Click for next page ( 106


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 105
Appendix B Site Technology Coordination Groups at Three Major DOE-EM Sites Site Technology Coordination Groups are responsible for developing and prioritizing a list of site problems and technology needs based on the environmental management issues relevant to a specific site. A technology needs statement describes the nature, magnitude, environmental conditions, and technical performance requirements of an environmental restoration or remediation problem. The STCG is intended to be the primary interface between the site remediation programs and the national Focus Areas. The STCGs forward the site's technology needs list to the Focus Areas, where the technology needs are compiled and prioritized to address problems and needs at multiple sites in the context of national This information is used to analyze and update the Focus Area portfolio of technology needs. technologies and determine investment targets. if the Focus Area is aware of an evade technology solution, this information is transmitted to the applicable STCG, where the site can implement the technology. ~ 1 ~1 ~_ 1 _ 1 _ _ _ A significant additional role of STCCis Is to coordinate all technology development activities at the site and facilitate implementation of new technologies site-wide to improve the performance of environmental remediation and waste management programs. This requires that the STCGs develop performance requirements for technology implementation, participate in site technology demonstrations, and evaluate the ability of implemented technologies to meet site needs. A corollary role of the STCGs is to review the Focus Area technology development activities to evaluate whether the Focus Areas adequately understand the sites' problems and respond to their respective needs and priorities. The formalized process used by the STCGs in identifying and prioritizing technology needs is intended to define technology needs and link technology users with the Focus Areas' efforts to promote the use of innovative technologies at multiple DOE sites. The composition of STCGs differs somewhat from site to site. At most sites, STCG members include representatives of DOE, site contractors, and a variety of stakeholders, including government agencies, public interest groups, and Native American groups, whereas STCGs at some sites are comprised solely ~ . . . ., _ _ _ _ __ ~ _ 1 ~ _ _ 1~ 1 _~ ~ ~ ~ . I ~ date, of DOE employees. Each STCG considers the regional senmg, envlronmen~1 PloU1~111~ 1~ ulac~l,y issues, legally binding commitments, and priorities of the individual site. EM-30 and EM-40 work through the sites' Technical Program Officer (TPO) and STCG to identify ~ . , technology needs and priorities. Technology need information includes site-specific descriptions of the nature of the problem, baseline technologies and costs, regulatory requirements and issues, environmental safety and health concerns, anticipated cleanup schedule, potential cost savings (mortgage reduction), end user performance requirements, and local cultural or stakeholder concerns. Information must also be provided regarding the applicability of the technology need to multiple DOE sites or to private industry. This information is important for the Focus Areas in their complex-wide prioritization of technology programs. The STCGs compile information in a standardized format that provides a complete description of the technology requirements in terms of site conditions, operational requirements, and technical performance. 105

OCR for page 105
106 Decision Making in the DOE-OST Information submitted to the Focus Areas is reviewed for completeness, and if needed, further information is requested through the TPO or STCG. Focus Areas evaluate the combined needs statements from all sites and combines them into Focus Area work packages, groupings of needs based on similarity in characteristics and program needs. In principle, results of the work package evaluation and prioritization that form the basis for soliciting technology development proposals are then provided to the STCGs. The needs that have a high end user commitment and potential for deployment and implementation at multiple sites are more likely to be selected for funding. Some needs, however, are not justified because the baseline technology is determined to be adequate or more cost-effective, whereas other needs may have commercially available technology solutions. Other technology needs may be more effectively addressed in a different program or are not of high enough priority in Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure (DOE, 1998a) to warrant further action. SAVANNAH RIVER STCG The STCG at the Savannah River Site (SRS) addresses the technology needs of the SRS line organizations (Environmental Restoration, High Level Waste, and Solid Waste). Since the SRS STCG is an oversight and coordinating group, the line organizations and DOE line management have responsibility for identifying technology needs and implementing new technologies. The STCG facilitates identification and prioritization of technology needs and attempts to obtain the resources to implement appropriate technologies. The STCG also provides for interaction with SRS stakeholders, including citizens, advisory boards, and government agencies, to maintain communication and obtain input regarding new technology development and implementation. At SRS, the STCG is comprised primarily of Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SK) personnel and is chaired by the TPO. Members of the STCG include Focus Area liaisons that serve as the primary interface between the line organizations at SRS and the national Focus Areas. Focus Areas are represented in the following six technology teams: I. High-Level Waste in Tanks, 2. Environmental Restoration (Subsurface Contaminants Focus Area), 3. Waste Management/Site Treatment Plan (Mixed Waste Focus Area), 4. Decontamination and Decommissioning 5. Spent Fuel, and 6. Nuclear Focus Area Materials Stabilization (Plutonium Focus Area). The STCG also includes representatives of DOE-SR groups that interface with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders, as well as representatives of the site contractor-the end user with the technology need. Supporting members include representatives of the Offices of Community Outreach, Economic Development, the Chief Counsel, and the Savannah River Technology Center. The STCG Executive Committee, composed of DOE-SR senior managers, provides overall program guidance and direction, and is intended to serve as an interface with senior management to confirm site- wide priorities. The STCG at SRS developed a needs identification format that has been adopted by other STCGs in the complex to document needs. Additionally, the Environmental Restoration Program has developed performance-based standards for evaluating the successful implementation of new technologies. Performance is gauged by the ability of the technology to reduce long-term costs (mortgage reduction) and to be deployed at multiple sites. Each of the six Technology Teams develops a list of technology needs that are included in Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure (DOE, 1998a) and are ranked according to different prioritization

