The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance has filed a request with the Department of Energy’s Inspector General’s Office for an investigation into negligence in the design process of the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN. The request comes after repeated requests for Senator Lamar Alexander to look into the serious issues raised by the General Accounting Office and the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board—the Safety Board charged, in an April 2, 2012 letter and review of the UPF design process, that safety was not integrated into the design of the UPF and the public was “not adequately protected.”
The failure to integrate safety into the design process at an early stage is a direct violation of DOE-STD-1189, a safety standard addressing the need for early incorporation of safety features into project designs. STD-1189 also cites other DOE Orders regarding the early integration of safety into design projects. In April 2012, NNSA acknowledged the UPF design was 70% complete; in May 2012, the NNSA admitted the Preliminary Safety Design Report for the UPF has not been completed or approved.
You can read OREPA’s letter to the Inspector General’s Office here: