oversight

Nuclear Health and Safety: Need for Improved Responsiveness to Problems at DOE Sites

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-03-28.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

NUCLEAR HEALTH
AND SAFETY
Need for Improved
Responsivenessto
Problems at DOE Sites

                        ‘sb



                14115
                    United States
                    General Accounting Office
                    Washington, D.C. 20648

                    Resources, Community, and
                    Economic Development Division

                    B-231293.2

                    March 28,199O

                    The Honorable Howard M. Metzenbaum
                    United States Senate

                    The Honorable George Miller
                    House of Representatives

                    dn March 16,1989, you requested that we summarize and evaluate the
                    existing environmental, safety, and health (ES&H) problems at the
                    Department of Energy’s (DOE) contractor-operated facilities and sites
                    throughout the country. These problems are so serious that they have at
                    least temporarily shut down key facilities that affect the nation’s ability
                    to produce nuclear material for weapons.

     ,              GAO’S work over the past several years has documented many of these
                    problems, including safety questions regarding the operation of govern-
                    ment production reactors, problems resulting from aging facilities, and
                    ground water and soil contamination at sites.1 Because of past mis-
                    takes-overemphasis    on production, inattention in the environmental
                    area, and complacency with regard to safety-NE      faces the immense
                    task of cleaning up and modernizing its aging nuclear defense complex.

                    As agreed with your offices, this report summarizes DOE’S and contrac-
                    tors’ responsiveness to findings contained in DOE technical safety
                    appraisals and environmental surveys. These appraisals and surveys
                    have been done at DOE facilities and sites to identify the extent of the
                    department’s ES&H problems and prioritize them for corrective action. As
                    further agreed, we also examined the extent to which DOE has developed
                    a computerized tracking system to monitor the status of its ES&H
                    problems.
    I/
                    Since the mid 198Os, DOE has been conducting technical                 safety apprais-
Restilts in Brief   als and environmental surveys in an attempt to identify                 the full extent
                    of ES&H problems at DOE’S contractor-operated sites and                facilities. The
                    environmental problems have proved to be particularly                  challenging, and
                    DOE is still attempting to fully characterize them.




                    ‘See, for example, GAO’s Views on Modernizing and Cleaning Up DOE’s Nuclear Weapons Complex
                    (GAO/T-RCED-89-9, Feb. 21,1989).



                    Page 1                                        GAO/RCED-90-101   ES&H Problems    at DOE Sites
I




    -
        E291292.2




    -

        DOE'S computer data as of January 1990 show over 1,700 safety and
        health problems identified in technical safety appraisals and almost
        1,300 environmental problems identified in environmental surveys. DOE
        has categorized these problems by level of seriousness, considering
        many to be a potential health and safety danger to employees and the
        public.

        DOE's data show that the majority of the problems identified have not
        yet been corrected. DOE and its contractors have been slow to correct the
        health and safety problems, and there have been delays in developing
        corrective action plans to resolve the environmental problems. In addi-
        tion, DOE's computer-assisted tracking system intended to monitor the
        problems does not contain some important ES&H data that would provide
        a more comprehensive picture of the problems DOE faces.

        In regard to the health and safety problems identified in computerized
        records of DOE'S technical safety appraisals, DOE and its contractors have
        resolved only 691 (34 percent) of 1,731 problems at its facilities. Fur-
        ther, only 46 (41 percent) of the 113 highest priority problems have
        been resolved. Some of the unresolved problems were identified as early
        as 1986 as needing immediate corrective action.

        In regard to the environmental problems identified in DOE'S environmen-
        tal surveys, none are considered resolved by DOE. Many of these prob-
        lems are complex and costly, requiring further analysis to fully define
        and long-term efforts to resolve. To address these problems, DOE and its
        contractors have completed corrective action plans at 28 of 37 sites sur-
        veyed. However, DOE and its contractors have been slow in developing
        and completing some of these plans and have in some dases not met
        established DOE milestones. Some uncompleted plans have been in pro-
        cess for over 2 years.

        Finally, the computer system intended to track the problems does not
        contain some important information such as various field office and
        independent appraisals. DOE'S computer system, if it included these
        appraisals, would provide a more complete picture of the problems at
        the sites.




        Page 2                              GAO/RCEIMO-101   ES&H Problems   at DOE Sites
*1
      E-231293.2




      DOE conducts a wide variety of nuclear and non-nuclear energy related
Bat   activities at many sites throughout the country.2 Prior to 1986, ES&H
      issues at these sites were given limited attention by DOE management
      even though GAO and others were identifying various problems. In 1986,
      DOE began implementing a systematic program of technical safety
      appraisals and environmental surveys at DOE facilities to identify the
      extent of the department’s ES&H problems and prioritize actions to cor-
      rect them. To assist in ES&H management, DOE also began developing a
      computer tracking system to monitor the status of identified ES&H
      problems.

      Technical safety appraisals and environmental surveys are conducted
      by teams of specialists under DOE management who file written reports
      of findings at individual sites and facilities. Technical safety appraisals
      identify safety and health problems that contractors are expected to act
      on and correct. Environmental surveys identify problems at individual
      sites as part of a department-wide effort to prioritize and address envi-
      ronmental problems. DOE considers the surveys to be mainly an effort to
      provide a baseline of information on the environmental problems rather
      than an audit of sites’ compliance with environmental standards and
      laws.” The surveys identify problems that are often complex, requiring
      further definition through followup environmental sampling and analy-
      sis. On the basis of these appraisals and surveys, DOE and its contractors
      are required to develop and implement action plans to prioritize and cor-
      rect the identified problems. DOE’S office of safety compliance and divi-
      sion of environmental compliance are responsible for conducting
      followup monitoring to ensure that corrective actions are taken in a
      timely manner.

      In 1986, DOE began developing a computerized tracking system to assist
      in monitoring progress in achieving safety and environmental compli-
      ance. The system is intended to provide DOE management with a more
      comprehensive picture of its ES&H problems and the status of progress
      toward solving them. The system is intended to allow users to retrieve


      ‘Many of the more severe and costly problems are within DOE’s nuclear weapons complex. The com-
      plex consists of 16 major sites around the country and produces nuclear materials such as plutonium
      and tritium for weapons. DOE weapons production facilities include national laboratories and produc-
      tion plants operated under DOE contract by private corporations or universities.

      %OE’s facilities are subject to Environmental Protection Agency regulation and enforcement actions
      under several major environmental laws, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of
      1976, the Clean Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response,Compensation and Lia-
      bility Act, known as Superfund.



      Page 3                                           GAO/RCED-90-101     ES&Ii Problems   at DOE Sites
                      E231299.2




                      and analyze a variety of information on appraisals, surveys, corrective
                      actions, and other important Es&H-related matters.


                      Since 1986, DOE has conducted 48 technical safety appraisals of facilities
any Unresolved        and operations at DOE sites. We reviewed computerized data from 40 of
lfety and Health      these appraisals (covering 18 sites) and found that they contained 1,731
yoblemsExist at DOE   safety and health problems. DOE has established three categories of seri-
                      ousness for such problems. (See table 11.2,app. 11.)These problems are
tnc!
                      stated in the appraisals in the form of recommendations for corrective
                      action. The identified problems relate to a wide variety of safety and
                      health disciplines, including fire protection, emergency readiness, radio-
                      logical protection, personnel protection, quality assurance, training,
                      maintenance, and administration.

                      Inadequate radiological protection programs and procedures are a major
                      deficiency throughout DOE. Approximately 18 percent of the 1,73 1 prob-
                      lems address this deficiency. For example, a 1988 appraisal at the Rocky
                      Flats plant in Colorado found that air-monitoring and air-sampling capa-
                      bilities to help ensure the health and safety of employees and the public
                      were inadequate, According to DOE, the air-monitoring system at the
                      plant did not adequately detect radiation at the facility. Similar prob-
                      lems were found at DOE'S Y-12 nuclear plant in Tennessee and at other
                      sites.

                      DOE has been slow to correct these safety and health problems. Accord-
                      ing to DOE data, only 691, or about 34 percent, of the 1,731 problems
                      (recommendations) have been closed out. Moreover, many high priority
                      recommendations made as long ago as 1986 remain open. Of 113 recom-
                      mendations made in 1986 dealing with problems categorized by DOE as
                      involving the greatest risk to employees and facilities, only 46 (41 per-
                      cent) have been closed out. Of these 113, 10 were determined by M3E to
                      require immediate corrective action, but five of these were still open as
                      of February 1990. For example, in 1986 DOE recommended that the Y-12
                      plant more adequately protect against off-site radioactive contamination
                      by better monitoring employees for contamination as they leave the
                      facility. Although some corrective actions were taken by the contractor,
                      a 1989 followup inspection found these actions to be incomplete. DOE has
                      not since validated closure of the recommendation and still considers it
                      to be open.

