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4 Leveraging R&D for Environmental Management The statement of task for this study asks the committee to identify strategic opportunities to leverage research and development (R&D) from other Department of Energy (DOE) programs, other federal agencies (e.g., Department of Defense [DOD], Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]), universities, and the private sector. âStrategicâ in this statement is inter- preted by the committee in the same sense that âstrategicâ initiatives are set forth in the Office of Environmental Managementâs (EMâs) Engineering and Technology Roadmap (DOE 2008b). In the Roadmap, strategic initiatives are those that address the technological risks and uncertainties identified by EM. The strategic opportunities for leveraging discussed in this chapter would help EM bring R&D from other organizations to bear on the tech- nology gaps identified by the committee in Chapter 2. For purposes of this report âopportunities to leverageâ are defined as opportunities for collaborations or co-investments between EM and other organizationsâgovernment, academic and private sectorâto achieve syner- gistic production of new knowledge, knowledge transfer and application to cleanup problems, reduction in time schedules, and efficiency improvements in personnel and infrastructure utilization. Such synergy requires that the participants achieve tangible benefits and outcomes, which may include See Chapter 1, Sidebar 1.2. The EM Engineering and Technology Roadmap will be referred to as the EM roadmap, or simply as the Roadmap. The committeeâs statement of task used the term âtechnology gaps,â which are discussed in Chapter 2, rather than âtechnical risk or uncertainty,â which is used in the Roadmap. 95
96 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP reduced costs, accelerated R&D and cleanup schedules, improved technol- ogy transfer, workforce maintenance, and facility support. Through such collaborations EM can leverage its R&D investments (financial, personnel, and management commitment) to strengthen its partnersâ R&D programs as well as to improve its own site cleanup work (Sidebar 4.1). When identifying leveraging opportunities the committee focused its information gathering on programs at potentially relevant federal agencies. The reason for doing so is that federal agencies fund virtually all R&D rel- evant to EM at the national laboratories and universities. As a consequence, focusing on federal programs was an efficient, nonduplicative way to iden- tify relevant leveraging opportunities. Pursuing leveraging opportunities might begin by contacting managers of various federal R&D programs but would then lead to contact with individuals in the organizations actually performing the R&D. SIDEBAR 4.1 What Is Leveraging? Leveraging, a word in common usage, describes all sorts of activities in which resources used are magnified in the outcome. âLeveragingâ is derived from the word âlever,â which is a simple device that provides mechanical advantage through the use of a fulcrum. A small force at a great distance from the fulcrum can be magnified to balance a large force over a small distance on the other side of the fulcrum. Sidebar 4-1 The pooling of many small efforts into an effort that addresses a common issue leverages each small effort by a multiplier that is the sum of the number of small efforts. Thus five small coordinated efforts pooled leads to a leverage of five times for any one of the small contributorsâprovided the pooled effort ad- dresses their specific need. Conversely, a large (central) effort or capability can be a source of support for a number of smaller satellite uses of this capability, where any single satellite could not support the capability it needed to complete its work. In practice, there are many variants of this principle that require some form of âpartneringâ or collaboration among the component organizations.
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 97 The research management literature contains many descriptions of leveraging experiences between organizations in the private, governmen- tal, and academic sectors with lessons learned from such experiences. For example, a search of the past 10 years in the journal Research-Technology Management, a publication of the Industrial Research Institute, generated over 175 references to âleveragingâ R&D activities with descriptions of both the value and the shortcomings of such activities. A review of these articles and discussions with Michael Dalton and Charles Scouten, consul- tants in the field of technology management, at the committeeâs April 2008 meeting (Appendix B) brought out the fact that the more successful of these activities have characteristics that include a strong, sustained commitment, a disciplined approach, and a detailed process from research to implementa- tion by the partners to ensure success of the collaboration. Examples of effective and successful leveraging involving Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the private sector are summarized in Sidebar 4.2. Such leveraging partnerships benefited the partners in different ways. In this example, the partnerships provided LANL with a mechanism for stabilizing its R&D funding, a test bed for some of its analytical capa- bilities, and the stimulation of applying its research capabilities to problem areas outside the nuclear complex. For the private-sector companies in- volved, leveraging provided access to multidisciplinary expertise to address their complex problems as well as pathways to solve these problems. Reviewing EMâs past experience with leveraging partnerships, Gerald Boyd, manager of the DOE Oak Ridge Operations Office and a former manager of EMâs Office of Science and Technology, discussed his earlier experiences with EM technology development and summarized guiding principles for success. His summary of guidelines for success (Sidebar 4.3) reflected many of the same factors described above and in studies of suc- cessful partnerships in many organizations as described by Slowinski and Sagal (2003). The Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) was a unique program that leveraged research capabilities between the national laboratories and universities to address problems defined by EM. It was established in 1995 and funded research until 2003 when the program was transferred to the Office of Science (SC) to become part of the Envi- ronmental Remediation Sciences Division (ERSD), described in the next section of this report. At the height of the EMSP initiative, EM defined the research challenges through focus area teams at each site. These research challenges were used to define requests for proposals that were issued to the national laboratories, universities, and industry. Proposals that were multi-institutional were encouraged, especially for national laboratories See http://www.iriinc.org/.
