Assessment of the DOE Readiness Assessment Process for Restart of the Transient Reactor Test Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory

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November 2017

Enterprise Assessments Assessment of the DOE Readiness Assessment Process for Restart of the Transient Reactor Test Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory – November 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Safety and Environmental Assessments, within the independent Office of Enterprise Assessments (EA), conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of the DOE process for verifying readiness to restart transient testing at the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The purpose of this EA assessment was not to verify that the contractor had successfully demonstrated readiness to restart transient testing, which was the primary job of the DOE readiness assessment (DOE RA) team. Rather, EA evaluated the DOE RA team’s process in order to independently verify the contractor’s and the DOE field office’s state of readiness to restart operations at the TREAT Facility. EA conducted this assessment at the TREAT Facility concurrently with the DOE RA from July 31 to August 10, 2017.

EA evaluated the effectiveness of the TREAT DOE RA as a vital step in verifying readiness to restart the TREAT Facility, after an extended shutdown lasting over 20 years. The EA team evaluated selected elements of the RA process using objectives and criteria derived from the requirements listed in DOE Order 425.1D, Verification of Readiness to Startup or Restart Nuclear Facilities, specifically paragraphs 4.e, 4.f, and 4.g of the order. The EA assessment evaluated selected parts of the readiness verification process, including the readiness verifications performed during the DOE RA. Specifically, EA focused on three key elements of the readiness process: evaluating the DOE process for verification that the prerequisites for performing a Federal RA had been completed; observation and independent verification of a sampling of the core requirements (CRs) listed in the approved plan of action (POA); and review of portions of the DOE process for verifying readiness to restart the TREAT Facility.