Congressmen Urge US Nuclear Safety Board To Stop Plan To Cut Oversight Staff - Letter

Congressmen Urge US Nuclear Safety Board to Stop Plan to Cut Oversight Staff - Letter

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) must avoid cutting a substantial number of safety and oversight staff in order to prevent an increase in nuclear safety risk, US Congressmen Adam Smith and Jim Cooper said in a letter to DNFSB Acting Chairman Bruce Hamilton on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th September, 2018) The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) must avoid cutting a substantial number of safety and oversight staff in order to prevent an increase in nuclear safety risk, US Congressmen Adam Smith and Jim Cooper said in a letter to DNFSB Acting Chairman Bruce Hamilton on Tuesday.

"Now is not the time to increase nuclear safety risk by making cuts to the experts whose primary mission is to provide independent nuclear safety oversight," the Congressmen said. "[W]e expect a more detailed explanation for this sweeping change that would have enduring implications and potential significant risk for ensuring nuclear safety. In the meantime, we strongly urge you and the Board to reconsider this change."

Smith and Cooper pointed out that the DNFSB intends to downsize by October the agency's headquarters staff by one third and such action would threaten nuclear safety across the nuclear enterprise.

The recently passed 2019 National Defense Authorization Bill has the $31.24 million requested by the DNFSB to help maintain the 117 full-time positions that are now proposed to be cut, the congressmen said.

Smith and Cooper said even under current conditions, problems have emerged in maintaining safety experts at the Los Alamos National Laboratory while several safety violations have occurred in recent years.

Adam Smith is ranking member of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and Jim cooper is ranking member of the Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

Your Thoughts and Comments