Congressional Documents

EXCERPTS - DOE Provisions




105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-132
_______________________________________________________________________


 
        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998


                               ----------                              

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

                     COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                   ON

                               H.R. 1119

                             together with

                    ADDITIONAL AND DISSENTING VIEWS

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

                                            

 June 16, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed




                  HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY
                       One Hundred Fifth Congress

               FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman
BOB STUMP, Arizona                   RONALD V. DELLUMS, California
DUNCAN HUNTER, California            IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio                 NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia         JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South 
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah                    Carolina
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania            SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado                OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey               LANE EVANS, Illinois
STEVE BUYER, Indiana                 GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida            NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York             MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
JAMES TALENT, Missouri               ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama               JANE HARMAN, California
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland         PAUL McHALE, Pennsylvania
HOWARD ``BUCK'' McKEON, California   PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
RON LEWIS, Kentucky                  ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma            SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas                TOM ALLEN, Maine
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana          VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia             JIM TURNER, Texas
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee              F. ALLEN BOYD, Jr., Florida
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida             ADAM SMITH, Washington
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North          LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
    Carolina                         JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina       MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
SONNY BONO, California               CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
JIM RYUN, Kansas
MICHAEL PAPPAS, New Jersey
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
                    Andrew K. Ellis, Staff Director



                            C O N T E N T S

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DIVISION C--DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NATIONAL SECURITY AUTHORIZATIONS 
  AND OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS.......................................   475

TITLE XXXI--DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAMS......   475

  PURPOSE........................................................   475
  OVERVIEW.......................................................   475
  ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST......................................   488
      Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative and Control of 
        Supercomputer Technology.................................   488
      Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility at the Los 
        Alamos National Laboratory...............................   488
      Defense Asset Acquisition..................................   489
      Defense Environmental Restoration and Waste Management.....   489
      Enhanced Surveillance Program at the Production Plants.....   491
      Inertial Confinement Fusion................................   491
      Infrastructure and Manufacturing Improvements at Weapons 
        Production Sites.........................................   492
      Initiatives For Proliferation Prevention...................   492
      Laboratory Review of Missile Defenses......................   493
      Management and Organization of DOE's Nuclear Weapons 
        Program..................................................   493
      Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting Program......   494
      Naval Reactors.............................................   494
      Nuclear Energy.............................................   495
      Operation of F and H canyons...............................   495
      Privatization..............................................   495
      Program Direction for Defense Programs.....................   498
      Recurring General Provision Relating to Availability of 
        Funds....................................................   498
      Stockpile Life Extension Program at Y-12 Plant.............   499
      Technology Transfer........................................   499
      Transfer of Funds Associated with Security at Rocky Flats 
        Site and the Fernald Site................................   499
      Tritium Production.........................................   499
      Worker and Community Transition............................   500
  LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS.........................................   501
    Subtitle A--National Security Program Authorization..........   501
      Section 3101--Weapons Activities...........................   501
      Section 3102--Environmental Restoration and Waste 
        Management...............................................   501
      Section 3103--Other Defense Activities.....................   501
      Section 3104--Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal...............   501
    Subtitle B--Recurring General Provisions.....................   501
      Section 3121--Reprogramming................................   501
      Section 3122--Limits on General Plant Projects.............   502
      Section 3123--Limits on Construction Projects..............   502
      Section 3124--Fund Transfer Authority......................   502
      Section 3125--Authority for Conceptual and Construction 
        Design...................................................   502
      Section 3126--Authority for Emergency Planning, Design and 
        Construction Activities..................................   502
      Section 3127--Funds Available for all National Security 
        Programs of the Department of Energy.....................   503
      Section 3128--Authority Relating to Transfer of Defense 
        Environmental Management Funds...........................   503
    Subtitle C--Program Authorizations, Restrictions, and 
      Limitations................................................   503
      Section 3131--Ballistic Missile Defense National Laboratory 
        Program..................................................   503
    Subtitle D--Other Matters....................................   503
      Section 3141--Plan for Stewardship, Management, and 
        Certification of Warheads in the Nuclear Weapons 
        Stockpile................................................   503
      Section 3142--Repeal of Obsolete Reporting Requirement.....   503
      Section 3143--Revisions to Defense Nuclear Facilities 
        Workforce Restructuring Plan Requirements................   503
      Section 3144--Extension of Authority for Appointment of 
        Certain Scientific, Engineering, and Technical Personnel.   504
      Section 3145--Report on Proposed Contract for Hanford Tank 
        Waste Vitrification Project..............................   504
      Section 3146--Limitation on Conduct of Subcritical Nuclear 
        Weapons Tests............................................   504
      Section 3147--Limitation on Use of Certain Funds Until 
        Future Use Plans are Submitted...........................   505
      Section 3148--Plan for External Oversight of National 
        Laboratories.............................................   505
      Section 3149--University-Based Research Center.............   505
      Section 3150--Stockpile Stewardship Program................   505
      Section 3151--Reports on Advanced Supercomputer Sales to 
        Certain Foreign Nations..................................   505

TITLE XXXII--DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD 
  AUTHORIZATION..................................................   507

  LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS.........................................   507
      Section 3201--Authorization................................   507
      Section 3202--Plan for Transfer of Functions of Defense 
        Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to Nuclear Regulatory 
        Commission...............................................   507

.............

