National Nuclear Security Administration
April 26, 2006
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman:
In your letter of November 28, 2005, you requested a report and briefing within 60 days on additional actions that will be taken to address concerns over the review and assessment approach being applied by the NNSA Nevada Site Office (NSO) to the Device Assembly Facility (DAF) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The Board expressed concern with reliance upon the DAF Safety Basis Implementation Plan (SBIP) coupled with the readiness review process to ensure the adequacy of safety management programs and vital safety systems. In light of future activities that are either planned (e.g., Criticality Experiments Facility) or being considered for the DAF, the Board advised that NNSA reconsider the current strategy and adopt a more proactive and comprehensive approach.
The Board was provided a briefing on February 1, 2006. Based on feedback at the briefing and discussions with NNSA Headquarters staff and NSO management, clarification was received on the Board’s concerns. The enclosed report from NSO describes the planned actions, including phased assessments of all DAF safety management programs and vital safety systems, which will lead to improvements in the federal oversight and assessment program. I believe that these actions are responsive to the Board’s concerns for a more proactive and Comprehensive approach.
If you have any questions, please contact me, or have your staff contact Mike Thompson of my office at (301) 903-5648 or R. T. Brock, Nevada Site Office, at (702) 295-0892.
Linton F. Brooks
cc: M. Whitaker, DR-1
K. Carlson, NSO