Copyright 1999 Federal News Service, Inc.
Federal News Service
FEBRUARY 24, 1999, WEDNESDAY
SECTION: IN THE NEWS
HEADLINE: PREPARED STATEMENT OF
UNDER SECRETARY OF ENERGY
BEFORE THE HOUSE
ENERGY & POWER SUBCOMMITTEE
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the
Subcommittee, for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the FY
2000 budget request for the Department of Energy.
In FY 2000, the Department
requests $17.8 billion dollars for all of its science, energy research, energy
security, and defense activities. This is slightly less than the mount requested
last year. This request supports the Departments activities in four business
- National Security: $6.228 billion
- Energy Resources: $2.318
- Environmental Quality: $6.452 billion
- Science: $2.844
This budget request, and the programs it supports, reflect the
Administration's agenda to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The research
and development capabilities of the Department of Energy place it at the
forefront of many of the technological advances that will define the next
millennium. "Science, Security, and Energy: Powering the 21st Century" is more
than just the theme of our budget request this year; it defines the unique
contributions that DOE has been making, and will continue to make, towards
improving the lives and the security of all Americans. Attached to this
testimony are concise summaries of the budget requests for each of our programs.
In National Security, DOE plays a critical role by
ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of our nuclear arsenal, and
through our efforts, to reduce the dangers of the spread and use of weapons of
mass destruction (WMD). The Department is maintaining the nuclear stockpile
safely and reliably without testing, thereby supporting the Comprehensive Test
Ban while sustaining the nuclear deterrent. The Department also plays a central
role in securing nuclear material and knowhow in the Former Soviet Union, in
support of America's non- proliferation goals. The technological strength of the
Department's laboratories is being used to protect America from the threat of
weapons of mass destruction.
In Energy Resources, DOE is the lead agency in
the Clinton Administration's commitment to abundant, affordable, secure, and
clean energy, and to electricity restructuring. Energy is the lifeblood of our
economy. The Department is advancing a broad research and development (R&D)
portfolio to improve the efficiency of, and reduce the emissions from, fossil
fuel use; to advance the development of economical renewable technologies; and
to provide nuclear energy options that are passively safe, proliferation
resistant, and minimize waste.
At the same time, energy use is at the core
of some of our most pressing environmental challenges: smog and particulate
emissions, acid rain, and global warming. Once again, DOE's policy initiatives
and energy R&D portfolio -- which focuses attention on increasing energy
efficiency -- will help us to sustain a strong economy with ample and clean
energy resources. The Department will work with Congress to advance electricity
sector restructuring, which will bring lasting benefits to all Americans, to the
economy, and to the environment.
In Environmental Quality, the Department's
task is clear. We will continue to make progress in cleaning up the
environmental legacy of the cold war nuclear weapons program, and we will do so
while minimizing the risks to human health and safety. Our goal is to finish the
cleanup job at most of our sites by the year 2006, while systematically
addressing the persistent challenges at our largest cleanup sites, in accordance
with various regulatory agreements. The scientific and technical issues involved
in meeting this challenge are among the most complex of any environmental
cleanup job anywhere in the world. DOE's strong science and technology base, and
our capacity to conduct interdisciplinary, leading edge R&D, will help us to
accomplish our cleanup goals. Furthermore, we will continue to work towards
resolving the scientific and technical issues surrounding the disposal of spent
In Science, our main goal is to ensure that the nation's
preeminent scientific infrastructure successfully meets the missions and goals
that the nation has set for the Department of Energy. At its heart, DOE is a
science agency. Each of DOE's mission areas relies on cutting edge science and
technology to achieve its objectives. And the nation's scientific community
depends on DOE and the DOE laboratory system to maintain U.S. leadership in an
extensive range of research disciplines. In particular, the Department has a
unique responsibility for designing, building, and operating an extensive set of
user facilities for basic and applied research, serving over 15,000 scientists
and engineers across the nation.
As Under Secretary, one of my main
responsibilities is to ensure that all the research and development activities
supported by DOE, or performed by DOE's laboratories, serve the missions and
goals set out for the Department. To do this we are organizing all R&D
activities at DOE into a comprehensive portfolio, and assessing whether this
R&D portfolio is designed optimally to meet the Department's mission needs.
