Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting
me to testify today about the Department of Energy’s
ongoing and planned security activities. This Administration
to ensuring that national assets in our custody are safeguarded
with robust protection systems. In light of the current world
situation and terrorist threat, the task of maintaining effective
protection at Department sites demands our continuous, collective,
and concentrated effort. For the past three years, and particularly
since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we have
focused aggressively on security and counter-terrorism related
The Department of Energy has facilities worth billions of dollars.
We have many thousands of employees. Moreover, we are the custodians
of national security assets that, simply put, must not be allowed
to fall into the wrong hands. We have protected the complex in
the past; and we are protecting it now. However, we are convinced
that we must make certain changes. We must improve. We must adapt
to a world that changed three Septembers ago in order to protect
this complex successfully in the future.
Last Friday, Secretary Abraham delivered a major
speech outlining his vision for the Department’s future protection program,
and initiatives for implementing his vision. The Subcommittee asked
that we discuss the issues outlined by the Secretary in that speech.
Although the Secretary’s speech focused on the future,
the initiatives he announced are just the latest in a series
that have been the product of almost continuous review for three
Immediately on September 11th, we imposed an elevated Security
Condition, or SECON, and increased physical security at all Department
of Energy (DOE) facilities, with particular attention to our most
sensitive targets. Actions varied from site to site based on unique
local characteristics, and because of exigent circumstances, many
immediate actions that we undertook were manpower-intensive solutions
involving more protective force activities. Today, we remain at
a heightened state of alert. Understandably, this has resulted
in unprecedented overtime for many of our protective forces, and
has had an impact on training and professional development opportunities.
We realize that our protective forces cannot withstand the stress
of continuous overtime indefinitely. To relieve this strain on
our forces and achieve more cost effective security over the long
term, we have accelerated our technology application activities
to allow us to employ technology to replace some routine protective
force commitments Also, we shared our expertise with other Federal
agencies involved in homeland security, and we streamlined the
process for them to obtain access to unique DOE counter-terrorism
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We have revised our personnel security program so that we are
better able to balance our need to hire new professionals with
appropriate clearances in this high-threat environment. We are
now beginning to experience relief from the long clearance delays
after 9/11, and we have gained insight for streamlining these processes
In 2003, we instituted a new Design Basis Threat
(DBT), which has and will influence our security posture dramatically.
in part on The Postulated Threat to U. S. Nuclear Weapons Facilities
and Other Selected Strategic Facilities, a report published by
the Defense Intelligence Agency in January 2003, the Department’s
revised DBT identifies and characterizes potential threats to
our facilities and provides design bases and performance standards
for our protection systems. The revised DBT is our best assessment
of current terrorist capabilities, expanding the number and capability
of adversaries and determining our means to overcome them.
The new DBT requires significant upgrades to protection
systems at all DOE sites, and is reflected in a substantial increase
in our FY 2005 budget request to Congress. The President’s
$1.3 billion FY 2005 security budget is just one measure of the
given to security.
While we are working to implement the requirements of the revised
DBT throughout the complex, there are long lead-times and cost
considerations. Some sites must undertake major construction projects,
and consolidation of target materials will push DBT compliance
to Fiscal Year 2006. In the meantime, compensatory measures are
in place to protect our assets.
But we are moving quickly to implement DBT requirements where
we can now. Therefore, the Secretary recently proposed a $55 million
FY 2004 reprogramming. This request is pending with Congressional
Committees, and we look forward to its approval so we may move
forward on critical activities.
The Department is making structural changes to enhance its security
and counter-terrorism capabilities. Last summer, and again in testimony
before Congress, the Secretary suggested that our national security
would best be served by consolidating the two counterintelligence
programs within the Department into one office reporting directly
to the Office of the Secretary.
Based on extensive review, we found that the current bifurcated
counterintelligence functions between the Department of Energy
and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) could be
an impediment to coherent and effective counterintelligence activities.
We believe this must be corrected; therefore, we have proposed
legislation to the Congress to effect the needed consolidation.
The proposal is before the Armed Services Committees of the House
and Senate and has been referred to the full House Energy and Commerce
Committee. Mr. Chairman, we seek your support for this important
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We believe that having a single counterintelligence office reporting
directly to the Secretary of Energy will create a more streamlined
and effective program, clarify accountability, and provide a clear
line of authority for policy development and implementation. The
NNSA Administrator, the National Counterintelligence Executive,
the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation join Secretary Abraham and me in this view.
