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1 Introduction In November 1989, the US Department of Energy (DOE) established its Office of Environmental Management (EM). The primary goal of the EM program is to clean up the legacy of environmental pollution at DOE facilities throughout the nation while reducing hazards to the environment and human health posed by the generation, handling, treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal of DOE waste. The undertaking was projected to cost billions of dollars each year for many decades to come and to require the application and development of new remediation technologies. It was further expected that because of the magnitude and complexity of the undertaking, if new technologies were available, cleanup could be achieved "faster, cheaper, and better." An Office of Technology Development (EM-50) was charged with carrying out an aggressive national program of technology development to meet some of the environmental restoration and waste management needs within the DOE complex (see Appendix H for EM-50's organizational structure as of August 1999~. Almost from the beginning, the Office of Technology Development (later renamed Office of Science and Technology, OST) was criticized by a number of external groups, including Congress, the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the National Research Council (NRC) (particularly, committees of its Board on Radioactive Waste Management, BROOM). Its history of turmoil and change (see section entitled "Background") reflects these criticisms, and by the mid 1990s, the Office of Science and Technology (OST) had been viewed by many as ineffective (NRC, 1996a; GAO, 19961. As part of OST's efforts to become more effective, OST asked the NRC's BROOM to address six specific issues related to technology development activities in DOE-EM. The NRC established two panels and four subcommittees of its Committee on Environmental Management Technologies 8

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INTRODUCTION 9 (CEMT) in early 1997 to address these issues (Table 11.~ Since December 1998 these committees have completed six reports on various aspects of OST's program (Box 11. In late 1998 Gerald Boyd, head of OST, asked Me BROOM to summarize Me major findings and recommendations of these reports and synthesize any common issues into a few overarching recommendations to EM and OSTi2 (see ~ These panels and subcommittees were re-organized as ad hoc committees in August 1997 when the BROOM discontinued the Committee on Environmental Management Technologies. i2 In the body of this report, recommendations taken directly from one of the subject reports include references to the subject reports (no references to the subject reports are included in the Summary). Recommendations in the body of the report with no references reflect the board's synthesis of the recommendations and analyses in the subject reports.

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10 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Box 2 for the Statement of Task). Such an assessment is timely because it is occurs soon after the appointment of a new Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management. The board believes that DOE leadership will find this report useful as it works to improve EM's efforts to research, develop, and deploy technologies for environmental remediation and restoration of DOE sites. The board recognizes that the deployment of OST-developed technologies is, in many cases, decided by individuals and organizations with little or no connection to OST. Legislative and regulatory programs, as well as DOE policy decisions and funding constraints, play a major role in determining environmental management technology needs. Often these constraints play a more important role in environmental management technology selection than the perfo~ance of the technology (see Chapter 5~. THIS REPORT BROOM committees have produced six reports since December 1998 (see Box 1) that address aspects of OST's technology development program. The advice offered in these reports ranges from recommendations addressing the management of OST to recommendations on specific technologies and R&D programs (the major recommendations from each of these reports are included as Appendixes A through F). Much of this advice is program or context specific

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INTRODUCTION 11 and is not readily generalized to OST as a whole. Nevertheless, the board has observed that there are several themes that pervade the discussions and recommendations in these reports-themes that, for the most part, address what the board considers high-level or first-order program management issues for OST and for DOE as a whole. The objective of the present report (see Box 2) is to provide a synthesis and discussion of these issues for action by upper-level DOE management and Congress. In preparing the present report, the board has relied heavily on recent reports of its committees that have focused on technology development and deployment efforts within OST (see Box 1~. Although some of these reports have only recently been released, most of the authoring committees completed their information-gathering and deliberations well before publication. Therefore, these reports may not take into account more recent changes that are being made by OST management in response to congressional, GAO, and BROOM criticisms. To better understand recent changes, the board received two briefings from OST in July 1998 and February 1999. The board also received written responses from OST to three of its recent reports (DOE, l999b,c; 1998d) and a summary of changes made in response to the 1996 CEMT report (DOE, 1999a). The board reviewed these documents and, where appropriate, acknowledges where progress has been made. It is clear from these documents that OST has begun or is planning to make a number of changes to address the issues raised in the subject reports and to accomplish other programmatic goals. In many cases, however, it is too early to judge the efficacy of the changes. Moreover, a credible evaluation of these anticipated changes and their possible impact would entail extensive study, which is beyond the scope of this effort. The board believes that the conclusions and recommendations of this synthesis report will be useful to DOE leadership as it continues to address these challenges. The present report does not supersede or substitute for the six committee reports, which provide more detailed assessments of the management and conduct of specific parts of OST programs. The six reports include extensive discussions and analyses to support many of the conclusions and recommendations presented in this report. The six reports also provide valuable primers on aspects of OST programs including peer review, decision making, and "systems-based" approaches for conducting technology development programs essentially to correct what the committees viewed as poor practices that have occurred within OST. The board does not reproduce any of this material in this synthesis report but commends this material, as well as all of the findings and recommendations in the six reports (see Appendixes A through F for the major recommendations from the reports), to OST and upper-level DOE management for review and action.