98 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP SIDEBAR 4.2 Los Alamos National Laboratory Industry Alliances The partnership alliances between LANL and industry were the result of a program established at LANL several years ago to manage its intellectual property in order to (1) partner with industry to enhance science in the service of national security, (2) strengthen the U.S. economy by accelerating product creation from LANL technologies, and (3) foster technology job growth in the New Mexico re- gional economy. Partners were chosen who had characteristics that matched the needs of the laboratory both in technology development and market coverage. The objective was to establish a long-term relationship in which the technological and financial needs of both organizations could be met. The process of cultivating an effective partnership took substantial effort on the part of both organizations in order to align time horizons, develop shared values, agree on investments to be made by both parties, identify and use best practices in partnering, and make a long-term commitment to invest in developing the relationships necessary to succeed. Two such partnerships, one with Chevron and another with Proctor and Gamble, are examples in which the expertise of each organization is leveraged through the other partner. In the case of Chevron, one example of technology leveraging was the successful utilization of LANL technology for secure battle- field communication adapted to oil-field monitoring. In another project under the partnership, improved drilling fluids were developed in collaboration with Baker Hughes and Lucite companies based on LANLâs analytical capabilities in under- standing high-pressure fluid dynamics. The alliance with Proctor and Gamble, on the other hand, applied reliability software developed as part of the weapons program to predicting reliability in a complex consumer manufacturing process, resulting in capital savings of over $2 billion. In both partnerships, the participants recognized the importance of having an effective process for partnering and adopted a set of common operational prin- ciples. Such alliance principles are described in literature on management, most recently in a book entitled, The Strongest Link: Forging a Profitable and Enduring Corporate Alliance (Slowinski and Sagal 2003). SOURCE: Freese (2008). LANL, April 28, 2008, presentation to this committee. that partnered with universities and private companies. Once selected for funding, the principal investigators were required to meet periodically with staff from the EM focus areas to listen to current problems associated with their technical area (e.g., tank waste chemistry, groundwater remediation, decontamination and decommissioning) and to describe the progress that had been made on the funded research project. This approach allowed for the development of fundamental research that was focused on specific EM problems, and engaged the national laboratories, industry, and colleges and universities.
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 99 SIDEBAR 4.3 Guiding Principles for Successful Partnerships in Previous EM Technology Developmenta Principles for successful partnerships learned from the EM focus areas and the EM Science Programb were the following: â¢ Communication among developers, end users, regulators, and stakehold- ers: Specifically, scientists must take responsibility for problem resolution; en- gineers, in turn, must realize when information is not sufficient to allow for a defensible remedy. â¢ Early identification of technology and technology needs during project plan- ning to allow funding and schedule allowances; â¢ End-user input/involvement in design, development, and testing of new technologies; â¢ Integration of field technology team and field project management team; and â¢ Teaming between technology developers and engineering companies per- forming the field work. aBoyd (2008). bNRC (1997a, 1999c). LEVERAGING OPPORTUNITIES FOR EM TO ADDRESS TECHNOLOGY GAPS At its April 2008 meeting, the committee received input from orga- nizations with which EM has worked or potentially could collaborate in addressing the technology gaps that were identified in Chapter 2. The or- ganizations that participated in discussions and provided input to the com- mittee are listed in Sidebar 4.4. Their capabilities relevant to EMâs needs are summarized in this section. These leveraging opportunities are given as examples and are not intended to be a comprehensive list. Offices Within the Department of Energy Office of Science SC is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sci- ences in the United States, providing more than 40 percent of the total fund- ing. SC manages fundamental research programs in basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, and computational science. In addi-
100 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP SIDEBAR 4.4 Organizations That Participated in the Committeeâs Meeting on Opportunities for EM to Leverage Its R&D Programs Department of Energya â¢ Office of Science â¢ Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management â¢ Office of Nuclear Energy Other federal organizations â¢ Department of Defense â¢ Department of Homeland Security â¢ Environmental Protection Agency â¢ Nuclear Regulatory Commission International organizations â¢ International Atomic Energy Agency â¢ Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development aThree DOE national laboratories: Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Savannah River also made presentations. tion, SC is the federal governmentâs largest single funder of materials and chemical sciences, and it supports unique and vital parts of U.S. research in climate change, geophysics, genomics, life sciences, and science education. With a budget of roughly $4 billion dollars in 2008, approximately one- third of that amount was invested in colleges and universities in the form of research grants, with over 300 institutions of higher education receiving such awards. DOEâs laboratories and technology centers that receive their primary funding from SC house world-class facilities where more than 30,000 scientists and engineers perform cutting-edge research. The national labo- ratories, including the four associated with the DOE sites that are part of this study, are important sources of expertise and technology as they relate See http://www.er.doe.gov/about/index.htm. See http://www.science.doe.gov/SC-2/Presentations/Blevins%20NCURA%20Nov%203% 202008.ppt#380,10,Office of Science Numbers. See http://www.doe.gov/organization/labs-techcenters.htm.
