ASSOCIATE LABORATORY
DIRECTOR, ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY
Dr. Drucker. Mr. Chairman, committee, thank you so much for
the opportunity to address you today.
The risks of terrorism in the 21st century really pose a
new set of concerns and challenges to an open, democratic,
technology-based society. In science and technology, that means
we have to do something that we did a long time ago. We have to
respond with something equivalent to the Manhattan Project. We
need to draw on the best and the brightest, on the broadest
cross-section and the most diverse blend of disciplines we can,
in national laboratories and academe and industry. We need to
look for a number of different methodologies to combat those
who wish to harm us. There will not be any magic one cure--
there will not be any one magic technology in the chemical and
biological area, in area of nuclear--dispersion of nuclear
Let me give you a few examples of what a non-weapons lab
can do in this effort. In the nuclear area, really going back
to Enrico Fermi and stag field--we're kind of proud of that--
okay, we have been involved in the fuel cycle. We understand
it. We believe better than probably any lab in the world,
again, going back to our total history. We are not a weapons
lab, but we understand how commercial nuclear energy works. We
understand the processes, the materials associated with it, the
issues of not just products produced, but of waste produced.
We, in the process of working in this area, have become quite
expert at detection of nuclear materials at every level, from
finding something kilometers away to finding something in a
cache in a stairwell. That is of particular importance when you
consider the threat of radiation dispersal devices, the so-
called ``dirty bomb.''
We can, in addition to detecting these materials, analyze
them. If we think that there is something there, we can begin
to do the sorts of chemical and radiologic analysis that will
allow us to attribute and will allow us to determine--and I
hope this doesn't happen--what is the risk of such a device to
the public after it's been used. We have broad expertise and a
number of different methodologies that we've developed for
decontaminating areas that have been contaminated with
radioactive materials and returning them to service.
In the infrastructure area, going back to the days of the
National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, we've looked at
energy generation, we've looked at its transmission and its
distribution. We've looked at this for natural gas, liquid
fuels, electricity. We know what these systems look like.
Working with our colleagues at Sandia and Los Alamos, we're
not looking at how these systems intertwine. A cutoff of
natural gas, as most of you know, can mean a cutoff of
electricity, especially cutoff at peaker plants. We need to
know, not only how these systems intertwine each with the
other, but how the cyber systems which operate them interface
with them if we are to develop a defense against attacks on our
energy infrastructure. We need all that information, and we
need to take it and put it in such a fashion that those who
would respond to emergencies would be able to route power
effectively after an incident involving the energy
infrastructure. And I believe that we've got a good chance of
The third area that I want to spend some time on is this
really new one for the world, comprehensive bio-defense,
defense against biological and chemical weapons. Let me give
you a few factlets. Five years ago if you wanted to know the
full molecular basis of a protein structure, it took you 910
days, almost three years. We can now get you a protein
structure--full, high-level protein structure, every little bit
molecule in it dancing--in about 38 days. That's a 24-fold
Is this an academic fact? No. It turns out that proteins
are the targets for chemical and biological weapons. If we
understand their structure, if we understand what renders
them--what are the causes of harm to them from chemical--what
are the mechanisms of harm from chemical and biological agents,
we can develop prophylactics, things that will prevent such
effects--drugs that will prevent the effects of these agents.
We can develop therapeutics, materials that will alleviate the
symptoms. And, more importantly, we can develop vaccines that
are specific and less harmful than the existing vaccines.
What is the basis of this? Well, there are a lot of
different bases, a lot of which does arise from the work of the
Department of Energy and its national laboratories. Primarily
this is a result of new light sources, synchrotron light
sources that are capable working--pardon me--of providing
tremendous amounts of data on protein structures faster than
anything we've been able to do before. It's also a function of
developing new robots that are capable of essentially starting
from genetic material and taking that genetic material and
going through all the way through to protein crystals which can
get placed in these new powerful light sources.
I guess what I'd like to conclude with, I think it's very
clear that we, at Argon, and at other non-weapons laboratories,
are ready and willing to serve our country and to provide
capabilities that really will be of more than moderate service
against the present threats.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Drucker follows:]
Prepared Statement of Harvey Drucker, Ph.D., Associate Director,
Argonne National Laboratory
This presentation is intended to make two key points with regard to
the current and potential contribution of the Department of Energy's
(DOE's) multiprogram laboratories to the achievement of national
homeland security objectives. These are:
The broad and diverse base of technical expertise,
capabilities, and facilities developed by the non-weapons
national laboratories places them in a unique position to
address the non-traditional and unconventional domestic threats
posed by international terrorism.
Because bioterror weapons appear to present the greatest
long-term domestic threat, a coalition of federal laboratories,
government agencies, and private industry can and should
implement a national biodefense initiative that is sufficiently
effective to make bioweapons essentially irrelevant.
A brief discussion of the capabilities resident at Argonne National
Laboratory will help to indicate the validity of these assertions.
Argonne is one of DOE's government-owned, contractor-operated, multi-
program research facilities. It is operated for the DOE by the
University of Chicago. The laboratory has an annual budget of about
$480 million and employs approximately 4,000 people. It occupies two
sites--in Illinois and Idaho--that total 2,400 acres.
