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ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 1984
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met at 10:10 a.m. in room SD-192, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Mark O. Hatfield (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Hatfield, Abdnor, Domenici, Johnston, and Burdick; also present, Senator Warner.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
OFFICE OF ENERGY RESEARCH STATEMENT OF ALVIN W. TRIVELPIECE, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ENERGY RESEARCH
Chairman HATFIELD. The committee will come to order.
This morning we begin our examination of the fiscal year 1985 budget for the Department of Energy programs which are under the jurisdiction of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.
As our first witness, we want to extend a very special welcome to the Secretary of Energy, Donald Paul Hodel.
Mr. Secretary, we look forward to your statement and your oral presentation. After the committee has had an opportunity to examine and pose questions to you, we will hear from Martha Hesse, the Assistant Secretary for Management and Administration.
Mr. Secretary, Senator Johnston, the ranking member of this subcommittee, is still detained at the Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing where I have been participating as well—Secretary Shultz is presenting his request for foreign aid—and he will be here shortly. I think rather than to have you make your statement at this time, the Senator, Mr. Warner of Virginia, has asked to participate in the committee session this morning and we are very happy to have him do so. Let us take care of that matter and then we will come back to your statement.
SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITIES RESEARCH ASSOCIATES PROGRAM Senator WARNER. Mr. Chairman, I am indeed grateful to you and the members of the subcommittee to allow me to be present this morning.
The Secretary of Energy is accompanied by Dr. Alvin W. Trivelpiece, the Director of the Office of Energy Research. The purpose of their presentation with reference to the SURA program is to provide the first legislative record of a project for this accelerator that is in the President's budget. At the moment there is a reprogramming action that is essential to an orderly development of this program by the Department of Energy. Eventually the authorization will come before the committee on which I am privileged to serve, the Energy Committee. In the meantime, it is to the interest of the Department of Energy to have expeditious treatment of the reprogramming action and I think an orderly process would be to have some legislative record made.
I do not suggest at this time that the subcommittee go into it in any great detail. The Secretary could briefly allude to it and Dr. Trivelpiece could indicate to the Chair that he is prepared to submit for the record a response to a series of questions that I believe will prepare an adequate record on which the reprogramming decision can be made.
Chairman HATFIELD. Thank you, Senator Warner.
Secretary HODEL. Mr. Chairman, I didn't understand what the Senator wanted.
Senator WARNER. Perhaps if you will just give us a paragraph description of what is in the President's budget, the need for this reprogramming, and a representation from Dr. Trivelpiece that he will very promptly respond for the record to certain questions that are put in today.
Secretary HODEL. Mr. Chairman, I haven't had the opportunity to discuss this. However, Dr. Trivelpiece, our Research Director and science advisor, is sitting beside me. Perhaps I could turn to him to do what the Senator has asked.
Chairman HATFIELD. I would indicate, too, that Dr. Trivelpiece is scheduled to be before this subcommittee on March 14 to present his formal testimony, and if he wishes to defer until that time responding, it is perfectly well to do so, otherwise, he can offer a brief response at this time.
SURA/CEBAF REPROGRAMMING Dr. TRIVELPIECE. I would be delighted to provide answers to any questions you might have at this time for the record and to any specific questions on why this reprogramming is necessary. I would be glad to answer them. I could start off by saying that what we are asking for in this reprogramming is for the preliminary work that we would normally do in advance of submitting a request to the Office of Management and Budget as part of the President's annual budget in order to have an adequate determination of costs and schedules and the other technical elements of the project. This does not represent a commitment to the construction project, but it is the kind of preliminary studies we would do prior to the preparation of a submission as part of the President's annual budget.
Senator WARNER. In your judgment it is essential that this be done in a very timely fashion in order to better prepare the Secretary and other members and yourself of the Department in their presentation for authorization before the Senate Energy Committee.
Dr. TRIVELPIECE. Yes, sir.
Senator WARNER. And that is the reason for the timing of action on this particular program.
Dr. TRIVELPIECE. That is correct.