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 101 to the nuclear industry. In particular, the four national laboratories have years of experience as well as unique capabilities to address the technology gaps in EMâs program (see Chapters 2 and 3). At the April 2008 meeting, Mike Kuperberg (2008) stated that the SC mission is to deliver the remarkable discoveries and scientific tools that transform our understanding of energy and matter and advance the na- tional, economic, and energy security of the United States. Strategic Goal 2 within this mission is to provide the biological and environmental dis- coveries necessary to clean and protect our environment, offer new energy alternatives, and fundamentally alter the future of medical care and human health. Strategy 2.3 in the SC strategic plan is to âunderstand the complex physical, chemical and biological properties of contaminated sites for new solutions to environmental remediation.â The plan details a number of the unresolved issues stemming from the legacy wastes at the DOE sites. Kuperberg (2008) described a generic model for SC collaboration with DOEâs program offices such as EM as a research âcontinuum.â The model begins with discovery research and use-inspired basic research, which are mainly the purview of SC. The model then moves to applied research and, lastly, technology maturation and deployment, which are mainly the purview of the DOE technology program offices. This continuum is by no means linear, recognizing that technological challenges can identify oppor- tunities for basic research and breakthroughs in basic research can acceler- ate advances in new technologies. Kuperberg also described offices within SC and their missions that are relevant to EM technology development: â¢ The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES) has the mission to foster and support fundamental research to expand the scientific founda- tions for new and improved energy technologies and for understanding and mitigating the environmental impacts of energy use. The OBES research portfolio includes material sciences and engineering; chemical and geo- and biosciences; and scientific user facilities, for example, neutron scattering facilities. â¢ The Advanced Scientific Computing Research program has the primary mission to discover, develop, and deploy the computational and networking tools that enable researchers in the scientific disciplines to analyze, model, simulate, and predict complex phenomena important to DOE. â¢ The Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) has Also see http://www.er.doe.gov/about/Mission_Strategic.htm. DOE Office of Science Strategic Plan 2004. See http://www.er.doe.gov/about/Strategic_ Plan/Feb-2004-Strat-Plan-screen-res.pdf.
102 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP the mission to advance environmental and biological knowledge that pro- motes national security through improved energy production, develop- ment, and use. ERSD was established within OBER in 2003 to provide fundamental science to support DOEâs long-term cleanup challenges. Of OBERâs operating budget for research ($45 million for fiscal year 2008), approximately 28 percent was invested in colleges and universities through research grants primarily within the ERSD. As examples of engagement with EM problems, Kuperberg (2008) described OBES work in developing the âBOB Calixâ extractant, which was a major breakthrough for the Savannah River Site (SRS) salt waste treatment; studies of the hydrolysis of plutonium; and effects of ionizing radiation on uranium (IV) peroxides. SCâs computing capability is being applied to models of uranium transport within the Hanford 300 Area and to hybrid models that describe contaminant transport. OBERâs Environmental Remediation Science Program (ERSP), which consolidated OBERâs Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research and the former EMSP, focuses on DOE-relevant contamination, under- standing fate and transport, new remediation concepts, and monitoring. The committee noted that much information has been developed by OBER- supported fundamental, mission-orientated investigations into the fate, transport, and remediation of metals and radionuclides. This information and that developed by ongoing and planned ERSP research is relevant to EM needs. EM involvement in the review process of new and ongoing ERSP projects could facilitate the more rapid translation and implementation to achieve cleanup. Another opportunity for EMâs leveraging noted by the committee is the analysis of the results of past and current research outcomes from OBER-sponsored projects. These results could be systematically examined to identify those niche- and case-specific parameters that operationally affect successful implementation of new cleanup technology. Often the scientific and technical nuances of fundamental research findings may be marginalized in attempting to scale up or implement a new technology at a new site or location, particularly when transferred to a cleanup contractor. The use of a technology assessment teams consisting of the contractor, EM staff, and OBER investigators could help ensure that fundamental informa- tion is most effectively implemented or that EM identifies those gaps that must filled to increase the probability of successful implementation of new and innovative technology. Kuperberg (2008) noted that there is close cooperation between ERSD In early 2009, ERSD was consolidated with the Climate Change Research Division to cre- ate the Climate and Environmental Sciences Division.