Argonne is the DOE lead laboratory for nuclear fuel cycle research.
It builds and operates major national user facilities, and it conducts
basic and applied research, development, and assessment programs for
and with DOE, other federal agencies, and state and local government.
The Laboratory collaborates extensively with university and private-
sector research partners.
laboratory capabilities derived from non-defense research and
Multidisciplinary, multiprogram, non-weapons laboratories like
Argonne have developed a very broad base of scientific and technical
capability. We have found that basic research and technology
development performed for DOE and other sponsors can, and, we believe,
will make major contributions to homeland security. As a nation,
terrorism poses an incredible number of threats to a multitude of
targets. Our defense and response to unconventional nuclear,
biological, and chemical threats will require different ways of
thinking, and a range of technologies yet undeveloped that can provide
us information, response, amelioration, and prevention. It will require
the integration and re-synthesis of existing science and technology to
fit these new needs. For example, as the DOE lead laboratory for
civilian nuclear fuel cycle research, Argonne is a national center of
excellence for the detection, management, decontamination, and disposal
of nuclear materials, radioisotopes, and other sources of radiation.
For that same reason, the Laboratory has developed a significant base
of expertise to address the health and environmental impacts of
exposure to these hazards, and the staff is knowledgeable about
techniques for minimizing their effects. The Laboratory is therefore
well positioned to provide effective technical support for the process
of detecting, communicating, reacting, responding, mitigating,
preventing, and neutralizing the threat of domestic nuclear or
radiological terrorist attacks.
As a major DOE physical science research facility, Argonne is also
positioned to address non-traditional, security-related research and
development problems that are technically complex and require
specialized, and possibly unique equipment and facilities. For
instance, the Structural Biology Center at Argonne's Advanced Photon
Source is equipped to play a key role in characterizing new or unknown
bioagents and can provide biomolecular information needed to develop
prophylactic and remedial drugs or vaccines. Core basic research
programs at non-weapons laboratories, such as Argonne, have a dual
value. They not only support peacetime applications, but can also have
significant potential value in countering terrorism. Thus, a current
Argonne program to develop a biohazards detector has relevance for both
human health diagnostics and homeland security.
argonne's national security research and development program
Although it is not the Laboratory's primary mission, the expertise
of Argonne's staff and the Laboratory's research and engineering
facilities are also applied in direct support of the national security
goals of the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and other
public agencies. These activities aim to reduce threats that result
from the proliferation or use of weapons of mass destruction, and from
nuclear, biological, or chemical attacks on critical components of our
domestic infrastructure. The current annual budget of the Laboratory's
national security research and development effort is approximately $42
million. It includes three key components:
Nuclear non-proliferation, treaty verification, and arms
Domestic infrastructure assurance
Chemical and biological counter-terrorism science and
nuclear non-proliferation, treaty verification, and arms control
This program is based on the Laboratory's recognized expertise in
nuclear fuel cycles and nuclear materials. It aims to reduce the threat
to U.S. national security by limiting the spread of nuclear,
biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Among the more
pressing problems that face the United States is assuring the integrity
of systems for controlling nuclear materials in the independent states
that resulted from the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and in
the nuclear-capable nations of south and southeast Asia. Argonne
supports the U.S. effort to provide technical assistance to these
nations to help improve their systems for monitoring, control, and
export of nuclear materials; for decontamination and decommissioning;
and for assuring the security and safe disposal of reactor fuels and
other materials that might be used in the manufacture of weapons.
The capabilities that the Laboratory brings to this international
program are equally applicable to homeland nuclear security (Figure
1).* Thus, for example, Argonne is equipped to develop and apply
sensitive detectors for identifying facilities, equipment, and
containers used to make, handle, or conceal nuclear materials. As a
participant in the DOE Region V Radiological Assistance Program (RAP),
Argonne currently collaborates with local and federal authorities. In
this association, the Laboratory provides technical advice, training,
expert personnel and equipment, and monitoring and assessment support
for the mitigation of immediate radiation hazards and risks to workers,
the public, and the environment due to radiation emergencies and
incidents (Figure 2). In this regard, the Laboratory has been working
with Chicago-area emergency providers from city to suburbs at levels
from senior executive to first responder. We are active in the
Antiterrorism Task Force for Northern Illinois and are communicating
with the FBI teams responsible for incident management relative to
their needs and our capabilities for providing immediate aid. The goal
is to provide our relevant skills commensurate with events in the
* All figures and exhibits have been retained in committee files.