                      According to DOE, its data show a high percentage of technical safety
                      appraisal recommendations open for a number of reasons. In some cases,


                      Page 4                              GAO/RCED@O-101   ES&H Problems   at DOE Sites
                         contractors may have completed the action but DOE has not yet verified
                         completion, while in other cases DOE found the corrective actions taken
                         to be inadequate. In some other cases, longer term actions have been
                         started and partially funded but not yet completed. DOE officials also
                         told us there have been delays in carrying out corrective actions in part
                         due to the fact that DOE did not give a high priority to safety compliance
                         followup. In this regard, DOE did not begin to devote more staff
                         resources to the division of safety compliance until May 1988. More
                         positions have since been allocated for safety followup, but DOE says it
                         has had problems in filling these positions.


                         Since 1986 DOE has conducted environmental surveys at 37 of its sites.
Man Unresolved           The results of these surveys are considered preliminary because DOE is
Env Pronmental           further evaluating the data gathered in the survey. In addition, DOE is
     lems Exist at DOE   continuing to further characterize the extent of its environmental prob-
                         lems at sites, Computerized DOE data on 31 of the environmental surveys
                         show 1,277 environmental problems, or findings, in three categories of
                         seriousness4 (See table 11.4,app. II,)

                         All of these problems are considered by DOE to be unresolved. Many of
                         the identified problems are complex, requiring further analysis to fully
                         define. Costly, long-term planning and corrective actions will be needed
                         to resolve them. Of the 1,277 findings, DOE categorizes about 16 percent
                         as constituting a high risk for a threat to health. Problems identified
                         included inadequate monitoring and control procedures related to haz-
                         ardous materials at sites. Other serious problems included ground water
                         and soil contamination from hazardous and/or radioactive materials.”

                         For example, at the Feed Materials Production Center, near Fernald,
                         Ohio, a 1986 environmental survey found degradation of on- and off-site
                         ground water quality, the generation of potentially hazardous wastes
                         that had not been fully identified, releases of potentially harmful radon,
                         and a lack of formal sampling and analysis procedures to help identify
                         problems. Similarly, a 1987 survey at the Los Alamos National Labora-
                         tory, New Mexico, found improper disposal of hazardous waste, releases


                         4No problems were found in a fourth, most serious category.
                         “These problems are reflected in Environmental Protection Agency compliance data on DOE sites.
                         The agency has administratively designated 20 WE sites as having serious problems in complying
                         with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act, and/or Superfund. These
                         sites are listed in table 11.6,app. II.              ,’



                         Page 5                                           GAO/RCEBBO-101    ES&H Problems    at DOE Sites
                        E231293.2




                        of hazardous materials, leakage of toxic chemicals, and releases of radi-
                        oactive contaminants into off-site soil and sediments.

                        Such problems are typical of survey findings at other DOE sites. DOE has
                        recognized the range of its environmental problems in recently issued
                        strategic planning documents. For example, DOE'S five-year plan for
                        environmental restoration and waste management describes widespread
                        problems at sites, points out that the full extent of these problems is not
                        yet fully known, and lays out a strategy to begin to deal with them.

                        Since DOE is further evaluating its environmental problems, many of
                        which will require long-term corrective action, none of them have yet
                        been closed out. To begin to address these problems, corrective action
                        plans have been completed at 28 of 37 sites. DOE guidance, set in late
                         1987, called for sites to develop and complete action plans within 46
                        days after the preliminary report is published. However, for over half of
                        the completed plans, WE and its sites took over 8 months, on average, to
                        complete them. The nine uncompleted plans are in various stages of
                        development; however, some surveys were conducted over 2 years ago.
                        According to DOE, the lengthy time taken to develop and complete some
                        of the plans has been partially related to the challenging nature of the
                        problems and a lack of headquarters environmental compliance staff to
                        review them. In addition, there have been delays in completing the sam-
                        pling and analysis used to determine the magnitude of the problems and
 /                      the action required to correct them.


                        At the inception of the technical safety appraisal and environmental
DOE’s Computerized      survey program in 1986, DOE management directed the development of a
Tiracking System        computerized tracking system to assist in monitoring and addressing
Needs Additional Data   safety and environmental problems, including those identified through
                        the technical safety appraisals and environmental surveys. A contract
                        for such a system, known as the Computer-Assisted Tracking System,
                        was entered into in March of 1986. The system is designed to be an eas-
                        ily accessible tracking system that, among other things, provides
                        retrieval capabilities to users at various operational levels on the
                        number and types of problems and the status of corrective actions
                        addressing the problems.

                        The system has been developed so that it incorporates a variety of data
                        on the results of technical safety appraisals and environmental surveys,
                        but its capabilities need to be better known to potential users and more



                        Page 6                               GAO/RCED-90-101   F&W   Problema   at DOE Sites
1.




             B281298.2




             data needs to be added to it. The system does not contain some impor-
             tant ES&H data from DOE field office, contractor, and independent Es&H
             evaluations and/or reports. These data are maintained on other com-
             puter or manual systems.

             Because some data are not included, the system does not provide DOE
             management with a complete picture of the JB&H problems the depart-
             ment faces. According to some WE officials, they have been reluctant to
             use the system because of its incompleteness. For example, a DOE head-
             quarters manager with responsibility for overseeing field operations
             said that because of the automated system’s limited data, he set up his
             own computer files to track ES&H corrective actions at DOE sites. In addi-
             tion, some staff have not used the system. It has not been well known to
             potential users, and DOE only very recently publicized its potential.

             DOE  is taking steps to expand the system. In this regard, DOE officials
             said they are planning to incorporate more ES&Hinformation, including
             GAO recommendations and monthly site environmental compliance
             reports, into the computer. When completed, such steps should enable
             the computer system to provide a more comprehensive picture of the
             problems DOE faces and thus help DOE managers and oversight organiza-
             tions at headquarters and in the field to keep track of the department’s
             ES&H problems and measure progress in resolving them. However, the
             department has not established an overall management plan with mile-
             stones specifying the type of ES&H data to be added and when. We
             believe such a management plan is necessary to prioritize development
             and expansion of the computer system in a systematic and timely man-
             ner to meet the needs of its users.


             Although DOE launched a major effort in 1986 to better define the extent
Condusions   of its ES&H problems and systematically address them, our work raises
             questions about DOE's commitment to resolving its problems in a timely
             manner. WE has conducted numerous technical safety appraisals and
             environmental surveys at its sites that identified a host of problems, and
             the department-along      with its site contractors-is   planning and taking
             corrective actions. However, DOE'S own data show that the majority of
             the identified problems remain unresolved, and DOE and its contractors
             have been slow to develop plans and take actions to correct them. Some
             serious safety and health problems have remained unresolved since
             1986, and some plans to address environmental problems have been in
             process for over 2 years. In addition, DOE is still attempting to define the
             full extent of the environmental problems at its sites.
 I                    B-231293.2




                      DOE faces a mammoth, long-term task in cleaning up and modernizing its
                      contractor-operated sites around the country. While we recognize that
                      the full extent of DOE'S ES&H problems at these sites is not known-and
                      that many of these problems may be complex and challenging-the
                      department nevertheless should take prompt actions to resolve the
                      many problems already clearly identified. For example, DOE officials told
                      us that there have been delays in completing some corrective actions in
                      part because DOE did not give a high priority to safety compliance
                      followup.

                      To help ensure that solutions are not further delayed, DOE needs to reaf-
                      firm its 1986 commitment to conducting safety and health appraisals
                      and environmental surveys and taking timely corrective actions on iden-
                      tified problems. More specifically, DOE needs to ensure that adequate
                      headquarters and field management attention is focused on the status of
                      the identified problems. Such attention includes line management atten-
                      tion to contractors’ corrective actions at sites as well as timely followup
                      by headquarters compliance staff to verify that the actions have been
                      adequate. In addition, DOE'S computer-assisted tracking system has the
                      potential, if further expanded in a systematic manner, to provide to var-
                      ious DOE management levels a more comprehensive picture of the status
                      of identified ES&H problems.