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 103 and EMâs Office of Engineering and Technology (EM-20). To more effec- tively leverage their R&D, it will be important to integrate the EM road- map and SCâs initiatives, for example, the Strategic Timeline for Biological and Environmental Research contained in the SC Strategic Plan. EM can be a full partner in defining the programs by which SC will fulfill its Strategy 2.3, which bears directly on EMâs responsibilities. Leveraging its R&D programs with SC offers EM an important vehicle for further partnering with universities and the private sector. Office of Fuel Cycle Management of the Office of Nuclear Energy The mission of the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), as described to the committee by Andrew Griffith, Acting Director, Recycled Fuel Development (NE-53) is to lead the DOE investment in the development and exploration of advanced nuclear science and technology (Griffith 2008). NE leads the governmentâs efforts to: â¢ Develop new nuclear energy generation technologies, â¢ Develop advanced, proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel technologies that maximize energy from nuclear fuel, and â¢ Maintain and enhance the national nuclear technology infrastructure. NE aims to serve the present and future energy needs of the nation by man- aging the safe operation and maintenance of the DOE nuclear infrastruc- ture. NE manages the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) program, which is intended by the United States as a cooperation with other nations to develop and deploy advanced nuclear recycling and reactor technologies. At the committeeâs April 2008 meeting, NE presented GNEP as a major component of its fuel cycle technologies program. Overall, NEâs advanced fuel cycle initiatives draw on experience from across the DOE complex, including at least 10 national laboratories (Griffith 2008). Facilities for NE work at national laboratories include those for handling radioactive material and for conducting engineering tests, which were described in Chapter 3 as national laboratory resources for EM work. These clear overlaps between NEâs needs for expertise and infrastructure and those of EM suggest that cooperation in maintaining these capabilities is essential to both offices. Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management The mission of DOEâs Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Manage- ment (RW) is to manage the nationâs high-level radioactive waste and spent
104 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP nuclear fuel. Its focus is the licensing and development of the proposed Yucca Mountain geologic repository in Nevada. Jeffrey Walker, RW, gave an overview of the status of the repository and described several opportu- nities for cooperation between EM and RW. Walker (2008) stated that the scientific basis for Yucca Mountainâs licensing was complete. Opportunities for cooperation include: â¢ Waste package technology, â¢ Waste handling, and â¢ Performance monitoring and confirmation. Waste package technology could be improved by developing less costly corrosion-resistant materials and more efficient manufacturing and test- ing methods. Waste must be handled remotely, which suggests needs for improved robotic technologies. Innovative sensor technology and remote monitoring capabilities will be important for confirming the repositoryâs performance before and after closure. Ensuring worker safety in both the aboveground and subsurface waste handling operations is central to RWâs program. Other Federal Organizations Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program of the Department of Defense The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is the DOD environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in full partnership with DOE and EPA, with partici- pation by numerous other federal and nonfederal organizations. SERDP has environmental drivers that call for the reduction of current and future environmental liabilities. In his presentation, Bradley Smith, SERDP executive director, high- lighted environmental challenges including the current intractability of remediating some chlorinated solvents, DODâs potential liability for un- exploded ordnance, and emerging new contaminants such as perchlorates. Smith described SERDP as supporting R&D up through proof of principle. Linked with SERDP in a combined program office is the Environmental Se- curity Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), which moves promising new environmental technologies to the demonstration phase and promotes their implementation. Smith (2008) also described a roadmap that had been used previously by SERDP and ESTCP for environmental restoration of DOD sites. Environmental restoration needs of DOD are broadly similar to those
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 105 of EM, which were described in Chapter 2. DOE is a partner in planning and carrying out SERDP, as noted above. The relation between SERDP and ESTCP appears conceptually to mirror that between SC and EM. ESTCP functions in a similar way as EMâs previous focus areas, which were de- scribed by Boyd (2008). Domestic Nuclear Detection Office of the Department of Homeland Security William Hagan, assistant director of the Domestic Nuclear Detec- tion Office (DNDO), described his agencyâs functions as a national office established to improve the U.S. capability to detect and report unauthor- ized attempts to import, possess, store, develop, or transport nuclear or radiological material for use against the nation, and to further enhance this capability over time (Hagan 2008). DNDOâs transformational R&D program includes: â¢ Exploratory Research, â¢ Advanced Technology Demonstrations, â¢ Small Business Innovation Research, And â¢ Academic research. Hagan stated that DNDO and EM have some overlapping research needs in the area of nuclear detection. This could potentially provide im- proved technology for both real-time remote assessment of radiation sources and for long-term site monitoring. Hagan noted that both DNDO and EM have needs to detect radionuclides over large areas. He also noted difficul- ties in assaying nuclear materials because of their being either shielded or inaccessible. As examples of new DNDO technologies of potential relevance to EM, he described technologies that provide high sensitivities, ability to detect radionuclides at a distance (large standoff), and improved algorithms to detect masked radionuclide signatures. He also described exploratory research to identify new materials for radiation detection. Office of Research and Development of the EPA The Office of Research and Development (ORD) provides a scientific foundation to support the EPAâs mission to protect human health and safe- guard the national environment. To do this, ORD: â¢ Performs R&D to identify, understand, and solve current and fu- ture environmental problems; â¢ Provides responsive technical support to EPAâs mission;
106 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP â¢ Integrates the work of ORDâs science partners (other agencies, na- tions, private-sector organizations, academia, and international organiza- tions); and â¢ Provides leadership in addressing emerging environmental issues and in advancing the science and technology of risk assessment and risk management. Randall Wentsel, national program director of ORDâs Land Research Program, described several groundwater research areas that are relevant to EM cleanup, including: â¢ Dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source zone remediation, â¢ In situ treatment of source areas by thermal and chemical removal or destruction of DNAPLs and performance monitoring, â¢ Monitored natural attenuation for organic and inorganic contami- nants, and â¢ Permeable reactive barriers. These closely parallel areas suggested in Chapter 2 for EM groundwater and soil R&D. Wentsel (2008) also stated that programs in these areas already include cooperation among federal agencies, including DOE. For example, the Inter-Agency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Model- ing initiated in 2001 includes six federal agencies. He listed groundwater remediation technology development, fate and transport modeling, and site characterization as areas for more joint EPAâEM R&D initiatives. Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Broadly speaking, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) regu- lates the civilian use of by-product, source, and special nuclear materials to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety, to promote the com- mon defense and security, and to protect the environment. The USNRCâs regulatory mission covers four main areas: â¢ ReactorsâCommercial reactors for generating electric power and research and test reactors; â¢ MaterialsâUses of nuclear materials in medical, industrial, and academic settings and facilities that produce nuclear fuel; â¢ WasteâTransportation, storage, and disposal of nuclear materials and waste, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities; and â¢ Nuclear SecurityâPhysical security of nuclear facilities and materials.
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 107 Relative to the third area within the USNRC mission, Andrea Kock, Chief of the Performance Assessment Branch, Division of the Waste Management and Environmental Protection, within USNRCâs Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, discussed interfaces between EM and USNRC. As described in Chapter 2, the Ronald Reagan National Defense Au- thorization Act of 2005, Section 3116, authorizes DOE to declare some tank wastes to be âincidental to reprocessing,â which allows those wastes to be disposed at a DOE site10 rather than requiring disposal in a high-level waste repository (e.g., Yucca Mountain if licensed and constructed). While USNRC does not directly regulate DOE, the Reagan Act requires the DOE to consult with the USNRC on DOEâs determination that criteria for an incidental waste declaration have been met. The USNRC is required to monitor DOE disposal actions. In addition to the tank heels described in Chapter 2, the saltstone disposals at SRS are subject to USNRC evaluation. Kock (2008) listed evaluation criteria for saltstone, and stated that some are technical challenges to EM. Kock (2008) described opportunities for joint EMâUSNRC long-term R&D on: â¢ Cementitious materials, including the ongoing DOE cement consortium; â¢ Ground covers, including longevity of clay covers and optimizing barrier performance; and â¢ More efficient approaches to cleanup problems, including optimi- zation of groundwater models and simulation of complex source terms. She also highlighted knowledge management initiatives, including the need to attract new technical staff and researchers to enable transfer of knowl- edge from retiring production-era personnel. USNRC is establishing knowl- edge centers in performance assessment and research to facilitate knowledge transfer and management. International Organizations International Atomic Energy Agency The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established as the worldâs âAtoms for Peaceâ organization within the United Nations in 1957. The agency works with its Member States11 and multiple partners 10 The Reagan Act applies only to the Idaho and Savannah River sites. 11 IAEA Member States are sovereign nations that have formally applied and been accepted for membership in the IAEA. The IAEA had 145 Member States as of September 2008.