OCR for page 105
Appendix B-Site Technology Coordination Groups 07 criteria and submitted to the STCG. In this process, a variety of both quantitative and nonquantitative criteria are used to prioritize needs. This allows individual technical teams to develop criteria relevant to their specific area of concern; however, it is difficult for the STCG to compare priorities among technical areas. The needs lists developed by the SRS STCG are forwarded to the Citizen's Advisory Board (CAB) for review. The CAB, which has three subcommittees (Nuclear Matenals Management, Environmental Restoration, and Future Use), is given the opportunity to make nonbinding recommendations. Stakeholders such as the CAB are able to review the prioritized list of technology needs; however, they do not have input in developing enters or weights in the prioritization process. Discussion with STCG representatives at SRS revealed an issue regarding lack of feedback in terms of the technology need requests submitted to the Focus Areas. In the Environmental Restoration (ER) Program, 15 technology need requests were submitted to EM-50 Subsurface Contamination Focus Area (SCFA, also known as the "Subcon" Focus Area) in 1996. When no response was received, the ER program submitted 12 proposals specifically identifying the technologies it requested to be funded by the SCFA. After no response was received again, this number was reduced to five proposals, none of which was funded. Apparently, the SCFA could not fund any new projects because of reduced budgets and was even required to reduce funding to existing, previously funded projects. Better communications between the STCG and the Focus Areas would significantly reduce such inefficient and time-wasting efforts in the needs identification and request process. Other STCG-related issues included concerns regarding parochialism in the funding process and the need for greater involvement of the end user in the process. The latter is a common issue and one that reflects the problem in being able to deploy technologies at sites. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory KNEEL) STCG The information below comes from documents supplied to the committee and from a site visit to Idaho Falls, Idaho, in November 1996. Structure and Composition The INEEL STCG is composed of two major units, the STCG Management Team and the STCG Working Group. The STCG Management Team consists of upper-level DOE and site contractor (Lockheed Martin) management, who approve the final STCG reports. The STCG Working Group is an integrating team, again composed of both DOE and contractor personnel that performs the work of generating documents for the Management Team to review. Decision Process The INEEL STCG work to prioritize technology needs was able to take advantage of other, immediately preceding efforts at similar tasks. Resources Available to the STCG One important resource was the LMITCO translation of all legally binding milestones and end points into a compilation of technology development requirements (Belier, 1997~. A second important resource was the Activity Data Sheet (ADS) baseline priority list, Revision. 4 (June 13, 1996~. The ADSs define the scope of funded work on site, with technical deficiencies called