                      To reaffirm DOE'S commitment to ES&H problem identification          and correc-
Rjxommendations       tion, we recommend that the Secretary of Energy:

                  l   Require that an overall management plan be developed with clear goals
                      and time frames for (1) resolving DOE sites’ ES&H problems identified in
                      technical safety appraisals and environmental surveys and (2) following
                      up to verify that corrective actions are adequate, in order to help hold
                      line management and oversight officials at headquarters and in the field
                      more accountable for accomplishing these tasks; and
                  l   Require that the computer-assisted tracking system be systematically
                      expanded-by establishment of an overall management plan and mile-
                      stones-to include more comprehensive data for the use of DOE line
                      management and oversight officials in monitoring sites’ F.&H problems.

                      Further, as the capabilities of the computer tracking system are
                      enhanced, the Secretary should promote the system’s use at various
                      management levels throughout DOE to help ensure timely correction of
                      ES&H problems.




                      Page S                              GAO/RCEDM-101   ESBrH Problems    at DOE Sites
R-231293.2




Our review relied in part on computer-generated DOE data regarding
KNII problems at its sites throughout the country. As agreed with your
offices, we did not independently verify this computer data. However,
we selectively checked it against other records to provide reasonable
assurance of its accuracy. We also examined EPA and DOE data on facili-
ties’ compliance with environmental laws and interviewed DOE officials
concerning matters addressed in the report. A more detailed discussion
of our review objectives, scope, and methodology is included in appen-
dix III.

We discussed the contents of this report with agency officials as it was
being developed and incorporated their views as appropriate. As
requested, we did not obtain official agency comments on a draft of the
report. This review was done in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards.

1Jnless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we do not plan to dis-
tribute the report until 30 days from its issuance date. At that time we
will send copies to the Secretary of Energy and other interested parties.
This work was done under the direction of Victor S. Rezendes, Director
of Energy Issues (202-276-1441). Other major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix IV.




,J. Dexter Peach
Assistant Comptroller General




Page 9                              GAO/RCED-90-101   ES&H Problem   at DOE Sites
Letter
A ‘pendix I                                                                                             12
U4resolved ES&H         Introduction
                        Responsiveness to Safety and Health Problems
                                                                                                        12
                                                                                                        16
           at DOE       Responsiveness to Environmental Problems                                        19
    tractor-Operated    Computer Tracking System for Monitoring Compliance                              23



Adpendix II                                                                                             26
E$%H Problems at
In$ividual Sites
   I,
Al)pendix III                                                                                          32
Ol$ectives, Scope,and
M&hodology
   1
Afipendix IV                                                                                           33
M&or Contributors to
Tl$s Report
Tables                  Table II. 1: Number and Types of Safety and Health                              26
                            Problems at 18 DOE Sites
                        Table 11.2:Number of Safety and Health Problems                                 28
                            Identified/Closed by DOE and Categories of
                            Seriousness at 18 DOE Sites
                        Table 11.3:Number and Types of Environmental Problems                           29
                            at 31 DOE Sites
                        Table 11.4:Number of Environmental Problems and
                            Categories of Seriousness at 31 DOE Sites
                        Table 11.5:DOE Sites Designated by EPA as Having
                            Significant Environmental Compliance Problems

Figures                 Figure I. 1: Types of Safety and Health Problems Specified
                             in TSA Recommendations
                        Figure 1.2: Number of TSA Recommendations Closed



                        Page 10                             GAO/RCED-90-101   Es&H Problems   at DOE Sites
        Contents




        Figure 1.3: Types of Problems Specified in Environmental                        20
             Surveys
,       Figure 1.4: Number of Environmental Problems by                                 22
             Category of Seriousness




        Abbreviations

        CXTS       Computer-Assisted Tracking System
        CERCLA     Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
                   Liability Act
        DOE        Department of Energy
        EPA        Environmental Protection Agency
    Y
        ES&H       environment, safety, and health
        GAO        General Accounting Office
        RCRA       Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
        TSA        technical safety appraisal


        Page 11                            GAO/RCED-90-101   Es%rH Problems   at DOE Sites
                                                                                                            ,-
                                                                                                                 8,


Qwesolved ES&H Problems at DOE Contmctm
operated Sites

             In 1986 the Department of Energy (DOE) took several major actions to
             strengthen its environmental, safety, and health (ES&H) performance.
             Two of these actions were to initiate a technical safety appraisal (TSA)
             program and to conduct environmental surveys at its contractor-oper-
             ated sites. Our review of computerized DOE data from 40 TSASand 31
             environmental surveys revealed over 3,000 ES&H problems of various
             kinds at DOE sites throughout the country. According to DOE records, the
             majority of the safety and health problems have not been resolved by
             MOEand the site contractors, and there have been delays in developing
             action plans to begin to correct the problems identified in the environ-
             mental surveys.

             To help monitor safety and environmental compliance, DOE has devel-
             oped a computer tracking system which incorporates the results of tech-
             nical safety appraisals and environmental surveys. However, the system
             does not contain some important ES&H information such as various DOE
             field office and independent appraisals. Such information could be use-
             ful to potential users to provide a more complete picture of the problems
             DOEfaces at its various sites.



             related activities at many sites located around the country. Sixteen of
             these sites are included in the nuclear weapons complex, which pro-
             duces nuclear material (e.g., plutonium and tritium) for weapons and
             naval fuel. DOE’S weapons production sites and facilities include national
             laboratories and production plants operated under DOE contract by pri-
             vate corporations or universities.l

             GAO’S    work over the past several years has documented ES&H problems
             at many of these sites, including safety questions regarding the opera-
             tion of government production reactors, problems resulting from aging
             facilities, and ground water and soil contamination at sites.2 Because of
             past mistakes-overemphasis       on production, inattention in the environ-
             mental area, and complacency with regard to safety-noE faces the
             immense task of cleaning up and modernizing its aging nuclear defense
             complex. The identified problems are so serious that they have at least
             temporarily shut down key facilities that affect the nation’s ability to
             produce nuclear material for weapons,

             ’ DOE sites may contain several separate facilities.
             zGAO’s Views on Modernizing and Cleaning Up DOE’s Nuclear Weapons Complex (GAO/T-
             I=-S!+t-3, Feb. 21, 1989).



             Page 12                                                GAO/RCED-90.101   ES&H Problems   at DOE Sites
              Appendix I
              Unresolved J@J&H Problems       at DOE
              Contractor-Operated Sites




              Prior to 1985, ES&IIissues did not receive adequate focus within DOE’s
              management structure. We stated in 1981, and again in 1983, that DOE’S
              oversight structure was one cause of the department’s ES&H shortcom-
              ingszl We recommended that DOEset up a separate office, reporting
              directly to the Under Secretary, to oversee ES&H matters. DOE acted in
              September 1985 by establishing an Office of Assistant Secretary for
              Environment, Safety, and Health. This newly created office was to have
              oversight responsibility for DOE’SES&H activities.

              At the same time, DOE also announced a number of other important ini-
              tiatives to strengthen its F&B programs. These included revising DOE
              orders that govern the conduct of the Department’s ES&H activities and
              conducting safety appraisals and environmental surveys at DOE sites to
              identify the extent of the department’s ES&H problems. These appraisals
              and surveys are particularly important because they are intended to
              identify problems and provide the necessary information for manage-
              ment to use in strengthening operations and/or setting priorities for cor-
              rective action. Also, DOE began to develop a computer-assisted tracking
              system to monitor ES&H problems, including technical safety appraisal
              and environmental survey results.


TSA;Program   Major objectives of the TSA program are to identify safety and health
              problems, measure contractor compliance with DOE safety orders, and
              assess the field offices’ success in ensuring compliance by the contrac-
              tor. TSASare conducted at DOE'S high-hazard nuclear facilities and
              selected other facilities by teams of specialists led by DOE’S Office of
              Environment, Safety, and Health.4 A team evaluates the facility’s per-
              formance in various areas related to safety and health, including the
              effectiveness of safety management, operations, and quality assurance.
              After the evaluation, the team prepares a report that identifies concerns
              in various safety and health categories such as fire protection, radiologi-
              cal protection, and emergency readiness.

              Prior to departing a facility, a TSA evaluation team provides a draft of
              the TSA report to both the DOE field office responsible for the facility and


              %etter Oversight Needed for Safety and Health Activities at DOE’s Nuclear Facilities (EMD-81-108,
              Aug. 4, 1981); DOE’s Safety and Health Oversight Program at Nuclear Facilities Could Be Strength-
              ened (GAO/Rm-84-50,       Nov. 30,1983).
              4A high-hazard facility is one which has a high potential for significant on-site or off-site releases of
              radioactive material during a major accident.