108 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP worldwide to promote safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear technolo- gies. In pursuing its mission to promote peaceful uses of atomic energy, the IAEAâs work includes: â¢ Promotion of research, development, and practical applications; â¢ Exchange of scientific and technical information; â¢ Exchange and training of scientists and experts; â¢ Establishment and administration of safeguards; â¢ Establishment of facilities, plants, and equipment; and â¢ Development of safety standards and provision for their application. Horst Monken-Fernandes (2008) of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology described joint work with the IAEA Division of Radiation, Transport, and Nuclear Safety to assist IAEA Member States in four areas: 1. Development of an international safety regime for radioactive waste management, 2. Management and disposal of all types of radioactive waste, 3. Assessment and control of radioactive discharges to the environ- ment, and 4. Decommissioning of installations and remediation of sites. The IAEA does not carry out experimental research programs per se. It is, however, a clearinghouse for information and technology related to cleanup of nuclear waste and environmental remediation. Member States participate in sharing information on cleanup tech- nologies, remediation planning, and site characterization through IAEA as well as in using technical and safety information and recommendations contained in the IAEA publications. Other forms of information dissemina- tion and capacity building include workshops, training courses, scientific visits, and expert meetings (supported by the Department of Technical Cooperation). The expectation is that Member States will eventually have in place a proper infrastructure and technologies for managing their radioactive lega- cies and resolve all related issues in a timely, safe, and cost-effective manner. Partnering with the IAEA includes both being a contributor of technology as well as a user of best practices developed in other countries. Toward this objective, the IAEA is the creator of the Network of Centers of Excellence in Environmental Remediation (ENVIRONET) that, in conjunction with other networks recently created by the IAEA (e.g., International Decom- missioning Network [IDN]; and Waste Disposal Network [DISPONET]),
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 109 will expedite the exchange of information and help to disseminate good practices in this field. Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The mission of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is to assist its mem- ber countries in maintaining and further developing, through international cooperation, the scientific, technological, and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly, and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The NEA works as: â¢ A forum for sharing information and experience and promoting international cooperation, and â¢ A center of excellence that helps member countries to pool and maintain their technical expertise. The NEAâs 30 member countries house about 85 percent of the worldâs nuclear power capacity. Hans Riotte, head of Radiation Protection and Waste Management within the NEA, stated that the NEA has long been, and continues to be, a leading organization in the field of radioactive waste management and, in particular, geologic disposal (Riotte and Nokhamzon 2008). The NEAâs Radioactive Waste Management Committee addresses all aspects of ra- dioactive waste management, including developing public confidence. The Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health addresses future directions for radiation protection policy and operational radiation pro- tection, including planning to deal with nuclear emergencies and reducing occupational exposures. Jean-Guy Nokhamzon, chair of the NEA Cooperative Programme on Decommissioning, described 20 years of exchange of information about D&D projects among the programâs participants. The projects have in- cluded 29 research and nuclear power reactors and 13 fuel cycle facilities. Twenty-four organizations from 12 countries have participated. Informa- tion exchanged has included: â¢ Use of remote systems and robotics, â¢ Partial dismantling of plants, â¢ Dismantling large components, and â¢ Release of alpha-contaminated areas. Nokhamzon stated that member countries gain benefit of earlier ex- perience and spread it on a larger scale. They share in the development
110 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP of improved technologies for dismantling and demolition and encourage continued research on new technologies. Current technologies have dem- onstrated their effectiveness and robust performance in numerous decom- missioning activities. The dissemination of best practices and sharing of information in international workshops and conferences has proven to be a good basis for an effective cooperation. He observed that international cooperation is important for meeting future cleanup challenges. Federal Partnership Programs: The Role of the Small Business Innovation Research Program In various forms, the federal government has been partnering with both the private sector and academia since its early history. The late Professor Vernon Ruttan, one of the worldâs leading development economists, with more than 50 years of distinguished academic and nonacademic experience in the United States, is quoted in his recent book: âGovernment has played an important role in the technology development and transfer in almost every U.S. industry that has become competitive on a global scaleâ (Ruttan 2001 p. 602). The government has used a variety of partnering models from direct support of basic research through the National Science Foundation, to multiparty arrangements involving the government, private sector, and academia