OCR for page 105
108 Decision Making in the DOE-OST out as decision units (DUB) (Ecology and Environment, 1996). The detailed description of each DU appears in a standardized Risk Data Sheet (RDS) format. Senior-level DOE and contractor (LMITCO) managers have ranked 169 DUs in importance to form the FY 1997 Murder Board Priority List to the ADS baseline. A third resource was the result of work to develop the EM Integrated Site Priority List by combining the technology development requirements of Belier with the ADS baseline priority list and RDSs. These efforts are outlined below. EM Integrated Site Priority List An important input to the STCG process was the EM Integrated Site Priority List, developed by an integrated product team composed of DOE and contractor personnel. This team examined the DUs to consolidate and eliminate Somers and then to prioritize them using a multi-attribute decision analysis exercise. Prioritization was done on two separate lists: 1. technology development needs, and 2. "alternative technology development opportunities" (Ecology and Environment, 1996, pay. The statements in these lists sometimes combine several DUs into a broader statement of the technical need or opportunity. In essence, the integrated product team's prioritization exercise on these two sets of statements assigned priorities to these statements, priorities that at the end differed from those originally assigned by the EMITCO contractor (DOE, undated a and b). These decision units were assessed against many criteria, including vulnerabilities in cost and schedule: schedule and cost constraints were converted into a "can't be done" vulnerability, generated if the present schedule or funding profile is inadequate to meet a cleanup milestone; and determination of benefit: the benefit of doing a technical task in a cleanup operation was defined (using cost as an attribute) as the cost of doing Me task minus the cost of not doing the task. Development of Analytical Weighting Factors Input from several sources, including stakeholders, was used to establish relative weights of different attributes. Questions designed to elicit comparisons were used to elucidate the relative weighting factors used in the multi-attribute decision analysis. Further details of this decision process methodology can be found in DOE (199Sd, 1995f). The evolution of efforts to arrive at an integrated priority list was monitored by the active site specific advisory board (DOE, 1995b, 1996a, 1996e, 1996g, 1996a; Myers, 1996.~. IThis involved combining the information in the list of DUs from the ADS with the technology development requirements from Belier (1997).

OCR for page 105
Appendix B-Site Technology Coordination Groups Output of the Process 109 The result of the multi-attribute utility analysis was a numerical score assigned to each of the 42 needs and 35 opportunities of the lists that represented combinations of DUs and contractor-identified technology requirements. The values of the scores were used to rank-order these lists, resulting in the INEL Identified Technology Development Needs Prioritization, (DOE, undated a) and the INEL Identified Technology Development Opportunities Prioritization (DOE, undated b). STCG Contributions These two products of the integrated product team-a ranked list of technical needs and a separate ranked list of alternative technology opportunities-were used by the STCG Working Group to explore possible funding sources for supporting the work, beginning with the EM office that represents the problem owner. For example, the highest-priority need-sodium-bonded spent nuclear fuel-has as a primary funding source the EM-60 problem owner. The OST program is a secondary funding source. This exercise accomplishes several things: If a satisfactory funding source is available apart from OST, then the need or opportunity is removed from the list that is eventually generated as STCG input into the OST program; The separate lists of needs and opportunities are combined into a single list because the OST program does not support this distinction (they are all representative of viable technology development R&D work). This list is then reprioritized, because the priorities of what to provide to OST are not derivable trivially from the previous work of the integrated product team. For example, a decision has to be made on the relative priority of an alternative technology opportunity versus a need, which were represented on two separate lists in the EM integration effort described above. The reference used for this reranking was the FY 1997 Murder Board Priority List (DOE, 1996k). The use of this reference restored priorities to those of the initial ranking of DUs. The entities that remain, however, are not the full set of the original 169 DUs, but rather those that remain after grouping of similar ones and after excluding those that have sufficient funding from non-OST sources. These rank-ordered lists are then examined and adjusted by the upper-level STCG management (composed of both DOE arid Lockheed Martin employees). These upper-level managers make the final ranking decisions based on their judgments, which, among other things, are assumed to incorporate local stakeholder inputs that have been solicited already. These judgments adjust the rank orderings in minor ways-only about 3 out of a total of 100 rankings were modified. The result is the final list of site technology development needs that are shared with Focus Areas, Crosscutting Programs, and Industry Programs, as input for their use in developing a portfolio of projects (Technical Task Plans, or TTPs) to fund. HANFORD STCG At a Hanford site visit in January 1997, the committee heard that technology development at Hanford involves project- and result-focused efforts, incorporating long-term science needs as well as technology needs. These efforts engage not only the STCG, but also the Tanks Focus Area, the Hanford Strategic Plan, and Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure (DOE, 1998a), which are important programs with which the STCG interacts.