              Page 13                                             GAO/RCED-90-101       ES&H Problems     at DOE Sites
                       Appendix I
                       Unresolved ES&H Problems     at DOE
                       Contractor-Operated Sites




                       the facility contractor. The field office, in cooperation with the contrac-
                       tor, begins to develop an action plan to correct any identified safety and
                       health problems. DOE headquarters program offices review and approve
                       these plans, and then the Office of Safety Compliance evaluates them,
                       monitors the status of corrective actions, and conducts followup inspec-
                       tions to ensure that adequate corrective action has been taken. Accord-
                       ing to DOE officials, a recommendation will not be formally closed until a
                       DoE representative actually verifies that the corrective action was
                       appropriately accomplished.

  I


Environmental Survey   Environmental surveys are intended to identify any specific environ-
PrcSgram               mental problems existing at DOE sites and set priorities for necessary
                       corrective action. DOE considers the environmental surveys to be mainly
                       a baseline assessment of the sites’ specific environmental problems as
                       part of a department-wide process of prioritizing and addressing these
                       problems, rather than an audit of sites’ compliance with environmental
                       standards and laws. The surveys are conducted by teams of technical
                       specialists led by DOE’S Office of Environment, Safety, and Health. Dur-
                       ing the visits on-site, team members identify environmental problems
                       and document them in a preliminary survey report.

                       After the environmental problems are identified during the survey, the
                       responsible DOE operations office, in cooperation with the contractor,
                       develops a corrective action plan for the site. Because DOE is further
                       evaluating the environmental problems, many of which require long-
                       term corrective action, it is developing corrective action plans before
                       proceeding to close out any problems. The plans include a brief descrip-
                       tion of both ongoing and planned actions addressing each of the findings
                       and estimate costs and schedules to correct the problems. The division
                       of environmental compliance reviews these action plans and works with
                       the responsible field offices to assure that they are finalized. That divi-
                       sion also helps to assure that the action plans work toward compliance
                       with departmental orders and policies as well as federal environmental
                       laws.”




                       “DOE is subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation and enforcement actions under
                       several federal environmental laws, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA),
                       the Clean Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response,Compensation and Liability
                       Act, known as Superfund.



                       Page 14                                        GAO/RCED-90-101     ES8dI Problems   at DOE Sites
                                        Appendix I
                                        Unresolved ES&H Problem        at DOE
                                        C4mtractor-Operated Sites




                                        Since February 1986, DOE has conducted 48 technical safety appraisals
                                        of facilities and operations at DOE nuclear and other sites. Of the 48
                                        appraisals, we reviewed data from the 40 appraisal reports (covering 18
                                        sites) that had been computerized, and found that they contained 1,731



                                        As
                                        safety and health problems-identified     in the reports as
                                        recommendations.fi

                                           shown in figure I.1 below, the recommendations cover various safety
                                        areas.


Figure 1.1:Types of Safety and Health
Problem8 Specified in TSA
                                                                                             Radiation Protection
Recoinmenbatlonr

                                                         7                                   Zkinistration




                                                                                             Miscellaneous




                                                                                             Fillary    Systems



                                                      \w . . .       ..I --                  5%


                                                     I           I                           Maintenance


                                                                                             Emergency Readiness


                                                   1 A                                       ffonnel         Protection


                                                                                             FireOProtection
                                        Does not total 100% due to rounding.

                                        “The TSAs are maintained on DOE’s computer-assisted tracking system. As of January 1990,40 of 48
                                        TSAs had been loaded into the system. In the ‘ISAs, findings are interchangeably called either “rec-
                                        ommendations” or “concerns.” For convenience, in this report we refer to them as recommendations.



                                        Page 15                                          GAO/RCELHKklOl          l3S4kI-l Problems   at DOE Sites
Appendix I
Unresolved IN&Ii Problems   at DOE
ContmcWwOperated    Sites




A major identified problem area, covering about 18 percent of all recom-
mendations, was radiological protection. Problems in this area relate to
matters such as procedures and controls to prevent exposure of employ-
ees to harmful radiation. For example, a 1988 appraisal at the Rocky
Flats plant in Colorado found inadequate air-monitoring and air-sam-
pling capabilities to detect radiation releases. According to DOE, the air-
monitoring system at the plant did not adequately detect radiation at
the facility, and DOE stated this was because the contractor neglected to
prioritize the system in funding requests to DOE.In addition, a 1988
followup appraisal at the Feed Materials Production Center, Fernald,
Ohio, found that the site’s contamination control program did not ade-
quately assure that personnel and all material leaving the site were free
of contamination.

Other important safety problem areas identified at DOE facilities include
inadequate fire protection and emergency readiness. (Table II. 1, app. II,
includes a detailed list of types of problems at individual facilities.)

DOE has been slow to follow up and correct these problems. Of the 1,731
recommendations in the TSAS we reviewed, only 591 (34 percent) have
been closed out by DOE, as shown in figure I.2 below. According to DOE’S
Acting Director of Safety Compliance, the large number of open recom-
mendations is due to, among other factors, both contractor performance
and DOE’S own lack of a safety compliance followup program in place to
monitor contractor progress until May 1988. He said that until that date
M)E did not give priority to safety followup and did not allocate suffi-
cient staff resources to it. More positions have since been allocated, but
MOEhas had problems in filling these positions in a timely manner.




Page 16                              GAO/RCED-90-   IO1 N&H   Problems   at DOE Sites
         .

,                               A~pendlx I
                                Unresolved E&Ii      Problems   at DOE
                                Contractoroperatsd      Sitea




    Figurell.2: Number of TSA
    Rsco~mendrrtionr Clowd      2000   Numbor of mcommondatk~




                                                l-l
                                 500




                                   0




                                “DOE dosed” means tha department validated dosure, while “contractor completed” means tha
                                contractor reported to DOE that corrective actions were completed.


                                As the figure shows, DOE'S contractors report more recommendations
                                fully responded to than the number closed out by DOE. As previously
                                stated, DOE will not formally close out a recommendation until it visually
                                verifies that adequate corrective action was taken. As of January 1990,
                                DOE data showed the contractors reported completion of corrective
                                actions on 766 recommendations (44 percent) in comparison to the 591
                                (34 percent) closed out by DOE. (DOE and contractor closure totals for
                                different problem areas at 18 sites are shown in table 11.1,app. II.)

                                According to the acting Director of Safety Compliance, in some cases
                                contractors may have completed the action but DOE has not yet verified
                                it, while in other cases DOE may find the corrective action taken by the
                                contractor to be inadequate. He added that in other cases DOE and the
                                contractor have agreed on needed longer term actions, but these actions
                                have not been fully funded in DOE's budget. DOE computer data on the
                                closure status of TSArecommendations does not highlight which open
                                recommendations require long-term funding.




                                Page 17                                       GAO/RCED-9@101     ES&H Problems    at DOE Sites
        Appendix I
        Unresolved JW&H Problem    at DOE
        Contractor-Operated Site13




        DOE  data also show that only 46 (41 percent) of the 113 highest priority
        recommendations have been closed out by DOE. (Numbers of recommen-
        dations at sites by category of seriousness are shown in table 11.2,app.
        II.) All of the 113 recommendations were made in 1986. They were
        defined as an immediate threat to the public and placed in subcategories
        requiring one of three responses: stoppage of operations, immediate cor-
        rective action, or normal corrective action.’ According to DOE, none of
        the 113 required stoppage of operations. Ten required the contractor to
        take immediate corrective action, and 103 required normal corrective
        action.

        As of February 1990, five of the 10 requiring immediate corrective
        action had not been closed out by DOE. Four of the five concern the Y-12
        nuclear plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. DOE’S Oak Ridge Operations
        Office considers corrective actions to have been completed for all four,
        but DOE’S Office of Compliance has not yet verified the adequacy of
        these actions, The status of the four recommendations is as follows:

  A 1986 I’SAof the Y-12 plant identified the possibility of off-site radia-
    l


  tion contamination because employees were not being monitored as they
  left the facility. It took Y-12 management almost 2 years to develop a
  plan to monitor the exit points at the facility. Installation of boundary
  control stations at the exits and other corrective work was completed in
  1988. However, in a followup inspection in March 1989, DOE manage-
  ment determined that actions to address the recommendation were not
  yet consistent with the urgency of the matter and were not yet adequate
  to fully correct the problem.
. Another open category I recommendation at Y-12 required installation
  of a better plant-wide fire alarm system to alert employees in case of
  fire. The plant has reported progress toward improving the existing
  public address system to alarm employees to evacuate the plant, but as
  of the March 1989 inspection a replacement system had not yet been
  completed.
l Similarly, a third open category I recommendation at Y-12 focused on a
  building where the alarm system for employees was found to be inade-
  quate, but a new emergency notification system had not yet been com-
  pleted as of the March 1989 inspection.


