Our Strategic Goals

The Board has identified three interdependent strategic goals in support of the Board’s mission of safety oversight. These strategic goals establish objectives for the Board’s safety oversight of DOE’s defense nuclear facilities. The Board also has identified a strategic goal that establishes objectives enabling the Board to accomplish its mission efficiently, effectively, and with a high degree of accountability and transparency.

  1. Improve Safety of Operations - Perform independent oversight of operational safety of DOE’s defense nuclear facilities to develop analysis, advice, and recommendations that will inform the Secretary of Energy in providing adequate protection of public health and safety at such defense nuclear facilities.
  2. Strengthen Safety Standards - Recommend and promote effective safety standards for the Secretary of Energy to apply in providing adequate protection of public health and safety at defense nuclear facilities.
  3. Strengthen Safety in Design - Recommend and promote safety in design for new and modified defense nuclear facilities.
  4. Achieve Excellence in Management and Communication with Stakeholders - Operate in a manner that is accountable to the public and achieves the mission efficiently and effectively.

Strategic Initiatives Designed to Meet Strategic Goals

The Board's strategy is to achieve the five goals above by focusing on the following strategic initiatives. These initiatives are designed to drive DOE to create the culture necessary to achieve adequate protection of public health and safety in its defense nuclear facilities.

Safety in Design

The Board calls for early identification and resolution of safety requirements and issues for new defense nuclear facilities. This will ensure adequate protection of public health and safety and aid in completing projects on time and within budget.

Integrated Safety Management

The Board calls for renewed commitment to and rigorous implementation of Integrated Safety Management (ISM) principles for all operations conducted within defense nuclear facilities.

Technical Competence

The Board calls for the acquisition, training, and qualification of a workforce that is technically competent to manage and operate the defense nuclear facilities safely. This includes, in particular, key federal oversight positions such as facility representatives and safety system oversight personnel.

Nuclear Safety Research and Development (R&D)

The Board calls upon DOE to develop a robust nuclear safety R&D program to determine effective and efficient methods and technologies to protect public health and safety.


The Board calls for DOE to properly document, maintain, and implement safety requirements within the DOE Directives System. The Board will particularly emphasize this as DOE implements a major restructuring and reissue of its Directives System.

Formality of Operations

The Board calls for DOE to institute formal conduct of operations principles and formal conduct of engineering principles across all of its defense nuclear facilities to ensure that deliberate and considered actions are taken in all circumstances that could pose a hazard to public health and safety.

The Board uses all of the legislative authorities at its disposal while executing these initiatives. The Board prefers to resolve safety concerns and issues at the lowest level possible, but will elevate concerns and issues as necessary. To accomplish this, the Board utilizes letters, reports, public hearings, and formal Recommendations to advise the Secretary of Energy and the DOE staff of its findings and concerns.