1997 Congressional Hearings
Special Weapons
Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and Missile


Statement of

Kenneth E. Baker
Acting Director
Office of Nonproliferation and National Security
U.S. Department of Energy

Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. It is my pleasure to address you today as the Acting Director of the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

PROLIFERATION CHALLENGES FACING THE UNITED STATES

The worldwide proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their missile delivery systems has emerged as one of the most serious dangers confronting the United States. In November 1994 and every year since, President Clinton has stated that, AThe proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.@ The President also declared the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and of the means of delivering such weapons a national emergency through Executive Order 12938.

As one of the United States Government=s highest priorities, we must proactively address this problem that has broad consequences for international security and stability. At least 20 countries C some of them hostile to the United States C already have or may be developing WMD through the acquisition of dual­use technology, indigenous development and production, and/or support from rogue supplier states. Additionally, safety and security of existing nuclear weapons and materials are of increasing concern as economic and social pressures mount in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakstan and Belarus.

With the breakdown of the protection systems that secured nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, states and subnational groups that do not have their own nuclear material production facilities or civilian nuclear programs may obtain nuclear materials through theft and smuggling. This illicit path to proliferation has become an area of great concern and attention for the national security community.

Additionally, we must be concerned with the growing threat from terrorism and the potential use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. As we have seen over the past year, terrorist groups are showing a greater capability to use large-scale weapons to achieve their goal C chemical weapons were used by terrorists in Japan for example. The United States must have programs in place to combat and prevent these kinds of weapons from being acquired or used.

ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND THE OFFICE OF NONPROLIFERATION AND NATIONAL SECURITY

The Department of Energy and the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security continue to demonstrate to the world community the Administration=s commitment to nonproliferation and reducing the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Our responsibility to reduce the danger to U.S. national security from such weapons involves preventing the spread of WMD materials, technology, and expertise; detecting the proliferation of WMD worldwide; reversing the proliferation of nuclear weapons capabilities; and responding to emergencies. We particularly draw upon 50 years of science and technology expertise resident throughout the DOE National Laboratory complex to help us achieve these goals. Today, I would like to highlight some of our key programs as well as new initiatives.

The Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) program in the former Soviet Union (FSU) seeks to provide enhanced protection and security for weapons­usable nuclear materials in FSU facilities, cooperatively strengthen indigenous MPC&A systems, and develop more effective standardized regulatory programs. This MPC&A program is part of our overall Arms Control and Nonproliferation effort that also seeks to limit the use of fissile materials worldwide, establish transparent and irreversible nuclear arms reductions, strengthen the nonproliferation regime, and control nuclear related exports.

The Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program, formerly known as the Industrial Partnering Program, draws scientists, engineers, and technicians from the FSU nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs into commercial ventures. Through this program, we are able to reduce the potential for Abrain drain@ to proliferant states or organizations and provide long term employment for these scientists in non­weapons work. Additionally, the program facilitates broad access of U.S. laboratory personnel to FSU chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons facilities encouraging openness and transparency. Cooperative projects involving the ten largest DOE National Laboratories, a coalition of 75 U.S. corporations, and over 70 weapons institutes of the nuclear inheritor states of the former Soviet Union have engaged more than 2700 former weapons personnel in the FSU.

Our Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development program is dedicated to conducting applied research, development, testing, and evaluation of science and technology for strengthening the United States response to the threats to national security and to world peace. The program focusses its activities on the development, design, and production of operational sensor systems needed for proliferation detection, treaty monitoring, nuclear warhead dismantlement initiatives, and support to intelligence activities.

The Chemical and Biological Nonproliferation Program complements our significant effort in nuclear weapons nonproliferation. By leveraging the Department=s more than $1 billion investment in chemical and biological sciences, our program seeks to complement efforts of the Department of Defense, the Public Health Service, and other U.S. Government agencies. The program supports long term research and development and near term technology prototyping to address mission needs in counterterrorism, military operations, and policy and treaty support.

