NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
December 7, 2006
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20004-2901
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I am writing this letter on behalf of Ambassador Brooks in response to your letter dated September 22, 2006. Your letter informed the Administrator that you remained concerned that the recently completed revision of the Criticality Experiments Facility (CEF) Project Preliminary Documented Safety Analysis (PDSA) did not address safety-related design issues that were brought to our attention in your letter dated March 27, 2006. In my response to your letter of March 27, 2006, I indicated that the Board’s concerns would be addressed in the next revision of the PDSA.
I am pleased to inform you that most of the outstanding Safety Basis Review Team (SBRT) issues, and issues raised by the Board pertaining to CEF, have been satisfactorily dispositioned. Revision 3 of the PDSA was issued on November 13, 2006, for the SBRT final review and on December 4, 2006, the Nevada Site Office Manager approved the Safety Evaluation Report, with some Conditions of Approval (COA) on the few remaining design issues. A path forward for each COA has been agreed upon between the SBRT and the project team.
I will approve Critical Decision (CD)-3D in the near future to start modifications of the Device Assembly Facility Buildings where the CEF operations will be housed. Approval of CD-3D is necessary to support the project baseline completion date and is consistent with 10 CFR 830.206, which requires approval of the PDSA before the contractor can procure materials or components or begin construction.
The enclosure to this letter identifies the resolutions to each of the Board‘s concerns raised in your September 22, 2006, letter as well as an updated response to the Board’s March 27, 2006, letter.
If you have any questions, please call me or have your staff call Ms. Deborah D. Monette of the Nevada Site Office at (702) 295-3128.
Thomas P. D’Agostino
for Defense Programs
L. Brooks, NA-1
J. Norman, NSO
M. Whitaker, HS-1.1