Skip banner
HomeHow Do I?Site MapHelp
Return To Search FormFOCUS
Search Terms: yucca mountain, House or Senate or Joint

Document ListExpanded ListKWICFULL format currently displayed

Previous Document Document 38 of 131. Next Document

More Like This
Copyright 2000 Federal News Service, Inc.  
Federal News Service

March 24, 2000, Friday


LENGTH: 5020 words


 Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee on the Department of Energy's Fiscal Year 2001 budget.

Management Reforms

Before I discuss the details of our FY 2001 budget request, I would like to address a major issue of concern to the Administration and the Congress -- management systems of the Department.

In the past year, a top priority has been to improve the way DOE manages its people, its resources, and its programs. The Secretary and I have given management efficiencies our closest attention.

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.

Fifth, we initiated several immediate actions correcting security and counterintelligence problems within the Department which have 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 the Secretary.

Sixth, last year, we launched the "Workforce for the 21st Century" Initiative to build a talented and diverse workforce which will strengthen our technical and management capabilities and address new challenges. Increasingly, the Department is competing with private industry to recruit and retain the highly skilled personnel required to deliver our missions. This growing skills gap has been recognized by the General Accounting Office, the Office of Inspector General, and this Committee. To address part of the scientific skills gap, we are proposing a Scientific Recruitment and Retention Initiative in this budget which totals $10.0 million. Under our Workforce 21, for the first time in four years 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.

The Department also has an opportunity and responsibility to address the longstanding underrepresentation of women and minorities in senior management and technical positions. We 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 Looks Like America: A Companion to Workforce 21." This plan, now in place, will help build a representative workforce and instill management systems that foster equal opportunity in hiring, promotion, and training practices. We have also established a task force against racial profiling and emphasized the need to promote more partnerships with minority educational institutions.

Seventh, under the direction of the Under Secretary Ernie Moniz, we also established a clearly 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.

Lastly, the Department's defense mission is being restructured into the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). We established the NNSA, as required, on March 1. This included the successful consolidation of the Defense Programs, Nonproliferation and National Security, Fissile Materials Disposition, and Naval Reactors offices into the NNSA and involved the transfer of some 2,000 federal employees and 37,000 contractor employees to this new organization. As we discussed, the President has announced that he intends to nominate General John A. Gordon to head this organization. He also nominated Madelyn Creedon to be the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs. We are committed to making the NNSA a viable, effective organization. The FY 2001 budget for the NNSA will total $6.2 billion, an increase of $432 million over this year's level.

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

Notwithstanding our efforts to address our management problems, the Department has continued successfully to carry out its critical missions. 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 completed important agreements with Russia to promote non-proliferation. And we are meeting critical mission objectives including new production requirements for the W76, W80, and W88 warheads, refurbishment of W-87 Peacekeeper warheads, successful accomplishment of subcritical experiments, initiation of production of tritium reservoirs at the Kansas City Plant, and re-establishment of pit production capability at, Los Alamos.

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, the lights stayed on. We are responding to current oil supply problems through a range of measures: from the Secretary's diplomatic initiatives with major oil producing countries, both within and outside of OPEC, to the reestablishment of an Energy Emergency Office within the Department, to extensive consultation and coordination with energy suppliers and state and local government officials, to renegotiation of Strategic Petroleum Reserve royalty-in-kind deliveries to keep more oil in the market. On Saturday, the President announced the Administration's intention to create a Northeast heating oil reserve and the Department is working to expedite this decision.

For the environment, after years of delays and excuses, we opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, the nation's first nuclear waste repository. We've successfully completed 44 shipments to WIPP to date and on March 10 resumed shipments from Rocky Flats after successfully completing additional waste certification requirements. We formed partnerships with governors to clean up and close former nuclear weapons production sites, and set aside over three hundred thousand acres as wildlife preserves in Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, and New Mexico.

Strength Through Science

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--as it is for our energy mission--to achieve continued reductions in the economic and environmental costs of producing and using energy resources.It is also true for our environmental mission to clean up the nuclear and toxic waste that is the legacy of the Cold War.

Many of the technologies that are fueling today's economy, such as the Internet, build upon government investments in the 1960's and 1970's- including the Office of Science's "Esnet." The Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies have been the sponsor of science-driven growth through the combined efforts of the national laboratories, 70 Nobel Laureates associated with the Department, and thousands of outstanding university- and industry-based researchers nationwide.

This Department is among the top federal research and development funding agencies, regardless of the criterion used. We are first in scientific facilities and rank third in basic research after the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The Department of Energy is, at its heart, a science agency; in fact, 40 percent of our FY 2001 budget qualifies as R&D expenditures. We will spend a total of $7.1 billion on R&D in FY 2000 and plan to spend $7.7 billion in FY 2001, an increase of 8 percent.

Department of Energy FY 2001 Budget Request

The Department of Energy's FY 2001 budget request is $18.9 billion. This is $1.6 billion over this year's appropriation, a nine percent increase. Our budget is organized into four business lines; some highlights of each of these are described briefly below.Energy Resources: $2.2 billion (an increase of $175 million, or 8 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, scientific carbon management and R&D, international energy R&D partnerships, and bio-energy/bio-power technologies.

