Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex. The Department's strategic goals to achieve the mission are designed to deliver results along five strategic themes:
- Energy Security: Promoting America's energy security through reliable, clean, and affordable energy
- Nuclear Security: Ensuring America's nuclear security
- Scientific Discovery and Innovation: Strengthening U.S. scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and improving quality of life through innovations in science and technology
- Environmental Responsibility: Protecting the environment by providing a responsible resolution to the environmental legacy of nuclear weapons production
- Management Excellence: Enabling the mission through sound management
Within these themes there are sixteen strategic goals which are designed to help DOE successfully achieve its mission and vision.
- The Administration is fully committed to ensuring that long-term storage obligations for nuclear waste are met. The President has made clear that Yucca Mountain is not an option for waste storage. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future will conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, and will provide recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the Nation's used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.
- On March 3, 2010, the Department of Energy filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw the license application for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain with prejudice.
- The mission of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability is to lead national efforts to modernize the electric grid, enhance the security and reliability of the energy infrastructure, and facilitate recovery from disruptions to the energy supply.
- The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
- The Office of Environmental Management (EM) works to mitigate the risks and hazards posed by the legacy of nuclear weapons production and research.
- Ensuring that we can continue to rely on clean, affordable energy from our traditional fuel resources is the primary mission of DOE's Office of Fossil Energy.
- The Office of Legacy Management (LM) manages the Department's post-closure responsibilities and ensures the future protection of human health and the environment.
- The Office of Nuclear Energy mission is to support the nation's diverse nuclear energy programs.
- The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, providing more than 40 percent of total funding for this vital area of national importance.
Staff and Support Offices
DOE Staff and Support Offices provide administrative, management, and oversight support to the various headquarters programs and offices.
- The Office of the Chief Financial Officer is comprised of the Office of Financial Management, the Office of Budget, the Office of Program Liaison and Financial Analysis, the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, and the I-MANAGE functions.
- The Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer is responsible for strategically aligning the agency's workforce to its missions through effective management of human capital policies and programs. The office consists of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy; the Office of Learning and Workforce Development; and the Office of Human Resources Services.
- The Office of the Chief Information Officer is responsible for the design, implementation, and continuing successful operation of Information Technology programs and initiatives throughout the Department and its offices.
- The Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs promotes the department's policies, programs and initiatives through liaison, communications, coordination and interaction with Congress, State, Tribal, City, and County Governments, other Federal agencies, stakeholders, and the general public.
- The Office of Economic Impact and Diversity is mandated by various legislation and Executive Orders to advise the Secretary of Energy on the impacts of energy policies, programs, regulations, and other departmental actions on under-represented communities, minority educational institutions, and small and women-owned business enterprises.
- The Office of General Counsel is responsible for providing legal advice, counsel, and support to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and all Departmental elements (except the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and for effectively representing the Department as counsel before Federal, State, and other governmental agencies and courts.
- The Office of Health, Safety and Security provides the corporate-level leadership and strategic vision necessary to better coordinate and integrate health, safety, environment, security, enforcement, and independent oversight programs at the Department of Energy.
- The Office of Hearings and Appeals is responsible for conducting hearings, and issuing the initial decision of the Department with respect to any adjudicative proceedings which the Secretary may delegate, except those within the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Board of Contract Appeals.
- The Office of Inspector General promotes the effective, efficient, and economical operation of the Department of Energy's programs and operations through audits, inspections, investigations, and other reviews.
- Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
- The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence informs U.S. national security policy by collecting and analyzing information in the fields of nuclear terrorism, counterintelligence, cyber threats, nuclear proliferation, strategic surprise, and energy and environmental security.
- The Office of Management is comprised of the Offices of Administration, Engineering and Construction Management, Procurement and Assistance Management, Aviation Management , Scheduling and Advance, Competitive Sourcing, and the Executive Secretariat.
- The Office of Policy and International Affairs' role is to deliver unbiased advice to the Department of Energy's leadership on existing and prospective energy-related policies, based on integrated and well-founded data and analysis.
- The Office of Public Affairs is responsible for serving as the chief spokesperson for the Department as well as managing and overseeing the Department's liaison on public affairs efforts, which includes public information activities, press and media services, DOE home-page content, speaking engagements, special projects, internal communications and editorial services.