  Additional views of John Spratt................................   770



DIVISION C--DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NATIONAL SECURITY AUTHORIZATIONS AND OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS TITLE XXXI--DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAMS PURPOSE Title XXXI would authorize appropriations for the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE) for fiscal year 1998, including management and operations of programs for research, development, and production in support of the armed forces, the production of strategic and critical materials for the armed forces, the protection of critical materials, materials and information necessary for national defense, management of defense radioactive wastes, environmental management, naval nuclear propulsion, and other military applications of nuclear energy. OVERVIEW The fiscal year 1998 budget request for DOE national security programs totaled $13.6 billion. Of the total amount requested, $3.6 billion was for weapons activities, $5.0 billion for environmental restoration and waste management, $2.2 billion for defense fixed asset acquisition, $1.0 billion for environmental management privatization, $1.6 billion for other defense activities, and $190.0 million for defense nuclear waste disposal. The committee recommends $11.0 billion, a decrease of $2.6 billion. The following table summarizes the request and the committee recommendations: ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative and Control of Supercomputer Technology The budget request contained $204.8 million for the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) and $151.5 million for stockpile computations and modeling. The committee recommends funding these two programs within the stockpile stewardship program at the requested level. While the committee believes that the continued viability of these two programs is critical to the Department of Energy's ability to certify the reliability of our nation's nuclear stockpile, it is disturbed by reports that U.S. manufactured supercomputers have been transferred to the premier Russian nuclear weapons laboratories without the required government export licenses. In fact, a company that recently admitted transferring supercomputers without an export license to a Russian nuclear weapons laboratory is a DOE contractor on the accelerated strategic computing initiative. Supercomputers can be used to enhance and maintain a nuclear device by processing complex computer simulations to determine the effect of modifications of the device. The U.S. government requires exporters to apply for licenses to export supercomputers to such Russian nuclear facilities so the government can review the prospective transfer and determine the appropriateness of the computer in question for its stated end-use, the history of the facility in question, and the risk the computer would be diverted to prohibited end-uses. It is the stated policy of the U.S. government to deny such exports for use in proliferation-related activities such as research on, or development, design, manufacture, construction, testing, or maintenance of any nuclear explosive device or components and subsystems of such a device. The use of U.S. supplied supercomputers in such proliferation-related activities could have detrimental effects on U.S. national security. The committee expects the Department of Energy to take a more assertive role in the export control of sensitive technologies that have nuclear proliferation implications. The Department of Energy should take the lead in the preventing hazardous transfers of nuclear technologies to countries and end-users of proliferation concern. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Energy to implement the necessary policy and programmatic changes to ensure that the Department is able to effectively track and assess the flow of specific technologies with nuclear applications to countries of proliferation concern. The committee recommends elsewhere in this title additional reporting requirements for the Department and the ASCI contractors to ensure the protection of this program. Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory The budget request contained $15.7 million for the incremental component of the construction upgrades at the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The total project cost has been estimated at $174.0 million. The committee has been advised by the Department that construction has been suspended as the result of a preliminary review indicating that work was being performed outside theauthorized scope and that an investigation has been initiated. The committee is further concerned with reports of high cost and apparent overruns during the first phase of this project. Because of the uncertainty and the likely need for substantial revisions in the estimates of the total project cost, the committee does not recommend funding of the incremental request. The committee adopts this position, without prejudice, and upon receipt of additional information and the results of the investigation will reevaluate the budget request for incremental funding for this project in this fiscal year. Defense Asset Acquisition The budget request contained $2.2 billion for defense asset acquisition. The committee rejects the recommendation of Department to establish a new defense asset acquisition account. This proposal would have consolidated construction projects for all DOE national security programs into one account. The committee believes that this proposal would unnecessarily complicate its ability to ascertain appropriate funding levels from year to year in what are clearly distinctly different programs. The committee also rejects the Department's proposal to fully fund construction projects in the year they are first requested. Not only does the Department's proposal request full funding for projects which are being requested for the first time in this fiscal year but also for projects which have been authorized in prior years. The Department's proposal would require an additional fiscal year 1998 authorization of $1.5 billion above the funds requested in fiscal year 1997 for this purpose. The committee recommends authorization of the fiscal year 1998 incremental funding component for each of the authorized construction projects in weapons activities, environmental management, and other defense activities accounts. Defense Environmental Restoration and Waste Management The budget request contained $5.0 billion for the activities of the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management. The committee recommends an authorization of $5.3 billion. The committee also recommends transferring $743.6 million from the subaccount entitled ``environmental restoration'' to the closure fund for the purpose of accelerating the closure of the Rocky Flats Environmental Site and the Fernald Environmental Management Project. This action would allow the consolidation of management and funding activities for these sites into one account at the level requested in the budget. The committee recommends transferring $45.2 million from the operations and maintenance account within the stockpile management program to the closure fund. This transfer of $45.2 million represents the costs associated with the provision of security at the Rocky Flats Site and the Fernald site. The committee believes that this consolidation of all activities and the costs associated with those activities will provide greater control and accountability. The committee is further designating these sites as ``closure sites'' pursuant to the provisions of section 3143 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201). The committee believes that the Department should consider, as part of its fiscal year 1999 budget request, the continued consolidation of all national security funding for these two sites into the closure fund. The committee is disappointed that the Department chose to include only $15.0 million in the closure fund in fiscal year 1998. The committee further recommends an increase of $102.0 million for the closure account. Of this amount, the committee recommends allocating $69.9 million to the Rocky Flats site and $32.1 million to the Fernald site. The committee strongly supports the efforts of the adjacent communities to close these two sites within the next ten years. The committee intends to assure through appropriate funding levels that this goal is achieved. The committee is persuaded that the overall savings to the Department by accelerating the clean up at these sites will be measured in the billions of dollars. The committee also recommends that of the funds authorized within the subaccount entitled ``waste management'', an additional $40.0 million be allocated to the Savannah River site to allow the consolidated incineration facility to operate at full capacity, as originally intended, to assure that the Defense Waste Processing Facility operates at its designed capacity, and that the site has sufficient funds to accelerate the disposal of transuranic waste. At the funding level requested, only periodic burning and treatment of benzene produced in support of the high level waste vitrification effort is possible. These additional funds will allow the full time incineration of other low and mixed radioactive wastes, meet the site treatment plan commitment, and mitigate the use of the E-Area low level waste vault. Finally, the committee urges the Department to assess the cost savings that may be available if it is able to successfully develop a spent fuel or high level waste storage cask system using high density concrete. Of the funds authorized in section 3102 of this title, no more than $3.0 million may be made available for this demonstration project. The committee recommends reducing the budget request for the subaccount entitled ``program direction'' by $100.0 million. The committee recommends reducing support service contractors, training and other related expenses by $60.0 million and federal employment expenses, including salaries and travel, by 15 percent or $40.0 million. Despite reductions to this account in each of the last two fiscal years, the Department has failed to significantly reduce federal employment levels as directed by this committee, particularly at DOE headquarters. Instead, the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management has chosen to transfer federal employees and their headquarters function to the field and to detail individuals to the Environmental Protection Agency. This action occurred despite protestations from site managers who were not requesting additional employees. With respect to the detailing of employees to the Environmental Protection Agency, the committee is concerned that scarce DOE funds are being spent on activities which are unrelated or only tangentially related to the Department's core remediation effort. The committee notes that the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management currently has staffing levels that are almost 20 percent above the levels recommended by the Department as part of its own Strategic Alignment Initiative. Finally, the committee recommends reducing the budget request for the subaccount entitled ``technology development'' by $75.0 million. The committee does not support the Department's proposal to create a new technology deployment initiative office. Based on the supporting documentation provided to the committee, it appears thatthis program is really not a program to deploy innovative technology, but rather an effort to accelerate remediation efforts by using existing commercially available technology. This appears to be the case at several sites, particularly at Fernald. The committee notes that the Department has chosen to reduce the level of funding for this account below last year's request. The Department apparently agrees with the committee that this office has been unable to execute a program which was intended to develop and deploy new remediation technology in a timely manner. The committee remains concerned that the fundamental problems that have resulted in expenditures of over $2.0 billion for technology development over the last several years, with very little actual field deployment, have yet to be corrected. With the transition to fixed priced contracts over the next several years, the role of technology development will necessarily shift to the private sector. With the proper profit incentives included in these contracts, the private sector will, on its own, develop the technologies needed to fulfill the terms of the contracts. The Department should consider these facts in preparing its fiscal year 1999 budget request. Enhanced Surveillance Program at the Production Plants The budget request contained $60.0 million to implement the Enhanced Surveillance Program (ESP) within the weapons stockpile management account. The committee recommends $75.0 million, an increase of $15.0 million. The ESP, involving the four production plants and the three laboratories, is designed to develop new technologies for detecting degradation in aging weapons components in order to ensure, reliability, safety, effectiveness, and performance of existing weapons beyond their planned service life. While the committee recognizes that this is a complex-wide initiative, it expects that the additional resources provided by this increase will be directed to the production plants, particularly those engaged in pit disassembly activities and monitoring of limited life components. For example, if the Pantex Plant does not receive additional funds for enhanced surveillance activities, it will not be prepared, from an engineering and process development standpoint, to perform its stockpile life extension mission. Inertial Confinement Fusion The budget request contained $217.0 million for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) operating program. The committee recommends $217.0 million, the amount requested. Within the total committee recommendation, $26.1 million shall be made available for the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, an increase of $2.5 million. The committee notes that many non-governmental organizations have questioned the need and the cost of the Department of Energy's National Ignition Facility (NIF). The committee also notes that currently the Department is in litigation over its Programatic Environmental Impact Statement on Stockpile Stewardship and Management. The committee urges the Secretary to ensure that the defense program office manages the NIF construction project in a manner that does not make irreversible commitments of resources to construction until the outstanding environmental process issues are addressed in the district court. Peer review is a fundamental element of analyzing, developing and understanding the answers to the complex scientific, engineering and technical issues that go into determining whether or not to continue the substantial investments required in any facility such as the NIF. The committee directs the Secretary to request the National Academy of Sciences to continue to review, operating in full compliance with applicable law, the scientific and programmatic issues surrounding the NIF. Infrastructure and Manufacturing Improvements at Weapons Production Sites The budget request contained $588.0 million for infrastructure programs within the core stockpile management program. The committee recommends $623.0 million, an increase of $35.0 million. This increase would assist the production sites in successfully completing the transition from older, excess-capacity facilities to smaller, more efficient units. The committee is concerned that the Department has failed to address basic infrastructure problems, such as roof repairs, steam and condensate piping upgrades, power deficiencies, obsolete smoke detectors, and fire alarm control panels at the Pantex plant. Pantex is the central facility where the mechanics of the stockpile life extension program (SLEP) will be performed for every weapon in the enduring stockpile. A degraded Pantex places the success of the SLEP into question. The committee also believes that substantial long-term cost savings will accrue to the Department if it is able to accelerate the downsizing initiative currently underway at the Kansas City plant. With this acceleration, the Department will need to purchase and install new manufacturing equipment to enhance the expected efficiencies that should occur. The committee expects that the remainder of the increase, would be applied to address the manufacturing problems at these two sites through implementation of the Advanced Design and Production Technologies (AdaPT) program and the Process Development Program (PDP). Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention The budget request contained $234.6 million for activities related to the prevention of weapons proliferation within the office on nonproliferation and national security. The committee recommends $205.0 million, a reduction of $29.6 million from the request. The committee recommends that this reduction be applied against the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program. The committee remains unconvinced of the merits of this program and other programs whose goal is to promote long term stability within the states of the Former Soviet Union. The committee is further concerned by reports that nearly half the aid intended for Russian scientists is being siphoned off by duties, regional taxes, overhead charges and suspected payoffs. Laboratory Review of Missile Defenses In House Report 104-563 accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201), the committee required the directors of each of the nuclear weapons laboratories to submit a report that assessed ballistic missile defense expertise and problem solving capabilities within their respective organizations. The laboratories have a long-standing role in nonproliferation, counter-proliferation, and conventional defense activities, and a history of significant contributions to missile defense programs. The committee required this most recent assessment of the laboratories' capabilities to determine if greater laboratory involvement could strengthen the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) program. Options for greater involvement by the nuclear weapons laboratories ranged from the use of supercomputing and modeling capabilities, which can provide simulation tools to support risk reduction in BMD system development and deployment, to the use of the laboratories' Strategic Target System for Theater Missile Defense and National Missile Defense test and evaluation. As a result of this study, the committee recommends, elsewhere in this title, the establishment of a new program office that will integrate the existing BMD weapons laboratory expertise with the Department of Defense Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). This new program office would be chaired on a rotating basis by the laboratory directors. Office staff would be assigned specific-problem solving tasks in response to requests for assistance by the BMDO. Of the funds available for core stockpile stewardship in fiscal year 1998, the committee recommends that $50.0 million be made available to implement this program. The committee believes that the laboratories have resources and expertise that can be of great use to the Department of Defense not only in the areas noted above, but also in areas such as metallurgy, acoustics and component analysis. The committee believes that if the laboratories are successful in solving the problems related to the BMD program in a cost effective way, then it is likely that this program will be expanded in future years to such areas as submarine development and component analysis. Management and Organization of DOE's Nuclear Weapons Program Section 3140 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201) directed the Department to conduct a study of the current management structure of the nuclear weapons program, including an analysis of the functions performed at headquarters, the operations offices, and the applicable area and site offices. The study made a number of recommendations designed to improve the management operations within the weapons programs. These recommendations were made as a result of conclusive evidence assembled by the authors of the report that significant management problems existed between headquarters and the field offices and that there were too many employees at both locations. The report concluded that these excess employees create work not only for themselves but for others as well, undermining attempts to establish disciplined staffing processes. The report recommended that DOE ``streamline and reduce headquarters and field staffing-- federal employees and contractors by a least 20-30 percent.'' The committee is concerned over the possible confusion and inefficiencies that may result from the existing organizational arrangement. While the committee received a letter from the Department on June 4, 1997 explaining the actions taken to date, these actions were long overdue in light of the serious nature of the report's findings. It remains to be seen whether the actions proposed will in fact address the fundamental problems outlined in the report. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Energy to provide a follow-up report to the congressional defense committees by October 15, 1997, on the status of the corrective action being taken. Upon receipt of this follow-up report, the committee intends to schedule a series of hearings to examine the state of the nuclear weapons complex, its future missions, and its organizational structure. Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting Program The committee recognizes that the development and implementation of the Materials, Protection, Control, and Accounting Program for fissile materials in Russia addresses important national security interests of the United States. Because fissile materials will remain in Russia for 20 to 40 years before disposition can be safely implemented and completed, the security of these fissile materials during all aspects of storage and disposition is of considerable importance to U.S. national security. Out of the unexpended balances in the Nonproliferation and National Security account, the Department is urged to allocate up to $3.0 million for the implementation of a nuclear materials safety management program modeled after the best lessons-learned from the joint U.S.- Russian disposition activities. The committee recognizes the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium for its leading work within the Department on joint U.S.-Russian efforts in the area of nuclear materials safety management. Finally, the committee recommends that the Department develop a comprehensive nuclear materials safety management program budget for fiscal year 1999. Naval Reactors The budget request contained $632.5 million for naval reactors. The committee recommends $678.5 million, an increase of $43.0 million, to allow the orderly completion of the prototype inactivation work. This increase would prevent delays in the A1W-A defueling; expedite related data retrieval from the plant's core; prevent delays in the inactivation of the Windsor site and the D1G and S3G reactor plants at the Kesselring site; and allow planned remediation efforts to continue on schedule at the naval reactor facility in Idaho. Nuclear Energy The budget request contained $81.0 million for nuclear energy activities, including $25.0 million for nuclear technology research and development and $50.0 million for the international nuclear safety program. The committee recommends $47.0 million, a decrease of $34.0 million. The former activity, which involves electrometallurgical research, was funded in fiscal year 1997 by DOE's civilian technology office and not through an authorization within this committee's jurisdiction. The committee continues to believe this research should not be funded within DOE'snational security authorization and, therefore, recommends $12.0 million be authorized for this purpose. The committee does not intend to fund this program in future years. The international nuclear safety program has in the past been carried out by the Agency for International Development using foreign assistance funds. The committee believes these activities should be funded in the foreign assistance budget. Accordingly, the committee recommends $25.0 million be authorized for this purpose. Again, the committee does not intend to fund this program in future years within DOE's national security authorization. Within line items entitled Nuclear Security and the Chornobyl Shutdown Initiative, the committee recognizes the United States commitment to its G-7 obligations. However, the committee believes these programs are essentially civilian programs and should be funded from the foreign assistance accounts. The committee recommends $10.0 million for plutonium core conversion, which was funded last year through the Department of Defense. Operation of F and H Canyons The budget request contained $492.3 million for operations and maintenance within the nuclear material and facility stabilization account at the Savannah River Site. The committee recommends $533.3 million, an increase of $41.0 million over the amount requested, to allow for the operation of both the F- canyon and the H-canyon facilities at the site and to maintain the unique capability for the stabilization of aluminum clad spent nuclear fuel. The committee believes that the long-term storage and direct disposal of spent nuclear fuel, currently in wet storage or being shipped to the site, presents significant risks and costs that can be more appropriately addressed by using the reprocessing capability of the canyons. Privatization The budget request contained $1.0 billion for the defense environmental management