We are in the last stages of developing the DOE R&D Portfolio. This
portfolio will describe and analyze, for each of the four business lines, how
the overall goals of the Department are supported by the specific R&D
activities carried out in each program, and will facilitate discussions with the
The Department's $6.228
billion request for National Security programs is an increase of $244 million
over the FY 1999 appropriation. The FY 2000 request for Weapons Activities is
$4.531 billion; this includes $2.286 billion for the Stockpile Stewardship
program and $2.071 billion for the Stockpile Management program. The Stockpile
Stewardship program is a science-based program designed to ensure the safety,
security, and reliability of the nuclear deterrent without underground nuclear
testing. Critical to the success of this effort is the Accelerated Strategic
Computing Initiative (ASCI), which is developing state-of-the-art supercomputers
and associated applications.
Another important component of this program is
the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a 192-laser beam facility under
construction at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, that will advance not
only our understanding of the physics of nuclear weapons, but will also advance
mankind's knowledge in fusion and basic science. The Stockpile Management
program request includes $170 million for the tritium program, which will be
used to develop the irradiation services option chosen by Secretary Richardson,
and to complete design work on the accelerator option in order to preserve it as
a "back-up" capability. The $767 million dollar budget for Nonproliferation and
National Security is an increase from $697 in FY 1999. This does not include
separate requests for Intelligence ($36.1 million) and Counterintelligence
($31.2 million--$18.6 in new budget authority).
We are asking for $221
million for Nonproliferation Research and Development to develop technologies
for detecting nuclear explosions, detecting the production of different forms of
WMD, countering chemical and biological weapons that could be released in our
cities, and aiding federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
request also includes $30 million for the Initiative for Proliferation
Prevention and $30 million for the Nuclear Cities Initiative. These programs are
designed to ensure that Russia's most experienced scientists and technicians can
be gainfully employed at a time when they are highly sought after by rogue
nations and terrorist organizations.
The Fissile Materials Disposition
program includes a request for $200 million to provide storage for U.S. weapons
usable uranium and plutonium, while providing a technical basis for similar
actions by the Russians. The Department recently announced that Savannah River
is the preferred site for the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (FY 2000
request of $28.8 million) and the Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) Fabrication facility
The Worker and Community Transition program request is $30
million. This will allow the Department to facilitate earlier site closures and
to promote the reindustrialization of excess facilities. The result should be
long term savings approaching $1 billion. The program also makes it possible to
move to more efficient contracting mechanisms while utilizing the skills of the
existing work force. In the case of Oak Ridge, for example, we were able to
avoid immediate severance liabilities of up to $45 million.
The three key elements of DOE's Energy Resources mission are energy
security, clean energy, and electricity industry restructuring. The Department
of Energy continues to play a major role in helping to ensure the Nation's
energy security and responding to both U.S. and world energy demand and the
environmental consequences associated with energy production and utilization.
And just as end of the Cold War left us with significant new national security
challenges, the current international energy and economic situation bring with
them new energy challenges.
While it may be of benefit to U.S. consumers,
the international oil market has created significant problems for producers. Low
prices and abundant near-term supply will exacerbate the decline in higher cost
domestic production while making investments in new energy supply and increased
efficiency less attractive. This has the potential to increase U.S. dependence
on imported oil and increase our vulnerability to future price increases and
supply shortages. The Department and the Administration are moving to address
these challenges on several fronts.
First, in December, the Secretary
appointed an internal Emergency Oil Task Force to develop a balanced oil action
plan to enhance America's energy security, preserve domestic oil production
capacity, lower the cost of production and to explore other actions government
To enhance America's energy security, we have developed a plan for
using 28 million barrels of Federal Royalty Oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve (SPR) from off-shore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. We also
offered unutilized SPR capacity for long term commercial storage with storage
fees to be paid in oil to increase the inventory. These steps reduce the
vulnerability of the U.S. economy at tremendous cost savings to the taxpayer.
To help lower the costs of production, we just committed $18 million for a
technology-driven, industry cost-shared program to improve oil recovery from
endangered domestic reservoirs. We also kicked off a program to assist small
independents -- those with less than 50 employees -- that have specific
production problems, ranging from reservoir characterization to environmental
compliance. We are working with other agencies and the Administration to suspend
production for stripper oil wells on federal lands. These steps prevent
premature abandonment of important well capacity, maintain domestic production
and preserve oil and gas and small business infrastructure.
