This Manual presents the process the Department of Energy
(Department) will use to interface with the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
(Board) and its staff. The requirements and guidance in this Manual apply to
Departmental personnel, including employees of the National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA), who are to use this Manual to facilitate the quality and
responsiveness of the Departmental interactions with the Board and its staff.
Attachment 1, Contractor Requirements Document (CRD), provides requirements that
can be applied to contractors and subcontractors responsible for managing and operating
Departmental facilities, as adapted to meet site-specific needs. Contractor compliance
with the CRD will be required consistent with the conditions set forth in the controlling
a. The Board is an independent executive branch establishment responsible for
providing advice and recommendations to the President and the Secretary of
Energy (Secretary) regarding public health and safety issues at Departmental
defense nuclear facilities.
(1) The Board was established by Congress in 1988 (see subparagraph 2a) to
perform the functions summarized below:
(a) review and evaluate the content and implementation of the
standards relating to the design, construction, operation, and
decommissioning of Departmental defense nuclear facilities
(including applicable Departmental Orders, regulations, and
(b) investigate any event or practice at Departmental defense nuclear
facilities that has adversely affected or may adversely affect public
health and safety;
(c) analyze design and operational data, including safety analysis
reports, from any Departmental defense nuclear facility;
(d) review the design and construction of a new Departmental defense
nuclear facility and make recommendations considered necessary
to protect public health and safety; and
(e) make such recommendations to the Secretary with respect to
Departmental defense nuclear facilities, including operations of
such facilities, standards, and research needs, as the Board
determines are necessary to ensure adequate protection of public
health and safety.
(2) Defense nuclear facilities include production and utilization facilities,
facilities involved in assembly, disassembly, and testing of weapons, and
certain nuclear waste storage facilities.
(3) Board oversight authority extends throughout the life cycle of
jurisdictional facilities, from design, construction, and operation through
decommissioning. For the purposes of oversight, the Board defines
decommissioning to encompass activities leading up to environmental
restoration, including deactivation, decontamination, final process runs,
removal of special nuclear material, residues, and wastes, and other
activities necessary to ensure adequate protection of public health and
safety (see subparagraph 2d).
b. The Board communicates with the Department through a variety of mechanisms
including formal recommendations, formal reporting requirements, letters
requesting action and information, letters providing suggestions, letters providing
information such as staff issue reports and trip reports, Board and Board staff
requests for information, public meetings, briefings and discussions, and site
visits. The Board's choice of communication vehicle tends to indicate the level of
the Board's concern, with the more formal vehicles used for clearly defined safety
issues that require prompt attention by Departmental managers.
c. The Department and the Board share the common goal of ensuring adequate
protection of public and worker health and safety and the environment at
Departmental defense nuclear facilities. To accomplish this goal, the
Department's interface policy is to:
(1) fully cooperate with the Board;
(2) provide access to information necessary for the Board to accomplish its responsibilities;
(3) thoroughly consider the recommendations and other safety information provided by the Board;
(4) consistently meet commitments to the Board; and
(5) conduct interactions with the Board in accordance with the highest professional standards.
a. Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Sections 311-321 (42 U.S.C. § 2286 - 2286i),
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.
b. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Policy Statement PS-1, "Criteria for
Judging the Adequacy of Department Responses and Implementation Plans for
Board Recommendations," October 19, 1990.
c. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Policy Statement PS-2, "Board Policy on
Transmittal of Trip Reports and Other Safety Information to the Secretary of
Energy," December 31, 1992.
d. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Policy Statement PS-3, "Policy Statement
on Board Oversight of Department of Energy Decommissioning Activities at
Defense Nuclear Facilities," August 19, 1996.
e. Privacy Act Overview, 5 U. S. C., Section 552a(b)(3). DOE System of Records,
General Personnel Records, 55 Federal Register 3840, February 5, 1990. DOE
System of Records, Personnel Radiation Records, 58 Federal Register 59246,
November 8, 1993.
a. Secretary of Energy.
(1) Provides full cooperation with the Board, including ready access to
Departmental facilities, personnel, and information (see subparagraph 2a).
(2) Responds to Board recommendations in accordance with the Board's
enabling statute (see subparagraph 2a).
(3) Provides the Board with implementation plans for each accepted
recommendation and approves any subsequent plan changes (see
(4) Provides annual reports to Congress concerning Board-related activities of
the Department (see subparagraph 2a).
b. Deputy Secretary of Energy.
(1) Ensures Board issues are properly addressed within the Department.
(2) Resolves disagreements that cannot be otherwise resolved among
Departmental elements on relative priorities and approaches for addressing
Board-related safety issues.
(3) Resolves any disagreements regarding designation of a cognizant
Secretarial Officer who will respond to a Board recommendation, Board
correspondence, or other Board issue.
c. Secretarial Officers.
Note: Throughout this Manual, the term Secretarial Officer includes the
Administrator and Deputy Administrators of the NNSA.
(1) Consistent with guidance from the Deputy Secretary, implement the
Department's policy with respect to the Board.
(2) When designated as the cognizant Secretarial Officer responsible for
responding to a Board recommendation, correspondence, or other Board
issue, designate and empower a Responsible Manager to manage the
associated planning, response, and implementation activities, consistent
with guidance provided. The organizational level of a designated
Responsible Manager should be the highest Headquarters or field manager
with direct responsibility for overseeing resolution of the identified safety
issues and implementation of the Department's response (typically either a
Deputy Assistant Secretary or Operations/Area Office Manager). In cases
of cross-organizational activities, the Responsible Manager should be
selected by the participating Secretarial offices and be given the necessary
authorities and boundaries to coordinate the Department's response.
