The Honorable Spencer Abraham
Secretary of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585-1000
Dear Secretary Abraham:
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
(Board) was directed by Congress to conduct a study of the adequacy of the
K-Area Materials Storage (KAMS) facility and related support facilities such as
Building 235-F at the Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina, for the storage of defense plutonium and defense plutonium materials. This report was mandated by Congress in
Section 3183 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, Public Law 107-314.
3183 directed that this study be provided both to Congress and to the Secretary
of Energy. Our report on this matter is
enclosed for your consideration. The
Board concludes that plutonium can be stored safely in the KAMS facility as currently
configured for a limited period of time. For extended storage, the Board believes that certain
safety enhancements described in the enclosed report should be provided. The Board further concludes that the Department
of Energy should expedite decisions on disposal of excess plutonium, and should
re-evaluate its plutonium storage plan to determine if there are better options
(such as a new plutonium storage facility) for extended storage of plutonium materials
at the Savannah River Site.
The Board appreciates the support provided
by the Savannah River Site to members of our staff as they conducted on-site
reviews as part of this study.
John T. Conway