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14 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BACKGROUND In 1994, the GAO issued a report (GAO/RCED-94-205) that evaluated the internal and external barriers that inhibit the use of new and innovative technologies in environmental cleanup. GAO concluded that after five years of effort and the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars by its Office of Technology Development, DOE lacked a well coordinated and fully integrated technology development program. In response to this report, the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management announced a new approach to environmental research and technology and changed the name of the Office of Technology Development to the Office of Science and Technology (OST). According to OST, an awareness of the needs of customers, users, regulators, and other interested and affected partiesi3 was integral to OST's new, solution- oriented approach. Some of the key features of this new approach were stated to be: establishing five focus areas to address DOE's most pressing problems; teaming with customers in the Office of Waste Management (EM-30), the Office of Environmental Restoration (EM-40), and the Office of Nuclear Material and Facility Stabilization (EM-60) to identify, develop, and implement needed technology; focusing technology development activities on major environmental problems; involving industry and academia breakthroughs; and enhancing the involvement of regulators and stakeholders in the implementation of technology development (GAO, 1996~. In late 1994, DOE asked the NRC to form a committee (Committee on Environmental Management Technologies [CEMT]) to provide continuing independent advice to DOE-EM on its technology development program. In 1995, CEMT formed five subcommittees corresponding to OST's five focus areas. In March 1996, CEMT published its report Environmental Management Technology-Development Program at the Department of Energy 1995 Review, which noted that only limited progress had been made by OST. CEMT concluded that "major improvements are needed in the fun~rnental management processes if the EM research and technology development program is to meet its responsibilities to the DOE and the public" (NRC, 1996a, p. 2~. ]3 See Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society (=C, 1996c) for definition of the term "interested and affected parties," which is used throughout this report rather than the term "stakeholders." to stimulate technological

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INTRODUCTION 15 CEMT further concluded that a "great deal more needs to be done before the DOE-EM has a vital, focused, and coordinated technology-development program sufficient to support the technically and organizationally complex waste-remediation program effectively" (NRC, 1996a, p.1~. The report included five recommendations to DOE: 1) develop and implement quantitative criteria by which technology development efforts can be prioritized and success can be measured; 2) carefully consider the waste streams in determining adequate technology development needs; 3) systematically assess and document previous and current efforts to develop and apply technologies using the quantitative criteria mentioned above; 4) apply effective external peer review in the selection, evaluation, and prioritization of projects; and 5) improve the system for information gathering and documentation of technologies that are available or under development at other organizations in the United States and abroad. In the fall of 1996, the conclusions expressed in another GAO report, "Energy Management: Technology Development Program Taking Action to Address Problems" (GAO, 1996), generally confirmed the CEMT recommendations. In late 1996, DOE asked the CEMT to address six issues related to DOE- EM technology development activities. The NRC established two panels and four subcommittees of the CEMT in early 1997 to address these issues. To streamline its oversight structure, in August 1997, BROOM discontinued CEMT, reorganized its subcommittees and panels into ad hoc committees, and formed a working group from its own membership to oversee the committees. (See Table 1 for the tasks and major milestones for each activity.) In September 1998, the GAO issued another report on EM's technology development efforts, "Nuclear Waste: Further Actions Needed to Increase the Use of Innovative Cleanup Technologies" (GAO, 1998~. The GAO estimated that, as of January 1998, OST had an overall deployment rate of 12-18 percent, which was less than the 21 percent estimated by OST (GAO, 1998, p. 5~. The GAO found that DOE-EM had addressed several obstacles to using innovative technologies (e.g., federal and contractor staff had become better informed about relevant innovative cleanup technologies and DOE and its regulators had improved their working relationships). Despite this progress, however, the GAO identified three matters that continued to hinder the deployment of OST- developed technologies: (1) OST has not involved users when technologies are being developed; (2) EM policy does not clearly state who should pay for modifications often required to fit a specific site's needs; and (3) OST has not

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16 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT provided enough technical assistance to sites during technology selection and implementation.'4 GAO also questioned EM's commitment to its efforts to increase deployment through the formation of the Technology Acceleration Committee, the identification of performance metrics, and the requirement for site deployment plans. Again, lack of "user involvement" in OST projects was cited as a significant barrier to OST's deployment initiatives. Table 2 summarizes DOE-EM's budget for technology development and related activities from fiscal year (FY) 1990 to FY 1999. The data for DOE- EM, OST, and most of OST's major budget categories show a steady increase over the first 5 years (through FY 1994), then a plateau (FY 1994-1996), followed by reductions. EM's budget experienced a 6.5 percent reduction in FY 1997, followed by relatively stable funding through FY 1999. OST's budget, however, has experienced a significant reduction every year since FY 1996, decreasing by a total of approximately 40 percent relative to its peak funding in FY 1995. OST funding as a percentage of DOE-EM funding also has decreased from over 6 percent in FY 1997 to approximately 4 percent in FY 1999. The two technical areas most affected by the budget cuts in OST have been the Mixed Waste and Subsurface Contaminants focus areas. Another notable change in OST's budget occurred in FY 1996, when Congress mandated the Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) to stimulate basic research and technology development for cleanup of the nation's nuclear weapons complex (NRC, 1997a). Approximately $50 million has been appropriated to the program annually. See NRC (1997b) for an assessment of the EMSP. ]4 "GAO recommended in 1994 that EM give OST a formal role in technology selection decisions. However, the recommendation was not implemented because site personnel lack confidence in OST's ability to provide expert technical advice and assistance and are therefore reluctant to allow OST a formal role in their technology selections." (GAO, 1996, p. 8)

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