privatization initiative. The committee does not recommend funding for this initiative. The committee recognizes that this is an important initiative of the Department, and it accepts the premise that the remediation effort undertaken to date at many of the former nuclear weapons defense sites has been overly costly and, to a large degree, ineffective. The committee further understands and supports the desire to reduce costs and to improve efficiencies through the use of performance-based fixed price contracts. However, the committee is not persuaded that the privatization proposal has been properly developed at this point and to the extent required, considering the amount of money being requested, the technical complexity of many of the projects, the large margin of error in the cost estimates, the Department's poor track record of successful project completion, and the lack of suitable staff and procedures to oversee the contracting process and the contractors' activities. The committee believes it should defer further consideration of this initiative until the Department's fiscal year 1999 budget request. While the committee provided funding for a limited privatization initiative in fiscal year 1997, it did so based on the assumption that the Department would be able to support its continuation based upon a rigorous analysis of projected cost savings that would accrue to the government. The committee directed the Department to provide that report to the committee no later than December 31, 1996. The Department has not submitted the required report nor has it provided the level of documentation to support a request of this magnitude. The committee is not persuaded by estimates of cost savings where the comparisons are between traditional non-competitive management and operating contracts and ``privatized'' contracts. The committee believes that several additional comments are warranted. It is important to note that DOE's privatization initiative is not a divestiture, which generally involves the sale of government-owned assets or functions. For all practical purposes, DOE's activities are already privatized, in that the private sector contractors already conduct DOE's programs at its major sites. What sets the proposed privatization initiative apart from DOE's traditional approach is the attempt to shift the responsibility for financing, and much of the risk, to the contractor. Thus, under the Department's proposal, private- sector contractors would be responsible for the funding, construction and operation of the ``privatized'' facility. At the time the facility is completed, DOE would begin paying the contractor for the services provided. In fact, as presently contemplated by DOE, virtually no expenditures of the government's funds would occur until fiscal year 2003, when outlays of between $1.0 and $2.0 billion would begin. From the limited cost estimates available, the projects that are being requested in fiscal year 1998 are expected to result in construction costs exceeding $2.8 billion and operating costs exceeding $5.8 billion. At least one of the projects chosen for privatization, the tank waste remediation project, is perhaps the most technically complex, risky, and expensive environmental remediation project in the DOE program. DOE has spent about $2.5 billion on this project alone since 1989 and its life-cycle cost is estimated to be $36.0 billion. DOE has estimated that the ``privatized'' approach for a portion of the $36.0 billion project would result in a cost of $9.6 billion. Using DOE's traditional noncompetitive management and operations approach, the same project is estimated to cost $13.6 billion. However, a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) study determined that both estimates were based on a range of values with a margin of error of plus or minus 40 percent. That is, the cost of the privatized approach could range from $5.8 billion to $13.4 billion and the noncompetitive approach, from $8.0 billion to $18.6 billion. Because of the large margin of error in these cost estimates, GAO concluded that the ``privatization approach could be more costly.'' At least eight of the other projects being proposed for privatization suffer from even less analysis and more uncertainty regarding cost savings. In many of these cases, DOE obtained an estimate from its existing management and operating contractor and apparently arbitrarily reduced it by anywhere from 10 percent to 35 percent. In several cases, it is clear that the funding is not required this fiscal year because the contracts could not be executed. In fact, in the case of the tank waste remediation project discussed above, it is clear that DOE may not even obligate in fiscal year 1998 the funds that were authorized and appropriated for this project in fiscal year 1997. The rationale and justification for a request of an additional $427.0 million in fiscal year 1998 for this project alone is lacking. In other cases, it is apparent that projects were chosen which were not of the highest priority nor were required by compliance agreements. It appearsthat these projects were simply chosen because they would not result in outlays during the next five years. It is clear to the committee that deferral of this program for one budget cycle will not result in any irreparable harm or in any way affect the safety of the nuclear weapons complex. The committee strongly suggests that the Department consider obtaining outside independent assessments as to the life-cycle costs for these projects before continuing to recommend their privatization. Finally, DOE has cited several examples of successful privatization projects. Two of these involve the ``privatizing'' of a laundry facility for contaminated worker clothing. Another involves the remediation effort at Pit 9 near Idaho Falls which is now the subject of a contract dispute and which could result in a doubling of the original contract price of $179.0 million for this one-acre site out of 88 acres that need to be cleaned up. The committee believes there is substantially more complexity in managing the tank waste remediation project than in building a laundry. The committee's concern is amplified by the knowledge that of the 80 projects initiated in the last 16 years, only 15 have been completed, most of which were behind schedule and over budget. After billions of dollars had been invested, 31 of these projects were terminated before completion. In rejecting the blanket approval of the privatization initiative, the committee is not suggesting that it is abandoning the effort to develop a successful and cost effective remediation program across the DOE complex, particularly at the Hanford tank waste site. In the case of the Hanford site, the committee recognizes that a substantial investment by the Department is required for many years, regardless of the method chosen to finance the effort or the scope of the effort. Accordingly, the committee recommends elsewhere in this title a funding level sufficient to allow this remediation effort to continue on schedule. The committee believes that the $170.0 million authorized for fiscal year 1997 and which remains unobligated, added to the $54.0 million which is being paid out this year to the prospective bidders from fiscal year 1996 funds for the cost of bid preparation, coupled with the $70.0 million authorized elsewhere in this title, should be more than sufficient to allow the remediation effort to continue, whether the project uses private capital or annual appropriations. In doing so, the committee recommends that the Department provide substantial and detailed documentation to the congressional defense committees 30 days prior to the execution of a contract. The committee will require that a compelling case be made before it will accept a proposal of the scope currently being proposed. The committee believes that the Department should assess the cost and the need to construct two low-level waste treatment facilities that will for all practical purposes be performing identical functions. The committee recommends that the Department evaluate very carefully the long term advantages and the disadvantages of privatization to the United States, the State of Washington, the stakeholders and the contractor or contractors before it renews its proposal to seek private sector financing for an activity this complex and this expensive. As noted above, the committee remains concerned that many of the Department's projects have been mismanaged, leading to cost overruns, delays, and in some cases, project failures. The committee believes that the Department's excessive red tape, bureaucracy, and an unclear chain