The request features several cross-cutting initiatives involving the energy technology research offices (Fossil, Nuclear, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Science) that will ensure energy security through new economically and environmentally desirable means of using and producing energy. The Climate Change Technology Initiative and the International Clean Energy Initiative will identify and develop pre- commercial energy technologies and potential markets for their use. The latter effort builds on the conclusions of a recent report by the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that identifies the need to bridge the gap between development and deployment of new technologies.

The Electric Grid Reliability Initiative will develop policies and technologies to enhance the security of our electricity supplies. The Carbon Sequestration Initiative follows a technology roadmap to accelerate R&D to mitigate the impacts of carbon emissions.

The Enhanced Ultra Clean Transportation Fuels Initiative targets government and industry resources to develop a portfolio of advanced petroleum-based highway transportation fuels and fuels utilization technologies that are responsive to near-and mid-term environmental, regulatory and technical challenges.

Finally, the Bioenergy/Bioproducts Initiative will fund research to help make biomass a viable competitor as an energy source or chemical feedstock.

The Fossil Energy Research and Development program level of $385 million includes funding for the up-graded National Energy Technology Laboratory for fossil fuels research. This budget continues investments in advanced technological concepts and development of highly efficient power generation and fuel producing technologies that together could reduce, or perhaps nearly eliminate, carbon emissions from fossil fuel facilities. The centerpieces of this research include the Vision 21 energy plant of the future and carbon sequestration.

The proposed deferral of $221 million in the Clean Coal Technology program reflects schedule delays from the rescheduling of certain projects. The Department believes the Clean Coal Program is important and we anticipate to successfully complete all of the ongoing projects.

Funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy includes support for research to assist in the development of more efficient homes and buildings, wind energy, geothermal, photovoltaics, and bioenergy and biopower projects. Research will also continue in the on-going Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), which is developing the prototype advanced technology vehicle in conjunction with the automotive industry. We are requesting $1.26 billion for these programs in FY 2001-- an increase of 18%.

The Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps to reduce heating and cooling bills for low-income residents, has an increased budget request for FY 2001 to weatherize approximately 77,000 homes. In addition, the Administration is requesting $19 million for this program in the FY 2000 Supplemental Appropriations package to cover 9500 more homes.

This Office also funds the Federal Energy Management Program, which helps federal agencies identify, finance and implement energy efficiency improvements for their facilities. The Federal Government spends $8 billion each year on energy for its own facilities and operations, and this program saves money for taxpayers by reducing that spending. Our FY 2001 request for this program is $29.5 million - a 23% increase.

The budget for the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology has an increase of $21 million to support such important activities as nuclear energy research and development (including the expanded Nuclear Energy Research Initiative) and managing the inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride. The Department is also proceeding with the project to design and build facilities to convert this inventory to a more stable form, and in a manner that fully protects workers and the environment. This office also conducts a program to produce and distribute isotopes necessary for medical, industrial and research purposes, including the Advanced Nuclear Medicine Initiative.

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. This budget assumes that in FY 2001 the PMAs will use offsetting collections from the sale of electricity to finance purchase power and wheeling expenses previously funded by direct appropriations.

Purchase power and wheeling activities financed through this method will be phased out in annual decrements by the end of FY 2004.

Science and Technology: $3.2 billion (an increase of $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 genomics, robotics, bioengineering, and it will allow us to increase the use of our scientific facilities.

The budget calls for $182 million for Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) to increase computer modeling and simulation research and development.Microbial genomics, an outgrowth of the Department's pioneering work in the Human Genome Program, is expanding efforts in microbial cell research. This research, which involves the study of organisms that have survived and thrived in an extreme and inhospitable environment, could hold the key to advance energy production and use, environmental cleanup, medicine, and agricultural and industrial processing.

Nanotechnology, or research and development into extreme miniaturized technologies, is funded at $91 million, of which $83 million is in the Science budget and $7 million is in Defense Programs. This work gives researchers the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level and could spark further development of supercomputers that fit in the palm of the hand, or tiny devices to fight disease or heal injuries from inside our bodies. Also included in this science budget is $281 million for the Spallation Neutron Source and $247 million for fusion.

The FY2001 budget continues to strongly support the Department's unique scientific user facilities. Each year over 15,000 university, industry and government-sponsored scientists conduct cutting edge experiments at these particle accelerators, high-flux neutron sources, synchrotron radiation light sources and other specialized facilities.

Environmental Quality: $6.8 billion (an increase of $$11 million, or 8 percent) to protect the environment and our workers. These amounts are required to ensure that each cleanup site meets safety and legal requirements, supports accelerated cleanup and site closure, and maintains others critical environmental priorities.The Environmental Management budget of $6.3 billion supports proposals to continue our efforts to meet cleanup obligations to communities throughout the country: $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 the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund.

These funds will allow the Department to continue to implement the agreement the Secretary reached last year 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. 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 $440 million over the FY 2000 current appropriation to continue making progress in completing cleanup and closing sites.

