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Copyright 2000 Federal News Service, Inc.  
Federal News Service

March 8, 2000, Wednesday


LENGTH: 7517 words


 Last year, when I came to the Department of Energy I accepted a challenge. This agency inherited a daunting legacy. The agency needed a top to bottom examination. We had to end outdated business practices, cultures and methods. But we confronted the issues and earned some victories.

In the past year, I have made tough decisions -- on backing our workers despite the odds and our past record; on tritium production; on improving security; on expanding our international role and our energy diplomacy; on improving our contracting procedures; on putting safety and the environment ahead of business as usual; on changing the management and culture of this Department; and putting a stop to racial profiling to name just a few. Overall, our record of accomplishment is strong.

For example, in science, Department-funded researchers received 43 of the 100 awards given in 1999 by R&D Magazine for outstanding technology developments with commercial potential. This is the largest number ever won by any public or private entity in the history of the awards. In national security, the Departments of Energy and Defense certified for the third consecutive year that the safety, security and reliability of our nation's nuclear weapons stockpile Could be assured without nuclear testing. And we are well on our way to our fourth certification. We also reached important agreements with Russia to promote non-proliferation.

In energy resources, we proposed legislation to restructure the electricity industry, to give consumers choices, and save them $20 billion a year on their power bills. We hope Congress will act on it this year. We promoted new technologies for clean and renewable energy. We worked with utilities and the oil and gas industry to make systems Y2K compliant, and on January 1 st, the lights stayed on.

For the environment, we opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, the world's first deep geologic nuclear waste repository. We formed partnerships with governors to clean up and close former nuclear weapons production sites and set aside over 300 thousand acres as wildlife preserves in Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, and New Mexico.

In the past year, a top priority has been to improve the way DOE manages its people, its resources, and its programs. My senior managers and I have given management inefficiencies our closest attention, and, I'm proud to report, we have achieved some excellent results - and we expect more. We listened to Congress, we studied DOE's business operations, we designed needed management reforms, and we put them into action.

First, we changed the way headquarters and the field interrelate. We instituted a Field Management Council to bring coherence to decision- making and weigh competing demands for requirements on the field, and assigned Lead Principal Secretarial Officers (LPSOs) responsibility for specific sites within the complex. We hired new managers at almost all our sites throughout the complex.

Second, we increased the accountability of our top managers. We are depending more upon "line management," have empowered LPSOs, and are holding them accountable for their specific areas of responsibility.

Third, working with the Congress, we regained control of assigning M&O contract employees to the Washington area. We restructured assignment procedures for these employees in Washington, required specifically defined tasks from them, and ordered closure of most M&O Washington offices reimbursed by DOE.

Fourth, working with the Congress, we are applying sound business principles to management of our construction and environmental remediation projects. We established and staffed the Office of Engineering and Construction Management within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer to make major fundamental changes in our project management procedures, principles, and practices.

And fifth, we initiated several immediate actions to correct security and .counterintelligence problems within the Department that had existed for years, but had not received the appropriate level of attention. We have made substantial progress on an extensive program of security and counterintelligence improvements, including:

- Creating the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, consolidating the security functions throughout the Department;

- Instituting a bottom-up internal security review; and,

- Creating the Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance, which independently oversees security, cyber security, and emergency management within the Department and reports directly to me.

We will continue to improve the Department's internal management capabilities to realize the full potential which our workforce and facilities hold for America. We've made progress in many areas, but we are far from finished. This budget will help us go farther. It is a forward-looking request emphasizing investments for the future.

Department of Energy FY 2001 Budget Request

The Department of Energy's FY 2001 budget request for the programs within the jurisdiction of this Subcommittee is $18.1 billion. This is nearly $1.5 billion over this year's appropriation, a nine percent increase, which includes:

- $3.2 billion (an increase of some $337 million, or 12 percent) to strengthen our science programs and provide the knowledge base for future innovation, thereby improving America's long-term position in an increasingly competitive world economy. We continue to promote a strong national scientific infrastructure and provide the technical foundations for our applied missions. The FY 2001 budget includes initiatives to advance ongoing work at the frontiers of: nanoscience; scientific computing; microbial cells; robotics; bioengineering; and it will allow us to increase use of our scientific facilities.