of command make it difficult if not impossible to manage a large complex project like the one at Hanford. Regardless of the ultimate method chosen for financing this project, the committee believes that the Department should immediately seek to correct these basic management deficiencies. Program Direction for Defense Programs The budget request contained $303.5 million for the program direction function within the office of Defense Programs. The committee recommends $208.5 million, a reduction of $95.0 million. Program direction provides funds for all federal personnel-related expenses, capital equipment, travel, outside contractual services, and the community assistance program at Los Alamos. The committee further recommends that this reduction be obtained by reducing support services, training and other related expenses by $70.0 million. The committee recommends that the remaining reductions be obtained by reducing federal employment, including salaries and travel costs, by 15 percent or $25.0 million. Recurring General Provision Relating to Availability of Funds The committee does not recommend the inclusion of a provision which would provide that amounts authorized to the Department of Energy for operating expenses or for plant and capital equipment remain available until expended. This change is consistent with the approach adopted by the committee with respect to Department of Defense authorization and appropriations accounts. This change would allow greater financial accountability and would allow a better analysis of uncosted balances carried over in future fiscal years. Stockpile Life Extension Program at Y-12 Plant The budget request contained $1.8 billion for core stockpile management. Within this program, the committee recommends an additional $35.0 million for the stockpile life extension program. Recent risk reduction analysis has indicated a need for additional funding in fiscal year 1998 to support near-term W87 workload activities at DOE's Y-12 plant and to provide additional resources at that plant for future stockpile extension activities. Technology Transfer The budget request contained $60.0 million for technology transfer. The committee recommends $52.5 million, a reduction of $7.5 million from the amount requested. Funding is not provided for projects under the program entitled ``Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles.'' The committee believes that, if this program is meritorious, funding in future years should be requested within other non-defense programs of the Department of Energy. Of the remaining amount made available for technology transfer, the committee recommends $10.0 million for the American Textiles Partnership project, an increase of $4.5 million above the amount requested for this activity. Transfer of Funds Associated with Security at Rocky Flats Site and the Fernald Site The committee, as noted above, in the discussion on the Defense Environmental Management Program recommends transferring $45.2 million from the operations and maintenance account within the stockpile management program to the closure fund. The transfer of $45.2 million represents the costs associated with the provision of security at the Rocky Flats site and the Fernald site. The committee understands that the Department has no objection to this transfer from the stockpile management account. The committee believes that this consolidation of all activities and the costs associated with those activities will provide greater control and accountability. The committee also believes that this transfer more accurately reflects the programmatic responsibility for those costs and the provision of those activities. The committee believes those costs should be borne by the environmental restoration and waste management program. The committee urges the Department to assess other areas and costs which are not clearly related to the weapons activities accounts and to consider a realignment in the fiscal 1999 budget request. Tritium Production The committee continues to support the Department of Energy's dual-track strategy for determining the most reliable and cost-effective method for the production of tritium for national security, however, it did not receive the Administration's proposal for legislative changes to certain underlying statutory provisions affecting tritium production until after the conclusion of the hearing process on the Department's annual authorization. These proposed changes are significant and, in some cases, seek to address issues such as the sale of power generated from commercial tritium production facilities which may involve matters within the jurisdiction of another committee. The committee will seek to address these technical, policy and jurisdictional issues during the remainder of this Congress. Worker and Community Transition The budget request contained $70.5 million for Worker and Community Transition. The committee recommends $22.0 million. The committee further recommends that this program be terminated at the end of fiscal year 1999. The worker and community transition program was created pursuant to section 3161 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 (Public Law 102-484). This Act established requirements and objectives to guide the Department in its efforts to restructure the private contractor workforce following the end of the cold war. The build-up in contractor employment within the Department, especially across the defense nuclear weapons complex, accelerated during the late 1980s and reached its peak at the end of fiscal year 1992, when the Department employed over 148,000 contractor employees. With the end of the cold war, the Department recognized that the weapons production mission would need to be reduced and that its primary mission would shift toward environmental management. Section 3161 was designed to minimize the impacts on workers and communities during this transition. Since the enactment of section 3161, the Department has spent over $609.0 million to provide benefits to contractor employees separated in workforce restructuring and downsizing efforts. In addition, approximately $150.0 million has been provided to communities affected by the downsizing. Payments to displaced workers took the form of enhanced severance payments, relocation allowances, educational benefits, and enhanced retirement benefits. The committee recommends that the provisions contained in section 3161 be phased out by the end of fiscal year 1999. This recommendation is based on a number of factors. First, most of the separations have now occurred. At the end of fiscal year 1998, the DOE contractor employment levels will be at 100,000. Second, with DOE's movement to fixed price contracts, administration and determination of employment levels will be within the purview of the contractor, not the government. Third, much of the upcoming work will be dictated by environmental compliance agreements and not by nuclear weapons production demands. Separations that occur to a large extent in the future will have nothing to do with the end of the cold war. However, if the weapons complex requires a similar or significant downsizing at some point in the future, Congress can, at that time, develop remedies appropriate to those situations. Fourth, the program has come under significant scrutiny by the DOE Inspector General and the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) for questionable payments and ineffective administration. For example, the Inspector General reported that during the first restructuring at the Fernald weapons plant, of the 255 separations effective in fiscal year 1994, all but 14 of the positions had been refilled within one year by either previous employees or ones with similar skills-- a 95 percent rehire rate. Moreover, the 255 separated employees were provided severance payments based on their length of service, medical benefits, outplacement support, and retirement benefits at a cost of $2.9 million. Similarly, a subsequent restructuring plan for fiscal years 1995 and 1996 was uncovered by the Inspector General at that same site. Had it not been stopped, it would have cost an additional $12.9 million for workforce restructuring that would have provided little or no benefit to the Department. Audits of worker and community transition programs at DOE sites at Mound, Pinellas, Oak Ridge, and Rocky Flats, and Las Vegas likewise revealed questionable or unnecessary expenditures. In addition, a recent GAO report found that the benefits paid to these private sector workers varied widely from site to site and virtually always exceeded payments available to federal workers. The committee notes that