The Laboratory can do this because it maintains substantial
capabilities for nuclear-related field and lab measurements, radiation
dose estimation, decontamination, emergency construction, radioactive
materials handling, nuclear risk management, and domestic nuclear
threat attribution. For example, Argonne operates a facility
specifically designed to receive and encapsulate actinides for their
subsequent safe characterization at a normal Advanced Photon Source
beamline. This capability bears directly on the attribution of
potential terrorist acts involving nuclear materials. Exhibit 1
provides a more detailed summary of Argonne's major facilities for
applying science and technology to nuclear and radiological counter-
domestic infrastructure assurance
Argonne's infrastructure research, technology, and assessment
program aims to assure the security and reliability of critical U.S.
infrastructures and the safety of associated populations. The program
develops and evaluates technologies and methods for detecting,
combating, and recovering from nuclear, biological, or chemical,
terrorism. The current effort includes vulnerability assessments
focused on physical, operational, and cyber security, and the
interdependencies of critical infrastructural elements, such as
electricity, natural gas, transportation, and telecommunication
systems. It considers the potential for cascading impacts resulting
from disruptions to one or more types of infrastructure; methods of
detecting events affected by interdependencies; and improved technology
and procedures for preventing and recovering from such events. An
important component of the program is an infrastructure outreach
project that aims to increase the security awareness of infrastructure
owners and operators and promote sharing of best practices and lessons
learned. Argonne's community critical infrastructure protection project
collaborates with communities and local utilities to develop plans and
procedures for municipalities to prevent or recover from major
disruptions to energy infrastructure (e.g., natural gas supply
systems). The Laboratory recently led a study of the infrastructure
interdependencies associated with the attack on the World Trade Center
and provided infrastructure assurance support for the Olympic Games in
Utah. In the Chicago Metropolitan Area, Argonne, in partnership with
the Commonwealth Edison Company, the City of Chicago, 270 surrounding
municipalities, and three pilot communities, has developed
comprehensive guidelines for addressing electrical power system
disruptions. The results are currently being applied in California,
Utah, and other regions. Figures 3 and 4 summarize some of the more
critical needs for analytical techniques and technologies to support
domestic infrastructure protection efforts, and Figures 5a through 5f
illustrate some of Argonne's recent technical support activities in
chemical and biological counter-terrorism science and technology
Within the framework of its basic and applied science programs, the
Laboratory maintains substantial expertise and facilities for
addressing potential chemical and biological threats. These
capabilities include instruments and sensors for detection of chemical
and biological threats in air, water, and soil, whether dispersed over
kilometers or hidden within sites and caches. Facilities are also
available for evaluating the effectiveness of chemical and biological
monitoring methods at both the Laboratory and field scales. The
Laboratory can provide technical assistance in emergency situations and
deploy fast-response systems for protecting first responders,
decreasing exposure times, estimating population exposures and reducing
risk. Under the sponsorship of the Departments of Energy and Defense,
the Laboratory has developed portable biochip microarrays capable of
detecting and identifying anthrax and other bioagents (Figure 6). For
the Joint Chemical Aid Detector Program (JCAD), the Laboratory
developed a hand-held, cyanide gas microsensor. (Figure 7). With the
Sandia and Livermore laboratories, Argonne is now demonstrating
technologies for mitigating impacts from chemical and biological
attacks on interior infrastructures deemed to be at high risk, such as
subways, airports, and public buildings (Figure 8). Argonne also
participates in the U.S. Army program for assessing environmental risks
associated with chemical agents (Figure 9).
At the Advanced Photon Source (Figure 10), the Laboratory operates
a unique structural biology facility that can provide information
required to support the development of drugs, vaccines, and other
pharmaceuticals for treatment of exposure. Other available facilities
include capabilities for determining the health and environmental risk
from the dispersion of chemical and biological agents, and expertise
for evaluating the potential effect of such agents on populations and
materials. Argonne is also equipped to develop appropriate protective
materials and methods of decontamination. Expertise, equipment, and
facilities are available to conduct laboratory and field analyses for
attribution of chemical and biological attacks.
Among the relevant special-purpose facilities that are currently
operational at the Laboratory are: an electron microscopy center
capable of examining and characterizing nanoscale embodiments likely to
be used in chemical and biological detectors; a multi-bay robotics
laboratory capable of developing remote manipulators for use in
hazardous situations; a mobile laboratory for chemical agent detection
and confirmation of onsite decontamination subsequent to cleanup
operations; and a certified level 2 dilute chemical agent facility for
development of analytical methods, detector testing, development of
decontamination technologies, and validation of transport models.
Exhibit 2 provides a more detailed summary of Argonne's major
facilities for applying science and technology to chemical and
pathway to a national biodefense initiative
A recent study of the potential impact of attacking American cities
with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons indicated that bioterror
weapons represent the most dangerous domestic threat. This study
simulated nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks on three American
cities. What is most striking is that a biological attack can be
expected to produce many more casualties than either a nuclear or a
The effectiveness of biological weapons is highly dependent on the
rapidity of the defensive response. If efficient mechanisms for early
detection, communication, reaction, response, mitigation, and
prevention are in place, the potential impact of an attack can be
reduced enormously. In principle, a sufficiently effective biodefense
system could make biological weapons irrelevant in the same sense that
an effective strategic defense initiative can deter the ballistic
missile threat--because the probability of success would be too low to
justify the use of the weapon.
Speed at every stage of a biodefense system is key to its success.
This includes the ability to detect and identify an unknown bioagent;
analyze it to determine what countermeasures (vaccines, drugs, anti-
toxins, etc.) would be effective; and then engineer, produce, and
distribute an appropriate preventive or curative pharmaceutical or
disinfectant. In this regard the news is promising: Five years ago the
total time required to produce a useful characterization of a protein
structure was about 910 days. Advances in bioengineering since then
have reduced the time to about 38 days--an acceleration factor of 24.