Also in 2003, the Secretary established the Office
of Security and Safety Performance Assurance (SSA) to improve
and foster more collegial relationships between the Headquarters
and field offices that form the Department’s safeguards and
security network. We know that, while line managers are accountable
for implementing security programs, constructive Headquarters and
field interactions can accelerate improvement in our protection
programs and yield more effective results. The SSA is now serving
as the Department’s primary catalyst for increasing the
timeliness and effectiveness of protection program upgrades,
that appropriate technologies can be deployed where and when
A Vision of Security for the 21st Century
By and large, security throughout DOE is excellent.
But it has to be better. We are familiar with the reports of
during force-on-force tests, of sleeping on duty, and of lost
keys. For the most part, we know that lapses in security are rare.
any lapses are unacceptable — and the failure of any and
all levels of management to address lapses cannot be tolerated.
Our philosophy on security is quite simple: When it comes to the
security of the Department with responsibility for maintaining
the nuclear weapons stockpile, providing nuclear propulsion for
the Navy, and coordinating global nonproliferation efforts, there
is no room for error. To ensure that this philosophy guides day-to-day
security management in the Department, the Secretary has proposed
The first initiative involves information security. In an age
of computers, the Internet, and other supercomputing advances,
we have to give a 21st century focus to information security. Our
nation has become increasingly aware of cyber threats in many critical
arenas. The DOE must take actions to protect the confidentiality,
integrity, and availability of all our information systems to assure
that we can continue to perform our mission even while under cyber
attack. To accomplish this, we have several new initiatives.
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First, we have directed the Office of Security
and Safety Performance Assurance – or SSA – through its Office of Cyber Security
and Special Reviews, to expand performance testing of DOE information
systems, including the use of “red teaming,” no-notice
vulnerability scanning and penetration testing of unclassified
information systems, and expanded testing of classified systems.
Only through universal and rigorous performance testing can we
identify our actual and potential vulnerabilities to existing
and emerging cyber threats, and only by knowing of these vulnerabilities
can we eliminate them.
Second, we will implement a Cyber Security Enhancement Initiative
• ensure instantaneous dissemination of cyber
threat information throughout the Department;
• select and deploy expanded intrusion detection
systems to rapidly identify potential hostile cyber attacks;
• develop and implement policies and procedures
to minimize the exposure of DOE information systems to Internet
• improve cyber security and cyber security
awareness through enhanced workforce training; and
• refine policies and implement processes
to enhance operational security of publicly available online
information, by assuring
that inappropriate collections of information are not available
on our web sites and servers.
Most of these actions should be completed within the next year.
There are also a number of longer term actions included in this
initiative, involving the development and deployment of advanced
methods and tools associated with such tasks as intrusion detection,
malicious mobile code detection, and improved configuration management
and vulnerability scanning of desktops, servers, and networks.
Third, we should work toward a more secure approach
for classified desktop computing. We have had problems in the
past with classified
hard drives and classified disks. To permanently eliminate the
threat of such problems, we propose an initiative to move to
diskless workstations for classified computing over the next five
Drawing on the unparalleled expertise of our national laboratories,
we have directed the Department’s CIO, in partnership with
the NNSA, to evaluate and advance the state of the art in high-speed
diskless computing technologies, so that in five years desktop
weapons design functions can be performed in a diskless environment.
At that point, no insider would be able to transport classified
data in electronic form outside of the site on physical media.
All physical media will be controlled under a two-man rule in central
locations. The accidental movement of data would be dramatically
reduced, and inventory and accountability of classified information
will become simpler. In the meantime, we will continue to improve
the aggressive accountability programs we have already put in place.
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Other technologies can also be employed to enhance our protection
systems and reduce some of the burden currently borne by our protective
forces. Technology can serve as a force multiplier to save protective
force members from unnecessary risk in case of attack, and provide
additional response time to meet and defeat an attack. We must
use technology intelligently, and to our advantage.
We have experienced a number of problems with lost keys and key
cards. This is not only unacceptable; it is also unnecessary. We
intend to do away with the use of mechanical keys as an element
of our protection system. Keyless access control technology exists,
and is currently in use at a small number of locations throughout
the Department. These include swipe card/PIN combinations, mechanical
and electronic cipher locks, and various types of biometric devices.
We have not moved to these technologies on a large scale yet.