similar programs are not available to private contractor employees who lose their jobs when defense facilities like shipyards or aircraft manufacturers downsize. While the committee is sympathetic to any contract worker who is displaced, it believes that this program has largely met its original goal of minimizing the effects of post-cold war downsizing on workers and local communities through expenditures exceeding $750.0 million. LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS Subtitle A--National Security Program Authorization Section 3101--Weapons Activities This section would authorize DOE weapons activity funding for fiscal year 1998. Section 3102--Environmental Restoration and Waste Management This section would authorize funds for DOE defense environmental restoration and waste management activities for fiscal year 1998. Section 3103--Other Defense Activities This section would authorize funds for DOE other defense activities for fiscal year 1998. Section 3104--Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal This section would authorize funds for defense nuclear waste disposal activities of the Department for fiscal year 1998. Subtitle B--Recurring General Provisions Section 3121--Reprogramming This section would prohibit the reprogramming of funds in excess of 102 percent of the amount authorized for the program, or in excess of $1.0 million above the amount authorized for the program until the Secretary of Energy has notified the congressional defense committees and a period of 30 calendar days has elapsed after the date on which the notification is received. Section 3122--Limits on General Plant Projects This section would limit the initiation of ``general plant projects'' authorized by the bill if the current estimated cost for any project exceeds $2.0 million. However, if the Secretary of Energy finds that the estimated cost of any project will exceed $2.0 million, the congressional defense committees must be notified of the reasons for the cost variation. The committee notes that the Department was required pursuant to the provisions of section 3122 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201) to submit a report to support increasing the threshold for general plant projects. The committee has not received that report and has accordingly not been able to consider the Department's views. Section 3123--Limits on Construction Projects This section would permit any construction project to be initiated and continued only if the estimated cost for the project does not exceed 125 percent of the higher of: (1) the amount authorized for the project, or (2) the most recent total estimated cost presented to the Congress as justification for such project. To exceed such limits, the Secretary of Energy must report in detail to the congressional defense committees and the report must be before the committees for 30 legislative days. This section would also specify that the 125 percent limitation would not apply to projects estimated to cost under $5.0 million. Section 3124--Fund Transfer Authority This section would permit funds authorized by the bill to be transferred to other agencies of the government for performance of work for which the funds were authorized and appropriated. The provision would permit the merger of such funds with the authorizations of the agency to which they are transferred. This section would also limit to no more than five percent the amount of funds that may be transferred between accounts in the Department of Energy that were authorized pursuant to this act. Section 3125--Authority for Conceptual and Construction Design This section would limit the Secretary of Energy's authority to request construction funding until the Secretary has certified a conceptual design has been completed, except in the case of emergencies. Section 3126--Authority for Emergency Planning, Design and Construction Activities This section would permit, in addition to any advance planning and construction design otherwise authorized by the bill, the Secretary of Energy to perform planning and design utilizing available funds for any Department of Energy national security program construction project whenever the Secretary determines that the design must proceed expeditiously to protect the public health and safety, to meet the needs of national defense, or to protect property. Section 3127--Funds Available for all National Security Programs of the Department of Energy This section would authorize, subject to section 3121 of this bill, amounts for management and support activities and for general plant projects to be made available for use, when necessary, in connection with all national security programs of the Department of Energy. Section 3128--Authority Relating to Transfer of Defense Environmental Management Funds This section would provide the manager of each field office of the Department of Energy with the limited authority to transfer defense environmental management funds from a program or project under the jurisdiction of the office to another such program or project. Subtitle C--Program Authorizations, Restrictions, and Limitations Section 3131--Ballistic Missile Defense National Laboratory Program This section would establish a program within the DOE weapons laboratories for the purpose of assisting the Department of Defense in the testing and development of a ballistic missile defense program. Subtitle D--Other Matters Section 3141--Plan for Stewardship, Management, and Certification of Warheads in the Nuclear Weapons Stockpile This section would require the Secretary of Energy to report annually on the Department's plan for the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program. This report would be submitted in both a classified and unclassified form and provided in lieu of a number of other reporting requirements which have become redundant. The report required by this section is a consolidation of previous reporting requirements. Section 3142--Repeal of Obsolete Reporting Requirement This section would repeal a number of obsolete reporting requirements. Section 3143--Revisions to Defense Nuclear Facilities Workforce Restructuring Plan Requirements This section would modify and repeal selected provisions of section 3161 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 (Public Law 102-484). Section 3161 provided authority to the Secretary of Energy to make severance payments to private contractor employees whose positions were being eliminated as the result of the end of the cold war and the downsizing of the nuclear weapons complex. This provision also granted authority to the Secretary to make grants to communities which had been affected by the downsizing. The modifications to section 3161 would eliminate the authority of the Department to make assistance grants effective upon enactment, and would eliminate the authority to make severance payments after September 30, 1999. The modifications to section 3161 would also make it clear that this section does not apply to federal employees. Section 3144--Extension of Authority for Appointment of Certain Scientific, Engineering, and Technical Personnel This section would extend the authority of the Secretary of Energy to appoint certain scientific, engineering, and technical personnel to positions within the Department without regard to the provisions governing the appointments in the competitive service, classification schedules, and pay rates contained in title 5, United States Code. Section 3145--Report on Proposed Contract for Hanford Tank Waste Vitrification Project This section would require prior notice to the congressional defense committees before entering into a contract for the Hanford tank waste vitrification project. The section would also require the submission of a detailed report describing the activities to be carried out under the contract, a description of the contractual and financial aspects of the contract, and an analysis of the cost to the United States of the proposed contract over the life of the project. Section 3146--Limitation on Conduct of Subcritical Nuclear Weapons Tests This section would require the submission of a detailed report on the manner in which funds available to the Secretary for fiscal years 1996 and 1997 to conduct subcritical tests were used. The committee has authorized over $100.0 million for the conduct of these tests during this and the previous fiscal year. At the present time, despite substantial support by this committee for the conduct of such tests, no such tests have occurred. The Department has again requested substantial additional sums for fiscal year 1998 for the conduct of such tests and there are indications