Introduction

The Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes (hereafter, the ''committee'') was organized in part to provide a focus on the use of systems engineering by the Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) Program for planning and decision making (see Appendix A for committee's statement of task). Over the last several years the committee has examined the application of systems analysis and systems engineering in programs at the Hanford Site, Richland, Washington; specifically (1) Hanford' s Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS), whose systems engineering effort is highly formalized, and (2) the Hanford Site Systems Engineering Management Plan (Westinghouse Hanford Company, 1994).

This report builds on earlier work of the committee, documented in a 1994 letter report to Thomas P. Grumbly, then Assistant Secretary of DOE for Environmental Management (National Research Council, 1994) (attached as Appendix B). The earlier report, prepared at Mr. Grumbly's request, evaluated the extent to which systems analysis and systems engineering methods and perspectives were being employed in the TWRS program at Hanford (the TWRS program was established in 1991 with a mission to improve management and integration of the tank waste remediation activities). The committee was encouraged by the trend it saw within DOE to make fuller use of systems analysis and systems engineering, though it also found that there were a number of areas in the DOE/EM Hanford Site program in which these tools could be used more effectively. In its 1994 report, the committee identified the following concerns:

  • lack of clear, operational objectives tied to the TWRS mission statement;
  • failure to define the "system" being analyzed in a way that is inclusive of the tank contents, the tanks themselves, and the wastes that have already leaked into the surrounding soil;
  • failure to define and evaluate alternative courses of action comprehensively; and
  • lack of iterative evaluation of program contingencies, risks, resources, and other external and internal factors.

In his response to the committee's letter report, Mr. Grumbly noted the continuing need to "establish a system integrated program site-wide at Hanford and across all of the Environmental Management program" (attached as Appendix C). This report provides a more in-depth review of the systems engineering component of the TWRS program, examines the on-going efforts at DOE Richland Office (DOE/ RL) to establish the site-wide systems engineering program, and reviews DOE/RL's efforts to integrate the two programs. It also makes recommendations to help systems engineering become more effective at Hanford.



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--> Introduction The Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes (hereafter, the ''committee'') was organized in part to provide a focus on the use of systems engineering by the Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) Program for planning and decision making (see Appendix A for committee's statement of task). Over the last several years the committee has examined the application of systems analysis and systems engineering in programs at the Hanford Site, Richland, Washington; specifically (1) Hanford' s Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS), whose systems engineering effort is highly formalized, and (2) the Hanford Site Systems Engineering Management Plan (Westinghouse Hanford Company, 1994). This report builds on earlier work of the committee, documented in a 1994 letter report to Thomas P. Grumbly, then Assistant Secretary of DOE for Environmental Management (National Research Council, 1994) (attached as Appendix B). The earlier report, prepared at Mr. Grumbly's request, evaluated the extent to which systems analysis and systems engineering methods and perspectives were being employed in the TWRS program at Hanford (the TWRS program was established in 1991 with a mission to improve management and integration of the tank waste remediation activities). The committee was encouraged by the trend it saw within DOE to make fuller use of systems analysis and systems engineering, though it also found that there were a number of areas in the DOE/EM Hanford Site program in which these tools could be used more effectively. In its 1994 report, the committee identified the following concerns: lack of clear, operational objectives tied to the TWRS mission statement; failure to define the "system" being analyzed in a way that is inclusive of the tank contents, the tanks themselves, and the wastes that have already leaked into the surrounding soil; failure to define and evaluate alternative courses of action comprehensively; and lack of iterative evaluation of program contingencies, risks, resources, and other external and internal factors. In his response to the committee's letter report, Mr. Grumbly noted the continuing need to "establish a system integrated program site-wide at Hanford and across all of the Environmental Management program" (attached as Appendix C). This report provides a more in-depth review of the systems engineering component of the TWRS program, examines the on-going efforts at DOE Richland Office (DOE/ RL) to establish the site-wide systems engineering program, and reviews DOE/RL's efforts to integrate the two programs. It also makes recommendations to help systems engineering become more effective at Hanford.