National Nuclear Security Administration
May 5, 2006
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20004
Dear Mr. Chairman:
In your November 28, 2005, letter on structural deficiencies in the 9212 complex at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-l2), you requested that National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) clearly set forth the facility modifications that would be implemented should each Critical Decision Milestone for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project be delayed.
The NNSA’s long-term plan for Enriched Uranium Operations at Y-12 is to build UPF, which will meet all code and order requirements and significantly enhance operational efficiency while employing new technologies and engineered controls that will substantively reduce the risk to the public and workers. In the interim, we may have to operate 9212 up to 15 more years to support projected mission requirements and eliminate the backlog of nuclear materials. Our funding strategy for Y-12 will focus on both supporting UPF project execution and the continued safe operation of 9212 for the remainder of its anticipated service life.
I have directed that a risk review of the 9212 facility be completed to identify the priority list of improvements and actions necessary to ensure continued safe operation for the next 15 years. The facility risk review will include all safety systems, significant defense in depth systems, and process equipment vital to the reduction of the backlog of nuclear material. The new tasking will include a prioritization of seismic improvement, but will require additional time to complete. During the DNFSB’s March 29-30, 2006, visit to Y-12, BWXT Y-12 and the Y-12 Site Office briefed you on these changes.
In your November 28, 2005, letter you requested a report 60 days after completion of the risk prioritization activity. The risk prioritization activity was originally scheduled for completion in April 2006; however, based on available resources we are now planning on completing the risk prioritization activity in August 2006. We will forward the requested report to you within 60 days of completion of the facility risk review. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Robbins at (865) 576-0841.
Thomas P. D’Agostino
for Defense Programs
M. Whitaker, DR-1
T. Sherry, YSO