that the funds contained in the budget request may be insufficient to perform the planned activities. While the committee strongly supports these tests, it is concerned that over $100.0 million has apparently been spent without a single test having been completed. The committee is aware that the costs for the actual tests may be a relatively small part of the overall costs of this program, however it is concerned that the Department has potentially utilized the amounts authorized for the subcritical tests on other activities. Therefore, the committee expects this report to detail by site and by detailed line activities, the expenditures attributable to this program and to submit this report prior to utilizing funds authorized for fiscal year 1998. Section 3147--Limitation on Use of Certain Funds Until Future Use Plans are Submitted This section would limit the ability of the Secretary of Energy to spend funds authorized for the office of Policy and Management within the Defense Environmental Management program until the draft future use plans and the final future use plans required under section 3153 (f) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201) are submitted. The committee understands that the Department has yet to initiate a program that would allow for the timely compliance with this requirement. The committee remains concerned that many of the reportingrequirements are not being completed on time and hopes this action will encourage the adherence to the statutory deadlines. Section 3148--Plan for External Oversight of National Laboratories This section would require the Secretary of Energy to develop a plan for the external oversight of the national laboratories. The plan would provide for the establishment of an external oversight committee comprised of representatives of industry and academia for the purpose of making recommendations to the Secretary of Energy and to the congressional defense committees on the productivity of the laboratories and on the excellence, relevance, and appropriateness of the research conducted at the laboratories. The plan also would provide for the establishment of a competitive peer review process for funding basic research at the laboratories. Section 3149--University-Based Research Center This section would require the Secretary of Energy to establish a university-based research center to coordinate the collaboration among national laboratories, universities and industry in support of scientific and engineering advancement in key Department of Energy defense program areas. Section 3150--Stockpile Stewardship Program This section would provide that, as a matter of U.S. policy, the stockpile stewardship program shall be conducted consistent with U.S. national security requirements and in conformity with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty when and if that treaty enters into force. The stockpile stewardship and management program has been undertaken to ensure the safety, security, effectiveness, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Section 3151--Reports on Advanced Supercomputer Sales to Certain Foreign Nations This section would require companies that participate in the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) of the Department of Energy to report each sale of computers that operate at a speed of over 2,000,000 theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) to countries designated as Tier III countries. The ASCI contractor would be required to submit these reports to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy on a quarterly basis. On an annual basis, the Secretary of Energy would be required to report to Congress on all computer sales reported by ASCI companies under this provision during the previous year. TITLE XXXII--DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD AUTHORIZATION LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS Section 3201--Authorization This section would authorize $17.5 million for the operation of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, as provided in the budget request. Section 3202--Plan for Transfer of Functions of Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to Nuclear Regulatory Commission This section would require the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to develop a plan, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), for the transfer the DNSFB's functions to the NRC. ............. ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF JOHN SPRATT I support most aspects of this legislation and will vote for it, but I disagree with the diversion of $2.6 billion in budget authority from the Department of Energy (budget subfunction 053) to the Department of Defense (budget subfunction 051). I agree with OMB Director Frank Raines, who wrote the following to the Chairman of the House National Security Committee prior to committee mark-up: The Administration does not support reducing funds from DOE (subfunction 053) accounts below the President's 1998 budget request or allocating these funds to DOD programs. This would be inconsistent with our understanding of the Budget Agreement reached with the Congressional leadership. Of the $2.6 billion diverted, $1.5 billion was designated to start a ``full funding'' policy of major Department of Energy (DOE) capital investments. ``Full funding'' simply means that Congress provides sufficient budget authority to cover the entire estimated procurement cost of major capital investments in one year, rather than paying for the project over a period of years (``incremental funding''). In essence, the DOE was ``banking'' funds needed for large projects, most of which were for the Stockpile Stewardship program (which ensures the safety and reliability of our nuclear weapon stockpile) and for environmental clean-up of sites contaminated by radioactive waste. The committee also slashed $936 million from the DOE's $1.006 billion request to ``privatize'' portions of its environmental clean-up program. The DOE wants private companies to build facilities to treat hazardous radioactive waste. In exchange, the DOE will guarantee that it will pay for the treatment of the waste at a set price per unit of treated waste. By law, an agency cannot enter into a contract without having the budget authority to fully cover the costs of the contract, so the DOE needs to have the budget authority now in order to commit to paying for treatment of waste years from now. I am not sold yet on DOE's privatization policy, and the committee may be wise in postponing this policy. But I am sold on the need to clean up DOE's nuclear weapons facilities, and whether the clean-up is financed through direct appropriations or by privatizing some projects, there is a need for environmental funding. The simple fact is that the committee diverted these funds to the Department of Defense (DOD) and created a $936 million hole in the DOE's five-year environmental clean-up plan. It would have been more prudent to fence the money, to prohibit DOE from spending it until we are convinced of the merits of privatization. If the committee remained unconvinced, Congress could then direct that the funds be used to clean-up our nuclear weapon sites in more traditional ways. Diverting the funding to DOD has effectively cut nearly $1 billion from a sorely needed program. The committee's actions have created a $2.6 billion shortfall in the DOE's planned activities over the next five years. In prior years, this shortfall could have been overcome by re-adjusting future budget requests. But under the bipartisan budget agreement, function levels for discretionary spending have been established for the next five years. The DOE will be hard-pressed to replace this loss of funding since it will either mean retrieving the money from future DOD budgets, or adding funding from other budget functions to the 050 function and violating the budget agreement. This problem is exacerbated since the $2.6 billion diversion fromDOE to DOD went into procurement items that will generate future DOD costs, making it even harder to retrieve the funding from future DOD budgets. I do not believe that we fully thought through the implications for environmental clean-up or nuclear weapons, particularly stockpile stewardship, when we decided to divert this funding. While I support the overall bill, I hope these issues will be revisited during the House-Senate conference. Other important programs at DOE received cuts that seem unwarranted. The Office Worker and Community Transition was established by Congress in the early 1990s to ease the impact of worker layoffs at DOE sites. ............. John Spratt. .............