The Quality of Science and Engineering at the
NNSA National Security Laboratories

Committee to Review the Quality of the Management and of the Science and Engineering Research at the
Department of Energy’s National Security Laboratories—Phase II

Laboratory Assessments Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu



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The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories Committee to Review the Quality of the Management and of the Science and Engineering Research at the Department of Energy’s National Security Laboratories—Phase II Laboratory Assessments Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the authoring board responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. DE-DT0001744 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Nuclear Security Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-29090-6 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-29090-2 Copies of this report are available from Laboratory Assessments Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE QUALITY OF THE MANAGEMENT AND OF THE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S NATIONAL SECURITY LABORATORIES—PHASE II CHARLES SHANK, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Co-Chair C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Pranalytica, Inc., Co-Chair JOHN F. AHEARNE, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society CHRISTINA BACK, General Atomics PHILLIP COLELLA, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory JILL DAHLBURG, Naval Research Laboratory ROGER FALCONE, University of California, Berkeley YOGENDRA GUPTA, Washington State University WICK HAXTON, University of California, Berkeley MICHAEL D. HOPKINS, University of Chicago RAYMOND JEANLOZ, University of California, Berkeley JOHN KAMMERDIENER, Independent Consultant WILLIAM MARTIN, University of Michigan MARGARET MURNANE, University of Colorado ROBERT E. NICKELL, Applied Science and Technology KENNETH PEDDICORD, Texas A&M University PAUL S. PEERCY, University of Wisconsin-Madison ANTHONY ROLLETT, Carnegie Mellon University ROBERT ROSNER, University of Chicago ROBERT SELDEN, Independent Consultant KENNETH SHEA, University of California, Irvine FRANCIS SULLIVAN, Institute for Defense Analyses/Center for Computing Sciences GARY WAS, University of Michigan KATHERINE YELICK, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Staff ALAN SHAW, Study Director RICHARD ROWBERG, Assisting Study Director; Deputy Director, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences JAMES P. McGEE, Director, Laboratory Assessments Board SCOTT WEIDMAN, Director, Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications LIZA HAMILTON, Administrative Coordinator ERIC WHITAKER, Senior Program Assistant v

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LABORATORY ASSESSMENT BOARD JOHN W. LYONS, U.S. Army Research Laboratory (Retired), Chair CLAUDE R. CANIZARES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ROSS B. COROTIS, University of Colorado, Boulder JOSEPH S. FRANCISCO, Purdue University C. WILLIAM GEAR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign LIEUTENANT GENERAL HENRY J. HATCH, U.S. Army (Retired) LOUIS J. LANZEROTTI, New Jersey Institute of Technology ELSA REICHMANIS, Georgia Institute of Technology LYLE H. SCHWARTZ, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Retired) CHARLES V. SHANK, Howard Hughes Medical Institute DWIGHT C. STREIT, University of California, Los Angeles Senior Staff JAMES McGEE, Director ARUL MOZHI, Senior Program Officer CY BUTNER, Senior Program Officer vi

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Marvin Adams, Texas A&M University, Michael Anastasio, Los Alamos National Laboratory (retired), Arden Bement, Purdue University, Paul Fleury, Yale University, Paul G. Gaffney II, Monmouth University, Neil Gehrels, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, James Hyman, Tulane University, Cherry Murray, Harvard University, Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark, Thomas Romesser, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (retired), Maxine Savitz, Honeywell Inc. (retired), and Merri Wood-Schultz, Los Alamos National Laboratory (retired). Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen M. Robinson, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution. vii

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 8 Statement of Task, 8 Conduct of the Study, 10 Outline of the Report, 12 2 NUCLEAR WEAPONS DESIGN 13 Background, 13 Experimental Facilities, 14 Human Resources and Nuclear Weapons Design Capabilities, 16 3 SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AND AGING 19 High-Quality Systems Engineering, 19 Weapons Surveillance, 20 Plutonium Aging, 20 Selected Supporting Disciplines, 21 Transitioning Technology for Engineering: LDRD and Technology Readiness Levels, 23 Work Environment and Staffing, 24 The 120-Day Study, 26 4 THE SCIENCE BASE 26 Introduction, 26 Materials Science, Chemistry, and Engineering, 26 Condensed Matter/Materials Science at Extreme Conditions, 28 High-Energy-Density Science, 30 Radiation Hydrodynamics and Transport, 32 Workforce Development and the Work Environment, 33 Scientific Facilities, 36 5 MODELING AND SIMULATION 37 Background, 37 Quality of Models and Numerical Methods, 37 Hydrodynamics and Materials, 38 Transport and Plasmas, 38 Engineering, 39 Quality of Scientific Computing Practice, 40 Staffing and Succession Planning, 42 Findings and Recommendations, 42 ix

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6 CROSS-CUTTING THEMES 45 Overall Quality of S&E, 45 Experimentation, 45 Facilities and Infrastructure, 46 Workforce Recruitment and Retention; Work Environment and Culture, 47 APPENDIXES A Acronyms 51 B People with Whom the Committee Held Discussions 53 C Topics Discussed at Laboratory Meetings 57 D Summary of the Phase I Report of this Study 60 x