- $6.6 billion (an increase of more than $500 million, or 8 percent) to promote peace and address the next generation of national security threats. Within the newly established National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), DOE's national security programs expand to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of America's nuclear weapons stockpile; reduce nuclear proliferation threats world-wide; and protect against the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Included is $100 million for a new initiative to advance nonproliferation activities in Russia.

- $0.9 billion (an increase of $ 90 million, or 11 percent ) to provide energy options for a stronger America. These investments will enhance U.S. energy security by providing more economical and environmentally desirable ways to use and produce energy. DOE continues to support a balanced portfolio of energy for America's future, and research and development (R&D) to enable a cleaner energy future. This request emphasizes: energy infrastructure reliability; carbon management science; international energy R&D partnerships; and bioenergy/biopower technologies.

- $6.8 billion (an increase of $511 million, or 8 percent) to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans by meeting cleanup obligations to communities throughout the country and moving forward with a permanent geologic repository for nuclear waste. The budget also will help create new jobs and business opportunities and support health studies of DOE workers and nearby communities. The request features new initiatives to accelerate cleanup and protect health and safety at Gaseous Diffusion Plants in Portsmouth, Ohio, and Paducah, Kentucky; and initiates cleanup of uranium mill tailings in Moab, Utah to restore lands at the gateways of our national parks.

We've given this budget the theme Strength Through Science. Science is the focus because scientific research, both basic and applied, is integral to achieving our programmatic objectives in each of our mission areas. This is as true for our national security mission, which ensures that the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe, secure, and reliable, and counters the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as it is for our energy mission, to achieve continued reductions in the economic and environmental costs of producing and using energy resources; and for our environmental mission, cleaning up the nuclear and toxic waste that is the legacy of the Cold War.

This Department is among the top federal R&D funding agencies regardless of the criterion used. We rank first in scientific facilities, and third in basic research, after NIH and NSF. The Department of Energy is, at its heart, a science agency; in fact, 40 percent of DOE's FY 2001 budget qualifies as R&D in the federal budget. We will spend a total of $7.1 billion in R&D in FY 2000 and plan to spend $7.7 billion in FY 2001, an increase of $0.6 billion, or 8 percent.


For the Office of Science programs which conduct basic research in energy related areas, we request $3.2 billion, an increase of $337 million, or 12 percent above the comparable FY 2000 level. This reflects our commitment to keep America at the cutting edge, and will provide continued strong support for DOE's core national scientific infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities, and fundamental research programs. The major elements of the Science budget include: - $715 million for High Energy Physics, up $11 million; - $370 million for Nuclear Physics, up $14 million; - $445 million for Biological and Environmental Research (BER), up $11 million; - $10 billion for Basic Energy Sciences (BES), up $236 million; - $182 million for Advanced Scientific Computing Research, up $55 million; and - $247 million for Fusion Energy Sciences, approximately the same level as the FY 2000 appropriation

It includes $84 million for research and development (an increase Of $36 million above the comparable FY 2000 level) into extreme miniaturized technologies, or "nanotechnology," to give us the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level. This expands ongoing DOE research that will profoundly affect information technology, energy, the environment, medicine, and national security. It could spark the production of supercomputers that fit into the palm of your hand, or tiny devices to fight disease and repair injuries from inside our bodies.

We are also expanding the frontiers of DOE's life sciences work by emphasizing Microbial Cells ($12 million) and Bioengineering ($6.7 million). The study of microbes, particularly those that have survived extreme environments for billions of years, may unlock mysteries that will help us solve problems in energy production and use, environmental cleanup, medicine, and agricultural and industrial processing. Engineering a microbe that inexpensively degrades cellulose could turn an enormous part of society's wastes into useful sources of energy. We are seeking a better understanding of their genetics so that one day we might design or engineer customized microbes to meet DOE program needs, for example, to clean up specific environmental hazards.