as co-partners in developing technology. Charles Wessner, a National Academies scholar and the director of the National Research Councilâs (NRC) program on Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship overviewed the role of the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) in facilitating partnerships between federal labo- ratories, universities, and the private sector. The goals of these partnerships have been to: â¢ Stimulate technological innovation, â¢ Use small businesses to meet federal R&D needs, â¢ Increase employment, â¢ Foster and encourage participation in technological innovation by minorities and women, and â¢ Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D. As the SBIR program approached its 20th year of operation, the U.S. Congress asked the NRC to conduct a comprehensive study of how the program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal R&D needs and make recommendations on improvements
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 111 to the program.12 In the past 5 years, the NRC has published a series of reports based on comprehensive studies that were carried out on the SBIR program. Over 7,000 projects were surveyed and about 100 case studies were conducted. Regarding the program itself, the studies concluded that: â¢ The program is sound in concept and effective in operation; â¢ Twenty percent of the participating companies were created be- cause of the program; â¢ Nearly 60 percent of the participants reach the market in some fashion; and â¢ The program creates greater choice for federal procurement, add- ing new options and increasing competition. The studies also concluded that small U.S businesses: â¢ Are key players in bringing new technologies to market; â¢ Generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade; â¢ Employed 39 percent of high-tech workers, such as scientists, en- gineers, and computer workers; â¢ Produced 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large firms and the patents are of high quality, being twice as likely to be among the top 1 percent of patents cited; and â¢ Are a key source of innovation for themselves and for large companies. Currently a $2.3 billion-per-year program, the SBIR is the largest U.S. partnership program. Its participants include all federal agencies with $100 million or larger R&D budgets, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs. The success of the SBIR has led a number of foreign countries, including Finland, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, to adopt various aspects of the program in the support of development within their own countries. Clearly the SBIR program is well suited to provide opportunities for EM to create privateâacademic partnerships to efficiently leverage its R&D. 12 See SBIR Reauthorization Act of 2000 (H.R. 5667, Section 108.
112 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS ON THE ROLE OF ROADMAPPING AND LEVERAGING IN R&D EM has been pursuing new technologies to improve its site cleanup efforts and to leverage its technology development and implementation with other organizations for a number of years. However, according to presentations and other information received by the committee, much of this effort is perceived as having achieved only limited success in provid- ing new technologies to make cleanup âfaster, cheaper, and safer,â which was the mission of EMâs original Office of Technology Development, estabÂ lished in 1989. The most notable success, which was described at all of the committeeâs site visits, was the development of the caustic-side solvent extraction process for the SRS. This process is being implemented and is expected to provide a major improvement in the removal of cesium in SRS salt waste processing (NRC 2000a, 2001a). In EM site cleanup programs, contractors fund R&D to address their immediate cleanup needs. However, science and technology development that is necessary to provide transformational technology (i.e., technology that could provide a breakthrough in risk reduction, cost, or schedule) typi- cally requires a longer time horizon than a contract or contractor can in- clude within a particular task. In its interim report the committee observed that the responsibility for providing sustained R&D support that can lead to transformational cleanup technologies resides at the EM headquarters level (Appendix H). Despite the increasing scope and complexity of EMâs responsibilities for cleanup, investment in medium- to long-term R&D in support of these activities has been decreasing (Chapter 1). The perception that EMâs tech- nology development efforts have had limited success in providing new technologies for the cleanup program suggests that the efforts can be made more effective. In particular, the efforts can be improved by: 1. Improving the Roadmap and using it as a central tool for EMâs R&D planning and for communicating its plans and programs to other organizations, including other DOE offices, federal agencies, and Congress; and 2. Better application of the basic principles of leveraging research, with recognition that legacy waste cleanup is a national responsibility that requires other organizations to willingly partner with EM. Improving the EM Roadmap The technology roadmapping process has been used widely as a plan- ning tool in industry and government to match technology resources with
