March 13, 2007
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, NW.
Washington, D.C. 20004
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The purpose of this letter is to report the completion of the three remaining commitments, 4.2.2, “Issue Technical Business Practice Guidance on Weapon Response,” 4.4.6, “B83 SS-21 Startup Authorization,” and 4.5.1, “Comprehensive Assessment of Recommendation 98-2,” listed in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Implementation Plan (IP) for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Recommendation 98-2, “Safety Management at the Pantex Plant.”
Commitment 4.2.2 relates to the DOE issuing further guidance on expectations for the evaluation of weapon response via a Technical Business Practice. Per the January 26, 2006, letter from Secretary Bodman, the DOE modified the 4.2.2 Commitment deliverable to be the revised version of the DOE-DP-STD-3016-99, “Hazard Analysis Reports for Nuclear Explosive Operations” and, if necessary, a corresponding update to the Development and Production (D&P) Manual, Chapter 11.8, “Integration of Weapon Response into Authorization Bases at the Pantex Plant.” With the formal release of the DOE-NA-STD-3016-2006 in May 2006 and the cancellation of the D&P Manual, Chapter 11.8, we consider this commitment to be complete. Additionally, the enclosed Commitment 4.5.1 Final Assessment Report contains a section titled DOE-NA-STD-3016-2006. This section responds to your December 15, 2006, letter requesting the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) plans and criteria for review and approval of design agency processes related to expert elicitation, expert judgment, and peer review for weapon response information be provided to the Pantex Plant.
Commitment 4.4.6 relates to the DOE’S implementation of the Seamless Safety for the 21st Century (SS-21) process for an Insensitive High Explosive (IHE) Weapon System. The weapon program listed in DOE’s IP was the B83. However, in discussions during the 98-2 monthly briefings to the DNFSB, we proposed that this deliverable be changed to the B61 because it was our first IHE Weapon System to complete the SS-21. The B61 SS-21 Program was authorized in June 2006 and, therefore, we consider this commitment completed as well.
The last remaining commitment in the 98-2 IP is 4.5.1 which states that the DOE will provide an assessment of actions taken in response to Recommendation 98-2. This report is enclosed.
With the completion of the three remaining commitments and the NNSA’s continued interaction with the DNFSR regarding the safe operation of nuclear explosive operations at the Pantex Plant, the DOE considers the actions in the IP to be fulfilled. Additionally, the enclosed report describes the completion of the six requested actions from the DNFSB’s Recommendation 98-2.
If you have questions, please contact me or have your staff contact Ms. Wendy Baca at 505-845-6340.
William S. Goodrum
Assistant Deputy Administrator
for Military Application and
K. Fortenberry, DNFSB
A. Matteucci, DNFSB
R. Rauch, DNFSB
J. McConnell, NA-2.1
M. Whitaker, HS- 1.1
S. Erhart, PXSO