        7The definition of this category was changed in 1987 to include only dangers to workers or the public
        serious enough to consider stoppage of operations or other immediate mitigation. DOE presently cate-
        gorizes the seriousness of TSA recommendations as follows: A clear and present danger to workers or
        the public exists (category I); significant risk exists, or substantial noncompliance with DOE orders
        (category II); and significant noncompliance with DOE orders exists (category III).



        Page 18                                          GAO/RCEDM-101        ES&H Problem     at DOE Sites
1                      Appendtx I
                       Unmnolved @B&H Problems     at DOE
                       Contractor-Operated Sitea




                   l   The fourth open category I recommendation at the plant required con-
                       version of rooms where employees take work breaks into clean areas
                       where contaminated clothing would not be worn. While areas in two
                       buildings had been converted as of March 1989, surveys of the clean
                       areas found procedural problems and occasional contamination.

                       There have also been delays in meeting MOE milestones for completing
                       safety and health corrective action plans for facilities. After the health
                       and safety problems are documented in a report, there is a 2-month time
                       limit for completion of the plans, but it has taken DOE field offices and
                       facility contractors on the average over 6 months to complete them.


                       Since 1986 DOE has conducted environmental surveys at 37 of its sites.
Responsivenessto       The surveys are done to identify pollutants, hazardous materials, and/or
Enqironmental          conditions at sites that may pose a hazard to human health or the envi-
Proy>lems              ronment. All of the surveys have been completed, and many were com-
                       pleted as long ago as 1986, but results of all of them are considered
                       preliminary because DOE is further evaluating the data gathered in the
                       surveys. It hopes to finalize all of the surveys in early 1990. The envi-
                       ronmental problems identified in the surveys have proved to be particu-
                       larly challenging, and DOE is still attempting to fully characterize them.

                       The surveys of 31 sites have been computerized, and they identify 1,277
                       problems, or findings. DOE considers all of these findings to be
                       unresolved matters needing attention, Many of the findings involve com-
                       plex problems requiring further analysis to fully define. Costly, long-
                       term planning and corrective actions will be needed to correct them.

                       Identified problems at the sites include, among other matters, contami-
                       nation of the air, surface water, and soil (both on- and off-site), and
                       inadequate waste management practices. The problems involve inade-
                       quate monitoring and control procedures related to hazardous materials
                       at sites, serious ground water and soil contamination from hazardous
                       materials, and many other matters. Figure I.3 shows the different areas
                       where problems were recorded in the surveys. (Table 11.3,app. II, shows
                       problem areas by site.)




                       Page 19                              GAO/RCED-99-101   ES&H Problems   at DOE Sites
                                              Appendix1
                                              Unremlved   EWH    Problem    at DOE
                                              Ckm~rOperated         Sites




Flguie 1.3:Types of Problems Specified
in E vironmental Surveys




                                                                                         Management      of inactive waste sites




                                                                                         Toxic contamination


                                                                                         3%
                                                                                         Radioactive contamination




                                                        L--kI                            ~~::~~:rface
                                                                                                  water
                                                                                         contamination
                                             Does not total lOO?Gdue to rounding.


                                             The surveys identified a wide variety of problems at sites. For example:

                                         l   At Fernald, Ohio, a 1986 survey found degradation of on-and off-site
                                             ground water quality, generation of potentially hazardous wastes that
                                             had not been fully identified, potentially harmful releases of radon, and
                                             a lack of formal practices and procedures for formal sampling and anal-
                                             ysis of environmental problems.
                                         l   At Los Alamos National Laboratory, a 1987 survey found improper dis-
                                             posal of hazardous waste, releases of hazardous material, leakage of
                                             toxic chemicals, and off-site releases of radioactive contaminants into
                                             canyons where they polluted soil and sediments.
                                         l   At the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, a 1986 survey
                                             found that a number of areas are or may be contaminated with hazard-
                                             ous substances. These areas constitute actual or potential sources of
                                             groundwater contamination. The identification of all potential areas of



                                             Page 20                                 GAO/RCED-90401      ES&H Problem    at DOE Sites
     Unresolved ES&H Problems     at DOE
     Contractor-Opercrted Sites




    contamination, as well as the characterization of those areas, is not
    complete.
l   At the Mound plant in Ohio, a 1986 survey found levels of tritium in on-
    site and off-site groundwater exceed limits set by the Safe Drinking
    Water Act. Also, seventeen areas on-site and off-site have varying levels
    of radioactive surface contamination.

    Such problems are typical of survey findings at other DOE sites. Of the
    nuclear weapons complex sites included in our review, many have
    numerous environmental problems. Fernald, Savannah River, and Law-
    rence Livermore have the highest numbers of problems recorded in the
    surveys, followed by Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Idaho
    National Laboratory, Hanford, the Y-12 plant, and the Nevada Test Site.
    Among the most serious problems, Fernald recorded by far the highest
    number, followed by Portsmouth, the Nevada Test Site, Savannah River,
    Sandia Laboratory (New Mexico), and Hanford. (See table 11.4,app. II,
    for details.)

    The environmental surveys prioritize their findings according to four
    categories: Under category I, the problem poses an immediate threat to
    health; under category II, the problem involves a high risk for a threat
    to health to occur; under category III, the problem has a potential for
    ovolving into a threat to health; and under category IV, the problem is
    generally administrative noncompliance and/or a practice that is indi-
    rectly but not directly related to environmental risk.

    As figure I.4 shows, none of the 1,277 environmental survey findings for
    the sites we reviewed were in category I. One hundred ninety two (16
    pctrcctnt) were in category II, 477 (37 percent) in category III, and 608
    ( 48 percent) in category IV.




    I’rrgc’ 2 1                            GAO/RCED-W-101   JZWH Problems   at DOE Sites
                                                                                                                                     i/
   I                                                                                                                     .4
   I                                                                                                                          *


                                       Appendix I
                                       Unresolved ES&H Problem         at DOE
                                       Contractor-Operated Sites




Fif&re 1.4: Number of Environmental
Pr blemrr by Category of Seriousness   800   Number of fidlngs

                                       700

                                       600

                                       500

                                       400

                                       300

                                       200

                                       100

                                                     r-L
                                        ON                       A        L

                                             I         II        Ill          IV
                                             cstsgory ot Nltoueness


                                       DOE'S environmental problems are reflected in EPA compliance data.
                                       Many of DOE'S facilities are in various degrees of noncompliance with
                                       major federal environmental laws such as the Resource Conservation
                                       and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Clean Air
                                       Act. Hazardous waste compliance problems related to RCRA have been
                                       the most numerous. For example, in fiscal years 1988 and 1989, about a
                                       third of 153 EPA and state inspections at mE locations found environ-
                                       mental violations, including 42 of 74 RCRA inspections. EPA has adminis-
                                       tratively designated 20 DOE sites as having significant RCRA, Clean Water
                                       Act, and CERCLA related problems. (See table 11.5,app. 11.)

                                       DOE has recognized the range of its environmental   problems in recently
                                       issued strategic planning documents. For example, DOE'S five-year plan
                                       for environmental restoration and waste management describes wide-
                                       spread problems at sites, points out that the full extent of these prob-
                                       lems is not yet fully known, and lays out a strategy to begin to deal with
                                       them.

                                       DOE sites have taken 2 to 3 years to develop corrective action plans to
                                       address environmental survey findings. Following the first environmen-
                                       tal survey, it took DOE about l-1/2 years to set a requirement that sites
                                       must develop such plans. In late 1987, Departmental guidance required
                                       corrective action plans to be developed and completed within 45 days of


                                       Page 22                                     GAO/RCED-90-101   ES&H Problems   at LXlE Sites
                        Unremlved   EWMi Problem    at DOE
                        ConMrOperated       Site9




                        DOE'S formal publishing of the “preliminary”    findings of the surveys.
                        However, sites have had difficulty in meeting this standard. Twenty-
                        eight of 37 corrective action plans have been completed, but over half of
                        the 28 took DOE and its sites longer than 8 months, on average, to com-
                        plete. The nine uncompleted plans are in various stages of development,
                        and some have been in process for over 2 years. According to DOE offi-
                        cials, the lengthy time taken to complete the plans has been partially
                        related to a lack of headquarters staff to review them. In addition, there
                        have been delays in completing the sampling and analysis used to deter-
                        mine the magnitude of the problems and the action required to correct
                        them.


