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July 22, 2016
Recommendations from the Board
The mission of the Nevada Site Specific Advisory Board (NSSAB) is to provide advice, information, and recommendations to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nevada Field Office (NFO) regarding the Environmental Management (EM) program.
And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Given the opportunity to observe a recent Radioactive Waste Acceptance Program (RWAP) Facility Evaluation at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), Cecilia Flores Snyder and Jack Sypolt of the NSSAB received a first person experience of how the RWAP surveillance and audit process works. The two then presented their observations to the rest of the NSSAB, helping the volunteer citizen advisory board develop recommendations to improve the NFO RWAP assessment process.
The purpose of the Facility Evaluation, which was of National Security Technologies, Inc., was to evaluate compliance and implementation for the following waste program elements: quality assurance, waste traceability, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act waste characterization (hazardous waste characterization) and radiological characterization. During a Facility Evaluation, the RWAP team interviews generator personnel, observes work being performed and reviews program documents. Following the evaluation, the RWAP team issues a report detailing any Observations and/or Corrective Action Requests found during the evaluation, which the generator then must address.
After observing the evaluation for two days, Cecilia and Jack described their experience to the rest of the NSSAB, concluding that, “the RWAP process is a streamlined, mature process that seems to be effective in assessing a generator’s compliance to the NNSS Waste Acceptance Criteria.”
Following a full board discussion, the NSSAB recommended the DOE continue the funding and support of the surveillance and auditing process and programs; and to include NSSAB members to observe/participate in future surveillances and audits of NNSS generators.
“The NFO agrees that the observation of RWAP surveillances is a great opportunity for NSSAB members to learn and enhance their knowledge of the RWAP program. It is also an excellent opportunity for NSSAB to share their perspective with DOE and for DOE to be able to learn and improve based on NSSAB input,” wrote Rob Boehlecke, NFO Office Manager of Environmental Management Operations, in a response letter to the NSSAB recommendations. “Therefore, we encourage future participation,” Boehlecke added.
Along with radioactive waste transportation and disposal activities, the NSSAB provides advice, information and recommendations on other NNSS Environmental Management programs such as groundwater characterization and monitoring, environmental restoration, and soil revegetation.
For more information about the NSSAB, including future public meeting time and locations, visit http://www.nv.energy.gov/nssab/default.aspx.
For more information about RWAP, visit http://www.nv.energy.gov/emprograms/rwap.aspx.
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Date Last Modified:
July 25, 2016