The Secretary has announced an initiative to identify suitable
technology alternatives that will enable the Department to transition,
in phases over the next five years, to a keyless security environment,
where access is not afforded by any physical item or object that
can be lost or stolen. This effort is beginning with a pilot program
in the National Nuclear Security Administration, and will later
be expanded to appropriate facilities throughout the Department.
The initiative will identify appropriate technological approaches
to access control, identify technology areas that require further
development, and provide seed funding for NNSA sites to begin our
early transition to a keyless environment. The fruits of this initiative
will not only result in enhanced security but, over time, will
bring greater cost effectiveness to our access control programs.
The NNSA Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security Programs will
work jointly with the DOE Office of Security to deploy this technology
Today, the scientific community is developing new security technologies
much faster than we can apply them. To allow us to get ahead of
the technology curve, we have directed NNSA and SSA to establish
a Blue Sky Commission charged with identifying emerging security
technologies that we should invest in, or possibly modify for our
use. This will be a long term-effort to complement our near-term
proposals, and will focus on technologies that could alter security
over the coming decades.
Consolidation of Materials
Now I would like to turn to this Department’s responsibility
for safeguarding the nation’s most dangerous nuclear materials
at 11 DOE sites around the country – sites that require
the highest levels of security.
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Let me begin by strongly emphasizing that these materials are
often closely tied to ongoing missions that are critical to our
national security. But we do have to be mindful of the risks. Thus,
we have a responsibility to balance the important work we do at
our facilities, which is often critical to the war on terror, with
protecting those very same facilities against the threat of terrorist
acts. Ultimately, we need to reduce the number of sites with Special
Nuclear Material to the absolute minimum, consistent with carrying
out our missions, and to consolidate the material in each of those
sites to better safeguard that material.
We are already moving forward to consolidate nuclear materials.
We have accelerated a number of projects to close sites more quickly
than previously thought possible. Examples include the Rocky Flats
Environmental Technology Site, Fernald, K-25, and others. We have
a number of other facilities that will be de-inventoried soon in
preparation for decontamination and decommissioning. These include
F canyon at Savannah River Site, Building 3019 at Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, and the 100K basins, Fast Flux Test Facility, and the
Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford.
Critical to the consolidation effort is the availability of final
storage locations. We have been discussing the shipment and storage
of Special Nuclear Material with a number of state governors, Congressional
delegations, and concerned citizens. Based on these efforts, we
believe that we can achieve agreements that will allow our consolidation
efforts to continue and even further accelerate in the future.
We have also included in our 2005 budget request funding to increase
the transportation assets of the Office of Secure Transportation.
This will enable us to maintain current shipment schedules and
accommodate additional future shipments. In the meantime, we are
considering other opportunities for consolidation.
For example, after operations of three years or
perhaps less, the Sandia Pulse Reactor will no longer be needed,
simulations will be able to assume its mission. This represents
an intelligent substitution of advanced technology for brute
force. When its mission is complete, this reactor’s fuel
will be removed from Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico,
us to reduce security costs at Sandia and further consolidate
our nuclear materials.
Another important activity that we have embarked upon is the construction
of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility at the Y-12 National
Security Complex in Tennessee. This building is being designed
from the beginning to emphasize not only operational needs, but
also to provide unparalleled security to the Special Nuclear Materials
stored there. This will be one of the best examples of applying
security-oriented construction techniques and technology to the
problem of securing materials.
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In addition to providing enhanced protection for the materials
within the HEU Materials Facility, completion of this building
will allow us to perform an extensive on-site consolidation of
the HEU stored at Y-12. In the next several months, the Department
will issue a new RFP for construction of this facility on an expedited
basis. This consolidation will allow us to remove all the Category
I and II Special Nuclear Material from two buildings within the
Protected Area, allowing us to shrink the Protected Area to about
half its present size. Shrinking the Protected Area will save substantial
costs when a newly configured Perimeter Intrusion Detection and
Assessment System is installed, and it should allow us to more
intelligently deploy our manpower.
Also, as we announced on March 31st of this year, all Category
I and II Special Nuclear Material will be removed from Technical
Area-18 at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This effort is proceeding,
and the first material movements are expected to begin later this
year. Once the material has been moved, we will permanently end
any use of TA-18 involving Category I or II Special Nuclear Material.
