National Nuclear Security Administration
September 16, 2005
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Your March 8, 2005, letter requested a report from NNSA on the path forward for resumption of programmatic operations in the Plutonium Facility (B332) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Your letter indicated that the Board was concerned that the approach being taken by the Livermore Site Office (LSO) to resolve identified deficiencies and resume nuclear operations did not adequately address the safety issues raised by noted violations of Technical Safety Requirements (TSR) and deficiencies in safety system analysis.
The enclosed report from LSO has been prepared in response to each specific concern cited in your March 8, 2005, letter. Since the January 15, 2005, programmatic stand-down at B332, NNSA has noted significant progress addressing B332 safety issues, and a number of important actions have been taken by LLNL and LSO. Compensatory measures to assure safety have been developed for areas such as radiation protection, procedures, the Unreviewed Safety Question (USQ) Program, configuration management, maintenance, quality assurance, and occurrence reporting. LSO approved LLNL’s Corrective Action Plan for issues arising out of the Office of Independent Oversight (OA-40) review on April 20, 2005. LLNL has submitted the Technical Safety Requirement Recovery Plans for the TSR violations for LSO review, including the Recovery Plan for the Fire Protection Program. LSO identified additional actions to supplement the recovery plans and has directed LLNL to include all recovery actions in the B332 Safety Basis. LSO and LLNL have conducted joint reviews of all the Vital Safety Systems in B332 to assess current corrective action progress, system condition, and configuration management and operability, and have concluded that all of the systems are operable.
LSO and LLNL plan to resume interim level and full operations in accordance with the requirements and procedures in the site specific documents implementing DOE O 425.1C. The stand-up to limited programmatic operations will be approved when the confirmation of readiness has been completed. LLNL and LSO are working to develop a path forward for resumption of full operations. LSO will provide the details of this path forward to your staff as it is developed.
If you have any questions, please contact me or have your staff contact Mike Thompson at 301-903-5648 or Sam Brinker, LSO at 925-422-0710.
Linton F. Brooks
cc: C. Yuan-Soo Hoo, LSO Manager
M. Whitaker, DR-1