                        At the inception of the technical safety appraisal and environmental
Co puter Tracking       survey program in 1985, DOE management directed the development of a
Sysb m for Monitoring   computerized tracking system to assist in monitoring and addressing
Cotipliance             safety and environmental compliance. A contract for development of
                        such a system, known as the Computer-Assisted Tracking System (CATS),
                        was entered into in March of 1986. This system has been developed so
                        that it incorporates a variety of data on the results of technical safety
                        appraisals and environmental surveys, but its capabilities need to be
                        better known to potential users and more data needs to be added to it.
                        Though it has the capacity for more data, the system does not include
                        some important ES&H appraisals needed by users at different manage-
                        ment levels in DOE. While several parts of the CATSsystem are opera-
                        tional, several components contain incomplete information or are still
                        being developed.

                        CATSis intended to be an easily accessible tracking system that provides
                        retrieval capabilities to its users. It is intended to provide a more com-
                        plete picture of the problems MOEfaces at its various sites. Presently, the
                        primary items tracked in CATSare technical safety appraisals and com-
                        pliance audits, environmental surveys, and action plans for corrective
                        action on TSA’S.In addition, there are plans to place environmental sur-
                        vey corrective action plans on the system in the near future. The system
                        allows users from various operational levels to retrieve and analyze the
                        information in various forms. For example, it allows users to call up spe-
                        cific findings and obtain the current status of corrective actions. Since
                        its inception, the major use of (LATShas been for conducting followup and
                        monitoring of previous TSA findings.




                        Page 23                              GAO/RCED-90-101   ES&H Problems   at DOE Sites
Appendix I
Unresolved ES&H Problems     at DOE
Contractor-Operated Sites




Although there are plans for CATSto carry additional ES&H information,
several CATScomponents for adding this information are still being
developed. Other evaluations besides PUS and environmental surveys
are conducted at a site or facility, and the results of some of these are
not yet on the CATSsystem. For example, DOE field offices conduct man-
agement and functional appraisals. An important such appraisal is the
contractor award fee evaluation, which is partially based on the con-
tractor’s ES&H performance.R In addition, contractors conduct safety
appraisals of their own operations. Finally, independent audit agencies,
including GAO, conduct evaluations and provide recommendations to DOE.
At present, these various DOE and outside evaluations, findings, and rec-
ommendations are maintained on different computer or manual systems
and are not readily accessible to all management levels.

CATS can be a useful source of E2&H information, but many DOE staff have
not used it. The system’s potential has only very recently been widely
publicized at various management levels in DOE, and some staff have
been reluctant to use it. They continue to use other manual and comput-
erized systems. For example, a DOE headquarters manager responsible
for overseeing field operations said that due to CMS’ limited data he set
up his own computer files for monitoring the status of ES&H corrective
actions at DOE sites. He and other DOE officials believe there is a need to
have wider access to the kind of information that CATSwas designed to
contain in order to better address ES&H concerns. Further, according to a
headquarters program official, his office is not aware of the results of
some field or contractor appraisals unless they are visible in a site’s
operational budget. He said access to these evaluations would enhance
the budgeting process for the facilities his office oversees.

An expanded CATS system could benefit WE managers. For example, con-
tractor award fee evaluations could be computerized in order to keep
better track of them and ensure that they accurately reflect all ES&H
problems at sites. In addition, more complete computer data would
assist TSA and other ES&H evaluation teams. When a TSAteam prepares
for a TSA at a facility, they are required to review previous TSAfindings,
unusual occurrence reports, accident/incident reports, contractor envi-
ronmental and safety appraisals, and DOE field office appraisals. Of
these documents, only the ‘ISAS,unusual occurrence reports, and acci-
dent/incident reports are available to these teams on the computer
system.

“Contractors are evaluated by DOE for award fees, which may vary depending on their assessed
performance.



Page 24                                        GAO/RCED-90-101    ES&H Problems    at DOE Sites
AmmIlx     I
Unresolved ES&H Problems   at DOE
ContractmOperd.ed  Sltes




 Presently, CAI’Sdoes not contain some important B&H data which would
help DOE managers, staff, and oversight bodies obtain a more complete
picture of the problems DOE faces at its various sites. In addition, the
department has not established an overall management plan to realize
CATSfull potential. Such a plan, prioritizing CATSbroader use and fur-
ther development for the benefit of both DOE line managers and over-
sight entities at headquarters and in the field, would help to ensure that
the system is optimally expanded. DOE has been developing modules
within CATSwhich would incorporate more types of information and is
taking action to put more ES&H evaluations, including GAO recommenda-
tions and monthly DOE site environmental compliance reports, into the
computer. When completed, these steps will help in monitoring the
department’s ES&H problems and measuring progress in achieving safety
and health and environmental compliance. However, an overall manage-
ment plan-including     specific milestones for when needed additional
information is to be available on the system-would      better assure CATS
systematic expansion in a timely manner to meet the needs of various
potential users.




Page 25                             GAO/RCEB@O-101   RS4kH Problems   at DOE Sitm
Apjpendix II

l$?&H Problems at hdividu~ Sites


Ta  11.1:Number and Types of Safety
an Health Problems at 16 DOE Sites                                                       Type of problema

                                         Site                          ABCDEFGHIJ
                                      Argonne, III.                    9   1    1         9     0    18      7       7     0        0
                                      Brookhaven, Conn.                8   0    1         3     0    11      4       2     0        0
                                      Fernald, Ohio                    9   7   2         19     0    21      3      13     0        0
                                      Hanford, Wash.                  22   6   0         35     0    17     15      18     0        0
                                      Idaho Lab.                      10   2   3          6     0    11      2      10     0        0
                                      Los Alamos, N. Mex.              8   1   0         12     0    10      7      11     0        0
                                      II Livermore, Calif.             8   2   0         13     0     2      3       2     0        0
                                      Mound, Ohio                      4   0    12              0     6      2       IO             0

                                      Na;;/,ytroleum Reserve,          0     0      0     0     8     0   0         0     10        4
                                      Paducah, Ky.                     3     2      0     0     0     12            3      0        0
                                      Pantex, Tex.                     0     10           3     0     3   10               0        0
                                      Portsmouth. Ohio                 14           0     3     0     2   12               0        0
                                      Rocky Flats, Cola.              15     3      1    29     0    36  10         8      0        0
                                      Sandia, N. Mex.                  IO           2     2     0     0   3         3      0        0
                                      Sandia, Calif.                   2     0      0     3     0     2   2         10              0
                                      Savannah River, SC.              6     2      0     8     0     9   5         5     0         0
                                      Strategic Petroleum Reserve,
                                        La.                            0     0      0   0       2   0       0     0       15    2
                                      y-12, Tenn.                      2     4      0   9       0   9      10     2        0    0
                                      Total                          106    35     11 156      10 156      77    66       25    6




                                      Page 26                                     GAO/RCED-90-101   ES&H Problems    at DOE Sites
                                                                                                                    ES&I-I Probleme         at Individual   Sites




                                                                                                                                          Type of problema

                                                                                                                                                                                       Total DOE cloaedc
                                                                                                                                                                                        114           19
                                                                                                                                                                                         96           44
                 14    ’      8        0                                                    0 _--__.
                                                                                                  18 -.--- 0    0        0       42          3      11       0      0     16            166           46                                  48
       25
  .._-.---                   20
                           I_..._.      0
                                - .--------                                                 0
                                                                                            --.-- 22       0    0       10       48          1      25       0      0     30            294           89                              108

-+j-..;-.--;t
-~                    : -_-.   ..--           ..-           --.--_------___
                                                                                  *--g-_....--9"-.--      ;                                                               11
                                                                                                                                                                           O             124
                                                                                                                                                                                          66                   57
                                                                                                                                                                                                               21                         60
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          54
                                                                                                                                                                                                               53                         55
---..-.-.~&-.-   1: i _;...;-. --”    -..-.         . ..-      --.                           E
                                                                              .-_.------_____-     "3     :     i        :       :i          i      '1       ::     i       "0            :;                   29                         29

      010____-
_- ~._._
      -...,.+                   10 ._..
                        3 .-..--I-
              -.-""l.--._.               0
                                     - -......                                                            910            0        0          0     0         6      4       0             64                    0                          0
                                                                                                          0     0        011                 0     4         0      0       0             36                   16                      23
                                                                                                          0     0        0            4      0     0         0      0       3             20                   15                      17
        2i30040009
. ..---.%.--p-.---..---                                                                                                                      14003                                        39                   18                      26
-~r.-_------~ 10
      20                 0      0     22                                                                  0     0        0       73          1   21          0      0     13            262                  142                      183
        8
"-.~.___-       8 -..--._0 -.-.---.
               _.._             0       7                                                                 0     0        011                 0     7         0      0      5             57                    0                        0
        2
____--1-___L--  2-._..   0   -. .._---- 10
                    -.._--_._-. 0                                                                               0        0        5          0     10               0      0              21                   17                         17
        6     13         0      0      0                                                                  0     0        0        9          010             0      0      6              79                    1                         34