DOE's Bioengineering science contributes enormously in the development of biologics, materials, processes, implants, devices, and information systems needed for tissue engineering, artificial bones, joints, and other organ development. Ongoing research at the Department's national laboratories in: mathematical simulation, sensors, micro-engineering, imaging, materials, lasers, electrochemistry, and fiber-optics present real opportunities to tap DOE's unique capabilities to advance bioengineering applications and technologies.

The Office of Science plays an important role ($2.7 million) in a $19.8 million DOE-wide Robotics and Intelligent Machines Initiative co-managed with the Offices of Environmental Management ($12.9 million) and Defense Programs ($3.9 million). The improvement of , sophisticated robotics can help us get our work done in a manner that ensures worker safety, speeds waste remediation, and minimizes defects, costs, and cycle time in weapons manufacturing. We have developed a five-year technology roadmap to integrate research and development in robotics and intelligent machines M) - systems composed of machines, sensors, computers, and software-throughout the DOE complex. The FY 2001 funding will carry out the first phase focused on: Sensor-based motion control; glove box automation; precision dexterity research; remote characterization of spent nuclear fuel; universal communications standards; multi-modal transportation systems; and micromanipulation.

Within BES, we are requesting $281.0 million for the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), an increase of $163.1 million over FY 2000. The request does not reflect the legislation recently enacted by the State of Tennessee that will result in a $2.5 million tax savings for DOE in FY 2001. This state-of-the-art neutron scattering facility will help us develop Stronger and lighter materials, more efficient motors, and help us to better understand the structure of matter. Neutron sources are the only way to study the structure of certain materials. They are used by university and industrial researchers to make discoveries in fundamental materials science, as well as to design improved pharmaceuticals, engines, plastics, and other products. When it is completed in 2006, the SNS will be ten times more powerful than any neutron source now in existence, reestablishing U.S. leadership in this important field. Our FY 2001 request reflects the rebaselinlng of the SNS project and compliance with the requirements this subcommittee set forth in the Conference Report accompanying the FY 2000 bill.

In Fusion Energy Science, at $247.3 million, we are continuing a substantially increased research effort begun in FY 2000 that has already produced impressive results. The National Spherical Toms Experiment at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab was completed ahead of schedule and within budget, and produced a plasma current of one million amps, nine months ahead of its schedule.

National Security

For national security programs, the FY 2001 budget proposes $6.6 billion, an increase of $502 million, or 8 percent, over the FY 2000 comparable level. As you know, on March 1, 2000, the Department's defense mission was restructured into the National Nuclear Security Administration. We consolidated the Defense Programs, Nonproliferation and National Security, Fissile Materials Disposition, and Naval Reactors offices into the NNSA The FY 2001 budget for the NNSA will total $6.2 billion, an increase of $432 million over this year's level. Funding for the NNSA programs is as follows:

- $4,594 million for Defense Programs - $ 906 million for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation - $ 678 million for Naval Reactors

Defense Programs

We will invest $4.6 billion, an increase of $273 million, to strengthen our stockpile stewardship program. This is broken out into the following major components: - $ 837 million for Directed Stockpile Work - $1,050 million for Campaigns - $1,954 million for Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities - $ 116 million for Secure Transport, on Asset - $ 414 million for Construction

This request will address the many issues identified in the 30-day comprehensive review of this program conducted by Under Secretary Ernest Moniz.

These resources are needed to maintain a skilled and motivated workforce throughout the complex and to further develop and implement the tools required to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of America's nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing.

The FY 2001 request for Defense Programs supports the current infrastructure and anticipates no additional layoffs, supports ongoing initiatives, protects the highest priority work associated with pit aging issues and surety improvements, and provides significant growth in stockpile activities. We have also identified an additional $55 million needed in supplemental FY 2000 funding to cover expenses at DOE's weapons production facilities to preserve critical skills in the workforce and meet DOE/DOD weapons refurbishment schedules.

In the FY 2001 request, the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) is no longer a line item but is included in the Defense Applications and Modeling campaign and the Advanced Simulation and Computing component of readiness in technical base and facilities. In FY 2000,$510 million.was provided for Asci. The amount of $595 million is requested for FY 2001, which is an increase of $85 million above the FY 2000 comparable level. The Defense Program will continue to manage ASCI as an integrated program, progressing toward the previously identified ASCI goals. ASCI will provide leading-edge, high-end super computing simulation capabilities needed to meet weapons assessment and certification requirements without nuclear testing.

