[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 17, 1996)]
[Sunshine Act Meetings]
[Page 1205]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-502]

                Sunshine Act Meetings

Federal Register / Vol. 61, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 17, 1996 / 
Sunshine Act Meetings

[[Page 1205]]


    Pursuant to the provisions of the ``Government in the Sunshine 
Act'' (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552b), notice is hereby given of the Defense 
Nuclear Facilities Safety Board's (Board) meeting, described below, 
regarding DOE's efforts to attract and retain scientific and technical 
personnel who are qualified to provide the management, direction, and 
guidance essential to safe operation of DOE's defense nuclear 

TIME AND DATE: January 23, 1996, 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Public Hearing 
Room, 625 Indiana Avenue, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004.


MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: The Board, acting pursuant to its enabling 
statute, issued Recommendation 93-3 designed to foster strong 
endorsement, involvement, and guidance by the DOE's top management in 
developing programs targeted at upgrading competence of the DOE's 
staff. The Secretary of Energy has accepted this Recommendation. The 
Board will hold a public meeting to review DOE's progress in developing 
the programs and the several initiatives needed to raise the technical 
competency of DOE staff.

Manager, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, 625 Indiana Avenue, 
NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004, (800) 788-4016. This is a toll 
free number.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Board has a responsibility to ensure 
that health and safety of the public, including the workers, at DOE 
defense nuclear facilities are adequately protected. In doing so, the 
Board has looked to DOE to maintain high-quality technical expertise to 
deal with the potential hazards inherent in nuclear materials 
production, processing, and manufacturing within the DOE's defense 
nuclear complex. The Board's concern for the DOE's technical expertise 
is long standing. In several of its annual reports the Board has 
observed that:

    ``* * * the most important and far-reaching problem affecting 
the safety of DOE defense nuclear facilities is the difficulty in 
attracting and retaining personnel who are adequately qualified by 
technical education and experience to provide the kind of 
management, direction, and guidance essential to safe operation of 
DOE's defense nuclear facilities.''

The Board's most comprehensive effort to improve DOE's technical 
capability at its defense nuclear facilities was expressed in 
Recommendation 93-3, dated June 1, 1993. In that Recommendation, the 
Board stated:

    ``Nuclear weapons development and production have progressed 
over the years from early efforts of a small group of highly 
talented, ingenious individuals in scientific laboratories to 
employment of thousands of workers in industrial-type production 
environments. While the national response to today's changing 
international scene is resulting in downsizing of the nuclear 
stockpile and a change in mission of many of the defense nuclear 
facilitates, the need remains for continuing vigilance to protect 
public and worker health and safety. In fact, a case can be made for 
the need for greater vigilance now throughout the weapons complex 
because of increased risk of equipment mishaps in aged facilities, 
loss of existing technical expertise through attrition and 
downsizing, and a reduced inclination for young engineers and 
scientists to get involved in the nuclear weapons field.

    ``Nevertheless, the level of scientific and technical expertise 
in the DOE of defense nuclear facilities and operations had been 

    Recommendation 93-3, in its entirety, is on file in DOE's Public 
Reading Rooms, at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board's 
Washington office, and on the Internet through access to the Board's 
electronic bulletin board at the following address: WWW.DNFSB.GOV. It 
is also set forth in the Federal Register at 58 FR 32109.
    In accord with the statute establishing the Board, a public meeting 
will be conducted to lay the groundwork for a full assessment of the 
DOE's initiatives to deal with the problem of attracting and retaining 
technical personnel with exceptional qualifications. To assist the 
Board and inform the public, individual Board members will present 
their views, and the Board's staff will brief the Board on related 
topics, including, but not limited to:

    1. Current level of technical expertise within selected DOE 
programs at defense nuclear facilities.
    2. Board initiatives to identify and alleviate shortcomings in 
DOE technical capability.
    3. DOE's use of excepted service personnel authority to acquire 
highly-qualified technical and scientific personnel.
    4. Board staff's current assessment of the acquisition of 
highly-qualified DOE technical and scientific personnel and DOE's 
program to improve technical expertise of incumbents.

    A transcript of this proceeding will be made available by the Board 
for inspection by the public at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety 
Board's Washington office.
    The Board reserves its rights to further schedule and otherwise 
regulate the course of this meeting and hearing, to recess, reconvene, 
postpone or adjourn the meeting, and otherwise exercise its power under 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

    Dated: January 11, 1996.
John T. Conway,


[FR Doc. 96-502 Filed 1-11-96; 5:08 pm]