        0:0140                             200000                                                                                                            210                          29                    0                          0
        9 -....._.II.__
 .^_.-.-.--+  7       0 - ~.~-.-_-_-_---..-_
                     ---   0      9        0    0                                                                       015                  0      4        0      0      9              69                   24                     27
    152 1105          4   14 127         11    10                                                                      46 379              16     124       6       5   114            1731                  591                     765

                                                                                                                    aA-auxiliary   systems; &-nuclear criticality safety: C-experimental          activities; D-emergency        readi-
                                                                                                                    ness; E-fire protection for petroleum reserves; F-fire protection: G-facility            safety review; H-mainte-
                                                                                                                    nance; l-management        control for petroleum reserves; J-maintenance          for petroleum reserves; K-
                                                                                                                    organization and administration; L-operations;         M-operations    for petroleum reserves; N-personnel
                                                                                                                    protection (industrial hygiene); O-personnel       protection; P-public protection for petroleum reserves:
                                                                                                                    Q-personnel      protection (occupational safety); R-quality      assurance; S-radiological       protection; T-
                                                                                                                    security/safety interface: U-training     and certification; V-technical    support for petroleum reserves;
                                                                                                                    W-transportation      and shipping for petroleum reserves; X-technical         support.

                                                                                                                    ‘Closure verified by DOE

                                                                                                                    %ontractor        reported completion of corrective actions to DOE.




                                                                                                                    Page 27                                                     GAO/RCED-90-101      ES&H Problems        at DOE Sites
                                                                                                                                                          #
                                                                                                                                                                    I
                                                                                          --                                                                             c
                                         Appendix II
                                         ES%H Problems           at Individual    Sites




      11.2:Number of Safety and Health
*loma Idontlfled/Cloaed by DOE and                                                             --                Category of seriousnessb
I gorier of Serlourne8s at 18 DOE        site                                                           I                II       III  NoneC                Total
t I)’                                    Argonne,      III.                                                                 112  (19)    1 (0)           114 (19)
                                                                      -_---..        .-   --        0~.~.(0) ...__~ 1 ~.(0)   .
                                         Brookhaven,          Conn.                                                          92.~ (42)                        96        (44)
                                                                                  -~- .._-_..-. ~~0 ..-(0) _... 3   (2)
                                                                                                                     __            - ~-    ._1 jq,.
r                                        Fernald,   Ohio                                          0 (0)        11 (3)   8.5 (3)         90 (40)      186                (46)
                                         Hanford, Wash.                                      0 (0)              8 (4)  234 (85)         52 (0) 294                      (89)
                                                                                . . . - ..-0 (0) -_~ .2 . ~-.(0) ~~~ 85      (21) -... 1 .~
                                         Idaho Lab.
                                                                      -_--                                              .~ ~--                .~-... 88
                                                                                                                                             (0)                        (21)
                                         Los Alamos N. Mex.                                  0 (0)          3 (3)      121   (54)        0  (0)      124                (57)
 I                                       L. Livermore, Calif.                               14 (IO)        18.(Ii).    .50 (32)          4 (0)        86                (53)
 I                                       Mound, Ohio            _--- _.--.-..-               0    (0)       0     (0)   47   (29)        0   (oj.     47                (29)
                                         Naval Petroleum Reserve, Calif.                     0 co,-- 4 (0)              60      (0)     II
                                                                                                                        33 (,‘4) .~ok io;   col       64                  (0)
                                         Paducah, Ky._-..----_.----.              ..- ~~~ 0.- (0) ..~~3 ~~..     (2;                                  36                (16)
                                         Pantex, Tex. ___--...---.-.--              -.   . 0 (0) ~. 0 (0)              -20   (15)        0  (0)       20                (15)
                                         Portsmouth,    Ohio                                 0 (0)          2 (1,       37 (17)          0 (0)~~~ 39                 ('I@
                                         Rocky Flats, Cola.
                                                             -__..--.-~~               ~~~  36  (23)       46  (32)    180   (87)        0  (0) 262                 (142)
                                         Savannah River, SC.                                33 (1) 32 (0)              -14      (0, --‘0    (0,       79                 (1)
                                         Sandia, Calif.         ___..__._ _._.~~..           0    (0)~      5.  j2)     19   (ij)        0  (oj       21                (17)
                                         Sandia,
                                         ~...---. N.  Mex.                       .._-        0 (oj- 2 b-4 54 CO) -.I (0)                              57                 (0)
                                         Strategic Petro. Reserve, La.
                                                      ----~                                  0.   (0)  .-.  3~   ioj    26      (0)      0  (0)       29                  (0)
                                         Y-12, Tenn.
                                                            -___I_         -_-. _          30
                                                                                          .~    (12).--    20    (6)  .-C39-    (6)      0  (0) ---.  89                (24)
                                         Total                                                 113(46)       ~160(66) 1308(4$9)           150(4(I)      173<(591)
                                         aNumbers closed by DOE are shown in parentheses.

                                         bCategory I-Clear and present danger to workers or the public exists, requiring consideration of stop-
                                         page of operations or other immediate mitlgatlon; category II---.signlficant risk exists, or substantial non-
                                         compliance with DOE orders; category Ill-significant    noncompllance with DOE orders exists All 113
                                         category I recommendations were made in 1986. Under the definition of category I at that time, they
                                         were considered an immediate threat to the public, and three different levels of response were POSSI-
                                         ble-stoppage     of operations, Immediate corrective action. or normal corrective actIon As dIscussed on
                                         p. 18, none of the listed category I recommendations required stoppage of operations, but 10 required
                                         immediate corrective action.
                                         ‘A few recommendations            in TSAs were not categorized




                w




                                         Page 28                                                            GAO/RCED-W-101     ES&H Problems          at NE        Sites
                                        ES&Ii Problema at IndMdual Biter




Table (lb: Numkr and Tjp~a of
Bnvlropmental Problomr at 31 DOE Slko                                                              TYPOof Problem’
                                        site                                                ABCDEFQH                     I Total
                                        Ames, Iowa                                          1 1 0 0 2 0 5 1 2                12
                                        Argonne, III.                                      11 0 10 2 10 1 9 4 17             64
                                        Bartlesville, Okla.                                 303120502                         16
                                        Brookhaven, Conn.                                   8 3 5 6 8 0 8 3 5                46
                                        Fermi, Ill.                                         1 2 2 2 1 0 6 1 5                20
                                        Fernald, Ohio                                      15 3 9 7 9 2 10 5 8               68
                                        Hanford, Wash.                                     12 2 6 5 6 2 5 4 16               58
                                        Idaho Lab.                                         11 16       6 8 413       2 8     59
                                        K-25, Tenn.                                         2 2 7 3 7 1 7 0 4                33
                                        Kansas City, MO.                                    8 2 4 3 2 13             413     40
                                        L. Berkeley, Calif.                                 3 1 5 4 4 0 3 1 2                23
                                        Los Alamos, N. Mex.                                 2 2 9 3 15 1 14 3 10             69
                                        L. Livermore, Calif.                                7 3 10 3 10 3 8 3 18             66
                                        Morgantown, W. Va,                                  006210513                        18
                                        Mound, Ohio                                         5 4 6 511          0 5 18        411
                                        Nevada Test Site                                    8 3 6 7 8 2 8 213                CT?
                                        Naval Petroleum Reserve, Calif.                     1 0 9 2 3 0 5 1 5                26
                                        Paducah, Kv.                                        7 2 2 4 8 2 6 1 1                33
                                        Pantex, Tex.                                        4 4 4 2 18 2 10 2 10             56
                                        Pinellas, Fla.                                      2 0 9 6 3 3 5 4 3                35
                                        Pittsburah. Pa.                                     0 0 5 2 2 0 8 0 5                22
                                        Portsmouth, Ohio                                   12 2 7 6 12 0 9 1 6               58
                                        Rocky Flats, Cola.                                 12 2 3 2 7 1 14 1 11              53
                                        Savannah River, S.C.                                9 5 13 9 7 1 7 10 4              05
                                        Solar Enerav Research, N. Mex.                      2 0 1 1 7 0 2 2 1                16
                                        Sandia, Calif.                                      3 0 4 2 2 2 3 2 7                25
                                        Sandia, N. Mex.                                     0 010     5 8 7 9 5 8            52
                                        Stanford, Calif.                                    4 2 4 3 4 2 4 1 3                27
                                        UC. Davis, Calif.                                   2 3 3 4 2 3 3 0 3                23
                                        X-10, Tenn.                                         4 2 10 5 4 3 10 0 10             40
                                        Y-12, Term.                                        13 3 8 6 6 1 4 2 15               58
                                        Total                                             172 54 186 118 197 44 213 07 220 1277
                                        aA-air contamination; B-soil contamination; C-surface      water contamination; D-ground   water con-
                                        tamination: E-waste management; F-radioactive        contamination; G-toxic contamination; H-quality
                                        assurance; l-management     of inactive waste sites.