With regard to the National Ignition Facility (N1F), we request $80 million for Operations and Maintenance and Construction. We have made significant changes in the NIF execution plan to address issues regarding assembly and installation of the laser infrastructure. As such, a new IF baseline will be submitted to the Congress by June 1, 2000.

Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction poses one of the most serious challenges to U.S. security today. In FY 2001, we will expand our programs in partnership with Russia to help prevent fissile materials and weapons expertise from falling into the hands of countries of proliferation concern or terrorists. This budget proposes $100 million for a new initiative led by the Office of the Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation that for the first time proposes a U.S.-Russian moratorium on increasing the stockpile of plutonium separated from spent civilian power plant fuel.

The proposed Long-Term Nonproliferation Program for Russia responds to recognized, but previously unaddressed proliferation concerns. It builds on successful ongoing nonproliferation projects in cooperation with Russia and allows DOE to take advantage of new opportunities presented by Russia to prevent the further accumulation of separated civil plutonium. This initiative breaks new ground in efforts to manage fissile material at various stages in 'the nuclear fuel cycle, while accelerating efforts to address proliferation vulnerabilities in the Russian nuclear infrastructure. Key activities proposed under this initiative include cooperation in the design and construction of a dry storage facility for spent fuel from civil nuclear power reactors, collaborative research and development on enhanced proliferation- resistant nuclear reactors and fuel as well as geologic repositories for the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel and high level waste, and an expansion of our programs to secure nuclear material and weapons expertise.

We continue to have concerns about certain kinds of nuclear cooperation between Russia and Iran. Major investments in collaborative R&D elements in this initiative would not go forward until those concerns are resolved.

Our budget also advances the disposal of Russ!an military plutonium and supports the design of facilities needed to dispose of excess plutonium in the United States. DOE is proceeding with a hybrid plutonium disposition strategy that includes immobilizing surplus plutonium in ceramic material surrounded by high level radioactive waste, and another option to burn the material as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in domestic commercial reactors. The $223 million request continues U.S. surplus materials disposition at the FY 2000 level, and allows for additional facility design activities to support the disposition mission.

Other Defense Activities

This budget supports the bold measures I undertook last year to improve security at all Energy Department sites with national security missions. Our national laboratories are now governed by dramatically different security procedures. And over the past two years we doubled the budget of the Office of Counterintelligence, and we will continue to take firm steps to tighten security at our labs. These offices remain a part of the Other Defense Activities account and include:

- $ 38 million for Intelligence - $ 45 million for Counterintelligence - $ 25 million for Worker and Community Transition - $ 320 million for Security and Emergency Operations, and - $ 15 million for Independent Oversight and Assurance This year, we will also present the first consolidated security budget to Congress as an amendment to the FY 2001 request. The consolidated funds will be managed by the Director of the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, General Eugene Hanger, to ensure that our resources are directed more effectively to achieve our security objectives.

Energy Resources

One of the Department's important missions is to support, where necessary and appropriate, development of energy resources. It is not only important to the day-to-day functioning of our society, it is essential to the continued improvement of our standard of living. We are now in the middle of one of the strongest economic expansions in our history. Key to continuing this prosperity and stability is the harnessing of our scientific creativity to produce and use energy in new and environmentally sound ways.

DOE's energy R&D programs enhance the nation's economic, environmental, and national security. Doing this well requires a clear understanding of the changing energy markets and technological opportunities, both at home and abroad, We must maintain a- diverse R&D portfolio because no single option can solve all energy problems in the decades ahead and all energy options may become part of the solution. Also to be considered are the challenges of energy use, including their economic costs and environmental impacts. Together with our private sector partners we must continue to identify and develop enabling technologies that show the most promise of success and the wisest use of scarce public and private resources.!