To lower the
cost of production, we are announcing plans to expand the use of
energy-efficient technologies to lower the cost of oil production. We are
inaugurating a pilot program for on-line oil and gas permitting for state
agencies. We are aggressively pursuing improved recovery from high-potential
reservoirs, and we have requested a 3.2% increase in oil technology research and
development for FY 2000 -- a modest reversal of the historic pattern of annual
reductions, but a reversal nonetheless.
In another action to preserve our
domestic production, the Department is exploring possibilities for targeted tax
relief. Such relief would have to be cost-effective and would require budget
offsets. Any tax relief proposal would require the concurrence of the rest of
the Administration, and the passage of legislation by the Congress.
the Department has moved very aggressively to reshape the way in which we make
technology investment decisions to maximize our national return on those
investments. Throughout the Department, and especially within the civilian
research and development sector, we have initiated technology "road-mapping."
The process involves cooperative discussions between the Department and industry
sectors to determine technology needs and the types of research and development
activities needed to address them. These roadmapping efforts serve two purposes.
They act as a catalyst for the industry to develop an effective R&D roadmap,
and they help us to identify those investments which are most appropriate for
the government to make. When appropriate, we are requiring significant
cost-sharing with industry to ensure marketplace of the research agenda and a
concomitant predisposition to deployment of the new technologies.
also requested increases in funding to develop and deploy new, energy efficient
technologies that would not otherwise receive adequate private-sector backing in
the face of historically low energy prices. These investments make good economic
sense, and good environmental sense. The FY 2000 budget includes a 20 percent
increase, or $209 million, to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy
Third, we strongly support legislation to restructure the
electricity industry to ensure that U.S. consumers receive the benefits of most
economically efficient energy production and that production and transmission
sectors are encouraged to maximize their efficiency.
Administration supports the progress that is being made towards promoting retail
competition in the electric utility industry. Our analysis indicates that
competition will benefit consumers and the economy to the tune of $20 billion
per year, and that also it will be good for the environment. The Department of
Energy will soon be forwarding an updated version of the Administration' s
Comprehensive Electricity Competition Plan to Congress. This revised legislation
will retain the basic framework of encouraging retail electric competition, but
providing the states and unregulated municipal and cooperative utilities the
flexibility they need to "opt out" if they determine that competition would not
be beneficial to their consumers. Under the leadership of Secretary Richardson,
the Department has been engaged in an effort to fine-tune the legislation the
Administration sent to Capitol Hill last year to: (1) make the bill more
consumer friendly, and (2) address issues which were not contained in the
original proposal (e.g., the role of federal utilities in a competitive
Approximately 20 states have enacted legislation or
promulgated regulations that either have led or will lead to the implementation
of retail competition programs. Almost every other state has the matter under
active consideration. While the states are playing a primary role in the move
towards competition, Federal action is necessary to remove the statutory
impediments that currently exist and also to ensure that interstate electricity
markets are sufficiently competitive and reliable. The Department believes that
it is important to act sooner rather than later to complement what is going on
at the state level, and stands ready to work with Congress to get the job done.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Department's Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy Program has five principal objectives: (1) to reduce U.S.
reliance on imported oil through improving efficiency and increasing the use of
domestic renewable energy resources, (2) to maintain U.S. technological
expertise and competitive advantage in global energy technology markets, (3) to
minimize and reduce pollution attributable to energy consumption, (4) to develop
and deploy technologies capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and (5) to
align the strategy for development of efficiency and renewable energy
technologies with the new demands of a deregulated electricity market.
The FY 2000 funding request for the Department's Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs includes an increase of $209 million
for a total of $1.2 billion. Key results supported by the FY 2000 budget request
- Power. Improve the performance, reduce the cost, and perform
highly leveraged field verifications of technologies that generate electricity
from renewable energy resources in a highly competitive, restructured utility
environment. Power Technology programs are expected to replace up to 1.2 Quads
of domestic primary energy by clean renewable resources, save consumers $1.4
billion, and reduce annual U.S. carbon emissions by nearly 24 million metric
tons of carbon equivalent by 2010. This is roughly equivalent to all the energy
used for a year in homes in Texas, our nation's second largest state.
Industry. Develop and facilitate the deployment of energy efficient technologies
in partnership with the most energy intensive industries. Investments are
expected to save up to 1.5 Quads, $6 billion, and 29 million metric tons carbon
equivalent (MMTCE) annually by 2010. This is roughly equivalent to all the
industrial energy used for a year in Pennsylvania, the fifth largest state in
- Transportation. The Partnership for a New Generation of
Vehicles (PNGV) will support development of technologies needed for an 80 mpg
family automobile, and more efficient small and heavy trucks. DOE Transportation
programs are expected to save up to one million barrels per day of oil, $9.9
billion, and reduce carbon 25 MMTCE annually by 2010. This is roughly equivalent
to the oil-based fuels used in a year for transportation in Florida, the third
largest state in the nation.