Finally, there have been a number of questions raised about other
materials across the complex. We have asked our management team
to look at three issues. First, we need to address how to resolve
situations where materials are being stored at sites only because
they do not meet the acceptance criteria for our longer-term storage
Second, while the requirements of Stockpile Stewardship
mean that we must retain nuclear materials at Lawrence Livermore
Laboratory today, over the long term we should look for a better
solution. We have previously told the Congress that we will conduct
a review of the requirements for the weapons complex over the
next 20 years. This study, which we expect to be completed early
year, will examine the implications of the President’s
decisions on the size of our stockpile, of the new Design Basis
of the opportunities for consolidation that we are announcing
today. As part of that review, we will consider whether certain
work performed at Livermore could be relocated to allow us to
remove the Category I and II material stored there.
Third, we need to explore whether we can down-blend substantial
quantities of our HEU holdings. Potentially, this could yield a
number of security benefits, but the programmatic impact of a major
campaign of down-blending needs to be assessed. We have also directed
NNSA to conduct a study to assess the down-blending of large quantities,
perhaps as much as 100 tons, of the HEU stored at Y-12 and to assess
the programmatic impacts of such a large campaign.
We have asked that each of these inquiries be completed by the
end of the year.
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Finally, in addition to enhancing technology and consolidating
materials, we want to address what we must do to build a modern,
efficient, effective guard force able to meet 21st century threats.
The threat change most visible to us is reflected in the revised
DOE Design Basis Threat that we issued last year. This policy requires
us to prepare to fight and defeat an adversary force much larger
than we had previously thought. This has a significant impact on
protective force members, as well as on all other elements of our
We intend continually to review and refine the threat and our
responses to it. We have therefore directed the NNSA Administrator
and the Directors of the Office of Security and Safety Performance
Assurance and the Office of Intelligence to re-examine the Design
Basis Threat and the intelligence data supporting it in light of
recent events and report back in 90 days. Moreover, we are requiring
that this reassessment take place on an annual basis.
We must also address issues specifically affecting our protective
forces. We have established a stringent set of common qualification
standards for DOE Security Police Officers, and a comprehensive
training regimen to ensure that necessary individual and team skills
are maintained. Our security personnel represent the very best,
not just in the DOE complex, but in the world. But, across the
complex, the skill levels and qualifications of protective force
members can vary widely.
To staff up our protective forces to meet the current
threat, we are depending on too much overtime. To keep the burden
low as possible, local managers have made decisions about what
is absolutely necessary to squeeze into everyone’s schedule,
and what posts absolutely must be manned.
After two and a half years of this, there is insufficient uniformity
in training. Meanwhile, staffing levels across the complex are
no longer based on common criteria. This obviously presents challenges,
especially when the protective force at a site needs to be temporarily
augmented by protective force members from other sites. At present,
we have to depart far from our routine methods of operation to
address such needs. But, we are taking a number of steps to address
First, the Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance
has begun implementing a set of changes at the National Training
Center that will more closely focus their programs on basic DOE
safeguards and security training. We believe this will soon result
in training that is better tailored to the post-9/11 environment
we are now facing.
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Second, since 9/11, we have directed all sites to conduct more
frequent force-on-force exercises to provide additional training
Third, we have obtained authority from the Congress to use the
Office of Personnel Management to perform some of our background
investigations. This should greatly reduce the time required to
complete the process of granting security clearances.
Of course, it is not just the protective forces
that need to maintain the highest standards. It is their Federal
overseers as well.
Recently, Ambassador Brooks asked a commission headed by Admiral
to examine the specific needs of the National Nuclear Security
Administration regarding the recruitment, development, and maintenance
of security expertise. Based on the recommendations made in Admiral
Chiles’s report, we have instructed NNSA to take several
immediate steps to implement corrective actions. Most notably,
we are establishing a safeguards and security Intern Program
to focus on the recruitment of highly qualified technical personnel
in the areas of cyber security, nuclear material control, and
We have also asked NNSA to put together a long-term
human capital management program based on the report’s findings. Finally,
though the Chiles Report focuses on NNSA, we believe its recommendations
can apply to the entire safeguards and security community at the
Department of Energy. So we have instructed the top management
of the Department to look for ways to extend Admiral Chiles’s
recommendations to the entire Department.