The Energy Resources program requests before this Subcommittee are:

- $457 million for Solar and Renewable Resources Technologies, includes $47 million in the Office of Science; - $306 million for Nuclear Energy; and - $200 million for the Power Marketing Administrations

We are proposing a $46 million cross-cutting International Clean Energy Initiative in FY 2001, which includes the Renewable ($19 million) and Nuclear Energy ($7 million) programs, with the balance funded in the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. A conclusion reached in a recent President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report is that current energy R&D investments, while generally effective, are not adequate in scale to address world energy, environmental, and market demands. The most conspicuous gap was in the demonstration and cost buy-down areas, a crucial link in the chain from basic research to commercial deployment. The International Clean Energy Initiative focuses on this critical link -- identifying and developing pre-commercial energy technologies and potential markets for their deployment, promoting efficient and environmentally production, generation, and end use. By encouraging international markets for these technologies, their cost will go down and we will create new, dean, and affordable energy options for Americans.

Solar and Renewable Energy

The renewable energy programs of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy improve performance and reduce costs of a broad range of technologies in: renewable energy supply, efficient and reliable power delivery, and energy storage systems. Our R&D in alternative transportation fuels, photovoltaics, solar thermal biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric power systems, hydrogen, energy storage, high temperature superconductivity, and utility restructuring analysis responds to consumer needs, energy security, the environment, and the economy.

The Photovoltaic (PV) program ($82 million, a $16 million increase) in recent years has achieved numerous technological and cost reduction breakthroughs resulting in commercial applications. There is great industry interest in maintaining a strong R&D program to take these applications into the marketplace. In fundamental R&D we will continue basic research and begin new work on ultra high efficiency, high performance large area thin films and multi-junction concentrator cells. As part of the International Clean Energy Initiative, we propose work to accelerate research and development and deployment of PV technology to developing countries.

The Biomass/Biofuels Energy Systems program ($102 million, a $32 million increase) has received similar interest and support from the power generation, manufacturing, and transportation industries because these technologies demonstrate great potential to provide a strong alternative energy resource for baseload power production, quality bio-based products, and cost-competitive alternative transportation fuels. As part of a government-wide Bioenergy/Bioproducts Initiative, we will work to develop inexpensive cellulase systems to break down cellulose into low-cost sugars for the production of bio-based chemicals and bioenergy. This will allow woody and grassy crops and agricultural waste such as corn stalks to take the place of high-value grain and food crops as biofuel feedstocks. Research will be conducted in renewable bioproducts, using multi-disciplinary and cross-industry partnerships to develop and accelerate adoption of possible "leap- frog" technologies for converting crops, trees, and residues into chemical feedstocks and consumer products. Another part of the initiative will focus on DOE's work in biopower to promote the integration of biomass gasification systems with modem generation systems, and cofiring of biomass with coal.

While the cost of producing electricity from wind has decreased dramatically in the last decade, further improvements are needed to close the cost gap between wind and fossil generated energy sources. The Wind program ($51 million, an $18 million increase) will continue to work directly with industry to provide U.S. companies with the technological advantage needed to capture a sizeable share of the multi-billion dollar, rapidly expanding worldwide market for wind energy.

The transition to competitive, restructured electric markets coupled with growing consumer demand for electricity and constraints in the nation's transmission and distribution systems requires the development of advanced power delivery technologies to ensure efficient and reliable delivery of electric services to consumers. The portfolio of Electric Energy Systems and Storage programs ($48 million, a $10 million increase) are focused on the development of these advanced power delivery technologies. Funding of $16 million is included to support the cross-cutting Energy Grid Reliability Initiative to develop policies and technologies (e.g. system simulation, power storage, real-tune sensors and controls, and new distributed power options) that will help protect against potential new market failures and promote reliability through system flexibility, efficiency, and security.

Nuclear Energy

The FY 2001 budget request for Nuclear Energy programs is $306 million, $21 million higher than the comparable FY 2000 level. The request builds on the Administration's investments of the last several years, with modest growth to our research initiatives. In FY 2001, we are proposing $35 million for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERO, an increase of $13 million. NERI supports investigator- initiated peer reviewed research on advanced nuclear energy technologies, including Generation IV advanced reactor technologies.