OCR for page 105
110 Decision Making in the DOE-OST STCG Membership, Mission, and Function Unlike Savannah River, where voting members are federal employees only, the Hanford STCG has voting members among contractors, regulators, stakeholders, and Native American tribes, although DOE ownership of the decisions is acknowledged. The STCG is a "corporate voice" in which these parties discuss their position on each topic considered. Their avowed mission is to identify and prioritize site problems and needs, assess and recommend technologies for potential use at Hanford, facilitate their demonstration and implementation at Hanford, and promote privatization and commercialization. The STCG has a management council, to which four subgroups-one for each OST Focus Area-report. The management council is the final decision-making body for STCG outputs. STCG Interactions with Other OST Program Offices The STCG's major interaction with each Focus Area is in delivering a list of prioritized site technology needs. In the future, the STCG will demand quality answers from each Focus Area on its response(s) to each need. The Hanford Tank Initiative was endorsed by the STCG's management council, one day after a Hanford STCG letter of endorsement went to OST Deputy Assistant Secretary Clyde Frank, $7 million of OST money was released for the HTI. The HTI is designed to develop technical retrieval information to inform future tank closure decisions and to support the privatization initiative. STCG Activities of Service to the Site On-site, the STCG formulates specific technology development recommendations in reports to local site management. An STCG member stated that the Washington State Department of Ecology was a partner (rather than taking a less active role), as the regulatory member of the STCG and as a signatory member in its reports. The specific technology development recommendations are based on three criteria: a site need for it, a technically sound offer, and stakeholder concurrence in it. Out of 12 to 15 such proposals to the STCG, 10 were endorsed, and 6 or 7 were funded. The STCG also issues policy recommendations relevant to the implementation of new technology. Such recommendations have no regulatory weight but attempt to capture consensus among members. As an example, the STCG supported an in situ treatment zone remediation approach at the North Springs area, which was not implemented in part due to negative public feedback. As an additional activity, the STCG championed the creation of the Hanford Technology Deployment Center (HTDC), a "portal" of outreach to private industry that is designed to facilitate the demonstration and deployment of private-sector technologies on-site. STCG Prioritization and Decision-Making Processes Through interviews with (contractor) project engineers, technology needs get fed into the STCG process. The management and integration (M&I) contractor determines the technical approach to a remediation job, from which are derived the problems that go to the STCG as technology needs.

OCR for page 105
Appendix B-Site Technology Coordination Groups The STCG records these needs with the following uniform protocol: ~ . The statement of the site technical problem is cast to identify the functional need. 2. Out of this problem statement is derived the statement of the technology need that specifies the functional requirements that would solve the problem. The following example illustrates this approach: 1. Sample problem. Potentially dangerous mixtures of flammable gases in tanks. Here, the functional need is to prevent a serious combustion event. 2. Derived technology need. Some method to agitate waste to prevent the buildup of flammable gases. Each subgroup (e.g., the Tanks Subgroup) has amassed a list of technology needs using this uniform nomenclature. At the June 1996 national STCG meeting, a common standard format was adopted by all STCGs, to provide complex-wide uniformity of needs statements. The STCG management council has established a set of criteria, such as cost reduction, schedule reduction, and worker safety enhancement, against which needs can be scored (with a simple scale of 0, 1, or 2 corresponding to low, intermediate, or high, respectively). Each STCG subgroup (e.g., Tanks) evaluates each need against the list of criteria using discussion among its members to derive a numerical score in each category. The criteria serve as discussion points for each technology need under consideration. The sum of these individual scores is a total numerical score used to rank the needs. The result-a prioritized list of technology needs is presented to the STCG Management Council for official STCG approval and to each Focus Area. This STCG Subgroup process gets people involved by fostering discussion, the output of which is the determination of the scores (0, 1, or 2) of each need against each criterion. This people-based "massaging" approach is preferred by site managers over a more rigorous, quantitative analysis-type methodology. The Focus Area is charged with developing TTPs, ostensibly to meet the technology needs of the complex. In the future, each Focus Area will be queried as to its response for each need identified by an STCG. Such responses might take the form of"this TIP was established to meet that need," or "site X has something for that" or "the commercial sector, specifically company X at location Y. has something for that. STCG Tanks Subgroup The Tanks Subgroup is one of the STCG subgroups that performs the above-mentioned prioritization exercise for needs related to tank waste in the DOE-EM complex. Additionally, this subgroup contributed input on the Project Hanford Management Contract (PHMC). This contract specifies the Fluor Daniel Hanford performance measures, which detail incentives to using innovative technologies to meet site needs and schedule commitments. Attributes of Hanford STCG Process During the committee site visit with STCG representatives, the following positive attributes about the STCG were mentioned by those in attendance: The process is systematic; any technology can be traced back to a site problem. Good discussions are held. Functional performance requirements are included in the description of a need. The process is oriented to have an outcome (i.e., there is an outcome, not just a process).