- Buildings. Work with industry, states, and
other key partners to develop and implement energy efficient buildings and
building technologies and programs leading to savings of up to 2.3 Quads, $16
billion, and 36 MMCTE annually by 2010. This is roughly equivalent to all
residential and commercial building energy use in Texas in a year. In addition,
the program will weatherize nearly 77,000 low income homes.
Accelerate efforts to deliver federal energy savings through $5 billion worth of
Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) with the private sector under the
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). Also accelerate utility financing and
procurement of energy efficiency products to achieve a 30 percent reduction in
federal energy efficiency. FEMP programs are expected to save up to 0.1 Quads,
$400 million, and 1.2 MMCTE annually by 2010.
The FY 2000
Fossil Energy R&D request is $364 million, which includes the use of $11
million in prior year balances for a total operating budget of $375 million, a
decrease of 2.4%. One of the key components of the Fossil Energy R&D request
is the development of the "Vision 21 Powerplex" the power plant of the future.
This includes modular technologies that could be integrated into anon-polluting
energy producing facility, such as membranes for the low-cost separation of
oxygen and other gases. The high efficiency of Vision 21 Plants (60 percent for
coal and 75 percent for gas) could, by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions
globally by 370 million tons of carbo per year. Sequestration R&D could lead
to low cost options for reducing U.S, emissions by an additional 250 million
tons of carbon during the same time frame. The economic benefits of Vision 21
Plants, through savings in electricity costs to consumers, could reach $5-15
billion annually by 2030. In addition, lower cost emission control technologies
could save $5 billion annually by 2010.
Within the Clean Coal Technology
Program, the Department is requesting the net deferral of $246 million in
funding until FY 2001 and beyond. This is due to changes in project plans for
pending projects that do not need to be funded at previously expected levels at
this time. During FY 2000, the Department expects to complete demonstration of
the third integrated gasification combined cycle project at Pinion Pine and to
continue operations at the Polk project. Activities at these two Clean Coal
Technology projects will provide the engineering foundation for a new generation
of powerplants with efficiencies in the 60 % range.
We have also proposed
$164 million to operate America's energy security insurance policy -- the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- without selling oil, including $5 million to
ensure adequate resources to operate the Reserve at its maximum draw down rate
during an emergency. We recently announced programs to use royalty oil and
facility leasing to increase the amount of oil stored in the Reserve. In
addition, we are completing upgrades of Reserve facilities, and by the end of FY
2000, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will have completed a comprehensive
systems refurbishment to assure physical system capability through the year
Key results supported by the FY 2000 budget request include:
Coal R&D. Start construction of a clean, advanced coal fire power system --
part of the final phase of the Low Emissions Boiler Program (LEBS) to be
completed in 2001. The system will use newly developed high temperature
filtration processes for superior environmental performance and provide the
foundation for a new generation of highly efficient, supercritical steam power
plants. Complete subscale testing of a high temperature air furnace technology
for use in highly efficient, indirectly-fired combustion power systems and in
Vision 21 Power Plexes. Complete initial laboratory tests of novel gaseous
separation (O2, H, CO2) technologies to provide low cost options for Vision 21
Power Plexes. Identify candidates for low-cost gas purification technologies to
support zero emissions goal of Vision 21 Power Plexes.
- Natural Gas and Oil
R&D. Continue the scale-up development of ceramic membranes for
gas-to-liquids processing; continue implementing the President's Committee of
Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommendation for a methane hydrates
recovery program; and continue development of advanced diagnostics and imaging
technologies for highly fractured and bypassed gas reservoirs and endangered
domestic oil reserves. Continue support for National Laboratory partnerships
with industry and the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council. Initiate Preferred
Petroleum Upstream Management Practices (PUMP).Continue a restructured advanced
gas turbine program for the 2001 introduction o f"quantum leap" turbines,
continue scale-up tests or a solid oxide fuel cell, and continue cost-reduction
R&D for molten carbonate fuel cell technologies.
- Naval Petroleum and
Oil Shale Reserves. Continue to operate NPR3 and to finalize equity
determination activities on NPR1.