As part of NERI, we are proposing $7 million to launch an International-NERI (I-NERI) program under the President's Clean Energy Initiative. I-NERI will leverage U.S. research with bilateral and multilateral research to address key issues affecting expanded future use of nuclear energy, including proliferation resistance of fission systems and fuel cycles, waste management, and plant economics. 2

In FY 2001, the Nuclear Energy R&D program will continue the work begun this year under the Nuclear Energy Plant Optimization program ($5.0 million) to develop advanced technologies in cost-shared cooperation with industry that can help assure the long term reliability and efficiency of the nation's existing nuclear power plants. This program is important to managing long-term effects of component aging improving nuclear plant capacity factors, and generating optimization through efficiency and productivity improvements. The R&D conducted under NEPO is closely coordinated with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The request proposes an increase in the Fast Flux Test Facility (FY 2000 $28 million; FY 2001 $44 million) program to maintain the facility in full compliance with applicable federal and state health, safety, and environmental regulations and to begin implementation of the Record of Decision on the future of the facility.

A $5 million decrease in Termination Costs ($74 million) reflects sodium processing activities nearing completion. It also anticipates placing the Fuel Conditioning Facility and the Hot Fuels Examination Facility into limited production service for disposition of DOE sodium-bonded spent fuels. Draining and processing of all stored Fermi and EBR-II sodium is planned for completion in FY 2001.

An increase is requested for Uranium Programs (FY 2000 $42 million; FY 2001 $53 million). Of the total, $29.5 million will be used to manage the inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride at the gaseous diffusion plants in Portsmouth, Ohio, Paducah, Kentucky, and the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Of this, $16.6 million is for cylinder storage maintenance; $0.9 million is for conversion development; and $12 million is for the initiation of the depleted uranium conversion project.

Consistent with Public Law 105-204, the Department is proceeding with a plan for the project to build and operate conversion facilities to convert the inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride to a more stable form. The Department anticipates that a formal request for proposals will be issued later this calendar year. We are requesting $12 million in FY 2001 to enable a contractor to initiate design activities for the conversion project. The Department plans to match the $12 million indicated in the request, with another $12 million from funds obtained under the Memorandum of Agreement with the United States Enrichment Corporation. The remaining $23.9 million will be used to support the maintenance of leased and non-leased facilities at DOE's former gaseous diffusion plant sites, clean up PCB spills in the leased areas, defend lawsuits, and pay the postretirement life and medical insurance costs of retired contractor personnel as well as other preexisting liabilities.

Power Marketing Administrations

The Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) sell electricity primarily generated by hydropower projects located at federal dams. First preference for the sale of power is given to public bodies and cooperatives. Revenues from selling the power and transmission services of the three PMAs are used to repay the U.S. Treasury for annual operation and maintenance costs, repay the capital investments with interest, and assist capital repayment of other features of certain projects. However the PMAs also buy and sell, as a simple pass through, purchase power and wheeling services. This budget assumes that, in FY 2001 the PMAs will use offsetting collections from the recovery of purchase power and wheeling expenses to finance additional purchases of power and wheeling activities previously funded by direct appropriations. Purchase power and wheeling activities financed through this method will end after FY 2004.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is serf financed, funds the expense portion of its budget and directly funds the power operations and maintenance costs of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Federal Columbia River Power System. The FY 2001 budget assumes that, starting in FY 2001, Bonneville will also directly fund the estimated $15 million in annual power operations and maintenance costs for the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan which includes fish hatcheries and related facilites. Bonneville also repays the federal investment with revenues from electric rates. In FY 2001, the BPA budget includes $331.2 million in estimated use of permanent borrowing authority for capital investments.

Environmental Quality

For FY 2001, the Department requests $6.8 billion for Environmental Quality programs.

The FY 2001 request will enable us to address the highest human health, safety, and environmental risks within the Department of Energy complex. It will also allow the Department to continue to make progress to answer some of the most critical questions in the area of long-term nuclear waste disposal.

