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Verification and Control Technology Question: Please justify the 40 percent increase in your funding from FY 1983 to FY 1985.
Answer: A major factor in the increased resource requirements associated with this program relates to the fabrication of nuclear explosion detection sensors which will be deployed on the Global Positioning System satellites. The first of these satellites will be launched in April 1984 with full deployment of the entire system to be completed in the late 1980's.
Question: Please provide the funding for the various functions under Verification and Control.
Answer: In FY 1985, approximately $50.8 million or 72 percent, of the operating expenses for the Verification and Control Technology Program will be dedicated to technology activities which make important national contributions to monitoring the nuclear weapon and advance technology activities of foreign nations.
In the area of export control, the Department plans to expend approximately $2.2 million, or 3 percent, of our resources to assure that our responsibilities mandated by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, and the Export Administration Act of 1979, are properly executed.
In FY 1985, approximately $1.8 million or approximately 3 percent of our budget will be dedicated to fulfilling arms control responsibilities.
The remaining $3.8 million, or 5 percent, of our operating expenses will be dedicated toward maintaining overhead functions such as specialized communication and support services requirements.
Question: Please describe the coordination role of the office with regard to all intelligence gathering capabilities of the Department.
Answer: Under Executive Order 12333, U.S. Intelligence Activities, the Department of Energy has no intelligence-gathering functions (DELETED)
However, we do use intelligence gathered by other members of the Intelligence Community in our analytical efforts.
Question: Please describe the functions of the newly created Intelligence Office in Defense Activities.
Answer: The Intelligence Office is responsible for advising the Secretary and other Departmental officials on intelligence matters and for providing the interface and coordination between the Department and the Intelligence Community. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence serves as the DOE Senior Intelligence Officer (DELETED)
The Intelligence Office ensures that the expertise of the Department of Energy and its national laboratories is made available to the Intelligence Community. The office also ensures that the Department's intelligence requirements are articulated to the Intelligence Community so that the intelligence needs of the Department's program managers can be met.
Question: Why do the number of security investigations increase by 23 percent over FY 1984?
Answer: The 23 percent increase in full-field investigations is primarily associated with the weapons program. This includes a greater number of reinvestigations for individuals in sensitive production jobs and to support several new weapons programs scheduled to start up over the next two to three years requiring buildup of program management and support personnel.
Question: How many investigations are scheduled for FY 1984 and how many were performed in the first quarter of FY 1984?
Answer: A total of approximately 27,300 investigations are scheduled for FY 1984, of which approximately 16,700 are full field. For the first quarter of FY 1984, 5,325 full-field investigations were performed.
Question: Provide an analysis of security investigations programs showing the funds for defense and for other than defense programs.
Answer: I would be happy to provide the analysis you request for the record.
QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY SENATOR DOMENICI
Special Isotope Separation Program
Question: What recent technical progress has been made in the Pu-MLIS Program?
Answer: Recent technical progress in the development of the Molecular Laser Isotope Separation (MLIS) process at the Los Alamos National Laboratory includes the following:
- The photophysics data base is virtually complete;
DELETED of the required fuel to weapon-grade isotope separation has been demonstrated DELETED
- A compound for passivation and cleanup of the MLIS system
has been developed; and
- A violet laser that meets all of the requirements for
operation (SIS-III) has been
Question: What are the advantages of the Pu-MLIS process if it were fully developed to production status?
Answer: The MLIS approach to plutonium isotope separation offers several potential advantages, including the following:
Low plutonium inventory, reducing the severity of a breech of primary containment;
No tear-down of process components required in routine
Efficient feed utilization for small batch sizes associated with many research and development program needs;
Am-241 separation from plutonium occurs as an intrinsic
More conducive to the remote handling techniques necessary for the handling of high Pu-240 assay materials.
Question: What will SIS-III be used for following the initial process scale-up demonstration?
Answer: The Special Isotope Separation (SIS)-III is a laboratory scale facility that will demonstrate the feasibility of the MLIS process. After initial demonstration tests are completed, the SIS-III facility will be used for separating small quantities of isotopes for use in weapons research and development. This mission involves the use of highly radioactive feed and tails material. The small-scale and remote operating characteristics
of SIS-III appear ideally suited for this mission. Also, should the mission be implemented, the application is projected to be economically beneficial.
Question: The Department of Transportation did not request appropriations for the upgrade of roads identified by the Department of Energy and the State of New Mexico as appropriate for such upgrade as part of the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in South Eastern New Mexico. Does the Department of Energy support the appropriation of funds for this purpose ?
Answer: The Department of Energy agreed in December 1982 with the State of New Mexico to support requests for appropriations to upgrade highways in New Mexico. The Department continues to support the appropriation of funds for this purpose.
Question: Has the Department of Energy communicated this support to the Department of Transportation?
Answer: The Department has had discussions with Department of Transportation officials and has communicated this support to Congress. The attached letter to key committees was sent on July 30, 1983.
Question: The Department is presently seeking to further define the mission of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Project in negotiations with the State of New Mexico. It is my understanding that the Department is prohibited from disposing of high-level waste at the WIPP facility by law. Is this correct?
Answer: The Department of Energy is prohibited from permanently emplacing high-level waste in WIPP. Our mission is limited to the demonstration of transuranic waste disposal and experiments with defense high-level waste. The mission is consistent with Public Law 96-164, its Conference Report, House Report 96-702, and subsequent budget authorization legislation.
Question: Does the Department intend to do research and development on high-level waste at the WIPP facility?
Answer: The WIPP high-level waste activities are strictly limited to experiments. These experiments will contribute significantly to the state-of-the-art in radioactive waste disposal. They will also provide important information about the disposal of defense high-level waste in salt.
Question: Is it the Department's intent to remove such high-level waste from the facility prior to its closure?
Answer: The Department is committed to and is legally bound to remove the high-level waste from WIPP upon completion of the experiments.
Department of Energy
JUL 30 1983
Honorable James J. Howard
Works and Transportation
Dear Mr. Howard:
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is being developed as a research and development facility to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive waste from defense activities and programs of the United States. WIPP is located in southeast New Mexico about 25 miles east of Carlsbad. After eight years of site characterization and exploratory mining, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its decision to proceed with permanent facility construction on July 1, 1983. A copy of our decision is enclosed.
The Department of Energy and the State of New Mexico have been working cooperatively to assure the health and safety of the citizens of New Mexico. To this end DOE has entered into specific agreements to resolve health and safety concerns raised by the State. One of their primary concerns is highway safety, and DOE is committed to assisting the State in this matter. The enclosed letter from the Secretary of Transportation to Senator Pete V. Domenici further describes the situation with WIPP and the State of New Mexico.
The State has evaluated those highways which will be used for shipping radioactive waste to WIPP. Their studies have shown that these roads are presently unsafe and substandard and that they must be repaired and upgraded. The appropriation of $5.8 million (Conference Report to accompany H.R. 3329 -- Amendment Number 30) now being considered for New Mexico is urgently needed to begin the planning and engineering for improving the radioactive waste transportation routes. DOE fully supports the needs of New Mexico and urges you to support the requested appropriation.