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 Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
ABOUT THE BOARD  



Board Mission and Functions


The Board's mandate is provided by its enabling statute, 42 U. S. C. 2286, which directs the Board to:

  • Review and evaluate the content and implementation of the standards relating to the design, construction, operation, and decommissioning of defense nuclear facilities of the DOE and recommend to the Secretary of Energy those specific measures that should be adopted to ensure that public health and safety are adequately protected.

  • Investigate any event or practice at a DOE defense nuclear facility which the Board determines has adversely affected or may adversely affect public health and safety.

  • Review the design and construction of new DOE defense nuclear facilities.

  • Analyze facility design and operational data.

  • Provide a meaningful opportunity for public participation in the recommendation process.

Through these functions, the Congress intended that the Board accomplish the following goals (see Senate Report 100-232, 1987):

  • Assure and enhance the safety of operations of DOE's defense nuclear facilities by providing independent advice to the Secretary of Energy, and critical expertise, technical vigor, and a sense of vigilance within the Department at all levels.

  • Be instrumental in helping DOE develop appropriate and operationally meaningful safety standards, and ensuring the transition of these standards into clear and consistent requirements for DOE management and contractors.

  • Substantially raise the technical expertise of the Department.

  • Assist and monitor the continued development of DOE's internal Environment, Safety, and Health organization.

  • Above all, identify the nature and consequence of any significant potential threats to public health and safety, elevate such issues to the highest levels of authority, and inform the public.