Senator WARNER. And it is a subject that has received strong bipartisan support here in the U.S. Senate. I will put in the record a letter to you, Mr. Secretary, reflecting the endorsement by a number of Senators.
Secretary HODEL. Thank you, Senator.
FEBRUARY 14, 1984.
DEAR DR. HOLMGREN: Thank you for your recent letter regarding SURA's continuous electron beam accelerator.
I, too, am pleased that Secretary Hodel finally followed the advice of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee and selected the CEBAF design. You and your colleagues deserve congratulations for your excellent work.
Please be assured that I will continue to work with other Southern Senators to see that SURA is fairly treated in the appropriations process. With warm regards, I am Sincerely,
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS. LETTER FROM SENATOR LONG
FEBRUARY 13, 1984. Dr. HARRY D. HOLMGREN, President Department of Physics and Astronomy. University of Maryland College Park, Md.
DEAR DR. HOLMGREN: This is in response to your recent correspondence concerning the funding of SURA's continuous electron beam accelerator (CEBAF).
I, too, agree that this project will greatly benefit education and research in science and technology for the Southeast and the Nation. Let me assure you that I will be watching closely to make sure the Department of Energy's budget and appropriation bills include moneys needed for CEBAF.
I am looking forward to hearing from SURA and members of the Virginia delegation on efforts to add additional funds for CEBAF's construction. I appreciate your taking the time to keep me informed on the progress of this project. With every good wish, I am Sincerely yours,
LETTER FROM SENATOR WARNER, ET AL.
JULY 12, 1983. Hon. DONALD P. HODEL, Secretary of Energy, Washington, DC.
DEAR MR. SECRETARY: We urge you to confirm the recommendations of the Panel on Electron Accelerator Facilities (Bromley Panel) and the Department of Energy/ National Science Foundation (DOE/NSF) Nuclear Science Advisory Committee that the proposal of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) to develop a nuclear science electron accelerator laboratory (NEAL) be accepted and funded.
We were extremely pleased that these committees of some of America's most eminent physicists judged the SURA proposal superior to all others submitted. We understand that the technical quality of the design and the ability of SURA to develop the facility were given the greatest importance but that other factors were considered such as the impact of the proposed accelerator on graduate education and the ability to attract top, new personnel into nuclear physics. The NEAL will be the only facility of its kind in the world and will signal that the United States is serious about regaining its leadership in nuclear physics.
It is important to note that the panels did not evaluate the design of the SURA electron accelerator in vacuum. The creativity and knowledge of the SURA scientists who designed and will operate the facility were an inseparable part of this decision as was the close relationship with the 23 member universities. To remove the SURA design from the scientists and the universities who conceived it would be a destructive rejection of the peer review and scholastic integrity of the Bromley Panel recommendation.
The president of the American Physical Society, Dr. R. E. Marshak, has stated that: ... the procedures used by the Bromley Panel were extremely careful and evenhanded. . . The painstaking step-by-step procedures adopted are clearly a model of fairness and responsibility, and I urge that its carefully constructed recommendations be considered with equal care."
Mr. Secretary, we as U.S. Senators do not have the scientific expertise to evaluate the various electron accelerator proposals. We do recognize the critical importance of this decision in attracting top scientific talent to provide the best scientific advice possible.
The United States now faces serious international challenges to its economic prosperity and national security, and it is essential that we continue our pursuit of excellence in science and technology. If the Federal Government ignores the advice which it sought on the question of electron accelerators, the scientific community will question the productivity of making available its most highly qualified personnel to participate in objective review processes and recommend the best course of action for the Federal Government. The American scientific community certainly understands their international competition; the U.S. Government should heed their technical judgment.
Mr. Secretary, these two eminently qualified scientific panels recommended that the SURA proposal is a superior one which should be approved and funded. We urge you to confirm their advice. It is critical that you decide soon because we understand that your staff is withholding any research and development funds for SURA until you have made this decision.
The commitment of those of us from the SURA-member States to this project is an extremely strong one, as evidenced not only by the interest here in the Congress, but