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Maintain a
highly reliable level of operational readiness. Complete oil skimming and
decommissioning at Weeks Island. Initiate the long term monitoring of Weeks
Island to assure mine stability. Test major SPR systems in the post-Life
Extension program era at all sites. The addition of $5 million to the SPR
Petroleum Account will assure the capability to sustain drawdown operations.
- Clean Coal Technology. Continue prior cost-shared commitments to 20
projects projected to be active in FY 2000.
The FY 2000
request for Nuclear Energy programs is $269.3 million, a $6 million increase
from FY 1999. The Department's request includes $25 million for the "Nuclear
Energy Research Initiative." NERI supports peer-reviewed research and
development in advanced technologies that can address some of the barriers to
the long-term use of nuclear power in the United States. NERI will explore
advanced technologies associated with areas such as proliferation-resistant
reactor and fuel technologies, small and high efficiency reactor systems, and
methods for greatly enhancing safety and minimizing wastes. The Nuclear Energy
request also includes $30 million for the Fast Flux Test Facility at the
Department's Hanford Reservation. The Department is currently evaluating future
missions for the reactor and will make a decision this spring on the future of
the reactor. Funding at the request level would be adequate to fund minimum
surveillance and maintenance to keep it in a safe and environmentally-compliant
The Department is also evaluating the potential application of
electrometallurgical treatment technology to some of our spent fuel challenges.
Any decision to use this technology will be based, in part, on the results of an
ongoing National Research Council review, as well as on the completion of an
Environmental Impact Statement. The FY 2000 budget provides limited funding for
this technology pending completion of this evaluation.
The Nuclear Energy
budget also supports the Department's radioisotope power system production
These power systems are used by NASA and other government
agencies for deep space probes and other remote power applications. The
Department has adopted a strategy wherein the our budget is used only to
maintain physical and institutional capability to manufacture these systems,
while the cost of production will be charged to its federal agency "customers."
DOE is the only source of these power science and technology systems, and the
nation's ability to explore deep space depends on the availability of these
The Nuclear Energy budget also supports production and distribution
of isotopes for medicine and research where no commercially available
alternatives exist. The FY 2000 budget request proposes to launch the Advanced
Nuclear Medicine Initiative, to apply our unique expertise and capabilities in
isotopes to advance nuclear medicine technology. This initiative sponsors
peer-reviewed research that would include using the Department's large inventory
of alpha-emitting isotopes to fight a wide spectrum of illnesses.
of Nuclear Energy has primary responsibility within the Department for
implementation of Public Law 105-204, which requires the Department to prepare a
plan to begin construction of two depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion
plants at Portsmouth, Ohio and Paducah, Kentucky by January 31, 2004. Depleted
uranium hexafluoride is a residual product created from the operation of uranium
enrichment plants formerly operated by the Department and now operated by the
privatized U.S. Enrichment Corporation. The Department expects to publish a
formal solicitation for expressions of interest (EOI) in construction of these
plants within the next week. The Office of Nuclear Energy is currently working
to complete the statutorily required plan to support plant construction. The
Department expects to transmit the final plan to the Congress this spring once
responses are received from the EOI.
Key results supported by the FY 2000
budget request include:
- Solve critical technology issues with existing
- Conduct investigator-initiated, peer-reviewed innovative
nuclear energy research and development.
- Optimize the capability of
existing nuclear power plants to contribute to the reduction in U.S. CO2
emissions. - Develop and produce vital medical, research, and industrial
isotopes and their related applications.
- Maintain the capability to
produce safe nuclear power systems and related technologies for future space
- Support research and education programs at U.S. universities
through grants, fellowships, and scholarships.
- Manage Nuclear Energy
facilities and DOE research reactors in a safe, economical, and environmentally
- Develop advanced technologies to treat DOE spent fuel.
Implement a long-term management strategy for the Department's depleted uranium
- Maintain and/or deactivate the Department's
surplus non-weapons nuclear reactor sites.
The Department is requesting $5.9 billion for
the Office of Environmental Management, including privatization, or roughly $100
million more than the current year. Of this mount, all but $571 million is
funded under "Atomic Energy Defense Activities" as part of the Nation's defense
budget. The civilian portion of the budget request includes environmental
management activities at the Department's civilian research and production
facilities as well as funding for the Department's statutory obligations for
environmental restoration work at the West Valley facility in New York, uranium
mill tailings sites, and uranium enrichment facilities.