Environmental Management

A total of $6.3 billion is requested for Environmental Management programs consisting of five elements:

- $1,082 million for Defense Facilities Closure Projects; - $4,552 million for Defense Environmental Restoration and Waste Management;, - $ 515 million for Defense Environmental Management Privatization; - $ 286 million for Non-Defense Environmental Management, and - $ 303 million for Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund These amounts are required to ensure that each cleanup site meets safety and legal requirements, supports accelerated cleanup and site closure, and maintains other critical environmental priorities. Our FY 2001 request continues an aggressive approach to address immediate and long-term environmental and health risks of the weapons complex. In March 1999, we made great progress when we opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico as a safe, permanent disposal location for transuranic nuclear wastes. The FY 2001 request represents an increase of approximately $467 million over the FY 2000 appropriation to continue making progress in completing cleanup and closing sites.

Also last year, I reached agreement with the Governors of Colorado, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington on a Statement of Principles laying the foundation for a cooperative working relationship between DOE and the States with DOE cleanup sites. Each Statement of Principles outlined common issues, as well as those specific to individual States, and delineated them in a manner in which DOE and the States will work cooperatively to clean up the lingering Cold War legacy. The mutually agreed upon issues include: completing the cleanup of the nuclear weapons sites as expeditiously as possible and in compliance with State and federal regulations; obtaining a commitment to seek predictable and adequate funding for the cleanup; continuing investments in science and technology; and protecting groundwater assets.

The budget request of $664.7 million supports closure of Rocky Flats by December 15, 2006, the closure date targeted in the new cost-plus- incentive-fee contract that took effect February 1, 2000. The Rocky Flats Site is the largest site challenged to accelerate site cleanup and achieve closure in 2006, and to date significant progress has been made towards making this goal a reality.

The FY 2001 request furthers our efforts to protect the Columbia River by beginning the removal of spent nuclear fuel from the K-Basins at Hanford in November 2000. This project will carry out a first-of-a- kind technical solution to move 2,100 metric tons of corroding spent nuclear fuel from at-risk wet storage conditions in the K-East and K- West basins adjacent to the Columbia River into safe, dry storage in a new facility away from the river.

Cleanup at Gaseous Diffusion Sites: This year we have taken strong action to address reports of alleged health and environmental problems at DOE's Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) in Paducah, Kentucky that surfaced in late July 1999.

Immediately, I announced a strategy to investigate, identify, and remedy any past or remaining health, safety, and environmental problems at the operating GDPs at Paducah, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio. I appointed an investigation team that made recommendations which resulted in a request for funding to achieve health surveillance, safety assessments, and environmental remediation goals within an expedited time frame. The Administration also has submitted a $26.0 million FY 2000 Supplemental Budget Request to Congress to address additional concerns.

Together, the supplemental request and the FY 2001 budget will significantly increase funding for the two GDP sites. To meet stated commitments to the workers and community of Paducah, the budget proposes nearly double the amount available in FY 1999 - and a 44 percent increase over FY 2000. Our request includes: $78.0 million to accelerate environmental cleanup activities, particularly in critical areas identified by the investigation team; $17.9 million to develop and design a conversion program for uranium hexafluoride and to maintain cylinders at the site; $4.3 million to continue medical surveillance, health and environment monitoring; and $3.0 million for worker transition programs.

For the Portsmouth GDP site, the budget provides substantial increases for health, safety, and cleanup programs of almost twice the level provided in FY 1999; and an increase of 65 percent over FY 2000. Included in the FY 2001 request are: $76.2 million for cleanup activities; $21.0 million for uranium hexafluoride conversion and maintenance; $4.3 million for worker health, safety, and environmental programs; and $3.0 million for worker transition.

EM Privatization: The increased request will provide for more progress in cleaning up and reducing risks from the environmental legacy of the nation's nuclear weapons program. The FY 2001 privatization request includes $450.0 million in budget authority to develop treatment facilities that will vitrify at least 10 percent by volume of the 54 million gallons of high level waste now stored in underground tanks at the Hanford Site in Washington. The Department is using a privatization approach that shifts many of the technical and performance risks to the contractor. The request, a $344.0 million increase, anticipates a derision in FY 2000 authorizing the contractor to proceed to the construction phase of the project. The amount requested is necessary to keep the project on schedule to begin hot operations in 2007.

