Boulder City Magazine® May 2006 Issue
by Jon C. Porter, Third District Congressman
Updated Yucca Mountain Report
Third District Congressman Jon Porter released an updated Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on quality assurance concerns surrounding the Yucca Mountain Project. The report, entitled “Quality Assurance at DOE’s (Department of Energy) Planned Nuclear Waste Repository Needs Increased Management Attention,” was requested by Porter in April of 2005 to find out what DOE is doing to address their quality assurance problems.
Boulder City Magazine®
|“This report confirms what we’ve been saying all along-DOE does not have the appropriate mechanisms in place to repair a broken quality assurance program,” said Porter. “While I was encouraged to see that DOE has agreed with GAO’s findings, I won’t be convinced of their ‘commitment’ to safety until their quality assurance program is foolproof.”
The report states that “DOE cannot be certain that its efforts to improve the implementation of its quality assurance requirements have been effective because it adopted management tools that did not target existing management concerns and did not track progress with significant and recurring problems. Although DOE announced, in 2004, that it was making a commitment to continuous quality assurance improvement...its adopted management tools have not been effective for this purpose.” The report concludes that “Before DOE submits a license application, its aggressive ‘new path forward’ effort faces substantial quality assurance and other challenges.”
The release of the report comes on the heels of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman’s concession that the Yucca Mountain Project has been poorly managed and is “broken.” At a March 8th budget hearing, Bodman said, “We really had a process that was broken, and we are trying to fix it.” Bodman said blame could be shared by the contractor, the United States Geological Survey “for compromising quality assurance,” and DOE itself, “who did not manage it very well.” He plead for patience, stating “We are attempting to manage it better... my hope is by demonstrating a thoughtful process, we will be able to reclaim your support and that of the nuclear industry.”
The full GAO report is available at www.gao.gov.
Contact U.S. Congressman Jon Porter at www.house.gov/porter/
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
Phone (702) 294-1392 Fax (702) 294-1392
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