In this public hearing and meeting, the Board will assess the safety posture at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including actions taken in response to the Board's letter, dated February 1, 2007, to the Acting Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In that letter, the Board suggested actions that would substantially improve the safety posture of the laboratory. These actions include strengthening federal safety oversight, improving safety bases and ensuring the efficacy of safety systems, developing effective institutional safety programs, eliminating known hazards, and increasing federal management of new projects.
The Board anticipates testimony from the laboratory's management and operation contractor, Los Alamos National Security (LANS), and senior management officials from NNSA regarding actions, both taken and planned, to improve the health and safety of workers at defense nuclear facilities at the laboratory and the public. Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, the Board is required, among other things, to review and evaluate the content and implementation of standards relating to the design, construction, operation, and decommissioning of Department of Energy (DOE) defense nuclear facilities, including all applicable DOE orders, regulations, and requirements pertaining to such facilities. The Board is also responsible for investigating any event or practice at DOE defense nuclear facilities which the Board determines has adversely affected, or may adversely affect, the health and safety of the workers and the public.
In this December 5, 2007, hearing and meeting, the Board will examine how NNSA and LANS will ensure adequate protection of the public health and safety, including that of the workers, and safety performance at laboratory defense nuclear facilities. The Board will collect information needed to understand and address any health or safety concerns that may require Board action with respect to operations at defense nuclear facilities at LANL. This information will include, but is not limited to, presentations from NNSA and LANS senior management officials and NNSA Los Alamos Site Office personnel. The public hearing portion of this proceeding is authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 2286b.