The FY 2000 request
reflects our effort to maintain a stable program that provides sufficient
resources to meet our multiple demands of risk reduction, compliance and
mortgage reduction. Because of the complexity of the cleanup and waste treatment
operations, reliable and sustained funding is essential for performing the
extraordinarily complex planning required for these long-lead time projects. The
commitments based on this budget will be accelerated cleanup and closure,
deployment of new technologies, and progress in resolving the nuclear waste
backlog. We have set very ambitious goals for closing several sites by the year
2006, including a number of major non- defense projects including the Weldon
Spring Site in Missouri, the Battelle Columbus Laboratory and the Mound Plant in
Ohio, and the Energy Technology Engineering Center in California.
towards our goal for cleanup, we not only reduce the hazards presently facing
our workforce and the public, but also reduce the long-term financial burden on
the taxpayer. For every year that a site remains open because cleanup has not
been completed, we are paying a "mortgage" of necessary overhead for activities
such as site security, facility operations, personnel, safety and other costs.
By completing cleanup sooner, particularly at sites where we have no other
continuing missions, we can substantially reduce these overhead costs. The FY
2000 budget request is now fully structured to emphasize site closure and
We have made substantial progress towards this vision.
We are completing site cleanups. In FY 1998, we finished cleanup of an entire
class of nuclear waste sites -- uranium mill tailings sites. Except for
remaining ground water contamination, we completed cleanup of 22 large uranium
mill tailings sites as well as 5,300 "vicinity properties," including elementary
schools and homes. This project included remediation of over 40 million cubic
yards of contaminated soil and material, a volume that would cover a football
field with a mound of dirt four miles high. Also in FY 1998, we completed the
primary vitrification campaign of the high-level wastes at the West Valley
Demonstration Project in New York, ahead of schedule, and have begun the
vitrification of high-level waste taeels which will continue through FY 2001.
I previously discussed the Department's responsibility for construction of
conversion plants for depleted uranium hexafluoride resulting from the operation
of uranium enrichment plants at Paducah, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio.
Decontamination and decommissioning of the uranium enrichment plants themselves,
including a third plant located at Oak Ridge, Tennessee are funded out of the
Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund established by the
Energy Policy Act of 1992. This fund also is used to reimburse private-sector
companies operating uranium and thorium processing sites for specified costs of
environmental cleanup within statutorily defined limitations. The Departments FY
2000 request for these activities is $240.2 million--a $20 million increase over
the current year. The increase is entirely within the uranium enrichment portion
of the fund.
Within the Defense Environmental Management account, we are
continuing work on the clean up of the Department's nuclear weapons complex. We
continue to have a goal of cleaning up several major sites, including Fernald,
Rocky Flats, and Mound, by the end of FY 2006, and to reduce the life-cycle cost
of completing clean up activities at our other environmental management sites.
We are also continuing with privatization projects at Carlsbad, Hanford, Idaho,
and Oak Ridge. The Department will be submitting shortly its annual report to
the Congress on the status of these privatization projects.
The Office of
Environmental Management has been playing a lead role in the Department-wide
effort to use roadmapping techniques to improve the way we develop and manage
science and technology programs. EM has constructed science and technology
roadmaps at three levels: overall EM investments in science and technology have
been mapped in the EM R&D Program Plan that was released in November 1998;
five problem area roadmaps have been built at the Focus Area level; and a number
of project level roadmaps have been developed, e.g., Hanford Vadose Zone and
Salt Treatment Alternatives at the Savannah River Site.
EM is applying
systems engineering principles to develop these roadmaps on an integrated,
complex wide basis. This complex-wide integration effort, championed by five
Field Office Managers and the EM Assistant Secretary, was a winner of the 1998
Government Technology Leadership Award, sponsored by Government Executive
magazine. Complex- wide integration activities, combined with science and
technology roadmapping efforts, will strengthen the scientific and technical
underpinnings of the EM program and ultimately reduce the cost of the cleanup
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
1998, the Department completed, and submitted to the President, the Congress,
and the public the Viability Assessment of a repository at Yucca
Mountain. This assessment assembled, for the first time, information
about all major elements of the site and proposed repository design. Based on
the results of the Viability Assessment, the Department believes the scientific
and technical work at Yucca Mountain should proceed to support
a decision by the Secretary of Energy in 2001 on whether to recommend the site
to the President for development as a geological repository. The assessment also
included a preliminary baseline design, cost and schedule for completion of the
proposed repository. For FY 2000, the Department is requesting $409 million, an
increase of $51 million over the current fiscal year to fund the additional cost
of these efforts. This includes $39 million of the $85 million reserved in the
fiscal year 1996 Defense Nuclear Waste Appropriation.These funds will support
continuation of technical evaluation of the site and refinement of engineering
and design for the repository.
