Jan. 1, 2001

Council fosters growth in energy, environment

Last spring, at the Director’s Office strategic offsite, Director Bruce Tarter asked me to lead the Council on Energy and Environmental Systems (CEES). CEES is one of five councils that focus the attention and energy of senior LLNL leaders on essential business lines and Laboratory operations. As constituted, CEES includes associate director-level leaders who have a stake in the success of LLNL’s energy and environmental work.

Over the past several months, CEES has focused on developing major new initiatives at the nexus of U.S. interests in energy, environment and national security. CEES is chartered to foster program growth and increase recognition of LLNL’s nationally important mission in this area. To this end, CEES is developing, implementing and coordinating the LLNL vision for intersecting energy, environment and national security program activities. We are engaged in both strategic planning and business development. CEES responsibilities include:

• Clarifying LLNL’s strategic mission in energy and environment;
• Identifying and conducting program campaigns;
• Developing strategic business lines;
• Defining collaboration and investment priorities; and
• Selecting program development directions.

The CEES approach encourages crosscutting collaborations as the associate directors guide and advise LLNL’s energy and environmental activities. CEES includes members from the Energy and Environment; Nonprolifera-tion, Arms Control and International Security; Chemistry & Materials Science; and Engineering directorates; the Environmental Protection Department; and the Center for Global Security Research. In addition, three new business councils are part of the CEES structure. They help us prepare and execute strategic business development campaigns.

CEES guides and uses business councils to develop mission-oriented programs in three main areas: Nuclear Materials Stewardship, Energy/Carbon/Climate, and Environmental Risk Reduction. Business Council membership is dynamic, with representation chosen from across the CEES directorates.

Nuclear Business Council functions and initiatives include:
• Optimizing DOE nuclear materials management and disposition;
• Supporting domestic and international nuclear materials initiatives;
• Protecting the environment against radioactive contamination; and
• Creating new nuclear energy and fuel cycle technologies to help unblock the nuclear energy option while managing proliferation risks.

Energy/Carbon/Climate Business Council functions and initiatives include:
• Analyzing and understanding climate effects to inform and shape relevant U.S. policies;
• Developing technical alternatives to improve fossil fuel utilization and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
• Providing technical means to safeguard the strength of the U.S. energy economy against disruption.
Environmental Risk Reduction Business Council functions and initiatives include:
• Developing methods to characterize and mitigate nuclear, chemical and biological contamination and its effects;
• Devising new techniques for site and facility decontamination and cleanup; and
• Furnishing scientific approaches for resource protection and environmental management to enhance regional security.

In simple terms, CEES makes certain that the right people are working together and talking with each other. Then CEES supports and coordinates these activities to help LLNL reach its full potential in applying the best of science and technology to meet the nation’s energy and environmental challenges. We are taking an activist approach to program development — we want CEES to be a constructive catalyst for change in the energy and environmental work at LLNL. Our approach will only succeed if our processes are inclusive of everyone’s ideas. To this end, we encourage you to work with CEES through your line organizations, the Business Councils and directly with the CEES office.

Tom Isaacs is the director of the Office of Policy, Planning & Special Studies.