Important as they are, these actions are just the beginning. If
we are to continue to ensure the protection of our most important
national assets, it is vital that we continue to challenge conventional
thinking and strive for innovative new ways to enhance our security
In the aftermath of 9-11, we have admired the elite military units
defending our country -- units like the Delta Force, the Rangers,
or the SEALS. Today, we have units among the DOE protective forces
that meet this same high level of excellence. But we foresee a
future in which we have transformed all of the protective forces
that have direct responsibility for the protection of our most
sensitive assets, such as Category I and II Special Nuclear Materials,
into a force with that kind of elite mission focus. The hallmark
of this force will be advanced tactical skills, intensive training,
and the highest professional and physical fitness standards.
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Achieving this vision may be a challenge, but we must have a common
standard of excellence throughout our protective forces. There
are a number of alternatives we are considering to accomplish this
vision. And since the stakes are so high, the Secretary has insisted
that everything is on the table.
It may mean implementing common contract language for protective
force contracts complex-wide, and requiring all field elements
to award independent protective force contracts separate from site
management and operating contracts. It may mean awarding a common,
complex-wide protective force contract for, at a minimum, those
protective force elements that protect Category I and II SNM. And
it may mean establishing a special, elite federal force for protection
of Category I and II SNM.
After getting input from various quarters and various experts,
we will make our decisions and recommendations. We expect that
within two years we will have a program that will enable us to
improve and build our protective forces into a more-uniform group,
capable of fully meeting the immense challenges of an ever changing
Improvement in Management Culture
Finally, all of the improvements that we seek – in our protective
forces, in our cyber security efforts and our application of new
technologies, and in how we store nuclear materials – must
be accompanied by tangible management improvements that ensure
that early warning systems are in place to detect process failures,
with accountability and consequences for such failures. That
calls for a change in our management culture.
First, we must be willing to take constructive criticism, analyze
it, and respond when appropriate. Too often, we have seen a reflexive
dismissal of ideas or suggestions not invented at DOE, whether
they be from a Member of Congress, a government oversight organization
like the GAO, or an outside stakeholder organization like POGO.
That is not how a first-class organization behaves.
Second, as the Secretary told a gathering of DOE management two
“I am concerned that too many employees believe
that their only recourse to address system failures is to go
to the media
or the Inspector General.
And that is a result that should concern us all. It tells me that,
fairly or unfairly, many of our employees believe that when they
raise issues they will either be ignored, or, worse, harmed in
terms of their career.
“That is a failure of leadership. And starting
with me, I expect every manager down the line to make clear that
these concerns to be taken seriously and addressed quickly and
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This is a serious – and absolutely necessary – change.
Neither the Secretary’s nor my views has changed since he
made those remarks. In our judgment, the system has not changed
enough to that effect, but we are working on it. We need a system
where management is more responsive and where people don’t
need to find a third party to get a fair hearing for their concerns.
The reason is plain: People should never have to be worried about
the perils of doing their jobs honestly, safely, and correctly.
People should not be afraid to bring problems to the attention
of management, or worried about facing retribution rather than
receptiveness. That is not a healthy working culture – and
it sows the seeds of failure and inefficiency in other areas.
Our expectation is that if we are able to implement
a system – a
culture – where people can legitimately air concerns, then
everyone will benefit. Our workforce will be more effective. The
public’s confidence in this Department will improve. And
America’s security will be greatly enhanced. That is a
goal we are all aiming for. It goes hand in glove with the other
we seek in constructing an effective 21st century security apparatus.
These are the broad directions in which our security apparatus
must move in order to meet the challenges the future holds. We
are committed to putting them into effect. We are committed to
making bold changes where necessary because, ultimately, the Department
of Energy complex, our assets, our employees, and our fellow countrymen
deserve and require the highest levels of security.
All of the initiatives highlighted today are designed
to build and support the most robust and motivated protective
the world. We will therefore do what it takes to recruit, train
appropriately compensate the outstanding men and women who have
chosen to assume the responsibility of securing this nation’s
strategic deterrence capability. In order to recruit and retain
expert safeguards and security personnel, we must consider as
many options and reforms as possible despite the potential for
resistance. We welcome any suggestions you, Mr. Chairman, or
Members of the Subcommittee may have to share with us.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, we
are fully cognizant of the tremendous responsibility we have
for protecting the special
materials and information entrusted to us at the Department of
Energy. We have worked for more than three years to implement
effective new protection programs throughout DOE. We have introduced
worthwhile initiatives to eliminate specific identified risks,
and Secretary Abraham and I continue to be fully committed to
the Department’s safeguards and security programs. With your
help, we are committed to pursuing the initiatives outlined today,
in the interest of our national security.