Under the current schedule, the Department
would also complete and issue the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the
repository in the year 2000. If the site is suitable, the formal recommendation
of the site to the President would be made in 2001 and submission of the license
application to the Nuclear regulatory Commission would occur in 2002.
As I said earlier, the Department of Energy is, at its heart, a
science and technology agency. Science and technology are not merely parts of
this Department, they are the foundation on which all the Department's work is
based. Our request for science funding for FY 2000 is $2.8 billion, an increase
of $138 million. Included in this amount is $70 million for the Department's
role in the President's Information Technology for the 21st Century initiative.
This investment will enable us to develop and deploy new, far faster computers
for advanced simulation. We call it the "Scientific Simulation Initiative," or
"SSI." Our goal is to develop a multi-tera scale national computing
infrastructure for solving complex scientific and engineering problems of
national importance. We expect that this initiative, over the next five years,
will elevate simulation to a discovery tool alongside experimentation and
These new simulation capabilities will be powerful tools to do
things like design new, clean combustion devices, develop new pharmaceuticals,
explore new materials, and improve our weather and climate research, reaffirming
America's leading role in these fields.
We will continue investing in other
science programs that will have far reaching benefits to all of the country's
and the Department's research agenda. For example, we are continuing development
of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
This state of the art neutron scattering facility will lead to the development
of stronger and lighter materials, more efficient motors, and increase our
understanding of the structure of matter. The SNS is essential for restoring
American leadership in neutron scattering, a core capability for materials
It is important to emphasize here the contributions that the
Science program makes not only to the advancement of basic sciences in this
country and the continuation of U.S. scientific leadership, but also the direct
impact the science program has on the other three missions of the Department of
Energy. Energy Resources, Environmental Quality, and National Security are all
the beneficiaries of the steady stream of discoveries and expertise from the DOE
laboratory system, and from the universities and industries who perform work
funded by DOE.
The offices funded under the
Departmental Administration appropriations account provide headquarters with
guidance and support of all operating elements of the Department including such
as areas as human resources, administration, accounting, budgeting, legal
services, information management systems, congressional liaison and public
affairs. Management of program activities is funded by program direction funding
within each program budget. The Department is requesting $247.5 million dollars
for Departmental Administration, a $2.9 million decrease.
Working with Congress, we have reduced our Federal employee workforce by 25
percent in less than four years. We've also reduced our contractor employment by
31 percent since its peak in 1992. But this streamlining has left gaps in
important skill areas. To resolve this, in December, Secretary Richardson
announced a targeted effort to bring specialized skills into the Department as
part of his "Workforce 21" initiative. One of the first steps taken was the
development of an R&D Technical Managers Initiative, which now includes a
detailed action plan for improving R&D technical management, to ensure the
Department has the essential expertise to carry out our missions in the future.
We are also taking a comprehensive look at the structure of the Department,
looking for ways to improve efficiency, strengthen management, ensure
accountability, and improve reporting requirements. For example, we have
restructured the Research and Development Council, which I chair, to integrate
our research activities across the Department. We have also reinvigorated the
Laboratory Operations Board to ensure that our government-owned,
contractor-operated laboratories are being managed effectively and are fully
accountable to the Department.Conclusion
The Department's FY 2000 budget
request of $17.8 billion will, if funded, allow the Department to serve the
American people effectively, in pursuit of its core missions:
the frontiers of science and technology;
- Ensuring the security, diversity
and affordability of America's energy resources;
- Promoting national
security, and keeping our nuclear weapons stockpile safe, secure, and reliable;
- Cleaning up the environmental legacy of the Cold War.
we have submitted attempts to balance many competing demands from the scientific
community, from industry, and from communities that surround and host our
facilities, within current budgetary constraints. We believe that this budget,
along with some of the essential policy initiatives I have outlined, achieves
this balance, and we ask for your support.
Thank you again for the
opportunity to testify this morning. I would be pleased to answer any questions
the Subcommittee has regarding the FY 2000 budget.
LOAD-DATE: February 26, 1999