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Wasting the Future: Environment and Safety

  • T-RCED-94-138
    Nuclear Health and Safety:
    Health Oversight at DOE Defense Nuclear Facilities

    Health and Safety has Historically Taken a Back Seat to Weapons Production. There is Still Cause for Concern. (Not available electronically, can be ordered from GAO)
    General Accounting Office (GAO) Reports

  • T-RCED-94-143
    Health and Safety:
    Protecting Department of Energy Workers' Health and Safety

    Protecting workers from exposure to radiation and hazardous materials continues to a problem at DOE sites. Data from DOE's health surveillance program is suspect. (Not available electronically, can be ordered from GAO.)
    General Accounting Office (GAO) Reports

  • RCED-95-1
    Dept. of Energy:
    National Priorities Needed for Meeting Environmental Agreements

    DOE has only put a small amount of effort into physically cleaning up its nuclear weapons complex and has yet to complete the cleanup of a major facility.

  • RCED-96-124
    Nuclear Waste:
    Greater Use of Removal Actions Could Cut Costs for Cleanup

    Summary: Since 1989, DOE has received about $10 billion to clean up more than 10,000 waste sites. So far, most of the money has gone to study waste sites rather than for actual clean up.

  • GAO/RCED-98-68
    Dept. of Energy:
    Problems and Progress in Managing Plutonium

    In addition to its delays in stabilizing and DOE is currently storing approximately 10,000 pits in containers that both DOE and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board believe are not suitable for extended storage, thus risking workers' exposure to plutonium.

  • GAO/T-RCED-98-205
    Department of Energy:
    Clear Strategy on External Regulation Needed for Worker and Nuclear Facility Safety

    GAO has long criticized DOE for weaknesses in its self- regulation of the environment, safety and health at its own facilities. With few exceptions, worker and nuclear facility safety has been self-regulated by DOE in the name of national security. But DOE has waffled on whether worker safety and nuclear facility safety should be externally regulated.

  • RCED-99-146
    Dept. of Energy:
    DOE's Nuclear Safety Enforcement Program Should be Strengthened

    Some nuclear materials at DOE sites have deteriorated, are not properly packaged for storage, and may pose a significant risk to workers, the public, and the environment. DOE uses a system of civil monetary penalties to hold its contractors accountable for meeting the agency's nuclear safety requirements. DOE found that, for it to be able to assess civil penalties, existing safety requirements would have to be reissued as enforceable rules. Since 1988, however, DOE has issued enforceable rules covering only two of 11 safety areas.

  • T-RCED-00-135
    Department of Energy:
    Views on Proposed Civil Penalties, Security Oversight, and External Safety Regulation Legislation

    Notes that despite evidence that DOE's self regulation of facility and worker safety has been week, the sccretary is unwilling to have external regulation. Notes that the University of California and other contractors are exempt from paying fines for violations of nuclear safety regulations. "DOE has a long history of safety, managerial and security problems," the report notes.

  • ER-B-98-09
    Audit Report:
    Disposal of Tritium Residues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

    A Task Group stated that Los Alamos had not stressed the importance of maximizing tritium utilization; minimizing the generation of tritium residues, such as scrap and waste; or minimizing the loss of material through environmental releases. The Task Group found that wastewater containing tritium residues had been stored in the laboratory's operating facilities for as long as 2 years without authorization for its disposal.

  • 01-08-2001
    Hazard Identification and Analysis at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    The weaknesses in the emergency preparedness program identified by the Board's staff could have an impact on the laboratory's ability to effectively implement protective actions in case of an incident. The emergency preparedness program is the last line of defense and mitigative measure, and as such needs to be comprehensive and well coordinated.

  • 05-30-2000
    Status of Authorization Bases at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Recent Occurrence Reports from LLNL and actions by the Department of Energy (DOE) Livermore Site Office (LSO) indicate that some nuclear safety practices at LLNL defense nuclear facilities may not be adequate.

  • 01-14-2000
    Electrical Distribution System at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    The Board's staff concluded that the safety-class emergency power system does not meet current nuclear industry requirements for safety-class systems. It has several deficiencies related to single failure, redundancy, and physical separation.

  • 12-21-1999
    Fire Protection Systems and the Year 2000 (Y2K) Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    In the enclosed report, the Board's staff concludes that LLNL's safety-class emergency power system does not meet current safety-class standards. Also, the preventive maintenance and calibration program for the emergency power system does not appear to be adequate.

  • 05-6-1999
    Safety Management at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Building 332
    The facility has not completed efforts to address the safety issues that led to the criticality infractions in 1997 and has not yet fully implemented an Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS).

  • 01-22-2001
    Design and Construction Projects at Los Alamos National Laboratory
    According to the principles of Integrated Safety Management, to adequately address safety, the process of designing defense nuclear facilities needs to include early identification and analysis of hazards, as well as identification of controls required to protect the public, workers, and the environment. The design of engineered controls and the development of administrative controls must evolve as an integral part of the design process.

  • 09-22-2000
    Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) Concerning Electrical, Instrumentation and Control, and Fire Protection Systems at Los Alamos National Laboratory
    LANL's Work Smart Standards do not address the design of safety-class or safety-significant electrical and instrumentation and control systems. The report also identifies opportunities for improvement in a number of other areas, including design requirements for fire protection and lightning protection systems.

  • 9-21-98
    Recent Seismic Investigations at LANL
    DOE has found evidence for the potential of a fault under the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) building. The seismic capability of this fault is uncertain and may be difficult to determine because of human disturbance of the soil over the years.

  • 01-13-98
    Resumption of Work at the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR)
    During a recent review at CMR, the Board's staff identified weaknesses in CMR's control of the authorization basis. Preserving the authorization basis is a vital function that must be performed if program work is to continue safely within the facility.

Los Alamos Study Group • 2901 Summit Place NE • Albuquerque, NM 87106 • ph 505-265-1200

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