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 113 desired product or process outputs. EM has begun to develop such a roadmap to reduce technical risk and uncertainty in its cleanup program. The term âroadmapâ is not accidental. Like a true roadmap, a technology roadmap gives details of how to get to the destination. Furthermore, if parts of the trip (getting there) require using transportation provided by differ- ent carriers (partnerships) the roadmap will spell out such details based on agreements with all of the partners. âResearch that creates the right technologies at the right time is critical to competitive success in many industries.â The committee judges that this statement by Christensen et al. (2004, p. 1) also applies to the tasks that face EM in the cleanup program. Investments in R&D eventually have to pay off or they are wasted opportunities. EMâs payoffs from R&D will vary from better knowledge and understanding of the cleanup issues to actual cleanup capabilities that were not available prior to the work supported by the R&D investment. A roadmap lays out medium- and long-term R&D plans that will allow EM to effectively communicate expected payoffs from the research invest- ment to its investors (Congress, DOE management, and the public) and its implementers (DOE management, partnering agencies, and contractors). All of the essential steps of the roadmapping process and in particular the schedule of R&D investments and expectations, such as those steps dis- cussed with the committee by Scouten (2008) and described in his publica- tion with Cosner et al. (2007), are important elements of a roadmap that can be effectively used as a planning and implementation tool. A roadmap can be an especially effective tool in planning and communicating expecta- tions from R&D activities that are leveraged in partnerships. Applying the Principles of Leveraging To be successful in leveraging R&D, all participants in the collaboration must receive benefits from the partnership in order for it to be sustained. Moreover, all participants in the collaboration should bring something to the partnership that is needed by the other partners in the collaboration. This may include financial resources or specific expertise that other partners can build on and benefit from. In the plenary session of the committeeâs April 2008 meeting on R&D leveraging, Mike Dalton summarized the best practices for leveraging R&D from years of experience in working with private-sector companies in developing successful partnerships (Dalton 2008). The process to develop effective leveraging partnerships is not complicated; however, it requires discipline to be carried out in rigorous detail that does not leave any of the essential elements undefined.
114 ADVICE ON THE DOEâS CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP The four steps in the particular process that was used in the Los Alamos exampleâsee Sidebar 4.2 and Slowinski and Sagal (2003)âare: 1. Want: What external resources do we need to succeed in our mission? 2. Find: What mechanisms will we use to find these resources? 3. Get: What processes will we use to plan, structure, and negotiate an agreement to access the resources? 4. Manage: What tools, metrics, and management techniques will we use to implement the relationship? There is nothing revolutionary in this process; however, by spelling out the details of each step and following through in implementing them, the process takes on a rigor that minimizes the risk that some critical step in developing and implementing the partnership results in its failure. As applied to the EM task, Step 1 in the above process is clearly the EM roadmap that is under development and is being shared with potential partners. At this step in the process, the Roadmap can be developed in conjunction with potential partners and include time lines for R&D to ad- dress technology gaps. Step 2, identifying partners to share resources, was described in the first part of this chapter with some examples of oppor- tunities for partnerships. More comprehensive mechanisms involving the technical community of which EM is a part can also be used to search out the collaborative opportunities. Step 3 should be a formalized, structured agreement in which partners in the leveraging activity have an understand- ing of what they bring that others in the partnership need and what they expect to take away, so that all partners buy into a negotiated agreement. Finally, Step 4 is the monitoring of progress toward the success goal using metrics that have been agreed upon by all partners and are appropriate to the task at hand. As simple as these techniques sound, they are not easy to implement given the focus, orientation, and organizational objectives of the partners. This is precisely why a rigorously adhered-to process is required to ensure that, despite the individual cultural and political drivers that each organiza- tion brings to the partnership, the specific goals of the leveraging partner- ship are achieved. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ON LEVERAGING Successful leveraging of the R&D that EM needs to address its tech- nology gaps requires: (1) a roadmap that not only spells out the details of technology gaps that are obstacles to the EM cleanup but also a time line that allows both investors and implementers to understand how the
LEVERAGING R&D FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 115 plan meets the technology needs and milestones for site cleanup; and (2) an execution process for partnering that is rigorous and transparent to all leveraging partners. The organizations that attended the committeeâs April meeting are, in the committeeâs judgment, many of the ones that can provide good oppor- tunities for mutual leveraging of R&D with EM. Many are already doing so. Clearly other opportunities for partnering, especially with organizations outside of the federal sector, will open as EM further develops and imple- ments its Roadmap. In the planning and development of its Roadmap, details, time lines, and close interactions with potential leveraging partners can help ensure that there are viable connections between EMâs roadmapped objectives and the support it can negotiate with these partners. The committee wishes to reemphasize the necessary quid pro quo nature of these partnerships and the need to ensure that EM is fully vested to enter into such relationships as an equal partner.