Further progress can be expected at each stage of the process as
analytical techniques and technology in the fields of genomics,
structural biology, and computation continue to improve. It is now
possible to visualize the elements of a technological pathway that
could support the development of an effective national biodefense
initiative. The technical underpinnings of such a system would include:
Instruments and laboratories capable of detecting and
identifying unknown bioagents.
Facilities and expertise equipped to analyze a bioagent at
the cellular level.
Facilities and expertise required to produce and purify
Facilities and expertise required to crystallize bioagent
X-ray facilities required to determine the structure of
Expertise and computational resources required to analyze
bioagent protein structure.
Expertise and computational facilities required to design
and bioengineer proteins.
The capacity to design and develop pharmaceuticals and
predict their potential effects.
The capacity to rapidly produce designer pharmaceuticals.
The organization, authority, and facilities required to
evaluate and certify new pharmaceuticals.
The capacity for rapid, high-volume distribution of
pharmaceutical agents to targeted populations.
Of these elements, the first six to seven exist in some form in the
DOE national laboratories that participate in the genomics and
structural biology programs. The last four to five exist in some form
in the pharmaceutical industry and in public agencies, such as the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration. These resources are not, for the most
part, presently organized and equipped to deliver the kind of rapid
response required to support an effective biodefense program, but the
components are present and technical progress continues. Figures 11 and
12 indicate how a fully developed biodefense system might function to
produce a pharmaceutical needed to counter a bioterror attack.
Given the gravity of the bioterror threat, the state of the art,
and the availability of public and private resources, two initial steps
deserve serious consideration:
Definition in detail of a technical and organizational
pathway that would lead to the establishment of a cost-
effective national biodefense system.
Initiation of a limited-scale government-industry pilot
project designed to serve as a proof-of-concept.
Figures 13 through 15 summarize the case for a biodefense
initiative and suggest a possible first-stage course of action. It is
worth noting that such an initiative can be expected to produce
substantial spinoff benefits for medical science, public health, and
the pharmaceutical industry.
We respectfully suggest that:
1. Because of the exceptional breadth and depth of the technical
capabilities developed during the course of conducting peacetime
research and development programs, non-weapons, multiprogram
laboratories like Argonne are in a position to make a uniquely valuable
contribution to the attainment of homeland security objectives that
involve defense against unconventional nuclear, chemical, and
biological attacks by a non-traditional enemy. We further suggest that
the multiprogram laboratories have already provided a significant body
of evidence to confirm this assertion through the successful
contributions to nuclear, chemical, and biological counter-terrorism
that they have already made under the direct sponsorship of public
agencies responsible for national security. It remains to organize
these laboratories and their interactions in ways that will enable them
to optimize their capacity to contribute to the new, high-priority
national goal of homeland security.
2. Appropriate exploratory and initial steps should be taken
immediately to establish a national biodefense initiative that takes
full advantage of the resources available through an effective
collaboration of federal laboratories, government agencies, and the
private sector. Minimum steps are a detailed specification of the
technical and organizational pathway to this objective and initiation
of a proof-of-principle pilot project.
The Chairman. Well, thank you all very much. The main
thrust of the testimony has been that this panel has been that
laboratories have a great deal to contribute to solving the
security problems we face here from terrorism or potential
terrorism. And I certainly agree with all of that.
Let me just ask a few questions, though, about how we
should best try to structure this new department. Let me ask
Dr. Happer first. The proposal, as I understand it from the
department for managing the research and development
responsibilities in this new agency is to have one of the
programmatic elements assigned that responsibility--that is,
this undersecretary for chemical, biological, radiological, and
nuclear countermeasures would be responsible for the R&D
An alternative to that would be to have someone in the
nature of a chief technology officer, who would have a
department-wide responsibility and would work for the Secretary
and be able to sort of oversee R&D-related activities,
department-wide. Do you have a point of view as to what makes
the most sense?
Dr. Happer. Well, I think that, to really make an impact,
whoever is given charge of this has to have a budget, so to--
the idea that some sort of distinguished advisor is going to
tell the Secretary, you know, wise things to do without actual
budget authority, I just don't think will work. So I think it
has to be set up so that----
The Chairman. So it's going to be line authority. Whoever
is in charge of R&D has to have the budget related to R&D, in
Dr. Happer. I feel strongly that way. You know, I've
watched a lot of chief scientists in this town, and they're
very smart people, but they can't make things happen without
The Chairman. Okay. Let me ask the same type of question I
was asking Ambassador Brooks. I'm not clear in my own mind how
this new department would interface with these national
laboratories in a concrete way in the sense that we're saying
we're taking some elements that are now in the Department of
Energy in NNSA, and we're transferring those to this new
department and presumably transferring the budget for those to
this new department. And whoever this person in charge of R&D
in the new department turns out to be, they would presumably be
able to do it--what they wanted with that budget, within
limits. How would that work? I mean, this is not the same as is
going on now at the national laboratories, as I understand it.
I think the national laboratories are now essential Department
of Energy laboratories operated on--by contractors----
Dr. Happer. Right.
