August 15, 2003
The Honorable John T. Conway
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman,
The purpose of this letter is to respond to your letter of July 31, 2003 regarding the glovebox fire that occurred in Building 371 at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site on May 6, 2003. The Department of Energy did not properly investigate the cause of this fire nor fully assess application of lessons learned to future glovebox removal work at Rocky Flats. Specific actions, detailed in the enclosure to this letter, have been initiated that will address these concerns.
The cause of the fire remains to be determined. The contractor has initiated a more thorough investigation of the cause of the fire. We anticipate a final cause and origin report soon, DOE and K-H are implementing corrective actions that will preclude an event of this type in the future, and ensure the continued safety of decontamination and waste packaging activities.
The Department of Energy will continue to keep the DNFSB staff informed of progress being made on the actions addressing your concerns. If you have any questions please call me at (202) 586-7709 or Paul Golan, Chief Operating Officer, at (202) 586-0738.
Jessie Hill Roberson
cc: Mark Whitaker, DR-1
Eugene Schmitt, RF