National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

PEER REVIEW
AND DESIGN
COMPETITION
IN THE NNSA NATIONAL
SECURITY LABORATORIES

Committee on Peer Review and Design Competition
Related to Nuclear Weapons

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS     500 Fifth Street, NW     Washington, DC 20001

This study was supported by Contract No. DE-PI0000010/DE-DT0006061 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-37843-7
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-37843-5
DOI: 10.17226/21806

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 for sale 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 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

image

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

COMMITTEE ON PEER REVIEW AND DESIGN COMPETITION
RELATED TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS

PAUL S. PEERCY, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Co-Chair

JILL P. DAHLBURG, Naval Research Laboratory, Co-Chair

JOHN F. AHEARNE, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

MICHAEL R. ANASTASIO, Los Alamos National Laboratory (retired)

CHRISTINA A. BACK, General Atomics

JOHN M. CORNWALL, University of California, Los Angeles

PAUL A. FLEURY, Yale University

DAVID HAMMER, Cornell University

CHERRY A. MURRAY, Harvard University

ROBERT E. NICKELL, Applied Science & Technology1

DAVID OVERSKEI, Decision Factors, Inc.

K. LEE PEDDICORD, Texas A&M University

ROBERT SELDEN, Independent Consultant

STEVEN J. ZINKLE, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Staff

SCOTT WEIDMAN, Responsible Staff Officer

GREG EYRING, Senior Program Officer

RICHARD ROWBERG, Deputy Director, Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences

RODNEY HOWARD, Administrative Assistant

______________

1 Resigned November 7, 2014.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

LABORATORY ASSESSMENTS BOARD

JOHN W. LYONS, U.S. Army Research Laboratory (retired), Chair

ROSS B. COROTIS, University of Colorado at Boulder

PAUL A. FLEURY, Yale University

C. WILLIAM GEAR, NEC Research Institute, Inc. (retired)

WESLEY L. HARRIS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

JENNIE S. HWANG, H-Technologies Group, Inc.

W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado at Boulder

C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Pranalytica, Inc.

ELSA REICHMANIS, Georgia Institute of Technology

LYLE H. SCHWARTZ, University of South Florida

Staff

JAMES P. McGEE, Director

LIZA HAMILTON, Associate Program Officer

EVA LABRE, Administrative Coordinator

ARUL MOZHI, Senior Program Officer

ANDREA SHELTON, Administrative Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

Preface

In the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed the administrator of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to reach an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine1 to “conduct a study of peer review and design competition related to nuclear weapons” at its national security laboratories (see Appendix C for the legislation language). The NNSA laboratories involved are Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The full Statement of Task is discussed in Chapter 1.

The Administrator commissioned the Academies to conduct this study on peer review and design competition in the context of nuclear weapons. In response, the Academies formed the Committee on Peer Review and Design Competition Related to Nuclear Weapons, which began work on June 10, 2014. For the backgrounds of committee members, see Appendix A. The committee had the benefit of presentations from a number of individuals with knowledge and experience related to its tasks; the agendas of the committee’s public meeting sessions are listed in Appendix B.

As the committee was conducting this study, it was mindful of other

______________

1 Effective July 1, 2015, the institution is called the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. References in this report to the National Research Council (NRC) are used in a historical context to refer to activities before July 1.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

ongoing studies with overlapping mandates.2 In particular, another Academies study, Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges, was mandated in the same legislation and dealt in part with peer review issues at the NNSA laboratories; the staff of the two studies coordinated with each other

We wish to thank all of the committee members for their dedication in producing this report in a short time. Also, we particularly want to thank Michael Bernardin of LANL, Mike Dunning of LLNL, Gary Sanders and Ron Hartwig of SNL, and Robert Hanrahan of NNSA for their time and efforts in organizing the presentations that the committee received during its laboratory visits, for attending and contributing to the committee’s public meetings, and for responding in a timely way to the committee’s requests for additional information. The committee is well aware of the burdens imposed by the laboratories’ support of outside groups seeking to review them—including this committee—and hopes that the laboratories will feel that the time spent was worthwhile. Finally, the outside reviewers and the National Academies monitor provided insightful comments that improved the quality of the report. A sincere thank you is due to the Academies staff: Scott Weidman, Dick Rowberg, Greg Eyring, and Rodney Howard.

Paul S. Peercy and Jill P. Dahlburg, Co-Chairs
Committee on Peer Review and Design
Competition Related to Nuclear Weapons

_________________

2 Three other related, congressionally mandated studies were under way or completed as this study progressed: (1) Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise, November 2014, available at http://knoxblogs.com/atomiccity/2014/12/11/reforming-nuclear-security-enterprise/ (its final report); (2) Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories, Interim Report of the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories, February 27, 2015, http://energy.gov/labcommission/downloads/interim-report-commission-review-effectiveness-national-energy-laboratories; and (3) NRC, Aligning the Governance Structure of the NNSA Laboratories to Meet 21st Century National Security Challenges, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2015. In addition, there is a Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force on DOE National Laboratories; see http://energy.gov/seab/secretary-energy-advisory-board-seab-task-force-doe-national-laboratories.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

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 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:

Everett H. Beckner, Independent Consultant, Santa Fe, New Mexico,

Philip E. Coyle, Private Consultant, Sacramento, California,

Thomas O. Hunter, Sandia National Laboratories (retired),

Raymond Jeanloz, University of California, Berkeley,

John Kammerdiener, Independent Consultant, Marble Falls, Texas,

Steven Lamoreaux, Yale University,

Charles V. Shank, Howard Hughes Medical Institute,

Merri Wood-Schultz, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and

Joan B. Woodard, EDT Consulting, LLC.

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×

before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen Robinson, University of Wisconsin, Madison, who 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 committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21806.
×
Page R12
Next: Summary »
Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $40.00 Buy Ebook | $31.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is responsible for providing and maintaining the capabilities necessary to sustain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile for the nation and its allies. Major responsibility for meeting the NNSA missions falls to the three NNSA laboratories: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The NNSA National Security Laboratories contribute to that goal by maintaining the skills and capabilities necessary for stewardship of a reliable nuclear stockpile and also by maintaining a high level of technical credibility, which is a component of the nuclear deterrent.

Since 1992 it has been U.S. policy not to conduct explosion tests of nuclear weapons. The resulting technical challenges have been substantial. Whereas a nuclear test was in some sense the ultimate "peer review" of the performance of a particular NEP design, the cessation of nuclear testing necessitated a much greater reliance on both intralab and interlab expert peer review to identify potential problems with weapon designs and define the solution space. This report assesses the quality and effectiveness of peer review of designs, development plans, engineering and scientific activities, and priorities related to both nuclear and non-nuclear aspects of nuclear weapons, as well as incentives for effective peer review. It also explores how the evolving mission of the NNSA laboratories might impact peer review processes at the laboratories that relate to nuclear weapons.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!