Systems Analysis and Systems Engineering in Environmental Remediation Programs at the Department of Energy Hanford Site

Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes

Board on Radioactive Waste Management

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council


NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1998



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--> Systems Analysis and Systems Engineering in Environmental Remediation Programs at the Department of Energy Hanford Site Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes Board on Radioactive Waste Management Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1998

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The work was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Contract No. DE–FC01–94EW54069/R. All opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Energy. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government, and upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06181-4 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> COMMITTEE ON REMEDIATION OF BURIED AND TANK WASTES THOMAS M. LESCHINE*, Chair, University of Washington, Seattle DENISE BIERLEY, Redhorse LLC, Edgewood, New Mexico ROBERT J. BUDNITZ†§, Future Resources Associates, Berkeley, California THOMAS A. BURKE§, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland ROBERT J. CATLIN§, University of Texas (retired), Houston JAMES H. CLARKE, ECKENFELDER INC., Nashville, Tennessee THOMAS A. COTTON§, JK Research Associates, Inc., Arlington, Virginia ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee RODNEY C. EWING‡, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor DONALD R. GIBSON, JR., TRW, Suffolk, Virginia JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. W. HUGH O'RIORDAN, Givens Pursley, LLP, Boise, Idaho GLENN PAULSON§, Paulson and Cooper, Inc., Jackson Hole, Wyoming BENJAMIN ROSS, Disposal Safety Inc., Washington, D.C. PAUL A. WITHERSPOON§, University of California, Berkeley RAYMOND G. WYMER, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Tennessee Staff ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer DENNIS L. DUPREE, Senior Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Senior Project Assistant *    Chair as of May 9, 1996 †   Chair until May 9, 1996 ‡   Resigned December 4, 1995 §   Rotated off committee May 1, 1997

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--> BOARD ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT MICHAEL C. KAVANAUGH, Chair, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Oakland, California JOHN F. AHEARNE, Vice-Chair, Sigma Xi, and Duke University, Research Triangle Park and Durham, North Carolina ROBERT J. BUDNITZ, Future Resources Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California ANDREW P. CAPUTO, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C. MARY R. ENGLISH, Energy, Environment, and Resources Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville DARLEANE C. HOFFMAN, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR., Howard University, Washington, D.C. ROGER E. KASPERSON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts JAMES O. LECKIE, Stanford University, California JANE C.S. LONG, Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno CHARLES McCOMBIE, Consultant, Gipf-Oberfrick, Switzerland H. ROBERT MEYER, Keystone Scientific, Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado WILLIAM A. MILLS, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (retired), Olney, Maryland D. WARNER NORTH, North Works, Inc., Mountain View, California MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Argonne, Illinois JOHN J. TAYLOR, Electric Power Research Institute (retired), Palo Alto, California MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director ROBERT S. ANDREWS, Senior Staff Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Staff Officer THOMAS E. KIESS, Senior Staff Officer SUSAN B. MOCKLER, Research Associate TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative Associate ROBIN L. ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant LATRICIA C. BAILEY, Project Assistant PATRICIA A. JONES, Senior Project Assistant LAURA LLANOS, Project Assistant ANGELA R. TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant ERIKA L. WILLIAMS, Research Assistant

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair, University of Virginia, Charlottesville PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle B. JOHN GARRICK, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California THOMAS E. GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. HUGH C. MORRIS, Canadian Global Change Program, Delta, British Columbia RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario H. RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative & Financial Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

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--> Preface The Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes was established in 1993 with the general objective of addressing generic and specific issues relevant to the environmental remediation of radioactive waste contamination from a broad national perspective, including the use of systems engineering and risk-based assessment by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management for planning and decision making. This objective was a continuation of one addressed by a predecessor of the committee, the Panel to Review Planned DOE Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Single-Shell Tanks at Hanford, which produced the report, Comments on Draft Systems Engineering Study for Closure of Hanford Single-Shell Tanks, in February 1992. In August 1993 the committee received briefings on systems engineering activities at the Hanford Site in Washington. At the same time, Thomas Grumbly, then DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, requested that the committee evaluate the extent to which systems-analysis methods and perspectives are being used as inputs to the overall tank remediation program at Hanford. The committee issued a letter report on February 3, 1994 (Appendix B of this report), with its assessment of issues related to program execution and a commitment to continue its study to completion. This commitment was accepted by Mr. Grumbly in a letter acknowledging the report (Appendix C of this report). As part of its study, in 1996, the committee organized a group of its members having expertise in systems analysis and engineering to gather information, review documents, and prepare a draft of findings and recommendations for the committee to develop into this report. This "systems group," composed of committee members Thomas A. Cotton, Donald R. Gibson, Jr., and Thomas M. Leschine, held a number of meetings at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington, and examined numerous documents. The committee acknowledges the contributions of many persons from the U.S. Department of Energy, including those from Headquarters and the Richland Office, as well as Hanford Site contractors, who assisted in providing information needed for the members to complete this study. This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council (NRC) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Vicki Bier, University of Wisconsin-Madison B. John Garrick, PLG, Inc. (retired) Mike Kavanaugh, Malcom Pirnie, Inc. Edwin Kintner, GPU Nuclear Corp. (retired) Nejmedin Meshkati, University of Southern California Warner North, North Works, Inc. Frank Parker, Vanderbilt University Chris Whipple, ICF Kaiser Engineers, Inc. While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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--> Contents     Summary   1     Introduction   3     The Systems Engineering Process   4     Discussion of Hanford Systems Engineering and Principal Findings   6     Integration of TWRS with Broader Site Concerns   7     Progress Toward Greater Reliance on Systems Engineering   8     Documentation   9     Remediation Alternatives   14     Programmatic Risk   14     Recommendations   17     References   18 Appendix A:   Statement of Task   23 Appendix B:   1994 Letter Report on Systems Engineering   25 Appendix C:   Response from DOE to 1994 Letter Report   43 Appendix D:   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   47 Appendix E:   Abbreviations   51

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