A 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 challenge to accelerate cleanup and achieve closure in 2006, and to date significant progress has been made toward 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.

The increased request for EM Privatization 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 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 $327 million increase, anticipates a decision in FY 2000 authorizing the contractor to proceed to the construction phase of the project. The amount requested will keep the project on schedule to begin hot operations in 2007.

The request features new initiatives to accelerate cleanup and protect health and safety at Gaseous Diffusion Plants (GDPs) in Portsmouth, Ohio, and Paducah, Kentucky. Last summer, after reports of alleged health and environmental problems surfaced at Paducah, the Secretary announced a strategy to investigate, identify and remedy any past or remaining health, safety and environmental problems at these plants. The Secretary 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 a rapid timeframe. The Administration also has submitted a $26 million FY 2000 Supplemental Budget Request to Congress to address additional concerns -- $10 million for ES&H activities and $16 million for environmental restoration. This supplemental request and the FY 2001 budget will significantly increase funding for the two GDP sites.

The FY 2001 budget request also provides funding, subject to new legislative authority, to initiate cleanup of uranium mill tailings in Moab, Utah, to restore lands at the gateways of some of our most spectacular national parks.

The Environment, Safety and Health budget provides an increase of $38 million, to $166 million, to make health and safety programs a key priority of the entire department. ($40 million is included in the Energy Supply account for non-defense ES&H activities.) This also includes $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.

The President has also directed that the National Economic Council (NEC) conduct a review of other workplace exposures and illness at DOE sites. At the end of this process, the President will receive an interagency study on the health of our workers which may lead to additional measures beyond those we initially proposed.

In response to worker health concerns, the Department has 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.

The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management program is funded at $437 million to support determination of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a permanent repository for nuclear waste. An increase of $77 million for Yucca Mountain design and engineering works allows DOE to maintain the schedule of work included in the Viability Assessment. In FY 2001, an investment of approximately $ 4 billion and almost 18 years of site investigations will culminate in a series of statutory decisions on whether the repository should be sited at Yucca Mountain. If the site is determined to be suitable, a Site Recommendation Report will be prepared and submitted to the President in FY 2001.

National Security: $6.6 billion (an increase of $502 million, or 8 percent) to promote peace and address the next generation of national security threats. One of the Department's most important responsibilities to the American people, the President, and to you, the Congress, is to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile. A dependable nuclear deterrent remains at the root of the United States' national security policy. Once again, without underground testing, our Stockpile Stewardship Program is working today to confirm its continued safety and reliability. It draws upon the best scientific resources in our complex, allowing the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Defense to annually certify to the President that the nuclear deterrent does not require underground testing at this time. Three annual certifications - and a soon-to-be-completed fourth -- are proof of its enduring success.

Last October, the Secretary tasked Under Secretary Moniz to conduct a comprehensive internal review of the Stockpile Stewardship Program (30-Day Review). The principal finding of the review is that stockpile stewardship is working, both in terms of specific science, surveillance, and production accomplishments, and in terms of developing a program management structure that integrates the span of program activities. However, the program does face significant people and infrastructure challenges, including attracting and retaining the best and the brightest people at both the laboratories and the production plants, and maintaining and recapitalizing an infrastructure that - in many instances - is over fifty years old. These challenges, along with numerous requirements that have been added to the program since its inception, are being addressed by Secretary Richardson through his 15 point Action Plan. We have made considerable progress on these issues in the last three months and continue to work very closely with the Department of Defense, through the Nuclear Weapons Council, to ensure that U.S. nuclear deterrence remains viable into the future.

In addition, our supplemental budget request for FY2000 of $55 million will allow us to address infrastructure issues. It will specifically apply to the workforce, production readiness, required infrastructure, and safety challenges at the three production plants: Y-12 Plant in Tennessee; Kansas City Plant in Missouri; and the Pantex Plant in Texas.

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2000 created a semi- autonomous agency within the Department, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). These national security program increases are necessary 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. A total of $6.2 billion-up $432 million from the funding level for these programs in FY 2000-is requested for departmental programs that are consolidated into the NNSA (Defense Programs, Nonproliferation and National Security, Fissile Materials Disposition, and Naval Reactors). The Albuquerque and Nevada Field Operations offices also are under the jurisdiction of the NNSA.

The remaining national security budget request includes department- wide offices of the Secretary of Energy that are not part of the NNSA the Offices of Intelligence, Counterintelligence, Security & Emergency Operations, Independent Oversight & Performance Assurance, and Worker Transition. The most significant increase is for the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, with a program level of $340 million. The increase of $48 million, assuming favorable Congressional action on our supplemental request, is mainly for additional cyber- security activities and personnel.


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 and other members of the Subcommittee, to meet our responsibilities to the American people.


LOAD-DATE: March 28, 2000

Previous Document Document 38 of 131. Next Document


Search Terms: yucca mountain, House or Senate or Joint
To narrow your search, please enter a word or phrase:
About LEXIS-NEXIS® Congressional Universe Terms and Conditions Top of Page
Copyright © 2002, LEXIS-NEXIS®, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.