(3) Support other Secretarial Officers designated as cognizant for responding
to and implementing Board recommendations.
(4) Designate and empower a single point of contact within their organizations
to represent their organizations and work with the Departmental
Representative and his/her staff in Board-related matters.
d. Operations/Area Office Managers with Responsibility for Defense Nuclear
(1) Designate a single point of contact with the authority to represent his/her
organization and work with the Departmental Representative and his/her
staff in Board-related matters.
(2) Using the appropriate contract vehicle, ensure contractors (management
and operating contractors, weapons laboratory contractors, integrating
contractors, environmental restoration and management contractors, etc.)
acknowledge and implement their interface responsibilities as delineated
in this Manual (see Attachment 1, Contractor Requirements Document).
(3) Resolve conflicts between Departmental personnel and Board staff. If
difficulty persists, notify the Departmental Representative.
e. Departmental Representative to the Board.
(1) Represents the Secretary in regular and continuing interactions with the
(2) Advises the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Secretarial Officers, and other
Departmental officials on Board priorities, concerns, actions, and plans.
(3) Manages Departmental interface activities and provides direction (except
for the NNSA) and advice to line management on Board-related matters.
(4) Coordinates with affected Secretarial Officers and designates (with respect
to the NNSA, recommends designation) a cognizant Secretarial Officer to
respond to a Board recommendation, Board correspondence, or other
(5) Facilitates communication and cooperation between Departmental
elements and the Board and its staff.
(6) Reviews written communications to the Board (with the exception of
responses to information requests) for consistency and responsiveness, and
provides concurrence approval or disapproval (with respect to the NNSA,
recommends changes to the Administrator).
(7) Manages the Department's Safety Issues Management System for
Board-related issues, commitments, and actions.
(8) Maintains awareness of line implementation of Departmental
commitments to the Board and takes appropriate action to focus line
management attention on resolving the identified safety and management
(9) Prepares reports on Board-related activities for senior Departmental
management, Congress, and the President.
(10) Provides guidance and training on this Manual to Departmental points of
contact and support personnel.
(11) Maintains and distributes a listing of key Departmental personnel for
(12) Maintains the Department's central repository of official Board
communications and makes this information available to Departmental
personnel, contractor personnel, and the public.
(13) Facilitates Board review of and comment resolution on Departmental
directives, rules, and standards. (See also DOE M 251.1-1A,
DIRECTIVES SYSTEM MANUAL, and DOE Technical Standard
Program Procedure DOE-TSPP-6, Coordination of Technical Standards.)
f. Responsible Managers.
(1) For each Board recommendation or letter requesting action and for each
Departmental commitment to the Board, manage the response, planning,
implementation, tracking, and closure of the recommendation, action
request, and/or associated commitments.
(2) Provide status updates to the Safety Issues Management System.
(3) Prepare, coordinate, and transmit a closure package to the Board upon
(4) Delegate day-to-day activities to a working level manager or technical
lead, if desired.
(5) Keep the cognizant Secretarial Officer informed of any issues that need
senior management attention.
(6) For cross-organizational issues, coordinate with the appropriate
Headquarters and field managers in the other organization to implement
the safety issue resolutions, consistent with the boundaries and authorities
established by the controlling plan, commitment documents, or
organizational memorandums of agreement.
g. Issue Lead.
(1) As a member of the Departmental Representative's staff assigned by the
Departmental Representative to a specific Board recommendation,
supports the designated Responsible Manager throughout the development
and implementation of the Department's plan to resolve that
(2) Participates as a member of the response team by identifying related
Departmental responses and commitments, providing input on the format
and content of the Department's response and implementation plan, and
evaluating adequacy and responsiveness to Board criteria.
(3) Facilitates communications between the response team and the Board
(4) Supports the Departmental Representative in meetings with senior
Departmental management for the purpose of developing the Department's
strategy, resolving disagreements and conflicts, and conducting briefings
(5) Advises the Departmental Representative on concurrence with final
implementation plans, commitment closure packages, and other written
(6) Supports the Responsible Manager on identification, tracking, and closure
of associated commitments in the Safety Issues Management System.
(7) Assists with Board issues defined by or associated with reports and
correspondence other than Board recommendations, as assigned by the
(8) Ensures that the Secretary's responses to Board recommendations are
published in the Federal Register in a timely manner.
h. Points of Contact.
(1) Represent their Secretarial Officers or Operations/Area Office Managers
on day-to-day Board-related issues and interactions with the Departmental
Representative and his/her staff, other Departmental elements, and the
(2) Be cognizant of, and coordinate, day-to-day Board-related activities within
their purviews, such as:
(a) assigning responsibilities,
(b) coordinating review and concurrence,
(c) facilitating meetings and site visits,
(d) fulfilling information requests,
(e) identifying commitments made and actions taken during briefings
and site visits,
(f) following up on commitments and actions to ensure satisfactory
(g) ensuring adherence to this Manual,
(h) communicating and reporting to their management as requested on
the status of significant Board actions, and
(i) maintaining accurate status of assigned items on the Safety Issues
(3) Support Responsible Managers in their organizations in responding to and
implementing Board recommendations and other commitments.
(4) Prepare, coordinate, and conduct Departmental activities to support site
(5) Be sufficiently knowledgeable of Board practices to advise their
organizations and assist their management in interfaces with the Board and
i. Departmental Personnel.
(1) Provide full cooperation with the Board, including:
(a) being courteous;
(b) being open, honest, and responsive;
(c) agreeing to no action items outside the immediate level of
(d) subsequent to any informal discussions or interactions with the
Board or its staff, notifying the appropriate point of contact of the
substantive information and actions discussed.
(2) Promptly bring to the attention of local Departmental management any
conflict that arises with Board staff personnel.