December 4, 2006
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Enclosed is the Program Evaluation deliverable as specified in Commitment 3.11 of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Implementation Plan (IP), Revision 4, June 2006, for Recommendation 2001-1, High-level Waste Management at the Savannah River Site. This evaluation reports on the program progress through November 2006 and takes input from various technical reports and planning documents to highlight key program issues currently being addressed. As outlined in the IP, this evaluation reflects the program impacts experienced as a result of delays in obtaining a regulatory permit to initiate salt waste processing. It also includes other key issues that have occurred since the last revision of the IP. These issues include extension of the program life-cycle as a result of increased sludge volumes anticipated to be processed and lower processing rates based on higher than projected aluminum concentrations in some sludge batches.
The impacts reflected in the program evaluation are the unmitigated impacts and aggressive action is currently being taken to develop and implement mitigation actions to reduce or eliminate unacceptable impacts to the mission objectives. Detailed System Plans are currently under development that utilizes the issues identified in this program evaluation, the project Risk Management Plans, and other planning documents to provide a more comprehensive assessment of adverse impacts and potential mitigation action benefits. The System Plan is expected to be issued by June 2007 and will be provided to the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board (DNFSB) when available.
I n summary, the program evaluation concludes that although key milestones and mission objectives will be delayed, no changes to the fundamental strategy are recommended at this time because the basic scope and sequencing of activities remain valid. In fact, this strategy and sequencing is reflected in the draft permit already issued by South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. As evidenced in the program evaluation, future IP commitments for the Actinide Removal Process, Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit, and Tank 48 return to waste service are anticipated to be delayed but their scope and sequencing remains unchanged. A revised IP may need to be developed and submitted to the DNFSB next year after key events are resolved.
If you have any further questions, please call me at (202) 586-0738, or Mr. Dae Y. Chung, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Management and Operations, at (202) 586-5151.
Dr. Inés R. Triay
Chief Operating Officer for
Mark Whitaker, Jr., HS-1.1
Jeffrey Allison, SR