The Chairman. And they do work for whatever agency they are
tasked to do work for, in addition to what they're doing for
the Department of Energy. Am I right about that?
Dr. Happer. That's right. And in previous testimony, it was
clear that ``work for others'' has a lower priority. It's
whatever is available. And so I think that this new agency will
have to something better than ``work for others'' pecking
Now, maybe something similar to it would be, you know,
DTRA, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency--it used to have
another name--that did a lot of work at the national
laboratories. It was a big part of their program. I should let
the labs speak for themselves, but it seemed to me that that
worked fairly well.
The Chairman. Okay. Do any of the other witnesses have a
point of view on this second--this question I'm asking about
how this new department would interface with the laboratories?
Ambassador Robinson, did you have a point of view?
Ambassador Robinson. I believe they're still working out
the details for how it would take place. When I urged that you
streamline the procedures, these are some of the things I had
Now, we have found a relationship called ``joint
sponsorship,'' at which one agency and another agency can agree
that work is crucial to them both and that they will provide
joint sponsorship. From that point, you don't have to go
through the rather cumbersome work for others, and there are
taxes on work for others and a lot of other players in the game
that slow down progress, and that you can interchangeably agree
to use the procedures of either agency. So it's a trust
relationship. Fine. We know there are procurement regulations
that have to apply, but we don't have to apply both sets under
joint sponsorship. One of them will be good enough, and you can
move forward with the work.
I believe the Office of Homeland Security is considering
having the President declare the status of this S&T work to be
a joint activity between several departments, and particularly
the National Nuclear Security Administration, and that would be
very helpful, in my view, in allowing us to move forward
The Chairman. Well, the question that would occur to me is
why don't we have this joint sponsorship arrangement with the
Department of Defense and with the intelligence community or
agencies, as well as with the new Department of Homeland
Security? I mean, if it works well, which, as you describe, I
have no reason to doubt that----
Ambassador Robinson. It's provided for under the Federal
acquisition regulations, but you know this town as well as I
do. Surrender of sovereignty is always a tough thing to get
someone to agree to----
The Chairman. Well, maybe we could solve a lot of problems
and just have everything that goes on at the labs be done under
this procedure. I mean, everything that's done for any of the
Federal agencies and that way eliminate some of the problems
that currently exist.
Ambassador Robinson. I suggested that in my testimony, and
we have talked about, as groups of laboratories directors
The Chairman. Great.
Ambassador Robinson. Many years ago, you gave us the title
``national laboratories,'' as opposed to ``energy
laboratories'' or ``security laboratories.'' You gave us
``national laboratories.'' But the rest of the apparatus didn't
keep up with that and catch up with that.
I believe what is needed is to make us national
laboratories. In fact, and if any problem within the government
that requires science and technology to solve should be able to
use any of these laboratories in the same seamless way that the
National Security--National Nuclear Security Administration or
the DOE can today. We had a discussion prior to this hearing
with Ambassador Brooks. He would support that.
Dr. Anastasio. Can I just add a comment to that?
The Chairman. Certainly.
Dr. Anastasio. I think, especially these kinds of
mechanisms are appropriate when the programmatic activity, the
mission goal, is a sustained mission over a significant period
of time. Sometimes the ``work for others'' mechanisms are
appropriate when you have just a project that's done that's a
finite, you know, short period of time, and you need to come in
and get some work done and get out. But for something like
homeland security, where you would expect this is going to
require a sustained investment, these kinds of mechanisms, I
think, are very appropriate.
Dr. Drucker. Let me also comment on that.
The Chairman. Dr. Drucker.
Dr. Drucker. We have been doing work for a number of years
for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We've got a division of
people that are supported by them--about 80 people. We don't
have any particular difficulty working for NRC. We don't have
any particular difficulty working for the Environmental
Protection Agency or NIH. Where there is a match between what
the agency needs and what we are capable of doing and what DOE
needs, there is no real difficulty in working together.
The Chairman. Very good.
Dr. Drucker. So I'm pretty much saying what we're all
The Chairman. Well, let me defer to Senator Domenici, and
let me just advise folks we have started a couple of votes, and
there are two votes in a row, so I will defer to Senator
Domenici, and then when he is finished with his questions, he
can adjourn the hearing. Thank you all very much.
Senator Domenici. Senator Bingaman, thank you very much for
the meeting today, for your patience, and for your sitting
throughout the entire afternoon. I almost said ``episode,''
Senator Domenici. Let me say, now, just before you leave,
the bill that I put in that--on homeland security that had to
do with the eight Senators that sponsored this bill with me, we
have joint sponsorship in that, and it's been thoroughly looked
at. They've looked at it, and maybe we can at least get it to
our staffs and think of applying it broader. We have applied it
in this particular one, but it's just a little piece of working
Let me just talk a minute. First, to those who originally
put together a plan, as loose as it has to be, I think a very
serious mistake was made, Dr. Happer. I don't think they should
have put any laboratory's name in as being the lead, because we
can get 75 people of high scientific persuasion, and we can
give them the three laboratories and say, ``Take a week each
and tell us which is best,'' and it just depends, but I can
tell you they all wouldn't come down for one, no matter what,
and so you've got these marvelous people--some have been
working 20 years, 30 years, some at Argon on a different keel,
but clearly great people wondering, you know, ``Are we going to
have a laboratory that is super to us?'' So I wish they would
never had put it on. So I think it's gone, whether people think
it is or not. We'll just be working on it in due course.