In concert with our international activities, we are responsible for wide-ranging activities to accomplish nonproliferation and national security goals in the United States. These activities include: (1) directing a rigorous nuclear safeguards and security program for the entire Department of Energy complex, thereby ensuring the demonstrated security of our own nuclear materials, technology, and expertise; (2) declassifying millions of Departmental documents while protecting critical information that has the potential to facilitate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; (3) maintaining a security investigations program for both Federal and contractor employees of the Department; and (4) managing and strengthening the Department=s emergency management and response capability and providing assistance to other government agencies as well as state, tribal, and local governments.

The Office of Nonproliferation and National Security also supports the President=s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection to address growing concerns about domestic terrorist activities and both physical security and cyber threats to eight infrastructures that are increasingly dependent on technology and information (Telecommunication, Electrical Power Systems, Gas and Oil, Banking and Finance, Transportation, Water Supply Systems, Emergency Services, and Continuity of Government).

Finally, through our Counterintelligence Enhancement Initiative, we are redoubling efforts to protect sensitive national security technologies, expertise, and information from foreign intelligence services. We have increased our counterintelligence presence in the field, expanded awareness and training, and are aggressively pursuing counterintelligence leads and anomalies.

OUR SUCCESSES AND PLANNED ACTIVITIES

Over the past year, the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security has achieved major successes in nonproliferation. I would like to highlight five particular areas of which I am personally very proud of our achievements.

In 1996, the Material Protection, Control, and Accounting program secured hundreds of tons of weapons-usable materials at over 35 facilities in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union. Cooperation is now underway at over 40 locations in Russia, and expanded cooperation in 1997 will include all weapons-usable nuclear material at all known facilities in the FSU, accelerated work with the Russian Navy, the addition of four new Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) facilities, and accelerated transportation security enhancements. Fiscal Year 1998 efforts will include: increased equipment procurements; funding additional work at Krasnoyarsk-45; accelerating ongoing work throughout the MINATOM defense complex; extending naval fuel work to cover the icebreaker fleet, naval support ships, and the transportation of naval nuclear fuel; and fully implementing efforts to improve MPC&A for nuclear materials during transportation.

Second, the Office played a key role in achieving the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the negotiation and signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Our technology development program focuses on supporting operations to monitor and verify a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and has completed its second year. DOE technologies will significantly increase the nation=s capability to identify potential nuclear explosions with high confidence and with minimal false alarms. The primary objectives of the CTBT monitoring system are to deter nuclear explosions in all environments (underground, underwater, or in the atmosphere) and, if such an explosion does occur, to detect, locate, and identify its source. The system is designed to provide credible evidence to national authorities, to aid in resolving ambiguities, and to serve as the basis for appropriate action. Seismic, radionuclide, hydroacoustic, infrasound, on­site inspection, and data processing technologies are all being exploited. During the summer of 1997, we plan to launch the FORTE small satellite on an Air Force Space Test Program provided Pegasus XL launch vehicle. FORTE will demonstrate the next generation techniques for detecting and characterizing electromagnetic pulses from nuclear explosions in the atmosphere. This new technology will provide the U. S. with improved capability to monitor compliance with nuclear test ban treaties.

Third, our new Chemical and Biological Nonproliferation Program, initiated in Fiscal Year 1997, has been developing technologies to detect, characterize, and facilitate decontamination of chemical and biological threat agents. In 1998, we will expanding our emergency management capabilities to provide critical information necessary for an effective response to chemical and biological incidents. Specifically we will be improving the Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability to address chemical and biological plumes in addition to the current radiological capability. We will also be enhancing the Communicated Threat Assessment Program to provide assessments of chemical and biological threats in addition to nuclear threats.