                                        Page 29                                           GAO/RCED-BO-101      ES&H Problema at DOE Sitm
                                          Appendix II
                                          ES&H Problem       at Individual   Sitee




Tabl’ 11.4:Number of Envlronmental
Pro d!ems and Categories of Seriousness                                                                  Category of Seriousnessa
at 31 DOE Sites                           site                                                    -i             II        Ill     IV
                                          Ames, Iowa                                                   0         1           1     10             12
                                          Argonne, Ill,                                                0         7        26       31             84
                                          Bartlesville, Okla.                                          0         2          4      10             16
                                          Brookhaven, Conn.                                            0         7        11       28             48
                                          Fermi, III.                                                  0         1           6     13             20
                                          Fernald, Ohio                                                0        31        15       22             68
                                          Hanford, Wash.                                               0        10        25       23             58
                                          Idaho Lab.                                                   0         7        24       28             59
                                          K-25. Tenn.                                                  0         4          7      22             33
                                          Kansas City, MO.                                             0         5        22       13             40
                                          Los Alamos, N. Mex.                                          0         5        31       23             59
                                          L. Berkeley, Calif.                                          0         1          5      17             23
                                          L. Livermore, Calif.                                         0         4        26       35             85
                                          Morgantown, W. Va.                                           0         2          7       9             18
                                          Mound, Ohio                                                  0         9        24       12             45
                                          Nevada Test Site                                             0        15        25       17             57
                                          Naval Petroleum Reserve, Calif.                              0         8        12        6             28
                                          Paducah, Ky.                                                 0         6          6      21             33
                                          Pantex, Tex.                                                 0         4        27       25             56
                                          Pinellas, Fla.                                               0         4          5      26             35
                                          Pittsburgh, Pa.                                              0         3          8      11             22
                                          Portsmouth, Ohio                                             0        16        16       23             55
                                          Rockv, Flats. Colo.                                          0         5        18       30             53
                                          Savannah River, SC.                                          0        13        20       32             85
                                          Solar Energy Research, N. Mex.                               0         1          0      15             18
                                          Sandia, Calif.                                               0         0        10       15             25
                                          Sandia. N. Mex.                                              0        11        15       26             52
                                          Stanford, Calif.                                             0         4          5      18             27
                                          U.C. Davis, Calif.                                           0         2          7      14             23
                                          X-10, Tenn.                                                  0         2        29       17             48
                                          Y-12, Tenn.                                                  0         2        40       16             58
                                          Total                                                        0       192       477      608           1277
                                          Tategory I-Problem poses an immediate threat to health; category II-problem involves a high risk for
                                          a threat to health to occur; category Ill-problem    has a potential for evolving into a threat to health;
                                          category IV-problem      is generally administrative noncompliance and/or a practice that is indirectly but
                                          not directly related to environmental risk.




                                          Page 30                                             GAO/RCEDM-101         EWH     Problema   at DOE Sites
Table 11~5:DOE Sites Designated by EPA
as Havl g Significant Environmental                                                                    Law/Designation0
Compll nce Problems                                                                                                                    CERCLA/on
      f                                                                       RCRA/signlticant          CWA/ significant         national priorities
                                         Site                                    noncomplier              noncomDlier                             list
                                         Argonne, III.                                                                       X

                                         Bonneville, Wash.”                                                                                               X

                                         Brookhaven, Conn.                                                                                                X

                                         Fernald, Ohio                                             X                                                      X

                                         Hanford, Wash.                                            X                                                      X

                                         Hazelwood, Mo.~                                                                                                  X

                                         Idaho Lab.                                                X                                                      X

                                         Kansas City, MO.                                          X

                                         L. Livermore, Calif.                                      X                         X                            X

                                         Los Alamos. N. Mex.                                       X

                                         Maywood, N.J.b                                                                                                X

                                         Monticello, Utahb                                                                                             X

                                         Mound, Ohio                                                                                                   X

                                         Oak Ridae. Tenn.                                                                                              X

                                         Portsmouth, Ohio                                          X

                                         Rocky Flats, Cola.                                        X                                                   X

                                         Sandia. N. Mex.                                           X

                                         Savannah River, SC.                                      X                                                    X

                                         Weldon Spring, Mo.~                                                                                           X

                                         W.R. Grace. N.J.b                                                                                             X

                                         aRCRA--Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; CWA-Clean Water Act; CERCLA-Comprehen-
                                         sive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. RCRA significant noncompliers are
                                         defined by EPA as land disposal sites with major violations of ground water monitoring, facility closure,
                                         post-closure, or financial responsibility requirements. Clean Water Act significant noncompliers are
                                         major dischargers that have violated one or more conditions in enforcement orders, or one or more
                                         milestones in working toward compliance, or discharge permit effluent limits. CERCLA national priorities
                                         list sites are identified for high priority remedial and/or removal actions (Superfund equivalent of a signif.
                                         icant noncomplier).

                                         bNot among the 31 sites listed in DOE’s computerized      data on environmental   surveys (tables II.3 and
                                         11.4).




                                         Page 31                                               GAO/RCED-SO-101       ES&H Problems      at DOE Sites
Ap$endix   III

Objectives, Scope,and Methodology


                 On March 16,1989, Senator Metzenbaum and Representative Miller
                 requested that we summarize and evaluate the environmental, safety,
                 management, and health problems at DOE sites that are associated with
                 the activities of the facility contractors. As agreed with your offices,
                 this report focuses on DOE and contractor responsiveness to problems
                 identified in DOE technical safety appraisals and environmental surveys,
                 as well as on compliance with federal environmental laws. We will be
                 reporting to you separately on the status of Es&H-related recommenda-
                 tions made by GAO to DOE. Information on abnormal events at DOE sites
                 was presented to your offices in the form of a briefing on August 2,
                 1989.

                 To address matters discussed in this report, we interviewed DOE officials
                 and reviewed various DOE, GAO, and EPA documents and data. To deter-
                 mine the environmental and safety problems identified by DOE through
                 technical safety appraisals and environmental surveys, we obtained
                 access to DOE'S computer assisted tracking system. This system main-
                 tains TSAand environmental survey findings and the status of corrective
                 actions. As agreed with your offices, we extracted available computer
                 data from this system to identify ES&H problems at sites and the status
                 of actions to correct them. Data was last updated in January 1990. At
                 that time, 40 of 48 completed appraisals had been computerized, as well
                 as 31 of 37 environmental surveys. As also agreed with your offices, we
                 did not independently verify the accuracy of DOE'S computer data, but
                 we selectively checked it against other records to provide reasonable
                 assurance of its accuracy.

                 As requested, we did not obtain formal agency comments on this report.
                 However, we discussed the contents of the report with DOE officials as it
                 was being developed, and their views were incorporated as appropriate.
                 We conducted our field work from May 1989 through January 1990 in
                 accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




                 Page 32                             GAO/RCED-90-101   Es&H Problems   at DOE Sites
 Major Contributors to This Report


                         Carl J. Bannerman, Assistant Director
Resdurces,               Gary L. Jones, Assignment Manager
Co&unity, and            William F. Fenzel, Advisor
Eco ’ omit               David L. Brack, Evaluator-in-Charge
T)ev lopment Division,   Timothy W. Ulrich, Staff Member
    Ii
Wdhington, DC.




              w




(801869)                 Page 83                            CAO/lWED4O-lO1 JZS&HProblema at DOE Sitea
    ---




          IJ.S. (hwral Account,ing    Office
          Post Office Hox 60 15
          Gaithwsburg,  Maryland      20877



          The first, five copies of each report    are free. Addit.ional   copies arc:
          $2.00 each.

          ‘I‘lwre is a 25% discount, on orcltw    for 100 or more copies tnail~?d to a
          single addwss.

          Orders must be prepaid by cash or by check or money order made
          out to tlw SttI,c~rititettclent. of Ihwuttiet~ts.




i