But let me tell you all that some very strange things
happened as I've listened here. You know, Dr. Robinson, I could
almost say the laboratory that sits before us that least
followed the mandate of their mission in the past 20 years, or
had missions that were not military, probably come out as
laboratories that, at the beginning, might be best able to
serve in this new capacity. Now, I say that because the
laboratories that are run for the Department of Energy's
nuclear activities--nuclear-weapons activities are challenged
at, more than once a year, officially, for exceeding their
mission--their mission being, no matter what great scientists
you have, here's your mission. You make bombs, you make sure
they're safe, and stay out of everybody else's business.
Now, it's been impossible to do that, right? They're just--
the ventures are too good--are too diverse, diffuse--and then
you have rightfully told us, ``Give us 6 to 10 percent money
that is loose. If ever the 10-percent money, the LDRD money,
will come to the surface, it's when we now inventory our
laboratories and find out what are they doing that might help
in this venture because they did not have to apply their great
scientists to laboratory activities for nuclear weapons. It was
to use their scientists where their scientists went with
something great, as you saw it great.
So I would think that you're going to find many of those
activities, the things that have pushed you in areas that
you're going to find when they come and say, ``Can you do
this,'' you're going to say, ``Yes, we weren't doing it to
build a bomb, but we were doing it because of such and such.''
So I do hope you chose well, because I do believe that's going
to have something to do with the end product.
And, last, we had a--one little project that Sandia and Los
Alamos did, the National Infracture Simulation and Analysis
Center. I guess we are finally calling it NISAC. A fantastic
gadget. That's too small a word. But am I right that the
administration is finally beginning to put that somewhere with
an office to use it? Can you tell me, Dr. Cobb?
Dr. Cobb. Senator, that's correct. That's one of the things
that they have earmarked that they will need in support of
their new critical infrastructure programs.
Ambassador Robinson. Well, they do have it report to a
different undersecretary than the rest of the R&D, and I
believe that's appropriate.
Senator Domenici. Two last comments. Everybody says yes. I
don't say yes yet. To assume there would be no additional money
needed because everybody's going to move people around, and
when we're finished we're going to have the same number of
people we now have, and it shouldn't cost any more. Well, let
me tell you, I--that seems to me to say that we have a lot of
people that aren't doing their work today, or you're being
asked to do a very big mission that's--amounts to little or
nothing. And I think neither are true.
So I haven't--I haven't come close to saying it won't come
close to saying it won't cost any more for the science, that
you can keep all the functions of the laboratories intact, and
you can do this other little job for us on the side.
Ambassador Robinson. Let me give you a third alternative,
Senator Domenici. Sure.
Ambassador Robinson. The talent with technical degrees, you
can do this work is the rate-limiting part.
Senator Domenici. Yeah.
Ambassador Robinson. We can't create a Ph.D. physicist or
engineer for 8 years if you started us today with a pot of
money. And so we believe you've got to redirect work of people.
Senator Domenici. Sure.
Ambassador Robinson. I think there will be extra money
needed in the steps following what we do to get the--field with
the hardware. That's going to involve industry folks. We
already work with university folks at the front end, but we're
rate-limited by scientifically trained people.
Senator Domenici. Let me also say to all of you with so
much talent around in so many places you can bring to bear good
things. One of the difficult problems is going to be to
determine what things we ought to be doing when, and which are
short-term, which are long-term. And I suggest that you ought
to be very careful as to what you end up agreeing to in terms
of how that's most apt to be right. That's a very tough
problem. You could sit down with 25 smart people for how long--
One week? Two weeks? Ten days?--and say, ``What are the
issues?'' I'm just putting something on that you can
understand--that we can all understand. But it's going to be
Dr. Cobb. Could I just make a short comment?
Senator Domenici. Of course.
Dr. Cobb. I think the National Academy's study was a good
start. It didn't solve all the problems, but it did set
priorities, so it was helpful.
Senator Domenici. And we are going to adjourn until the
call of the chair. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 4:55 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
Responses to Additional Questions
Department of Energy,
Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs,
Washington, DC, September 20, 2002.
Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate,
Dear Mr. Chairman: On July 10, 2002, Linton Brooks, Acting
Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Dr.
Raymond Orbach, Director, Office of Science, testified regarding the
present and future roles of the Department of Energy and National
Nuclear Security Administration National Laboratories in protecting our
Enclosed are the answers to 14 questions submitted by Senators
Schumer and Murkowski to complete the hearing record.
If we can be of further assistance, please have your staff contact
our Congressional Hearing Coordinator, Lillian Owen, at (202) 586-2031.
Responses to Questions From Senator Schumer
Question 1. Though most of the work that goes on at Brookhaven is
non-security related scientific research, Brookhaven Scientists do play
an important role in creating the technology used for security
technology. In your opinion, are the portions of labs like Brookhaven
that work on national security technology better situated under DOE or
Answer. The Department of Energy (DOE) should retain responsibility
for the national laboratories, such as Brookhaven National Laboratory
(BNL) that carry out R&D not only for the DOE, but also for several
other agencies in the government. Over 65 percent of the work at BNL
directly supports Office of Science programs. Some work at Brookhaven
that supports national security and is currently being funded by DOE,
may in the future be funded by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS). This work could be done under existing mechanisms.
