National Nuclear Security Administration
May 15, 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 May 3 1, 2005, letter you requested a report describing the strategy that would lead to timely resolution of all fire protection deficiencies noted by your staff and achieve site-wide improvements in the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) fire protection program for defense nuclear facilities. †You suggested that the strategy should involve a multi-year project plan similar to those developed by LANL under the Operations Efficiency Project for other major institutional issues. †You also requested that the report include a discussion of lessons learned at other DOE sites that have experienced similar challenges in fire protection, an estimate of engineering resources required, and a projection of when all fire protection upgrades would be completed.
On January 12, 2006, NNSA submitted an interim response to the Boardís request. †The interim response contained LANLís proposed overall integrated plan for fire protection, along with an evaluation by the Los Alamos Site Office (LASO) that expressed concerns regarding the anticipated benefits, plan direction, and requirement expectations. †As part of contract transition activities, LASO requested an updated plan from LANL and committed to developing a complementary Site Office fire protection oversight strategy.
The Administrator has requested that I forward to you the updated LANL fire protection strategy and LASOís evaluation of the strategy. †In its evaluation, LASO expressed concerns related to inadequate staffing, quality of fire protection analyses, and the pending fire department services agreement, along with other implementation issues. †On a positive note, LASO commended LANL for its preparation for improvement in wildland fire management.
In March 2006, the Administrator directed the LASO Manager to implement a new, two- year pilot model for providing oversight, following approval of the Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) Contractor Assurance System. †The new oversight model will apply to business systems, non-nuclear safety, project management, and all other areas, except security and the performance of nuclear operations. †In light of this new direction, LASOís fire protection oversight strategy will be incorporated into the pilot oversight model for those activities that do not impact nuclear operations. †LASO will continue to provide full fire protection oversight for nuclear operations at LANL.
If you have any questions, please contact me, or have your staff contact Mike Thompson of my office at 301-903-5648 or Gerald Schlapper, Senior Safety Advisor at LASO at 505-665-7111.
Thomas P. D'Agostino
† for Defense Programs
cc: †L. Brooks, NA-1
E. Wilmot, LASO
G. Schlapper, LASO
W. Futrell, LASO
M. Whitaker, DR-1
D. Cobb, LANL
W. S. Gibbs, LANL
C. Leasure, LANL