Appendix E:

GOCO History in DOE

(by W. Kenneth Davis1)

The Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1947 as the successor to the wartime Manhattan Project after a great debate in the U.S. Congress which concluded that the task of doing research, development, testing, and production of nuclear weapons should be undertaken by a civilian agency and, most specifically, not by the Department of Defense.

The initial function of the Atomic Energy Commission was to continue the nuclear weapons research, development, testing, and production which had been established during the war by the Manhattan District of the Corps of Engineers. The research, development, and testing had been largely done through contracts with academic institutions (i.e., University of California—the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley and the new Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, the University of Chicago which had established a laboratory at Argonne—not the present site, the University of Iowa through the Ames Laboratory, etc.). The Hanford facilities along with the associated research and development was run by General Electric and the Oak Ridge research and development operations (the Clinton Engineer Works of the Manhattan District), including the Clinton Laboratories, by Monsanto with considerable assistance from the University of California Radiation Laboratory.

After the war, the Atomic Energy Commission, as one of its first official actions, formed the Brookhaven National Laboratory in response to a request from Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and several other universities for a major atomic energy laboratory in the Northeast (originally negotiated with the Manhattan District). Further production facilities were established at Savannah River, Portsmouth, Paducuh, and so on, in the early 1950s.

The laboratories were basically products of the work for the Manhattan District where the government built the large new facilities needed but the workers were employees of the contractors, not the government (or the

1  

Committee member W. Kenneth Davis' experience with the Department of Energy includes a two-year service as the U.S. Deputy Secretary from 1981 to 1983. In addition, he was the Deputy Director, in 1954, and then Director of Reactor Development of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission from 1955 to 1958. For a complete biographical listing, see Appendix G.



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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Appendix E: GOCO History in DOE (by W. Kenneth Davis1) The Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1947 as the successor to the wartime Manhattan Project after a great debate in the U.S. Congress which concluded that the task of doing research, development, testing, and production of nuclear weapons should be undertaken by a civilian agency and, most specifically, not by the Department of Defense. The initial function of the Atomic Energy Commission was to continue the nuclear weapons research, development, testing, and production which had been established during the war by the Manhattan District of the Corps of Engineers. The research, development, and testing had been largely done through contracts with academic institutions (i.e., University of California—the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley and the new Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, the University of Chicago which had established a laboratory at Argonne—not the present site, the University of Iowa through the Ames Laboratory, etc.). The Hanford facilities along with the associated research and development was run by General Electric and the Oak Ridge research and development operations (the Clinton Engineer Works of the Manhattan District), including the Clinton Laboratories, by Monsanto with considerable assistance from the University of California Radiation Laboratory. After the war, the Atomic Energy Commission, as one of its first official actions, formed the Brookhaven National Laboratory in response to a request from Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and several other universities for a major atomic energy laboratory in the Northeast (originally negotiated with the Manhattan District). Further production facilities were established at Savannah River, Portsmouth, Paducuh, and so on, in the early 1950s. The laboratories were basically products of the work for the Manhattan District where the government built the large new facilities needed but the workers were employees of the contractors, not the government (or the 1   Committee member W. Kenneth Davis' experience with the Department of Energy includes a two-year service as the U.S. Deputy Secretary from 1981 to 1983. In addition, he was the Deputy Director, in 1954, and then Director of Reactor Development of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission from 1955 to 1958. For a complete biographical listing, see Appendix G.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Manhattan District of the Corps of Engineers). Even in time of war it would probably have been nearly impossible to recruit the type of managers, scientists and engineers needed if they had been forced to become government employees—and it would have been more complicated and slowed things down. It might be noted that the Brookhaven National Laboratory was in operation in just one year from the time of the initial meeting among the universities to consider such an idea. (As he points out in his paper, Norman Ramsey invented the title national because he thought it sounded better in attracting scientists and engineers to the infant Brookhaven Laboratory. The general use of the term did not come until much later.) While a most interesting and exhaustive account could, and probably should, be written about the origins and history of the national laboratories, the important point is that they evolved in a way dictated by the circumstances, proved their worth and provided the Atomic Energy Commission, Energy Research and Development Administration, and the Department of Energy with a very useful and satisfactory way of contracting for research and development (as well as other services) which has been followed until this day. It is important to recognize that the Atomic Energy Commission, as a civilian agency, became increasingly interested in the non-weapons applications of nuclear energy and with support from various Administrations and the Congress (especially the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy) and rapidly expanded programs for other applications and, of course, changed very completely the character of most the original laboratories with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (with the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory split off as the other part of the old University of California Radiation Laboratory), Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Sandia National Laboratories still primarily and almost wholly devoted to nuclear weapons and related work. A related development was the establishment of the Reactor Development Division of the Atomic Energy Commission which was primarily to act as a vehicle for the Naval Reactors Branch under Captain H.G. Rickover to develop reactors to power submarines. While much of the early work had been done at Argonne, Rickover transferred most of it to two other laboratories, the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory at Schenectady, New York managed by General Electric, and the Bettis Laboratory at Pittsburgh operated by Westinghouse. These became (and still are) captive laboratories for the Naval Reactors program. The Reactor Development Division soon had an Aircraft Reactors Branch, an Army Reactors Branch, a Maritime Reactors Branch, and then a small branch for Civilian Power Reactors. It also had an Engineering Development Branch inherited from its predecessor, the Engineering Division of the Atomic Energy Commission. In addition, both the Research and Medical Divisions of the Atomic Energy Commission greatly expanded their