Operation Offices are DOE offices located outside of Washington, DC area. These office oversee activities in support of two or more of the four missions assigned to the Department.
- The Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) manages the DOE's National TRU Program Office and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility operations, as well as serving as an international center for the study of waste management. The CBFO coordinates the transuranic program at waste-generating sites, national laboratories, and other participants involved in developing the permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste.
- The Chicago Operations Office is a technical and business management team, advancing DOE missions through managing programs, projects, facilities, and contracts. The facilities we oversee represent $3.2 billion in net assets, including unique, world-class research facilities.
- The Golden Field Office administers the management and operating contract for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Golden builds partnerships with the private sector to develop and transfer energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
- The Idaho Operations Office oversees the operations of the Idaho National Laboratory, one of 10 major national laboratories operated by various industrial, university or non-profit contractors for DOE.
- The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Service Center (previously the Albuquerque Operations Office), providing procurement, human resources and other support services to the site offices, will be established using the expertise of the former operations offices.
- Oak Ridge Operations (ORO) oversees the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the East Tennessee Technology Park at DOE's Oak Ridge Reservation, as well as the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and the American Museum of Science and Energy. ORO also operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.
- The Ohio Field Office oversees the operations of five Department of Energy sites to ensure safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sound closure and long-term stewardship of facilities designated to it by the Secretary of Energy.
- The Richland Operations Office oversees the cleanup of the Department of Energy's Hanford facility. Richland has reorganized its work and set its sights on getting key pieces of the Hanford cleanup completed over the next ten years.
- The Office of River Protection was established in 1998 to manage the Department of Energy's largest, most complex environmental cleanup project - Hanford tank waste retrieval, treatment, and disposal.
- Rocky Flats is a DOE owned cleanup and closure site operated by Kaiser-Hill Company under an accelerated closure contract. The Rocky Flats mission includes the now completed special nuclear material management and shipment, nuclear deactivation and decommissioning, waste management and shipment, environmental cleanup and site closure. When cleanup is complete, the site will be transitioned to a National Wildlife Refuge managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
- The Savannah River Operations Office, located in Aiken, South Carolina on the Savannah River, oversees the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site. Its three mission areas are: Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship, Nuclear Materials Stewardship, and Environmental Stewardship.
- The U.S. Department of Energy began studying Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in 1978 to determine whether it would be suitable for the nation's first long-term geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Currently stored at 126 sites around the nation, these materials are a result of nuclear power generation and national defense programs.
National Laboratories and Technology Centers
DOE's laboratories and technology centers house world-class facilities where cutting-edge research is performed. The facilities, along with their more than 30,000 scientists and engineers, report to DOE Program offices (pdf - 27kb).
- The Ames Laboratory is a national center for the synthesis, analysis, and engineering of rare-earth metals and their compounds. Ames conducts fundamental research in the physical, chemical, and mathematical sciences associated with energy generation and storage.
- The Argonne National Laboratory is one of the Department of Energy's largest multidisciplinary research centers. Argonne research falls into five broad categories: basic research, scientific facilities, energy resources programs, environmental management and National security.
- Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security and builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers.
- The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory advances the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy by providing leadership and resources for qualified researchers to conduct basic research at the frontiers of high energy physics and related disciplines.
- The Idaho National Laboratory is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's missions in environment, energy, science and national defense.
- The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines with key efforts in fundamental studies of the universe; quantitative biology; nanoscience; new energy systems and environmental solutions; and the use of integrated computing as a tool for discovery.
- The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory founded in September 1952 as a second nuclear weapons design laboratory to promote innovation in the design of our nation's nuclear stockpile through creative science and engineering.
- The Los Alamos National Laboratory, as part of the National Nuclear Security Administration, contributes to meeting the nation's nuclear deterrence capability and other security needs.
- The National Energy Technology Laboratory assures that U.S. fossil energy resources can meet increasing demand for affordable energy without compromising the quality of life for future generations of Americans.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advances related science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation's energy and environmental goals.
