National Nuclear Security Administration
April 13, 2004
The Honorable John T. Conway
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
Dear Mr. Chairman:
In the Department of Energy's (DOE) Implementation Plan (IP) for Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 2002-2, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) committed to replacing DOE Order 5600.1 with a NNSA policy letter. Subsequent to issuing this IP, the Department determined it is appropriate to both retain and update DOE Order 5600.1 and issue a policy letter. The draft policy reiterates the nuclear weapons program (NWP) continues to remain the top priority within DOE and other DOE programs do not adversely impact this work.
The DOE Order 5600.1 was issued in 1979. The revision, (draft DOE Order 452.X, Management of the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex), will reflect the many changes that have affected NWP management and administration and NWP core competencies and expertise at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. This update will also address legislative provision P.L. 107-296 paragraph 309 (a)(2) that specifically allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to have unrestricted, direct access to the scientific and technical expertise of the national laboratories. The DHS and NNSA established a Memorandum of Agreement to perform work on a non-interference basis to ensure this access does not impede on the safety, security, and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile, or the nuclear weapons complex staff to maintain and carry out this mission effectively.
The NNSA also agreed to locate contracting officers at each NNSA site office and issue contracting officer representative (COR) letters to each individual designated to oversee laboratory work. These COR letters were submitted to the Board as a deliverable under the 2002-2 IP. They are being updated to more accurately reflect COR responsibilities for safety. The enclosed NNSA Livermore Site Office COR letter reflects these changes.
The NNSA Sandia Site Office and Los Alamos Site Office COR letters are under review and will be forward to the Board upon completion of their update.
We expect to issue the NNSA policy statement in June 2004 and the revised DOE Order 452.X, Management of the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex in September 2004. If you should have any questions, I may be reached at (202) 586-1730.
Director, Office of Nuclear
D. Beck, NA-12
T. D'Agostino, NA-13
M. Whitaker, DR- 1
K. Davis, DR-1
E. Morrow, NA-1