Environment, Safety and Health

Within the $166 million total requested for Environment, Safety and Health programs is $17 million for the Energy Employee Compensation Initiative. Pending now before Congress is legislation to establish an occupational illness compensation program for the Department of Energy's workers at its nuclear facilities. The bill has three parts, each addressing a specific group of workers eligible for compensation benefits:

- The Energy Employee's Beryllium Compensation Act, addressing current and former DOE federal and contractor workers with beryllium disease. Eligible workers would receive reimbursement for prospective medical costs associated with the illness and a portion of lost wages, or have the option of receiving a single, lump sum benefit of $100,000;

- The Paducah Employees' Exposure Compensation Act, addressing Paducah, Kentucky employees exposed to radioactive materials; and

- A specific group of Oak Ridge, Tennessee employees determined by an independent panel of occupational physicians to have illnesses due to workplace exposure.

In response to worker health concerns, I have also established the Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) Prevention Program. Contractors at DOE sites with the potential for worker exposure to beryllium, a metal used in many nuclear applications, are required to submit a detailed plan to meet prevention program requirements. This is intended to minimize the number of future cases of disease from current workers. The program also calls for monitoring the health of "beryllium- associated" workers to promote early detection of CBD. Next month, the President will receive an interagency study on the health of our workers at our other sites, so we may be able to go further.

Civilian Radioactive Waste Management

We are requesting a total of $438 million in FY 2001 for Radioactive Waste Management activities. This is an increase of $86 million over the FY 2000 program level. A total of $358 million supports characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, an increase of $77 million over the FY 2000 level. The increase for Yucca Mountain design and engineering work allows DOE to maintain the schedule of work included in the Viability Assessment. The work performed in FY 2001 will end the site characterization phase of this project and support completion of the scientific and technical work necessary to determine whether the Yucca Mountain site is suitable for development as a geologic repository.


In 1995, the Department began a comprehensive effort to downsize its operations.

The goal was to accomplish a 25 percent reduction in federal staffing by the end of FY 2001. The Department met that goal in January 1999 -- almost two years ahead of schedule -- and is still below that level. Contractor employment has also been reduced significantly, and as of the end of 1999, is 31 percent lower than in 1992.

Last year I launched the "Workforce for the 21st Century" Initiative to build a talented and diverse workforce to strengthen our technical and management capabilities and address new challenges. Workforce 21 addresses workforce readiness issues exacerbated by the downsizing of the federal government - significant skills gaps within the scientific and technical areas and a workforce nearing eligibility for retirement. Only 11 percent of the Department's workforce is under the age of 35 and only 8 percent of the technical workforce is under 35. This portends serious succession planning problems for the agency in terms of anticipated retirements of critically skilled personnel. For the first time in four years, under Workforce 21, the Department has been able to target hiring of key technical personnel and strengthen recruitment and internship programs to create a pipeline of employees ready to enter the DOE workforce at the.entry and mid-level jobs. Increasingly, we are competing with private industry to recruit and retain the highly skilled personnel required to deliver our missions. The growing skills gap has been recognized by the General Accounting Office, the Office of Inspector General, and the Defense Authorizing Committees. To address part of the scientific skills gap, I am proposing a Scientific Recruitment and Retention Initiative in this budget which totals $10.0 million.

We also have an opportunity and responsibility to address the longstanding under-representation of women and minorities in senior management and technical positions. I have initiated an extensive review of workforce management practices to identify barriers that hinder the promotion of a more representative workforce. The review resulted in a Department-wide strategic plan called "Achieving and Promoting a Workforce that Look Like America: A Companion to Workforce 21." This plan establishes accountability and tracking systems, now in place, to build a representative workforce and instill workforce management systems that foster equal opportunity in hiring, promotion, and training practices. I have also established a task force against racial profiling and emphasized the need to promote more partnerships with minority educational institutions..

We have also established, under the direction of the Under Secretary, a dearly defined and well articulated Departmental R&D portfolio. This will ensure our R&D programs are properly structured and take advantage of interrelationships with all relevant program areas.


Our FY 2001 budget is a strong statement reflecting this Administration's commitments to the American people. It is a request that emphasizes our strength in science and enables us to effectively deliver our missions.

I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, to meet our responsibilities to the American people.


LOAD-DATE: March 9, 2000

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