Fourth, our program to counter nuclear smuggling is part of a partnership with other federal agencies to counter the theft of and trafficking in special nuclear materials. Our program overlays (1) barriers to illegal diversion of fissile and radiological materials at their source through the MPC&A program, (2) detection and interdiction of materials during transit and at international borders, and (3) response to threatened or actual use of these materials. Over the past year, we have developed technologies such as the Radiation Pager that will assist U.S. Customs Service and law enforcement personnel detect the presence of nuclear materials during transit. We are working with foreign customs agencies to increase the potential points of detection worldwide. We have also demonstrated the capabilities of the National Laboratories to determine the source of smuggled nuclear materials through forensic techniques. The Office also is working with the Department of State to implement forensics worldwide. In Fiscal Year 1998, the Office plans to provide customized versions of equipment now used at DOE facilities to improve security at U.S. borders. We also expect to develop highly portable and inexpensive radiation detection technology for city and state law enforcement and other emergency personnel.

Finally, our intelligence program continues to focus the decades of laboratory experience in nuclear weapons design and production on the emerging national security challenges of today. This program provides vital intelligence support to Administration and Departmental priorities, such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Reduced Enrichment Research and Test Reactor program, and our MPC&A activities. We put cost-effective, user-friendly technologies in the hands of intelligence, military, and law enforcement operators. Our nonproliferation objectives are best served by timely and well-focused intelligence assessments.

The efforts of the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security in concert with DOE=s National Laboratories are achieving direct, tangible results that significantly improve our national security.

FY98 BUDGET REVIEW

The table below summarizes the Fiscal Year 1998 budget request for the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security from the Energy and Water Development Appropriation as compared with the fiscal year 1996 adjusted appropriation (in thousands).


Appropriation/Activity


FY 96

appropriated


FY97

appropriated


FY 98


Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development

$ 241,495

$ 211,919

$ 210,000

Arms Control and Nonproliferation

174,981

216,244

234,600

Intelligence

42,256

34,185

33,600

Nuclear Safeguards and Security

86,397

47,208

47,200

Security Investigations

20,000

20,000

20,000

Emergency Management

23,321

16,794

27,700

Program Direction


C


88,122

94,900

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET REQUEST

$ 588,450

$ 634,472

$ 668,000

The Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development budget request for Fiscal Year 1998 is a net decrease of $1.9 million. Funding is increased for the chemical and biological nonproliferation program and the nuclear smuggling/terrorism initiative. The increases are offset by reductions to remote spectrographic technologies for proliferation detection and materials detection research and development programs.

The Arms Control and Nonproliferation budget requests reflects a continued increase in nonproliferation activities with the FSU as cooperation increases for Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting activities. The MPC&A program is expediting the installation of systems, procedures, controls, facilities, and equipment to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons-usable fissile materials. The request also increases funding for the nuclear smuggling/terrorism initiative. The increases are offset by reductions to other Arms Control programs.

The Intelligence budget request reflects a minor net decrease from Fiscal Year 1997, although we are increasing funding for the nuclear smuggling/terrorism and counterintelligence initiatives.

The Nuclear Safeguards and Security budget request is overall unchanged from Fiscal Year 1997. Funding has been provided for the nuclear smuggling/terrorism initiative through offsets in other Nuclear Safeguards and Security programs.

The Emergency Management budget request increases funding for the chemical and biological nonproliferation initiative and for the nuclear smuggling/terrorism initiative. Additionally, funding is provided for the transfer of the Department=s Communication Center from the Office of Human Resources and Administration and provides for the transfer of Threat Assessment funding from the Intelligence budget.

The Program Direction request supports core staffing requirements for the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security and restores funding for support service contracts which were reduced as a result of the Fiscal Year 1997 appropriation. This funding will be used to meet requirements for the Declassification Initiative, Safeguards and Security, Arms Control, Research and Development, and other nonproliferation activities.

CONCLUSION

Preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction is a crucial national interest and a critical global security issue. The Office of Nonproliferation and National Security is uniquely capable to serve this national interest. Our policy expertise coupled with our science and technology base enables us to provide innovative solutions to national and international nonproliferation problems. The work we do benefits the nation=s security across a broad spectrum: protecting nuclear material in the United States and worldwide; rolling back existing nuclear weapons development programs internationally; ensuring the verifiability of nuclear treaties; and responding to emergencies. We are proud to be leaders working aggressively within the U.S. Government and in the international arena to make the world a safer place. Thank you.