September 30, 2005
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, DC 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The purpose of this letter is to establish a new due date for Deliverable 8.5.1, PF-4 Safety Related Ventilation System Evaluation Report, of the Implementation Plan for Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Recommendation 2004-2, Active Confinement Systems. †This change will permit us more time to respond to the issues identified in your letter of September 1, 2005, to the National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator regarding the ongoing evaluation of the confinement approach credited by the safety basis for the Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). †This evaluation will address the issues raised in your letter of May 31, 2005.
It was our original intent to utilize the ventilation system evaluation results from the LANL Plutonium Facility as input to develop our Safety Related Ventilation System Evaluation Guidance (Deliverable 8.5.4, due December 16, 2005). †Given your initial concerns with the preliminary analysis developed by LANL, we agree with you that it is now preferable to apply the guidance being developed as part of Deliverable 8.5.4 to evaluate LANLís Plutonium Facility (i.e., Deliverable 8.5.1). †Based on these considerations, we have established a new due date for Deliverable 8.5.1 as March 15, 2006.
We also enclose a status report on actions to address your May 31, 2005, letter. †We recognize it is important to address the identified weaknesses with the current passive confinement strategy for the Plutonium Facility, and we will continue to take any actions necessary to ensure that the facility operates safely. †Our report for the LANL Plutonium Facility that outlines NNSAís plan and schedule for implementation of an effective safety-class system will also be provided by March 15, 2006.
The Lead Responsibility for Deliverable 8.5.1 is the NNSA Chief of Defense Nuclear Safety, Mr. James J. McConnell. †Mr. McConnell can be reached on (202) 586-4379 to answer any questions that might arise regarding details of these efforts underway.
Samuel. W. Bodman
L. Brooks, NA-1
J. Shaw, EH-1
M. Whitaker, Jr., DR-1