OCR for page 105
112 Decision Making in the DOE-OST The STCG provides a forum for early stakeholder involvement (greater acceptability is engendered if such involvement occurs in an early technology development phase, rather than at the end point of the process). The STCG is an effective way to reach out to the public and to industry. The STCG output is a real list of site needs and business opportunities, not just a "wish list." Additionally, the following attributes, more negative in character, were mentioned: The ranking criteria are sometimes duplicative and overlapping (This implies that the criteria definitions and the weighting system could be made more rigorous. However, the criteria are merely tools, and are not sophisticated enough to use apart from some rationalization). Input data are imperfect, so the true underlying technical problem is sometimes not stated explicitly. This relates to how the needs are derived. The numerical outputs of the weighted scoring exercises are not completely trustworthy because of imperfections in both the input data and the weighting scheme. COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS The STCG is a facilitator for information processing, in that it feeds information to the "real" OST decision-making bodies that allocate funds-the Focus Areas and Crosscutting Programs. For technology development funding, two processes exist at the Hanford site. One process involves the user organization (e.g., EM-30) only, in which funds are allocated for a particular project, without involving the OST STCGs and Focus Areas. A second process goes through these OST program units, with all the attendant efforts placed on the prioritization and ranking of needs, identification of multiple site opportunities for deployment, and competition for limited funds. In response to a question of what the biggest problem was, the DOE-Richland and STCG representatives in attendance at the January 1997 site visit gave an answer that new technologies still do not get deployed on-site and that budget cuts are not friendly to technology development, which is perceived as an add-on to the base program scope. Another issue is whether OST should do "backup" technologies that result in improvements in risk, safety, and cleanup results, rather than fund what may be technically weak parts of the existing EM-30 and EM-40 baselines. That is, could baseline *mprovements be separated from off-baseline approaches, perhaps with EM-50 money going to the latter (for gains in the quality of environmental cleanup achieved) rather than the former (for gains in cost and schedule of already planned work)?2 One related issue is when one stops perfecting a baseline (which is presumed to work or presumed to be EM-30's or EM-40's job to make it work) and directs technology development money toward off-baseline opportunities. Most of OST's current program is not directed at techniques outside the current flowsheets. This kind of programmatic redirection would be a major decision that is one step away from the current practice (i.e., currently the EM-50 program assists EM-30 and EM-40 flowsheets, and hence DOE and DOE contractor efforts at implementing them). Among other considerations, baselines are to be consistent with the regulatory Records of Decision (RODs), thereby creating a significant disincentive to change them and to work on different approaches. In the ranking of technology proposals and needs, the current list of criteria is not rigorously weighted. One possible change would be to establish a hierarchy of criteria, to avoid double counting and better focus the discussions. One important criterion absent from lists shared with the committee is the nrnh~hililv of technical success-the probability that a particular technology would solve the site problem 2The INEEL site prioritization approach segregated baseline needs from off-baseline oppornmities. The INEEL STCG later combined these two entities.

OCR for page 105
Appendix B-Site Technology Coordination Groups ~3 under consideration (and a related criterion, the necessity of achieving success on this problem). Because some of the criteria are screening in nature, multiplying scores, rather than adding them (as was the FY 1997 practice), might be a more appropriate weighting method. In the site's process of identifying needs and technologies, it was not clear to the committee how non- DOE input (e.g., state-of-the-art private industry techniques, similar problems and solutions related to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), or ideas from other outside sources) were incorporated into the development of the portfolio of ideas (i.e., the generation of site needs and their technical solutions). Of all the major sites that the committee visited, the Idaho STCG employed the most rigorous methodology in generating a prioritized list of technical deficiencies. The numerical outputs from the multi-attribute utility analysis were traceable and readily amenable to updates, if a modification such as a change in a weighting factor was ever contemplated at a later date. The process consumed significant (human) resources, which could be a potential problem in years of budgetary cutbacks. By virtue of including contractors in the STCG composition, the priority site needs are reasonably well defined technically and are endorsed by management in charge of site operations.