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options non-military research support activities both at universities and at the national laboratories, as well as some industrial research laboratories. The Division of Military Applications continued, of course, to carry out an expanded program of weapons research, development and testing at the Radiation Laboratory (Berkeley and Livermore), the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, all managed by the University of California, and soon set up the Sandia Laboratories for weaponization which was managed by Western Electric. While primarily focused on weapons work these laboratories increasingly undertook other research and development such as fusion, accelerator development, etc. It must be kept in mind that the customers for the non-weapons work of the Department of Energy National Laboratories are the public (generally and through private sector initiatives to serve the public) and that, to a large extent, the objectives and approaches have been and are different than that for the Department of Energy nuclear weapons work or the Army Research Laboratory work for the Army. ARL today appears to be primarily operating in the mode of providing research and development services to the Army in response to rather specific requirements (user pull). In contrast, even in the case of the Weapons Program in the Department of Energy laboratories, the emphasis has been on developing new technologies and then deciding how they might best be used (technology push)—with considerable expressions of what would be useful from the Department of Defense if it were developed. Sandia (now National) Laboratories was originally established at Albuquerque as a Los Alamos activity and then run as a separate laboratory by Western Electric (with support from Bell Telephone Laboratories) to provide the transition from weapons research, development and testing to practical weapons systems useful to the Department of Defense when the University of California declined to continue its operation of its contract in 1948. However, the client relationship in the research and development areas of ARL is substantially different than that between ARL and the various Army organizations functioning as the principal ARL Army client agencies. (Although, it is not substantially different than that which the Department of Defense has with its federally funded research and development centers.) Today the national laboratories are doing much for the Army and the nation in areas outside of nuclear weapons. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently applied its expertise to assist with problems in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. Three examples are: The development of an oil/gas separation to be used during the oil-well-fire debacle in Kuwait. It offers significant improvements over traditional methods for quenching oil-well fires and may prove particularly

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options useful for containing underwater oil leaks. However, the fires were put out by conventional means before the system could be shipped to Kuwait. Airborne detection of buried minefields. Using a combination of dual-band infrared imaging and automatic target recognition, the Livermore system can find live anti-tank mines covered by up to 15 cm of soil from a height of 60 m. The Laboratory's Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability provided real-time evaluations of the potentially hazardous airborne effects of Operation Desert Storm. The nonnuclear weapons laboratories are also assisting the Department of Defense. The Brookhaven National Laboratory's support of radiological response teams and the MITRE Corporation's efforts with the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and other good examples of the GOCO/FFRDC link with the Department of Defense. The national laboratories will continue to support the nation through their ability to reorganize to meet changing demands. At the Administration 's request, they have devoted 10–20 percent of the budgets to creating collaborative ventures with industry. They are also looking toward more international ventures. They will preserve our nation's basic research assets.