Question 2. If Homeland Security, what happens to the role
Brookhaven plays in civilian research and projects? Will that role be
discontinued? Can we count on Homeland Security to pay attention to
Answer. The establishment of a Department of Homeland Security will
not disrupt the important role that BNL plays in carrying out civilian
research. If there are important potential applications of that
civilian research to DHS needs, we will develop mechanisms, such as
partnerships or direct DHS funding, to accommodate those needs without
disrupting BNL's mission.
Question 3. If the Department of Energy, will labs like Brookhaven
be part of the homeland security process?
Answer. DOE and DHS will work together to ensure the resources of
laboratories like Brookhaven are available to carry out research for
Question 4. How can we ensure that their work is used in the war on
terrorism? For example, Brookhaven is the leader in developing nuclear
detection devices that we could install at ports and at our borders.
Answer. The President's proposal recognizes that the
responsibilities and authorities to fight the war against terrorism and
to ensure our national security are currently spread among many
agencies. The establishment of the DHS will bring these together. DOE
and DHS will work together to ensure that DHS will be able to fully use
the capabilities of DOE laboratories in contributing to the war on
terrorism; and that they can continue to carry out important national
security related work for DOE and other agencies. This partnership
could be implemented through existing mechanisms.
Question 5. How will the Department of Energy work with the
Department of Homeland Security to ensure that technology coming out to
labs like Brookhaven is used for Homeland Security purposes?
Answer. The DOE laboratories, especially after September 11, have
already demonstrated the ability of our scientists and engineers to
respond quickly and effectively to the challenges posed by terrorism.
We will work closely with DHS to ensure that laboratory technology will
be used for Homeland Security purposes. We expect that in carrying out
our core missions we will produce technologies that also may be
leveraged for homeland security.
Question 6. Is it possible for our labs to exist under dual
jurisdiction? If so, who would control what? Is there any precedent for
this type of arrangement?
Answer. As Secretary Abraham testified before the Select Committee
on Homeland Security on July 16, 2002, at each DOE facility ``a portion
of the laboratory would be dedicated to DHS activities, and the DHS
would assume responsibility for the management of domestic security R&D
through joint sponsorship agreements to include direct tasking. Current
contracting relationships between the operating organization and the
workforce will not be disrupted. DHS would control funding for homeland
security programs, and allocate it as necessary to meet homeland
security goals.'' It is expected that some of the workforce at the
laboratories may be dedicated to DHS activities, but that they will be
available to support DOE's activities.
Question 7. How have DOE and White House officials worked together
to decide which labs go where? How can we prevent turf battles from
Answer. DOE and DHS are working together to outline options for
ensuring the best distribution of our respective responsibilities, and
have sought corporate options and identified alternative mechanisms for
ensuring full and open access to the Department's laboratories.
DOE is committed to continuing this communication to ensure an
ongoing partnership with DHS to avoid turf battles that distract the
labs from meeting the needs of the country.
Question 1. Is the current nuclear Emergency Operations System
designed for and funded to interdict and prevent a nuclear or large
radiological attack against major urban metropolitan regions like New
Answer. In the event of a threatened or potential nuclear/
radiological attack in the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation
would be the lead federal agency. The FBI would request DOE assets be
deployed in order to assist in the prevention of, or response to, a
nuclear/radiological incident. DOE has unique capabilities to search
for nuclear/radiological devices and to prevent or minimize their
detonation. These capabilities are fully funded and staffed, and are
available on a round-the-clock basis.
Question 2. How will the Department of Homeland Security fund and
organize its Weapons of Mass Destruction outreach to state and local
Answer. Inquiries about any aspect of the Administration-proposed
Department of Homeland Security should be directed to the existing
Office of Homeland Security.
Responses to Questions From Senator Murkowski
Question 1. The United States has a large energy infrastructure
that is generally not well protected through physical security such as
refineries and petrochemical facilities, oil and natural gas pipelines,
and electric transmission lines. What role will the Department of
Homeland Security play in assuring the physical protection of our
Answer. The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be
responsible for comprehensively evaluating the vulnerabilities of and
coordinating a national effort to secure the nations's energy
infrastructure. Protecting the nation's critical energy infrastructure
is the shared responsibility of the federal, state and local
governments and the private sector, which owns most of the energy
infrastructure. The Administration's homeland security bill would
transfer to DHS the energy assurance functions of DOE, which is
actively engaged in addressing critical energy infrastructure issues.