- The New Brunswick Laboratory is the Federal government's Nuclear Materials Measurements and Reference Materials Laboratory and the National Certifying Authority for nuclear reference materials and measurement calibration standards
- The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a U.S. Department of Energy facility focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists.
- The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a multiprogram science and technology laboratory conducting basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.
- The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory delivers science-based solutions to the Department of Energy's major challenges of expanding energy, ensuring national security, and advancing mission-driven science through outstanding staff and R&D capabilities, excellent operations, and high-value partnerships.
- The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a national center dedicated to plasma and fusion science with a leading international role in developing the theoretical, experimental, and technology innovations needed to make fusion practical and affordable.
- The Radiological and Environmental Sciences Laboratory provides the Department of Energy a reference laboratory to conduct key measurement quality assurance programs and provides technical support and quality assurance metrology that is directly traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- The Sandia National Laboratories develop science-based technologies that support national security through science and technology, people, infrastructure, and partnerships.
- The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory provides an independent evaluation of the ecological effects of DOE's Savannah River Site operations through a program of ecological research, education, and outreach.
- The Savannah River National Laboratory is recognized as a world-class center of excellence for the development and application of unique and innovative science and technology solutions.
- The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a laboratory dedicated to the design, construction and operation of state-of-the-art electron accelerators and related experimental facilities for use in high-energy physics and synchrotron radiation research.
- The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility is a national user facility for nuclear science using continuous beams of high-energy electrons to discover the underlying quark and gluon structure of nucleons and nuclei.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has one of the richest and most diverse histories in the Federal Government. Although only in existence for a quarter century, the Department traces its lineage to the Manhattan Project and beyond.
Researchers interested in documenting DOE history are welcome to browse DOE records, including declassified materials on the nuclear weapons program.
DOE supports museums and historic facilities across the country dedicated to displaying and interpreting the history of the Department and its scientific and technological missions. Public tours are also available at some of the Department's sites.
Owning some of the twentieth century's most historically significant physical properties, the Department oversees a vigorous historic preservation program dedicated to preserving and interpreting its heritage.
Origins & Evolution of the Department of Energy
The origins of the Department of Energy can be traced to the Manhattan Project and the race to develop the atomic bomb during World War II. In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established the Manhattan Engineer District to manage the project. Following the war, Congress engaged in a vigorous and contentious debate over civilian versus military control of the atom. The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 settled the debate by creating the Atomic Energy Commission, which took over the Manhattan Engineer District's sprawling scientific and industrial complex.
The Atomic Energy Commission was specifically established to maintain civilian government control over the field of atomic research and development. During the early Cold War Years, the Commission focused on designing and producing nuclear weapons and developing nuclear reactors for naval propulsion. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 ended exclusive government use of the atom and began the growth of the commercial nuclear power industry, giving the Atomic Energy Commission authority to regulate the new industry.
In response to changing needs in the mid 1970's, the Atomic Energy Commission was abolished and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 created two new agencies: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to regulate the nuclear power industry and the Energy Research and Development Administration to manage the nuclear weapon, naval reactor, and energy development programs.
However, the extended energy crisis of the 1970's soon demonstrated the need for unified energy organization and planning. The Department of Energy Organization Act brought the federal government's agencies and programs into a single agency. The Department of Energy, activated on October 1, 1977, assumed the responsibilities of the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission, and parts and programs of several other agencies.
The Department provided the framework for a comprehensive and balanced national energy plan by coordinating and administering the energy functions of the federal government. The Department undertook responsibility for long-term, high-risk research and development of energy technology, federal power marketing, energy conservation, the nuclear weapons program, energy regulatory programs, and a central energy data collection and analysis program.
Over its two decade history, the Department has shifted its emphasis and focus as the needs of the nation have changed. During the late 1970's, the Department emphasized energy development and regulation. In the 1980's, nuclear weapons research, development, and production took a priority. Since the end of the Cold War, the Department has focused on environmental clean up of the nuclear weapons complex, nonproliferation and stewardship of the nuclear stockpile, energy efficiency and conservation, and technology transfer and industrial competitiveness.
Today, the Department of Energy contributes to the future of the nation by ensuring our energy security, maintaining the safety and reliability of our nuclear stockpile, cleaning up the environment from the legacy of the Cold War, and developing innovations in science and technology.