It's a pleasure for me to testify before this subcommittee as the DOE technical witness in the case United States v. Peter Hoong-Yee Lee -- which was heard March 26, 1998 in United States District Court; Central District of California; The Honorable Judge Terry J. Hatter presiding.
TESTIMONY OF THOMAS L. COOKBEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
NONPROLIFERATION AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION
NIS-9/WEAPON DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT AND THE COURTS
March 29, 2000
Dr. Peter Lee confessed in a plea bargain to having knowingly passed a document classified Secret Restricted Data to China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) associates during one of his trips to Peoples Republic of China (PRC). The CAEP and its subordinate institutes and laboratories are responsible for nuclear weapon design and development in PRC.
My involvement in the case began in Fall 1997, when I was on a change-of-station at DOE Headquarters assigned to the Office of Energy Intelligence. At the request of Notra Trulock, III, who was Acting Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at that time, I supported the on-going FBI investigation code-named Royal Tourist. My role was to provide DOE assessments of technical information emerging for FBI interrogation of Dr. Peter Lee.
In February 1998, I participated in a two-day interrogation session with FBI agents assigned to the case. An electronics expert from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a DOE/DP Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) expert were also involved, as were DOE security personnel. During the interview, we were allowed to ask questions classified at the Secret Restricted Data level. Dr. Peter Lee repeatedly denied any knowledge of, or interest in, classified programs and publications. He was however the author and/or technical editor on some of these publications. Some of his work would be declassified by post-1993 guidelines; some would not.
I attended the sentencing of Dr. Peter Hoong-Yee Lee. DOE Headquarters Safeguards and Security Office Director, Joe Mahaley, and I were declared witnesses for the U.S. Government (USG). If Judge Hatter had requested additional testimony beyond the written submissions, Mr. Mahaley would have taken the stand in open court; I would have testified "in camera" at the S/NF/RD level. DOE Headquarters Intelligence Office Director, Notra Trulock, III, was also present as a potential witness. Security personnel Don Temple and Larry Wilcher (DOE, Germantown), with whom I had worked on all previous trips in support of FBI/Los Angeles, were also present.
Had we gone "in camera", my testimony would have included a description of detailed classified Nevada Test Site diagnostics systems that Dr. Peter Lee worked on or helped develop, and it would have expanded my assessment of the impact such knowledge could have had on PRC NW science. I would not however have been able to declare that I knew with certainty of specific additional classified information passed beyond that plea bargained.
It is my assessment that Dr. Peter Lee is a world-class diagnostician who has expertise relevant to NW science. Development of methods for measuring NW performance was a serious challenge for PRC in the 1980's. This would have been especially true if, as has been reported in the press, they moved underground and tested neutron bomb concepts and more modern strategic weapons.
At this time I would happy to read my official damage assessment, which is part of the official court record, or to answer questions. Thank you.
Declaration of Technical Damage to United States National Security
Assessed in Support of United States v. Peter Hoong-Yee Lee
I, Thomas L. Cook, being duly sworn, do hereby depose and say:
1. I am a Technical Staff Member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. I have spent more than 26 years in professional research associated with various aspects of US nuclear weapon programs. I have actively participated in Atomic Energy Commission and Department of Energy (DOE) research programs at the Nevada Test Site and in weapons effects simulations sponsored by Defense Nuclear Agency and Department of Defense.
2. Through the Counter Intelligence Division of DOE/OEI, I have assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in their assessment of the impact on the PRC nuclear weapon program of classified technical information determined to have been transferred by Peter Hoong-Yee Lee to representatives of institutions in, subordinate to, or associated with tasks in support of programs of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP). My review of Peter Hoong-Yee Lee's publications lead me to assess that he is an excellent diagnostician whose focus has been on the development and implementation of, and on the interpretation of data from, experimental systems that measure radiation-matter interactions at extreme conditions, such as those attainable in direct and indirect laser-produced and nuclear-weapon- produced plasmas. I expand these concepts below.
B. Technology Discussion
1. The research and development programs pursued by Peter Hoong-Yee Lee and co-workers during his years at two DOE national laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, generally relate to the design of diagnostic schemes and equipment associated with measuring the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter. The research related to the design and evaluation of fusion capsules and to measuring and engineering the transport of radiation in special cavities. During the early 1980's the DOE spent billions of dollars in classified research, conducted in underground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site and in high-energy laser laboratories, to explore the physics of these processes. The studies had both military and commercial objectives. The laser simulation component of the U.S. science based stockpile stewardship program, which is so important to certifying nuclear weapon reliability under the "zero-yield" constraints of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), has its foundations in this early research.
2. Information contained in the classified DOE document that Peter Hoong-Yee Lee admits to having transferred to the PRC presents a scheme for interpreting temperature measurements made with x-ray detectors on radiation emerging from a plasma in a hollow cavity. References in the paper document Lee's formal participation in broad classified inertial confinement fusion (ICF) diagnostic development programs. These programs had specific classified objectives; including the measurement of material properties necessary for benchmarking classified computer code simulations, calibration of' underground nuclear test (UGT) data in fusion laboratories, and adaptation of ICF diagnostic techniques for use in UGT's. Some technologies with which Peter Hoong-Yee Lee was associated are now unclassified because of academic developments in ICF research; others remain classified nuclear weapon science.
1. The measurement of radiation-matter interactions and time-resolved and timeintegrated laser-plasma diagnostics represent exactly the critical technologies important to a developing nuclear weapon state that has an active nuclear testing program. The capability to measure the performance of various parts of the nuclear weapon facilitates the evolution from rudimentary nuclear devices to intermediate and advanced designs. These characteristics of the warhead determine the deployment options and the appropriateness of mission. Possession of only rudimentary and/or intermediate class warheads limit these military options. Advanced nuclear warheads could be important to the Chinese for use on cruise missiles, on road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and on submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and as multiple re-entry vehicles (MRV) and multiple independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).
2. The above facts are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Thomas L. Cook, PhD
Technical Staff Member
Los Alamos National Laboratory