We expect that DHS would work closely with industry to develop and
maintain a comprehensive assessment of the energy infrastructure and to
develop and implement security standards for protecting critical energy
infrastructures. Specifically, in discharging its responsibility for
assuring the physical protection of the nation's energy infrastructure,
we expect that DHS would, among other things:
collect comprehensive information on potential threats to
the national energy infrastructure;
develop with industry analyses of physical and cyber
vulnerabilities of the national infrastructure and scientific
and technological solutions to correct or minimize system
develop contingency plans to minimize risks to the economy
and public health and safety through analysis of
interdependencies and modeling of the cascading effects of
events that affect the energy infrastructure;
provide industry information necessary to implement security
plans that effect or deter terrorist acts through target
hardening and implementation of procedures that complicate
terrorist's attack planning; and
coordinate national, state and industry response and
recovery capabilities to ensure seamless integration of plans
Question 2. Our electric power industry is really an integrated
North-American system. Since an electrical disturbance in Canada or
Mexico could affect power in the U.S.--and the other way around as
well--it would seem to me that we need to include both Canada and
Mexico in our homeland security efforts. What plans are there to
cooperate & coordinate with the Governments of Canada and Mexico as we
develop our homeland security program?
Answer. The Department is actively coordinating with
representatives of the governments of Mexico and Canada on our energy
critical infrastructure protection and homeland security efforts. DOE's
Offices of Energy Assurance (EA) and Policy and International Affairs
(PI) are participating in the ad hoc Critical Infrastructure Protection
Forum of the U.S.-Canada-Mexico North American Energy Working Group.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Forum was established to provide
a vehicle for consultation and information exchange among the
governments of the three countries on energy critical infrastructure
vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies. On April 12, 2002, DOE
hosted a meeting of the Group for presentations by DOE national
laboratory staff on DOE's vulnerability assessment methodologies. At
the request of representatives of the Government of Mexico, OEA and PI
are planning a trilateral meeting in Mexico in the August-September
time frame for deliberations on the application of DOE vulnerability
assessment methodologies to specific types of energy infrastructures.
DOE is the energy sector lead on the standing committees of the
President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board (PCIPB),
established by Executive Order 13231, ``Critical Infrastructure
Protection in the Information Age.'' Pursuant to the Executive Order,
DOE is engaged in cooperation with representatives of the governments
of Mexico and Canada under the auspices of the PCIPB International
Interdependencies Working Committee, which was established to support
the Department of State efforts to coordinate with the governments of
other countries, including Mexico and Canada, U.S. initiatives and
programs for physical and cyber critical infrastructure protection.
On June 17-19, 2002, DOE participated along with representatives of
other agencies in a meeting with representatives of the Mexican
government to consider and develop strategies to implement the Smart
Border Declaration signed by Presidents Bush and Fox. The U.S. and
Canada signed a similar document. These declarations commit the U.S.,
Mexico and Canada to cooperative efforts to secure cross-border
Question 3. Our energy infrastructure is run by computers, many of
which are accessible through the internet. Our electric utilities are
increasingly the target of computer hackers--possibly including foreign
powers--who have already on occasion managed to penetrate their control
networks. What role will the Department of Homeland Security play in
assuring the cyber-protection of our energy infrastructure?
Answer. The Administration's proposed legislation to create a new
Department of Homeland Security recognizes that cyber security is a
very important element of critical infrastructure protection and,
consequently, cyber security will be a key function of the new
Department's Division of Information Analysis and Infrastructure
The nation's telecommunications systems are connected directly to
many critical infrastructure sectors. The speed, virulence, and
maliciousness of cyber attacks have increased dramatically in recent
years. Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security would place a
high priority on protecting our cyber infrastructure from terrorist
attack by unifying and focusing the key cyber security activities
performed by the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (now in the
Department of Commerce) and the National Infrastructure Protection
Center (now in the FBI). In addition, the response functions of the
Federal Computer Incident Response Center (now in General Services
Administration) and the functions and assets of the National
Communications System (now in the Department of Defense) would augment
the infrastructure protection capabilities.
Question 4. The free flow of information between the private sector
and the Government is critical to the protection of our energy
infrastructure, but industry is reluctant to provide sensitive
information to government because it may become subject to release
under the Freedom of Information Act and government has difficulty
providing threat information to industry because much is classified. Do
you think that the Freedom of Information Act should be modified to
assure the non-disclosure of critical and sensitive industry
information? Do you think that security clearances should be granted to
personnel in critical infrastructure industries so that government
threat information can be provided to industry?
Answer. DOE supports section 204 of the Administration's homeland
security bill, the ``Homeland Security Act of 2002,'' which would
exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, section 552 of title V,
United States Code, critical infrastructure and vulnerability
information voluntarily provided by non-Federal entities or individuals
and which is or has been in the possession of the Department of
Homeland Security. Regarding security clearances for employees of
critical infrastructure industries, DOE in the past has granted
security clearances to certain industry personnel who require access to
classified information pertaining to threats and is prepared to do so
in the future in appropriate circumstances. For example, DOE has
granted security clearances to certain personnel employed by the Trans
Alaska Pipeline to permit the DOE to provide them classified
information pertaining to threats against the pipeline.
Question 5. One key impediment to infrastructure protection are our
Federal antitrust laws. Industry is concerned that if they try to
jointly act to protect their infrastructure--either through R&D or
through joint physical and cyber protection efforts--they may run afoul
of the antitrust laws. Do you think that some sort of antitrust
exemption should be provided for joint industry infrastructure
Answer. The Department defers to the views of the Department of
Justice on this question.