3
Recommendations

The D&D committee recognizes the difficulties that the DDFA encountered during its first four years (1994–1997) in organizing itself and its programs to meet DOE's needs for D&D technology development. The committee also recognizes the recent efforts described by Gerald Boyd, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology, and others in improving the efficiency and deployment record of the DDFA (Boyd, 1997). As a part of that effort this committee was convened to assess the utility and effectiveness of the approaches and processes used by DDFA, especially the LSDP.22

During the committee's review, the LSDP lacked planning and did not meet its schedules or goals. Prompt dissemination of sufficient technical and cost data to encourage site managers to adopt successfully demonstrated technologies was not achieved, nor were the LSDPs able to overcome institutional barriers to new technologies. Widespread user acceptance of the demonstrated technologies did not occur during the committee's review period. Therefore, the general recommendation of the committee is that OST and DDFA substantially revise the Large-Scale Demonstration Program or phase it out.

To assist the DDFA in improving its efficiency, especially as it revises the LSDP and makes further efforts to achieve greater deployment of new D&D technologies, the committee makes the following recommendations:

1.  

The DDFA should improve its strategic planning. As discussed in the CEMT committee's report (NRC, 1996), a comprehensive strategic plan, with

22  

The statement of task for the committee is given in Appendix A.



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--> 3 Recommendations The D&D committee recognizes the difficulties that the DDFA encountered during its first four years (1994–1997) in organizing itself and its programs to meet DOE's needs for D&D technology development. The committee also recognizes the recent efforts described by Gerald Boyd, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology, and others in improving the efficiency and deployment record of the DDFA (Boyd, 1997). As a part of that effort this committee was convened to assess the utility and effectiveness of the approaches and processes used by DDFA, especially the LSDP.22 During the committee's review, the LSDP lacked planning and did not meet its schedules or goals. Prompt dissemination of sufficient technical and cost data to encourage site managers to adopt successfully demonstrated technologies was not achieved, nor were the LSDPs able to overcome institutional barriers to new technologies. Widespread user acceptance of the demonstrated technologies did not occur during the committee's review period. Therefore, the general recommendation of the committee is that OST and DDFA substantially revise the Large-Scale Demonstration Program or phase it out. To assist the DDFA in improving its efficiency, especially as it revises the LSDP and makes further efforts to achieve greater deployment of new D&D technologies, the committee makes the following recommendations: 1.   The DDFA should improve its strategic planning. As discussed in the CEMT committee's report (NRC, 1996), a comprehensive strategic plan, with 22   The statement of task for the committee is given in Appendix A.

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-->     specific objectives and goals, is essential for decision-making in successful management of the DDFA. A high priority should be assigned to updating the 1995 draft Strategic Plan to reflect DOE's current priorities, scope, schedule, and budget. The plan should be disseminated widely to senior managers to provide a common basis for development and use of associated management and implementation plans. The Strategic Plan should be updated and reissued periodically as DOE policies, procedures, and objectives evolve. 2.   Top Management in OST should evaluate and prioritize the technology needs of the operating sites. The D&D technology needs identified in each field cleanup planning process must be prioritized and communicated from each site up to OST. After verification and evaluation of actual, as opposed to perceived, technology gaps that cannot be satisfied by existing technology, OST must prioritize the remaining candidate projects for implementation within the constraints of the available budget. This is a "top-down" management function and cannot be delegated. This is absolutely essential to ensure that technology project selection will yield an advantageous return in cost, schedule, and personnel safety. 3.   OST and the DDFA should link all actions and funding to the prioritized needs. All actions (selection of technologies to be demonstrated, implementation of demonstrations, establishment of rankings for budgetary purposes) and funding by the OST must be supported by "top-down" prioritized actual needs of D&D cleanup projects in progress or scheduled for implementation. 4.   The DDFA should define a reasonable target end state for each D&D activity. The DDFA must establish clear performance goals for any new D&D technology to achieve an effective technology development program. In order to establish performance goals, the DDFA should take the initiative to define and propose end states that would be reasonable for specific DOE D&D activities.23 These steps are necessary to provide a justification for the DDFA to develop new technologies (where baseline technologies cannot reach a specified end state) or to benchmark new technologies that are claimed to be "faster, cheaper, and better" than the baseline. All proposed demonstration projects should be reviewed by the DDFA to ensure that definition of the desired end state for each demonstration project is clear, complete, and consistent with latest changes in DOE strategic plans and negotiated site planning and operations. 5.   The DDFA should improve its approach to introducing and gaining acceptance of demonstrated technologies. The LSDP was designed to intro- 23   The concept of end-states is described in Chapter 2.

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-->     duce and gain acceptance by site managers of innovative technologies into D&D activities within the DOE complex. Each site already has established methods for performing D&D activities, and sites appear reluctant to take on the perceived risk of adopting alternative methods. OST "marketing" representatives responsible for promoting these technologies to the candidate sites must understand fully the potential needs of users and work closely with the users to successfully resolve their concerns before technology deployment can be a reality. New technologies must be "pulled" by the site cleanup project manager with a problem; they cannot successfully be "pushed" by the technology supplier. Improved approaches to win widespread DOE site acceptance of new technologies, including those given in the next four recommendations, should be implemented by the DDFA. Similarly OST and the DDFA should take a fresh look at the TDI program to determine the effectiveness of financial incentives as a means of obtaining technology deployment. 6.   OST and the DDFA should develop and apply a uniform and consistent approach to comparative technology assessment across all projects . To gain credibility with the site managers and other stakeholders, OST should develop and base its comparative technology assessments on a standard methodology that prevails across the various programs, sites, and projects. The committee recommends that DDFA refine its cost estimating methodologies for baseline and alternate technologies so that cost comparisons are meaningful and can be documented fully. Methodologies for incorporating non-economic criteria (safety, human factors, waste generation, degree of maturity, and technological risk) also should be standardized. 7.   The DDFA should be more aware of technologies developed in the private, academic, and foreign sectors. The DDFA should develop a well defined and effective procedure to identify and disseminate information on technologies commercially available in the United States and abroad that can be brought to bear on D&D problems within the DOE complex. To achieve this the DDFA should increase its interactions not only with the national laboratories but also with private industry and international organizations, develop more regional diversity in its contacts with universities, and make its technology needs and programs more visible and comprehensible to private industry. 8.   The DDFA should communicate its program results in a more effective and timely manner. Failure to provide adequate communication of the results of the demonstrations, tests, or assessments to prospective end users in a timely manner and in sufficient detail greatly reduces the prospects for acceptance and deployment of new technologies. DDFA should change or improve its present approach (the "Green Books") in order to assure the timely issuance of complete and defensible detailed results.

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--> 9.   The DDFA should establish a better connection between university and industry programs and prioritized long-term needs. As part of its long-term strategy, the DDFA should become more familiar with programs sponsored by or in progress at universities, industrial organizations, and other government organizations that may be applicable to D&D activities. The DDFA should establish a greater diversity of contacts among these organizations. Where R&D efforts are proposed, the DDFA should sponsor such work only if a specific highpriority need has been identified. Technology development in this context should be assigned the role of addressing those needs that will remain after 2006. Sponsorship should be directed toward institutions having demonstrated capability and performance.