VIII. Summary of
For detailed versions of the following recommendations please refer to the body
of the text.
- The primary mission of the weapons laboratories must be a safe, secure and
reliable nuclear stockpile in the absence of explosive testing. Science-based
stockpile stewardship is the approach chosen be the Department to achieve this
mission. It requires the following rank-order priorities:
- Attracting and retaining skilled scientists, engineers, and managers over
years ahead with the expertise required for the complex and changing
- Enhancing surveillance of weapons in the stock pile, during dismantlement,
and of the nuclear materials that accumulate as a result of the
- Continuing hydrodynamic testing to cope with problems;
- Assessing problems, reanalyzing previous data through numerical simulations,
and developing appropriate data bases; and
- Sustaining the scientific process of inquiry through experimentation.
- Non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, verification, and intelligence
support have become a major mission along with stewardship of the nuclear
stockpile. The Task Force notes that organizational compartmentalization
within the Department complicates and makes difficult the appropriate
inter-relationship and funding balance between support and non-proliferation,
and recommends that the Department's organization reflect their importance and
- The Task Force believes Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory should
enough nuclear weapons design competence and technology base to continue its
activities in non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, verification, an
intelligence support, to provide independent review for several years while
alternative approaches to peer review are developed, and to participate in
weapons relevant experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory would transfer as cost-efficiency allows over the
next five years its activities in nuclear materials development and production
to the other design laboratory. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would
transfer direct stockpile support to the other weapons laboratories as the
requirements of science-based stockpile stewardship, support of the DoD nuclear
posture, and the status of the test bans allow.
- The Task Force recommends continued funding support for the Dual-Axis
Radiographic Hydrodynamic Testing (DARHT) facility; continued near-term support
for the Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Experiment/Los Alamos Meson Physics
Facility (LANSCE/LAMPF); continued pursuit of advanced computing, including
computing through workstation networks; and proceeding with the National
Ignition Facility (NIF) as a research facility, balanced with respect to other
- The Task Force recommends that future production needs should be based on
residual capabilities of Pantex, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia
National Laboratories, and believes that no further investments in production
capability are needed at this time.
- The Department should organize itself to achieve greater integration among
its applied energy programs, between these programs and industry, and between
the applied energy and basic energy research work performed at the
- The integration of energy and environmental considerations should be a
fundamental organizing principle for much of the Department's activities.
- The Department and the national laboratories should move promptly to
establish clear mission statements for the laboratories which will be utilized
as tools for budget decisions and long-term strategic planning.
- Mechanisms should be established to enhance the management of the
multi-program laboratories as a system.
- The Department should establish lead laboratories according to mission
assignments and programmatic strengths.
- The Department should establish Centers of Excellence within the laboratory
- Sustained improvements in DOE management and leadership are needed both at
senior levels in the Department and in positions below the Deputy Assistant
- A comprehensive remedy to the array of problems plaguing the EM program can
only be achieved by a substantial commitment and high priority addressing the
challenges of this program.
- Closing the science/engineering - applications disconnect should be dealt
with by the establishment of an "Environmental Advisory Board (EAB)," reporting
to the Under Secretary.
- The national laboratories together have a critical role to play, a role
much larger than at present, in performing high-quality science and engineering
for the Environmental Management program.
- The Department must take positive steps to make the national laboratories
available to the entire government system as a powerful environmental technical
- DOE must address more forcefully the task of renegotiating the unrealistic
or unfeasible elements of the cleanup compliance agreements that it has made
with State and Federal agencies.
- Much more comprehensive involvement by members of the affected public in
decision making should be employed to reduce the bitterness, distrust and
distress that continues to provide a troublesome element in DOE's conduct of
- The bulk of the EM environmental challenges, although presenting no
immediate threats to public health or safety, still should be addressed with a
heightened sense of urgency.
- The Department of Energy should move to strengthen its efforts in
fundamental science and engineering, both at the laboratories and in the
- The DOE should pay close attention to ensuring that a proper balance is
maintained between the universities and the national laboratories in the
performance of DOE-related basic research, both now and in the future.
- Support for operating and maintaining large facilities in the DOE's Office
of Energy Research should be budgeted separately from funds for specific
- The DOE should redouble its efforts to achieve better integration of basic
research, technology development programs, and their applications, particularly
in the area of environmental remediation.
- Basic research at the laboratories should be more fully integrated into the
national and international research community.
- There should be additional stimulation of laboratory-university cooperation
in basic research.
- The government-funded technology transfer/industrial competitiveness
activities of the national laboratories should be focused on industries and
areas of technology that contribute directly to the DOE's primary missions in
national security, energy and environment.
- Laboratory directors should have the flexibility to initiate or to approve
new technical projects at the periphery of current laboratory activities.
- Competitive selection and more rigorous technical and merit review by
external experts should be applied broadly within the Department's CRADA
Over a period of one to two years, the Department and Congress
develop and implement a new modus operandi of Federal support for the national
laboratories, based on a private sector style - "corporatized" -
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